Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Book Publishing is scared.

Shannon just sent me this awesomely scary article from Salon. I haven't read it all yet. It is interesting that panic is sort of affecting a lot of people. More later.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Reich is Killing It!

Elijah Brubaker's Reich made it onto the Forbidden Planet (the English one) blog, on Dan Goldman's best of the year! Wonderful news as Elijah is right now wrapping up work on #6.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Points to keep in mind, by Alex Toth.

Points to keep in mind.
As I try to do! (and often fail, I might add!)
By Alex Toth
  • Eliminate the Superfluous, the unnecessary. Be lazy!
  • Edit your art continuously, at every stage. Save work!
  • Focus on the remaining (important) picture elements.
  • Emphasize what is important in a scene. Save drawing!
  • Isolate such key elements (as one does in a view finder).
  • Closeups only when needed: face(s)-for mood and expression, and objects-small, difficult to distinguish in other ways.
  • To set a scene, a place, to establish a locale, etc., go to a wide shot, angles okay (down/up, etc.)-but again, simplify.
  • Then, cut to tighter shots-pace them, for interest, etc.... (wide/one shot/two shot/group/close-up/tight close-up).
  • Establish light source, if need be, for dramatic mood and for blacks, drop shadows, etc., on figures & objects and walls, as correctly placed as you can make 'em!
  • Eliminate such light/shadow work in other shots.
  • Simplify, simplify, simplify, throughout!
  • Remember, some scenes will and must be pedestrian, unimportant, and dull-because they are "bridges" between key storytelling scenes. As in any storytelling form, movies, TV, books, plays, music, opera painting, etc., you can't knock 'em dead with every shot. Remember, this is what gives pace to a story, visual commas and periods in a pictorial "paragraph" or "sentence"! These are the resting places in an otherwise moving storm! Use them! Without fear!
  • Some such "rests" or "pauses" can be heightened in pictorial interest by way of a pretty scene of quiet mood-if your locale allows! Don't stretch logic to do it!
  • By learning to eliminate unnecessary objects, figures, and backgrounds, etc., you cna focus on what is left to draw in the shot-and draw it well enough to "carry" the shot.
  • In other words: strip it all down to essentials and draw the hell out of what is left!
  • All of this advice is based on Roy Crane's critiques of my work-and he is absolutely correct, on all points!
  • In the Wash Tubbs and Captain Easy strips and in Buz Sawyer, with Sundays focused on pal Roscoe Sweeny, his work of fifty-odd years demonstrates its validity! In his work, as in no other of his contemporaries' offerings, you will find an extraordinary sense of balance, in his design of space within a panel frame, a strip, or a page! His simplicity allows us to see the use of shapes within his pictures, how they create tension, action or repose... clearly!
  • He avoided confusing details!
  • To quote something just read: "To add to the truth only subtracts from it!!! (Isn't that beautifully put?)
  • Authenticate devices, objects, machines, locales, furniture, buildings, etc. ... to lend credibility!
  • As Sickles put it: "Understand how a thing is built and you'll have no trouble drawing it through!"
  • Spend more time thinking-about what and what not to draw, and how-and you'll do less drawing!
  • Pre-plan, pre-think...Thus, save work and time!
  • But-whatever you do, do it well!
  • Tell the story as best you can! Bend to the storm!
  • Be honest to it. Give it all you've got! Enhance it!
  • Study films, photographs, paintings, etc. for composition! For cutting, cropping out of non-essentials, pacing, punch, economy, forceful and direct impact. But also for beauty and subtlety-tension, suspense, action, humor, light and dark, balance, line vs. mass, ad infinitum! Use it all!
  • Analyze everything you see-be critical! Positively so!
  • See-observe-remember! Build up your memory file!
  • Good Luck-
Best Alex

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Sequart, temporary new home

From Rob Clough:

This is a note to let everyone know that since the sequart.com website is down due to server issues, I decided to temporarily move my High-Low column to this url:


I apologize for any inconvenience. When sequart.com is back up and running, I'll move anything I post on this website back over there. I've already posted my first column, a review of Jeff Lemire's THE COUNTRY NURSE. I'll have a number of other columns up shortly.

Friday, December 12, 2008

All-woman autobio apocalypse!

