10/18/2018

Juan here with a mid-October weekend recap:
the Idea Factory and the Eighth Annual Pittsburgh Zine Fair


Last weekend was a brilliant doozy here in Pittsburgh. I mentioned that it was a busy one, so you knew something was coming!

I was programmatically double booked, with a cartooning program, the Idea Factory, from 10am-4pm at the Children’s Museum on Saturday and Sunday, and then as one of the head organizers of the Pittsburgh Zine Fair the zine fair’s annual mixer and reading from 4pm-7pm and the main zine fair event from 2-8pm. Combining the setting up, the striking, the picking up of a U-haul and tables Sunday morning at 6am… It was a lot. Thankfully, I wasn’t afraid to ask for help and got the much-needed assistance from the cartooning team that I scheduled at the museum, and my fellow zine fair organizers. Thank you so much.

I was anxiously going over all possible scenarios, load-ins, transitions, shifts at the museum, and above all the zine fair set up. This anxiety filled all last week, so I’m happy to say that it all went swimmingly. I hate that feeling of anxiety trying to get all of your ducks in a row while an event looms ahead, especially when certain things can only come together last minute, but it’s that feeling that drives me to be careful and make sure that everything goes without a hitch. Especially when you’re in a sequence of weekend that all follow each other, in this case, SPX and CXC happening every other preceding weekend… We made it through folks!

The Idea Factory was a concept that I came up with Zena Ruiz, the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh’s Program Manager. The idea was to create a playful space for an imaginary patent office for contraptions. The goal was to come with ideas for Rube Goldberg style contraptions and draw out blueprints for these contraptions, live, and for kids to take them home to decorate their homes. This process was to be a collaborative one between children visiting the museum and local cartoonists. I was the ringleader of this drawing circus. On hand I had a great crew that comprised of Jennifer Lisa, Audra Stang, Asia Bey, Caleb Orecchio and Camden Yandel. They were my brilliant inventors.

When visiting the Idea Factory, the kids found prompts on colored paper all around the room. These prompts invited them to make a contraption that did a certain thing, buttered toast, brushed a horse’s hair, fed a goldfish, etc. They did this on letter size sheets of white paper. When they were done, they brought their finished draft to the inventor/cartoonists. Children were visiting the museum with their parents so my team had plenty of parental assistance when kids were confused, stuck or needed a snack.


For my crew of cartoonists, their primary role was to work with kids to take their ideas to JUMBO size with writing and clear drawing. Using a big black marker, the cartoonists reviewed over the drawings with the kids asking them about what they drew. How one part connected to the next part and the next part. This was done by having the child work witht the constraints in the prompts and arrive at a workable silly or serious, though usually silly, drawing. Then they went up to the cartoonists and described their machine. The cartoonist the wrote down the play by play in the tradition of Rube Goldberg’s cartoons. Then they worked together to draw, color and label the jumbo blueprint version of their machine. It was REAL.

This was essentially a writing and editing exercise that allowed children to see how their ideas translated across forms. Of course, that was all going on under the hood. On the surface, the kids were drawing their inventions with inventors! It was such a blast.

Besides having fun, the underlying goal was to create a collaborative moment between adult and child of communication and collaborative work – where the child could see their idea fleshed out by someone else. In this sense, it would allow them to be listened to.  That their ideas are worthy of attention. This sense of validation is very important to me in the workshops that I lead, with both adults and children. All of this in the tradition of Fred Rogers.

A huge thank you to Zena for inviting us to spend these two amazing days at the museum during Rube Fest. Another huge thank you to museum staff who were always on hand to solve any problems that came up!

 


What else? Well, the Pittsburgh Zine Fair returned to its home base, the Union Project on Sunday!

Naturally, by this point of the weekend I was beat. All of the previous week, I was on the verge of tears balancing all of this stuff all of last week on top of my day job and getting some sleep. I can’t tell you what a relief it was at 4pm when my old radio pal, dj extraordinaire Allison Cosby stepped up to the plate  play a set of reggae and dub on WRCT Pittsburgh’s mobile rig. It was bliss. The sun was beaming in through the stained glass windows, the dub warmed my body with its groove, the wall of noise of chatter fluttered around me.  People were smiling, trading, spending money, eating tacos, catching up, meeting for the first time. In all the wretched isolation that comics creates as a commodity form, these moments are what I live for. People really sweetly asked if I had some new comics and zines and I smiled that I’d been busy with other work. Thankfully, they got it.

Pittsburgh Zine Fair 2018 – photo by Di-ay Battad

In it’s eight iteration, the zine fair is a real community production. For example we don’t get access to the space until 1pm, so the first 15 minutes is us all collectively working together to get all 38 tables set up and to get all exhibitors in their spots! It’s a zine fair so we fly low to the ground and are super agile/flexible. Despite that, it was still a super stressful 15 minutes this year. Thankfully, exhibitors Max Gonzalez and Jerome Charles stepped up and helped me direct folks to where tables needed to go. And, as per usual everyone was game to lend a hand and make it happen. And, make it happen we did.

Thom Delair, Raiona Gaydos, Jennifer Lisa and Kate Harmon all pitched in and helped things flow during the fair where we received 790+ attendees from 2-8pm. Wild. We were all wearing many hats that day, organizer Christina Lee was hustling her wares and repping her new print studio, Pullproof Studio, and organizer-on-hiatus/ new-momma Maggie Negrete was there showering her yet-to-be-month-old Mora in the glow of zines. It was a family affair.

