edited by Zack Soto Anyone on the prowl for a new comics anthology to sink their teeth into since the demise of MOME is sure to be pleased by the promising first issue of Study Group Magazine currently beckoning from the Copacetic central display table. Rising from the fertile loam of the Portland, OR comics scene, it is edited and published by Zack Soto and features some delectable work from some of the freshest talents chosen from among the current crop of comics creators, including Malachi Ward, Aidan Koch, Michael DeForge, Chris Cilla and cover artist, Eleanor Davis, who is also the subject of an interview and who provides a nice transition for MOME readers, as her story was one of the highlights of MOME's last issue. Study Group Magazine's format is a tall vertical format (8 1/2" x 12") printed in deep sepia against a light purple and deep yellow duo-tone color scheme that reminds us somewhat of the NoBrow aesthetic. A highlight of this issue is an excellent, in-depth, heavily illustrated – with character studies, thumbnails, layouts, and finished pages – 17 page interview cum essay with Craig Thompson conducted and assembled by Milo George that focuses on his approaches to making comics in general and the creation of Habibi in specific, as well as providing valuable insight into his career and development as an artist. In addition, there is an appreciation of European comics wunderkind Brecht Evens by Greice Schneider that provides some food for thought. Did we mention that it is a numbered addition of 1000 copies? that DeForge's contribution is an instant cartoon classic that will burrow deep within your subconscious mind and take up residence? All in all an auspicious debut.
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<<•>> edited by Zack Soto <<•>>
It was a long time coming, but the third – and 3D! – issue of the one and only Study Group Magazine has arrived. The centerpiece of the issue is a celebration of 3D comics, and one of the form's prime progenitors, Ray Zone, who passed away in 2012. The 3D comics start out with a celebrated Kim Deitch tale, "4-D", with separations by the only and only Ray Zone. This is followed by a brief history of the 3D comics by Jason Little, who is responsible for all the 3D seps that follow on comics by Dan Zettwoch, Chris Cilla, Malachi Ward, and one drawn by Little himself. But thats only the center section! There are plenty more awesome 2D comics in full color, duo-tone and black white. The highlight has to be the stunning twelve-page full color story by Connor Willumsen, but there is plenty more to be looking forward to here, including work by Sean T Collins and Julia Gfrörer, Benjamin Urkowitz, Mia Schwartz, Trevor Alixopulos and Sophie Franz, plus engaging articles – Rob Clough on the significance of Ryan Sands, who has played a major but little recognized behind-the-scenes role in the development of 21st century comics as an editor (Electric Ant), publisher (Youth in Decline) and translator (of manga, such as Suehiro Maruo's The Strange Tale of Panorama Island); James Romberger on William Burroughs (which includes an excellent, short comics adaptation of Burroughs by Romberger himself, "Shits versus Johnsons"; and Sean Wittzke on Scud the Disposable Assassin. Plus "a conversation" between Milo George and Ronald Wimberly about Wimberly's hip hop inflected adaptation of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, which is follwed by a review of the same by Sarah Horrocks. All wrapped in an amazing cover by Jim Rugg. Bonus: 3D glasses are included with every issue!
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