Now in its second year, the ShortBox Comics Fest – a virtual comic fair event running throughout the entire month of October – is expanding its scope, and bringing in a number of new and cutting edge creators to create all-new material to be released digitally and exclusively through ShortBox, for one month only.
Based in Yorkshire, founded in 2016 by journalist and editor Zainab Akhtar, ShortBox is one of the leading independent publishers of independent contemporary comics in the UK. In its five year existence, it has published work from the likes of Rosemary Valero O’Connell, Lissa Treiman, James Stokoe, Emily Carroll, and Aminder Dhaliwal, and received multiple Eisner Award nominations.
“With so many of us still indoors, I wanted to have an online event/digital platform that actually provides readers with an opportunity to buy a whole range of new comics,” Zainab Akhtar explains, “an event that mirrors what I want from any comics festival, whether it’s online or in-person: to explore and discover new comics and artists.”
To this end, this year’s ShortBox Comics Fest will feature 48 artists, each of whom have created a brand new comic book for the fair.
The new releases – all of which are creator-owned – will be entirely digital, running from 16 to 60 pages in length, and will only be available from the ShortBox Gumroad from 1st through to 31st October. Previews and additional content information will be available prior to purchase.
The artists participating in the event run the gamut of comics, from mainstream creators like David Lafuente (Harley Quinn, The Ludocrats), Warwick Johnson Cadwell (Our Encounters with Evil), and Victoria Ying (Diana, Princess of the Amazons), to indie stars like Sophia Foster-Dimino and Molly Mendoza, with no small amount of new talent in evidence, such as online creatures Abelle Hayford and Mochipanko.
In addition to the new works, the first weekend of the ShortBox Comics Fest (running 2nd – 3rd October) will see special pricing for all of its books, as well as new material released specifically to tie in with the Fair.
The creators involved in ShortBox Comics Fest 2021 are, in alphabetical order: Bianca Bagnarelli, Sarula Bao, Nicolette Bocalan, Steph Bulante, Warwick Johnson Cadwell, Allissa Chan, Hana Chatani, Cynthia Cheng, Anabel Colazo, Helena Covell, Diigii Daguna, Joe Decie, Molly Fairhurst, Sophia Foster-Dimino, Abelle Hayford, Joy Ho, Kiku Hughes, Jamie Kinroy, Tom Kneeshaw, David Lafuente, Isaac Lenkiewicz, Eve Liu, Rowan MacColl, Molly Mendoza,Sas Milledge,Mochipanko, Aatmaja Pandaya, Arantza Pena Popo, Jana Ribkina, Philippa Rice, Riddle, Mariel Rodriguez, Sathya, Ben Sears, Niv Sekar, Elle Shivers, Joe Sparrow, Hamish Steele, Lizzy Stewart, Sunmi, Nuria Tamarit, Becca Tobin, CAP Ward, Sarah Webb, Jean Wei, Jennifer Xiao and Victoria Ying