Friday, 27 June 2014

Ryan Cecil-Smith's SFLPB space duck comic

I put in a pre-order for this yesterday: it's Ryan Cecil-Smith's new comic, S.F.L.P.B., a 48 page four-colour risographed tale following the adventures of Space Fleet Scientific Foundation Special Force member, Duke the Duck. I'm way overdue writing about Cecil-Smith's comics, but they're ridiculously good: both his excellent horror manga Two Eyes of the Beautiful (based on Umezu Kazuo's Blood Baptism, and his boy-in-space series, SF, an edition of which was recently published by Koyama Press. As an appreciator of good aesthetics, I also love the amount of attention he pays to their production and presentation, making it quite special- you really get a feeling of polished craft and care, even more so than normal with self-published work- even the packaging is screen-printed.

This comic, for example, comes with a new version of the SF pin/badge, a gorgeous, high-quality teal and gold brass and cloisonné pin (see it at the link) Cecil-Smith produced last year in limited qualities- the 'SF' stands for the elite 'Space Fleet' of the comics, which as Cecil-Smith states 'You can wear it to represent S.F. and all that it stands for. If you are a reader of S.F. you know that it stands for a LOT.' S.F.L.P.B. comes with a burgundy and gold edition of the badge, each of which will this time be signed and numbered along with the comic itself. So the book numbered #0005 will have a corresponding #0005 engraved in the back of the pin. I'm aware some people find this sort of thing gimmicky, but I feel it only falls on that side of the line if a) the work itself isn't strong enough- which here it is, and b) the 'gimmick' for want of a better word, enhances the work in some way and is of high quality. I've got the first pin and wear it on my coat and generally am as pleased you could be about that, so great comics + a new pin is a win/win for me.

Anyway, Ryan's taking pre-orders for 2 weeks for the book/pin at a special reduced price of $17 (I believe it'll go up later); you can order it here and I've spent the last of my money this month on it (I should point out the colors of the pages here won’t be the same as those in the printed book, as is the way with risographs). And yes, I know I sound like a bloody pushy advert saying 'buy this! buy that!' but I truly only try to highlight comics and projects that genuinely excite me, and I want to share. Choosing which ones to opt for is all down to you... :)