The digital version of Vortex, produced by Alternative Comics, is now available for Kindle and comiXology. It’s $4.99.
October 18th, 2016
September 28th, 2016
Vortex should be available at your local comic shops today!
If you can’t find Vortex at your shop you can ask them to order it for you.
September 22nd, 2016
Turns out I was wrong in my previous posts – Vortex isn’t arriving in comic shops on October 26th, it’ll arrive much sooner, next Wednesday, September 28th!
Vortex spread 23.
If you want to check out a preview of Vortex, I’ve been posting the two-page spreads on the Comics Workbook Tumblr:
- Click here to read from the beginning if you’re on a desktop.
- Click here to read it from newest to oldest if you’re on a mobile device (the reverse chronological order link doesn’t work on mobile devices).
Here’s a few more spreads:
Vortex spread 12.
Vortex spread 14.
Vortex spread 21.
Vortex spread 25.
Vortex spread 30.
Vortex spread 35.
August 31st, 2016
This Friday 9/2 is the final order cutoff to get Vortex from your local comic book stop on its release date of
August 23rd, 2016
I’m very excited to tell y’all that Vortex is on Page 269 of Previews, the Diamond comics catalogue! It’ll be on shelves in fine comic book stores across the US on
October 26th September 28th.
If you’d like a copy, ask your local comic book store to order it for you before September 2nd.
Order code AUG161125.
You may have noticed that these two pages are the Alternative Comics section of Previews. After Virginia Paine decided to close Sparkplug Books, Marc Arsenault of Alternative Comics inherited most of Sparkplug’s backstock. I’m grateful to Virginia for taking a chance on Vortex and all the work she did to get the Kickstarter funded and the book printed and distributed. Running a publisher as a third job is hard work and I’m glad that she’s going to be able to focus on her own awesome comics, like The WHYs, an epic webcomic about queer superpowered teens.
The reviewer Rob Clough of High-Low said goodbye to Sparkplug in a review round-up that includes Vortex.
December 15th, 2015
Orders of Vortex placed until midnight tonight (eastern time) are only $13. I will send them domestic priority mail for free. They should arrive before Christmas. Sorry international friends but this offer is for US addresses only.
Deal over, thanks to everyone who bought a copy! You can order a copy of Vortex from me here (shipping included in prices).
I’ll draw in your order too!
July 7th, 2015
Here are two more reviews of Vortex with contrasting perspectives. Click here for blockquotes and links.
March 24th, 2015
Vortex got two reviews last week!
Here’s a quote from Rob McMonigal’s review on Panel Patter, part of a roundup of SF comics:
Cardini’s plot works well, drawing the reader in with increasing layers of complexity, as the Miizzzard finds himself in greater and greater danger, fighting forces that may in fact be beyond his ability to combat. What’s really cool, however, is the fact that the art, which is just on the border between abstract and structured, reflects this layering. Thanks to an art style that focuses heavily on shapes and patterns, we as the reader are challenged ourselves to try to pick out the distinct images or watch as one pattern dissolves into another, changing the scene.
Here’s the summary paragraph from Alex Hoffman’s review on Sequential State:
In a way, Vortex’s best comparison is shonen battle manga, specifically Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z, where super-powered heroes battle super-powered enemies, who later become friends to fight greater enemies. There is death and revival, always advancing the plot; a secret move that can only be used in times of great need. There is a juvenileness and a joy about it, qualities that are the essence of shonen battle manga. These things jump out at me from Vortex, despite its psychedelic trappings. But the abstraction of art, Cardini’s use of texture, and the loose structure of this comic make it a refreshing read.
January 21st, 2015
Releasing the Vortex book was my second biggest accomplishment of 2014. (The biggest was getting my daughter to sleep in her crib. Neither would have been possible without the help of my wife.) Thanks again to everyone who supported the Sparkplug Books Kickstarter! Virginia is sending out your copies of Vortex and I’m working on the 3d print and original art rewards. If you missed out on the Kickstarter but would still like a copy, it’s for sale in the Sparkplug web store and in Austin at Farewell Books and Austin Books. I’ll sell copies on this site once I finish my part of the Kickstarter rewards.
I did this drawing of my wife and daughter for my father-in-law’s Kickstarter reward.
Here’s some press that Vortex got in the tail end of 2014:
- Rob McMonigal included Vortex on Panel Patter’s November Small Press Picks
- Colin Panetta said that Vortex probably would’ve made his favorite comics of 2014 list if he’d gotten a chance to read it
- Cameron Arthur put Vortex in his Top 10 Comics of 2014 list
- Gabriele Di Fazio reviewed Vortex for Just Indie Comics and then put it in his Best Comics of 2014 list
If you’ve read Vortex, please consider rating or reviewing it on Goodreads.
