Contrary to popular belief, Fantagraphics Books does occasionally issue a floppy comic book every now and then. We’re not sure how far and wide this one is being spread, but it would be very nice to see this sort of book from comics’ foremost formalist Dash Shaw come out on a fairly regular basis.
Also new to the shop is Fantagraphics collection of short stories by Tom Kaczynski – Beta Testing The Apocalypse. Many more on the way. It’s been a busy week around here.
Special guest report from Laura Susong on the 2013 Toronto Comics Arts Festival (TCAF). Alternative Comics found itself in a serious last-minute crunch when artist Karl Stevens fell ill and could not attend the show. Like the kick-ass stormtrooper she is, Laura stepped up to the plate and made the drive over from Detroit to cover the booth with barely a day’s notice.
Being as this was my very first comic arts convention, I couldn’t have asked for better wolves to whom to be thrown. the TCAF staff, volunteers, and creators all around me were supportive and helpful. Shout out to everyone who made this happen.
I think you can pretty much figure out what’s going on in all these pictures. there are shots before/after capacity; of the beautiful venue (a library! brilliant!); the table; some cool people who stopped by; and some dank ass pho i had. [And lots of clever novelty T-shirts]
Wow Cool’s noble office-mates Alternative Comics have pushed forth three new comic books on an unsuspecting world that are debuting this weekend up in the worlds most polite city, Toronto, Ontario, Canada at TCAF – The Toronto Comic Arts Festival. Creators Elaine M. Will (Look Straight Ahead) and Alternative Comics #4 contributors Theo Ellsworth, Sam Alden and Robin (Inkstuds) McConnell will be at the show to sign copies of their books. Karl Steven’s Failure will also be making its debut. Come visit Alternative Comics at table 232 on the second floor this weekend and meet our hostess Elle, who will dish the dirt worth dishing, and point you in the right direction. Among the other Wow Cool and Alternative Comics artists who will be at the show are Michael Kupperman, Dash Shaw, Sara Varon, Scott C., Becky Cloonan, Josh Neufeld, and Paul Pope.
In PF Chang’s restaurants around the land there exists something like this… A former pay telephone alcove, with a shelf and an empty phone jack, guarded not by terracotta warriors, but by enlarged Family Circus cartoons by Bil Keane. PF Chang’s opened its first restaurant in Scottsdale, Arizona in 1993. Family Circus creator Bil Keane, a resident of nearby Paradise Valley, soon became a fan. He made at least two Family Circus panels that were set in the restaurant – enlarged dedicated reproductions of which can be seen at a location near you.
Obviously that headline is a little misleading and far from true. But there are very few continuing series in the alt/small/micro/indie/what-have-you comics publishing world. Two standouts in that field just dropped their second issues – Gabrielle Gamboa’s Miss Lonelyhearts and Cody Pickrodt’s Reptile Museum. You should go get them.
We are offering three titles for free comic book day today – none of which are on the official FCBD roster. One of which is a year old now. There is the second book from a group of Portland publishers – Master P’s Theater (Last year they gave us Brad’s Trip… now very much sold out) and the two installments of Runner Runner from Tugboat Press – the follow up to the long-running Papercutter anthology. All three of them are pay what you want. You can pay zero dollars.That’s fine. If you pay more than nothing you support the Dylan Williams Scholarship Fund at Portland’s IPRC. Everyone gets the Master P book while they last – whether you ask for it or not. To get either issue of Runner Runner you do actually have to ask for it. OK? Oh, and these comics will be free while supplies last. Have free comic book day any day!
BTW. Everything in the shop is 20% off until Midnight (pacific time), Sunday May 5, 2013. Share and enjoy.
Adventure Time designer & storyboarder Andy Ristaino has assembled a 128 pg FULL COLOR book collecting tales of macabre humor that he has written and drawn. Night of the Living Vidiots collects Sci-fi, horror, and comedy melted together and topped with a Twilight Zone twist in a comic book soup. Darkly funny tales featuring mad science, gothic anime, TV zombies, kaiju, giant robots, monsters from the deep, and even a haunted sweatshirt. A mere 25 dollars will get you a copy of the book and your name in the credits. The rewards offered for larger contributions are beyond excellent. An August 2013 release date is estimated. Get more of Andy’s books right here on Wow Cool.
