Hosted by Weird Realms (11508 Lorain Ave.), Shiner Comics officially unveils the highly anticipated sixth issue of The Lake Erie Monster with a release party from 6 to 9 p.m. this Friday, Feb. 10.
Created by John G., Jake Kelly and Liz Valasco, the sixth issue is designed to be enjoyed by both new and returning readers. While the first five issues featured episodic installments, the latest release includes three self-contained, "one-and-done" stories — one by each of the issue's creators: John G.'s "Wolves of Birdtown," Kelly's "A Girl in a Garbage Truck" and Valasco's "Young Skin." With an ever-growing fan base, the creators have doubled the print run from 1,000 to 2,000 copies.
"Readers can expect three short, self-contained horror stories set in a spooky, eerie version of their world. Jake and I both have stories, and we've brought on Liz Valasco this issue to add a third voice to the series," says Lake Erie Monster co-creator John G. "She knocked it out of the park. It's drastically different in style and tone; it was rendered in pencil, rather than the stark ink-work that Jake and I do. I colored her story, using a monochromatic pallet that slowly blends across the color spectrum. It fits in perfectly with the series. I really want to stress that you don't have to have read The Lake Erie Monster issues 1 through 5 to get this issue. This was always the plan, that the series would be ongoing after we finished the comics 'adaptation' of the fake The Lake Erie Monster movie, and just become an anthology of all-new self-contained horror stories every issue."
These stories are presented by "The Commodore," a zombie version of Cleveland's own Commodore Perry, who makes an additional appearance in a new one-page history lesson, "The Commodore's Cleveland."
"I would also like to stress that this is the start of another era for the book," adds co-creator Jake Kelly, whose custom mural is on view at Weird Realms. "It is now an anthology series of self-contained horror stories, and this was our plan for the book from the outset. After a slight hiatus to work on other things, we've turned our focus back to the Lake Erie Monster, our weird, scary baby. I feel like this issue spans every nook and cranny of the horror genre. There's black comedy, crazy monsters, dream-like strangeness, bleak survival-horror, and more. I think we've put something together that will resonate with a wide audience of folks, not just gorehounds and horror freaks. These are stories that any Rust Belt survivor should appreciate."
New to The Lake Erie Monster? Missing an issue or two? No problem. Earlier issues of The Lake Erie Monster, as well as Kelly's 420-page book, Flyers: 2000-2015 and A Race Anthology: Dispatches From a Segregated City, will be available for purchase during Friday evening's party.
The issue also will be available in select stores and through shinercomics.net the following week.