November 18th, 2014
I started the Vortex Book Mini-Tour with a release party at Floating World Comics in Portland on Friday and Short Run in Seattle on Saturday. The tour ends with an Austin signing at Farewell Books tomorrow, Wednesday 11/9, from 7 to 9pm.
On Friday, 11/14, I got into Portland after lunch, took the light rail and bus to meet Virginia Paine (who runs my publisher Sparkplug Books). It was my first glimpse of the Vortex book – I was overwhelmed! I didn’t even want to flip through it at first. The metallic silver ink on the cover turned out just as I had visualized.
Vortex in good company on the shelves at Floating World Comics.
We took the bus downtown to drop a box of Vortex and Reich #12 at Floating World Comics and then went to Powell’s. I’ve been in Bookpeople here in Austin and Tattered Cover’s old downtown location in Denver but Powell’s beats them all! I could live in their sf section. We only had about a half hour but fortunately I have a list for whenever I’m in a used book store. I grabbed The Dark World by Henry Kuttner (and an uncredited CL Moore) and Sorcerer’s Legacy by Janny Wurts (I want to try a solo book by her before I dive into her unfinished epic fantasy series). I also saw Chronicles of Mavin Manyshaped by Sheri Tepper but it was $15 and I wanted to get more than one book.
I read this on the plane ride back (it’s only 126 pages). An inspiration for Zelazny’s Amber. I noticed some additional parallels to Lord of the Rings (evil beings who invest their energy in physical objects) and Wheel of Time (a glass sword of great power).
The signing was fun, I could spend all night at Floating World Comics. I’d gotten the impression it was small, like a big closet, but their current space is enormous and Jason Leivian has packed it to the gills with fantastic comics. It was good to meet Elijah Brubaker and hang out with him, Zack Soto, Virginia, and everyone who came by. I had an interesting conversation with Mike Getsiv about the boundaries of the abstract comics genre. Then after the signing Sera Stanton (who drew the awesome Sparkplug Books cat t-shirt for the Kickstarter) gave me and Virginia a ride to Seattle so I got to sleep most of the way.
Sparkplug Books table at Short Run. Photo by Virginia.
Saturday was Short Run. If you’re unfamiliar, it’s a free one-day show like CAB or LA Zine Fest. It’s in this old, beautiful brick building in downtown Seattle. Every glimpse I got of Seattle was beautiful. If I lived there, I couldn’t get over driving down a freeway, ice-crowned mountains on my left and a shining lake lapping at house-covered hills on my right.
Delicious fry bread tacos from a food truck at Short Run.
Short Run itself was great! Good energy; vegan treats and coffee by the clean, spacious bathroom; food trucks in the parking lot; and steady crowds all day. Vortex seemed to be selling well but I was still able to sneak away from the table to be a good consumer. It was my first time sitting at a publisher’s table at a con and it was exactly what I hoped for – All the interaction and none of the stress about sales. My #1 goal for the day was to meet Simon Hanselmann and get a personalized copy of Megahex so I did that within the first hour.
I did some drawings in Vortex as well. Jen Vaughn, Virginia and I’s gracious host, bought Vortex so of course, in thanks, I hexed her copy.
The inscription reads: “William Cardini curses anyone other than Jen Vaughn who owns this book.” Not sure what face I’m making – I guess it’s my witch grin? Photo by Jen.
Finally put faces to some names I know from the internet, such as Michael Litven of Ebbits, Rob Kirby, Brandon Lehmann AKA Bobby Mono, Shanna Matuszak, and Jack Hayden of Snakebomb. Austin was represented well – both the Rough House Comics crew and Monofonus Press were there. It was great to reconnect with other comics folk since I haven’t been to a show since TCAF 2013. At dinner I was missing my family so I showed Virginia and Yumi Sakugawa photos and videos of Ruby.
My haul from Short Run, Floating World, and Powell’s.
We came back for the after party at Washington Hall, but it was too loud to talk with the bands, so Virginia and I met back up with Jen and she gave us an after-hours tour of the Fantagraphics office. We saw an old Love and Rockets cover divided into Rubylith layers to prepare it for printing!
The Fantagraphics basement is filled with comics. Photo by Jen.
Now I’m back in Austin with my wife and daughter and pumped about comics. There won’t be a new Skew page this week because we’re going to divide it into multiple parts so it doesn’t take too long to load and I need to decide where the split should be and draw a cover for Part 2. If you’re in Austin and I didn’t see you at Short Run, I hope to see you tomorrow at Farewell, so you can say hello to Vortex!