Blog - January 2008

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SlamBang #3 coverJanuary 26, 2008
Small Pressing News Items

Allen Freeman reports that the third issue of Slam Bang is off to the press. This issue includes work from Mark Martin, Brad Foster, Tim Corrigan, Mark Monlux, Dan Lauer, Clint Basinger, Chris Moshier, Roberta Gregory, and lots of other small press fanactics. Check out his website from more details.

The Portland Tribune talked briefly with Joe Sacco about his upcoming Palestine book and Pacific Northwest College of Art's curator Mack McFarland about the Sacco exhibit there.

Bob Corby is offering advertising space in this year's Small Press and Alternative Comics Expo (SPACE) program book. Specifications are posted here. Deadline for advertising is February 7th.

The Small Press League is back and offering free memberships to the small press comics community. Their website provides promotional opportunities, news, member profiles, and a message board.

The Fat Man coverTom Cochrane has posted a 50 page preview of The Fat Man, the first in a trilogy of graphic novels from Thomas Cochrane Associates. Illustrated by Alan Tanner, the preview includes the first three chapters of this spy/sci-fi series. The book can be pre-ordered now for £14.99 (including international delivery). 25% of the profits from The Fat Man will be donated to charity.

Cartoonist Bill Morse recently celebrated posting his 600th episode of his Webcomic, Rhapsodies. Morse's website features the latest strip, its archive, character profiles, a story synopsis, and forum and contact links.

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Ashley Dust #1 coverJanuary 19, 2008
Rick McCollum's
Ashley Dust

During the newave days most of the cartoonists I was aware of were doing humor. But Rick McCollum was doing these wonderful comic stories about a post-apocalyptic world in Cincinnati, Ohio. His artwork may have been influenced by superhero comics originally, but the work he self-published was more like Escape from New York than a Marvel wanna-be. His artwork was full of energy, with intricate detail and inventive layouts. His stories were the same — epic tales that spread out over a series of issues. Sometimes the lengthy text even took over the page, challenging the artwork for space and importance. Not only were McCollum's comics rich and detailed, they were prolific. Most self publishers are lucky to stick with their titles for 2 or 3 issues, but McCollum's Horde lasted at least 15.

I lost track of McCollum's work over the years, but I never forgot about him. Not long ago I discovered a series he did for Knight Press called Ashley Dust. There were four issues of this comic published in the mid-90s and a softbound book that collects them all. Ashley Dust is a powerful occult false woman who battles Netherworld forces — wurms, escaping through Hell via a breach in Dust's own private spiritworld, The Secret Garden. The series is outstanding! McCollum's artwork and storytelling have only gotten better over the years. If you're a fan of original, indie comics, you won't find a better metaphysical/techno fusion joy ride than Ashley Dust. With a little effort these comics are fairly easy to find and still very reasonably priced.

After a few Googles, I found a few more McCollum gems, so I pieced together a partial index of his work. Send me your additions and corrections, Rick McCollum's work deserves a much larger following!

News Bites
Sean Azzopardi's
latest book, Twelve Hour Shift is now available and can be ordered via PayPal directly from the artist. You can trace the development of the final cover for the book on his blog. The third issue of Azzopardi's Ed comic was reviewed here on MF.com last year and he contributed artwork for the month of June to the 2008 MF Desk Calendar.

Howard Cruse cartoonHoward Cruse has published the fifth issue of his Cruse Art Newsletter that features his orignal artwork for sale. Sign up for his distribution list here and the latest issue will be in your mailbox in no time!

Tim Corrigan has just published the 17th issue of his Comics and Stories series. Send $15 for a 12-issue subscription or $1.50 for a single copy to Tim at: PO Box 25, Houghton, NY 14744.

Inspirational cartoonist Steve Willis, who created Morty the Dog and The Fetid Lake of Doom comix, was highlighted this week on gagster Mike Lynch's blog.

Bram Meehan of Panel Press was kind enough to send me some comp copies of his latest books. Watch for my reviews in the weeks ahead.

Newly elected Small Press Syndicate Chairman, Dale Martin has recently released two issues of his Watusi the Talking Dog comic. Check out his website for details on how to order.

Cartoonist Steve Lafler recently pondered the recurrent question of print versus web in his excellent blog, Self Employment for Bohemians.

NPR's new In Character series spotlighted The Lone Ranger on their Jan. 14th installment. You can read the article or listen in to the 12-minute segment here.

Josh Blair has announced the second issue of his mini comic, Candy or Medicine. The new issue is 16 pages.

Next Saturday, the comix feature will return with another installment of Larry Lagoon. This one originally appeared in Midnight Fiction #1.

