The Pit in Black and White

While producing full-color comics online can carry large loads of symbolic choices in shades and tints, the relentless black of India ink offers an equally evocative set of possibilities. In Banquet (2016-2018), Anne Szabla takes the latter route to fine success. The story of a toddler lost to the depths of Hell—via a hole in New Boston’s Boylston Street (hardly a difficult setup to imagine as unvarnished truth!)—deserves all the appearance of deepest dark an artist can construct and Szabla is equal to that task.

This webcomic isn’t a one-joke—or one nightmare—scenario, however. It’s a fully realized tale of nearly mythic proportion, featuring gods, warriors, and the kind of humor that allows readers to follow both the toddler’s experiences (he’s too young to recognize them as travails) and the very human attributes of the residents of this Bottomless Pit of Hell. Fans of Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book can find a read-alike here. Here’s to the power of India ink in the age of pixels.

Book of the week: All the Wisdom and None of the Junk (Katy Craig and Katie Kramer)

In an effort to draw attention to quality self-published literature and in agreement with BlueInk Review, NSR highlights reviews published on BIR’s site each week, including a wide variety of fiction and nonfiction. This week’s pick:

All the Wisdom and None of the Junk: Secrets of Applying for College Admission and Scholarships

Boettcher Foundation. April 9, 2015. Photo by Ellen Jaskol.

As the Boettcher Foundation’s first leadership coach and content developer, Katy Craig focuses on leadership development for participants in the Boettcher Scholarship and Webb-Waring Biomedical Research programs.



Boettcher Foundation. April 9, 2015. Photo by Ellen Jaskol.

Katie Kramer is president and CEO of the Boettcher Foundation and is responsible for all aspects of the $300+ million Colorado-based philanthropic foundation. Her extensive community involvement has included leadership positions on many national and local boards including serving as past-president of the National Scholarship Providers Association.

BlueInk Review was founded by Patti Thorn, former books editor of the Rocky Mountain News, and Patricia Moosbrugger, literary agent and subsidiary rights specialist. It offers serious, unbiased reviews of self-published books. Reviews are penned largely by writers drawn from major mainstream publications, such as The New York Times and Washington Post, and editors of respected traditional publishing houses. Select reviews appear in Booklist magazine.