Thursday, December 30, 2010

Top 10, 2010

Dylan asked me to make a top ten list of comics for the year. I'm not an expert or anything, and have mostly been too broke to buy books, but these are my favorite things I've read in 2010. Not all are strictly comics - some are zines that include comics. Also they aren't in any order!

-Flesh and Bone, by Julia Gfrorer (Sparkplug). This one is kind of a duh, it's gotten tons of good reviews. Beautiful and disturbing.

-Make Me a Woman, by Vanessa Davis (Drawn and Quarterly). Vanessa is so talented. That is all.

-Calico Jack, by Patrick Devine (self-published). A pirate-y space opera from a friend of mine. Very entertaining.

-The Fifth Quadrant, by various (self-published). A collaborative art zine that includes work by a former student of mine, so you know I'm a little biased. Really great art.

-The Accidental Cat Lady, by Breanne Boland (self-published). I'm a sucker for cat-related things. This one is equal parts writing and comics, and totally hilarious. I love her drawing style as well.

-Dangerous Aromas, by the Soft Sciences (self-published). A coffee-themed adventure story!

-everything Nicole Georges put out this year. She was super-productive. I love all her work.

-The Month in Comics, by Geminica (self-published). My favorite diary comics I read this year. I wish she did them all the time.

-Batcave Beach Chapter One, by Aron Whitaker and Melinda Tracy Boyce (self-published). Melinda and Aron are so awesome. The art in this is breathtaking. I'm looking forward to the next chapter!

-I Cut My Hair #3, by Lisa Rosalie Eisenberg (self-published). This one's about the author's trip to China. I love Lisa's clean, crisp style.

Non-comics zines that I liked this year:
Take a Picture, It Lasts Longer, by Annmarie O'Malley
Various issues of Culture Slut, by Amber Forrester
Railroad Semantics, by Aaron Dactyl

That's all I can think of right now!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Julia Gfrörer's Flesh and Bone reviewed at Poopsheet!

Justin Giampaoli reviews Julia Gfrörer's Flesh and Bone at Poopsheet. Insightful as always! 

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Heavy Hand and Lemon Styles make best of 2010 list.

Justin Giampaoli has created a pretty awesome best of 2010 list (including work by Patrick Keck whom I like a lot). Heavy Hand by Chris Cilla and Lemon Styles by David King both got flattering praise as well as Sparkplug in general.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Philip Barrett's Matter Summer Special on 365 Zines a year.

One of my favorite blogs just reviewed Philip Barrett's Matter Summer Special. 365 Zines a Year is a really cool combination of review and personal blog. Take a look:

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Hellen Jo in Bust Magazine this month!

Hellen Jo just got a bunch of love from Bust Magazine:

Make sure to read about the amazingness.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Flesh and Bone on Village Voice's 2010's Best Comics and Graphic Novels

Julia Gfrorer's Flesh and Bone made Village Voice's 2010's Best Comics and Graphic Novels. It is pretty awesome.

The Heavy Hand at BookGasm

A really great, thought out review of Chris Cilla's the Heavy Hand, reviewed by Alan Cranis at Bookgasm:

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Short Time Work

We are updating this site over the next couple days so please pardon any problems. They'll soon be fixed, and (we hope) everything will be for the best.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Andrice Arp and Allie Tiedeman at Artisan Holiday Market this Saturday

Andrice Arp will be selling my little magnet guys, prints, wallets, paintings, catnip toys etc. at the Art Department's Artisan Holiday Market this weekend, again sharing a table with Allie Tiedeman. Allie has handmade cold-process soap, hand-crocheted washcloths and perfume solids.

Presents for Procrastinators

Art Department Artisan Holiday Market
Saturday December 18
11 am - 5 pm

1315 SE 9th Ave • Portland, OR
(between SE Main and SE Madison)

Robert Sergel's Eschews reviewed at Daily Cross Hatch

Sara Morean gives a long good review to Robert Sergel's series Eschew at the The Daily Cross Hatch:

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Inkstuds Crashes Into Chris Cilla

The ever informative Inkstuds brings you an interview with the one and only Chris Cilla, creator of The Heavy Hand.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

So amazing.

I'm really looking forward to this movie.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

This Saturday Sparkplug in Portland at Indie Lit Roadshow!

This Saturday Dec. 11th in Portland Virginia and Emily will be coordinating the Sparkplug table and selling books at the Indie Lit Roadshow

REDEFINE magazine and PILOT BOOKS are teaming up to bring you an afternoon of literary readings, music, and a pop-up book shop just in time for the holidays. Come hang out in the mall — yes, the mall — for an afternoon celebrating independent press, literature, music, and a lot of anti-stereotypically-”mall” ideals. Saturday, December 11th, 2010
2:00pm – 6:00pm
PLACE in Pioneer Place Mall (3rd Floor)
700 SW Fifth Avenue, Portland, OR

Sparkplug In California this Weekend.

