Chicago Alternative Comics Expo!
Saturday & Sunday
June 15th – 16th
11am – 6pm
Center on Halsted
3656 N Halsted
It’s here! This weekend! Seriously folks, this is going to be an incredible show. I’ll be right here:
I’ll be sharing a table with the always spectacular Beth Hetland. Keep your eyes peeled for other amazing artists exhibiting at CAKE: Kenan Rubenstein, MK Czerwiec, Ezra Clayton Daniels, Sean Dove, Emi Gennis, Lyra Hill, Marnie Galloway, and tons more!!!
If you miss this show, you’re pretty much a loser.
If you come by, mention that you follow the blog and I’ll give you some goodies.
Friday, June 14th (the night before CAKE!) is the opening for Modern Storytellers at Ugly Step Sister Gallery. I’ll be there and hope you can make it too. The show is filled with some amazing artists!
750 S. Union St.
Opening: Friday, June 14th, 6pm – 11pm
Ok friends, You’re almost out of time to reap the benefits of pre-ordering Victus #1. If I get your order before Sunday, June 16th, you can still get a free print of Celeste:
Thank you to everyone who has already pre-ordered! I’m humbled by your support. It went miles to helping me get the book finished and pay for the printing. The first round of orders have been shipping out this week, and I’m hoping most of you get them by Monday, June 17th at the latest.
If you’re a local Chicago person, or flying in for the show, CAKE will be the first chance for anyone anywhere to get their hands on the books. I’m very pleased with how they turned out and I can’t wait to share them with you!
I’ll leave you with these gems:
Jack Kirby. Showing his power in the earthly realm yet again.
Darrow and Moebius lighting it up with City on Fire.
I am completely in love with this Barry Windsor-Smith cover for X-men #186
Until next time, keep your ducks in a row. Well… geese.
I’m very excited to announce that the first issue of my next comic series, Victus, is now available for pre-order! Here is a description of the first issue:
In a timeless city, a young thief named Isaac struggles to connect with a beautiful girl. The bartering inhabitants are challenged by the public speeches of a great thinker, while a mysterious man constructs a machine powered by stolen religious relics.
Victus is a deus-scientia fiction comic that explores both the purity and corruption of human relationships. It features foot-chases, strange technology, exotic animals, and thought-provoking philosophy. Each book is presented as a precious object for readers to experience intimately and engage with emotionally.
Here’s what the book looks like:
My printer, Rink, has done an outstanding job on the books and I think you’ll love the final product. There are more images of the product and 6 preview pages available on my website:
As a bonus, I’m including a free 8.5×11″ print with all orders received before June 17th.
As an extra bonus, the first 10 pre-orders will receive original pages taken directly from my Victus sketchbooks. That’s right, I’ll just rip them out, sign them, and send em along with your spiffy copy of Victus.
All pre-orders will ship by June 17th. SO… What are you waiting for?!? GO…
LAYDEEZ DO COMICS
Although I am not a lady, I very much appreciate all ladies and I happen to do comics. I’ll be speaking as part of the Laydeez Do Comics series this Thursday, May 30th, at Quimby’s Comics. Please come down to hear me rant about my life as a comics artist. I guarantee that you’ll hear something new about me (for better or worse).
I’m honored to be participating in a group show called Modern Storytellers at Ugly Stepsister Gallery. The list of artists includes talented friends like Marnie Galloway, Ashley Elander, and many others. The show opens on June 14th, so more info will be coming soon. Hope you can make it!
Thanks everyone for all your support!
So, before I tell you how collaboration has saved my butt on multiple occasions, a couple announcements:
1. I’ll be speaking at the best comic book store in the country, Quimby’s, on May 30th at 7pm! I’m speaking as part of the Laydeez Do Comics series (I know I know, I’m not a lady). I’ll share the proverbial stage with Sarah Morton. These talks are always a lot of fun, so if you are in the Chicago area, I hope you can attend. I promise to share some juicy secrets! Here is the info:
2. As this post is about collaboration, I think it fitting to announce that I’ve had the privilege to collaborate on a podcast with the amazing Justin Fah of In This Issue Podcast. It’s called Back Issues. On the show we analyze older comics that we’ve always wanted to read, or always loved, or know to be essential. First we did Green Lantern: Willworld. Our lastest episode is focused on the classic X-men storyline ‘Days of Future Past’. You should subscribe to the show In This Issue Podcast on itunes or listen directly on their website:
Now, on to the meat!
