Welcome back to Ltd. Edition, La La Lista’s comics haven, where we find ourselves deep in the weeds of independent Argentine comics to find their strangest and most beautiful pages. This is a strange month. We all know it. It’s a time of worry and of isolation. Quarantine and social distancing find us trying to make sense of all this, running towards the arms of entertainment or using video conference software to meet up with our friends and family while we try to fill the hours.
The least we could do from this corner of the web is to bring to you some of the great work that was shared over the last few weeks by several independent authors and publishers for online reading, to have something to dive into. At its best, the artform of comics offers an honest look at our world or an escape into different (im)possible realities along its panels and brushstrokes. Below you’ll find books and magazines that you can explore from the comfort of your own homes; we hope you find them to be good company.
LAS FIERAS, the Cordoba collective made up of Flora Marquez and La Lejana specializing in the publication of brief risographed anthologies, shared their first issue in digital .pdf format for its download and online reading. It’s made up of 24 pages illustrated by its founding members, as well as a selection by young authors.
Also from Córdoba, Buen Gusto Ediciones shared a comics bundle that includes work by authors such as Nicolas Brondo, Juan Bertazzi, Hernán González, and Nicolas Lepka, comprising a wide range of styles and genres. More than worth checking out.
The publisher Hotel de las Ideas also shared a selection of their titles — some of which are their earliest work and extremely hard to find printed editions of. They also have a very wide range of styles for all types of readers. We personally recommend Pedro Mancini’s Alien Triste, which will make a depressed extraterrestrial your quarantine blues buddy.
Meanwhile, experimental comics publisher Wai Comics put up part of their catalogue on the digital section of their website as a free download; simply click on the title and a download link will be made available for a limited time. Among the free books you’ll find Roberta Di Paolo’s “El Observador Silencioso” and “Furniture Comics” by Ivan Riskin, both of which have been recommended before by yours truly. If there ever was an opportunity to dive head-first into the adventure of reading non-traditional comics, it’s now!
On the same vein, on the issue of this column that we dedicated to experimental comics, we mentioned the work of Matias Chenzo, multi-faceted illustrator who has been sharing his work (both his solo stuff as well as his collaborations with writers Rodrigo Canessa or Lou Amagi).
The publishing collective Big Sur has also joined this trend of sharing reading material during the quarantine, releasing a downloadable pack of their works including one title from each one of the publishers that are part of the collective. They serve as a great sample platter of various genres within the medium as well as a DNA identikit for each publisher within Big Sur.
For those who aren’t in the mood to download books and read them on a screen, and would instead prefer something a little more interactive, you’ll find several illustrators all along Instagram who are documenting the strange days we are living, as well as encouraging people to pick up drawing as a coping mechanism and a tool for self-discovery.
Loris Z, whose autobiographical comic El Mundo Extraño we wrote about in this column, stays true to his style. He’s been sharing some panels in his Instagram profile that serve as his personal log during this quarantine. Operating in a personal and political space, Loris crafts a timeline of current events, where every day seems to be made up of facts that will be studied in history books 30 years from now.
Illustrator and musician Pitucardi has been uploading some comic strips where quarantine is represented through the perspective of an emo bear locked in his apartment, with only a talking flower to provide him company. His illustrations feature a poetic sadness, caught between child-like naivete and genuine darkness.
Feel like doing something different? Does reading make you a little sleepy, and you feel the need to stay active? Here are a few ideas to awaken your creative muscles and put pencils to action.
A group of 8 female illustrators, made up of Maria Luque, Sole Otero, Camila Torre Notari, Nacha Vollenweider, Sofia Watson, Leila Barthe, Gabi Coco and Julia Barata, created a series of prompts titled “Taza taza (cada une en su casa),” with the goal of conquering the isolation and spreading the joy of drawing. You can find all the submissions (as well as submit your own!) under the hashtag #tazataza.
Meanwhile, the fanzine label 198X Comics created a list of 13 monstrous creatures for anyone who wants to “express their inner monster”. With prompts such as “bat from outer space” and “fighting Kaiju,” it’s hard not to imagine some badass beast to bring from our imaginations onto paper. The monstrous collection can be found under the hashtag #13dias13monstruos.
We say goodbye for this month, leaving you with a sea of links. We hope that you find them entertaining and they make you feel less alone. Take care of yourselves, wash your hands thoroughly after grocery shoppings, and when everything seems like it’s stopped making sense… read comics!