The ShortBox Comics Fair is in full swing

During October, you can purchase digital comics from Emily Carroll, Kiku Hughes, Joe Sparrow, Ben Sears and more.

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:

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Comics Lowdown | Action Lab accused of lack of payment and more by their creators

Plus: Joe Bennett, Ninja Turtles, Substack and more!

Action Lab Entertainment, the publisher of Spencer & Locke, Princeless, Jupiter Jet, Midnight Tiger and Molly Danger, among many other titles, has come under scrutiny on social media by a long list of creators for the terms of their contracts, soliciting comics that are never published, lack of payment to creators and poor communications.

At Women Write About Comics, Claire Napier rounds up a number of these allegations against the publisher, from creators like Jeremy Whitley, John J. Per├ęz, Tom Rogers and Nick Marino, among others. Napier focuses a good portion of her article on Gordon McLean, writer of Supermom: Expecting Trouble, who went missing in December of 2019 around the time that the first issue of his comic was supposed to come out — but according to sources, the comic was canceled and McLean was never told.

Action Lab President Bryan Seaton spoke with Bleeding Cool in a very brief interview on the subject. He talks about many of the speed bumps the company hit during the COVID crisis, but as folks pointed out on Twitter, many of these issues predate the pandemic. Seaton did note he has set up an email address, alecreator@actionlabent.com, that creators can use to contact them directly about any outstanding issues regarding a title.

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Fund Me Monday: More ‘Disturbances,’ vampires and a Prince tribute

Check out new projects from Shortbox, Craig Hurd-McKenney, Jason McNamara and more.

As crowdfunding continues to be a viable method for creators to fund their creative endeavors and connect directly with fans, comic-related projects flourish on sites like Kickstarter, Patreon and IndieGoGo. This column offers a look at recent crowdfunding comics projects that might be of interest to fans.

But I’d be remiss if I didn’t start out this time by calling out a recent controversy surrounding Kickstarter, where the company has been accused of firing two employees who were part of efforts to start a union at the online crowdfunding company. I mention it in the interest of public knowledge rather than as any sort of indictment against anyone who use the forum to raise money (Particularly those I mention this week, most of whom started their projects before this even came to a head). Kickstarter is certainly not the only company to be called into question about their labor issues, and their response to the allegations of union busting can be read over at Gizmodo. There’s also a form being circulated on social media asking creators who have used Kickstarter to support the employees attempting to unionize.

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