Monday, May 12, 2008

Indie Comics Spotlight: Road Trip!

Summer for many of us involves travel and vacation plans. Marion Vitus's "No In-Between" and Sarah Glidden's "How To Understand Israel In 60 Days Or Less" are two autobiographical mini-comics about protagonists abroad -- and feature an unique perspective on their destinations that only the artists could provide.

Communication gap in Marion Vitus's "No In-Between"

In "No In-Between," the main character ends her relationship and her job in one fell swoop, deciding to take a chance on life by backpacking across Europe. A brief romance in Italy with a native proves both to be exhilarating and disillusioning. But, with every setback she bounces back and develops a self-confidence and zest of life that was lacking in her pre-trip life circa the first issue.

"No In-Between" is also fascinating to look at as a document of how one comic book artist searched for and settled into her own style of illustration, the fun but cartoony art of the first issue evolving into a far more painterly and expressionistic mode by issue 6.

Sarah Glidden gets questioned by airport security
about her Bat Mitzvah in
"How To Understand Israel In 60 Days Or Less"

"How To Understand Israel In 60 Days Or Less" revolves around Sarah's trip to Israel as part of a "birthright" program that provides young Jews with an all-expenses paid trip to the country. While she is obviously excited to travel to Israel, she is also acutely aware of the spectre of conflict that shadows the region.

The comic provides us with a fascinating insight on the the entire process of traveling to Israel -- from the check-in at the El Al terminal where forgetting your Hebrew name might mean getting flagged for a search, to the "Golan Magic Visitors Center." The simple art style (reminiscent of Kevin Huizenga) and mostly nine-panel grid layout gives artist Glidden a controlled area within which to sort out her conflicting thoughts on the region.

Both Marion Vitus and Sarah Glidden are talented artists and storytellers who make the most out of a DIY comic printing budget -- both women packaging their comics in ingenious and visually-appealing ways.

You can read "No In-Between" online here, and purchase it at the Comics Bakery booth at finer comic book conventions.

You can read previews and purchase copies of "How To Understand Israel In 60 Days Or Less" here.


  1. I think it is super cool to see some indie stuff covered here. Is there a way I could get an address to mail you some free stuff?

  2. Anonymous4:02 PM

    I should have posted this much, MUCH earlier: Thank you so much for posting about my mini-comic! :)

    I'm really flattered, and the amount of people who read No In-Between went up practically a zillion percent, which made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

    Thanks for thinking my work is worth a mention on your blog! :D