One of the fabulous things about comics is the sheer number of options available to you, both in single issue form or in trades and graphic novels.
One of the draw backs of comics is the sheer number of options that can overwhelm you and leave you thinking, what do I read NOW? Or you read what you’ve always read and wonder if there’s more out there (hint – there is).
If your New Year Resolutions is to read more comics (why wouldn’t it be?) then you’ll love what we’ve found.
Erin Cossar, artist and graphic designer, has created a new tool to help you explore outside your comfort zone with these two handy Bingo Cards. They are inspired by Penguin Random House of Canada’s annual Reading Bingo Cards, which are to spur readers to reach for new types of books.
In a brief interview, Erin Cossar answered my questions about this project.
TC: What inspired you to create this cards?
Erin Cossar: This happened because I work in the marketing department of Penguin Random House Canada as a graphic designer. Every year, the digital marketing team creates a Reading Bingo card to help people read broadly. Last year, they did a CanLit themed card. It’s also a cool way to eliminate time spent wondering what to read next — the card prompts you.
Their cards focus on novels, nonfiction, etc. They create the content and I do the design. I thought it would be useful (and fun) for comic readers to have something similar, so I created these cards on my own — one for single issues, one for graphic novels.
TC: What do you think the most difficult square will be on each card?
EC: For me, the “outside the comfort zone” square on the graphic novel card would be tough. And, full disclosure, I read very quickly so I’ll admit that I rarely read single-issue comics (with a few notable exceptions, including The Pitiful Human-Lizard and Fight Club). I wait for the trade, so that whole card would be difficult for me. Since I work in publishing, I have access to so many books and my comic-reading suffered last year because I tried to read too much of the PRHC list (a quality problem, I realize. If I went back in time and told child-me “You will have more books than you have time to read them,” child-me would scream so loud she’d shatter glass).
TC: What trade did you love last year?
EC: My favourite trade last year was Showtime, the Jem and the Holograms collection, which I didn’t technically finish until the first couple days of 2016 but it’s my pick regardless.
I was a huge (HUGE) fan of the show in the 80s and epically disappointed by the movie trailer, but the comic version delivered and then some. I’m a long-time fan of Sophie Campbell’s series Wet Moon —the way Sophie draws the human body is exceptional. I loved everything about it—writing, art, colouring, EVERYTHING!
TC: I adored Jem and the Holigrams as well. Now, what trade or comic are you most looking forward to this year?
EC: The release I’m most looking forward to this year? Angel Catbird for sure! I’m a huge Atwood fan. I’ve read almost all of her fiction at this point. And the consulting editor is the fabulous Hope Nicholson.
Erin’s art work can be found at her website Ovary Action and you can read her work in “The Secret Loves of Geek Girls” Anthology, also edited by Hope Nicholson. She was pleased to be part of this Kickstarter project that has been listed in many “Best of 2015” lists, and has now been picked up by Dark Horse for broad release later this year. Erin always has several projects on the go, including a screenplay, some short stories, and a novel. Plus she’s often found at Toronto area comic conventions selling her art.