Ride Along


TIME flies when you’re oversleeping. Secret Acres are not morning people. Outside of SPX, where we arrive the night before the show, we have never once set up on time. Not ever. This year’s RIPE, aka the Rhode Island Independent Publishing Expo, or RIIPE, would be no exception. What a mercy that eighty percent of success is just showing up, and not showing up on time. After jumping a curb while chugging coffee, we split MK Reed‘s digs about an hour late. The truly embarrassing part is that we had gotten the RIPE hours wrong and we were under the impression that the doors opened at eleven. Jesus loves us, clearly, because the show started at noon, so we were only twenty minutes late. Thanks, Jesus!




RIPE happens in the Providence Public Library, which is quite stunning, actually. Last year, tables were first come, first serve, so with our perpetual tardiness, we were way in the back on a balcony. This year, we were in the Ship Room, so called because there are model ships and scrimshaws and whales and things in there. We had some lovely neighbors in there with us, too. Jay Fuller, maker of the Boy in the Pink Earmuffs, which is both queer and kid friendly, was to our left. To our right were Jason Viola, of Festival Season and Herman the Manatee fame, and Georgia Webber, one of favorite people in the world and she makes Dumb (no, the other kind of dumb). As a very special treat, directly across from us were the men of Headmaster, which is some of the finest reading material around for those of us who appreciate the male, uh, form. Matthew and Jason, the two headmasters, have very different temperaments, as you can see below. RIPE is still pretty queer, in every respect, and we hope it stays that way.




MK was a real trouper. Not about the queer stuff, because that’s fun unless you’re insane, but she was willing to roll with the punches during one of the most hard-hitting interviews we’ve ever seen. Seriously, it was like 60 Minutes, only MK wasn’t smoking the whole time. The reporters really did their homework; there were so many personal questions – and MK was having a stroke in the middle of it. She don’t scare, though. Hellno.




We took naps after closing on Saturday, then split up after dinner to take in White Rope at AS220. There is no doubt that RIPE has the best post-show (official) parties. Whoever is getting these bands to show up, we owe you one. While White Rope was on, MK ran off into the night to shut down some bars, and the resident Old went back to the hotel to read some comics.┬áNormally, we’d write about the standouts a little bit, but our haul was pretty damn ridiculous. If you’re curious, you can check our first ever haul pic below and holler at us if you want to know what anything is. We will take a minute, however, to discuss Georgia’s comic, Dumb. It’s been going for a while. We picked up her latest, Dumb 5, at RIPE. It’s great. We would even say that it’s important. For a series about voice, Dumb has certainly found its own. It’s also so fucking depressing.




We made it home okay, despite MK’s arguments with the Nav system. We will go back to RIPE every chance we get. It may have our favorite vibe of any show. We won’t be suffering our usual separation anxiety for too long, at least. MoCCA, the Museum of Comics and Cartoon Art Festival, is a whopping nine days away. This was our third year on MoCCA’s steering committee, and the third year since the Society of Illustrators took over. Alas, there will be no Charlie Brown balloon, but the move to Chelsea’s gallery row should make everyone feel respectably artsy. Speaking of alas, this is our first MoCCA ever without a book debut. Why? Because we’ve switched distributors to Consortium and it seemed silly to release a book into the ether. When we come back here for our post-MoCCA post, we will talk about a little comic debut, the kind with staples, headed your way for TCAF. Don’t you just love surprises?

Your Pals,

Barry and Leon


Haul 2



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