So… I always wish I could do everything myself. That’s cuz I’m dumb. One of the areas I struggle with the most is graphic design. It’s an area that folks that who self-publish often under-utilize or ignore. It’s unfortunate, because I think it keeps their (my) work out of a large number of consumers hands. We live in a world saturated by design. As Steve Jobs said, ‘design matters’. Very true. No matter how much your comic rocks, if you can’t put it in a package that communicates that the work is professional, you’ll have a hard time selling it.
Since I struggle so much in this area, I often lean on my friends for help. In particular, I know this dude named Gerald Proctor. Gerald is a college buddy that has quite a talent for graphic design and all things digital art related. I got to know him through many a long night of Halo death matches in the dorms (yes I’m a nerd). The first time we collaborated was in college on a poster for my comic Simon. I gave no specific direction, so Gerald brought his own style to the piece:
It was really exciting for me to see someone take a concept like Simon, that up to that point only I had done, and explore it in their medium. Years later, Gerald helped design the cover for my Simon 10 year collection:
I’m fairly sure this cover has helped in me selling out of the first printing of the Simon Collection. Now, to the untrained eye, this cover might not look too complicated. Which, honestly, is the beauty of it. It just works and you see it as another piece of fitting design. The same way you see a book on the stands of any bookshop and just ‘get it’ at first glance. Now, without Gerald’s help, the cover would have turned out much different. To give you an idea of how bad this cover would have been if I had created it solo, here are some of my cover designs before Gerald joined the project:
Pretty bad, right? That’s because DESIGN IS HARD. Gerald used texture and subtle color to accentuate the feeling the black and white line art had. This was much more effective than just simply coloring the cover in a traditional style. Not only that, but this design adds to the feeling that this book is a collection of work over time. You get a sense of history when seeing the cover, which is exactly what a collection of 10 years of comics should feel like.
Gerald also helped give cohesion to my Gary series:
When looking at the series as a whole, it becomes even more obvious how consistent and direct design helps in catching the eye of potential buyers. Gerald also created the interior layouts for the Gary series. Picking font families, alignment, and page placement is not as intuitive as it might seem to the layperson. It requires a keen eye for detail, and a knowledge of the language of graphic design.
Collaboration is not always easy. Gerald and I tend to disagree about almost everything when working on a project. But I’m a firm believer in “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” The disagreements lead to discussion and honest critiquing of what’s working or not working within the piece. Hopefully, after the dust settles, you have a great piece of design in your hands.
Gerald continues to be a monster of a digital artist. I highly recommend you check out his gallery of work on Society 6:
I particularly like “If I walk to you”.
I plan to do another post about collaboration soon, delving into some other working relationships. I’ve had the chance to work with some amazingly talented people. Most recently, my brother Logan and I collaborated on a new Simon comic. It went so well, we are already working on another. And of course, John Wright and I are still working on our epic cage fighting comic NUMB:
I’ll leave you with a sneak peek at 6 pages of Victus #1:
Holy cow, folks! What a weekend! Stumptown Comics Fest was fantastic! Thank you to everyone who came by to show support or purchase some books from the amazing artists exhibiting. Before I launch into Stumptown details, a couple quick announcements:
I have started a (hopefully) ongoing podcast with Justin Fah of In This Issue Podcast, where we analyze older comics that we find interesting or declare “must read’s”. The first one was released this week. Check it out as we discuss Green Lantern: Willworld, drawn by one of my favorite artists, Seth Fisher. Click below or subscribe to In This Issue podcast on iTunes:
REVIEWS & SUCH
Those fine folks over at Spandexless saw fit to finish up the Gary series with another kind review:
They also took the time to explore one of my older Simon comics, “Mercy”
Now on to the wacky exploits at STUMPTOWN…
Manning the table with me was my trusty sidekick (and younger brother) Logan.
