Tuesday, October 16, 2007

What's Next: The Wrap-Up Edition

The booksellers at Schwartz Bookshop on Downer know how to put on an event (and I'm not just saying that because I work there). From the beginning, Jay Johnson and Joe Lisberg were accommodating, enthusiastic, and committed to spreading the word about "What's Next? Adventures In Sequential Art". They put in their time networking with local businesses and schools to get the word out around town and pelted the interweb with announcements (the fantastic promo poster by Joe's own Deep Sea Studios was spot-on and a great help). Store manager Doug James was supportive and willing to give up some of that all-important front-of-store floor space to make room for a cool display featuring the work of those speaking.

With our goals being to proselytize to folks the wonders of doing what you love and to foster a sense of community with our fellow indies, Alan, Randy and I all came away last night feeling great about the response. The audience was much bigger than I expected, but I'm an anticipatory pessimist. We took some great questions, and all involved had ample opportunity to speak to what we do and why we do it.

Max Estes and John Porcellino were both stand-up guys, willing to share their views and methods with the audience, us 'Shed Heads included. I had a chance to speak with both of them, and can wholeheartedly endorse their sincerity and devotion. Max and I were flabbergasted in tandem that with Milwaukee being as small as it is (comparatively), we had yet to run into each other. John was an inspiration; I truly felt that comics were instinctual and necessary when he talked.

The only unfortunate aspect to the night was a technical glitch removing a podcast from the equation. It would have been nice to be able to share the sounds of the event (John Porcellino admitting that everyone in comics is "sad and bitter" being my personal highlight), but I also see the positive in no one knowing what a giant windbag I can be in person.

I'm working on some new stuff at the moment, and having a chance to rub elbows with fellow creators provided an added spark to my typing engine (way to stretch a metaphor).

Thank you to everyone who attended and to those of you who keep your minds open and your wallets at the ready for independence.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

What's Next? Adventures In Sequential Art

What's Next? Adventures In Sequential Art

Join Workshed Studio (Sawdust: The Workshed Anthology), John Porcellino (King-Cat Comics), and Max Estes (Coffee and Donuts) at:

Harry W. Schwartz Bookshop
2559 N. Downer Ave.
Milwaukee, WI 53211

The assembled panel, myself included, will be holding forth on all manner of interesting topics such as:

Life, love, and the mentality necessary to independently produce comics.

Here's the press release...

What's Next? Adventures in Sequential Art

Sponsored by Harry W. Schwartz Bookshops and cream city review

How many ways can you tell a story? John Porcellino (King-Cat Comics), Max Estes (Coffee and Donuts), and members of Milwaukee's Workshed Studio (Sawdust) discuss their individual work, their varying creative processes, and the interplay of words and pictures in storytelling.

Monday, October 15, 7pm Harry W. Schwartz Bookshop, 2559 N. Downer Ave.
Website: insideflap.blogspot.com
Contact: Jay Johnson, jjohnson@schwartzbooks.com


Workshed Studio (Justin Riley, Alan Evans, Randy Malave, Jr) is a Milwaukee-based comic book studio. They're the guys who read too many comics, watched too much television, snuck in to too many movies and even paid attention to those books without pictures. They hope to take equal parts pop culture, social relevance and homage to the history of comics and mash 'em together into a fully enjoyable storytelling paste. They recently published Sawdust, an anthology of their work. (workshedstudio.com)

John Porcellino (King-Kat Comics) was born in Chicago, in 1968. He began writing and drawing at an early age, compiling his work into small, handmade booklets. His first photocopied "zine" was produced in 1982, at the age of 14, and he began his current series, King-Cat Comics and Stories, in 1989. Since then, King-Cat has been his predominant means of expression. Drawn & Quarterly has published two of his books, King Kat Classix (2007) and Perfect Example (2005). Porcellino currently lives in Denver with his wife Misun, and a small black cat named Maisie Kukoc. (king-cat.net)

Max Estes (cream city review) is a Milwaukee-based graphic novelist and Comics Editor for cream city review. Top Shelf has published two of his books, Coffee and Donuts (2006) and Hello, Again (2005). Max's comics, artwork, and short stories have been published in Canada, England, Spain, and the United States in various art books and comic anthologies. He is also a part-time instructor at the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design where he teaches Illustration and Sequential Art courses. (www.maxestes.com)

I've never met Mr. Porcellino or Mr. Estes, but am assured by a mutual acquaintance that neither gentleman harbors ill-will toward the general populace.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

One Third Of Workshed, One Third Of Awesome

Imagine my surprise when my friend and fellow Workshed creator Alan Evans told me he'd been interviewed by Firefox.org about our comic ventures. I think he does a good job (even though I'm the scintillating one). This may not be big news for anyone but Al, Randy and I, but I figured I'd pass it along...

Alan Evans interviewed about Workshed and indie comics