It’s time we put up a story that took us in a different direction for a while. The Seeker started as a character drawing for a short comic that we were going to do for a friend’s zine, but it never ended up happening. We sat on it for a long time, and after wrapping up ED #2, we wanted to branch out a little and publish a book that wasn’t an Esoteric Dialogue title. We used it as an opportunity to experiment with a different approach. Things really started to take shape when we decided to not use panels, and take more of an illustrated poem approach with the stanzas of the poem being complemented by a single illustration.
The story follows a lone traveler who is followed by Fear and Solitude, his companions that he travels with. On his quest for Love, the Seeker wanders the earth with his companions and confronts the loneliness and anxiety that comes with the choices he makes.
We also wanted to do something different with the overall aesthetic of the book itself so we added paper textures to the covers and inside pages to replicate the look of an old tome.
The Seeker isn’t a happy story, but it’s an honest one. It’s a reflection on avoidance and the fears and comforts of solitude. It’s a story of doubt, and eventually, regret. It’s a story about self and making choices.
We’re releasing the story into the wild for all to read. You can purchase a print copy in the sidebar and read it for free on the website. Enjoy! -SB
What an awesome show! It was great to catch up with some people we haven’t seen in a while and meet more comics creators. Got to table next to Jared from Retrofit / Big Planet. Simon Hanselmann told me he was going to read our comics while taking a shit. Cool! And the trades! One of the best things about going to comics shows as a creator. CAKE never disappoints.
This month Lumpen Magazine published its latest issue commemorating 25 years in publication. What started as a zine by a group of college students at the University of Illinois in 1990 has grown into a center for underground art, culture, and activism in Chicago. Lumpen has even taken over the 105.5 FM airwaves with the recently-launched Lumpen Radio.
Lumpen is more than a magazine or a radio station. It’s a collective of people that contribute to the community in many ways. Lumpens are bartenders and chefs. Lumpens are musicians and DJs. Lumpens are writers and publishers. Lumpens are gamers and comedians. Lumpens are visual and performance artists. Lumpens are teachers and organizers. Lumpens are thinkers and people of action.
It’s this idea that we wanted to highlight for our comic featured in this most recent issue of Lumpen Magazine. ‘What Does A Lumpen Make?’ is a colorful shout-out to all the different kinds of Lumpens that bring their skills, ideas, and energies to the table.
You can grab a copy of Lumpen Magazine #128 at over 300 locations around Chicago for FREE, or order from www.lumpenmagazine.org.
We’re very honored that one of our all-time favorite comics podcasts, The Comics Alternative, featured a discussion of Esoteric Dialogue #1 & #2 on their show! Known as “two guys with PhDs talking about comics,” the show focuses on insightful conversations and interviews about comics and creators outside of the superhero genre.
They said ED #1 made them feel “insane.” I take that as a compliment.
Gabriella Tutino published a brief analysis of Esoteric Dialogue #1 on comicsverse.com. She combed through the main aspects of the story and had some very complimentary things to say:
“The New World Conquest story works as a layered parody: on one hand, it mocks those who are constantly spouting conspiracy theories or trying to expose ‘the truth,’ and on the other it pokes fun at those who blindly believe everything around them. The idea that the ‘architects of society’ are really just kids trying to win a game is quite genius: it exhibits a power struggle, as well as the impulsive, unpredicted ways of fate.”