Monday, December 27, 2010

2010 Comics Year in Review

whatta year!
this year was filled with new art experiences and experiments. From web comics to gallery, lets just go chronologically shall we?
The year started out strong with me still working on my webcomic 'wastedlands' on a semi-regular updating schedule. i soon gave up on wastedlands by april though. during that month i was experimenting with doing abstract comics. i also got the sci-fi bug. i read the entire 2001 4-book series during this month as well as introduced myself to lots of moebius. this made me want to make a 'serious' comic aka one that isnt just filled monsters doing stupid jokes and gags but rather just monsters acting violent and action packed. i started working on the proposed 8 page comic 'C'Mon Man' i then gave up on it after 4 pages....
this later found a home at the magazine catch up whose website seems to be down right now.....

February was cold and snowy as shit.
my comic art along with other cool kids like webcomic luminary Jesse Moynihan and fantasy comic guru Pete Stathis at the green line cafe.
and i pretty much just stayed in and drew all month. working on finishing inhabitants.

March was my birthday and i turned 24! yay! im now in my mid-twenties. March was filled with planning and plotting...

the punk rock flea market 'christmas' edition was pushed back to here and it ended up being during a fucking BLIZZARD. me and jake alvarez did it anyways. a few hundred people showed but not like the few thousand that usually do....

April was awesome. Exhibited at MoCCA for the first time with comic-polish-friends Mike Turzanski and Pete Lazarski and i had my first over-night trip to NYC which they showed me some cool arty parties in the city. good times! that month was the official tabloid take-over for me. I helped put together philly's own free loid Secret Prison 1 as well as have my work shown in Smoke Signal 4 and Taffy Hips 7! that was a big accomplishment for me, to actually be featured in anthologies that have a high standard! plus they ALL premiered at MoCCA, which made me feel giddy.
april was also the month where i started my new comic experiment of 'abstracting' comics. the process was inspired by screenprint test sheets where you test out a full studios screens on one sheet or cloth and all the images pile up on each other creating there own unique image. these experiments will later be featured in art shows and their own book.the image above is actually an abstracted version of 'cmon man 2' which is the first image in this post

So april was great, mocca and tabloids and comic abstracting and i also FINALLY FINISHED INHABITANTS!

May was starting to get sunny!
I had my first try at Curating an art show in May! it was to go adjacent with the release of my comic Inhabitants which took nearly 2 years to finish! The opening was at Pterodactyl and it featured art by Lance Hansen, Box Brown, Hawk Krall, and Ian Harker. it was a fun art show and was a great learning experience in curating. Inhabitants first run was 67 copies which took about 3 months to sell out of.
by this time i was in full swing for organized the philly alternative comic con 2!

June started the philly hot-as-balls time
i had my first solo show at the last drop cafe with all my abstracted comics! of course i didnt promote it at all and no one came to the closing i had for it...but i did get to hang out with Lance Hansen and talk comic shit for a few hours. fun times!
also during the month of june i re-united with my good friend Adam Fergurson to work on a big time gallery installation show called mystic monsters. for about 4 weeks we worked everyday together, me trekking my ass out to west philly from south philly via bike and sweat and working on crazy art stuff.
this month also saw the release of Hive 4 by Grimalkin Press, another super great anthology with high standards i was apart of! great looking perfectbound book with a screenprinted dust jacket!
July was still hot as shit.
and completely packed with artsy shit to do!
well like i said before me and Adam worked for over a month on an art show called Mystic Monsters, a month long installation. i never did do a recap of the show, now being almost 6 months later heres a short one. this was the only time in the year where i did something artistic and NON-COMICS. it was also great to do collaborative work with adam. we literally sat on the floor of his room/studio and drew, glued, and painted out 8 foot long by 3 foot high collage dubbed the wisdom scroll. working in collage is great and i love to do it but never get around to it. also staying completely away from a narrative is hard for me to do, i found myself constantly writing things on the scroll trying to make some sort of sense of it all. of course it looks giant and non-sensical. i also tried my hand at mural arts and installation. the installation being me and adam created a BP oil spill re-enactment at Pterodactyl using old vhs tapes. i then drew a bunch of oily and dead fish floating around the corner of the gallery it was in. for all the literal man-hours and work put into the show i was terrible about documenting it. i dont have any good shots of the actual exhibit and it was pretty much impossible to get any good quality images of the wisdom scroll since it was on a giant, glarey image and glossy magazine paper cut up everywhere wrinkly paper. but adam has some shots of the spill documented here