We were lucky to have Di-ay Battad snapped some photos right as we opened our doors:

We’re proud of how affordable we can keep table fees. We charge $10 for a 1/2 table and $20 for a full, this is thanks to our low overhead and the great relationship we have with our host site, the Union Project. This important to me personally. This cost allows people to experiment with publishing techniques, commit to publishing things and ideas that are hard to sell, while ensuring that they won’t have to dig themselves out of a financial hole because of their self-publishing.

This year we received 143 applicants but could only offer spots to 64 exhibitors -ACK – this put us in a pickle as to our curatorial process. Above all we wanted, as we always do, to uplift the work and voices of marginalized makers while creating a fertile and ecologically diverse intellectual and artistic landscape in Pittsburgh. The head organizers got together + 6 volunteers and we evaluatde our applicants along several axes to arrive at our 64. It went smoother than any prior year, but it was a whirlwind of a process. Though it wasn’t easy, but it seems to have been successful as multiple people came to me explicitly to tell me how much they enjoyed the variety of zinesters on hand.

It’s important to take note, this is a zine fair, not comics show, not an art book fair. There’s nothing inherently wrong about those things, but there are some things that inevitably get lost in those spaces. Aesthetics and popularity before community and empowerment, more often than not.

At the Pittsburgh Zine Fair, we hold in highest regard the idea of democratic multiple and the self-authorization that zines give our community of makers. A high school poet who has been exhibiting at the fair for 3 years now mentioned that she wants to work with the zine fair to organize a high school zine fair in the coming year. What could be more exciting than that? That’s what I’m here for.

-juan

 


10/18/2018 – by Fifi Martinez

10/18/2018 – by Fifi Martinez

10/18/2018 – by Niall Breen

Cement Mixer 296 – by Caleb Orecchio – 10/18/2018

10/10/2018

Juan here. It’s been a while since we talked. Here’s hoping you’re having a good day so far. I’m here in Pittsburgh getting ready for what is looking to be like a fun, doozy of a weekend. Before I dive back into that work I’d like to step back and reflect on this year’s Cartoon Crossroads Columbus (CXC).

For anyone wondering about CXC, it was a blast. I’m not one to write much, but as I’ve mentioned before, CXC is on track to becoming America’s Angoulême. A festival that uses the entire city as campus. Accessible, free and intergenerational. Sales and the marketplace, while important, take a back seat to human connection. Something that I love about this show is that amidst all the programming, there’s time for you to get what you need from Columbus. I knew of people hitting the bars, going to nature preserves, visiting nearby family. I got to do my thing and celebrate the new release of a new Magic the Gathering set, Guilds of Ravnica by playing in two, that’s right TWO, tournaments,

On the educational front, Comics Workbook led three workshops. Each workshop was packed, a full house. We handed out our new workbook zine and led attendees through the activities therein. We couldn’t have asked for a better host than CXC. They promoted our work really well, provided us with a great workshop space and they brought out Columbus’ aspiring comics makers in droves.

At our table I played around with folks making some jumbo sized jam comics on easels. Through playful activities, each person who stopped by to draw was getting a free comics fundamentals lesson. I love being able to use play to invite reluctant or shy makers to open up and see what they can do. I couldn’t have asked for a better table mate than Caleb. He led his own workshop, got me some food when I was famished, sold our comics and zines left and right and collaborated with attendees at our activity table.

Here’s the nitty gritty: I drove in Friday evening and drove back to Pittsburgh Sunday night with Caleb Orecchio.

SATURDAY:
Friday night I slid into Columbus at 11:55pm, after driving straight from work in Pittsburgh. I arrived just in time to register for the midnight prerelease at lovely gaming store, the Guardtower. I played magic until 6:45am, 5 rounds of matches, 4 wins, 1 loss. It was a blast. As the sun was rising I zipped over to the hostel where I was staying, freshened up, got some breakfast and then met my trusty sidekick for the weekend, Caleb Orecchio at the Columbus Metropolitan Library. We set up our spots, one table for sales and another for collaborative drawing activities with attendees. I downed some coffee, caught up with Caleb and in no time the library filled up with attendees. We were off to the races.

The day zipped by, a sea of new faces and a welcoming stream of old friends from across the country. It was nice to catch up with folks left and right. I had the pleasure of meeting Maggie Umber, Feña, Breena Nuñez Peralta and Annie Koyama and catching up with Iona Fox, Whit Taylor, Kat Fajardo, and Kurt Ankeny on the expo floor.

The day raced by and we wrapped up by 5pm, I wolfed down a salad from the library cafe and debated going to sleep or playing in another magic tournament. Of course, I went to play in another tournament. That one, didn’t go so well, as the lack of sleep was really getting to me. Thankfully it was a team format where two players collaboratively built decks and faced off against another teams. Thanks to Carl from Columbus for holding my hand through the crazy combat math at the end of the night. Tournament over, I drove home to the hostel, slightly delirious, and konked out.

SUNDAY:
I was up and at ‘em at 8:30 and I got ready for Richie Pope’s talk with William Evans at the Columbus Museum of Art. Great venue, great talk and a great crowd. I have to admit that I’ve been sleeping on Richie. What a fool I’ve been. Through the internet I’ve seen comics by him here and there and his work has come through Copacetic enough for me to read and appreciate. I had recently read “The Box We Sit On” and had slightly lost my mind for how great of a comic it was.