Sparkplug'll be traveling to the South to got to two shows around the Bay Area.

On Saturday Dec. 11th in Berkeley, CA the East Bay Alternative Press Book Fair will be going from 10am-4pm at the Berkeley City College (2050 Center St. in Berkeley, CA). This show looks to be seriously awesome and fun. Please go if you are in the area!

AND then on Sunday Dec. 12th I'll be in Sacramento, CA  at the Sacramento Comics Con at the The Scottish Rite Center (6151 H Street Sacramento, CA 95819 Across from Sacramento State University). This show is a pretty cool mix of all sorts of comics. I'll be sitting with my buddy Landry Walker of Supergirl/Little Gloomy fame.


This Weekend In Seattle: Chris Cilla IN THE HOUSE Zak Sally crashes into a swamp!

Dec. 11th 6-9pm: Zak Sally, Jason T. Miles, Max Clottfelter, Chris Cilla and more will be at the Fantagraphics Bookstore in Seattle, Wa for the Medieval Thinkers show and 4th anniversary of the Bookstore.

Mark your social calendars in indelible ink! Saturday, December 11 marks the 4th anniversary of the fabulous Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery. To celebrate this auspicious occasion we're once again hosting the season's most festive party featuring amazing music, comix, art, and more!

The evening includes solo music sets by Zak Sally and Mark Pickerel. Zak was a founding member of alternative music legends Low and continues solo music endeavors while publishing great comics with Fantagraphics as well as producing exquisitely crafted small press projects on his own La Mano imprint. He will be joined by Fantagraphics friend Mark Pickerel who began his musical career with the highly acclaimed Screaming Trees and now fronts Mark Pickerel and His Praying Hands, in addition to being the proprietor of Seattle pop culture emporium Damaged Goods.

An awesome exhibition of comix art curated by Jason T. Miles and Max Clotfelter, in association with Friends of the Nib, features prominent living legends and emerging cartoonists. "Medieval Thinkers" includes original works by Peter Bagge, Bruce Bickford, D. J. Bryant, Chris Cilla, Max Clotfelter, Eleanor Davis, Kim Deitch, Heidi Estey, Kelly Froh, Justin Green, Gerald Jablonski, Megan Kelso, Jason T. Miles, Nate Neal, Bob Rini, Zak Sally, Dash Shaw, Matt Tamaru, Drew Weing, Jim Woodring, Mary Woodring, Max Woodring, Martine Workman, and Chris Wright. Toldja it was awesome.
All this plus screaming deals on comix, celebrity guests, holiday libations, demented Christmas platters spun by DJ Russ Fallout, and a few surprises makes Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery's 4th anniversary party the place to be on Saturday, December 11. See you all then.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Flesh and Bone on Graphic Novel Reporter's 2010 Favorites

Scroll down to see a cool recommendation for Julia Gfrörer's Flesh & Bone by Peter Gutierrez:

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Katy Ellis O'Brien new stuff online!

Sparkplug favorite Katy Ellis O'Brien has updated her site:
"Rejoice! The new is here, with lots of new artwork.
Most notably, "The Kilkenny Cats" is now available online in its
complete form! If you missed the gallery show, you can now read the
picture-story on my fair website:

Follow the link to my shop and you shall find many new items on Etsy,
including Christmas ornaments, original paintings, and art prints!
There's still time to order holiday gifts, and once these items sell
out there are plenty more to come:

Think you can handle even more excitement? Like most people in this
day-and-age, I now have a BLOG! Keep an eye on the Trumpetflower Blog
for my most recent art, shop updates, glimpses from my sketchbook, and
news about upcoming events:

Thanks for your continuing support, and I wish you the best of all
possible holiday seasons!"

Friday, December 03, 2010

Jason Miles in the News

From Sparkplug comrade Jason T. Miles comes much news:

please check out the following links as i think you might find them interesting

the FIRST LINK is an profanity hill update and announcement for the medieval thinkers artshow i've been putting together with max clotfelter

the SECOND LINK is to an interview i conducted with zak sally

please feel free to repost these links

i hope you're all well and i look forward to seeing or hearing from you soon

Red Bat Press for X-mas

From our buddy Carye:

Hello friends!

