SORRY WE’RE LATE, but traffic was a bitch. Welcome to the new Secret Acres site, everybody. Things had gotten sprawl-ish in the old joint, but it’s all under one roof here, which should surely make your lives a little easier.
You may have noticed that there’s a bunch of stuff gone AWOL, like the Ad Rem links page, the Critical Ends essays and Small Plates weekly snippets of our comics. Alas, some of those lovely features will not be joining us in the new world. If you were on our links page, we’re following you on Twitter and you never shut up. Instead of Small Plates, we will be adding chunky previews of everything Acres. There’s more treats in development, so if you’ve got any thoughts on what you’d like to see, let us know.
This being our first blog post of 2012, in April, is a little bit embarrassing and deserves an explanation. We go into hibernation after the Brooklyn Comics and Graphics Festival, which is usually our last show of the year. Still, we never even did a 2011 Year in Review type of thing, and for that, we blame Tom Spurgeon. If you didn’t read our Comics Reporter Holiday Interview, well, don’t. For the rest of you, thanks, seriously, for all your kind words about it, but after so much blather in one go, we were ready to enjoy the silence. Besides, we’ve been busy and love means never having to say you’re sorry. But we can make it up to you, to the tune of seven Secret Acres comics in the next seven months, and one rather large book in the next seven days.
It’s been a slow apocalypse indeed, but Only Skin has arrived. It is big in many ways, weighing in at nearly two pounds. That’s 272 oversized, creamy pages worth of Sean Ford‘s blood, sweat and tears. In what was maybe the most ambitious effort we’ve ever been associated with, Sean went back to the drawing board on his epic thriller that’s been five years in the making. There are several dozen new pages, a new (and vastly improved, if we say so ourselves (and we do)) ending and every page reflects what Sean can do now. We couldn’t be more proud if we made the thing ourselves, so we are celebrating the debut of Only Skin all weekend long, all over America.
This Saturday and Sunday, Sean will be defending the Secret Acres fort at MoCCA, the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art Festival, at the Lexington Avenue Armory in Manhattan. The first among you to pick up Only Skin will get your very own pet ghost (see below). When the show stops on Saturday, the party starts at Brooklyn’s own Bergen Street Comics, for a launch party complete with beer and bubbly, starting at eight. Because too much is never enough, the Acres MoCCA table will also play host to Sean’s fifth (!) installment of his Sundays anthology, co-edited with Chuck Forsman, Alex Kim and our very own Joseph Lambert, featuring not only their talents, but those of Michael Deforge, Malachi Ward, Brendan Leach and Acres artists John Brodowski and Minty Lewis. And that’s just to name a few. We’ll even be joining Box Brown and Craig Yoe on a MoCCA panel, “The State of Small Publishing,” moderated by the Beat herself, Heidi “Scoop” MacDonald. (If you are the Comic Guru aka Jonathan Lee von Strausberg III, please do stop by, and if the rest of you are also wondering who the hell Jonathan Lee von Strausberg III is, see the comments here.)
It is an action-packed weekend for Secret Acres on both sides of the country. Joe Lambert is still on his west coast tour that began with him taking his LA Time Book Prize nominated I Will Bite You! and Other Stories to the LA Times Festival of Books at USC. His journey continues this weekend with Joe joining our man (and godlike talent) Theo Ellsworth at the Secret Acres setup for the Stumptown Comics Fest in Portland, Oregon. Not only will Only Skin be making a simultaneous debut at Stumptown, but you can also pick up Joe’s first original graphic novel, Annie Sullivan and the Trials of Helen Keller. It’s not one of ours, but we swear it’s good, and you really, truly, want to get Joe and Theo to draw something for you.
Joe won’t be coming home right away, either. He’ll be making a pitstop at camp Secret Acres for TCAF, the Toronto Comics and Art Festival. Yes, that’s Toronto as in Canada. Sean will be escorting Only Skin to the great north, along with Mike Dawson who might be bringing some Heroclix to play with while our Troop 142 makes its Canadian debut (and boy, wait till they find out what Canadian means in Troop 142).
We’ll have yet another brand new Secret Acres comic making its debut at TCAF, too. We’ll save the details for that one when we come back here for our MoCCA and Stumptown wrap-ups, but you can probably guess what it might be since there’s a new addition to the Acres gang. Meanwhile, it’d be a good idea to keep our mouths shut in case any of those Royal Canadian Mounties are listening. This little comic’s barely legal.