It was a joy to see this conversation where strands of his work were woven together to create this portrait of a complex, inviting body of work. To see Richie’s calm, fluid and excited way of talking about all of it, what a gift. What a titan. What an excellent maker. The way that he weaves personal symbology, playful lines, smart color palettes, humor and poetry… A Richie Pope appreciation post is to come in the near future. What an inspiring guy…

After that, it was back to the library for day 2 of sales and workshops. After that, it was time to wrap up and head back home to Pittsburgh. But not without getting a drink with Ron Wimberly. to catch up and weave together a bunch of ideas. There’s few people I have more fun talking to in comics than Ron. People flowed in and out of our conversation and it was nice to feel the flow of it all. We talked about the greatness of Richie Pope, food as the highest art form, language/ guilt symbol transmission stuff, personal comics making processes, art and labor, 9/11, memes, the French origins of critical theory, tumblr and more. it was really nice to talk with everyone, together.

Caleb and I hit the road and we were back in Pittsburgh around 1am.

Thank you as always to Tom Spurgeon for directing yet another great show. Thank you to the Board and everyone involved at all the different venues. And of course thank you to Lucy Caswell, without whom none of this would exit. You make cartoonists feel appreciated which is hard to do. Thanks.


So, what’s coming up in Pittsburgh?

Well, in between the the constraints of time imposed by my day-job I’ve been trying to get all the ducks in a row for the Pittsburgh Zine Fair and the IDEA FACTORY, a fun concept that will be part of Rube Fest, the festival to celebrate the opening of the Children’s Museum’s new exhibit, Rube Goldberg™: The World of Hilarious Invention! Artists are taking over parts of the Museum where guest inventors, artists and activities will inspire visitor’s vision and put their problem-solving skills to the test.

I was asked to come up with a performance style workshop that playfully celebrated the limitless capacities for invention that paper and pencil allowed. To this effect we will be having a wacky patent office where children will be invited to work with local cartoonists to turn inventions that they’ve drawn into jumbo sized blue-prints that they’ll be able to take home. It’s been fun wrangling a crew of regular Pittsburgh Comics Salon attendees to run this activity.

Come Sunday, zines will be pouring out of the Union Project! That’s right, it’s time for the Eighth Annual Pittsburgh Zine Fair. I’ll have a recap of that next week. As one of the primary organizers of the fair I have to make sure things go smoothly so I need to hop to it. Photos of Rube Fest and the Zine Fair to come. In the meantime check out that poster by the great Christina Lee! Perfection.

For now, I’m off to get all those ducks in a row!

over and out,
juan


10/10/2018 – by Niall Breen

10/10/2018 – by Fifi Martinez

09/26/2018

Juan here with a Hannah K. Lee interview by Chris Diaz from 2015 and our upcoming workshops at Cartoon Crossroads Columbus


Here on the site we’ve got an interview of Hannah K. Lee by Chris Anthony Diaz.

This interview was conducted in 2015 via email.
Chris Anthony Diaz: In Shoes Over Bills no. 2, there’s a dichotomy in the page layout of materialism and desires (shoes) on the left side of the two-page spread and monthly obligations and needs (bills) on the right side of the spread, rendered in your colorful, stylized, retro graphics and typography. It’s a potent expression of what choices a young woman faces, enticed by beauty to spend her earnings on. Like two sides of a debate, one side wooing her to buy gratification in possessions or the other side pitching her to commit to practicality, like eating. How did this zine come about for you and what was the original impetus of this theme? (The dichotomy appears again in Everyone Else Is Younger And More Talented, so it appears to be a theme or expression that you are concerned with.)

Hannah K. Lee: Issues #2: Shoes over Bills was first a smaller chapter of a bigger project I wanted to do called No Money Mo Problems, A “lifestyle guide for impoverished freelancers”. A lot of those ideas were stupid, so I extracted Shoes over Bills and made it its own project. I started it right before I started my corporate day job, when I was learning about boring adult things like money management and regular visits to the dentist.

This weekend, the Comics Workbook team will be in Columbus for Cartoon Crossroads Columbus(CXC). We’ll be focused on facilitating comics creation for attendees this time around. We are offering 3 hours of comics workshops across the weekend and will have drop in activities and take home workbooks at our table on the marketplace floor. This is the first time we lean into the education mindset fully so we’re excited to see how it goes! If you’re in Columbus, be sure to stop by and say hello.

I’ve just taken a moment to review the programming for the weekend and the quality is off the charts. Cartoon Crossroads Columbus’ programming is incredible. The amount of things happening in just one hour on Saturday at the Columbus Metropolitan is crazy! Needless to say, if you like comics, get yourself to Columbus this weekend to meet and engage with the finest makers of comics in North America.

Don’t believe me? At 2pm, the following events will all be going on concurrently in the library:

  • Cartooning In The Time Of Trump, Part One: Mid-Term Mania
  • A Life’s Work with Lynn Johnston, Jason Lutes, Jim Woodring
  • Spotlight On Hartley Lin And Young Frances
  • Radical Praxis In Comics: Comics Practice As A Way Of Life And Community
  • Katie Skelly Spotlight

Talk about hitting it out of the ballpark.

I know I shouldn’t be surprised by this week of superb comics programming coming from the CXC organizing team and all their partners, but it’s really hitting me the degree to which this is the USA’s Angoulême. What a time to be alive making comics…

That’s it for now! See you in Columbus.


09-26-2018 – by Niall Breen

09/19/2018

Juan here checking in with a mini SPX Report.

