Monday, August 31, 2009

You tell 'em, Charles "The Ox" Reiser! There's some hard work going on around my drafting table.  I had to halt production on Alpha City Comics, Issue Two (ACC #2 for those in the know), in order to meet a deadline for a comic that'll be in an anthology debuting at SPX (more on that LeightR).  Not only did I meet the deadline, I BEAT it!  So now I'm back on the ACC train, and barrelling through, since yesterday morning, I've completed three pages, and am on schedule to complete two more today!  My plan is to print the comic on the 14th, so I pretty much got two weeks to get it done.  But I'm gonna try to beat this deadline too.  We'll see what happens.

I think that's anything else to say, Ox?

Thursday, August 27, 2009

ed luce nominated for ignatz award

I was very excited a couple days ago, looking at the nominees for this year's Ignatz Awards, hoping there'd be a fun surprise, a friend or artist whose work I really like being nominated.  Or maybe Achewood wouldn't get nominated for best online comic, and someone else could win for a change.  Well, I wasn't disappointed (besides the fact that Achewood in fact was NOT nominated), as in the Promising New Talent category, tucked in the middle was the name Ed Luce.
I personally have never met Ed Luce, but his work was an influence on mine early on, as he and I share in the history of the Untouchable Leader Lampoon.  The Leader Lampoon is the comics & humor section of SUNY Fredonia's school newspaper.  While a student at Fredonia, I was a regular contributor to the Lampoon, and in my Junior Year became the editor, a title I held until I graduated from Fredonia in 2001.  When I first got to Fredonia, the Editor was a Senior, Chris Bishop.  He took me under his wing as a cartoonist, and made me fall in love with large areas of black from the tips of sharpies.  Following Chris' editorial tenure, Rich Fancher took over for a year, and then I got to take up the mantel. 
The Lampoon (which earned its "Untouchable" status my Freshman year, after Chris "dodged" a lawsuit for one of his comics), is one of the only papers from a SUNY school that had an active comics section.  Other SUNY papers that would come in to our office often had syndicated strips the papers would buy to print in their pages.  Usually they could only afford one strip.  The Leader Lampoon sometimes had FOUR whole pages of comics, by tons of students from a variety of majors, and points of view.
As an editor, I actually had a desk -the one right by the door, what were they thinking?!- and access to the filing cabinets full of old issues of the Leader from years past.  I used to spend hours, when I should have been drawing mine and Kevin Sciretta's first comics collaboration, SUPERFANTASTIQUE, reading through the old Lampoons from long before I arrived on campus.
That was where I first found the comics of Ed Luce.  I definitely remember the name, and that I really liked his stuff, though I can't now be sure what his work was.  I do remember a strip I'd like to think was his, a very surreal comic that involved photocopied characters, such as a photograph of a fish, and maybe a distiller?  Now I think I'm making things up.  

Ed's newer project, Wuvable Oaf comics is in its infancy, issues zero and one have been self published, and it's pretty awesome.  It follows the comedic hijinks of members of a gay bear community, the title character truly being a wuvable oaf, who runs a home for wayward cats.  The art is fantastic, and the humor is top notch.  Ed is certainly deserving of the Ignatz nomination.
I'm really excited a fellow Leader Lampooner has been nominated for an Ignatz. Go Blue Devils!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

posting when i should be drawing

I just wanna post real quick about the upcoming WINDY CITY COMICON, so
when mid September comes around, nobody's all like "WHAT?! Nobody told me about this?!" Consider yourself warned. The Windy City Comicon is Windy City Comicoming!

This show will be super awesome! I'll be there with all my books, so will Short Pants Press (towing behind them, at least Sarah Becan, Grant Reynolds and Bernie McGovern). Jeff Lemire, Jeffrey Brown, Art Baltazar, Matt Kindt, Andy Jewett, and Nate Powell will all be there! Plus a ton of people whose reputation I really should know better, but don't. Check out the guest list. Also, I'll be smuggling Kevin in my back pack, so you can meet the dude who writes Alpha City Comics, as we unveil issue two!

Not to single him out, but Nate Powell needs a little spot lighting. This'll be his first year at Windy City, and he should get a big Chicago welcome. His work is AMAZING! His latest graphic novel, Swallow Me Whole (Top Shelf), won (and rightly so) the 2008 Ignatz for outstanding debut, and the 2009 Eisner for best graphic album. It blows my mind! Well, the book blew my mind when I read it, and it totally blows my mind that it's damn near IMPOSSIBLE to find it in Chicago right now! Luckily, Windy City has hooked you up, because with admission to the show, you have the opportunity to buy the book, as well as meet the dude. And meeting Nate Powell is an opportunity all on its own, because this guy is one of the nicest guys ever. He's super friendly and nice, and has some really funny arm gestures what's not to like?

Windy City was a great success last year, there were tons of folks, and everyone had a good time. The ticket price has increased from $5 to $10, BUT! You're getting 30 more creators to meet than you would have last year, plus, the program is expanding from a half-sheet of paper, to a FULL COLOR COMIC BOOK! Each creator got a page to do whatever they want with. I drew a brand new comic, and you can only get it in that program!

This'll also be the first show that I'll be selling What is This? my children's minicomic. I'll also have buttons and stickers and free comics for you. That's all I gotta say. go to the friggin show.

Monday, August 3, 2009

i just read a great book

So today, I finished lettering Alpha City Comics Issue Two! It's a time consuming endeavor, especially when you use a brush, and have a different font for every main character. It can also be a little painful on the fingers when you have a grip like mine on a brush. But I'm pretty excited that I can now ink the actual drawings.

Though I'm even more excited that I finished reading THIS:Johnny Hiro by Fred Chao, published by AdHouse Books. It's a trade paperback collection of minis Fred put out, as well as some unreleased work connected to the Johnny Hiro (half asian, all hero) world. This was my first contact with Johnny Hiro, and I've gotta say,
I haven't laughed out loud as much as I did from this book in a while. It's humor was so smart! The comic timing was right on, and it looked like Fred had a lot of fun drawing it. The book really dances upon the line between comic book realism, and the impossible world of comics, as well as that between absurd comedy and heartfelt drama. One story seemed to drag a little, but maybe that's because Johnny wasn't being chased by samurais for once. Otherwise, every page of this book f'ing rocked my socks off. Luckily I was reading it at home. Definietly the most enjoyable read for me in a long while. Go read this book!

that's all.