We just got a new scanner here in Wow Cool land, and instead of picking some stunning and masterful piece of art, I chose this crappy jam comic from long ago. Phil Felix stopped by Harvey Kurtzman’s class at the School of Visual Arts (SVA) one day back in the mid-late 80s to do a comic book lettering demonstration. I got to keep one of the sample pages. Naturally I took it to the cafeteria at 209 East 23rd street and drew a stupid jam comic out of it with the help of Paul Komoda. I think it eventually appeared in the comics anthology Tuna Casserole #6, edited by Sam Henderson and myself. Click the image to make real big.
This past weekend I gave a little intro speech to a panel of Meathaüs artists at the Stumptown Comics Fest about the history of comic book groups and movements at SVA, so it was fun to pick something from my era there after talking so much about that strange institution over the weekend. Alternative Comics will be publishing a collection of Tuna Casserole and related material in 2014.
Nearly 25 years ago Scott McCloud – creator of Zot! and Understanding Comics – composed a draft of a Creators Bill of Rights for comic book artists. In recognition of World Intellectual Property Day we reproduce it here, and ask, have things improved in the quarter century since Scott gathered with other comic book creators in Western Massachusetts to hammer out all these points?
For the survival and health of comics, we recognize that no single system of commerce and no single type of agreement between creator and publisher can or should be instituted. However, the rights and dignity of creators everywhere are equally vital.
Our rights, as we perceive them to be and intend to preserve them, are:
1. The right to full ownership of what we fully create.
2. The right to full control over the creative execution of that which we fully own.
3. The right of approval over the reproduction and format of our creative property.
4. The right of approval over the methods by which our creative property is distributed.
5. The right to free movement of ourselves and our creative property to and from publishers.
6. The right to employ legal counsel in any and all business transactions.
7. The right to offer a proposal to more than one publisher at a time.
8. The right to prompt payment of a fair and equitable share of profits derived from all of our creative work.
9. The right to full and accurate accounting of any and all income and disbursements relative to our work.
10. The right to prompt and complete return of our artwork in its original condition.
11. The right to full control over the licensing of our creative property.
12. The right to promote and the right of approval over any and all promotion of ourselves and our creative property.
We Will Remain by Andrew White is the latest release from Retrofit Comics – whom, if they have not yet stretched beyond their initial promise to deliver 17 comics in 17 months are certainly pushing near to it. We hope to see many more of their olde fasiondey floppy commics pamphlettes.
Andrew will be reading from and signing copies of his book at Providence Rhode Island’s Ada Books on Saturday, May 4th from 4pm until 6pm. He claims to be nervous about this… so, you know, act appropriately.
Josh Bayer has delivered the latest in his twisted anthology series of mash-up re-interpretations of classic comic strips to us. Delivered in Unibomber-style packaging. God help us all. Wrap-around cover art by Kevin Scalzo (Sugar Booger). Get yours here.
Once upon a time, Jeff Mason–the founding ringleader at Alternative Comics–had the foresight to send a big box of the otherwise now-hard-to-find Free Comic Book Day Alternative Comics anthologies from 2003-2005 to Ricko from Poopsheet. Many years later, what is left of those has made their way to Alternative Comics new home here in Cupertino. We are very grateful to Rick for holding onto these. Found in the inside back cover of the third issue was the full color gem you see above by James Kochalka promoting his seminal The Cute Manifesto. When Alternative Comics relaunched in 2012, the Cute Manifesto was the clear choice out of the back catalog of books to offer again to the world. I like to think some sort of a statement was being made.
In the meanwhile, it has been announced that the Alternative Comics anthology title has been relaunched as a bi-annual title–many of the old contributors are involved, and there are also many fresh faces. Alternative Comics #4 is in this month’s Diamond Previews [APR130765]. We urge you to order many copies of it. The book will also be available from Last Gasp and here at Wow Cool.
The new title that Alternative Comics relaunched with last year was Ted May’s Injury #4. It was a funny sort of co-publishing arrangement. The book had previously been with the defunct Buenaventura Press for the first three issues. The fourth one was funded through a Kickstarter campaign. I basically begged Ted May to print twice and many as he had planned, and to let Alternative distribute and promote the book to a larger audience. To the surprise and joy of all of us, the lead story in that issue: “A Birdsong Shatters the Still,” by Jeff Wilson and Ted May was announced as a nominee for the best short story in the 2013 Eisner Awards yesterday.
All I can say is thank you. Maybe this mad journey back into comics makes some sense after all.