Our friends at Short Run are known for their comic arts festival but they have other wonderful events going on year-round. Consider their summer school schedule. I just took Megan Kelso‘s seminar on graphic novels. And I found that to be a very special treat. I like how she equates working on a graphic novel to playing with a big ball of yarn. How true. Even for an experienced cartoonist like myself, there is always something new to learn. I may end up taking some more of these classes if my schedule allows and, if you’re in Seattle, I highly recommend that you do the same. You can take a look at the remaining schedule right below starting with an essential Photoshop workshop led by James Stanton for cartoonists looking for tips on how to color their comics:
Category Archives: Eroyn Franklin
It was a hive of activity at Washington Hall in Seattle, on November 15, 2014 for the annual Short Run Seattle Comix & Art Festival. Comic arts festivals continue to gain ground as interest and demand grows for independent comics. Here in Seattle, Short Run has proven to be the leading venue to connect creators with the public. Now in its third year, the festival offers a dazzling selection of work by some of the best talents in the U.S. and beyond.
I had the pleasure of chatting with Short Run’s Guest of Honor, John Porcellino, and he was quite gracious. My partner, Jennifer Daydreamer, and I had gotten to see an advance copy of the documentary on his life and career, “Root Hog or Die.” Jennifer asked if it had been planned to have the documentary and John’s new book, “Hospital Suite,” come out at the same time. And John explained that the documentary had been years in the making and it was a wonderful coincidence to have these two separate projects join together into a tour. “The documentary is an extension of the book,” said John. I’d go farther to say it’s an extension of King-Cat Comics, as if it took on another life as a film. Well, more to talk about at a later date. I asked John for some recommendations from his Spit and a Half distribution catalog and I’ll be reviewing them shortly.
Among other friends we got to catch up with were Mark Campos and David Lasky, both longtime Seattle cartoonists. I have recent work by Mark that I’ll be sharing with you soon too.
David Lasky, as many of you know, is the co-author, with Frank M. Young, of “The Carter Family: Don’t Forget This Song.” I saw that the book was part of a series of Short Run raffle items. Well, you don’t need to enter a raffle to get your copy of this unique history of the legendary country music icons. You can find it right here.
I also got a fun treat by another beloved Pacific Northwest cartoonist, Pat Moriarity. He had told me about a limited edition mini-comic he had created just for this year’s Short Run. In “Skulptura?” an artist attempts to find his muse. And I also got to chat with Eroyn Franklin, organizer of Short Run, with Kelly Froh and Janice Headley. She was a pleasure to talk with. I asked her about her upcoming comic, “Dirt Bag.” And it is coming along nicely. There was a preview at Short Run that I missed finding. I also should have gotten there early as the early birds got a goodie bag of comix. Well, maybe next year.
In closing, what can I say, Short Run was a rousing success. If you’re in Seattle this time next year, make plans to attend. It’s a comix and art festival and a whole lot more as you’ll see on their site.
“Short Run” is a gathering of small press in Seattle with some added attractions this year. There’s the main event, the Short Run Small Press Festival at Washington Hall on Saturday, November 30, 2013. But, for those who want more, there’s plenty more starting with an event on November 1. Check out the Short Run website for details here.
Press release follows:
Curators Eroyn Franklin and Kelly Froh, pictured above, did it again with the second annual Short Run Small Press Fest. Held at The Vera Project in Seattle Center, Small Run was an awesome gathering of artists and writers: comics, zines art books, animation, independent talent from the Northwest that you just know is good. What follows is a sampling of what Short Run was like this year.
As a cartoonist, I definitely felt at home with this crowd. The Vera Project is a cozy venue for this event providing an intimate yet ample space, the size of a higher end club or restaurant. At times, it got a bit crowded but nothing to worry about, especially if you’ve gone to any convention-type setting. Here, you’re talking a laid back vibe that will see you through very nicely.
For me, Short Run already is quintessential Seattle, bringing together the unique creative spirit of this area. It is on track to becoming a new Seattle tradition.
Randy Wood, pictured above, was one of a number of stellar talent at Short Run this year. Here he is showing off one of his collected books of his “Kitties!” comic strip.