He also helped create the newest Simon comic, which we had available at the show.
I did a few throughout the weekend, including this Simon piece.
I’d like to think this is just our first collaboration.
Speaking of Brandon Graham, I geeked out at how he one-upped Simon Roy’s signature on my
Prophet TPB. Farel Dalrymple also added his own touch. Dirty fellows.
including Mr. Jack Bracken, who did this wonderfully racy poem for me.
Reid Psaltis took a time out to show me around Portland’s very own IPRC. Cool joint!
And of course, there was much food and drink to be had. From left to right/top to bottom:
Broder, Pacific Pie (x2), Little Big Burger, Biwa, Blue Star Donuts, Lardo’s, Teardrop, more Blue Star.
Not pictured: Bunk, Luc Lac, Pine State Biscuits, Wurst
I’m not great about taking pictures, so you’ll have to look through the Stumptown Tumblr to find more shots of me and other exhibitors.
In the 11th hour, I was invited to participate in the famous Art Battle at the Stumptown afterparty, hosted by Ezra Clayton Daniels! My team was doomed to lose as we were the ‘away team’ vs. the Portland home team. But we gave it our best shot, fighting through language barriers (I’ve never had to explain auto-erotic asphyxiation to a frenchman before), shake-weights, and insults. Really, I thought including Robocop in our G.I. Joe team drawing would ensure our win. But hey, it was all in good fun.
I had an awesome trip. Special shout out to The Con Crew: Josh Shalek, Neil Brideau, Reid Psaltis, Kenan Rubenstein, & Jack Bracken. Finally all of us in one place! Couldn’t ask for a better group of creators to share a convention with. Also it was great to see the incorrigible Beth Hetland, the lovely Nomi Kane, and the edgy Ezra Clayton Daniels.
I have some BIG announcements coming in my next post. So stayed tuned next week for the details!
STUMPTOWN COMICS FEST IS THIS WEEKEND! And guess who will be there? Yep… ME. And if that’s not a good enough reason to visit this amazing fest, might I present Exhibit A:
So as you can see, there is an awesome little block of tables right in the middle of the con (thanks to Neil and Kenan for the map!). I’m in the good company of Neil Brideau, Jack Bracken, Kenan Rubenstein, Reid Psaltis, our old pal Josh Shalek, and some other new friends! And as if THAT isn’t enough, I have a couple other amazing comics colleagues tabling at the show: Beth Hetland & Ezra Clayton Daniels!
Wow… this is going to be an epic weekend of indie comics! If you are anywhere NEAR Portland, you MUST come to the show! Here are some more reasons why you should attend:
I’m premiering a new Simon mini comic that I co-created with my brother.
along with a special treat for anyone who pre-orders issue 1 at the show.
Speaking of Victus:
Some images that have inspired me lately…
I saw Shane Carruth’s Upstream Color. Wow.
Hope some of you can come down to the show this weekend! Mention the blog and I’ll give you a discount on any purchase!
Whew! Another weekend another convention!
I had a blast at Tricon this past weekend. I was tabling with my pal Justin Fah and his podcast In This Issue, which happened to be the OFFICIAL podcast for the show. The folks of Huntington, West Virginia were extremely kind and welcoming to us folks from out of state. I wanted to thank everyone who came out to the show and said hi!
At the table, Justin and crew (Piasecki & Bogner) had the ol’ creator corner going, which was awesome. Basically, they provide you with information pulled from a hat (like a comic book hero, a villain, a plot device, and a setting) and then you come up with a story on the fly. The prize is your story on the podcast and a sweet print of the In This Issue Poster that I did. Here is one fan donning the ‘Weapon X’ helmut and telling In This Issue his story:
You really need to hear some of the stories folks cooked up! To hear all the stories, as well as creator interviews and other convention coverage, you can subscribe to In This Issue on itunes or listen at their website.
We also had some help from this guy:
The next show you can see me at is Stumptown Comics Fest in Portland, OR at the end of this month! I’ll have more details on that soon.
