Category Archives: Comix

Review: SOCK IT TO ME #1

Sean-Von-Gorman-Sock-comics

If you like your humor raw and uncooked, you may have found your match with this comic book, “Sock It To Me #1.” It’s about a sock. And this sock has an attitude. Von Gorman has an attitude. You should too if you really want to get into this.

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Filed under Alterna Comics, Comics, Comics Reviews, Comix, Comixology

Puck Magazine aPUCKalypse CROWDFUNDING CAMPAIGN!

Puck-Magazine-Apuckalypse-2013

Puck Magazine, an impressive collection of some of the leading comix artists and much more, launches its crowd funding campaign today. This is truly an international collection. If you are a fan of offbeat humor and you’d like a taste of it from around the world, then this is for you. Join the campaign here. It runs from November 26, 2013 thru January 4, 2014.

What follows is an informative essay on the Apocalypse, the history of alternative comics, and how that relates to Puck Magazine:

Welcome to the Apocalypse

Historically speaking, the Apocalypse is always now. By that I mean that at every period in human history, someone somewhere was certain that the world was about to end. Whether it was the author of the Biblical “Book of Revelation” (or “Revelation to John”) — surely one of the most mischievous tracts ever written — or some Vedic bard predicting the Kali Yuga, or urban street corner prophets ranting that “The End is Nigh,” the human imagination has repeatedly fixated on the end of the universe and the end of life as we know it.

It is not difficult to figure out why this is. At some undetermined point in time, for each of us, the universe will end. Death awaits us all, whether in a sudden accident or heart attack, or in a long lingering illness. That this is so seems like a monstrous joke, and so we repress the thought or, for many of us, we project it upon the world at large, finding solace in the thought that if we must die, so must everyone else, preferably all at the same time.

And yet, life goes on. Every prophecy of the End Times is, in some sense, a false prophecy. Predicted dates come and go, and true believers’ expectations fizzle out, only to be succeeded by new expectations which will eventually fizzle out as well.

Much of this apocalyptic fervor has been driven by religion, especially fundamentalist Christianity and Islam, which share similar scenarios of a Final Judgment. But there are no lack of secular apocalypses to choose from: catastrophic climate change, nuclear war, the end of Capitalism (a particularly elusive apocalypse), an impending police state, and the list goes on.

All of which brings us to the volume you hold in your hands, a smorgasboard of personal apocalypses conjured up by a stellar crew of cartoonists from around the world. For most comic artists, apocalypse looms as the rent comes due at the end of each month, so this theme was one that the assembled artists could really get their teeth into. As you will discover, some took the challenge lightly, producing humorous strips (including the inevitable Mother In Law joke), while others dove into full-fledged horror and paranoia.

The result is a well-balanced collection of unique visions that you will not find anywhere else. The locations change from strip to strip, usually manifesting the apocalypse in the artists’ own locales. If you’ve ever dreamed of making an Around the World Tour, but know you never will, this volume is a suitable substitute, albeit with rather more demons, cannibals, black holes, and Avenging Angels than you would likely encounter in hopping from country to country.

Sadly, I am told that this is likely the last PUCK volume for years to come, so it represents an apocalypse of sorts for the whole PUCK enterprise. PUCK’s staff has beat all odds in uniting cartoonists from numerous countries in its group projects that are done for the love of free and uncensored cartooning.

The Underground Comix movement was launched in the U.S. during the Sixties and spread its influence to England, the Netherlands, Spain, France, and Italy (among others), in the following decades. PUCK has been one of the most energetic recent manifestations of the underground impulse and Ivan and the rest of the PUCK gang deserve a round of applause for keeping the torch held high.

The Apocalypse is always now. Enjoy it while you can.

–Jay Kinney

Jay Kinney was a participant in the Underground Comix movement of the 1960s and 1970s. He edited and co-edited Young Lust, Occult Laff-Parade, Cover-up Lowdown, and Anarchy Comics, and contributed to many others.

He has since been a magazine publisher, book author, and antiquarian bookseller. Recently published is: Anarchy Comics: the Complete Collection (PM Press), a retrospective anthology of the hard-to-find four originals issues, plus never before published strips and sketchbook pages.

Caption for Mavrides-Kinney Armageddon panels…

The “End Times” erupt in “Armageddon Outtahere” by Paul Mavrides and Jay Kinney in Anarchy Comics #4. This story and all others from the comic series can be found in Anarchy Comics: the Complete Collection (PM Press).