First off, a huge thank you goes out to team at SPX, especially Warren Bernard, Lynda Bernard, Rob Clough, Danethin Mejia and Eden Miller for helping us with making these workshops happen! WE had a great time! Also thank you to all of our workshop instructors – you made it happen <3


SPX was solid this year for me. I had some great experiences teaching, caught up with fellow CCS graduates, connected with Santoro School alums, and reconnected with tumblr and instagram comics makers new and old. Nothing ground breaking, just a good continuation of the story from previous years.

As is our Comics Workbook tradition, we held down the fort in the Glen Echo Room offering back-to-back workshops with world class cartoonists and comics makers. Attendee’s ages ranged wildly, which was exciting. For the most part, all attendees were aspiring makers or folks who wanted to dip their toes into comics making. It’s nice to be able to offer a space for these people. Sally Ingraham masterfully coordinated all of our workshops and the Workbook crew assisted in shifts. It all went gloriously smoothly.

This year, I wrangled up the core group of the Pittsburgh Comics Salon to form the heart of this year’s crew. Above all, my priority this year was being of service to the Pittsburgh Comics Salon’s crew that was in attendance. Lane Graff, Graciela Sarabia, Audra Stang, Syd Blackwell, Sam Ombiri, Ann Lewis, Caleb Orecchio and Sally Ingraham.

The 2018 SPX Crew

SPX, if you’re coming from outside of the D.C./Maryland area can be overwhelming, and at times especially strange. There’s no explicit program for after hours mingling other than the Ignatz Awards and the newly developed “Prom”, for better or for worse.

If you stay in the hotel, you can sometimes feel trapped. While, yes it’s, folks can just figure out how to take care of themselves – look up food on their phones, find hotels, etc. it is difficult to properly optimize your experience of this weekend without having been there. I wanted to bridge that gap for my fellow comics makers in Pittsburgh.

Going to SPX is like entering a bubble. It’s an interesting, satisfying comics bubble, but it is one that takes getting used to. If you don’t go into that bubble prepared to take breaks, with a plan for food, with snacks and water on hand, or with a comics budget, SPX can really wreck you! It’s a monster of a show that way.

In light of this I wanted to make sure that everyone had access to what they needed.

I attended SPX for the first time in 2010 on Bill Boichel’s urging. I’m thankful he was there that year so that I could check in with him every now and again as he sailed across the room meeting makers and buying work to sell at Copacetic Comics. Without that anchor during my first year, would have been quite different and far more overwhelming.

To be able to attend with this group in tow was a really satisfying experience. I’m thankful I could coordinate this trip from Pittsburgh and be their support in Bethesda.

As I’ve said before my priority has been to cultivate this local community of makers. I love comics making, but people come before them, always.

Workshop Report
Sally Ingraham, will have a full report on Friday. Our workshops were more full than ever. Lots of networking between students and instructors happened after each workshop.

Comics Reviews
You can expect some reflections on books that we received or purchased at SPX to trickle out as the month progresses. It takes time to read comics, to experience them and enjoy them so you won’t see any rushed reviews or reflections from us here at Comics Workbook.

Stay tuned for more insights.

Thank you!
juan


09-29-2018 – by Niall Breen

New for September 2018 at Copacetic Comics

WeMeWe Are All Me
by Jordan Crane
Here it is, at last:  a cosmic consciousness primer for kids.  In these pages, Crane has stripped down his æsthetic to its core, crafting bold, optic nerve stimulating illustrations that leap scales from the macroscopic to microscopic and back again, in dynamic and wildly colorful images that are straight forward and immediately, intuitively comprehensible.  Taken together with the accompanying simple blocks of text, the series of sequential combinations of images that make up We Are All Me unlock a latent power strong enough to light up dormant neurons, leading to new connections, and stimulating speculations, revealing a sense of wonder at creation capable of carrying open and ready readers to another plane of consciousness.  “I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together…”

retail price – $12.99  copacetic price – $11.75

RP

Roly Poly
by Daniel Semanas
Daniel Semanas takes readers along on a wild ride through a neon jungle in his latest work.  Published by Fantagraphics, Roly Poly is a square format, full color, hardcover volume that is packaged inside of an open-ended slipcase.  Reading these comics featuring a avatar-esque kick-boxing, motorcycle-riding, partying, Instagrammer named Phanta, is a bit like being immersed in a very cool gaming environment, where you never know what’s going to happen next.
retail price – $19.99  copacetic price – $17.77CD

Coyote Doggirl
by Lisa Hanawalt
It appears that the new Lisa Hanawalt is a  > gasp! < graphic novel.  This 156 page full color hardcover just showed up, so we can’t say more than confirm that it is drawn in the clean-black-line-with-lush-watercolor-fill style that Hanawalt fans will immediately recognize.  Here’s the official party line:  “Coyote is a dreamer and a drama queen, brazen and brave, faithful yet fiercely independent. She beats her own drum and sews her own crop tops. A gifted equestrian, she’s half dog, half coyote, and all power. Together with her trusty steed Red, there’s not much that’s too big for her to bite off, chew up, and spit out right into your face, if you deserve it.”
retail price – $22.95  copacetic price – $20.00Noc

Nocturne
by Tara Booth
The unconscious is a playground.  Dreaming and waking lives intertwine as desires ebb and flow against and between an air of midnight blue.