Barry and Leon
@dankois Eagle or Golden Eagle.
- Wednesday Oct 15 - 4:20pm
It's that time of year again! The Best American Comics 2014 edition is out there and there are plenty of folks, like the Comics Reporter's Tom Spurgeon and the Stranger's Paul Constant calling this book the best of the series so far. It's the first time out for new series editor, Bill Kartalopoulos, and it has a new format of sorts, devised by edition editor, Scott McCloud, of Understanding Comics and Zot fame. McCloud groups the main selections, making a map of the current comics landscape. Broader than previous installments, it includes specific instructions to read the entire book, rather than browse through it - and you should do just that. Our very own Theo Ellsworth's the Understanding Monster Book One is included in the section titled EVEN STRANGER ADVENTURES (of course), and there are FOUR Secret Acres artists in the BAC Notable Comics section: Eamon Espey's Songs of the Abyss, Edie Fake's story from Monster Vol. 1, Robert Sergel's Eschew 3 and Sar Shahar's Sequential Vacation 2. Not bad, huh? We've got Bill K's blog post below, but you'll want to sit and read this one cover to cover. Thanks, Bill and Scott for all your hard work and congratulations on putting a great anthology together!
And Theo Ellsworth's the Understanding Monster Book Two has its very first ever review, from RE:Views Media's Max Szyc! It's a rare thing that a review makes us laugh out loud, or LOL, as the kids say. If you've read the first book of the Understanding Monster, you'll understand that reading doesn't begin to describe the experience of this story. The logic of this world, like most psychedelics, takes a minute to kick in. Like Max says, "A few more pages and then I think my mind may have reached some sort of subconscious arrangement with the material, meaning I think I 'got it'. Perhaps the book is so futuristic that it actually has the psychic power to make me think I’m understanding it." Cue us giggling. It is a long, strange trip indeed for toy mouse-bodied Izadore and his consciousness, but the sheer force of Theo's art will move you along with him. You may even start to identify with him. You can thank Max for capturing these feelings so well by reading his review. Thanks, Max!
We survived yet another Small Press Expo. This is no mean feat. Between the thousand deep gang of exhibitors and the crush of so many attendees, it's a wonder we're still standing. Credit Corrinne Mucha for pulling us through. In the absence of Theo Ellsworth (DNP - Fatherhood), Mike Dawson (DNP - Bachelor Party) and Brendan Leach (DNP - Get well soon!), Corinne sketched out everybody's books. We mean everybody's. Even Sean Ford's books. And Sean was there. Secret Acres made bank, yes, but we hardly got to see anybody, or so it felt. This might explain how we escaped the con crud which is laying so many folks out after SPX. This year's show was really all about the Breeders, meaning the band, not folks making babies. Corinne, you see, had not heard of the Breeders. We can see not having heard of, say, U2. But the BREEDERS? COME ON. Also, fair warning, we don't dare dish on our SPX 2014 Celebrity Comics Mule, Tucker Stone. In fact, we're terrified of what he must be saying about us right now. Check out the blog, and you can also get some details on this Sunday's event, the Brooklyn Book Festival! It's going to be a star-studded affair at the Secret Acres-Koyama Press megatable...
OKAY. Summer's over and we're heading back to school, or at least back to our Scuttlebutt blog. It's been a while and a half, but we've been busy, sitting by the pool, giggling, eating watermelon. Included in this post is a rundown of our trip to RIPE, our first ever internet kerfuffle, SPX news and switcheroos, and one rather ridiculous Secret Acres baby boom. Boy, oh, boy are we looking forward to SPX. We know we promised you the second volume of Theo Ellsworth's the Understanding Monster. The good news is that the book WILL be at the show and it will be beautifully sketched and signed. The bad news is that Theo is skipping out - but he'll be coming out to Comics Art Brooklyn to officially debut his new book. He has a a good reason (note the mention of a baby boom above). We do, however, have Sean Ford, Eamon Espey and Corinne Mucha coming to comics camp with us and they will armed with new minis, prints and even little paintings. Our guest comics mule for the road trip will be Tucker Stone, so we'lll have plenty of gossip to dish when we get back. You get yourself to SPX! See you this weekend...