Press release follows:

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Filed under Comics, Comics Anthologies, Comics News, Comix, Crowdfunding, Zines

Review: BOOBAGE by Monica Gallagher

Boobage-Monica-Gallagher-2013

“Boobage,” is a mini-comic by Monica Gallager that covers, or unveils, a very personal preoccupation with a lot of wit and humor. So, what do you instantly think of when you put such greats together as Kate Hudson, Clare Danes, Gwen Stefani, and Bridget Fonda? The one thing that Gallager used to have trouble with was their (and her own) relatively small breasts, or “tits.” It’s okay, she says “tits” a lot. Gallagher isn’t afraid to tackle the tit issue, large or small. This won’t really be of interest to those who objectify and sexualize but it may give them some pause. Hey Jimmy, or whoever, those hooters you salivate over belong to a real human being.

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Filed under Alternative Comics, Comics, Comics Reviews, Comix, Comixology, Comixology Submit, Independent Comics, Indie, mini-comics, Monica Gallagher, Self-Esteem, Sex, Sexuality, Women

Jim Woodring Debuts New Graphic Novel, FRAN, at Fantagraphics Bookstore, October 12, 2013

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If you’re in the Seattle area this Saturday, October 12, do yourself a favor and stop by the Fantagraphics Bookstore for a big Jim Woodring event. Jim Woodring debuts his latest graphic novel, “Fran.”

Press Release Follows:

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Filed under Alternative Comics, Comics, Comics News, Comix, Fantagraphics, Fantagraphics Books, graphic novels, Jim Woodring, Seattle

24-Hour Comics Day 2013: An Edith Macefield Theme

Macefiled-24-hour-comic-Henry-Chamberlain-Ballard-WA-2013

It is fascinating what can develop during a 24-hour comic. I knew, going in, that I was doing a comic that was going to take me to some interesting places. It ended up being a journey in search of the heart and soul of Ballard, Washington, once a mellow destination with a history of saloons and bordellos and coasting along as a blue collar hangout, it became a prime target for developers. The rest is history: a slew of trendy boutiques and restaurants that have brought a whole new dynamic to the area.

Is this a question of whether it is good or bad? Are their lessons to be learned? Well, one person, Edith Macefield, who defied the developers and would not sell her home, has become a symbol for independence and the theme for my 24-hour comic.

24-Hour Comics Day is celebrated around the world on the first weekend of October. This is when all cartoonists join together in the pursuit of a full comics narrative during a 24-hour marathon. The timing was just right this year to take on such a substantial and compelling subject as Ballard, Washington. It is a place that perhaps never thought it would go through dramatic change and yet it can’t come as a complete surprise given its location and demographics.

But, in the past, locals didn’t really have intense concerns over location or demographics. It’s a very laid-back culture. It is something you’re not supposed to be able to manufacture. But, oddly enough, marketers and developers have done their level best to tap into the Ballard experience. Fascinating stuff.

Hattie's Hat in Ballard, Washington

Hattie’s Hat in Ballard, Washington

A new friend made, at Conor Byrne pub, during my 24-hour comics journey in Ballard, Washington

A new friend made, at Conor Byrne pub, during my 24-hour comics journey in Ballard, Washington

First Annual Macefield Music Festival in Ballard, Washington

First Annual Macefield Music Festival in Ballard, Washington

Exploring the character of any place is such a fun thing to do. You don’t have to have any expectations. Or, if you do, see where that takes you too. As for Ballard, I know that area quite well. I can see it from various vantage points. No one is going to seriously argue against Edith Macefield, right? Another thing that is hard, or impossible, to argue against is comfort, good food, and fun items to buy now and then. It seems you can find just about anything in Ballard.

Ballard, old and new: Hattie's Hat bar and restaurant; the new Hotel Ballard

Ballard, old and new: Hattie’s Hat bar and restaurant; and the new Hotel Ballard

Stoneburner restaurant, part of Hotel Ballard

Stoneburner restaurant, part of Hotel Ballard

I will run the whole “Ballard” comic here at Comics Grinder in the coming days.

