Friday, November 27, 2009

cleveland, ho!

Tomorrow at noon, the doors will open for the very first time at the Genghis Con, an Independent Comics show in Cleveland, Ohio.  One of the schmoes behind a table there, hawking his wears will be this guy.  I jump on a megabus tonight at 11:59pm (after working at Quimby's until 10pm), ride through the night, and get to Cleveland at 7:30am.  I'm gonna make a detour to a much-recommended restuarant, Tommy's, and then up to the Beachland Ballroom, where the event will be held from 12-6pm.  After that?  WHO KNOWS!  I'll have about six hours until I need to be back at the bus stop, to head back to Chicago, getting in around 5:30am.  I'll be back at work at five and a half hours later.  Whew, I'm exhausted already.

Ahem. At the show I'll have all my standards, The Trugglemat, Spitting Pennies, What is This? both Alpha City Comicbooks, plus, In Anticipation of Hugs.  As always I'll also have a bunch of free things, comics, uncle envelope propaganda, stickers, and a brand new button.  This thing is probably the most impractical object I've ever affixed a drawing to.  Busy Beaver has started to make OVAL buttons, they're 1.75 x 2.75" much to big for the hipster chic of their standard 1" buttons.  I'm excited about them.

A note about the drawing above.  I drew it on the back of my exhibitor badge at the Windy City Comicon this year, as badges tend to turn around while hanging from your neck (this way people will always know who I am).  If you're hoping I'm gonna look like that tomorrow, sorry, I don't have a haircut (in fact I'm desperately overdue for one), my shoes aren't very new anymore, and I make no promises about having brushed my teeth, or wearing pants.  You never know, I may remember to wear pants.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

milwaukee zine fest/pinstriped bloodbath release party

 Yesterday I trekked past the "Cheddar Curtain" to Milwaukee, Wisconsin for the Milwaukee Zine Fest.  It was so much fun!  I went up there with Matt, Leslie and Ramsey (see previous post for links to their blogs and awesome zines).  The fest was at Falcon Bowl, a local nest for the Polish Falcons, which features a bar, bowling alley in the basement and a community ballroom space.  The space housed about 30 tables, full of folks from Milwaukee, Chicago, and Madison.  They all had really interesting zines, and I think I left with more printed matter than I showed up with.

My travel companions/table mates were lots of fun, and I had a great time with them all day.  We ate food from the Riverwest Co-Op and then ate dinner at the Palomino, and had nice conversations.  Everyone at the table had a good day selling trading and giving their publications away.  I moved 85 different books off my table, 20 of which I got money for, the rest were trades or free comics.  I feel bad saying this (as I don't want to talk down any of the comics shows at which I exhibited this year), but it was probably the most enjoyable tabling I've done this year.

As we were leaving, Nicolle, one of the show's organizers asked our table when we would be organizing a Chicago Zine fest.  The rest of our trip was peppered with planning for a zine fest here in Chicago.  So, I'll keep you informed about those plans.


    This Tuesday I'll be participating in the release party for Pinstriped Bloodbath,  the Chicago gangster comics anthology I'm in.  It's at good ol' Quimby's Bookstore at 7pm.  I'll be there, before hand working and setting up for the show, but my shift ends at 7, then I'll be able to hang out, draw in your copy of the comic, and talk like a gangster, see?  Yeah, see?  On hand should be the following other creators:

& Editor/Organizer Jeff Zwirek

It should be ton of funs.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


    Liz Baillie's comics are awesome!  I met her, and started reading her work right when she debuted her tenth and final issue of My Brain Hurts.  The story focuses on two middle schoolers growing up in New York City, and really gives a powerfully dramatic glimpse into an age just between childhood and adulthood.  The thing My Brain Hurts does so well, is it transports you into the characters' world,  and that is true on some degree with all of Liz's work.

    I've also really been enjoying her 2009 Minicomic of the Month Club. Each month she's sent a comic out to subscribers, experimenting with different story telling techniques, and genres.  It's been a fabulous companion to my other monthly subscription, Uncle Envelope.  Tiny little paper surprises at the beginning of the month, usually a day apart from each other, almost as a cure or reward for the misery of mailing out the Rent and utility checks.  I'm really happy I jumped on the MOTMC boat when I had the chance, because Liz is not planning on doing a 2010 subscription.

