I’ve always been a sucker for anthology comics; from the old undergrounds like Zap and Snarf, to the modern small press comics, like Drawn & Quarterly and Zero Zero. I’ve dabbled in them all! These printed “mix-tapes” of comix are a perfect way to discover new, ground-breaking work, and allows for under-exposed artists to find their audience. So, it goes without saying how happy I was to receive a brand new comics festival anthology called On Your Marks from the kind people at Short Run, a recently created yearly fest for small press comics artists, and self publishers located in the North West U.S.
The first thing I have to say is that I love the cover! It’s bizarre, and colorful like a Sesame Street episode on bath salts. The artist responsible is Chris Cilla ,who recently received rave reviews for his graphic novel The Heavy Hand, published by Sparkplug. The great thing about this comic book is that for just 4 bucks you get a virtual cornucopia of twisted, hilarious, auto-biographical, gag, and just about anything else you can imagine type of comics! The work of 33 artists is packed into 32 glorious newsprint pages, so there’s bound to be something to tickle even the most discerning reader’s fancy.
My personal favorites were “Too Much Too Young” by Aaron Mew, “Herman and Lucy” by Tom Van Deusen, and the hilarious “History of Comics !” by Michael Litven. I think those just made me laugh the most, but there are many other great comics in On Your Marks as well, including contributions by some familiar names like Julia Gfrorer, Pat Moriarity, Rick Altergott, and James the Stanton , plus many new names that I’ll definitely be looking more into, now that I’ve been exposed to their work!
You can order yourself a copy of On Your Marks online here. Short Run also has some other nice prints and T-shirts for sale there. I wouldn’t wait too long to order this comic, because it is a “limited-edition” item, and it’s the first in what I’d expect to be a long run of great yearly anthologies!