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Filed under 24 Hour Comics, 24 Hour Comics Day, Alternative Comics, Comics, Comix, Henry Chamberlain, mini-comics

Movie Review: CARTOON COLLEGE

Cartoon-College-Josh-Melrod-Tara-Wray

Cartoon-College-Josh-Melrod-Tara-Wray-2013

One of the most endearing things you’ll see in the documentary, “Cartoon College,” a 2012 film by Josh Melrod and Tara Wray, is Lynda Barry’s declaration of love for anyone who is a cartoonist. Lynda Barry is an interesting case in point. Her style is “outsider” raw while, at the same time, highly sophisticated. It won’t be mistaken for Rembrandt but it’s not supposed to be. Lynda Barry’s comics are authentic, entertaining, and thought-provoking. But can you teach someone how to become another Lynda Barry?

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Filed under Art, Comics, Comix, Documentaries, Independent Comics, James Sturm, Lynda Barry, The Center for Cartoon Studies

Comic-Con 2013: ROBERT WILLIAMS MR. BITCHIN’ Documentary Set To Rock The House

A really good documentary is price-less and that’s what you have with ROBERT WILLIAMS MR. BITCHIN’. This is it folks, the outsider is looking in and he likes being invited to the party. Way ahead of his time, Mr. Robert Williams is now getting the props he so richly deserves. This new documentary has been hailed by world-renowned artist Ed Ruscha as “The best movie about an artist I’ve ever seen.” If you’re at Comic-Con this weekend, hey people, this is one of the reasons you’re there, to see this doc!

ROBERT WILLIAMS MR. BITCHIN’ will be screening this Saturday, at 4 pm, at Marriott Hall 2 (details below). And it will be screening in LA on July 30.

•And don’t miss – Robert Williams signing daily (Thursday 7/18 – Sunday 7/21) during Comic Con at 1:00pm in the Gentle Giant booth #3513

Press release follows:

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Filed under Art, Car Kulture, Comic-Con, Comic-Con 2013, Comic-Con International: San Diego, Comics, Comix, Juxtapoz, Low Brow Art, New Surrealism, Robert Williams, Underground Comics, Whitney Biennial

What It Feels Like To Ride The Kickstarter Beast

Kickstarter_Logo

I love Kickstarter. The ride has been exhilarating. You learn so much when you do a Kickstarter campaign. It really does come down to basics. You learn about yourself, what you’re trying to communicate, how you communicate. This video is interesting to me. I like it. And I know it could be improved upon, believe me. But, overall, I like it. I even love it. And I love my campaign that you can view HERE.

I like myself. Wait, check that, I lOVE myself. That’s important because you have to have a thick skin and accept whatever happens during a campaign. You need to keep perspective. You need to be able to step back and ask yourself if you’ve reached as many people as you’re going to reach during a campaign. I’m still gauging that. Maybe there are some people that I reached but wasn’t able to get them to that last step, the actual pledge. Maybe I missed a whole lot of people somehow. Well, so it goes. That’s the healthy approach. But, yes, there’s plenty of people still to reach. Big hint here to WordPress to make this a Freshly Pressed post! I will state here, without a doubt, I also love WordPress!

And I love all my readers: Hey, go for it! Support this campaign as best you can! Repost this. Give it an official LIKE. Spread the word in any which way you can. Maybe I just had to ask.

You learn, in a pretty significant way, what really matters in goal setting. You set out to achieve a compelling goal that is within your grasp and is in need of funds. Sounds pretty simple. And it can be. For me, my project came naturally to me. And, with only hours left in this campaign, I am so glad I did it, even if I don’t reach my goal. However, who wouldn’t like to reach their goal, especially one that has been carefully thought out and nurtured as mine has? Well, you’re right, I do dearly want to see my comics project make it.

This is a work years in the making and something that will attract readers from many directions: horror, sci-fi, humor, even romance. It will attract readers who love good quirky and offbeat stories. You know who you are! It will attract readers of good solid alternative comics with attention to slice-of-life details. If you love the more artful and literary comics, then this is for you. Each of the short works is an unusual story of self-discovery. One involves a man who must come to grips with killing a bear. Another, the title work, is about a luxury hotel with charming ghosts who are disturbed my a couple of guests with way too much emotional baggage. This story, set in the Sorrento Hotel, refers back to a lot of Seattle history and has a steampunk quality to it. There are a total of four short works that originated from 24-Hour Comics Day experiments. The long story is a coming-of-age piece about a young man’s first adventure in New York City. You can interpret that story in more than one way. So, I’ll keep fighting the good fight. I will. Because it’s so worth it.