retail price – $14.99  copacetic price – $13.75

FZ


Lost in the Fun Zone

by Leif Goldberg
Take a ride down a stream of (un)consciousness with Giorgio and Dimitrius as they explore every nook and cranny of the Fun Zone.  You won’t ever know what’s going to happen when you turn the page.
retail price – $19.99  copacetic price – $16.75FoK

The Fruit of Knowledge
by Liv Stromquist
Fruit of Knowledge: The Vulva vs. The Patriarchy
 has hit America’s shores!  Employing a merciless onslaught of comics rhetoric, Liv Strömquist storms the patriarchal fortress with weapons readily at hand (including satire, sarcasm, synecdoche and more – all leavened with a healthy sense of humor).  Remember, not all Vikings were men. You have been warned.
retail price – $22.99  copacetic price – $20.00PAPT


People Are Places Too

by Theo Ellsworth
Yes!  An all new self-published Theo Ellsworth zine!  39 never before published pen and ink drawings on the theme of the spatial nature of self-image and identity as only Theo Ellsworth can envision. A treat for the eyes – and the mind!
retail price – $6.00  copacetic price – $6.00CS12

Comix Skool USA #12
by Kevin Huizenga
We’re back to the digest size with this, the twelfth issue of Comix Skool.  This cardstock cover-wrapped issue contains a turbocharged take on select aspects of comics manufacturing.
retail price – $5.00  copacetic price – $5.003Sis


Three Sisters

by Gilbert Hernandez
MORE
 Gilbert H. comics – close to 300 pages! The comics collected here were originally published in the early-to-mid aughts, appearing in the second volume of Love and Rocketsas well as the concurrently published Luba’s Comics & Stories.   Some of these comics have already been previously collected in Luba: Three Daughters and High Soft Lisp as well as the hardcover Luba omnibus. Now, here, they at last find their permanent home as the fourteenth volume in the affordable and attractive Fantagraphics uniform edition of Love and Rockets.  Luba, Fritz, Pipo, Doralis, Mila and the rest have more than their fair share of ups and downs in this heartbreak soup of comics tales.
retail price – $19.99  copacetic price – $15.99

SW

Slum Wolf
by Tadao Tsuge; edited and translated by Ryan Holmberg
The latest Garo-centric manga project from the (apparently, see below) indefatiguable Ryan Holmberg is this curated collection of nine classic tales of down-and-outers on the fringe of Japanese society by the legendary Tadao Tsuge.  All the works in Slum Wolf were created in the 1960s and ’70s, with all but three originally running in Garo.  All works herein collected – including a bonus autobiographical essay by Tsuge, “Always a Tough Guy at Heart” – were translated and edited by Mr. Holmberg, who has also supplied a highly informative essay that closes out the collection, which runs 328 pages in total.  Anyone wanting to learn more, can read an illustrated excerpt of this essay on the NYRB site, HERE.

retail price – $22.95  copacetic price – $20.00

Trouble

The Troublemakers
by Baron Yoshimoto; edited and translated by Ryan Holmberg
In yet another great manga collection edited and translated by Ryan Homberg, here we have six classic manga tales from the Gekiga master, Baron Yoshimoto whose hyperbolic observations of the social transformations taking place in the new post-WW II generation in Japan grab the reader’s attention and don’t let go.  The title’s of this collection’s stories will give you an idea of what’s in store:  “Eriko’s Happiness”, “High School Brawler’s Ditty”, “Insect”, “The Gambling Stripper”, “Nostalgia”, and “The Girl and the Black Soldier”.  Totaling 225 pages, these tales were originally published in Japan between 1966 and 1974.  This volume also includes an 18-page illustrated essay by Holmberg, ‘natch.

retail price – $20.00  copacetic price – $17.75

Winner

The Winner
by Karl Stevens
Karl Stevens runs his victory lap in this collection of (mostly) full color short pieces that (to some degree, anyway) depict his struggles to live a life less dependent on sarcasm and irony.  A follow up to his previous collection, FailureThe Winner finds Karl recently espoused, newly sober and, as you may have already surmised from the cover illustration, working as a museum guard – but still residing in Boston and still an ace in the Pen & Ink Rendering of Reality (and, in one bit, Fantasy, as well) Department.  This time around Mr. Stevens fleshes out his drawing with plenty of color, employing a variety of methods, primarily watercolor.  Fans of his previous work will not be disappointed, and newcomers possessing the proper temperament and appropriately dry sense of humor may find themselves pleasantly surprised.

retail price – $17.99  copacetic price – $15.75

OP
Other People: Days of the Bagnold Summer & Driving Short Distances

by Joff Winterhart
As this has only just arrived, but as this double-dose of comics new-to-US-readers by Joff Winterhart has been previously published in the UK, where it garnered some impressive praise by some people whose opinions we pay attention to (see below), we dove right in.  So far we can report that Days of Bagnold Summer consists of a narratively linked series of one-page comics, each of which stands on their own yet each one building on the previous to tell the story advertised by the title.  Days of Bagnold Summer doesn’t blink in presenting the uncomfortable aspects of adolescence and adolescent parenting (Our blurb might read, “There’s a cringe on every page!”).  “Beautifully drawn and exquisitely written… confirms Winterhart as one of the most talented graphic novelists in the UK.”  – Zadie Smith on Driving Short Distances  “There is probably no truer portrait of teenage and parental angst.” – Posy Simmonds
retail price – $25.00  copacetic price – $20.00

 

