ShortBox, the UK-based independent comics imprint run by Zainab Akhtar, is holding an online comics fair all this month and has added more than 40 comics to their online store.
ShortBox Comics Fair features new digital comics by the likes of Ben Sears, Sas Milledge, Becca Tobin, Joe Sparrow, Kiku Hughes and Emily Carroll, among many others. There is likely a comic here for everyone, from a sequel to the Little Mermaid fairytale to the story of a ghost looking for a job. There are several horror stories available — it is October, after all — as well as science fiction romances, slice-of-life comics and clowns.
Many of them have a set price, but some are using the “pay what you want” model that lets you decide what you’ll pay.
Here are a few of them that jumped out at me, if you’re looking for recommendations:
The Sweeper & The Graveyard Shift: Ben Sears makes fun comics for kids and adults, and this story involves Bolt City and the Sweeper gang, both of which have appeared in his comics before. But now that the Sweepers have moved to Bolt City, “their first job is to clean the run-down cemetery outside of town. What will they find after the gates close and the sun goes down?”
Beneath the Dead Oak Tree: Emily Carroll is golden when it comes to creating creepy, yet lovely, stories. This one is about “Murder, decadence, cowardice, guilt, and aristocratic foxes in wigs all combine in this gorgeously poignant comic from Emily Carroll, about the futility and heartbreak one can run into when dealing with vengeance.”
Harvest: I really enjoy Joe Sparrow‘s art style, especially his use of color, and this one looks like it won’t disappoint. It also sounds suitably creepy for some Halloween reading: “Beneath a broken harvest moon, two farmers venture out across a landscape of ruins in search of a mysterious crop.”
Barn Owl: Sas Milledge was the artist for the excellent The Lost Carnival: A Dick Grayson Graphic Novel that came out last year. In this one, she tells the story of a girl and her best friend — who happens to be dead.
Crab: As the title suggests, this one is about a crab — a crab who “terrorises a desolate rock pool.” There aren’t a lot of comics that I know about crabs, so this could be the comic we really need right now.
ShortBox started out offering a mail-order box of curated indie comics every few months, which you could buy from their site or through Kickstarter, but they closed that aspect of their business down earlier this year due to shipping costs. I think this online comics fair — offering quality comics for a limited time — is a great alternative, and certainly makes it easier for those of us on this side of the Atlantic to purchase their comics. So go check out what they have to offer.