Category Archives: Millennials

SPX 2018: Time for Small Press Expo, September 15-16!

SPX illustration by Molly Ostertag

Time for Small Press Expo, September 15-16! SPX, created in 1994, is the cornerstone to the comics community. It is at the forefront in promoting and providing support. Each year, more than 4,000 cartoonists and comics enthusiasts gather in Bethesda Maryland for North America’s premiere independent cartooning and comic arts festival. Let the latest news speak for itself. This is from a press release that just came out:

“Small Press Expo announced that it will immediately make available $20,000 and also launch a legal aid fundraising vehicle to support members of the SPX community who are currently facing a defamation lawsuit. The fundraising vehicle, administered by SPX, and created in consultation with the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, will be established for the purposes of defraying the cost of legal representation for the eleven members of the independent comics community named as defendants in the ongoing lawsuit.”

So, yeah, it’s September and that can only mean one thing for die-hard indie comics fans: Small Press Expo! Yes, indeed, each year Bethesda Maryland suddenly becomes, for one weekend, the lightning rod for some of the most cutting-edge comics. If you’re in the area the weekend of September 15-16, then come out to this event and check out some awesome alt-comics.

Now, I must admit that, although I’ve gone and I’ve participated in numerous comics festivals and events as a journalist and as a comics creator, I have never gone to Small Press Expo. Some folks there will have heard of me and some know me from years back. But that doesn’t change the fact that I’m new to SPX. So, I hope to do my best to provide some stellar coverage to this most venerable and respected gathering. Small Press Expo is where much of the indie comics scene gained traction and it remains the jewel in the crown.

So, say hello if you see me and we make eye contact or somehow slip into conversation. We’ll figure it out. Or say hello here at Comics Grinder. If you’re a creator, let me know what you’re up to and maybe we can set up an interview or I can plan to review your work. I don’t exactly expect an avalanche of responses– but I always end up making a decent number of connections at these events. I understand that things will get hectic and maybe you’re shy to begin with. I understand– and I can only focus on so much myself. The main thing is to have fun and to always strive for authenticity. The rest works itself out.

The full press release on the Legal Aid Fund for Cartoonists follows:

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Filed under Alt-Comics, Alternative Comics, Comics, Comix, Independent Comics, Indie, Millennials, mini comics, mini-comics, Minicomics, Self-Published, Small Press, Small Press Expo, SPX

SIC 2016: To Hurt, to Triumph and to Be Human: Expressing Our Humanity Through Technology

IndieFlix CEO Scilla Andreen

IndieFlix CEO Scilla Andreen

IndieFlix CEO Scilla Andreen gave a lot of thought and heart to her presentation at the Seattle Interactive Conference. It was definitely one of the best at this year’s SIC. She literally has enough material to do numerous talks and she played off that fact by bringing up one subject, talking about it, and then moving along to another saying that she could really focus on that only to move on to another. It was all masterfully done and quite entertaining. At the heart of it all, Andreen was talking about empowerment. You could say her journey began with empowering herself and how that led her to help others do the same.

IndieFlix

IndieFlix

We’re undergoing a sea change right now. Women are making inroads that seemed untenable only a few short years ago. At one point, Andreen teased out the idea that we will be seeing a significant change very soon with a Madam President and then she quickly moved along since, as I say, there is much to cover. First off, IndieFlix is doing very well by all the filmmakers who have work up for sale or rental. The RPM payment system that IndieFlix uses pays creators revenue per minute viewed. That is the best method to use and is in pace with how we consume content. Then there is the IndieFlix Foundation that brings home the company’s goals to help support the community through public screenings of activist and educational films. One such IndieFlix-backed film is “Screenagers,” about Millennials and tech.

Consider the title of Andreen’s talk: “To Hurt, to Triumph and to Be Human: Expressing Our Humanity Through Technology.” Andreen not only meets her goal of providing insightful examples of how technology affects us, she takes it a big step further by sharing a personal story. Gently, she peels back the story of her daughter, Rashel, an independent thinker who chose to embark on a career in the coffee business in Ireland. Then the news comes back to Andreen that Rashel has cancer. Andreen turns to the emergency crowdfunding site, GoFundMe. The response is stunning. In a brief time, the family’s goal is more than doubled. But Rashel ultimately passes away. Again, the online response is overwhelming and speaks to the spiritual potential of digital life.

#ForRashel

#ForRashel

The whole time, Andreen tells her story in a conversational yet very direct way. “The most engaging marketing is honest, not perfect, not slick,” says Andreen. In this way, I’m sure, life can be lived and things can emerge organically. I’ll tell you one thing, letting go and trusting one’s instinct is what has led to Rashel to live on through #ForRashel, an ongoing campaign in support of early detection.

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Filed under IndieFlix, Millennials, Seattle, Seattle Interactive Conference, SIC, Technology

Review: REGULAR SHOW: A CLASH OF CONSOLES

Regular Show Boom Studios

Mordecai, a blue jay, and Rigby, a raccoon, are the poster boys for millennials lacking direction and money in a world still reeling from the Great Recession. “Regular Show” misadventures are aired on Cartoon Network back-to-back with similarly loopy “Adventure Time.” If you are looking for a snapshot of where we are today, a third of young people (18-31) are reported to be living with their parents according to a 2012 study by the Pew Research Center. And a lot of millennials are watching “Adventure Time” and “Regular Show.” They are also reading comic books, published by BOOM! Studios, based on these shows. One current title that sums it all up quite well is a new original graphic novel, REGULAR SHOW: A CLASH OF CONSOLES.

RegularShowBoom

This is a story about two regular guys going against the system. The quality of Mordecai and Rigby’s leisure time is at stake when the big three video game companies release all new consoles on the very same day making all previous games obsolete. In the heat of the chaos that ensues, our heroes find themselves on opposing sides of an all-out gaming war. This book is written by Robert Luckett and Rachel Connor with artwork by Zé Burnay. The story and art are a lot of loopy fun appropriate for all ages. The dialogue is snappy, the pace is upbeat, and, if you sense there is more going on, there is! This is a not too thinly veiled tale of corporate greed. Corporations are fighting an all-out war for dominance and they are more than happy to have their customers be the foot soldiers. Puckett and Connor’s script raises this fact to a hilarious level of the absurd. So, in this case, we the readers win.

REGULAR SHOW: A CLASH OF CONSOLES is a 144-page trade paperback available as of May 31, 2016, published by KaBOOM!, an imprint of Boom! Studios. You can find this title at Amazon here.

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Filed under Boom! Studios, Cartoon Network, Comics, Millennials, Regular Show