On Friday, The Art Students League will release a new, digital comics anthology called This Quarantine Life 2020: A COVID-19 Era Comics Anthology — a digital comics anthology edited by creators and ASL instructors Steven Walker and Greg Follender. The League is the alma mater of familiar comics names including Will Eisner and Ramona Fradon, and brought in creators from all over the world to participate in This Quarantine Life, a pandemic-themed anthology that gave artists struggling to find an outlet during the lockdown and economic downturn a place where they could focus their art and energy. ComicBook.com has an exclusive look at some of the work from This Quarantine Life, which you can see below.
The anthology will be available on iBooks this Friday. Next week, the Art Students League will host a Facebook event to celebrate the release and discuss the book with readers.
The work contained within the book takes on a wide variety of styles and tones, but the mission statement is simple. Here's a succinct summation of This Quarantine Life's idea, as described in the opening pages of the book itself: "On March 16, 2020, The Art Students League of New York entered lockdown in response to the coronavirus pandemic. In order to protect its community, the building was closed and all in-person classes were temporarily suspended. Everyone went into quarantine. On May 11, 2020, the League put out an open cll to its online community, urging artists to share their experiences in the medium of comics. This book is the result of that call."
The book itself is a series of amost 90 single-page comics, which range in tone, subject matter, and artistic style pretty wildly. We combed throught he book trying to find a decent, representative sample and ended up with a handful of comics that include "Hugh Manatee," about an uneducated, anthropomorphic manatee that denies the virus is a problem; "Passing On," which tells the story of a baby born in quarantine and who doesn't yet know a life without covid-19; and...well, we'll leave the very last one here for you to find on your own. We'll just say it's called "Sorry," and if you at any point feel like some of these are getting too serious, that one should cure you of that pretty quick.
The Art Students League will host an event via Facebook Live on Thursday, November 19th at 6pm ET. The event will be hosted by League artist Andrew Drilon and feature discussions with editor Steve Walker, Inkpot Award-winning artist Jamal Igle, and four contributing artists from all over the world, sharing their individual quarantine experiences and how they expressed it in the medium of comics. You can get more details on that event by clicking the link above.
The Art Students League was founded in 1875, and has become one of the most respected insitutions in American visual art, with generations of significant artists from a variety of different visual media either training or teaching there (or both).
You can see our preview of This Quarantine Life 2020 below.