Venus in Blue Jeans, Venus in Furs /All the Ancient Kings- Julia Gfrorer: These two I picked up because the covers looked gorgeous, and then I got home and opened them up and the insides were not as enchanting. Venus has a few pages that show off some cool looking sketchbook pages, crammed in between a lot of small panels where nothing really happens. All the Ancient Kings is a series of short comics starring Hunter S. Thompson and Bob Dylan and a whole bunch of musicians and counter-cultural celebrities interacting. They might be roommates? It's the more entertaining of the two.
Estrus Comics #6 : More Kiss & Tell Stories - MariNaomi: This is like getting drunk with your girlfriends and talking about your exes, the comic. I loved it. Brutally honest, perfectly concise, with blowjobs.

The Marty Chronicles - Liz Dunning & Teppei Ando: Basically a story about Liz's interactions with an awkward guy, Marty, centered around playing and watching college volleyball tournaments. Marty is somewhat awkward, and does odd things throughout the nearly 60 page story, but aside from being weird there's nothing hugely criminal happening. Teppei's art has this sketchy energy that carried the whole comic, though occaisionally it's hard to tell what's happening. The pacing could be better, and the dialogue can get a little tedious at times, but it's not a terrible effort.
In the tall grass #3 - Tessa Brunton: "Look, there's this girl I want you to meet, she's not the biggest looker in the bunch, but she is funny as hell! Great personality." Tessa's style is still getting there, but she seems to have found her voice. There's a bunch of short, funny strips that range from finding free stuff on the street to watching drunks on the BART, and two longer, more introspective/emotional pieces about dating and deaths at a water park. Add her blog to your rss or whatever, Tessa's got game.

Spaniel Rage- Vanessa Davis: Vanessa is totally the master of diary comics. She fits in more story in a panel than most people can do in a page, and she doesn't even use panels. You already know this is good.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Chris Cilla on Top Drawer

A must read interview with Chris Cilla on Top Drawer, by Luke P.
Chris is one of my favorite comic artists.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Chronic Comix Claptrap

Wow, the Claptrap is rolling along. There have been a couple great episodes. And a lot of interesting commentary. In spite of the fact that Thien Pham is now trying to get in my pants like Daniel Meade from Ugly Betty, I still think this show has a lot of teeth and also, is really thoughtful. I'm listening to the new one with John P. but I'd suggest going back and listening to Jim Rugg and Jeff Brown.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Golden Tissues Rules!

Hey, so I'm part of a GREAT show that is currently up at the Pony Club Gallery in Portland, OR. There are some amazing artists in the show including a lot of Sparkplug published ones and people we distribute. Please go take a look at the show, if you can.


Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Book Report!

Click on the picture to blow it up large...

Cooking Wine

So, in addition to MK and Nate's reviews we are going to start a new feature on the Sparkplug Blog: The Book Report.

Juliacks and Shannon O'Leary are going to hand-write up old fashioned style book reports on notable independent comic book releases. One will write the report and then the other will grade the report, writing notes and suggestions for improvement on it. They'll be sending these reports from coast to coast, in an effort to squash the East Coast/West Coast war going on in comics.

Shannon is the Sparkplug promtional Athena. She is a life long comics fan and California native, transplanted to the big city, New York. Shannon put together the anthology comic book Pet Noir for Manic D. Press and creates her own comics including the recent Crimes Against Shannon.

Juliacks is the creator of Swell, one of the best self-published comics of the past couple years. She makes comics, graphic novels, performance videos, installations and two-dimensional works of all kinds. She is also pretty amazing. Like Shannon, she left her side of the US and went to the other. She now lives in Los Angeles.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Mini Comics Reviews by Nate Doyle and MK Reed!

Our pals MK Reed and Nate Doyle have agreed to put their high falutin' comics know-how to the test and are going to start reviewing Sparkplug distributed mini comics on a fairly regular basis.

If you don't know anything about Nate or MK, then you should listen up right fucking now. Here's everything you need to know about them in semi propaganda format.

Nate is originally from a small, rural-farm town in Maine, Nate Doyle now resides and draws in Brooklyn, NY. He graduated from the School of Visual Arts in 2008 with a BFA in Cartooning, he has worked on numerous mini-comics, contributed to several anthologies and is the creator of comics/zine Crooked Teeth.