Here is a copy of “The Intruder,” a free newspaper full of local comics talent.
Breanne Boland has a new comic out, “Drawing Bitchface,” a guide on how to make the most of putting on a proper, “bitchface.”
Aron Nels Steinke had his new collection out, “Big Plans,” published by Bridge City Comics. “Mr. Fox” is one of his self-published gems.
The Vera Project is a fascinating place with much to offer like its silkscreen classes and use of its silkscreen studio! Here is Eric Carnell, who helps to keep things moving along at The Vera Project’s silkscreen studio.
Cartoonist Nicole Georges provides much needed advice.
A great time had by all. See you next year at Short Run.
Eroyn Franklin’s special accordion-style comic book, “DETAINED,” calls attention to a serious problem in the United States and world-wide: countless people who fall between the cracks of a faulty legal system and end up being detained, sometimes by mistake, and often for indefinite periods of time. These stories pop up in the news now and then. You might see them as that news item on your screen you bookmark for later or meant to read but never got around to it. Well, you really should.
Consider all of us human beings on planet Earth, and all the countries and governments and conflicts and wars and violence, and the outright need for people to leave one hostile place for another, hopefully safer, place. And then you need to think of what may happen to a lot of these people seeking asylum, a better life, only to be scooped up by a corporate net and held captive with little to no regard for their well-being. Just check out this recent article from The New York Times if you think detention centers are rare and far between. On the contrary, it’s a boom market for the companies who profit from them. The United States, along with other countries, do not run or closely monitor their own detention centers.
What Franklin does with her book is give you a taste of what it’s like to be a typical detainee. There are so many different stories to tell, some gruesome and heart-breaking. These two that Franklin presents are not overtly dramatic and yet even these more understated portraits give you a glimpse into the rampant violence, neglect and utter incompetence that goes hand in hand with all of these detention centers. In this case, it is Seattle’s former INS building and the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma. What Franklin’s portraits do is paint a picture of what is most likely to happen. At the very least, if you are a detainee, there’s a good chance you shouldn’t even be a detainee, your stay will be indefinite, your stay will be at least as bad as any prison, and there is a contractor profiting from your stay with no motivation to see you leave.
The book focuses on two detainees: Many is a Cambodian refugee who had a few run-ins with the law as a kid but who shouldn’t have ended up in a detention center; and Gaby, a Mexican, who simply got rounded up and must do some time at a detention center. The more you read about detainees, the more you wonder who exactly needs to be in a detention center. Given the fact that these centers are run for a profit, the overriding need to house people to make money is the only thing that makes sense. It is good politics and good business to crack down on immigration so people like Many and Gaby must be punished. Some detainees can’t bear the stress of the abusive conditions and not knowing when, if ever, they might be released and so they kill themselves. Franklin refers to that as well as the fact that these centers are so understaffed that the inmates must work, basically as slaves. The beauty of Franklin’s work is in its understatement. You be the judge, she seems to be saying.
This is a compelling story told in a compelling way. The continuous panorama that follows these two immigrants is quite mesmerizing. You literally loose yourself in the comics as you get a sense of day to day existence in these centers. It’s no surprise that comics journalism can be quite effective in telling a story and this is a great example of it. The book spreads out to 26 feet of folded up panles, each story on one side, a total of 78 color pages. This also includes, incredibly, two full-sized posters! You can pick up your copy by contacting the artist. You can also just visit Eroyn Franklin at her site. And, if you happen to be in Seattle, you must go see her at an amazing small press expo called, “Short Run,” at the Vera Project at Seattle Center, on Saturday, November 12. Admission is free. You must go! And check out CLP, the Common Language Project that compliments this book at clpmag.org. You can also learn more at American Civl Liberties Union, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Detention Watch Network, Northwest Immigrant Rights Project and One America.
“Short Run” cofounder, Eroyn Franklin, is collaborating with her sister, Tory Franklin, to bring you the art show, “ Tales of Two Sisters,” at the Vera Project in Seattle Center. Both sisters are known for providing thought-provoking work shrouded in just the right mix of mystery and cerebral wanderlust. The show runs from October 4 thru October 28. The reception is October 12 and runs from 6:30 to 10pm.