Short Box is a curated collection of small press comics editor by Zainab Akhtar, and the new one, #7, just went live for pre-orders. Orders will be open until January 31st, and the package ships worldwide in March.
Although it comes in a beautifully assembled box (and includes treats and toys at times) Short box isn’t a “subscription box” – it’s simply a box of comics that are published every 3 months. “The comics are brand new releases created especially for the box that you won’t find anywhere else,” Akhtar explains. “You buy a box, and that’s that- there’s no further commitment to anything else.”
Over the course of its run, Short Box has become the launching point for a number of award winning comics, including most natably, Ben Passmore’s Your Black Friend, and new work by Jeremy Sorese, Rosemary Valero-O’Connell, Carolyn Nowak and many more. It’s become a sharp showcase for Akhtar’s publishing eye – so sharp that she’s joined forces with Peow Studios as an editor.
And Short Box #7 shows no let up with a new comic by the great Emily Caroll and more. Here’s the whole line-up:
– ‘Beneath the Dead Oak Tree’ by Emily Carroll, 28pp, full colour. ‘Murder, decadence, cowardice, guilt, and aristocratic foxes in wigs all combine in this gorgeously poignant poem/folksong from Emily Carroll, about the futility and heartbreak one can run into whendealing with vengeance. ‘
– ‘Cat & Bag’ by Viv Schwarz, 56pp, black and white. ” ‘Cat and Bag are constant companions. Cat is an artist who makes picture books and comics, and Bag is, well… there. There to remind Cat of each and every worry, there to undermine Cat’s decisions, there to rollcall all the embarrassing things Cat’s done at a moment’s notice. Can the unlikely duo ever make it work?’ Viv Schwarz chronicles her relationship with anxiety disorder in this collection of warm, funny, and moving strips.”
– ‘Navel Gazing’ by Gyimah Gariba, 60pp, full colour. ” ‘A cool evening finds Gyimah Garbia’s protagonist in introspective mood. But what happens when being wrapped inside your thoughts finds you quite literally inside yourself…! ‘ Navel Gazing follows an engaging, reflective journey of self exploration, doppelgangers, and an infuriatingly monosyllabic wise old sage. ”
– ‘Wizard and Soft Pig’ by Rosie Brand, 100pp, full colour: ‘Roll around in the gentle visual felts of Wizard and Soft Pig, wander aimlessly through the forest, smile at a flower. Lie face down in the mud.’
– ‘Paradise’ by Matthew Petit, ‘In a different time, ‘Paradise’ follows the journey of two boys that defected from their bandit gang. The book explores the circumstantial relationship between the two and how an inevitable circle of violence and anger permeates their actions.’
– ‘Colossal Tussle’ exclusive print by Alexis Deacon
Short Box #7 costs £35, plus shipping.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.