MK Reed is the creator of Cross Country, I Will Feast On Your Whore Heart, Pale Fire, and Catfight. Her comic "Americus," which appeared in Papercutter #7 was nominated for a 2oo8 Ignatz for "Outstanding Story," and she is one of the founders of the prestigious Nerdlinger Awards. She currently lives in Brooklyn, and like everyone else, is working on a graphic novel. Her comics can be found at mkreed.com

Hear their critique-errific blogging roar in the days to come!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

New Book by Floating World





30 years after the spectacular collapse of Pearl Comics, a celebration of the cause of that collapse - Jeff Lint's ‘THE CATERER’.

Described by Alan Moore as "the holy barnacle of failure", The Caterer dragged Pearl into a legal hell when its hero spent the whole of Issue 9 on a killing spree in Disneyland. The smirking Jack Marsden became a cult figure and role model for enigmatic idiots in the mid-70s. His style and
catchphrases were such an insider code that hundreds of people got beaten up by baffled or enraged onlookers.

Floating World Comics has teamed with Lint biographer, Steve Aylett to present a reprint of Issue 3: this stand-out issue includes the beginning of Marsden's goat obsession, a fierce appearance by the ghostly Hoston Pete, a great example of the Marsden 'stillness' and no less than four classic Marsden hallucinations. The leaning Chief Bayard's preoccupation with our hero results in the violent deaths of six people, and Jack delivers his infamous 'lipstick for dogs' diatribe.

This collaboration was made possible by local publisher, Eraserhead Press. Eraserhead editor Rose O’Keefe put me in contact with Steve Aylett (featured in their Bizarro Starter Kit), arguably one of the forerunners of the Bizarro style of weird fiction. Eraserhead will be at the show with many of their best authors who will be reading from their novels.


WHO: Eraserhead Press – Mykle Hansen, Carlton Mellick III, Jeremy Robert Johnson, Daniel Scott Buck, and more. Also bizarre visual art by: Cody Brant, Nicole Linde, Claudia Drake and Ranger.

WHAT: Bizarro book reading and Caterer release party!

WHEN: Thursday, Dec. 4th, 6-10PM

WHERE: Floating World Comics

20 NW 5th Ave #101

Portland, OR 97209


Show runs through Dec. 31st


Store hours: Everyday 11-7pm

Saturday, November 29, 2008

You can't tell me some things weren't better back then...

For more images from old Macy's Parades, go here.

Monday, November 24, 2008

three really great documentaries

So, I've been a bit crazy for the documentaries lately, three of them are particularly related to small publishing and independent books.

The first is Paperback Dreams, a movie about Cody's and Keppler's bookstores:

Then was this weird movie about the Gilman Street Project:

And lastly was McLibel, a movie about the lawsuit that put corporations on trial:

All of them basically make me feel like I need to a lot more work but also that there is hope.

Dan Clowes documentary

Okay, so I'm sure this is old but I'd never seen this Dan Clowes documentary done by some Dutch people. It is really good. Thanks to Jim for the link.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Comics Claptrip: The Sell-Out Episode

There is a brand new web-isode of Comics Claptrap up right now. This time the duo of our own modern day Lewis and Martin (Rina Ayuyang and Thien Pham) interview the ONE and ONLY JIM RUGG. I'm pretty excited and listening to it right now.
Lots of fun.

New Mats!? Print!!!

Check it out:
Cargo Cult Print

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

New Comic Book Day

I bought some comics today at Forbidden Planet (13th and Broadway, Manhattan). I also work there and all day, while working register, I kept hoping for someone to buy one of these (except jin and jam which i actually got at GRNY). It didnt happen. Wednesday at FP is mostly about ringing up justice league of america or what have you. Which...hey, I'm totally cool with. If there's one thing that mainstream comic fans have over art comics fans, it's dedication and excitement. All the Wolverine fans come out the day Wolvies book comes out. They love it! So, where where the king cat fans? Huh? Sittin at home. Waiting for the weekend. I'd like to see art comic fans come up to the register with the same total commitment to comics that your average teen titans "head" has.

King Cat #69
by John P

I really love the first story in this...about Misun checking out some "for rent" signs and John looking out the window. It reminds me of the story where John is in the car with Kera, and she goes out to get food. John is in the car with the cat. Kera comes back and gives John french fries. The panel goes something like "here, i bought you french fries." then there's a silent panel. Then another panel with the caption "she bought me french fries." That is one of my all time favorite King Cat stories.

I think about it all the time...a nice moment of John rendering someones kindness (at least that's what i always think of it in terms of). Anyway....this first story in king Cat #69 seems like it's got legs for my memory in the same way that story did.