will also did a big triptych piece of that was super symmetrical and design-y that i have no images of....and we also did a big drawing on an 18 foot wall again no images.... oh and i also put up my whole found photo collection (a hobby of mine) and the abstracted comics and adam had a wall of his artwork too. adams mom actually made a blog post about it you can read here
july was also the month that Seduction of the Innocent was released (i think....maybe it was released earlier...)
anyways this was edited and released by Lance Hansen and features a ton of great well known and not so well known (like me) cartoonists!

another first for me this year in july was being the editor for an art magazine called Dirty, released by Pterodactyl. this was another great experience i had, i got together a bunch of my friends to make art just for this. and the whole product was so unbelievably great! it had thick glossy paper stock, bound by a sewing machine with different color thread per issue, full color, plus a fold out center listing classes for pterodactyl, i was supposed to teach a comic class there but not enough people signed up. oh well. i had Brad Haubrich do the cover and Steve Streisguth do that back, both having a few pages each of art they specifically did for this magazine. i also had comics pages with comics by James T. Arnold, Box Brown, Ian Harker, Beth Heinly, and me.
It was a free and distributed all throughout philadelphia at art galleries, bars, cafes, etc. etc. over 1000 were printed. you can read the whole thing for free online here

the punk rock flea market summer edition was during a fucking HURRICANE. literally. me and jake alvarez held it down though.

i also began my webcomic called Year: 300,000,000 at Ink Answer where you can read the whole thing here.

August was probably the sweatiest month of the year
the biggest event for me all year probably was the philly alternative comic con aka PACC aka pat aulisio comic con.
this was held in early august. it was a huge success in my favor as an artist, organizer, and financially it paid my rent for 3 months and paid off most of my summer bills! i dont want to go on and on about it, but it was awesome, you can read my original impressions here
Secret Prison 2 was released in August and it made secret prison 1 look like a minimum security correctional institute!
Benjamin Marra did the cover and colored comic in the middle and i got to do the back cover in color, as well as make a comic called black santa which some guy called me a racist for. Ian upped his game having international artist contribute and he was cracking his editorial whip at all the philly comics scene to make better comics.
after PACC was done i was working on some comics here and there and then decided to come out with a split book with ian for spx, giving us a 3 week deadline to make a 10 page color comic. this was the fastest i ever worked, granted the editorial decision on the book was to have one panel per page, it was still a lot faster then how i usually work. the idea of having a split book fizzled since somebody couldnt finish there comic and color it in time... segue to

SPX! me and ian then both had 'beat em up' one panel per page square comics ready for the show! his was called Urban Fight and mine was called Bare Knuckle. we tried to make a 90's action sidescrolling video game feel for them. streets of rage, contra, ninja turtle games, was all stuff i was thinking of, and i was actually playing streets of rage on my vintage sega at the time too! i made 30 copies, sold out quickly and have yet to republish it or put the whole story on the web, why? well im just gonna use it for an anthology or something probably then maybe reprint for mocca....
spx was awesome again and me, ian, box, and lance all had good car ride comic talk. as well as rooming/tabling with cody pickrodt who has a shitload of crazy stories!

also for spx i collected all my abstract comics i made last january and the abstracted comics i made last april-june into a comic literally called 'abstracted comics' which recently got reviewed here

for the first time ever i had my comics appear in europe! at a show i was asked to submit comics to in Istanbul, Turkery. this was great exposure which led to a small surge of people from around europe to start following me on facebook and blogger. the idea of the show was 'anyone can make a zine' and they asked a ton of people from all around the world, mainly from europe and countries bordering turkey, but some americans like me and Eamon Espey.

as you can see they hung up a bunch of zines, comics, and art books all over the walls for anyone to read. you can see more about it on the organizers website here

i also started working on putting together a 3d comic in september.

