Keep an Eye on Erica Austin
Although my main focus at this past spring's C2E2 convention was getting ready for my Hayfamzone Panel, I did manage to work my way around the dealer's room to see what I could see. One display table that had a large version of the above artwork caught my eye and pulled me over. Usually I'm not drawn to independent publications I've never heard of but this artwork exuded a relaxed confidence that I found compelling.
Against the Grain #1 is a full-color graphic novel by newcomer Erica Austin, and I am very impressed. I told the lady at the C2E2 display table how much I liked the artwork and she told me she would have given me a copy of the book (!) except she was all out. I told her that I represented the world famous Hayfamzone Blog and she took my address and said she would mail me a copy.
The lady was not joking! My copy arrived in the mail shortly after and I got right into it. The 80-page package has a definite heft to it due to the coated paper. The stock is glossy but with a satin finish so there is no brashness to speak of. The writing is fun, the artwork is beautiful and assured, and the coloring is remarkable. Here is an interior spread so you can investigate for yourself. Erica Austin is the only name appearing so it seems she is responsible for all aspects of the production. My only quibble would be with the computer lettering and the excessive white space in many of the dialogue balloons.
The marked retail price of $20 seems a bit steep, but I am very glad to have seen this book. I will be watching for many great things in the future from Erica Austin.