We’ve been consistently bowled over by Avery Hill ever since we started working with them. The stuff they publish is innovative, intelligent, visually awesome and totally unique – and they do it so well! Each of their books has such strong production values, and they don’t shy away from the weird, the unusual, and the diverse. They publish the kind of comics your eyes wander over to whenever you’re browsing the shelves in a comic shop because they are so dreamy-looking. Basically, if you buy a comic by Avery Hill you can guarantee it’s going to be good.
This autumn, they have really outdone themselves. They are publishing three phenomenal new comics and, going slightly off-piste, two of them are pretty epic hardbacks (until now, they have mostly published in paperback). One of them runs to more than 500 pages, which is huge! All three will be launching exactly a week from now at Thought Bubble, but before then, we thought we’d give you a sneak peek so you can see how beautiful they are.
On a Sunbeam by Tillie Walden
Originally published as an Eisner nominated webcomic, On a Sunbeam is a space epic, a queer love story, an intergalactic adventure and frankly just completely stunning. It’s so visually arresting that it stops you in your tracks. Walden’s version of space is anything but barren; it’s dream-like, full of trees and light and stars and spacecraft shaped like coy carp. It is incredibly cosy; it’s the sort of place you want to spend time curled up with a book and a cup of tea.
Avery Hill have worked with Tillie for years. They published her debut comic The End of Summer, and also her next two books, I Love This Part and A City Inside. Those last two have recently been reissued as hardbacks and they are SO lovely – if you’re a Tillie fan be sure to get copies!
Officially published in the UK on 4 October, On a Sunbeam will be launching at Thought Bubble alongside Avery Hill’s other autumn offerings. I’ve yet to see a copy in the flesh but it looks very bewitching and I can’t wait to get my hands on it. If, like me, you are counting down the days till publication, here are a few pages to tide you over.
Follow Me In by Katriona Chapman
Another truly awesome-looking comic, Follow Me In is the first full-length work by creator and illustrator Katriona Chapman. It’s at once a travelogue about Mexico and a coming-of-age type memoir. In the narrative Katriona travels to Mexico with her then-boyfriend to try and find some solutions to their problems, specifically his drinking problem, and to try and work out what to do with her life post-university.
The book is pure escapism and if you have never thought much about Mexico before, you will after reading it! Kat’s art is some of the most striking comic book art I’ve seen in ages, blurring the line between fine art and cartooning.
Retrograde Orbit by Kristyna Baczynski
I picked up a self-published comic by Kristyna Baczynski at ELCAF years ago and became completely obsessed with it. It’s called A Measure of Space and it’s about a character who stays inside their room listening to records and reading books as a cosmic disaster changes the world around them. Not only is Baczynski’s drawing style 100% appealing to me, the idea of home and place and how it grounds us really struck a chord.
For that reason I am very much looking forward to her newest work, and Avery Hill’s third big autumn offering. Retrograde Orbit is Baczynski’s first full-length comic and it looks incredible. It’s about a girl called Flint who must decide whether to begin an apprenticeship on the mining planet her family have lived on for generations, or else follow the pull she feels to a mysterious, irradiated planet. It’s again about the idea of home, and what it means to leave it.
I can’t wait for this one… look at these sample pages and I’m very sure you will be excited for it too!
If you are going to Thought Bubble next weekend then yay! You will be there to see these beauties released into the big wide world. Be sure to visit Avery Hill at their table and pick up copies of these dreamboats.
If you are not going to Thought Bubble then do not fear! There will be plenty of chance for you to get copies when they land in bookstores.
On a Sunbeam is published by Avery Hill on 4 October 2018 (9781910395370, hardback, 544pp £24.99)
Follow Me In is published by Avery Hill on 20 September 2018 (9781910395387, hardback, 248pp, £18.99)
Retrograde Orbit is published by Avery Hill on 13 September 2018 (9781910395424, paperback, 108pp, £11.99)