Paprika

Paprika Storyboard Book
by Satoshi Kon
And here’s a hefty tome for students of animé and fans of Kon Satoshi – and a dream come true for those who are both!  This 700 page softcover from Japan contains over 3000 storyboard drawings – crisply printed in black & white with greytones, on off white paper – that break down the entire film. Yes, there is plenty of bonus material – but, as with the rest of the book, the text is almost entire in Japanese.  But, of course, it’s the drawings that are the feature attraction here, and the column headers on the storyboards are in English, which is enough to guide students of the film through the process of breaking it down into its component drawings.  Import.
copacetic price – $55.75MW

Miyazaki World
by Susan Napier
And, while we’re on the topic of animé here’s an in-depth look at a master of the form.  Years in the making, Susan Napier’s critical biography of the world’s greatest living animator, Hayo Miyazaki is now available from Yale University Press, who state:  “Japanese culture and animation scholar Susan Napier explores the life and art of this extraordinary Japanese filmmaker to provide a definitive account of his oeuvre. Napier insightfully illuminates the multiple themes crisscrossing his work, from empowered women to environmental nightmares to utopian dreams, creating an unforgettable portrait of a man whose art challenged Hollywood dominance and ushered in a new chapter of global popular culture.”  Miyazai World is a 300 page hardcover, illustrated in black & white, plus a 16-page section of full color plates.
retail price – $30.00  copacetic price – $26.75

 

These items and more may also be found at our eCommerce site, HERE.

09/12/2018

Juan Fernandez on Comics Workbook’s 2018 SPX Workshops


This weekend the Comics Workbook gang makes the annual pilgrimage from Pittsburgh to Bethesda, Maryland to join in on the explosion that is the Small Press Expo. If you’d like to take part in any of our workshops, or just want to find us to chat, you can find us posted at the Glen Echo Room at SPX.
See you soon!

Below’s the schedule of our workshops:

SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 15

12:00 – 1:00 pm Glen Echo Room

Comics with Juan Fernandez

Join the Comics Workbook team for an hour of comics-crafting. Learn about color and line, explore the rhythm of the grid, and take your comics-making game to a new level. Simple exercises will push you in mind-bending directions. Juan Fernandez is a cartoonist and educator in Pittsburgh, PA. He organizes the Pittsburgh Comics Salon, facilitates Comics Workbook, and works for the Pittsburgh Arts Council. All ages.

 

 

1:30 pm – 2:30 pm Glen Echo Room

Clay Sculpture Characters With Liz Reed

Learn how to make clay ice cream cone characters with Sweet Success author/sculptor Liz Reed.  Attendees will create their very own unique clay character as Liz guides the class through different sculpting techniques using everyday household items. All ages.

 

 

 

 

3:00 pm – 4:00 pm Glen Echo Room

Comics With Dash Shaw

Spend an hour with groundbreaking cartoonist Dash Shaw, creator of BodyWorld, Bottomless Belly Button, New School, Doctors, and Cosplayers, as well as the animated film My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea. Dig into his experience and influences, and pick up tips on storytelling and techniques from a master of the form. All ages.

 

 

 

4:15 pm – 5:15 pm Glen Echo Room

Comics with Molly Ostertag

Join Molly Ostertag, award-winning creator of the middle-grade graphic novel Witch Boy, and ongoing webcomic Strong Female Protagonist, among other projects, as she discusses creative process, discipline, and Dungeons & Dragons. All ages.

 

 

 

 

5:30 pm – 6:30 pm Glen Echo Room

Comics With The Latin American Youth Council & Mentors

Join Jason Rodriguez, Santi Cesares, and young creators from LYLC for a bilingual workshop about using comics to tell stories that can cross language barriers and break down cultural differences, giving a voice to children and teens who desperately need to be heard. Comics as a transformative tool for change! Please note that there will be a No Pictures policy during this workshop. All ages.

 

 



SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 16

1:00 pm – 2:00 pm Glen Echo Room

Comics With Mosi

Mosi is a Portuguese cartoonist and art teacher based in Lisbon. Join her for a discussion about comics as a medium of communication and self-expression. Drawing is a wide and complex language that can be explored to express our deepest feelings, emotions, thoughts and – above all – express who we really are! In this workshop Mosi will use comics as a tool to get to know more about each other; break the ice, start a conversation and learn about the others around us through what they draw and how they do it. Bring your positivity, curiosity and get in the mood for a good time! All ages.

 

2:30 pm – 3:30 pm Glen Echo Room

Kickstarter Presents: Five Elements of a Healthy Comics Campaign

Whether you’re gearing up for volume 3 of your ongoing series or on the fence about launching your first ever anthology, you can make a killer Kickstarter campaign when you come prepared. Join Comics Outreach Lead Camilla Zhang in this educational seminar about the key elements of a successful Kickstarter campaign. And feel free to tweet specific questions @illathekilla using the #KickstarterSPX hashtag prior to the event!

 

 

3:30 pm – 4:30 pm Glen Echo Room

Comics Workbook Hangout

Take a crash course in comics making – for kids big and small. We will bring the grids, the markers, the know-how – you bring your personal spark. Discover the comics-maker within you and let them out! Join Caleb Orecchio and other members of the Comics Workbook team for an easy foray into comics making – the perfect thing to conclude a weekend at SPX! All ages.

 

 


09-12-2018 – by Niall Breen

COMICS WORKBOOK WORKSHOPS at SPX 2018

SIGN UP HERE FOR ANY OF THE SPX 2018 COMICS WORKBOOK WORKSHOPS.


SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 15

12:00 – 1:00 pm Glen Echo Room

Comics with Juan Fernandez

Join the Comics Workbook team for an hour of comics-crafting. Learn about color and line, explore the rhythm of the grid, and take your comics-making game to a new level. Simple exercises will push you in mind-bending directions. Juan Fernandez is a cartoonist and educator in Pittsburgh, PA. He organizes the Pittsburgh Comics Salon, facilitates Comics Workbook, and works for the Pittsburgh Arts Council. All ages.

 

 

1:30 pm – 2:30 pm Glen Echo Room

Clay Sculpture Characters With Liz Reed

Learn how to make clay ice cream cone characters with Sweet Success author/sculptor Liz Reed.  Attendees will create their very own unique clay character as Liz guides the class through different sculpting techniques using everyday household items. All ages.

 

 

 

 

3:00 pm – 4:00 pm Glen Echo Room

Comics With Dash Shaw

Spend an hour with groundbreaking cartoonist Dash Shaw, creator of BodyWorld, Bottomless Belly Button, New School, Doctors, and Cosplayers, as well as the animated film My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea. Dig into his experience and influences, and pick up tips on storytelling and techniques from a master of the form. All ages.

 

 

 

4:15 pm – 5:15 pm Glen Echo Room

Comics with Molly Ostertag

Join Molly Ostertag, award-winning creator of the middle-grade graphic novel Witch Boy, and ongoing webcomic Strong Female Protagonist, among other projects, as she discusses creative process, discipline, and Dungeons & Dragons. All ages.

 

 

 

 

5:30 pm – 6:30 pm Glen Echo Room

Comics With The Latin American Youth Council & Mentors

Join Jason Rodriguez, Santi Cesares, and young creators from LYLC for a bilingual workshop about using comics to tell stories that can cross language barriers and break down cultural differences, giving a voice to children and teens who desperately need to be heard. Comics as a transformative tool for change! Please note that there will be a No Pictures policy during this workshop. All ages.

 

 

 

 


SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 16

1:00 pm – 2:00 pm Glen Echo Room

Comics With Mosi

Mosi is a Portuguese cartoonist and art teacher based in Lisbon. Join her for a discussion about comics as a medium of communication and self-expression. Drawing is a wide and complex language that can be explored to express our deepest feelings, emotions, thoughts and – above all – express who we really are! In this workshop Mosi will use comics as a tool to get to know more about each other; break the ice, start a conversation and learn about the others around us through what they draw and how they do it. Bring your positivity, curiosity and get in the mood for a good time! All ages.

 

2:30 pm – 3:30 pm Glen Echo Room

Kickstarter Presents: Five Elements of a Healthy Comics Campaign

Whether you’re gearing up for volume 3 of your ongoing series or on the fence about launching your first ever anthology, you can make a killer Kickstarter campaign when you come prepared. Join Comics Outreach Lead Camilla Zhang in this educational seminar about the key elements of a successful Kickstarter campaign. And feel free to tweet specific questions @illathekilla using the #KickstarterSPX hashtag prior to the event!

 

 

3:30 pm – 4:30 pm Glen Echo Room

Comics Workbook Hangout

Take a crash course in comics making – for kids big and small. We will bring the grids, the markers, the know-how – you bring your personal spark. Discover the comics-maker within you and let them out! Join Caleb Orecchio and other members of the Comics Workbook team for an easy foray into comics making – the perfect thing to conclude a weekend at SPX! All ages.

 

 


SIGN UP HERE FOR ANY OF THE SPX 2018 COMICS WORKBOOK WORKSHOPS.

09/06/2018

Juan here announcing the winners of the 2018 Composition Competition!

– – – – – – – – – –

Congratulations to ALL who created and submitted work for this year’s composition competition!

This year saw a move away from the previous years’ use of Tumblr as the dominant platform of digital media publishing and towards Instagram. A different platform invites different constraints. Instagram functions as a hyper-customizable newspaper that gets updated vigorously and endlessly. This year’s use of Instagram begged for a return to the building blocks of comics, thus the creation of comics strips.

Details on this year’s criteria are available HERE.

_____________________

First PlaceA Weeklong Residency at the Rowhouse Residency in Swissvale, PA.

Cory Feder

Our decision to award Cory Feder First Place recognizes Feder’s creation of an ambitious yet simple, multi-layered poetic sequence that cuts through notions of language. This is the kind of strip that can be read and re-read ad infinitum to continue gleaning new meaning. Feder’s comic is the kind offhand remark, the cadence of which, you keep thinking about for years. This complex concoction of intuitive drawing and deft use of juxtaposition made for a winning combination.

_____________________

Second PlaceA collection of gag comics by the Comics Workbook gang

Julian Fiebach

In Second Place, Julian Fiebach’s “The Worker”clearly embodies excellence in both conception and execution of the classic 4 panel gag. Here is a testament to the raw power of smart minimalism in cartooning. These strips accomplish universally relatable expressions of the many ways that  we engage in (and avoid) work in our lives through a pattern language pared down to its essentials.

_____________________

Third PlaceAn original portrait by Audra Stang

Will M.

The Comics Workbook Competition’s Third Place, “BALLS”, offers an off the wall bit of nonsense. It’s a bizarre laugh that holds together quite well as an absurd re-interpretation of elements Charles’ Schulz world of Peanuts. It carries echoes of grief that crash into pure, unexpected, absurdity. This is a collection of visual chuckles, that accumulate to an absurd 4 panel sequence. A glorious bit of nonsense that begs the question, “WHY?”.