October was still kinda weirdly hot.

i went to pittsburgh to table at the pittsburgh indy expo with box brown and ended up drinking and talking comics with Frank Santoro, Jim Rugg, Jason Lex, and Box which was awesome. also talked comic-organizer talk with the head of the show bill boichel. frank also interviewed me and box there and you can hear the audio here

i submitted a rejected cover of howard the duck for the covered blog and started up a facebook group for Yeah Dude Comics

i just worked on a bunch of things most the month, mainly on the 3d book math fiction

same thing for November
i just kept editing math fiction, which was an anthology with me, Ian Harker, Will Cardini, and Josh Burgraff.
the european art show paid off and i was invited by a different european group to take part in a travelling art show called the last match you can see here
i also cancelled Year 300 million and started my new webcomic called LAZY ORANGE CAT over at Ink Answer

and finally December, which is cold and snowy and shitty out.
i finished up MATH FICTION just in time to release and sell out at the Brooklyn Comics and Graphics Fest! the book was such a huge success for me! i also learned even more about editing, bookbinding, printing, published etc.
i had to use 3 different printers to make the book and i hand glued each page. as well as wrangled the artists and make my own comic and do the whole 3d process!! it was quite the job but well worth it! i think everyone (all 40 of them) who got a copy probably thinks its really fucking cool to own.

Secret Prison 3 was released as well! this one was super artsy and super elite. is Ian Harker trying to be the next big name editor in the comic industry??

and since then ive been working on stuff for a few anthologies, look out for me in 2011 in such titles as Math Fiction Squared, Secret Prison 4, the new issue of KuS!, the Hive anthology, Rube magazine!

and other stuff on my horizon is collaborative works with me as a writer with Box Brown, some cool art gallery shit, possibly a trip to baltimore, a heavy metal art book, more euro invasion stuff, PACC 3, the cancellation of Lazy Orange Cat and a brand new webcomic to take its place, a possible teaching gig, and just plain more comics in general. i also want to post more comic review type posts.

so watch out! and follow this blog!!

Thursday, December 9, 2010


whats new in my horizon? well i just lost my day job and am unemployed or as i like to call it a full time cartoonist. so in between looking for work to pay for christmas presents and bills and avoiding eviction i got my next line of comic projects comin up.

first im going to have 2 pages in the Latvian anthology KUS! which i started to draw already, its going to be a different approach, im drawing it entirely in colored pencil, kinda like the color pages of inhabitants. this wont drop until 2011 in february or so...ill keep you updated

secondly im helping put together a show at philly's coolest studio/gallery/hipster/screenprinting spot SPACE 1026. this also in february. ill keep my mouth shut as to what its going to be about and wait until the main curator whos running the show puts out his press release.

thirdly MATH FICTION SQUARED, the sequel to math fiction will feature more artists, more pages, more 3D, and more weirdness. im aiming for a MoCCA release in April.

fourthly my brother ian is in the very early fetus stages of coming up with an art-comic dudes themed manga. we talked about this on the car ride to and from brooklyn and basically its going to be all about book design and telling a 4 page story in 20 pages done by weirdo artists. if Math Fiction is like Heavy Metal this untitled Manga project will be like the thick newsprint digest sized manga (i dont read manga so i cant think of a title to compare it too)

and of course aside from all that i have my idea and very loose structure of my next book which i plan on making it a 5 issue 16-20 page mini comic series im gonna try to get published or a xeric grant graphic novel sometime in 2012. its going to be about Jon Bowman from 2001: a space odyssey, kramer from seinfeld, and my characters from inhabitants.

oh and one more thing
i still do webcomics over at INK ANSWER right now every monday i update with a new garfie---err... LAZY ORANGE CAT strip. check it out!!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Brooklyn Comics Graphics Recap

ive never really done any recaps before, i always just trolled the internet looking for a mention in others peoples here it is

me and my older brother ian got to brooklyn around 1030 and set up. from 11-12 it was only the artists and the public wasnt let in yet. i used this time to be super OCD and rearrange my books 10 times over and again. i later regretted that and should have used that time to buy cool comics before they sold out/the place was to crowded to get to.

