In a couple of weeks - December 1st - one of my favorite local talents, Layla Lawlor (previously appearing here), will have a book signing here in Fairbanks at The Literacy Council of Alaska for her "latest" anthology Freebird.
"All the info: The book is 8.25×6″, 152 pages, and retails for $12 US. It collects all of the Freebird strips from 2006-2008, the ones that ran in the now-defunct Fairbanks entertainment paper fbx square plus the online ones that I did after square died. There are also new strips (bringing the story to the conclusion that it was originally supposed to have) and two backup stories, plus extra sketches and previously unseen strips from the development process."The series chronicles a group of locals who will surely reflect to varying degrees somebody that you know as they go about their lives, hopelessly entangled like extension cords at a parking lot plug-in. Nothing super about it: no monsters or gods, capes or masks, no bad gags... just character driven narrative that simply and more honestly portrays life in the Interior than anything else I've ever read.
This small slice of her stuff represents a comparatively small aspect of her overall body of work, and one can see the evolution of ability and maturation of style that will infuse her more recent projects - but I really dig the connection and intimacy with the folks in this story - not to mention a real sense of place.
Check her Icefall Studio blog and the Facebook event page for more updates - there'll also be signings at both Gulliver's and The Comic Shop - and her Icefall Press website for even more of her work. Layla's one of the most prolific independent comic creators in the state, toiling away in her cabin outside of town while maintaining quite an astonishing on-line presence. It's great to see this compilation finally in print, especially with Xmas right around the corner.