You can find some more background on Issue #2: Breath here!
Since posts have definitely been slower here this year, I feel it’s only fair that we show why. We stated our heavier concentration on Issue #2: Breath in this previous post. But, with so much going on in the background, it’s about time we gave an update.
Several contributions have already come in, and received full page formats from Benjamin and I. Neither of us can believe the quality of submissions this time around, and we’ve tried to live up to that with our designs. Last week, we worked on a three-page spread exploring the art of Katrine Claassens. Our last post revealed Katrine as this issue’s cover artist, but here’s a little sample of her feature in the pages themselves (with words by Nadia Fouche):
We’ve also mentioned Professor Elemental‘s involvement before but, with his pages complete, we now have something more concrete to post. In his piece, the Professor outlines his personal guide to building the perfect rapper. He’s even compiled a playlist on Spotify with his recommendations, which I’m happy to provide an early link for here. Until the whole issue comes out, we’d rather not show more than this sample of Benjamin’s lovely page design:
Running throughout the zine, we’re hoping to include Tristen Brookshire in an expanded role from her contribution to Issue #2. She’s currently in the process of drawing several disparate things for us, for use over a variety of pages (including the Professor’s). It doesn’t end there either. Tristen and I have discussed a number of ways to make these pictures, or doodles, somehow more integral to the zine as a whole. You’ll understand exactly what I mean when reading the issue, but Tristen’s made some fascinating suggestions. Here’s the first in-progress doodle she sent us:
Tristen isn’t the only artist from Issue #1: Birth we’ve invited back for a bigger role. Considering the depth of her talents, we always wished we could use more of Shanell Papp‘s work than we did. That’s why, this time, we’ve interviewed Shanell about her unique textiles. It’s something we would have liked to include in Birth, if we had more space. Though the interview is all done and edited up, we haven’t yet thrown together any formats for these pages. However, I can say that her insight is as interesting as her output. Of course, you can always go over to her site to see more of what she’s capable of!
There are plenty of brand new associations for this second issue too. The pages we’re currently formatting feature a personal account from Warren “WEE” Elliot (publisher and artist behind Almost Normal Comics) on his love for “lowbrow art”. He tells a tale that captures more than his passion for the art of independent comics and zines, dipping an autobiographical toe into his life as a whole. It’s a little early for us to publish any samples of his pages at the moment, but we do know that we’ll be using the image below (by WEE himself) with overlaid text:
Though there’s shaping up to be a vast increase in the amount of writing this time around, we want to maintain an equal amount of art and photography. Thanks to Gary Stafford and Adam Volerich, photography was an important part of Birth. Continuing that tradition, we’ll be using a photo from Lewis C Foster; printed in full. We have several other photographers who have offered up some excellent stills, but I’m waiting on final confirmation for those before I drop any names.
As for art, Okti W. (who has worked with us before) graced us with a beautiful two-page spread. Using the zine’s title, Breath, as an inspiration, she’s created a gorgeous expression. Below is one half of that spread, which I think you’ll agree sums up our theme for Issue #2 perfectly. Alongside Tristen’s doodle’s, Shanell’s textiles and WEE’s expansive thoughts, this edition is going to look fantastic. Amazingly, these mentioned names are only a fraction of the people on board.
We’ve been very keen on the idea of ending each of our issues with an interview. For Birth, we spoke to Vic Berger about a range of different topics (this talk is still available to read here or hear here). I’m deeply humbled to announce Chris Onstad (the man behind Achewood) as Breath‘s interview subject. I grew up reading Onstad’s work, and I’d probably cite it as the biggest influence on my own fiction and writing in general. To those who may not be aware of Achewood, it’s an award-winning webcomic that eventually evolved into in-character blogs, Twitter accounts and more. I can’t recommend it higher for its complexity of character and inspired use of dialogue. For those without the time to delve, here’s one strip:
Essentially, all of this represents the tip of the iceberg. We’re attempting to pack Breath with as many compelling creative expressions as we can; across all available mediums. Other features we know will end up in the pages include part two of my serialised fiction, ACME, and an interview with Adam Volerich about his latest film, Tyrannosaurus Death.
Benjamin and I couldn’t be happier with production so far, and we owe much of it to the contributing talent. We know that Breath will outdo Birth in every way. We simply hope that you’re along with us for the journey when it drops. While waiting for release, you can check out a free digital version of our first issue here. If, like us, you just can’t wait until April for its follow-up, you can already pre-order your own physical copy through our store. Otherwise, make sure to keep coming back for more updates and articles!