Sunday, November 28, 2010


Well, look who crawled out of his hole to post a blog.  I've had some fun since APE, including attending the Milwaukee Zine Fest, and meeting my nephew, Ed.  I've been meeting weekly with two different groups to organize the Chicago Zine Fest, which will take place on March 25 & 26th, and the Chicago Alternative Comics Expo (aka CAKE) which will hopefully be in August or October of 2011.  I've been cleaning & weatherizing my apartment, and practicing & writing new songs with my best friend, Josh.  Any way you cut it, 2011 is going to be a big year for me creatively, and I wanted to share some info with you as the countdown to the end of 2010 begins (only 34 days)!

I wont be putting out a whole lot of new sellable comics, not like Spitting Pennies or Write Now!, this year.  Instead I'm going to focus my efforts on two projects:

1. Sock-Monster! As we speak, I have a genius of a web designer redesigning my website, making Sock-Monster the focus of my web presence.  So I'll be updating Sock-Monster on a regular schedule (no seriously) as soon as I can.

2. Minicomic of the Month Club! I'm taking the year to experiment with form by biting off Liz Baillie's idea from 2009, a subscription-based service of a monthly minicomic delivered to your mailbox.  I'll be focusing on expanding my knowledge of book binding, art media, and story telling.  If you want to sign up for the service you can click right here on these exact words.  I'm hoping this will be a challenging and fun exercise for me, and I hope you'll enjoy watching me stretch my muscles a bit.

That seems like not a whole lot for an entire year, but it's along with the other projects listed below, it's going to suck up all my free time (sorry, ladies).   Because of my low imput of sellable comics, I'll be attending fewer shows, this year, only exhibiting at 4 comics shows, and maybe as many zine fests, and I probably wont have anything new on my table comics-wise.

  I really want to start making zines. I consider minicomics a type of zine, but I've never made a text-heavy zine.  My sister Kate made her first zine a little while ago (and it's amazing), and it got me really wanting to try to express myself in a non-sequential format.  I don't have a name for the zine yet, so if anyone has any good ideas (D.Billy, I'm looking at you), gimme.  The first issue will hopefully be about and published by the Chicago Mayoral elections, the second by Chicago Zine Fest (???!!!), that's a pretty tight schedule.

  As I mentioned before I'm helping organize both the Chicago Zine Fest and CAKE.  Both events will be flat out, straight up amazing, and if you're interested in either zines or alternative/independent comics, they will be not-to-be-missed events.  CZF is coming up fast (3 Months and 28 Days), and planning is furious and fast.  I'm lucky to be organizing CZF with a handful of great folks, Matt, Leslie, Ramsey (who were the other organizers last year), Johnny, Carrie and Jen (who have joined us for year two and are amazing).  CAKE's organizational structure is looser than the zine fest, so to list all the organizers would be a bit silly (not everyone makes every meeting, but they've contributed a great deal, I'm sure I'd forget to include someone).

   The store I work for, Quimby's has joined forces with Atomic Books, Zine World and Xerography Debt to declare 2011 as the Revenge of Print, because like a lot of my friends and I, they are sick and tired of the question "Is Print Dead?"  We're encouraging everyone and their mother to self-publish something, it'll be great.

   That declaration inspired me to act on an idea friends of mine and I have been kicking around for years, the creation of an independent publishing resource center in Chicago.  Portland has a great model for supporting independent publishers that I hope we can learn from.  Chicago has a healthy publishing and printing community, and a lot of spaces that encourage and teach methods of print making and writing, but nothing for the basic zine.  Copy shops in this town are either staffed by unfriendly or intimidating people, or are expensive or both.  The most basic vision for the center would be an office with a copier and supplies for cheap use.  From there we can build up tools and skill sharing to encourage anyone who has something to say to say it.

  What else, any other resolutions for 2011?  All that wasn't enough?! Keep my room clean, maybe?  I'll probably fail at that.

OH!  One last thing, I'm growing a mustache to raise money for public school classroom projects.  I know, it makes absolutely no sense, don't ask too many questions, it'll just make your head hurt.  Instead, visit my grower's page on donor's choose (one of Oprah's favorite things) and donate money to some of these awesome projects.  You can also check out my mustache's progress on flickr.  I have to admit, I've been a little slow getting my money ask out.  The campaign is called Mustaches for Kids or M4K, and it's pretty cool.