Vancouver’s Cloudscape Comics release new anthology
– by Ryan Ingram
Since 2007, the local comics collective has been producing an anthology annually, upping the scope and themes as they go. This year’s edition asked contributors to bring fantasy and magic to urban realms, and it’s paid off with imaginative results.
John Christmas weaves a trippy tale of a fortune-teller in Spain. Colin Upton tells a dark story of a homeless orc on a quest for a special drug fix. Toren Atkinson – lead singer of the H.P. Lovecraft-inspired band The Darkest of the Hillside Thickets – illustrates a brutal cage-match fight in a monster den. There’re also minotaurs, goblins and a wizard that steals Skytrain fares featured in the pages of the comics anthology.
Featuring a Steve LeCouilliard cover, the 150-page tome collects 16 short stories, pinups, a Vancouver-turned-fantasy map, and an illustrated appendix titled “On Urban Fauna”, documenting some of the beats dwelling in our fair city, like Yoga Goblins, Vegetaurens and Hipster Sippers – elusive Rebecca Dart– designed beasts who prey on caffeinated brains in “vegetarian burrito districts of the world.”
Depending on whom you believe, the secret origins of the Cloudscape Comics collective can be traced to an idea spawned during a 2007 Vancouver Comics Jam to bring together local talent. Or – if you believe “The Exalted Comics Society of Cloudscape” section in the back of Giants of Main Street – the collective’s secret history goes back to the sequential artists of ancient Egypt and Babylon.
If you want to meet the creators of the Cloudscape Comics book and pick up a copy of the book, check out the release party tonight (Aug 1) from 6-8pm at The Cultch (1895 Venables Street).