Coming up for Air

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I’m now in Pittsburgh, coming up for air, finally able to look back to the wacky world of comics I’ve been knee-deep in for the past couple of months.

It’s been quite a spring. For now, the dailies are on hiatus, I’m teaching kids how to hone their comics making skills, working on some large screen prints, doodling daily and trying to wrangle some longer form stories.

As you may have heard, I’ve been editing a new comics magazine called Dog City with two friends Luke Healy and Simon Reinhardt. The first issue is out!

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It feels like we’re on the right track with Dog City, seeing as how some folks have even liked it enough to write about the first issue. Steve Bissette gave his detailed impressions on his blog and Jose Luis Olivares even named it his “book of convention” in his write-up of the Maine Comic Arts Festival just a few weeks ago!

Here’s a look at what you can find in this first issue.

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This self-published magazine aims to curate a collection of minicomics of the highest calibre. We’re really excited by the work of all our contributors and we hope Dog City will help make their work more widely available to readers around the world.

This first issue contains the following stories:

Pigs Incorporated by Iris YanLanding by Ben EvansLuke HealyJosh Lees and Iris YanAll Set by Simon ReinhardtVisits by Luke HealyHelene by Me!, Dead Bulb by Mathew NewStarship Booby-Prize by Eleri Mai Harris and Restricted by Ben Gowen.

Though we’re starting out small, we have high hopes for Dog City.

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The first finished box.

Dog City has been a great project for honing my screen printing skills. With as many screen-printed objects as we included in the collection, it seemed inevitable that I’d become a proficient printer.

The decision to hand craft so many of these covers stems from the printing culture at the Center for Cartoon Studies. Self-publishing, both physically and digitally is a huge part of the ethos at CCS. You make a comic, you print a comic.

Instructors like Robyn Chapman and Jon Chad  and graduates like Sean Knickerbocker provided invaluable support in making this potpourri of books a possibility. Countless thanks goes to them for their advice and support.

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Working with Simon and Luke has been an invaluable experience given that the three of us are quite different. We think differently, we work differently, we read differently. Despite that, a shared love for quality cartooning and top-notch storytelling trumps these differences.

We provide great checks and balances to each other while trusting each other editorially. It’s very satisfying work.

If you’re interested in picking up a copy of Dog City Issue 1, hop on over to our shop!

Besides Dog City, this Spring saw me spend a lot of time crafting an 80 page full color book of 4 panel comics, but I can tell you about that another day!

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Bartkira – Channeling

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About a month and a half ago, artist James Harvey saw some Akira/Simpsons fan art done by Ryan Humphrey.

Inspired by the energy of the energy of the combination, Harvey proposed a group project to folks on the internet that was as silly as it was monumental. Harvey proposed they redraw the entire 6 volume, 2160 page Akira saga, transposing it into the Simpsons universe. The Bartkira project was born.

It’s been really interesting to see the hands of so many creators distort and warp the Akira saga.

I was assigned pages 276-280 of the second volume of  Akira. Last week I finished my 5 pages.

Having just returned to Pittsburgh, PA, I haven’t had access to a scanner nor tablet. Despite that, I wanted to create something exciting, that distilled and slightly abstracted the core elements of Otomo and Groening’s respective universes. I also wanted to make the pages a bit garish.

Here’s what I  worked out. I’d love to hear what you think.

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If you’re interested in seeing more of the work that people have churned out for the Bartkira project, hop on over to the Bartkira Tumblr page.

 


Andromeda Quarterly #3 Release Party


For those of you in or near Pittsburgh, PA next week:

Come join the Andromeda Quarterly this Thursday, the 23rd from 6pm to 8pm at the Copacetic Comics Co. for an evening of celebrating Pittsburgh’s own Rustbelt Comics Anthology. Click here for more event details.

The publication is now on Issue 3 and I’ve got a couple of comics in the issue. Come check it out, talk comics and meet some of the contributors in person. They’d love to have you.

The new issue will be for sale as well as past Quarterly and Monthly issues. If you’re interested in submitting you’ll have a chance to talk to the editors and get advice/feedback on your work.

I’ll be there. Hope you can make it!

(Of course, if you can’t make it, you can order a copy online! )