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
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We're back on our Scuttlebutt blog with our Comic Arts Brooklyn report, and our Brooklyn Ale House party report and our Grumpy Bert show report and our year-end report and a tiny, little look ahead to next year. CAB is, for us and lots of other comics people, the start of the holiday season, so we're a little Auld Lang Syne-ish about the show. There were hiccups this time around, and no Cartoon House (see the post for an explanation of that) but CAB still has the best exhibitors at any show, making Brooklyn proud. Speaking of heart-warming, many thanks to the folks at Grumpy Bert. Someone came all the way from Philadelphia just to see Theo and the brand new second book of his Understanding Monster trilogy. That's the kind of amazing that made 2014 our best year ever. We owe everyone a big thank you for reading our books and, really, for reading. You guys are the best. Normally, in our last post of the year, we babble about all the new stuff coming your way. We can't do that anymore. We're joining the likes of Koyama Press and Uncivilized Books and Nobrow at the good distributorship, Consortium. Sure, that's business stuff, but it's a big deal for Secret Acres. Still, we did manage to sneak at least one 2015 comic into this final blathering. Read on...
Comic Arts Brooklyn is today! I'll be signing at the Secret Secret Acres table!
Join us and Theo Ellsworth and everybody else tonight for a gallery show and some Comic Arts Brookyln pre-gaming at Brooklyn’s own Grumpy Bert! You can beat the CAB crowd to the punch and get your very own signed and sketched copy of Theo’s latest, the Understanding Monster Book Two. Book Two picks up where Book One left off, following Pharoah Tellitome, Inspector Gimble, Turtletree, Master Sponko and Minnow on their collective quest to awaken Izadore and re-establish his identity and memory. Get to Grump Bert early enough and you can really lord it over folks: the first ten to arrive get a limited edition Theo print made just for tonight’s show. Of course, there will be free beer and bubbly, too. What more is there to life?