A Voyage to Panjikant
It’s usually a good sign when my main complaint about a comic is that it’s not long enough. This felt more like a preview to this series than the first comic of the series, but I’m not the boss of Marguerite and she can release these however she likes. This series is historical fiction based on the Sogdians of the 7th century and their travels along the Silk Road. This issue specifically deals with a merchant and three of his children (although we only see two of them). It is mostly told in the form of a flashback, as the father explains to his daughter why one of his sons is being punished with cleaning the stables when that is usually the job of the other son. It turns out that this son, despite studying Buddhism for over two months, was still unable to satisfy some Buddhist businessmen, which led to some real problems for his father. Marguerite was nice enough to include a little afterward in which she explains that there’s lots more to come and that these characters will be fleshed out more as she goes, which means that she has plans for this series. Which is a good thing, as I’m already intrigued to see more of this world and time period. This is also one of those cases where her having the ability to color the story (I’m assuming that it was her, as nobody else was credited) transforms it into something greater than your average mini comic. It still would have been an interesting story in black and white, but the colors turn it into a gorgeous work of art. Take a look at it, you won’t be sorry. Oh, and I don’t usually mention other art projects from the various comics artists I talk about, but Marguerite also makes and sells pillows based on Tang dynasty Chinese motifs, and they are ridiculously beautiful. Buy the comic, read it while reclining on one of her pillows! $5.50
Who likes their anthologies to be international? Everybody? Then you’re in luck! Women from all over the globe contributed to this one. It’s a bit of a mixed bag, like all anthologies, but that mix still leans heavily in favor of entertaining/thought-provoking stories. Stories include the mundane aspects of a day in the life of an astronaut in the future by Myfanwy Tristam, Robin Ha’s trials and tribulations while traveling through Italy, Rachael Ball with probably the most visually striking piece about (literally) capturing shadows, Ellen Lindner’s work as an extra and her quest to meet Bill Murray, J. Homersham’s silent tale of a fish party, Patrice Agg’s story of communication problems and their unfortunate resolution, an excerpt from Nicola Streeten’s tale of her abortion (which I’m guessing also includes other subjects, but the excerpt just deals with the abortion and the immediate aftermath), Karrie Fransman’s tales of two different comic conventions, Shamisa Debroey’s plans for the future, Badaude’s story of artists at work and play, Lisa Eisenberg’s homesickness manifesting itself into a floating trip home, Emily Lerner’s tale of a road trip to retrieve some old items from storage, Julia Scheele’s love letter to a bus and Kat Robert’s delightful idea of a very brief interlude between this life and the next. I’m leaving a few out because hey, what’s life without surprises? Overall this is a damned solid pile of stories, more than worth shelling out $10 bucks to give this 90+ page book a shot.