- Combed Clap of Thunder by Zach Hazard Vaupen
- Steam Clean by Laura Ķeniņš
- How To Be Alive by Tara Booth
- Iceland by Yuichi Yokoyama
- Tales from the Hyperverse by Will Cardini
- TRUMPTRUMP vol. 1: nomination to inauguration by Warren Craghead III
There’s a lot to like on this list, and I’m particularly excited about Iceland, as I really enjoyed Yokoyama’s manga Travel. It’s nice to see more of his work appearing in English.
Box Brown launched Retrofit in 2011 to fill a gap in the market: Indy comics in print. Graphic novels were going strong, and minicomics were flourishing, but as Brown said when I interviewed him in 2011, there wasn’t much in between:
I love reading graphic novels, but it’s difficult for new artists to all of a sudden produce a 200-page work. It takes a really long time to do that, and I don’t think that is the best way to develop. For one thing, you are working in hiding, and you are not building an audience while you are working on a graphic novel, unless you are serializing it in some way, and also, when you finally finish it, you are still an unestablished artist and you are asking your readership to plunk down 10, 20 dollars for a work when they don’t know what they are getting into — and you are asking a publisher to invest a lot of money in a work without being established. So I wanted to re-legitimize the short-format story, where an artist could work on smaller works, get them out faster, build an audience, and get some money while they are working on their bigger work.
Back then, Brown planned to publish 17 comics in 17 months, and after that, he wasn’t sure what would happen. What happened is that Retrofit kept going, and the comics kept coming. Now Retrofit comics are distributed by Birdcage Bottom Books, and they have been partners with the retailer Big Planet Comics since 2013. If you’re curious about what they have published so far, Rob Clough has a nice roundup of short reviews of Retrofit comics, and you can read previews of the new comics at Retrofit’s Kickstarter page.