Jin and jam #1 by hellen jo

WHOA. This comic is soooooo cool. I can't get over it. I remember reading some early Hellen Jo comics and thinking (hoping?) "if I ever meet this girl, she will try to beat me up." Of course when you meet Hellen, she is the nicest girl in the world, which makes her tougher than tough comics all the more amazing. The drawing in this is just so cool. I wish i could draw like Hellen...it looks like so much fun. If there is any justice in the world, this will be the most popular comic around, STAT.

The Lagoon by Lilli Carre

I've been waiting for this comic to come out for a while. The Thing about Madeline and Dorado Park are two of my favorite mini comic of the last....well, two of my favorite minis ever. Carre is, to me, an incredible writer. Madeline was like a perfect little short story where everything clicked and you were kinda bowled over by the economy and precision of the project. Lagoon is really different, and (as an artist) very inspiring. It's fascinating to see Carre's line loosen up. There are even some drawing in here that are rather crude (crude by Lilli Carre standards that is)---and I love those drawings. I don't know if it was a choice to have meticulous drawings next to looser ones...but it's really potent and good when you look at the book. It's one of those things where comics are "intimate" in the way everyone says they are but cant articulate why. You can see the human hand in how this was built and the skill all at once.

What is most interesting to me, after reading it once, is how different the book feels from page to page (or within the same page sometimes). Madeline and Dorado had one dominant emotion throughout. Lagoon is almost light at times...and then, within the same page you'll feel totally different emotional pulls. But like Madeline and Dorado its got this total sense of authority to it. I trust this book.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Independent Online Booksales

I know that most indy booksellers online are still probably buying their stock from distros and not directly but I'm really interested in finding ones to work with and shop at.
Two that I found last month that really interest me are:
Brookline Booksmith
Haymarket Books
I'm making a point of avoiding Amazon or trying to work with individual sellers on there. Of course the Microcosm store is amazing too:
I think the big problem is that by its very nature Amazon meets the needs of most of us at a cheaper cost. But the damage it does is at least comparable to that of Border's and Barnes and Noble in the early 90s. And so, I think going with smaller specialty sellers is the road of the future for Sparkplug.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Know Comics at Top Drawer

Luke P. has started a great new blog with interviews with Scott Teplin and John Hankiewicz so far. A good solid format of asking a standard set of questions. It is surprising how this format leads to such good results:

The values of art.

I've been slack in posting with too many shows in the past couple months but I'm gonna be boring the shit out of you all really soon. In the meantime, here is an amazing article on the value of ideas, creativity and the art object.
Damien Jay sent me the link and introduced me to Lewis Hyde, two of the best parts from the article are:

"Gift economies, as Mauss defines them, are marked by circulation and connectivity: goods have value only insofar as they are treated as gifts, and gifts can remain gifts only if they are continually given away. This results in a kind of engine of community cohesion, in which objects create social, psychological, emotional and spiritual bonds as they pass from hand
to hand


"Unlike a commodity, whose value begins to decline the moment it changes hands, an artwork gains in value from the act of being circulated-published, shown, written about, passed from generation to generation - from being, at its core, an offering."

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

A.P.E. 2008 movie

i made a video at A.P.E. this weekend.

i miss all of you already.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I.W.D.Y. at APE with Sparkplug...

I Will Destroy You will be heading up to San Francisco for the APE comic festival this weekend.

I'll be joining my friends at the Sparkplug Comic Books table.

This will be the first time I've had The Blot at APE.
I'll also have The Melvins Comic Book "Your Disease Spread Quick," and "Brilliantly Ham-fisted" and a few other things.

EXCLUSIVE and NEW: The Obama vs McCain poster above will be a giveaway at the APE comic festival this weekend. Don't forget to VOTE!

Also- I have a few pieces in the PANELISTS IV show at Giant Robot San Francisco.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Danny Dutch! Check it out!

New Books and New Shows

Sparkplug Comic Books is premiering three new books at this weekend's Alternative Press Expo in San Francisco, CA.

The Airy Tales by Olga Volozova - A collection of ethereal and beautifully illustrated fictions.
Jin & Jam #1 by Hellen Jo - The first part of an on-going series drawn and written like a brick wrapped in a velvet pillowcase.
Danny Dutch by David King - Would-be webcomics that are too papery for the internet.

All of the new books and more are up for sale at the website. There are also much better descriptions (blame me for those silly summations). Orders will go out next week.

