Join us this 1st Thursday, Nov. 1st for a special Day of the Dead art celebration with local artist Farel Dalrymple and Seattle artist Kazimir Strzepek. Farel made a big splash in the indy comics scene with his debut ‘Pop Gun War’ and his acclaimed ‘Meathaus’ anthologies. Last month he made his Marvel comics debut with ‘Omega the Unknown’ written by novelist Jonthan Lethem. Kazimir is a relative newcomer to the indy comics world, but his debut “The Mourning Star” won an Ignatz award for Outstanding Series!

Farel Dalrymple’s debut book Pop Gun War featured a cast of surreal characters (a young boy with wings growing from his shoulders, a dwarf that becomes a giant) reacting to very human situations and conflicts, wandering (or flying) through a dreamlike version of New York City. Farel moved to Portland from Brooklyn a few years ago. With this in mind it seems appropriate that he is now working with award winning novelist Jonathan Lethem (Motherless Brookly, Fortress of Solitude) on Marvel’s latest indy experiment, a remake of a weird comic from the 70’s, Omega the Unknown.

One of my customers described reading Steve Gerber’s bizarre superhero/not really a superhero book when he was a kid. “The book wasn’t really about the normal fights that superheroes are generally known for. It was more about what it was like living in New York at that time, being poor, dirty slummy neighborhoods, bad food.” I checked out some of the originals and it read like a prototype for Mike Allred’s Madman. Psychedelic pop art action juxtapozed with strange philosophical musings on mind and body in the word bubbles.

Lethem & Dalrymple’s first issue hit the stands a couple weeks ago. It’s an almost note for note remake of the original, with one strange new character added, The Mink aka Mr. Kansur. Farel mentions that their series definitely strays from the original in the next few issues. But he agrees on the weird tone of the original series. “Have you got to the part about the guy who controls cats and dogs?” he asked. Whoa don’t give it away, not there yet.

The first volume of Kazimir Strzepek’s comic The Mourning Star introduces a world that was recently destroyed by a comet. The survivors rebuild and continue to struggle against monsters and hostile tribes. The elvish warriors have cute names like Barbaraz, Daggerface, and Wilm, but they also carry big swords and drive motorcycles. The artwork and design sense is instantly appealing, especially to fans of Brian Ralph, Jordan Crane, Craig Thompson, or even Taiyo Matsumoto. This Ignatz award winning book will definitely have fans looking forward to Kazimir’s next work.

Check out their respective websites for an up to date primer on what’s awesome in comics and illustration today: