Saturday, July 31, 2010

You Don't Get There From Here

I've spent most of my first month at Sparkplug scanning and creating pages for Carrie McNinch's wonderful autobio comic/zine You Don't Get There From Here. It hasn't been easy; being prone to depression myself, Carrie's work reminds me what a struggle it has been and is. With deceptively simple art, she has managed to capture the trials and tribulations of every day of her life for years and not be repetitive. I highly recommend this zine (and her book, I Want Everything to be Okay); it's been a genuine pleasure getting to work with them.

You Don't Get There From Here # 1 - 15 and I Want Everything to be Okay are now available in the Sparkplug store.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Death by Shooting

 Comic Con is Dead, Long Live Comic Con
Photo by David King

Callahan died this week.

A bit of sad news:  John Callahan dead at 59

Whirlwind Wonderland in Giant Robot!

Rina Ayuyang's Whirlwind Wonderland got a great review in the new Giant Robot (#66). Here it is:

  • Whirlwind Wonderland
    This compilation of work by Rina Ayuyang is a testament to the fact that honestand transparent storytelling about one’s own life can be as dramatic and grippingas anything about a celebrity or world leader. Collecting samples from hermini-comics published from 2001 to 2009, Whirlwind Wonderland features topicsthat include awkward family gatherings, an outing to the Philippines, life in SanFrancisco’s Bay Area, the Murder She Wrote TV show, and telephone conversationswith her dad. Her style evolves over the years and reflects the shifting settingsand periods of her life. The refinement of her more recent comics is evident,and will leave you in anticipation of her next title–hopefully a full-length graphicnovel. [Sparkplug]

Windy Corner #2 reviewed at Poopsheet!

At the Poopsheet site Matt Reints has done a really thorough review of Austin English's Windy Corner #2. Loads of info!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Brian Allen McCall at TCJ

This is a great blog post about a comic artist that has done some great and rarely seen work, Brian Allen McCall. A giant thank you to Marc Sobel for doing this piece.

Flesh and Bone on the Comics Reporter

Julia Gfrörer's Flesh and Bone is written about with an unusual level of consideration by Tom Spurgeon at the Comics Reporter.  Check it out:

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Bike-In Movie Night this Saturday!


Bike-In Movie Night

Bike-lovers, movie buffs, and zinesters! You're invited to the PZS Bike-In Movie Fundraiser presented by the Stumptown Underground and WTFBikes...
Who: The Portland Zine Symposium, Stumptown Underground and WTFBikes
What: Pee-Wee's Big Adventure, Bike-In Movie Night
Where: WTFBikes Lot, SE 11th & Clay
Why: To support PZS!
When: July 31st at dusk

Zines are awesome and July is International Zine Month! Help us celebrate International Zine Month and support the 10th Annual Portland Zine Symposium while enjoying this classic movie about one man's love for his bike... To keep with the bikey theme, issues of "Pedal Power," Stumptown Underground's 11th issue centralized around bikes and other self-propelled transportation will be on sell.

To help support PZS, we'll be asking a $1-5 donation, but no one will be turned away due to lack of funds.

"Pedal Power" will be featuring work from many fantastic and ziney people, including James Michael Williams, Amelia Opie, Ben Bush, John Isaacson, and Amelia J. The new issue will be making it's debut at PZS Bike-In Movie Night and be available for $5.There will also be foodcarts with food for purchase and a PZS raffle, so bringing cash if you got it is definitely a good idea!

Are you a local business? The PZS Bike.-In Movie is just another outreach event brought to the community by PZS that you can help out with. If you're interested in any way to PZS, we greatly appreciate it! WTFBikes has donated the lot to host the movie and we'll be raffling off a couple prized that have already been donated to PZS, found here: Donate to us and you could be added to our list!

Virginia Paine comics reviewed on Hello Amber!

Virginia's comics just got a great write up on Hello Amber! A really cool blog with tons of great info. And the write up is equally cool. Virgina is also equally cool and Warehouse on Poplar is one of my favorite comics this year:

"The Warehouse On Poplar
This a an illustrated zine by the author of Milkyboots (which I reviewed a couple of entires back). While this is still something of a diary comic zine, it's much different from her series. For one thing, the illustrations are much more neat and consistent - the style reminds me of Morgenmuffel, though the content is entirely different. It contains some short conversations with friends, but is mostly about an abandoned warehouse where her loved ones would meet for adventures, picnics and probably longer conversations. It's a very "quiet" comic, in that many of the panels feature people walking, biking, or sitting wordlessly, but it is so fantastically executed that I can actually hear things like the opening of an old door, and the rushing of a waterfall. The whole thing is really quite lovely. And the warehouse kinda reminded me of the Old Mill in my hometown."

for more of the reviews:
and for more of Virginia's comix:

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Booth #1630 at SDCC 2010

Sparkplug Comic Books / Partyka / i will destroy you
Come see us for Comic Book!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Lemon Styles and the Heavy Hand Premiere at San Diego Comic-Con

Sparkplug Comic Books is headed to the San Diego Comic-Con July 21st-25th with two new books:
Lemon Styles by David King
The Heavy Hand by Chris Cilla
Both are for sale on the Sparkplug on-line bookstore.
We'll be bringing them and hundreds of other new and old comics to San Diego for our typical flea market style approach. Sparkplug will be carrying tons of of great self-published comix and zines including work by Noah Van Sciver, Benjamin Marra, Carrie McNinch, Steve Ditko, Aron Steinke, Jason T. Miles, Annie Murphy, Katie Skelly, Matthew Thurber and hundreds more. We'll even have some old comics.
Our booth number is 1630, right next to Drawn and Quarterly and Last Gasp. We are sharing it with Tom Neely, Shawn Cheng, Levon Jihanian, Landry Walker and Eric Jones as well as more people!
Chris Cilla will be at the Sparkplug booth on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday 2-6pm. David King will be at the booth Thursday through Sunday 10am-2pm. We also have Shannon O'Leary and Tim Goodyear there.
Also of note: Virginia Paine has joined Sparkplug and is doing a ton of work. Her comics are pretty great, check them out. She'll be watching the place while I'm down in San Diego.
In addition July/August/Sept is time for tons of comics related events for Sparkplug:
July 31st-August 1st: Drawing Comics Like Yourself Workshop at the IPRC in Portland
July 31st: Bike-In Movies at WTF Bikes in Portland
August 3rd: Comics Movie Night at Floating World in Portland
August 21st: Minneapolis Indie Xpo in Minnesota
August 28th-29th: Portland Zine Symposium in Oregon
September 4th-5th: San Francisco Zine Fest in California
Please come by, say "hi" and ask me if you have any questions

Eschew #2 reviewed by Rob Clough at Poopsheet

The one and only Rob Clough reviews Robert Sergel's Sparkplug book Eschew #2. Long and thoughtful, as always:

"Sergel's comics are all about panel-to-panel rhythm and the use of still, static imagery to create an emotional charge."

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Rina Ayuyang at Giant Robot San Francisco tomorrow!

Rina Ayuyang at Giant Robot SF Saturday, July 17
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
GRSF 618 Shrader Street San Francisco, CA 94117

Giant Robot is proud to host a reception and book signing with comic book artist Rina Ayuyang to celebrate the release of her debut graphic novel, Whirlwind Wonderland, published by Sparkplug Comic Books and Tugboat Press.

Whirlwind Wonderland follows the life-altering exploits of a somewhat-normal Filipino American girl as she meanders through sleepy suburban sprawls, empty diners, fantasy-filled commuter traffic jams, misplaced football fanaticism, ethnic identity crash courses, and just good ole family hi-jinx. The book showcases new stories and old favorites written and drawn by Rina Ayuyang, cartoonist and creator of "Namby Pamby," a mini-comic series that explores the humorous side of life's ordinary moments.

"This compilation of work by Rina Ayuyang is a testament to the fact that honest and transparent storytelling about one’s own life can be as dramatic and gripping as anything about a celebrity or world leader." - Giant Robot 

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

24 Hour Zine Challenge!

I'll be out of town for the 24 Hour Zine Challenge at the IPRC next weekend July 24th at 10:00am until July 25th at 10:00am. The Portland Zine Symposium has organized the event and we've put up more info here:
and here

It was totally fun last year and can include drawing as well as writing so I'd highly suggest giving it a try. If you can't make it but would like to be involved you can sponsor one of the participants or donate supplies. For more info on that write and please forward this if you know anyone who'd be into it.

Olga Volozova interview on Molossus

A really revealing interview with Olga Volozova about Rock That Never Sleeps and her work in general. Take a look:

Monday, July 12, 2010

C.C. Beck in person.

"I have never, to the best of my recollection, longed for the good old days of my childhood or youth. They weren't that good, and neither were the years of the Golden Age of Comic Books. That period-the late '30s and early '40s-may seem gloriously simple and primitive to people today, but it wasn't. The world was just as complicated and irrational and frightening then as it is today-or more so-which is why we writers and artists at Fawcett created a world of the imagination in which our comic characters lived and did things that we ourselves could not do."

I'm going to indulge my love of C.C. Beck and link to a few good pieces:
Here is some stuff I gave to Kevin about a decade ago:

There should be a lot more of his writing on the internet, since he wrote constantly about comics for something like 20 years.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Yumi Sukagawa rules!
I met Yumi through my friends Alex and Anne of Eyball Burp. Her art is amazing. Her comic is wonderful. She is really cool. We'll be selling them through the distro ASAP.

Dope Flounder reviewed by Rob Clough!