Sparkplug Comic Books with be tabling at the Alternative Press Expo on Saturday and Sunday, November 1st & 2nd with Teenage Dinosaur, Juliacks and Jesse Reklaw. We'll be right next to Tugboat Press. Our booths are number 360-362. Please come by, we'll have an amazing selection of minis and small publisher books including the fifth issue of Elijah Brubaker's Reich, Theo Ellsworth's new Capacity book and a new Steve Ditko comic.

ALSO, the next weekend Sparkplug will be set up as part of the Comics Garden at the Wordstock Book Fair in Portland, Oregon. Saturday, November 8th & Sunday, November 9th 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM. It is held at the Portland Convention Center. For more information, check out their website:

Saturday night in San Francisco:

Hellen Jo, Olga Volozova, David King and Trevor Alixopulos will all be involved at the amazing reading on Saturday November 1st at the Cartoon Art Museum in SF. Keith Knight, Jesse Reklaw and Julia Wertz will all be reading too. Basically you have to be there. It starts at 8pm and goes till 11. More info on the C.A.M. is available at their website:

ALSO that same night is the grand opening for the Panelists show at Giant Robot San Francisco. Sparkplug sweathearts Trevor Alixopulos, Shawn Cheng, Hellen Jo, David King, Mats!?, Tom Neely, Kazimir Strzepek, Vanessa Davis, Theo Ellsworth, Renee French, Lark Pien, Jesse Reklaw and about a million more artists are going to be showing. The Panelists opening runs from 6:30 to 10 pm so you could go there and then over to the CAM reading. It'll be great.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Steve Albini on business

I'd seen this a long time ago but man, is it amazing to hear now:

The documentary that is from was great.

This one has more stuff that makes sense with comics:

And I can't believe I never saw this piece he wrote called the problem with music.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Trevor Alixopulos on the Comix Claptrap

This week Rina and her buddy (who now reminds me of Henry Rollins) have put up yet another AMAZING webisode (sorry). Trevor Alixopulos is his usual, disarming self. Take a listen here:

Sunday, October 19, 2008

New blog by me

Hey, I started a new blog of cartoonist interviews. Check it out over here:


Monday, October 13, 2008

Comix Claptrap interview with Renee French.

Renee French has been interviewed on my new favorite comics blog: Comix Claptrap
The role of Alger Hiss is played by Thien Pham and the role of most awesome interviewer ever is played by Rina Ayuyang. Also, Josh Frankel gives good solid reviews of the new books out, or at least some good history on them, since he can't read them all that quickly. Renee is hilarious.

Dunja Jankovic's Department of Art

When I was first handed this book from Sparkplug's Distro to review, I was so frazzled from SPX that I didn't know what to make of it. At the time I couldn't even decipher the title and the red demonic face screen printed on the cover intimidated me even further from opening this - what I was soon to discover- amazing book.

Department of Art is all over the place, the comic maintains a very gloomy aesthetic, as the story deals with the chronic frustrations of sustaining focus around a group of procrastinating peers. Dunja's energetic line work gives her bleak characters an animated feeling that's always on beat gives the comic an impecible sense of timing and loss thereof. The strongest quality in this story is the use of time, how it bears down on the main character and also how one can get lost in trivial games of self encouragement that only further one's procrastination.

Dunja's use of mixed media (most of this is pen and ink, collage, pastel and even some paintings) enhances her comic's Kafka-esque impression yet it adds humor to the protagonist's constant attempt to maintain a Positive Mental Attitude throughout the drudging monotony of the 9-5 routine.

There's some very interesting influences/similarities in the art that I enjoyed seeing, those who also enjoy Blutch, Baudoin, Fly or Taiyu Matsumoto would really appreciatte what Dunja has going on. Much like the aforementioned artists there's such an elegant quality to the chaos she's managed to somehow harness in an incredible piece of work that hopefully will continue and blow more people out of the water, as it should.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Alixopulos at Quimby's Saturday Night - 10/11!


October 11, 2008, 7 – 9:00 PM
Quimby’s Comics
1854 W. North Ave.
Chicago, IL 60622

Come celebrate the release of Trevor Alixopulos’ 2008 Ignatz Award nominated graphic novel, The Hot Breath of War by Sparkplug Comic Books, with some of Chicago’s finest emerging cartoonists. Join Trevor’s friends and fellow 2008 Ignatz Award winners and nominees Laura Park, Lilli Carre and Jeremy Onsmith for a signing to celebrate the release the Hot Breath of War.