it was the most success ive had a comic con aside from PACC (i only have success from PACC cuz its MY show though).
the place was completely crowded all day long, with tons of people with actual money buying stuff! it being a curated comic show i had another distinct feeling of 'fitting in' compared to shows like spx or mocca where i feel like a little fish in a big pond that no one notices. also there wasnt any real big down time at all, i spent ALLLL day talking to a million different people, some i knew, but a lot of people interested in what i do.

i of course went there with MATH FICTION, which everyone seemed really pumped about. a ton of people looked through it at the show, and 21 lucky people bought a copy and left home with it! i had no expectation at ALL to sell all 21 copies i had at the show, i totally thought 15 would be the maximum i would sell! i was kicking myself wishin i brought more copies since i sold out of them around 6 15, had ian go back to his car so we could sell his contributor copy, i then walked around and showed some people i knew would be interested, then sold the last copy to Zak Sally at like 645. this is what it looked like

want some name dropping?
well some cool philly dudes stop by including, Art Baxter, Bob Pistilli (who was hard-selling secret prison), Steve Teare (who drew on a bunch of the 3d glasses), Jason Clarke (who actually live in nyc now, but hes still a 'philly dude' to me), Dre time, and Tommy Rudmoose

i also saw and chatted with some comix friends of mine like Cody Pickrodt, Tom Smo, Sam Gaskin, Leon and Barry from Secret Acres, Chris Pitzer, Benjamin Marra, Matt Wiegle, Sally Bloodbath, Jim Rugg and Josh Burggraf

and then i also met some cool new people and people i only knew via the net like Anne Koyama, Zack Soto, Mykl Sivak, Tony Shenton, Aidan Koch, Michael Deforge and Jen Tong

and i then talked to like a million more people whose names i forget including a guy that actually lives in philly too that i never heard of that gave me a porn comic and also the guy that runs the Jack Kirby Museum who had a bunch of Kirby Blacklight Posters that looked so god damn trippy in 3d glasses my brain meleted out of my ears a little bit.

the quality of books released was SOOOOOO fucking high.

the highlights of my stash were:
a Jen Tong million-color screenprint art object book
Hot Topic by Sam Gaskin and Matt Furie
Boys Club 4 by Matt Furie
Mongoloid Revenge by Josh Burggraf
the New Smoke Signal issue
Maureen Dowd and Night business 3 by Ben Marra
Uptight 4 by Jordan Crane
Spotting Deer and Lose 2 by Michael Deforge
Good n Ready by Cody Pickrodt
and a Zack Soto collection

i also wanted to get but didnt have the loot for the new issue of Taffy Hips, Closed Caption Comics 9, the new Study Group anthology issue, and Crickets 3 (pbox and desert island were on the front stage that was completely packed the whole time, so i didnt even get to check out what they had...)

it was a long grueling day and we didnt leave until about 845. but i think MATH FICTION went over well and all the responses were great. so many people read my little sign about it being in 3d and were confused, then to put on glasses and open up the book and be amazed and be like "WOW!"

this was also the first show i ever had where there was a crowd and at one point a small line of people at my table, waiting to check out the 3D. it was very ego-satisfying.

all in all it was a great show and had a great time and hopefully made a great impression with MATH FICTION

oh and also Secret Prison 3 was released too which is soooo good! best issue to date. SP is hopefully now in a groove of each issue being exponentially better then the last.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


you can see shit like this in 3D!


oh. DUH!

debuting at the Brooklyn Comics and Graphics Fest!

this is what i've been working on all fall!

it has 4 new stories in the genre of Math Fiction! each weirder then the last!

what is Math Fiction you ask?

well it's kinda like if GOD was just a bunch of numbers the size of a galaxy floating around the universe and created worlds where barbarians roam the wastedlands with mind reading powers that let them see in 6 different dimensions at once, all this is happening while in space entire races of beings,that eat quantum physics for breakfast, walk around doing uni-mind tasks that take billions of light-years to do just for fun. it of course can only be viewed in 3D.
its like Heavy Metal if it were still cool and drawn by me and my friends.

also debuting at my table is SECRET PRISON 3! another great issue with mind blowing artists of course.