_____________________

Honorable Mention

Antoine Rigalleau

David Craig

Chris Jones

_______________________

It is our belief that artistic creation is a two way street.  An artist, or any other creator, grows in the process of creating; the greater the efforts, the greater the growth. By this measure, comics creators in general – and those who submitted work to this competition in particular – are growing by leaps and bounds, and so, by definition, is the comics form; as in the final analysis, the value of a form is coincident with the work that it contains.

It is our hope that all of the makers who participated in this contest have been TRANSFORMED in some way – artistically, personally, spiritually, and/or physically – by the time and energy dedicated to the creation of their submissions. Everyone who took part in this exercise has completed a hero’s journey.

_______________________

What I liked about the three winners is a strong sense of intuition and control. I see this aspect in the work of the honorable mentions. This year the judges looked at the entries and tried to frame the winners in a way that reflects the multifaceted jewel that is the world of comics creation in 2018.

Thank you to everyone who participated in this year’s contest. And to everyone who may have begun their comic but did not finish it or enter it, please finish it and post it, and we will do our best to get it seen. Tag your post with #compositioncompetition2018 on Instagram.

Juan Fernandez, Pittsburgh PA

___________________________

The restrictions placed upon the contest entries were derived from The Santoro Correspondence Course for Comic Book Makers. It is our firmly held belief here at Comics Workbook that restrictions such as the grid are ultimately freeing. We also believe that timing is the essential ingredient to making great comics. How do you study and practice timing in comics? You use the grid.

_____________________________

Please check out the complete list of entries for 2018 at the following link!

All Entries.
_________________________

Check out past competition winners and entries: 20132014201520162017

—————————————————————————————————

Cement Mixer – 9-6-18 – by Caleb Orecchio

 

Comics Workbook Composition Competition Winners 2018

Congratulations to ALL who created and submitted work for this year’s contest!

This year saw a move away from the previous years’ use of tumblr as the dominant platform of digital media publishing. A different platform invites different constraints: instagram functions as a hyper-customizable newspaper that gets updated vigorously and endlessly. This year’s use of Instagram begged for a return to the building blocks of comics, thus the creation of comics strips.

Details on this year’s criteria are available HERE.

_____________________

First PlaceA Weeklong Residency at the Rowhouse Residency in Swissvale, PA.

Cory Feder

Our decision to award Cory Feder First Place recognizes Feder’s creation of an ambitious yet simple, multi-layered poetic sequence that cuts through notions of language. This is the kind of strip that can be read and re-read ad infinitum to continue gleaning new meaning. Feder’s comic is the kind offhand remark, the cadence of which, you keep thinking about for years. This complex concoction of intuitive drawing and deft use of juxtaposition made for a winning combination.

_____________________

Second PlaceA collection of gag comics by the Comics Workbook gang

Julian Fiebach

In Second Place, Julian Fiebach’s “The Worker”clearly embodies excellence in both conception and execution of the classic 4 panel gag. Here is a testament to the raw power of smart minimalism in cartooning. These strips accomplish universally relatable expressions of the many ways that  we engage in (and avoid) work in our lives through a pattern language pared down to its essentials.

_____________________

Third PlaceAn original portrait by Audra Stang

Will M.

The Comics Workbook Competition’s Third Place, “BALLS”, offers an off the wall bit of nonsense. It’s a bizarre laugh that holds together quite well as an absurd re-interpretation of elements Charles’ Schulz world of Peanuts. It carries echoes of grief that crash into pure, unexpected, absurdity. This is a collection of visual chuckles, that accumulate to an absurd 4 panel sequence. A glorious bit of nonsense that begs the question, “WHY?”.

_____________________

Honorable Mention

Antoine Rigalleau

David Craig

Chris Jones

_______________________

It is our belief that artistic creation is a two way street.  An artist, or any other creator, grows in the process of creating; the greater the efforts, the greater the growth. By this measure, comics creators in general – and those who submitted work to this competition in particular – are growing by leaps and bounds, and so, by definition, is the comics form; as in the final analysis, the value of a form is coincident with the work that it contains.

It is our hope that all of the makers who participated in this contest have been TRANSFORMED in some way – artistically, personally, spiritually, and/or physically – by the time and energy dedicated to the creation of their submissions. Everyone who took part in this exercise has completed a hero’s journey.

_______________________

What I liked about the three winners is a strong sense of intuition and control. I see this aspect in the work of the honorable mentions. This year the judges looked at the entries and tried to frame the winners in a way that reflects the multifaceted jewel that is the world of comics creation in 2018.

Thank you to everyone who participated in this year’s contest. And to everyone who may have begun their comic but did not finish it or enter it, please finish it and post it, and we will do our best to get it seen. Tag your post with #compositioncompetition2018 on Instagram.

Juan Fernandez, Pittsburgh PA

___________________________

The restrictions placed upon the contest entries were derived from The Santoro Correspondence Course for Comic Book Makers. It is our firmly held belief here at Comics Workbook that restrictions such as the grid are ultimately freeing. We also believe that timing is the essential ingredient to making great comics. How do you study and practice timing in comics? You use the grid.

_____________________________

Please check out the complete list of entries for 2018 at the following link!

All Entries.
_________________________

Check out past competition winners and entries: 20132014201520162017