Saturday, September 21, 2013

Bully recommends: Cartozia Tales

Yo, New York Comic Con comin' up in October, I'm really happy for you, I'ma let you finish, but Small Press Expo was one of the best comic-cons of all time! One of the best comic-cons of all time! Yep, I had a wonderful time attending last weekend's Small Press Expo in White Flint/Bethesda, Maryland, home of Bethesda North Marriott Hotel and Conference Center, the eastern seaboard's only stealth Target department store (seriously, guys, you know that you can't been seen from the highway?) and the world's seventeenth-worst Chili's restaurant. But most of it, it was, for that weekend, the home of more small comics publishers and creators than you can shake a stick at, if that happens to be your sort of thing. Thank you everyone who was there and who set it all up, and a special Bully tip o' the hoof to our good pal Eden aka Comicsgirl, who did a magnarvelous job in everything she does in the prep for SPX and the accompanying Ignatz Awards. Once again I did not win the Ignatz Award for Cutest Stuffed Animal Blogger. I thought I was a shoo-in with Giraffo out of the running this year now that he has that lucrative job hanging around with Lucy Liu on the set of Elementary, but this year it was not to be. Nevermind. The Ignatz Award is (suitably) a brick, so I just pried one up from the Marriott's sidewalk and took it home. No one will know the difference.

I've made a solemn vow to show off all my SPX loot and tell y'all a bit about it, but for the time being I want to turn the Bully rack-focused eye to peer at Cartozia Tales, the all-ages shared-world fantasy adventure anthology comic that, in this household at least, is fast becoming one of the most Fun Comics of 2013! Editor Isaac Cates, a pal of ol' Bully here as well as swell guy in his own right has put together two (and counting) wonderfully lush issues of Cartozia Tales, with contributions by both big stars and upcoming names in the indie comics world. (We picked up issue #2, just released at SPX, with pieces by Adam Koford and James Kochalka and many others!) It's an anthology with a clever concept: a shared world map divided into nine sections; each issue features a cartoonist telling a story set in that particular region and building the mythology bit by bit. (Here's how the shared storytelling works.) I'm an absolute nut for maps of fictional places, and the Cartozia map (you can see it here) gives the storytellers a delightful and ever-evolving approach to storytelling. (Plus, as my pal Shelly the Otter would like me to point out, there is Minniag the Otter Girl!) There's a lot of great storytelling and cartooning; stories that provoke thrills and giggles as well as provide an intriguing but not overdense ever-growing history of a fantasy land. I'm giving Cartozia Tales two hooves up! Because I only have two and I can't raise more. Unless I lie on my back and take off my shoes.

Also, because I am fond of cutting things out with scissors, I was delighted to pick up Cartozia postcards which starred two of the series' characters...and there are clothes to color and cut out in issue #2! I LOVE PAPER DOLLS AND I DON'T CARE WHO KNOWS IT.

Now I know you guys: you're asking: how can I get these fine comics, Bully? Well, you could mosey on over to the Cartozia ordering page and whip yourself up an order for issues #1 and #2, but I'm gonna highly recommend you invest your shekels or quatloos or other forms of universal currency in the Cartozia Kickstarter Campaign, which'll help support the series's upcoming issues, and several levels get you subscriptions to Cartozia Tales in either space-saving PDF format for your newfangled e-readers, or good old-fashioned hold-'em-in-your-hands comics (and CT is beautifully designed and packaged; it's a gorgeous design from stem to stern). Pledging is available at all levels from Dime-Savings Little Stuffed Bull™ to Money-Bin-Diving Duck™. Click this banner to get (kick)starting!:

And I'm tellin' you all this because this is fun comics worthy of your readership and support, and not just because me an' editor Isaac Cates are now good buds and hangin' out at SPX. Shake my hoof, editor-man!

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