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
@DandQ This is amazing! Best comics publisher site of all time. Maybe you should get artists for the other letters in the alphabet now.
- Friday Aug 8 - 5:01pm
@realasianfriend It's all for YOU! But, really, thanks; we needed that!
- Thursday Aug 7 - 10:09pm
ZOMG! It's Tim O'Neil for the Onion AV Club on Corinne Mucha's Get Over It! and it's a pretty darn good review, too. Tim's clearly on top of his comics game, name-dropping and comparing Corinne to none other than Kate Beaton, John Allison and Dylan Horrocks - pretty much a Mt. Rushmore of the medium. He gets it right; Corinne hits every bump on Heartbreak Road, ever stage of grief, but all told, it's actually kind of... ...fun? As Tim puts it, she "turns a book about three years of anguish into a page-turner." There IS something fun about being heartbroken, and not just the rebound. It's like a license to crazy. At least we think so. There's lots of other good stuff reviewed here, too, including Rocket Raccoon's latest, Superman and Roman Muradov (love that guy). Corinne's got some good company for Get Over It! Thank you, Tim, and thanks, AV Club, for the very kind words. You guys go read now at the link!
We are outta here! Or at least will we be in the morning. Actually, the very early morning. Sigh. But we're going to the Rhode Island Independent Publishing Expo aka RIPE! This is our first time at the show. It's also the first time FOR the show. RIPE is brand new and the brainchild of some folks we truly adore, like Mickey Z, who roped us into going way back when at the last Comic Arts Brooklyn. Yes, it is suspicious that there's a comic show in the dead of summer called RIPE. We've stopped showering and wiping for the occasion. Kidding. At our table will be Brendan Leach, of Iron Bound fame, and Sean Ford, he who has brought you Only Skin. Not only will Sean have the new and improved edition of Only Skin, he will have the fourth, yes, FOURTH issue of his new series, Shadow Hills. Playing the role of Secret Acres comics mule on the ride up will be Dave Nuss of Revival House Press, home of folks like Malachi Ward. It's a star-studded event and we don't even have to worry about crossing any borders! Doors are at noon and details are at the link below. If you're in Providence now, there's all kinds of stuff happening tonight, too. We will see you tomorrow...
The thing about Mike Dawson's newest graphic novel, Angie Bongiolatti, is that it's daunting at first glance but kind of impossible not to identify with its characters. Well, you could somehow not identify with them, and that's your right, but you'd probably be completely insane. Rob Kirby, writing for the Comics Journal, writes about Angie Biongiolatti so well, that he might just be the ideal reader for this one. He's sensitive, empathetic, politically conscious and he likes to party. He also nails Angie, the character, who can come across as enigmatic or aloof, but it's her faith and her clarity, as Rob puts it (and we're paraphrasing), that make her the best barometer ever for the most difficult of times and the craziest of people. The key, though, is Rob writing that he knows these folks and he's partied with them. It would have been a lot easier for Mike if he'd had an agenda when he drew these people. Yeah, we might have recognized the ideas, but maybe we wouldn't have recognized these people. Poor Rob! He's one of THEM! Thanks, TCJ, and Rob, especially. This was a really good one.
Well, folks, Edie Fake has arrived! This newest LA native gets a very warm welcome indeed from Joshua Michael Demaree at the LA Review of Books. It's both a full-blown interview, a complete history and in depth review of Memory Palaces, Edie's latest and our first ever art book. If you're worried about Edie going Hollywod, go ahead and worry since Demaree has christened him a "flourishing celebrity." At least, he's a flourishing celebrity in the queer art world. There's some stuff in here that rarely gets discussed, including Edie's background as a video artist and the influence of that medium on his comics work. We even get a mention in the story of how we met Edie, which almost didn't happen. Plus, and this was news to us as well, Edie's return to Chicago (after "going feral") coincided with the death of Michael Jackson. But was it a coincidence? Thank you, Joshua, for all your super thoughtful work here (and for making another dream come true and writing up a Secret Acres book for the LA Review of Books). Go and read this very funny and very serious career retrospective right now!