Old Man Winter and Other Sordid Tales
Writer/artist/cover artist: J.T. Yost
Publisher: Birdcage Bottom Books
Price: $6.95 US
Self-published comics are often one of the richest sources of different ideas and unique storytelling in the comic-book industry. Whereas corporate comics are inextricably mired in maintaining the status quo, creators who are answerable only to themselves have the freedom to do, say or depict anything they want. Disappointing forays into self-publishing can be those that don’t avail themselves of that freedom or those whose creators lack the skills to match their passion for the medium. This anthology from writer/artist J.T. Yost is no disappointment. It’s one of those examples of the new and the different and the unique. The main story, from which the book derives its title, is a wonderfully touching and melancholy study of a difficult and awkward phase of life. That story — a new work from the creator — is honest and down to earth. The rest of the material in this anthology was previously published, but chances are you’re like me and are unfamiliar with all of the stories. While “Old Man Winter” is relatable and straightforward, Yost’s approach in the other stories is more unconventional and experimental in tone. Yost, in this Xeric award-supported book, demonstrates a diversity of style, subject matter and emotion that proves that he’s a well-rounded and skilled storyteller.