You need to carry yourself like you’ve already won, even if it seems like there’s a certain level of indifference. You do this because you trust in yourself the most.

And I’ll definitely keep you posted after this campaign comes to a close on May 6. I’d love to read your feedback and share more of what I’ve learned. But, for now, there’s a campaign still under way! How bad do I want this thing? Pretty bad! You’ve got all the rest of this weekend and all the way through Monday. After that, we’ll talk and see how it goes. Just go to Kickstarter, A NIGHT AT THE SORRENTO AND OTHER STORIES on Kickstarter thru May 6, and head over HERE.

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Filed under 24 Hour Comics Day, Alternative Comics, Comics, Comix, Generation X, graphic novels, Henry Chamberlain, Horror, Humor, Independent Comics, Kickstarter, Romance, Sci-Fi, science fiction, Sex, Steampunk

Stumptown Comics Fest 2013: MARC PALM

It is always a delight to talk with fellow cartoonist and friend, Marc Palm. In this interview from Stumptown Comics Fest, in Portland last weekend (April 27-28), we joke around a bit, although both of us were pretty weary by then, as the festivities were drawing to a close that Sunday. Among the various places you can find Marc, try HERE.

Intruder-Number-6-comics

Marc Palm is a cartoonist based out of Seattle. He is involved with the ongoing comics anthology, INTRUDER. And Mr. Palm will be busy this Saturday, Free Comic Book Day, over at Fantagraphics Bookstore in support of FREAK COMIC BOOK, a Fantagraphics mini that he’s a contributor in. So, if you’re in the Seattle area, you’re going to be busy too checking out your favorite local comics shops including, of course, Fantagraphics Bookstore.

Freak-Comic-Book-Fantagraphics

From the Press Release:

“Fantagraphics Bookstore will issue an exclusive 16-page Freak Comic Book mini featuring a stellar cast of local alternative artists. Edited by Intruder contributor Marc Palm, the book includes new works by Max Clotfelter, Kelly Froh, Eroyn Franklin, Tom Van Deusen, Ben Horak, Darin Shuler, David Lasky, Aidan Fitzgerald, Pat Moriarity, John Ohannesian, Max Badger, and James Stanton. As May 4 is also Star Wars Day – (“May the Fourth Be With You”) – the mini concludes with touching tributes to Yoda by Peter Bagge, Ellen Forney, Jim Woodring, and Kazimir Stzrepek. Freak Comic Book is limited to 100 copies. Many of the contributing artists will be in attendance to sign their work.” FBI informant — with Max Badger Woodring, Jim Woodring, James Stanton, Peter Bagge, Ellen Forney – Cartoonist and Kazimir Strzepek at Fantagraphics Bookstore and Gallery.

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Filed under Alternative Comics, Anthologies, Comics, Comix, Fantagraphics, Fantagraphics Books, Intruder, Marc Palm, mini-comics, Portland, Stumptown Comics Fest, Underground Comics

Stumptown Comics Fest 2013: ELLEN LINDNER

Ellen Lindner is an accomplished illustrator and cartoonist. She is a cheerful, passionate, and whipsmart person with talent to spare. It was very nice to get to meet her and her friend, Robin Ha, an excellent artist in her own right. You’ll definitely want to check out the work of both of these ladies.

In the above interview, we focus on Ellen’s work on the anthology series she co-edits, THE STRUMPET, which showcases women cartoonists. To do justice to this project, I’ve written a separate review that you can scroll down and find or you can read it here.

Ellen-Linder

Ellen’s work has a bold and joyful way about it and a keen sense of humor. Ellen has an intriguing webcomic you’ll want to check out, THE BLACK FEATHER FALLS, on ACT-I-VATE Comics. It is set in the aftermath of World War I. It revolves around, Tina Swift, a woman who is caught in a web of intrigue surrounding a murder in 1920s London. You’ll want to jump in on a read if you haven’t already. You’ll be hooked.

The-Black-Feather-Falls-Ellen-Lindner

You can follow THE BLACK FEATHER FALLS HERE. The series will be collected by Soaring Penguin Press. And you can visit Ellen’s website HERE.

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Filed under ACT-I-VATE Comics, Alternative Comics, Comics, Comix, Ellen Lindner, Independent Comics, Portland, Stumptown Comics Fest, The Strumpet, Webcomics