Last weekend I had the chance to attend this year’s regional Sunstone Symposium in Kirtland. I initially had not planned to attend, but after I published three cartoons in the recent issue of Sunstone, the director of the symposium invited me to give a presentation on The Garden of Enid. I gladly accepted.
Kirtland is four hours northeast of my home. Travelling with limited funds, I left at 4:30 in the morning and drove non-stop to the Stannard Stone Quarry in Chapin Forest Reservation, where the early Saints quarried stone for the temple, just two miles south of Kirtland. I had an hour to wait before the symposium, so I grabbed my camera and took a mile-long trail through the forest, hoping to see something neat—like a rock formation. The trail was all trees and moss, however, until I found the quarry itself in a creek a few muddy steps off the beaten path. A few years back, the Church and the local government had put up signage and built a wooden walkway over the creek—perhaps to prevent visitors from climbing down into the creek itself, as I was doing, to get a better view of the chisel marks in the algae-covered stone.
After snapping more pictures than I’ll ever need of the quarry, I hiked back to my car and drove to the Community of Christ’s Kirtland Temple Visitor’s Center, the conference venue, where I picked up my name tag and pocketed a few free copies of Sunstone and an old collection of Mormon cartoons by Calvin Grondahl. From there I headed to the main classroom to wait for the conference keynote address to begin and feel guilty about not making better small talk with strangers.
Compared to iPlates, Michael Mercer’s From the Dust is as equal in ambition as it is different in intention and execution. Michael’s also set a waaaay more ambitious goal. Will it work? I don’t know. I do think the Kickstarter model makes more sense for them than their previous model, and I do think From the Dust is likely to be popular with a larger group of people; however, I also suspect Mercer’s built-in network is smaller and less familiar with the Kickstarter model. So gathering in almost ten thousand more dollars strikes me as an iffy proposition.
Best of luck, though! I’ve pledged my $25. I would love to own the books.
Yes, progress is being made, and Theric and I are pleased to announced round 3 of admits to the Monsters & Mormons anthology. These 7 works bring us to 15 total. There is still room for more. And we are continuing to work on figuring out which submissions will make the cut. Once again, until you have been specifically e-mailed a rejection, your work is still in the running. And, once again, we’re not doing this in order of our favorite works to our least favorites or anything like that. This is simply the next round we want to announce and is calculated to show that whole thing about range and depth*. And yet again, we’ve got some pretty awesome authors and works here (in no particular order):
The novella Fangs of a Dragon by David J. West — a Porter Rockwell (tall-) tale that draws heavily on late 19th-century Utah history and folk legend
The short story “I Had Killed A Zombie” by Adam Greenwood — a zombie post-apocalyptic first person account that riffs off of Joseph Smith’s rhetorical style
The short comic “Mormon Golem” by Steve Morrison — a reworking of the Golem legend set in 1838 in Far West, Missouri
The short story “That Leviathan, Whom Thou Hast Made” by Eric James Stone — space opera of the alien-encounter sort with an unusual Mormon angle that was originally published in Analog
The short story “The Living Wife” by Emily Milner — a domestic-drama ghost story with a very Mormon context
The novella Brothers In Arms by Graham Bradley — action-packed zombie military sci-fi with Mormon protagonists
The short comic “Traitors and Tyrants: A Wives of Erasmus Adventure” written by John Nakamura Remy with art by Galen Dara – ninja action adventure Mormon polygamy/State of Deseret alternate history steampunk
Note that I use the word Mormon as an adjective a lot in the descriptions above. Part of that is that I don’t want to get too far in to spoiler territory, but it’s also that each of these works very much embrace both the Monsters and the Mormons aspects to this anthology. We’ve got some good ones here, folks. And more to come.
*For example, you’ll notice that we have included at least one novella and two short stories in each class so far. That trend may or may not continue.
I’ve been noticing the fervor around Black Friday this year and so it seems appropriate to interview a Mormon artist who is–for a limited time only–offering his already inexpensive comic book (with shipping), for less than I paid for it (without). Act now.
Brandon Dayton works in the video game industry by day and makes comics by night. He recently released his first book, Green Monk, a fantastic action story set in a fairytalish version of Russia featuring a monk with a magical weapon and a fearsome monster. He brings more humanity to the story than the quota require and in the process proves that simple drawings can be a powerful mode of storytelling.
Last year this month I surveyed all I knew about Mormon Comix (defined quite broadly) (and using a spelling some took issue with). This month (and in subsequent Augusts) I will briefly review three of my favorite Mormon Comix read since 2008′s write-up.
Anyone aware of my reading will note some obvious names missing from this post’s lineup. Nothing on the Ric Estrada I’ve read (they’ll wait for the conclusion of my series of posts on the man) nothing on Jake Parker (I’m waiting for my ARC of his upcoming book, though you can check out his work online if you’re anxious), and nothing about some very worthy webcomics (I’m learning that I still prefer my comics on paper–I’m sure tech will catch up with my needs eventually, but 2008/2009 was not the year that happened). If you would like a bibliography of sorts, check out the original post and, equally importantly, the accompanying comments. (Note: Because WordPress is pretty much the worst thing ever invented, accompanying images will all be clumped at the end rather than placed appropriately.) more →
When I asked Theric Jepson to write a bit about Mormon graphic novels, I didn’t expect that he would launch a full on bibliographic project. But he did — and even though the results make for a very long post, it’s very much worth a read. Indeed, it’s quite the amazing project and must have taken quite some time to put together. Thanks, Theric. ~Wm Morris
I’m also going to make you click through for the full post because the “more” tag seems to be causing some problems with the special formatting for the post.