The Hot Breath of War explores love amidst conflict and the seduction of violence itself. Trevor lives and draws in Santa Rosa and is also the author of Mine Tonight (also by Sparkplug Comic Books).

"a genuine joy to read."

-Rob Clough, Sequart.com on Alixopulos’ Graphic Novel Mine Tonight (also by Sparkplug Comic Books)

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Hot Breath of War Review

The Hot Breath of War by Trevor ALixopulos just got a great 5 star write up on Comic Critique. Take a look: http://www.comiccritique.com/columns/gcolSt514.html
(also they don't like hotlinking)

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Happy Accident Soiree at Desert Island!

Yah mo' be there.

My Favorite Momentos of SPX

SPX was super fun this year! In addition to having the privelege to lose Ignatzes to so many talented publishers and creators, Sparkplug had, what I am fairly certain was a collective blast. While I had an all around tremendous time, what follows are my five favorite moments:

1) Wiping poop off my step cat's butt the morning after Gabby Schultz, Jesse Reklaw, Sean Ford, and me drank an entire bottle of whiskey. This moment, while not really an official part of SPX programming, was nonetheless imortalized by Jesse in his tour diary:
2) Reading the "normal lady" part from Gabby's rad rad rad excerpt from Welcome to the Dahl House at the Atomic Books SPX-plosion party. Jesse read the boy part

3) Driving to SPX on Saturday with Kim and Ben (embedded video to follow as soon as Ben stops playing Wii or gets off the google and sends it to me).

4) Running into Brett Warnock at the post Ignatz ceremony fondue and cocktail hour and meeting Swedish cartoonist and rapper dudes extraordinaire, Simon Gardenfors and Johannes Klenell. They are so cool! They know my friend Christian Pallin who is pretty much the King of all of Sweden (although I can find no evidence of it on the interwebs) and who is not related to Sarah Palin in any way shape or form.

Look! Here's Simon rapping!

Check it out! Here's Simon's Wikipedia entry!

Top Shelf is putting out a book of Simon's comics which I think is going to be AWESOME. You can read about Simon and some of his fellow Swedish cartoonists' work in this write up on Comic Book Bin of "From the Shadow of the Northern Lights", an excellent Swedish comics anthology that Johannes edited and published through his Swedish based publishing house, Galago, that I believe Top Shelf is distro-ing:

5) Spending quality time with Theo Ellsworth on the ride back to Queens with Secret Acres. Theo is a really nice fellow. He politely listened to me blather on endlessly about all of my insights about how everything that is wrong with America today can be gleaned from a single viewing of I wanna work for Diddy.
Additionally, peeps of Portland should be on the lookout for for Theo's new catch-phrase (stolen from P. Diddy) which I believe I thoroughly convinced him to adopt and to employ under any and all circumstances:
"Yo that's whack. I roll with God all the way, y'all."
Theo may have just been being polite but I think he might also start saying it all the time too. I can't be sure though due to my East Coast location, so people of Portland keep me informed as to whether or not the aforementioned catch-phrase enters Theo's lexicon, n'kay? Thx.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Clamix Cloptrip

Rina Ayuyang and Bill O'Reilly have started a comics blog. It is pretty funny and they interview Vanessa Davis and Josh Frankel. It is worth a listen:
The role of Bill O'Reilly is played by Thien Pham

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Loads of new distributed comics at SPX!

SO Many new books at SPX!
Spaniel Rage 2008 by Vanessa Davis
Department of Art (Ignatz Nominated) by Dunja Jankovic
Sweetheart #3 by Austin English
Eschew #1 by Robert Sergel
Stumblers #1 by Jeff LeVine
Tranquil Time by Onsmith and John Hankiewicz
Fine Tooth by Onsmith and John Hankiewicz
Tranny by Steve Lafler
Water Flies by Renee French
The Natural World by Damien Jay
I Am Often Mistaken For Miles Davis by Sarah Louise Wahrhaftig
Plus On Sait by Julia Gfroerer
All the Acient Kings by Julia Gfroerer
Real Madness #2 by Bobby Madness
The Marty Chronicles by Liz Dunning and Teppei Ando
Manhole #3 by Sacha Mardou
I Cut My Hair by Lisa Eisenberg
Estrus #6 by Mari Niaomi
Avenging Mind by Steve Ditko
Cryptic Wit #2 by Gerald Jablonski
Laterborn #6 by Jason Martin

And lots lots more. Seriously. But no Tim Goodyear, sorry.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Elijah on video

Maybe Dylan can give me some pointers on posting youtube stuff on this blog. Every time I try I fail. I was interviewed after a reading I did at the Portland public Library.
(okay, the video is up. Thanks Dylan)

Sparkplug at SPX this weekend!

