The Michigan Comics Collective Anthology: Volume One is set to hit stores Saturday, Sept. 13. Within the 134 pages of the locally created work are genre stories ranging from science fiction, horror, zombies and even a love story. The anthology will be on sale this Saturday at Coy’s Comics, 3220 Bay Road, Saginaw, and Cashman’s Comics, 1018 S Madison Avenue in Bay City. An exclusive variant cover, limited to ten copies, will be available along with the standard anthology at Collector’s Corner, 4011 N Jefferson Avenue in Midland on Sept. 17.
“A lot of work has gone in to this anthology,” said Sean Seal, MCC art director. Seal, who carries a background as a professional artist, said the MCC and the anthology is a way to bring area artists together in their creation process.
“We are giving amateur artists and writers a chance to get published,” Seal said. “There are over 10 stories in the anthology, and there is something for everyone in there.”
He added that as interest in comics continue to grow with new generations of readers, new generations of creators are emerging as well — and the Great Lakes Bay Region has no shortage of those who would like to step over the line from consumer to producer.
“There are a lot of talented people in this area,” he said.
Seal said because some comic artists do not write and some comics writers who do not draw this type of collaboration will help those with ideas on both ends of the creative spectrum meet and get their ideas published. He said that the big publishing houses often have an army of creators that work together to create their product.
“One comic can have up to five people just creating the artwork,” he said.
With that in mind, Seal said one of the main reasons for the creation of the MCC and the anthology is that there are many good writers and illustrators out there who are failing to make the connections needed to get their works out in the public.
“There is an awful lot of work that goes in to creating a comic,” Seal said. “And that is why a lot of times, comics don’t get made.”
As an artist, Seal said he was delighted to add his artwork to the anthology.
Seal illustrated two of the stories in the anthology, but he said his larger role as art director allowed him to work with new and experienced artists in a mentoring role, something he enjoyed.
“I am actually helping answer questions and help their work fit a comic type format,” he said. “But I do love being able to contribute to the artwork, too.”
Seal said the community interest in the anthology was incredible, so the second anthology is already in the planning stages.
“The next one is already in the works,” he said with a laugh.
Seal added that the printing and distribution of the comic is being handled with local work as much as possible.
“We used Greco Printing in Ann Arbor. The book looks amazing,” he said. “We are using Michigan companies to print and circulate as much as we can.”
As for the talent, Seal said much of the creative army is very local, or at least have some Michigan roots.
“Everyone has some type of connection to Michigan right now,” Seal said. He said the team of creators come from locations as close as the Great Lakes Bay Region, the Flint area, and even one person working remotely from the Upper Peninsula.
“We have a guy who contributes all the way from Colorado, but he is from Michigan, so it counts,” Seal said.
The MCC has also partnered with ArtServe of Michigan to broaden the scope of their charitable endeavors and partial proceeds from the sale of the anthology will benefit ArtServe.
For more information about the MCC or the anthology,www.michigancomicscollective.org