Just a little note to let you know about to Holiday sales I'm in the next two weekends and to announce my Red Bat Press's hand printed 2011 Calendar Cards. Online at . This year for me has been all about the Oregon Coast -- I went on 7 trips so far, half by bus & bike. So this year's designs are based on my coastal experiences! I started making the Calendar Cards in 2004, so this is my 7th year! I find they are a fun unique gift that is more than a card, but a useful piece of art to enjoy the whole year.

If you are able to make it to sales, there are show specials. Art Postcards as usual are 4 for $10. I'll have my Hidden Portland book for $18. Calendars are $8 each or 2 for $15, 4 for $28 or if you want 6 or more, they are $6 a piece. I also love Trades! You can also schedule an appointment to come by my studio/Bat Cave just North of Mississippi. The Calendars are also at two shops downtown: Reading Frenzy & The Crafty Wonderland Pop Up Shop. Tonight RF has an opening party with Cider & Cookies for the 15th Annual Cheap Art Bazaar!

Also for those on facebook, there are a bunch of small holiday artisan sales going one all weekend that are listed on my Hidden Portland for the Curious page! Apologies for not being able to type those out.. back to the grind.. we've got a lot of making & printing to do! Also want to give a shout out to my boyfriend Matthew who has been really a huge help this season -- he's installed proper lights in my printshop, and made me a drying box (since in the summer, I use the sun). It's those little handy things that have made my quirky little print shop where all Red Bat Press comes out of that much nicer.

Here are details of shows I'm in below.

Carye Bye

Dec 4 & 5
15 NE Hancock St. Portland
(Former Dept of Skateboarding)
More info:
Bike Posters, Cheap stationery, Bunny Bike Tees, Art Postcards
PS. I will have all my calendars with me, but only the bicycle one on display, so ask to see the others

Dec 11 & 12
Oregon Convention Center, Portland
777 NE MLK Jr. Blvd, Exhibit Hall C
More info:

Stop by Reading Frenzy on First Thursday, Dec 2 for
15th Annual Cheap Art Bazaar
RBP Calendars & Art Postcards

Brooklyn Comics and Graphics Festival

Virginia Paine will be running the Sparkplug table at the Brooklyn Comics and Graphics Festival tomorrow, Saturday the 4th.

The Brooklyn Comics and Graphics Festival is a one-day festival of cartoon and graphic art featuring artists and publishers displaying and selling publications; lectures and conversations on comics; and associated exhibits and satellite events.
December 4, 12- 9 pm
Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church
275 North 8th Street
Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY
Click here for a full program
The Brooklyn Comics and Graphics Festival is an ongoing project by Desert Island, PictureBox and Bill Kartalopoulos.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Andrice Arp and Allie Tiedeman at Portland Craft Event!

Dear Portland,
This weekend I will be selling prints, original art, wallets, stuffed monster and animal guy magnets and more at the Splendorporium SplendorCraft Gift Sale. I'm sharing a table with Allie Tiedeman, who will be selling luxuriously scented handcrafted cold-process soap, among other things.

Here's the info:

At Splendorporium
3421 SE 21st Ave PDX 97202

handmade . vintage . baked goods

Saturday 12/04/10 from 3-9 pm
Sunday 12/05/10 from 12-6 pm

Come and see us!

Love, Andrice 

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

J.T. Dockery reviews Chris Cilla and Tom Neely

One of my favorite underground comix maestros (J.T. Dockery) has begun a review blog where he is talking about Chris Cilla's The Heavy Hand and Tom Neely's Doppleganger. This bodes well for the future of comics in America.

Renee French in NYC at Baumgold Gallery

Renée French
December 7 - January 15, 2011
Reception: Tues., Dec. 7, 6-8pm
60 East 66th ST., NY, NY 10065

..Adam Baumgold Gallery presents an exhibition of 100 intimately scaled graphite on vellum drawings by Renée French from her new graphic novel "h day" as well as recent portrait drawings from December 7 - January 15, 2011. This is Renee French's first New York solo exhibition.
......."h day" is the story of the artist's struggles with migraine headaches and ant infestation elaborated in an overlapping visceral narrative. Drawings of physical sensations alternate with drawings of interior fantasy, and demonstrate the state of the body manifesting in the mind.

.......Renée French's previous books include "the ticking," "micrographica," "edison steelhead's lost portfolio," "the soap lady" and "marbles in my underpants." Her comics have been published in numerous anthologies and periodicals since the early 1990s. French lives and works in Silicon Valley, CA and Sydney, Australia.

.... .The gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday 11:00 to 5:30 P.M. The gallery will be closed from Dec. 23 - Jan. 1. For additional information please contact Adam Baumgold at (212)861-7338 or at A preview of the exhibition can be viewed at