The Daily Heller: The Rotland Dreadfuls Are Not Deplorable

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The Rotland Press, founded in 2010 and based in Detroit, is a small publishing house of printed projects that, as the publisher and editor-in-chief Ryan Standfest writes, "mingle mordant amusement with enthusiastic despair." The Rotland Dreadfuls are just such a mingling.

In celebration of their 10-year anniversary, a 32-page anthology of this graphically robust series The Rotland Dreadfuls is on press right now — yes at this very moment. Presented at this time "for your entertainment," it is a mirthful collection of fresh misadventure, "giddily paying tribute to all manner of dreadfulness." These Dreadfuls are based upon the Victorian-era Penny Dreadful publications, the comic-book/pulp mag format that precedes all other twentieth century gritty, steamy, scabrous newsprint magazines.

This special includes comics by Clara Bessijelle, Cole Closser, Johnny Damm, Kayla E., Shary Flenniken, Ben Jones, Christoph Mueller, Ethan Persoff, Stéphane Rosse and R. Sikoryak; and stories by Brian McConnachie and Matthew Licht, with illustrations by Michael Kupperman and Ivy Manska. The cover, by Ian Huebert, is an homage to the 18th and 19th century handbills that advertised sensational, scientific, silly and startling attractions—appropriate for this handsomely designed, timeless volume of garish amusements.