Created by Jesse Snider

This new one-shot from Image is a must-have. Out this October, “6 Issues” is the print version of the highly original online comic-opera Black Light District. The project takes its title from the EP of the same name by musician and writer Jesse Snider with co-writer and producer Will Knox. Animated comic book pages serve as a music video and each track is another installment in what is essentially an online comics anthology. Another way to look at the project is that the music is actually accompanying the comics. Regardless, there’s no denying how cool an idea it is and how well it worked out. Even cooler is now you can bring this ode to comics full circle and pick up the traditional floppy book format.

An eclectic group of creators fully render lyrics based on songs inspired by metaphors befitting of comic book stories. A diverse variety of creative styles enhance the concepts per song as well as providing each story it’s own personal identity. Look at this list of contributors: Chris Burnham, Phil Hester, Jason Pearson, Andrea Tamme, David Witt, J.K. Woodward, Michael Spicer, Erik Larsen, and Chris Eliopoulos. This crew divides and concurs and expertly realize the stories, in some cases if not all, without anything but the song. Matching images with music may not be as easy as it sounds, but you’d never know it from the results of this collection. As good as the online comic may have been, it’s a nice move to make the book available for print. For some folks, online comics could use something more to really sell them rather than just a convenient platform. Black Light District accomplished that by bringing more to the experience without it coming across as a gimmick. You get the impression it’s all out of a love for comics as a medium and therefore, printing the book was perhaps just the right thing to do.

But, look, if you’re just out to read good comics then look no further because it’s all here. Poetically written short stories that – along with the high quality art, really engage and hold your attention. Social commentary, origin stories, heroics and the end of the world are just some of the themes covered in this book. You get zombie horror stories, interstellar science fiction, introspective drama, action and adventure all in one book, but it feels cohesive. It’s multi-themed and multi-genre without sacrificing the sense of a single universe. Jesse Snider has created something unique here, building on all of the great things comics are about. Black Light District “6 Issues” further proves there are very few things you can’t do in a comic.

Black Light District “6 Issues” will be released October 12th from Image Comics


About The Author Matthew Strackbein

Matt Strackbein was born and raised in Maryland but has called Colorado home for the last 17 years where he lives happily in Longmont with his wife. He began reading comic books at the age of seven after discovering a silver age stash in his grandparents’ attic. Comic books inspired Matt to start drawing, which lead to a successful career as a commercial artist. He has worked in the apparel industry for many years as a production artist and designer. His accomplishments include designing backcountry skiwear for world-class athletes as well as downhill ski race suit designs for the 2014 Winter Olympics for the United States and Canadian national ski teams. Matt currently works as a freelance textile-print designer, but still dedicates time to his first love – comics. With over 200 letters to the editor published, Matt is a known letterhack. He self-publishes autobiographical comics about his struggles to break into the industry, which finally paid off when Dark Horse asked him to produce 2-page back up stories in recent issues of B.P.R.D. Besides his own comics, Matt collaborates on independent books as a colorist and letterer. He also teaches the art of making comics to students of all ages.