Wednesday, April 13, 2011

MICHAEL HERE: Swifty, Chris, and I had ourselves a table at our first Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art Festival in NYC this past weekend.  It was a spacious and good-spirited event but I didn't have much of a chance to walk around to see what other creators were bringing to the table.  Really cool though to introduce new readers to FEEDING GROUND and to hear back from fans who have been reading along.  Below are a few other personal highlights from the weekend:

I had contributed art for a 2-page story in the premiere issue of this GrayHaven Comics anthology and Swifty and I are going to have another one in their upcoming Issue #4.  So, it was a sweet surprise to have been situated as neighbors right next to their table.  Led by Andrew Goletz, the anthology started as a forum for pairing first-time artists and writers from the Jinxworld message boards.  Wrapped with covers and art direction by the talented Aaron Bir, the collection is a fresh voice of dedication and enthusiasm. Writer Doug Hahner was also on hand. He wrote one of my favorite stories in Issue 1 and a nicer guy you never did meet.


I devour podcasts as I work and this is the only one that disrupts my inking with laughter.  Ostensibly a comic podcast, the real attraction for me is the banter between friends Mike Dawson and Alex Robinson.  I was a cartoonist in college along with Mike and his professional work is one of the factors that encouraged me to get back into comics.  They've had me on the show in the past and this weekend I got to sub in for a stricken panelist at a live recording of the show at MoCCA, sharing convention stories with cartoonists Daniel Spottswood and John Kerschbaum and regaling the audience with my tale of destroying Capt. Lou Albano's car.  Also check out Mike's Pro T.I.P.S for more in-depth discussions with creators about the work and glamour of being a cartoonist.


-  I didn't get to see much, but the book LIAR'S KISS by Top Shelf was one attractive number that I planned on picking up.  Others agreed and it was sold out before I could grab it.

- I did get to buy GB Tran's VIETNAMERICA an incredible tome of personal journalism executed in a visual language that feels like memory to me.  Bonus - it came with the special convention cover that is a folded copy of a poster design for the book.

- I met one of my comic icons, Bill Sienkiewicz, and didn't embarrass myself all that much. I first discovered his work as a child with the “Badlands” issue of the "Demon Bear" run of THE NEW MUTANTS sandwiched between two other books in a supermarket 3-pack. It was a disturbing, challenging, find that not only opened my eyes to comics as art but the power of art in general. It continues to affect me and my work to this day. Check out this article on CBR to see images of the run and give yourself an idea on what sort of influence he had on the industry at a particular point in time.

- Swifty and I had dinner with our Editor-in-Chief at Archaia, Stephen Christy.  I am proud to be a part of a company that publishes important, attractive, work that is evolving our concept of what a comic book and comic book company can be in 2011.  Their recent Wonder Con announcements have me stoked as a comic fan, none more so than the care and vision that Stephen is putting into the graphic novel adaptation of Jim Henson's unpublished screenplay A TALE OF SAND.  Stephen is a guy who gets it, delivering quality packaging and promotion always in service of Story.

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