coast 2 coast

tales from leisure cove - fcbdThings have certainly been quiet here on this website. After a bit of a hiatus, production has picked up at HQ however. And now we get to share a little bit of what’s been going on behind the scenes.

This coming weekend I will have two comics debuting in two anthologies simultaneously on the two coasts of our fair land.

On the side of our country where destiny manifests itself, Tugboat Press will have a FREE comic book debuting at the Stumptown Comics Fest (table A-17). It’s called Runner Runner and it features 26 different comics creators within its 32 pages. And it’s free for Free Comics Book Day, but you don’t even have to wait until the first Saturday in May. Nope. It’s yours for the taking if you’re in Portland this weekend. Free and no waiting, how great is that?

rockyMy contribution is a collaboration with my wife, Minty Lewis, who wrote a poignant story about Rocky Shuffleman, a terrier who’s retired to Florida (Leisure Cove to be specific) and who’s pretty good at staying busy. Not necessarily great at it, just pretty good.

If like Rocky, you live on the East Coast, then maybe you’ll be stopping by MoCCA Fest. There at the Secret Acres table (M10) among many essential comic books, you’ll find another brand-spanking-new comics collection, Sundays 5. This issue of Sundays was edited by Sean Ford and comes wrapped in an screen-printed cover also designed by Sean.

As of press time, I have only seen a preview video of the book. It looks like Sundays gets better with each issue. It’s quite an impressive set of contributors. I’m honored to be included in both of these collections.

Where to find Runner Runner
Stumptown – Portland, OR 4/28-4/29 – Tugboat Press table
TCAF – Toronto 5/5-5/6 – Tugboat Press table
And check your local comics shop May 5th!
Where to find Sundays 5
MoCCA – NYC 4/28-4/29 – Secret Acres table
TCAF – Toronto 5/5-5/6 – Sundays table
MECAF – Portland, ME 5/20 – Sundays table
CAKE – Chicago 6/16-6/17 – Chuck Forsman & Melissa Mendes’ table
SPX – Bethesda, MD 9/15-9/16 – Sundays table

~ sketchbook ~ flower spine p 43

In case anyone notices, there probably isn’t going to be much activity here for a few months. I’m going to be busy with a project that won’t allow me to keep up the sketchbook production.

Don’t take the hiatus as a loss of enthusiasm for the blog! That is not the case. Everything will go back to the way it was just as soon it’s possible.

C U S∞N!

p 42

Oh Kukoc!

I am very happy and excited and honored to announce that on Friday night I won the Maisie Kukoc Award for Comics Inspiration! The award is presented every year at Guapo Comics in Portland in conjunction with the Stumptown Comics Fest which is happening this weekend.

This came as an absolute surprise. My wife Minty (who was also a nominee because she makes brilliant comics) and  I have been forgoing comics shows this year to stay home with our new daughter, Sally. So I’m not at Stumptown and I wasn’t present at the award presentation. In fact when Jesse Reklaw called to put me on speaker phone at the award ceremony Minty and I had just taken a break from watching 30 Rock to change a diaper. Did I mention that I hadn’t been expecting to win?

Why? Well it was a pretty impressive set of nominees this year. Besides my talented wife who writes for the Cartoon Network and whose Salad Days #1 really needs a Number Two sometime soon, there were those two guys who have both been in Kramers and D&Q Showcases. Dan Zettwoch took his dad’s reminiscences of  his time working for the phone company in the 1970’s and made them into the mini-comic Tel-Tales. Add to that a screenprinted cover printed on an actual old Bell Systems punchcard! This is a guy who puts a daunting about of work into his mini-comics even when they never make it out into the world. And Kevin Huizenga, Good Lord. He’s the author of Ganges which stands out to me as just the best comic of the past decade. I genuinely admire everyone who was nominated.

I’m always overjoyed to be nominated for these things. It’s a tangible sign that the work you produce has an impact on people, and really that’s the whole point isn’t it?

Anyway, I feel bad that I was a moron about receiving the news. I wish I could do it over again and tell everyone that — well even now I can’t quite summon up the words that would convey how happy and surprised I am to find that you all would actually vote for my comics. It’s made me very very happy. I just wish I could have been there. It would have made it all a little more real.

Maybe some shy persons can be wrenched out of their comfortable domestic routine with some unexpected news  and over speaker phone address a crowded room that they can neither see nor hear with aplomb, but this one cannot. Sorry I was a dork. I love you for giving me this award. And thank you to the sponsors of the award who put together the prizes!

Speaking of prizes, did they make another one of those great handmade trophies like the past ones made by Andrice Arp (pictured) and Allie Tiedman? That’s what I really want out of this. Those trophies have been coolest thing about this award. I’m not sure what the deal is. To say the award publicized in a low-key manner would be an understatement. Let’s hope it’s not an indication that the Kukoc might be fading away in the future. I have respect for all of the sponsors. You all have organized a great, unique award. You’ve earned yourself some horns, go on and toot them!

Toot them now and in the future. Because I can think of a whole lot of mini-comics artists who I have a great deal of respect for who also deserve this kind of recognition. I feel like I keep reading that minis and “floppy” comics are dead. At the same time I am reading a whole lot of great minis. I have a hard time finding the space to store all of the minis that I pick up at conventions. And it’s not like they are exactly all that thick either. They are fine and worthy of celebration. Good luck to anyone out there doing their thing.

