Pre-orders for the second edition of Short Box, the box of exclusive comics and swag curated by Zainab Akhtar (with some logistical help from Thought Bubble’s Clark Burscough) is now available for pre-order , but the cut-off is midnight today (7/27/) in the UK, which is like, 7 pm edt. The line-up will want to make you sign up however:
- Diana’s Electric Tongue by Carolyn Novak. 70 pages. Full colour. ShortBox special cover. Set in a lush, cosy future, Diana makes a bold attempt to move on after a difficult break-up. View preview pages here.
- Your Black Friend by Ben Passmore. 24 pages. Black and white. Landscape. Sharp, informed social commentary in the form of an open letter on race and being black in America. View preview pages here.
- Food Baby by Lucie Bryon. 50 pages. Full colour. A compilation of comics about food, illustrated recipes, and tips about cooking, from someone who once made a potato catch on fire. View preview pages here.
- Heavy Air by Lizzy Stewart. 30 pages. Full colour. Summer is drawing to a close and a storm hangs low in the air. The estate seems electric, there’s something foreboding in the alleyway and a fox lays dying in the park. Sometimes it feels like the end of the world and sometimes it doesn’t. View preview pages here.
- ‘T’ by Bailey Sharp. 44 pages. Black and white. An ambiguous text message ruins a high school girl’s lunch period. View preview pages here.
- Lisa Hanawalt A4 print. Full colour. Exclusive to ShortBox.
- Pak choi pal by Honey Parast. Individually handmade felt pak choi pins- limited edition design produced for the box.
Akhtar was interview by Steve Morris at CBR:
Something that pulls together books from various countries and scenes. So it was a case of the old, “make what you want to see.” I’m lucky in that I have a very supportive following from my blog/writing, who have encouraged me not only to expand and do more, but the few times I have put anything out there, they’ve put their money where their mouth is. It’s really a special feeling to have that kind of backing, and it makes you want to do better and deliver better. I floated the idea of an independent comics box on Twitter early this year, and people seemed very enthusiastic about it.
I’m not as naive as to think Twitter likes are going to translate into something concrete, but it was a matter of, “You should stop thinking about this and being scared it won’t work, or that it’s beyond you, and just do it,” which solidified when I realised I was actually going to end Comics & Cola. We took it from there. I’d been feeling increasingly inspired by comics people doing their own thing: Spike Trotman, Peow! Studio, Ines Estrada, Ryan Sands, Annie Koyama; so when my friend Clark (Burscough, festival director for Thought Bubble) got in touch with me after seeing that tweet and said he’d like to be involved, that was another boost.
And Ardo Omer at WWAC where she explains that shipping to the US and Canada is going to remain pretty costly despite Brexit-indusced pound plunging, but the cost is still within reason:
Even if our items weren’t specialised, if you were to buy all the contents of the box or similar individually directly from creators/distros/at cons it would cost you quite a bit more. International shipping costs aren’t something we have control over sadly, but maybe in the future if we grow enough, we can absorb some of those costs to a degree. Currently, Brexit and the weakness of the pound means the box is a LOT more affordable for people abroad. As far as having a US distributor goes, it is something we’ve considered, but it’s still far too early to judge. It would depend if we got enough orders from Canada and the US to mitigate the cost of then shipping that number of boxes over in bulk, and paying the person hired to do that job.
This is a cool project with outstanding contents, so go to the very first link to see how you can get your own copy.
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.