IT’S ALWAYS a good time for more CAKE! We’ve barely gotten over our TCAF jet lag and here we are, flying off to celebrate the Windy City’s finest comics hour of the year. CAKE’s been around for three years and we haven’t missed a show. This year, we are a husky-free Chicago crew, and the slimmer, bitter half of Secret Acres will be reporting on the proceedings. So dial down your post-convention expectations; it promises to be a somber affair.
But we’re not just losing husky. Sadly, our comrades-in-arms, the leaders of the ever-remarkable Koyama Press and AdHouse Books, Annie and Chris, won’t be joining us, either. We’ll miss them, but at least they won’t remind of us our misbehaviors on the road. Alas, Edie Fake is no longer one of the festival organizers, but he is a bonafide Special Guest with his own setup right next to yours truly. Of course, we’ll have many copies of Edie’s latest and greatest, the giant-size Memory Palaces. Edie, along with Eric Kostuk Williams, and the one with one hundred crushes, Elisha Lim, will be participating in a panel discussion on Saturday, with the lively title of “Magikomix, Queer Comics and Visionary Cartooning,” led by the brainy Brian Cremins, no less.
First things second, though, we will be pre-gaming at Quimby’s! Tonight, at 7PM, at perhaps the greatest bookstore on earth, our very own Mike Dawson, the ever-present Elisha Lim and superstar MariNaomi will all be reading excepts from their recent books. By now you probably know all about Mike’s new graphic novel, Angie Bongiolatti (not to be confused with Anna Bongiovanni unless you really want to). If not, you can read an excerpt here on Mike’s site. Mike will be headlining his own table at the show, where you can gorge yourself on his comics including Secret Acres’ own Troop 142 and perennial favorite, Freddie & Me. He’ll also have a bunch of even newer mini comics for you to consume and probably some HeroClix, just to mess with us.
Notorious Chicago resident, Corinne Mucha, author of the critically lauded Get Over It!, which debuted from us mere weeks ago up in Toronto also has her own table, where she’ll be hawking comics and signing books. Get a load of some of the recent, high profile reviews of the book, here and here. See? There’s plenty of love for the brokenhearted. The divine Ms. Mucha will have some new minis of her own and, if you ask nicely, she might even have a tiny, little original painting just for you.
Speaking of Ms. Mucha and Friday night events, don’t forget Corinne will be back in New York City, Friday the 13th, at Brooklyn’s own Bergen Street Comics with books, beer and bubbly. In case you missed it, and in case you are not on Bergen Street Comics’ e-mail list, they wrote this:
“As it’s a Secret Acres party, you can rest assured that the evening will be fun for most, embarrassing for some, and doused in the throes of romance for one lucky couple. (Every single Secret Acres party we’ve ever had has resulted in at least one loving relationship, even if said relationship was relatively short termed. Numbers don’t lie!)”
We’ll have maybe a little challenge built into that event, but we’ll save that for our CAKE wrap-up post.
And now, some very sad, quite devastating news: Ms. Casey Gonzalez is terminating her active Secret Acres duty to get ready to pursue an MFA at Brooklyn College this fall. Oh, yes, we DID try to talk her out of it. Casey is generously staying in our orbit, but most of her energies will be focused on complete social dominance at school from here on out. We’re sad to see her step down, but glad she won’t be far away.
We’ll return with our thoughts on CAKE 3 in a few. If you see us in Chicago, don’t be alarmed. We’re supposed to be there, so come say hi!
Leon and Barry
@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!