Inside 'Irene #6' by Irene Comics
Irene Comics was cofounded and is co-edited by CCS alumni Andy Warner, d.w. and Dakota McFadzean. Originally an exploration of the distinct styles of the editors themselves, it has now evolved into one of the diverse and worthwhile anthologies available.
With each new Irene anthology, the collection grows not only in size but in the undeniable quality of all that lives within it. While some stories are short, entries as short as ten pages leave a lasting effect on you with art and narratives that pushes storytelling to the brink.
Jai Granofsky's surreal, wordless contribution Into the Drink is scattered throughout the book one or two frames at a time, leaving you flipping back to try and discover if you lost the narrative or if there was ever one to discover at all. The opening longform contribution, Genesis by Marta Chudolinksa, is a beautifully illustrated twelve-page tale irresponsible alien travelers creating accidental life in the form of two childlike skeletons unable to mentally or emotionally navigate their new undead lives.
Other notable contributions include you come to a strange town by Luke Howard and An Unravelling by Andy Warner. Howard's dissection of a city through the lives of it's inhabitants is beautiful. The thin lines that criss-cross the page of his topsy-turvy world create images with such joy and personality that you want more and more - twenty pages simply isn't enough. A small two page section where the tune sung by a banjo is represented with music notes cascading like power lines across the buildings of the city shows an incredible gift of creativity from the creator. Warner (also a cofounder and editor of Irene) takes us through a day in Aleppo, long before the turmoil began in the area. Experiencing what now seems like the ghost of the place is cast parallel to the people he met who have their own ghosts as well after all that Aleppo has been through. Fellow Irene coeditor d.w. also includes a ten page excerpt of his newly release Mountebank sketch book (which was featured in detail on the site here).
These four highlights are only four of twenty six total contributions to this hefty volume, the quality of of which could have any featured in this highlight given other eyes, thoughts and perspectives. If you are looking for a book that could possibly open your up to a new creator whose work you can attach yourself too, you could not go wrong flipping through the pages of this or any volume of Irene. The editors consistently do a fantastic job including a breadth of variety when it comes to methods of storytelling, art styles, diversity and incredible creativity in the contributions featured in each volume.
Irene 6 and the remaining volumes of Irene 4 and Irene 5 are available directly from them at this link, including a discount pack of all three. Volumes 1, 2 and 3 are out of print. Links to all the contributors ('Irene alumni') are found via Irene's website at this link.