Minneapolis is a great place for comics. You’ve got great cartoonists, one of the nation’s best alternative comics fests and it’s also the home of some great small press publishers such as 2D Cloud. 2D Cloud is run by Raighne Hogan and Justin Skarhus and has been in the business of micropublishing since 2007. They have produced a huge variety of quality comics from new and emerging cartoonists as well as some more established names such as Nicholas Breutzman and Noah Van Sciver. They have produced graphic novels, mini comics, hand-crafted books and even a deck of cards. One of the most exciting things about 2D Cloud is how they have fully embraced the digital realm without losing focus on print. Many of their titles are serialized on their website.
So, I’d like to feature some of the latest releases from 2D Cloud that I’m really excited about, starting with Abyss by Saman Bemel-Benrud.
Abyss is the debut by cartoonist and designer Saman Benel-Benrud which was created as part of Frank Santoro’s Correspondence Course earlier this year. The story follows a couple as they explore an empty construction site and encounter an otherworldly being. The sense of reality is blurred between the supernatural and technology in a way that questions how the two could possibly be interconnected. Saman Benel-Benrud’s minimal drawing style is supported by an interesting use of symbols throughout. Overall a really enjoyable read that asks more questions than it delivers answers.
Another new release is Strong Eye Contact by Christopher Adams which follows a middle-aged comic through a series of mishaps dealing with everyday life situations. The use of water-color and crayon enhance the feeling of the narrative as wordless memories, with a slow pacing that recalls fragments of the past. It’s an entertaining collection of stories interspersed with beautiful abstract landscapes.
Next up is Deep in the Woods by Noah Van Sciver and Nicholas Breutzman. It’s a double-feature with comics from each artist presented together in an oversized newsprint tabloid. The stories pair well together, starting with Noah Van Sciver’s The Cow’s Head which follows a poor teenage girl trying to escape her dire situation by fleeing into the woods where she has a bonding experience with a floating head of a cow. The Mayfly is a contribution of Nic Breutzman’s which is a story of drug addiction, the loss of loved ones and temptations from a crack witch that lives in the woods.
Another great debut from 2D Cloud is Out of Hollow Water by Anna Bongiovanni. Out of Hollow Water is a haunting story in three parts: “Monster,” “Out of Hollow Water,” and “Grave.” The story delves deep into the emotional struggles of womanhood, specifically in childbirth and subsequent loss, and the psychological demons that come along with these experiences. Bongiovanni’s storytelling and drawing style are incredibly strong and well developed for a debut book.
Lastly is Zone Rover by Brett Von Schlosser which is a collection of stories about teenagers getting into all kinds of mischief, from bike stealing to mooning cars and pranking with a dead rat. Von Schlosser’s cartooning style is loose and playful and expertly captures the dialog of youth. The book itself has a very hand-made feel with a very eye-catching purple and green screen-printed cover.
To purchase any of the these titles and checkout more of the great stuff 2D Cloud has to offer, you can visit their website: 2dcloud.com.
Images via 2dcloud.com.