Youth in Decline’s ‘Frontier’ Is A Comic You Should Be Reading
If you haven't been following it, Youth in Decline's Frontier is a comic that you should buy every single issue of --- and you can start anywhere. Frontier is created by a different cartoonist every issue, and the only real through-line is that it highlights talented creators. For that reason alone, it's worth checking out. Each one also offers the opportunity to see those creators do an interesting story that maybe they don't have another space to publish. Some of the great creators that have told stories in Frontier include Emily Carroll, Sam Alden, Jillian Tamaki, and Hellen Jo --- with creators like Michael DeForge and Becca Tobin to come.
There's no end of ways to check out new talent in comics, which is pretty exciting. Whether it's webcomics, mini-comics, self-published comics, or small press comics, folks who are interested in exploring the width and breadth of the comics industry beyond established creators have a wide range of ways to do so. So why is something like Frontier so interesting?
For one, the format is really appealing --- it's a nearly square book, and everyone does something different with it on the interiors. For another, it's a fairly affordable way to try out a new creator and get a complete story. But the real strength of Frontier is that creators always find compelling stories to tell in their issues. As Frontier publisher Youth in Decline says on its site, the project is all about "highlighting the work of up-and-coming talent in the North American indie comics scene, introducing the work of international artists we adore, and presenting uncommon dispatches from our favorite creators."
Each issue has a unique tone and style. Personal favorites include Hellen Jo's story of teen girls running the streets, and Emily Carroll's haunting horror story --- two very different comics. There's something cool about following a comic from issue to issue and not knowing what you'll get. The one thing that stays consistent is that each cartoonist is a strong storyteller. Youth in Decline has made smart choices about who to publish.
Folks who are interested can buy issues at the publisher's site or at select comic shops, which are also listed on the site.