This weekend we will be premiering Reich #5 by Elijah Brubaker at the upcoming Small Press Expo in Bethesda, Maryland. Also, copies are now available to buy online, but may not go out till after SPX. You can order them at the sparkplug website.

The night before SPX, we'll be co-sponsoring the SPX-plosion event at Atomic Books, a free event on Friday, October 3, 7PM - 10PM. Atomic's address is: 3620 Falls Rd in Baltimore, Maryland. Man-about-town Austin English will be reading at the event.

We will have tables at the Small Press Expo, as usual. It is this weekend, Saturday & Sunday October 4th & 5th. We'll probably have too many comics for the tables. Lots of new minis and books and new T-shirts as well. Sparkplug artists and friends will be on a number of panels. I'll be on a panel on small-press publishing on Sunday at 12:30pm with Randy Chang (Bodega Distribution), Alvin Buenaventura (Buenaventura Press) and Leon Avelino (Secret Acres), moderated by Rob Clough.

At the Sparkplug booth:
Dylan Williams: 11am-2pm 5pm-7pm
Shannon O'Leary: 2pm-6pm
Austin English: 1pm-3pm, 5pm-7pm
Jonas Madden-Connor 12pm-2pm 5pm-7pm
Trevor Alixopulos: 1pm-3pm
Chris Wright 3pm-4pm

Sunday Open 12-6pm

Dylan Williams 2pm-6pm (panel from 12:30-1:30)
Austin 1pm-4pm (panel from 4:30-5:30)
Shannon O'Leary 12pm-3pm
Jonas Madden-Connor 12pm-3pm
Trevor Alixopulos: 1pm-3pm
Chris Wright 3pm-4pm

The Ignatz awards recognizing outstanding achievement in comics and cartooning will be presented during SPX.
Sparkplug is up for six Ignatzs in total:
Inkweed – Chris Wright – Best Anthology or Collection
Windy Corner – Austin English - Best Anthology or Collection

Hot Breath of War – Trevor Alixopulos – Outstanding Graphic Novel
The Urn – Chris Wright, Inkweed – Outstanding Story
Austin English – Windy Corner #2 – Promising New Talent

Reich – Elijah Brubaker – Outstanding Series

Thursday, September 25, 2008

shutting down comics

So, I just heard that Minx isn't going to be publishing and as of last month neither is Virgin comics. There seems to be a lot of this going around in mid-level new-mainstream books. It is really interesting to me. Since these days arty and personal comics seems to be selling better than ever. I'm trying not to be smarmy since I know people who depend on these sort of things but it is important to note that doing things just because "that is what is selling" or "that is what people want" doesn't guarantee any kind of business success. So, why not just do comics that we like doing. It is funny because the Minx story on Comics Reporter ends with this thing about how it was an imprint run by real people and that speculation about what could have been done doesn't do anyone any good. As if learning from mistakes weren't important and what Minx represented to the rest of us wasn't important. Well, there you go.

Anyway have any take on this? I haven't read around on it yet.

Jesse Reklaw tour diary begins!

Jesse Reklaw's new project is a tour diary has started. Jesse's auto bio skills are on full display. Great reading and great drawing. Take a look and bookmark!

Hellen Jo and Jin & Jam #1 in San Francisco

This weekend Hellen Jo will be the featured artist at the
Apature Comics and Zine Expo in San Francisco.
KSW's space180 Gallery, 12noon - 5pm
180 Capp Street @ 17th Street, 3rd floor

She will have a preview copy of her new Sparkplug book Jin & Jam #1 with her, so go by and take a look.

Hellen's website: http://helllllen.org/

Dunja Jankovic!

Dunja just got nominated for an Ignatz for outstanding comic! Sparkplug is a big fan of her stuff. We'll be carrying her books at SPX. AND she has work going up next week at a local Portland comic store Floating World as part of On the Margins: New Comix From Croatia and Serbia.
Well worth coming to Portland for.

Dunja's website is: