For the fourth straight year we are handing over the cover slot and feature hole of the year’s first issue to local comics artists. And for the fourth straight year we’ve been overwhelmed by the response and the work of the artists who were picked, with the help of John G., to tell their stories in the following pages.
John G., of course, is one of the artists behind the Lake Erie Monster comic and the guy behind the Melt ads and the founder of Genghis Con, which just finished its seventh year and has grown to be the largest comics convention in the region. It’s an exciting time, and the momentum of the past few years has been thrilling to watch.
Which is just part of the reason we’re honored to once again present the annual Comics Issue. Cleveland boasts a particularly noteworthy lineage in that area: birthplace of Superman, land of Harvey Pekar, launching pad for Brian Michael Bendis of Marvel, and Marc Andreyko of DC Comics.
It’s also home to a litany of talented artists building on that tradition today and many who produced stunning work in the past who are still plugging along. Those include some of the names you’ll see in the following pages — Gary and Laura Dumm, Nathan Ward, Clare Kolat, Justin Michael Will, Bryn Adams — and we couldn’t be more excited or thankful for their contributions.