Fans of comic books have long understood the artistic value inherent in the work. If you, like so many of us, are just catching up, rest assured that you can dive in right away online and in shops.
What's that? You wouldn't know the Fantastic Four from the Secret Six? Doesn't matter — there's something for you.
One way to seek it out is to start with the local talent. Escape Velocity Comics & Graphic Novels (19 E. Bijou St., 3347 Cinema Point; escapevelocitycomics.com) has a great section devoted to local and regional artists, a few of whom are highlighted here.
Note: Most of these guys will take part in the shop's Comic Art Fest, happening on Saturday, Sept. 12, from 2 to 7 p.m., downtown. Find more information at the Comic Art Fest 2015! event page on Facebook.
The Adventures of Jonas
McCluggage's artwork has graced the Indy's pages before — see his cover image of Smokey the Bear from July 2012, during the Waldo Canyon Fire, at csindy.com. This autobiographical journal, chronicling his travels from 2008 to 2012, continues to move copies through Escape Velocity. Though this is McCluggage's only published work so far — apart from a few rare copies of The Lofty's Comic we wrote about in 2011 — he's also working on Follow the Leader, a project about "mafia fighting cannibals in the 1980s."
Eye of Newt
Hague, already a highly successful artist and illustrator, made his comic-book debut last year with publishing giant Dark Horse (Fight Club 2, Buffy the Vampire Slayer). This Eye of Newt mini-series about a wizard's apprentice is gorgeous to look at and, according to reviews, a joy to read.
Matt Campbell (with William Tooker and McLain McGuire)
Now five issues deep, Mythica is set during World War I and starts when a young girl in Belgium dreams of demons, which soon turn out to be real. Campbell, who calls himself a "gentleman geek," not only produces Mythica, but teaches at the Bemis School of Art.
Ben Worrell (with Shane Miles and Sarah Menzel)
High-schooler Ethan Cooper has superpowers, and goes on a mission to uncover their source. Worrell, a local middle-school teacher, has worked on the Sheath story since his high school days and started releasing issues in 2013. No. 4 is in the works, with 45 more planned. According to Escape Velocity, it's a best-seller on the local-artist shelf.
Langdon Foss (with Ales Kot, Jordie Bellaire and Clayton Cowles)
Foss, a local superstar and Colorado College grad, worked with celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain on Get Jiro! and now turns his artistic talents over to the The Surface, a story of three hackers and their search for a lost city in Africa. Published by Image Comics (The Walking Dead, Spawn), the fourth issue releases Oct. 7.