Posts Tagged ‘comics’

SPX 2009 Awesomeness

Friday, October 2nd, 2009

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100% Road Trip Success.

After finding out Friday night that our roadmates were unable to make the trip with us, Josh and I piled in the car and made the drive after work. Getting out of town was exciting, what with the G20 wrapping up and traffic at a stand-still while the World’s Important People left Pittsburgh.

It was nice to wake up in Baltimore, especially when your wake up call is a jolly little adorable cockapoo. We had a nice relaxing morning, preaching the gospel of the One-Eyed Egg and getting our game faces on for the day’s main event.

SPX was in full swing when we got there around 1 pm. An SPX is a sight to behold. There’s about a bajillion people inside a giant hotel ballroom, and everything is awesome. Even the not-so-awesome stuff? Still awesome.

In a move that pretty much sums up our personalities, Josh disappeared to make 10 purchases right off the bat, while Justin and I made an initial sweep to get the lay of the land, then jumped back in to buy stuff. I did get to chat briefly with both John Allison and Scott C and I played a little with the knight. Scott C was kind enough to drive home my regret of not having business cards, because he politely asked for one. I tried to beam my information directly into his head, but I regret it probably did not make much of an impression. Alas.

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Josh got about fifty pounds worth of goodies, and while I am Miss Frugal, the (Arnold)Sager household brought home some gems. I have Scott C’s Double Fine Action Comics Volume 1 and a print of his Tree Spirit.

John Alison’s Ghost is awesome. Of course it’s awesome.

Dustin Harbin’s Nutted is a mini comic that names a variety of ways to get hit in the nuts and it is about 100% delightful. I keep reading it over and over.  It is always funny when dudes get hit in the nuts. I am sorry… and also happy I do not have the referenced equipment.

I am slowly invading Josh’s pile, and Julia Wentz’s 2nd Volume of The Fart Party is damn good. I was glad to see she had a second volume, since Josh’s purchase of the first volume was our surprise favorite last year.

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Josh and I have plans to get a table next year, so we’ll get a whole different perspective. Justin also broke down his first SPX experience — check it out! Vendors take note!

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Also, if you find yourself in Baltimore for any reason, eat at Miss Shirley’s. So super tasty!

Head Explodey

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009

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One of Kate Beaton’s beautiful SPX banners. Check her out!

 

Oh MAN. Have you seen the list of exhibitors coming up this weekend at SPX? Hot diggity-dang. There’s some good stuff in there. I’m sure I’ll be discovering some New Favorites in this list and in person. It’s going to be so super rad.

As far as meeting artists, I am particularly excited about Scott C and John Allison. I am hoping I will be able to say something intelligible to them, but if last year is any indication of meeting specific people, I will probably: vibrate nervously in a corner until I make up my mind to greet them, cautiously circle their table for ten minutes… then make my move, at which time they will already be deep in conversation with someone incredibly interesting, on their way to the potty, or (in at least one previously documented case) hung over and missing.

As far as the whole thing goes, I’m also hoping for an education. Josh and I are possibly planning to get part of a table at SPX in 2010, so I want to see what all is there and how people handle their stuff. I also anticipate having business cards, but due to my flailing excuse for socializing, I anticipate bringing most of them home. Because that’s how I roll: secretly.

Regardless, it’s going to be a Class A Roadtrip. I am not only traveling with a couple friends that I never seem to hang out with as much as I want, but we are also staying with more friends that recently moved to Baltimore. After the craziness that is the G20 here in Pittsburgh passes, you can be sure I’ll be ready to decompress away from the city.

There will be comics and there will be friends. There will be an adorable dog and there will be wine. And if my math’s right, there will be copious amounts of fun.

That’s the stuff!

Thursday, August 6th, 2009

51e08v4g18l_ss500_.pngSince I am officially in Writing/Editing Mode and thus have taken off reading prose, I hijacked Josh’s The Best American Comics 2006 (thanks @kownacki). I read the first piece, Joel Priddy’s “The Amazing Life of Onion Jack”. Freakin’ amazing stuff.

I found Onion Jack to be absolutely charming and wonderful. This single, ten page story made me want to devour the rest of his work. Check out his work and blog… I know I will.

