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A Month of Writing Stars – Joshua Cotter

Every day this month I’m going to feature a current comic book writing “star,” someone who I think is a very good writer.

I’m mostly going to try to keep from the biggest names as much as possible, because, really, do I need to talk more about the awesomeness of Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman and Warren Ellis?

Here’s a writer who wrote my favorite collection of the past year!

Enjoy!

Joshua Cotter’s Skyscrapers of the Midwest was likely my favorite reprint comic collection of the year (My Top 10 Comics of the Year, by the way, were only for comics that were “new,” or else Skyscrapers would likely be my top book of the year – well, top 2 at least, easy).

Skyscrapers of the Midwest is the semi-auto-biographical story of a young boy in the Midwest during the 1980s. It often an absolutely brutal story, but Cotter masterfully makes such a depressing tale quite entertaining (and often hilarious) at the same time.

It is impressive the way that Cotter manages to convey a great deal of emotions in very little exposition and heck, not exactly a great deal of plot – the book is all about characterization, and the characterization is deeply involved.

Cotter’s skills as a storyteller do not end with this great work – check out some of his comic strip work…

This is a man who can tell an engaging story with few panels and also can tell an interesting story without dialogue (with an edge, of course).

That is not to say that his work only focuses on the morbid.

Here is a fun slice-of-life strip starring the protagonist of Skyscrapers of the Midwest (and his brother), which demonstrates the little pleasures that kids find for themselves even if their general existence doesn’t feel too joyful at the time.

When my fiancée and I met Cotter at MoCCA, she mentioned how sad the scene was when the main character found a bunch of almost-dead kittens in the barn after their mother was hit by a car. He and his mother attempt to save the kittens, but they all die. So Cotter quite nicely drew her the following sketch…

Very cute.

Here is Josh’s website.

What is his next project?!?!?

Someone tell me!!!

One Comment

His next project is “Driven By Lemons”. AdHouse’s website has it listed for a September ’09 release (http://www.adhousebooks.com/books/drivenbylemons.html), but you can follow the pages as he creates them at the Comic Stripjoint blog (http://comicstripjoint.blogspot.com/).

I’m…not sure what to think of it. I’ll be checking out the collected version, though. Skyscrapers was so good that I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt on anything.

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