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A few of the many fantastic denizens in Cartozia Tales. Artist: Isaac Cates

Cartozia Tales Comic Book Offers Glimpse into Indy Anthology Creative Process

Fantasy World-building via 'Mapjam'

Jun 08, 2015 By Jeremy Nisen
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The older I get, the more I appreciate things that are hand-crafted, done the old way, the hard way, albeit with modern sensibilities, by just a few people with a dream. Artisan, you might call it.

Craft beer. Local coffee roasters. Pickles. Things that come your way by the person who’s created it, versus some assembly line.

Accordingly, it’s increasingly the independent and small-press efforts, versus those by corporate machines, that really get me excited about comics these days. Places where creativity and artistry reign supreme over more mundane concerns (economic, politic, whatever).

One such property is Cartozia Tales, a glorious mash-up of fantasy stories designed around the exploration by nine creators per issue of an increasingly fleshed-out world map. Originally Kickstarted into existence a couple years ago, the series is on the verge of publishing its seventh issue of a planned ten. In anticipation of that seventh issue coming out, series editor Isaac Cates has been offering fans and potential readers some insight into how the series is put together, and spotlighting some of its talented contributors.

The behind-the-scenes treasure trove is at Cartozia Tales’ Tumblr page, cartozia.tumblr.com. It features commentary, sample pages, process and finished images, and more. It’s a fascinating look at different art styles and storytelling sensibilities, and how Cates is bringing them all together.

Under the Radar interviewed Cartozia Tales’ editor Isaac Cates when the project was first being Kickstarted (successfully!). But it’s a little different than many Kickstarted projects, which promise “a thing” at the end (a single graphic novel, a tech item, whatever), and the story is over, versus this—a longer-term, multi-part epic, where the skeleton crew and small-press creators deserve and, frankly, need more attention as it goes along. What’s great about adding your support at this late date: you can catch up on six issues immediately.

If you like what you see at cartozia.tumblr.com, go to cartozia.com and consider buying a subscription, an individual issue, or even a digital issue or two.



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