  One of the prime examples of stepping into the Liz Baillie world is her super meta-comic Sing Along Forever, a comic love letter to her favorite band, the Bouncing Souls.  The comic is of her and fellow comics artist, Robin Enrico, going to a summer-time outdoor punk music festival to meet the band.  The comic's mission is to tell Liz's personal history with the band's music.  The comic version of Liz's mission is for that day's events to be the narrative of the comic book, with her reminiscence of the Soul's impact on her life as flashbacks.  Your reading a comic book of characters of comic book creators creating a comic book. What?  Ugh, that came out far more complicated than it really is, and totally dragged me off course.

    Ahem.  I remember reading Sing Along Forever on the bus heading to work one day.  We got to my stop, so I had to close the book, and get off the bus.  As I pushed the doors open, it felt not as if I was stepping off the bus, but as if I was stepping out of Liz's world, and back into the streets of Chicago.  Sing Along Forever is out-of-print, though I think the Bouncing Souls actually have a limited quantity available to sell.  Do you see a foreboding pattern emerging here?

   FREEWHEEL!  Liz's follow up serial to My Brain Hurts. One part extension of Liz's oeuvre, both visually and thematically ("at risk" youth living without a support network, losing her only true friend, and the struggle to get him back) - one part complete departure!  The protagonist, Jamie has bounced around abusive and neglectful foster homes, but has always had her older brother as an anchor of support.  One day she finds her brother is gone, on his way to Ithaca (no wonder, it's GORGES!  Am I right?  Am I right?  This bumper sticker knows what I'm talking about).  She sets out on her own to find him.  Jamie is younger than My Brain Hurts' main character, Kate, and her adventures are more light-hearted, less grounded in reality, as she becomes entwined with a secret village of forest-dwellers.
Visually, Liz is taking so many more risks with page layout, which adds to the whimsical nature of the story.

    Issue three of the minicomic came out in September, each issue has been better than the last.  Today I found out there wont be a fourth issue. See?  Foreboding pattern solidified.  When I read Liz was ceasing production of Freewheel minicomics, my little minicomic heart sank. Then I thought, "we should totally jack the prices up on Freewheel at work!"

    I've failed to mention that Freewheel was originally a short-lived webcomic on Fall of Autumn's website.  That got nixed, and restarted as a minicomic series, as My Brain Hurts was wrapping up.  Now Liz is reverting BACK to webcomics for Freewheel's publication, and launching  The comic will update every Tuesday and Thursday, and is starting with the first issue.  So check it out!  It's totally worth it.  A great webcomic died to make way for a great minicomic, which in turn has died for a great webcomic.

It's the ciiiiircle of liiii-eeee-iiiiife! 

Elton John, ladies and gentlemen.

Monday, November 9, 2009

another last minute show!

robot headache

 I've been drawing everything except comics right now...AAAARGH!  I gotta get sequential, or I'll be that robot, my head exploding.

  It's not official, but I think I'm definitely hopping into a last-minute vacancy at my friends Leslie, Ramsey, and Matthew's table at the Milwaukee Zine Fest this upcoming weekend. Here's the basic info:

Milwaukee Zine Fest
Saturday, November 14, 2009
 @ Falcon Bowl
801 E Clarke St
Milwaukee, WI
This'll be my first zine fest, which I'm super excited about.  I get the feeling that zine fests are more aligned with my personal values than with standard comics show.  I don't mean to knock comics shows, I love those things, but the impression I get is that comics shows are more business, and zine fests are more about the heart-power of self publishing.

Monday, November 2, 2009

genghis con

Oh, Hi...Oh.

Last minute decisions have been made, megabus tickets have been purchased.  I've decided to exhibit at an Indy Comics Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, Saturday, November 28.  It'll be really exciting to be exposed to folks who may not trek out to some of the shows I've been to this year.  Plus, I've never been to Cleveland (the bus depot doesn't count), so I'm excited to check out the sights.

  So if you're near Cleveland, or are looking for an excuse to visit the Forest City come to Genghis Con!