Retrofit Announce Their Autumn 2015 Lineup

Comics Reporter broke the news yesterday of Retrofit’s next line-up of comics, featuring people like Mare Odomo and Kate Leth. Let’s go through this a bit, because a few people have been talking about these comics and they all sound pretty new to me.

Run by Box Brown – best known for his recent Andre The Giant biography – the company have been running for a few years now, and can be found on the website here. They publish print comics from a eclectic buncha people, including loads of names I’ve not heard of before. With this new announcement of their 2015 lineup, it seems like a good time to go through each creator named as publishing through the company, along with a brief look at what their work looks like.

Comics are visual, so we can all see what their styles are like, and if it’s something we might be interested in once 2015 rolls around, yeah?

Andrew Lorenzi

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Lorenzi is best known for his autobiographical comics, as seen above and through his site. He’s also published a few things through Top Shelf, including ‘Grand Theft Andy’ which is exactly how it sounds – a freeform hurtle through Grand Theft Auto, as he runs around, parachutes off stuff, bazookas stuff, and generally causes trouble

Kate Leth

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Having made quite a few waves this year, Leth is best known for her narrative comics ‘Kate or Die’ in which she explains a topic – like sexism in comics, life in retailing, and so on – joined with little illustrations. She’s since joined up with Boom Studios a lot, doing a lot of their cartoon tie-in books.

Laura Knetzger

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Mixing self-portraiture (didn’t know that was a word until just now – good job, dictionary!) with watercolours, cartoons, and ongoing strips, Laura Knetzger had a whole bunch of different comics up on her site. I particularly like her ‘Bug Boys’ series, with two little beetles running around their garden, having adventures and discovering wonders round every turn. That’s them above, sneaking a lift off a pet dog.

Laura Lannes

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With a series of (sweary) fanatically funny comics over on her website, Laura Lannes is AMAZING. I spent maybe half an hour while I should have been writing a quick overview of her work… just reading her comics instead. Occupational hazard. The stories keep setting themselves up in one direction, leading to an obvious final gag, before switching out and left-turning into more surrealist and surprising joketelling. She juggles a lot of gags within the space of only a few panels, and I especially like how often her mind turns to thoughts of fluffy woodland creatures.

Maré Odomo

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I feel pretty in-sync with Mare Odomo now I’ve seen that comic page above. Best known for her ‘Internet Comics’ series, which appears to have now made it to five issues thus far, Odomo’s work has a real rough-edge to it – she leaves in pencil smudges, crosses out some of her lettering, picks unexpected angles (look at the first panel above – how often do people pick the back of their head as the perspective for a panel?) and – shocker – goes way over the lines.

Matt Madden

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I’ve heard of Madden before – he’s written for The Comics Journal before. With a career spanning comics for decades, I think he may well be the most experienced and well known of the cartoonists joining up to Retrofit next year. He’s probably best known for ’99 Ways to Tell a Story’, in which he actually does tell the same story 99 times, changing the style and storytelling each and every time.

Sophie Franz

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It’s a little difficult to pin down Franz’s best known work – she’s done a load of different pieces over the last few years, like her webcomic ‘Andy’ which is all close-ups and horror and tenseness. You can see the opening of it above. She’s got a tendency to mix styles even within the same work, from what I see of her online sketchbook – which makes every piece of art into a sort of scrapbook style piece.

Yumi Sakugawa

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It’s been quite a year so far for Sakugawa, with the release of her book ‘I Think I’m in Friend-Love with You’ (based on her webcomic of the same name) earlier this year as well as the upcoming October release of ‘Your Illustrated Guide to Becoming One with the Universe’. A lot of her work, which is interesting to me, is based on separation of text and image. I Think I’m in Friend-Love with You stands the text on the left page of each turn, and the image on the right, whilst her other featured comics on the site pause between silent illustrations to announce, silent movie-style, the intent of the next section. Then again a lot of her comics don’t do anything like that, so you should probably take a look at them yourself to establish just how little you should ever trust me.

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So there we go! Retrofit in 2015. I sure learned about some new comics and cartoonists, personally. You too?

 

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