I look forward to reading more of this collection. Check it out!

SPX 2008

Sunday, October 12th, 2008

I headed to Bethesda, MD last weekend to check out this year’s Small Press Expo (SPX). It was my first one, but it’s been around since 1997. The obvious focus of the show was comics and graphic novels (and that blurry line  line between the difference of the two being a subject of debate), but there were also illustrators, inkers, writers, publishers, etc there as well.

I attended three panels. One on comic criticism, which I’ll spare you my opinion on (I left halfway through). The second was on publishing comics for YA and children. While my manuscripts are prose, as opposed to graphic, the panel was nonetheless interesting and full of a valuable insight. The third was on Herge, a popular French comic artist that did a lot of work in the years surrounding WWII. It was during this third session that I discovered I am not sophisticated. Seriously, there is only so much you can say about how he pioneered the line.

There was contraband Diet Pepsi/Rum at the afterparty Saturday Night ($6 beer?!, you’re out of your mind!), a bodacious breakfast at Silver Diner, and a general good time with some friends I don’t see nearly enough.

The atmosphere of SPX was, for the most part, open and accepting, and there was a wide range of work in show — which is comforting to those of us aspiring to do anything in the art/story vein. There are rumors that Joe and Josh might get a table next year (and that there will be beards), in which case I would totally love to commandeer some real estate on that half table. Of course, that means I’ll have to execute the sketches I’ve got hidden in my sketchbook…

What the experience did, first and foremost, was spark the creative engine and get those gears turning. We bought tons of good stuff, which I’m sure I’ll review here once I’ve been able to devour it all. All and all - it was a wonderful way to spend the weekend.

“We’re the Ones that Bump Back…”

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2008

There are a few things that I will go straight up fangirl over. Hellboy is one of them.

Hellboy movie posterJosh spent much of the weekend hibernating against our awesome 20-degree weather, so I popped in the Hellboy movie while he sawed logs on the couch. First off, let me say this: I know it’s not the perfect movie. The graphic version of Seed of Destruction is superior in several ways (the greatest of which is the fact that Sammael doesn’t resurrect fifteen times and we have to watch them battle him over and over. And over.) But it is so much fun. The casting is perfect. No one but Ron Perlman could play Hellboy — playing a giant red demon-man toting a giant stone hand and covered in runic symbols would be impossible for anyone else to pull off. Doug Jones and (the uncredited) David Hyde Pierce are an impeccable Abe Sapian. And even my reading brain didn’t translate Professor Trevor Bruttenholm as well as John Hurt did.

The thing that makes this movie enjoyable for me is the execution of taking the world and story from paper to live action. Hellboy’s creator, Mike Mignola, worked very closely with del Toro to make the creatures and environments rich and believable. I think they do a beautiful job of it — the set of Bruttenholm’s study and the Russian graveyard are especially beautiful in my opinion, and Kroenen and Sapien really are very fantastic. With three discs, the Hellboy special edition is also  one of the most extensive bonus features DVD I’ve ever encountered and offers HOURS of yummy documentation of what went into making the world come alive. (Rivaled in size and detail only by LOTR box sets — 7 discs. Yowza.)

Hellboy graphic novelMignola’s Hellboy is a fascinating character. While I am not usually a huge fan of horror in other fiction, I love it in Mignola’s dark, boxy style and the humor he injects into the stories is a nice balance between the gore. I generally love the ‘refusal of destiny’ arc in stories anyway, and throwing in the impending apocalypse via the hero is right up my alley. Combine it with lots of dark folklore, disturbing occult conspiracies, heaven vs. hell, and the whole what makes a man thing — I am one happy camper.

Visually, Mignola’s art is more than drool-worthy. He has an unmistakable style: heavy shadows that can cover an entire page but still insinuate there is so much going on; angular, sometimes abbreviated shapes that lose nothing from their incomplete execution; character designs that challenge your base knowledge of mythological figures (like the stone, iron-maiden goddess Hecate, anyone?); action and framing that is clear and dramatic. And his paintings make me cry tears of jealous, reverential JOY.

JOY!

“Look, Sammy, I’m not a very good shot… but the Samaritan here uses really big bullets.”