Update

My wish has come true! Greg Means sent me photos of this years trophy, made by Claire Sanders. Holy crap, it’s beautiful!!!

~ comics ~ Sundays Forever Changes

Here’s some news that I have been looking forward to posting for a while. Not that long ago (although it was before my daughter Sally was born so to me it feels like ages ago) I was invited by Chuck Forsman to contribute a cover for the latest Sundays anthology.  And now MoCCA is this weekend and the books are all printed and bound and ready for their big debut! If you’ll be at MoCCA* you’ll find them at table H15.

It’s great collection of cartoonists.

I could really get used to the luxury of designing a cover and having someone else do all the tedious pulling of the squeegee**. In this case that someone else(s) was Joseph Lambert (who has his own book published by Secret Acres debuting at MoCCA too) and Alex Kim. Man, what a amazing job they did!

The production is generously documented on the Sundays blog***. It looks everyone must have busted their butts last weekend hand-binding stacks of books for the show.

In addition to the cover I managed to also hand in a story for the anthology. And only one month late! It is a tale of misanthropy steeped in haze and fog. Here are the first 3 pages as a preview :

Sundays page 1

Sundays page 2

Sundays page 3

I’m honored to have been a part of the book. I hope you’ll check it out if you get the chance. (And while you’re at it check out the Kids anthology edited by Melissa Mendes and Jose-Luis Olivares.)

* I’m sad that this will be the first time I won’t be at MoCCA, but my excuse for staying home more than makes up for it.

** Pulling the squeegee is actually only one of many tedious tasks involved in screenprinting. I have conveniently glossed over the remaining tedium in the name of not bogging this blog down in tedious lists of tedium.

*** I don’t know about you but I’m a sucker for production photos when it comes to comics and screenprinting.

file under ‘plates are cult’

An apt review:

“Who opens the album will come across the white spaces of Patrick McDonnell, cadres fragmented Benoit Joly, of the forms of floral Damien Jay, the concreteness of the poem process Ib Al Rabin, colonialism psychedelic Andy Bleck, the futurism of Andrei Moloto of evolutionism Anders Pearson of unstructured Grant Thomas, Henrik Rehr’s exciting, grany Mark’s square, table and transfigured Drawn Jason T. Milis, Elijah Brubaker, stains Tim Gaze, risks Troylloyd. Everything to see and review, and see new, young, egg, vo, o.”

~ comics ~ The Natural World #4

Here we have it, the latest issue of The Natural World. The covers are (mostly) printed, and after a little trimming, collating, folding, and stapling I should have a little stack of them in time for The Alternative Press Expo tomorrow morning. I will be there with my lovely wife Minty Lewis making sure that the weird and wonderful books of Secret Acres (table 433) get into the hands and minds of the discerning convention-goers.

So please stop by and check out their books, and if you’re so inclined check out The Natural World #4 where Walter the mushroom hunter’s adventures continue in a truly uncanny forest.

The Natural World #4 is also available for orders online.

The Natural World #4
page 1
page 2
page 3
page 4
page 5
page 6
page 7
page 8

hit upon a wall

For a while I was posting pages from my sketchbook on a regular basis. Not so much lately.

My drawing time has been devoted to getting the next issue of The Natural World finished in time for MoCCA in early April. Then it’s off to the Stumptown show in Portland later in the month. Ah, the jet-set life of a self-publishing cartoonist! It’s not bad at all actually.

So there won’t be many posts here for at least another month. It’s not due to dwindling enthusiasm for the endeavor; I just ran out of pages to post! If you enjoy the sketchbook drawings rest assured I will be cranking up the old Sketchamatic again once I return from the comics show circuit.

I’m also thinking of posting all of The Natural World online, but more on that in the future maybe.

See you soon!

oh golly, this is nice

ignatzSurprise, surprise, I found out yesterday after Melanie and I missed a connecting flight in Salt Lake City that over the weekend I won an Ignatz for “Outstanding Story” for a comic that I contributed to the Papercutter anthology published by Tugboat Press!

I was completely and totally floored by the news considering all the other deserving talent also nominated for the award.

Thanks to Greg Means for accepting the award in my absence, and thanks again to Greg for inviting me to contribute to Papercutter! And thanks whoever you are for voting for me. It’s nice to know you’re out there.

inna book & onna blog

There is a new book on the horizon.

Abstract Comics: The Anthology is edited by Andrei Molotiu and published by Fantagraphics Books. I am honored to be included in it since I’m in the company of quite a few people who make comics that I enjoy, such as John Hankiewicz, Warren Craighead, and Jason Overby. Not to mention R. Crumb and Gary Panter too!

There will be advance copies available for browsing at the MoCCA comics festival. I’m not sure when the release date is. I should know, but I don’t. Sometime this summer.

What you can check out right now is the blog that has been estabished to discuss all things abstract and sequential: Abstract Comics: The Blog. The blog is brand new, less than a week old, and already there are some really interesting comics posted there. I know I’m not exactly objective, but if you have somehow found your way here I’m sure you’ll want to visit over there too. Go now while the blog is new and the enthusiasm is high.