Here are a couple peeks at Victus:
pages pages pages!
Sorry to keep teasing you. I assure you the book will be ready soon!
Hadn’t posted any ‘here’s what I’ve been looking at lately’ images in a while. So…
The Saga of Swamp Thing.
Thanks for reading ya’ll! Be seeing you in a week or so!
Chicago Zinefest ROCKS!
I had tabled at Zinefest in the past, but this year I opted to just attend and enjoy the show. And boy did I! This show was full of some awesome folks! Here’s some of what I saw:
The Great and Powerful Beth Hetland had her Hourly Comics minis available!
The always fantastic R. Hendricks (Stranger Two Stranger) had this awesome mini of portraits.
Ashley Elander was, as usual, putting the rest of us to shame by showcasing her phenomenal drawing skills.
I fell in love with this accordion mini compilation of text book illustrations from Kseniya Yarosh.
I was happy to catch up with the lovely Marnie Galloway, who had the new editions of In the Sounds and Seas.
Next to Marnie, I discovered a talented gentleman named Chris Garcia. He had previews of his upcoming beautiful first comic ever (!)
All in all, Zinefest 2013 was a blast. I can’t wait to see more from all these folks. I really need to table here next year!
Here’s a preview of a new Simon comic I’m cooking up…
I thought I had posted this before, but I guess not:
Thanks for checking in ya’ll!
Wow, what a great weekend in Seattle! Thanks to everyone who came out to Emerald City Comicon 2013 and said hi! Extra special thanks if you were kind enough to purchase something from me. ECCC 2013 was a madhouse. A good mix of cosplayers, comic nerds, art connoisseurs, and indie comix fans. Here’s the story in pictures folks:
Me and my table.
Simon was also kind enough to sign my Prophet TPB. Dirty man that Simon Roy…
I was lucky to have m’lady T-money along on this trip. She snapped this Reservoir Dogs Shot of me.
It was great to meet some new folks in this new city. But I was happy to see the friendly faces of my talented friends:
Reid Psaltis… Reid’s new prints are absolutely beautiful. Check them out!
Jack Bracken… A wordsmith supreme!
and of course Josh Shalek, one of the best table-mates ever. Josh’s Welcome to Falling Rock is a fine piece of cartooning. Get on board now!
I had some previews of my new book Victus at the show, which I’m happy to say I ran out of. Here’s another little peek at work in progress:
Thats all for now. More next week!
Hey hey hey…
So Con season has officially begun. I’ll be tabling at my first show of the season this weekend, March 1st-3rd at Emerald City Comicon in Seattle, WA.
You can find me with the awesome Josh Shalek at artist alley table S-09:
Josh is the man behind the extremely amusing & poignant Welcome to Falling Rock. I hear he might be premiering some brand new printed comics at this show. I highly recommend you pick one up! I will be filling my part of the table with the complete series of Gary (books 1-3), as well as the Simon Collection, and a new Simon mini comic. I’ll also have some promotional handouts for my new project, Victus. Here’s what the back looks like:
Woops… Did I just announce when the first issue is coming out?
Speaking of Victus, here are some sneak peeks at my progress…
I’m very excited for Emerald City Comicon and I hope you pacific northwesterners can come out to the show! I’ll leave you with a breakfast moment of zen, courtesy of Walker Brothers Original Pancake house…
The fine folks over at Buy Indie Comics were kind enough to do a nice review of Gary. Click to see:
I really appreciate these guys taking the time to give Gary a read. If you haven’t picked up all three issues yet, they are still available at the store.
Victus is coming along. Here are some random snaps of pages in progress, and my (messy) workspace:
coffee and drawing in the morning
Go ahead and JUMP!
It’s always exciting when drawings come together and turn out the way you want. It seemingly only happens about 10% of the time for me, but that 10% success rate manages to keep me coming back for more.
What have you guys been reading lately? I’ve discovered Study Group recently. How did I miss this?? It’s filled with work by some of my favorite artists working right now. Check it out!
Stay warm out there!