"All told, DOPE FLOUNDER managed to hold together remarkably well as a coherent reading experience despite its disparate parts..."
Do you like stories about feeling good? Stories about feeling lousy? How about drawings of train cars and fishing boats? These subjects and more are included in Lemon Styles by David King. Out at San Diego Comic Con!

Friday, July 09, 2010


"'Whirlwind Wonderland' is, among other things, a meditation on the mysteries of memory. It's not clear why certain small moments stick with us, and others don't."

A great write up and talk with Rina at the Pittsburgh paper:

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Diary Comix united at the Reading Frenzy tomorrow!

A multimedia diary comic extravaganza featuring Melinda Tracy Boyce, Clutch, Virginia Paine and of course, Jesse Reklaw!

Ten Thousand Things To Do by Jesse Reklaw: This daily diary comic candidly details the cartoonist's lifestyle of inking, drinking, and anxious thinking. Like a mashup of Jim Davis and Franz Kafka, these dense yet economical strips document frustration, chronic pain, and all the filthy jokes that Reklaw's cartoon pals make. Plus there's cute kitty cats and gags about lasagna. OK, just kidding about the lasagna. Check out more of Jesse's work here.

Clutch #19 -- The Lost Years by Clutch McBastard: For over five years, Clutch McBastard kept a daily diary comic about his life, his adventures, his job, and the funny things his friends would say. Now, for the first time, Clutch opens up his vault of unpublished comics and seldom seen rarities from his annual split zine with Nicole Georges of Invincible Summer zine for this giant 320-page book to complete the last full sized issue of this cult favorite. Clutch and other fine comics are published by Tugboat Press.

Milky Boots #10 by Virginia Paine: Virginia Paine has been drawing the diary comic Milkyboots for two years.  The latest issue recounts her trips to Wisconsin and England, winter blahs, job problems and everything in between. There are also cute kitty cats. Check out her blog here.

Melinda Tracy Boyce is an aspiring graphic novelist and is currently trying to get her daily diary comics published. She lives in Portland with her boyfriend Aaron Whitaker and loves Slurpees with a passion. You can read some of her comics here.
This event is free and so is the beer.

Monday, July 05, 2010

The Orgonomist

a review and a short interview at the orgonomist blog.

Friday, July 02, 2010

IPRC Comix Program presents Drawing Comics Like Yourself!

July 31, 2010 from August 1, 2010 for about 7 hours each day

 I'll be involved with this truly cool workshop. If you live in Portland (or not) I'd highly recommend finding out more. We are planning to make it rewarding! 

Drawing Comics Like Yourself!
"This explorative, project based weekend workshop, is about discovering and unlocking your own personal approach to comics storytelling. A group of local cartoonists and self publishers will be there to help and encourage, including Sean Christensen, Theo Ellsworth, Amy Kuttab, Dylan Williams, and Julia Gfrörer. We’ll be loosening up, developing characters, exploring settings, Finding stories, and printing our work into mini comics form. Bring a pencil, eraser, pen, snacks, a rock, and an open mind."

email for more details.

the Oddly Compelling Art of Denis Kitchen

I wouldn't normally promote a book by a fancy pants comics publisher like Dark Horse on here but I want to say that they just put out and brilliant book. I've been a life long fan of Denis Kitchen and it just grows. I figured everyone else just sort of lumped his art in with the rest of the sea of underground comics. But I couldn't have been more wrong. Everyone involved with The Oddly Compelling Art of Denis Kitchen gets a giant thumbs up and should be given their own Eisner award or whatever award they want. This book is an archival documentation of Kitchen's art published by Mike Richardson, Designed by John Lind and with a great Essay by Charles Brownstein. It has a ton of information and art provided by Kitchen himself and an intro by Neil Gaiman. I have a feeling Lind and fellow editor Diana Schutz made this happen with Brownstein,  but whoever did: this shit is genius. Kitchen's life story is amazing (and salacious), his art some of my favorite ever, and his publishing is totally inspiring to me. Please, if you see this book at your local comic store check it out. It is so worth it ($25 on Amazon). And thank anyone involved with such a great book.
For more info on him, check out this site
or this interview:

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Chris Cilla's Heavy Hand

 "There's been a lot of talk in recent years about comics-- what they are, what they aren't: "literary", "Art", etc etc. That's all fine, but sometimes we get books like "The Heavy Hand" by cartoonists like Chris Cilla, and all of that talk is rendered moot--  this book is a ridiculously potent distillation of Cilla's singular comic book worldview: strange, dark, thick, big-nosed, slightly nightmarish and totally immersive-- this is PURE COMICS, the real deal. I've long suspected that Chris Cilla is one of the best cartoonists around, and now the proof is here, for all to see. I know I will not read a better comic this year (and maybe not this decade). "The Heavy Hand" is a fucking triumph." - Zak Sally

coming this month (fingers crossed)