Tuesday, 20 June 2017

ShortBox high #5

ShortBox #5 is here! And it's an absolute corker. I'm incredibly proud and excited about this one -and I know I say that about each one, but only because it's true!-, and I think you'll be thrilled with it, too.

But first, an important run-through of salient ShortBox points, for new and old:

  • ShortBox is a curated, commissioned independent comics box. It is not a subscription service. There is no signing up. It's simply a (pretty special) box of comics we put together every 3 months. You buy it, and that's it- there's no further commitment to anything else.
  • Orders run for a 10-day period. That begins today and ends at midnight on 30th June. This is the only way to get the box. You purchase an order, we put you down for a box. It's a system that lets us know exactly how many boxes to make, without waste. You can pre-order ShortBox #5 right now, right here: http://shortbox.bigcartel.com/product/shortbox-5 We don't remake boxes. 
  • The box will ship in August. Depending on where you live in the world, and also on the mercy of the postal system, your box can take anything from 2 days to 5-6 weeks to get to you. After that period, if you still haven't received it, please get in touch with us via the 'contact' tab at the top of the site, and we'll take things from there. 
  • We ship worldwide!
  • 10% of all ShortBox #5 profits will go to this Grenfell Tower fund. 

Below you'll find further information on everything inside the box, as well as cover and interior page images for all the books. I've linked artists names to their respective website/blogs, and as ever, I really recommend clicking through and becoming more acquainted with the excellent work on display.


Hot Summer Nights by Freddy Carrasco, published by Peow, 40pp, black and white. Our very first publisher collaboration, with the superb Peow Studio brings you Toronto artist Freddy Carrasco's debut comic book not only before anyone else, but it'll also be a special edition with an exclusive cover. 'A group of friends eke out the most they can from the last day of summer before high school begins.'


Barbara by Nicole Miles, 28pp full colour. When Jayda begins to have strange thoughts about food, her friend Barbara suggests a change of diet which leaves Jayda feeling out of her depth and more than a little isolated. But Barbara’s life is so uncomplicated and calm. She probably knows best.


What is Left by Rosemary Valero-O'Connell, 36pp, colour. A ship that runs on the memories of one of its occupants malfunctions and collapses in on itself in the dead of space. Alive but trapped, an engineer who survives the wreckage finds herself inside the reservoir of memories, alone and stranded in a patchwork dream of someone else's life.


The Tar Pit by Jeremy Sorese, 60pp, black and white, with a full colour section. Perfect bound, A4.  A young woman in Old Hollywood struggles to protect the identities of two closeted male actors because of her growing homophobia.


Musings of a Muslim Hipster by Areeba Siddique, 52pp, full colour (cover to be finalised). A collection of Pakistani teen superstar artist Areeba Siddique's comics and collage art on faith, spirituality, fashion, family, culture, and more.


A ShortBox murder mystery, A4 limited-edition print by Afu Chan.

I did tell you it was an amazing line-up. You can order ShortBox #5 here. 

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

ShortBox x Peow


I'm beyond excited to announce ShortBox's very first collaboration, with none other than fantastic Swedish publishers, Peow Studio. As you know, I've long admired not only the quality of Peow's output but their ethos, the care and consideration they provide to their books and artists before anything else. So, it's truly an honour to be able to work together with them in this way. ShortBox #5 will include a fresh-off-the-presses Peow release, Hot Summer Nights by Toronto cartoonist Freddy Carrasco. This team-up has been in the pipeline for a while, and as a big admirer of Freddy's work I couldn't be more pleased to bring his debut graphic novel to our readers. Hot Summer Nights is an wonderfully evocative comic about a group of friends eking out the most they can from the last day of summer before high school begins. Not only will ShortBoxers be the first to get their hands on the book (it'll be available singly from Peow at a later date), but it will also be a special edition with an exclusive cover. 

I started following Freddy on Tumblr last year sometime, and if I can direct you to one post that exhibits his talent, it'd be this 100-day challenge he undertook to get to grips with his new iPad pro, and the crisp, fresh gallery of Afrofuturistic portraits that resulted from it. I love how the textures and colours provide an almost pastel-y softness, whilst also maintaining a liveliness, particularly through gesture and body language. Anyway, here's Freddy, with a bit about himself and his book: "I'm from Toronto, so I grew up around a lot of different cultures and people. My work is influenced by the anime I watched growing up and taggin graffiti on my desk in class. Everything I do is sort of chasing the feeling I got when I first played Jet Set Radio. That game is a masterpiece. Right now I'm working on a comic set in the 90s about three skaters coming of age over a hot summer night. The special edition cover is a homage to my favorite comic ever -  Gus & His Gang by Cristoph Blain."

A brief statement from Peow (may or may not have been elicited whilst standing over somebody's shoulder and twisting their arm):

"Peow is very happy to be collaborating with Shortbox to release Hot Summer Nights, Since we started making books almost five years ago, Zainab has been one of the most important people for us, and her writing on Comics&Cola helped our books and artists reach out to the rest of the world. We don't know where we would be today if she didn't have such good taste in comics, and it's amazing with Shortbox,that such a strong voice in the comics community is able to curatetheir own mini-comics festival four times a year in a little cardboard box that gets sent across the globe. When we were asked to be a part of this Shortbox collection, there was no hesitation. Shortbox is sharing the best of comics and most interesting mini-comics with the rest of us, and making our book collections shine a little brighter."

We're incredibly excited about this collaboration, and hope you are, too! Orders for ShortBox #5 will open next week, and run for the standard 10-day period. Keep an eye on the ShortBox Twitter account to stay updated with any news, or you can sign up to the newsletter (we only send out these every 3 months or so). Go follow the Peow Twitter here, and Freddy's account here.