Hive 3: A Somewhat Quarterly Comic Journal Ed. by J.M. Shiveley

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Hive 3: A Somewhat Quarterly Comic Journal
Ed. by J.M. Shiveley
Grimalkin Press

hive3Hive is a theme-less comics anthology that’s edited by J.M. Shiveley and printed by Grimalkin Press — Shiveley’s ambitious DIY publishing company. To wit, the third issue of Hive is being sold through a Barnes & Noble store.  See?  Ambitious.

Yes, individual B&N stores have a history of carrying books from small-time publishers, but those titles tend to cover local history and still look like “books.” You know, soft- and hard-cover vanity-pressed books.

None of these terms describe Hive 3 which is folded concertina-style and has a double-sided letterpress cover. Hive 3 is certainly a fat 2-in-1 booklet, which is something I thought I’d never see in a big box bookstore.  I’m calling that an achievement.

That said, while printing experiments in comics are admirable, there are some clear issues with the publication style of Hive 3.  It’s eye-catching, sure, but there’s just too much going on with the printing of this book that doesn’t make sense for the material.  I guess if you’re going to charge $10 for a self-published hand-made black-and-white anthology, it should really have something distinctive going on, but I’m afraid this issue has crossed the line from unique to gimmicky.

To be fair though, a book shouldn’t be judged entirely by its cover, and what Hive 3 presents deep down inside is a high-quality selection of short comics and art.

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Guest Strip: Douglas Wilson

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dougwilstzK-9lives is a dog/cat conjoined odd-couple who’s love hate relationship drives them to adventure and intrigue in a surrealist landscape. Its creator, Douglas Wilson, is a character animator gone comic artist. With a surreal imagination that couldn’t find a home in his 9-to-5 animation job, he turned to writing stories for independent projects. He is still applying his comics work to animation and has just released the first animated webisode of K-9Lives.

A K-9Lives book has also been released to coincide with the film. It’s available for £8 from Wilson’s online store.

Catch up with everything Doug Wilson creates via his website: dougwilson.co.uk

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