In the world of indie comics publishers, Britain’s Avery Hill are one of my favourites. I have yet to find a dud in their ever growing line and was really impressed with their output last year.
They have just announced the first wave of this year’s releases and it includes the return of an old favourite and the addition of some that are bound to be great new ones.
Here are four of their new books.
Written and drawn by Rachael Smith
146 pages. Full Colour
Release Date: 28th August 2015
Rachael produced one of my favourite books from the last few years in the hilarious slice of life book House Party. She’s a regular at Thought Bubble and hinted at this new book to me last year. Her books are full of biting characterisation and clean lines and colours. I can’t wait to see her next release – August seems too far away!
Avery Hill describe The Rabbit as a surreal and affecting coming-of-age tale that captures the wonder and vulnerability of youth. Both funny and sinister, familiar yet fantastical. In the story, Eleanor and her younger sister Kathy have run away from school, from home and from all their troubles. They may also be running from reality itself, as they seem to have acquired a new friend in the form of a talking cartoon bunny called Craig.
As Graig grows bigger and bigger, the girls soon discover exactly what kind of creature has joined them on their adventure.
Running away is not as easy as it seems….
• Rachael’s website is at www.rachaelsmithillustration.blogspot.com
• You can also find her on Twitter @rachael_
Created by Donya Todd
Release Date: June 2015
According to her website, Donya is an illustrator, painter and comics artist who lives on a remote farm in Cornwall. She takes her inspiration from the |magical, marvellous and macabre”. Having a look through her artwork on her site, it’s a perfect description of her original and imaginative work. It’s a bright psychedelic thrash through a completely original world. This should make a really fun read.
Buttertubs is a dog who always wants to save the dudes and damsels in distress, but who always mucks it up on account of his inability to stop sweating butter. Running becomes crashing and flailing, everything he touches becomes greasy and strangely flammable, and even simple tasks become fraught with slippery danger.
His nemesis, The Hotdog Queen, needs to watch her back, his friend Hester is always trying to stop his foolish escapades, and there are many, many damsels in distress. All in a day’s work for Buttertubs!
The End of Summer
Created by Tillie Walden
Release Date: June 2015
Tillie, a student at the US Center for Cartoon Studies, has a style that uses realistic figure drawing that often clashes with fantastical backgrounds. Full of imaginative twists and turns I highly recommend a trip over to her website. One strip includes a facsimile of her birth certificate combined with her towering over a cityscape carefully measuring the buildings with a ruler.
In The End of Summer, in a secluded castle, at the beginning of a winter that is predicted to last for three years, Lars is battling illness, boredom and the pressures of family life. Locked inside for the duration, he passes the time playing with his siblings and his giant cat, Nemo, while tensions within the family begin to simmer…
In her first graphic novel, Tillie tells the tragic and moving story of Lars and his twin sister, Maja.
“Full of subtle and tender character moments and set in an exquisitely rendered castle, it’s hauntingly beautiful work,” say Avery Hill, ” that will no doubt be considered one of the great debuts of 2015.”
A is for Amos – A Musical A to Z
Created by Daria Hlazatova
Release date:18th April 2015 (Record Store Day)
Avery Hill have been known to combine music and comics in past releases. For example, Metroland does it beautifully. Daria is an artist from the Ukraine with an incredibly detailed art style that uses all forms and mediums. Her work really has to be seen to be believed, breathtaking stuff.
Taking its inspiration from childhood A to Z books, A is for Amos features subjects from the world of music, all hand-picked by Daria, and recreated in her astonishingly detailed and fantastical style. Bowie sits alongside Tchaikovsky, Zappa and Wagner.
“Printed in full colour, seven inch format A is for Amos is essential for music fans and art lovers alike.” say Avery Hill.
The book launches on Record Store Day, which came into being in 2007 when over 700 independent stores in the US came together to celebrate their unique culture. The UK followed suit and 2015 will see the eighth celebration of the UK’s unique independent sector. This is the one day that all of the independently owned record stores come together with artists to celebrate the art of music. Special vinyl and CD releases and various promotional products are made exclusively for the day and hundreds of artists across the globe make special appearances and performances. Festivities include performances, meet & greets with artists, DJ’s, in store quizzes and many other events.
• You can find more examples of Daria’s work over at her website www.dariasgallery.blogspot.com
I am hugely excited about this new wave of releases from Avery Hill. If you haven’t seen anything by them so far you can catch up at www.averyhillpublishing.com and follow then on Twitter @AveryHillPubl
Many thanks for reading.