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January 12, 2008
Small Pressing News Items

Pinkslip coverWeird Muse Production's Upcoming Zines
Dan Taylor, the cartoonist, painter, and prolific small press zinester behind Weird Muse Productions, is nearing completion on his next batch of projects. He'll soon publish:

Symphony in Ink #3 A digest-sized anthology comic featuring work by David Degrand, Steve Steiner, Jenny Gonzalez, and Taylor.

Time Warp Comix #5 The format and design of this series was inspired by the late Clay Geerdes' Comix World mini comix. The popular series features new work by cartoonists from the newave comix movement of the 1970's and 80's. The fifth issue includes work by Jim Siergey, Bob Vojtko, George Erling, and Taylor.

The Itty Bitty 10 Shitty Pieces of Artwork Zine Many would-be artists have the desire to create, but lack the confidence and/or motivation. The Play/Think Gallery in Dayton, Ohio wanted to break down these barriers by providing a safe environment in which to create - and a deadline. They challenged each participating artist to produce 10 small scale works in the month preceding the show. The more spontaneous, uninhibited - even crappy - the better. The point was: do art! By eliminating the fear of "not being good enough" many artists let go of their internal barriers and produced what turned out to be wonderful work. This artzine documents the 10 pieces - collage and paintings - that Taylor created for the show.

Micro Comics #2 coverEach of these new titles will be available soon through the Weird Muse Productions online store. In fact, you can get all of Taylor's current zines, as well as Vintage Mini Comics, Original Artwork, Alternative Comics, and a special section devoted to the Michael Roden benefit fund, so check it out.

Weird Muse Productions will also be tabling at SPACE March 1st and 2nd and Taylor's produced a couple of free zines for the show. Micro Comics #2 is the second, seriously silly issue of Taylor's pun-filled, kid-friendly micro mini and Pink Slip, for the over 18 crowd, featuring sketches from his secret workbooks and memo pads.

Stone Soup's Jan Eliot Interviewed
Cartoonist Jan Eliot was interviewed on the Oregon Art Beat program last week. Jan talks about her background, her path to syndication, the evolution of her strip's main character, and her workflow in the 8-minute segment. It also includes some nice close-ups of her sketching in her Eugene, Oregon studio. The segment is available to watch online now. Eliot's Stone Soup is syndicated by Universal Press to over 140 newspapers here and abroad. You can read Stone Soup online at Go Comics or purchase a collection of strips on Lulu.com.

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January 5, 2008
Special Affects

Although I've kept the reviews on MF.com focused on print media, I can't help recommending a couple of indie films I saw over the holidays. The first one is I Like to Kill Flies, a documentary about Kenny Shopsin and his family as they move their NYC restaurant from its original location. If you're fascinated with a glimpse into the real life of another family and another world (running a small restaurant) you will love this movie.

The second one is Juno, which is about a pregnant teenager and her life leading up to, and a little bit after, delivery. No CGI, just great writing, directing, and acting.

If you're a fan of quirky movies check out Mark Monlux's Comic Critic. He frequently provides jabs and quips about his favorite movies in one page comic strips. Although he most often covers films of the fantastic like Pan's Labyrinth or Planet Terror he provides cartoony commentary on films like Pollock or Munich from time to time as well.

Cosmic Man #1 coverHot Off the Press
Main Enterprises has just released the first issue of Cosmic Man, written by Steve Keeter and drawn by Tony Lorenz, with a cover by Scott McClung. It's available now for $3.25 postage paid, from their website.

Blind Bat Press has just published The Comic Eye, an anthology title with work by an impressive list of small press comikers. It's distributed through Diamond and is expected in comic shops mid- to late-January.

Alterna Comics will soon publish Birth, a new comic by Michael S. Bracco that looks pretty interesting. You can read it for free on WOWIO or pick it up at your local comic shop in February.

New Year's Sale at Poopsheet Shop
Hot on the heels of his Poopsheet Foundation website revamp, Rick Bradford is offering a 15% off sale at the Poopsheet Shop through January. This is a great opportunity to pick up some new titles or fill in a run in your collection. Check out his official New Year's Sale announcement for details.

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Link to shop
Midnight Fiction Shop
• 2008 Desk Calendar
• Self-published comix
• Movie Magazines
• Illustrated Fiction

Comix

Sundry Comix
Da Boids -1 Page
Nora Talbot -3 Pages

Smart-Ass Simpson
12 Pages

Those Non-Reproducing Blues
4 Pages

Bar Fly Theater
8 Pages

Media Report Comix
11 pages

Horse Opera
7 Pages

Simon Smith and Ronald Moss
7 Pages

Trapped on Jupiter
5 Pages

Mackovee Kids
2 Pages

Larry Lagoon's
Fanzine Blues

4 Pages
Comic Dreams
2 Pages
Funny Pages
15 Pages

Harry Hornsnobble
6 Pages

Farlie Fan in Cream City 9 Pages

Illustrations

Space and Time

Bob Vojtko

Low Budget Funnies

Suzy
8 Pages


 


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