May 3, 2011 / More →
• Former Top Shelf intern and current ink studress Jen Vaughn posted a news item on the CCS blog about the Vermont House Resolution formally declaring Kochalka the first Cartoonist Laureate of Vermont.
James transcribed some of the fine-print legalese:
"Whereas in a recent edition of his American Elf cartoon series, in which James Kochalka humorously depicts his own life, he acknowledged to his thrilled agent the importance of being designated the first Vermont cartoonist laureate, but then refused to discuss the matter further citing an immediate preoccupation with making grapefruit-peel candy with his sons Eli, 7, and Oliver, 3"
• Heading to the printer NOW, in hopes of a San Diego ComicCon release: Chris (Elio) Eliopoulos' Okie Dokie Donuts; Ray Friesen's Pirate Penguin vs Ninja Chicken; Nate Powell's Any Empire; and Kagan McLeod's epic Infinite Kung Fu.
• Meanwhile, i got a wee little way into my pile of comics picked up at Stumptown. Here's some micro-reviews. As always, if you read about it here, it comes recommended. By them now and thank me later.
First, Little Otsu doesn't really have a prolific publishing schedule — in fact, much of their output are blank artist journals and such — but what they do put out is usually amazing. Case in point, volumes 2-4 of the Living Things series. (I already gave huge props to #1 a while back.)
These are all excellent, but my favorite of the three is titled Pheromones: A Chemical Conversation, by Jo Dery. As a budding naturalist myself, books like this that explore the natural world can't come out often enough.
Next up, What, Were You Raised by Wolves, by Vera Brosgol. This is a very affecting little tale, with a surreal and dark twist that reminds me of the twisted tales of Graham Annable. Vera's art and storytelling are simple, in the best way. Gorgeous.
From David Lasky (drawn, anyway) comes Soixante Neuf (that means "69" in French), written by Mairead Case. This is a terrific little flip-book about the May/December romance between Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin. ("She was 21, he 40. Jaws dropped. Eyes popped.") Lasky could draw the phone book, or the menu at a cheesy diner, and it'd be a gem. This is just good stuff all around. Released by Light in the Attic Records.
Finally, in the It's-About-Time column, Secret Acres has released the first collection of comics, I Will Bite You!, by the brilliant Joseph Lambert. I've raved about Joe's comics several times before, and here's where you can get most of his output to date in one volume.
• Catch you kids when i get back from Stockholm!!
April 24, 2011 / More →
We might have gotten the shaft on nominations this year... whatevs. But future Top Shelfer Shannon Wheeler got a nom for his book I Thought You Would be Funnier (from Boom!), in the category Best Humor Publication.
UPDATE! I've been informed that Shannon's name has been left off of the online ballot, so if you can, use that old-fashioned mail thingy and send in the paper one instead.
No surprise, but Stumptown was a blast. I just unpacked all the sweet loot i brought home, and will cover some of that later. Colleen Coover and Paul Tobin's Gingerbread Girl was a smash success, selling out of the 100 copies we brought along with us, and Jeffrey Brown had a constant line, waiting for a signature. We sold a boatload of his new Incredible Change-Bots Two. I do love this show. Next up for this bartender... Stockholm, Sweden, baby!!
• Speaking of Sweden, please check out the Kickstarter campaign for our pal Simon Gardenfors and the project titled Paco the Judo Popcorn: A Cartoon for Kids.
• I missed MoCCA this year, and i'm bummed to have missed out meeting the great Brecht Evens. Pascal Girard made this terrific cartoon diary talking about the force Brecht was on the proceedings, care of The Comics Journal.
April 14, 2011 / More →
Kids, there's gonna be a hot time in Portland this weekend! It's always a blast attending a convention in your own hometown. Heck, this is the only trade show where i show up with my son in tow!
And fresh of the FedEx truck, we've got 100 copies of Colleen Coover and Paul Tobin's terrific Gingerbread Girl! These won't arrive from the slow boat for at least another 4-6 weeks, so if you want to get a copy you'd better act fast fast fast!
Also, Jeffrey Brown will be here as well, with copies of the brand spankin' new Incredible Change-Bots Two in hand! Yee haw!
So y'all head on out and come say hi!
• Meanwhile, here's a Kickstarter campaign for one of my favorite up & coming animators working today, Nick Cross, and his forthcoming Black Sunrise. Check out the trailer, and kick in!
April 7, 2011 / More →
In the rearview mirror already: WonderCon, STAPLE, Emerald City, C2E2, and one or two more(?). This weekend, MoCCA. Next weekend, Stumptown. Then TCAF and SPX (Stockholm, Sweden). Yeesh...
April 11-13th, Nate Powell will be doing a series of presentations/ Q&A sessions in his hometown of Little Rock, AR in conjunction with the Arkansas Literary Festival and National Library Week. Check out Nate's blog for more info.
He's also doing set artwork and projected comic illustrations for the play The Outstanding Eight by Gabriel Cooper and Jonathan Wierenga, performed at Michigan State University's RCAH Theatre on April 28-30th.