THERE IS NO FATE but what we make for ourselves. Good thing then that John Brodowski has made Curio Cabinet 5. If his Curio Cabinet collection re-made the horror genre in John’s image, this foot-tall bad boy has a new genre all its own. Four alt-action tales follow our finest action hero icons on their bullet-ridden way to redemption. It is big. It is bloody. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you get one. In fact, if you pre-oder it in the next 48 hours,we’ll send you a signed and sketched copy first thing Monday morning. Everyone wants a little action for the holidays, yes?
If you happen to be in New York City, you can get Curio Cabinet 5 from John himself at the Brooklyn Comics and Graphics Festival. He will be joined by Mike Dawson, Samuel C. Gaskin, Joseph Lambert, Edie Fake (with the rare and elusive Gaylord Phoenix screen print in tow) and Gabby Schulz (the artist formerly known as Ken Dahl) with our very own Sean Ford across the way at the Sundays table, where he will have the last remaining copies of Only Skin – that is until his giant book comes out next year, courtesy of yours truly. It will indeed be the biggest gathering of Acres folks in a single room ever. Alas, Eamon Espey‘s wings are tired after his trip to the Minneapolis Indie Xpo, but this is okay because he’s also working on something big. Don’t let his absence stop you from going to BCGF, though. It is a uniquely amazing experience, it’s free and it’s overloaded with the very best comics has to offer. You can find our tables, numbers 18 and 19 on the BCGF map, right between Koyama Press and Drawn & Quarterly, which means we get to sit with the cool kids!
If you can’t make it to the show, you can always find your way to our Emporium. In addition to Curio Cabinet 5, we have new comics from from Alexis Frederick-Frost, Melissa Mendes, Leslie Stein, James Hindle and Anuj Shrestha with a new mini from one of our favorite people ever, Sean Christensen, on the way. Should you get carried away by the spirit of Christmas (that almost sounds scary), you will want to get yourselves these fantastic Christmas cards from Theo Ellsworth. You may also want to give something to the fine folks at the Center for Cartoon Studies, especially after you take a look at Gabby Schulz’s very appealing comic. Speaking of Gabby, In These Times has great article on the terrifying online bashing he got while being a woman. It would be funny if it weren’t true.
Before we start packing for the show, we wanted to thank the good folks at Midtown Comics for their Troop 142 Book Club. It was a really good time and we got a couple takes on Troop 142 from a couple of actual scouts, which was great and a first for us. Should anyone be missing Mike, you can catch him on Inkstuds and Ink Panthers. Better yet, all you Midtown Comics Book Club people should come and say hi to Mike at BCGF.
Tabling at the Brooklyn Comics and Graphics Fest is the best possible way to end the year – and what a year it’s been. We’ll be back after the show with our usual wrap-up. See you Saturday!
Bary and Leon
What happens when Bigfoot meets the Breeders? Why, our Scuttlebutt TCAF wrap-up, of course! You'd think we were kidding, but we're not. If it weren't for Bigfoot, we'd never had gotten to meet the Breeders and see them play Last Splash front to back way up in Toronto. This has nothing to do with comics, but then most of what happens at the Toronto Comic Arts Festival has nothing to do with comics. It's really about the dancing. And the singing. And the topless singing. Worry not, we did get Capacity 8 unboxed and there were no border issues for anyone (except for Casey). We even made it to our panel, first thing Saturday morning. That may have been perfect timing, because it was something like Between Two Ferns meets group therapy. We're lucky bastards, for sure, but we missed the Comics Reporter, Tom Spurgeon, singing Bette Midler's the Rose (and, no, he was not topless). If any of you have video of this, or pictures of Drawn and Quarterly's jean vests, please, oh, please get back to us. Read on...
Finally, we are hitting the asphalt for our first road trip of the year. It's a long drive to the Toronto Comics Arts Festival and we are carrying some precious cargo as usual. Theo Ellsworth is being delivered via airmail, with fellow Acres Brendan Leach, Joe Lambert and Edie Fake meeting us there. Sean Ford has called shotgun, and Capacity 8 is in the boot. Capacity 8 is one of those surprise births with which we are regularly blessed here at Secret Acres. It's also the first time anyone in our gang has dropped a new story for a series that we've collected. Capacity, Theo's big, fat book, is a complete thing, for sure. The eighth issue is all new territory, but it's still all true. In a way. In that Capacity way. Oh, and we'll be kicking off first thing Saturday with a small press panel featuring pals and heroes, Koyama Press, Rebus Books and Grimalkin Press, too. This year's Acresmobile comic mule is the legendary Dash Shaw. Alas, last year's hitcher, MK Reed, is too lazy to make it to TCAF. Everyone else better be heading up - or catching Eamon Espey's Ishi's Brain show in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Yeah, we're looking at you. We're standing right behind you. No, the other way. Anyhow, there's explicit instructions up on Scuttlebutt.
PEOPLE OF THE SEATTLE: Tonight's the night! Go watch Eamon Espey and Lisa Krause as they bring their show, Ishi's Brain, to Hugo House. Which is in Seattle. Ishi's Brain is based on Eamon's story of the same name from his Secret Acres collection, Songs of the Abyss. Lisa Krause is an artist and puppeteer of Bread and Puppet fame, among other things. It's quite a unique experience and pretty much beats the hell of out any old, regular reading. They are on tour all over the country, but there's something fitting about performing Ishi in Seattle. You know, because Seattle is strange and dark and there are scary woodlands and coffee. The Richard Hugo House is also something to see in itself. They have a writers' residence for zinesters (currently held by ZAPP), classes on seemingly everything, a focus on a local writing community and, of course, performances. Go. Have fun. Report back to us. Even the Stranger says to check it out. See...
Stranger things have certainly happened, but it would appear our man, Theo Ellsworth, will have not one, but two debuts at the Toronto Comics Arts Festival. Yes, we will have the eighth issue of his ongoing Capacity (the first since our enormous collection of that title), but we'll tell you more about that later. Meanwhile, we knew Theo was working on a comic for an anthology, but we didn't realize it was the fourth Alternative Comics anthology. You may or may not be aware, but Alternative Comics published some truly amazing things, like Jeff Lewis' True Swamp and Steven Weissman's Yikes (yes, this was before Fantagraphics took over). Then they took some time off. Now they're back. Also included in this anthology are Alternative Comics graduate James Kochalka, this guy named Craig Thompson, the adorable Noah Van Sciver and #cybergang leader, Alex Schubert, to name a few. Get up to TCAF because it's amazing, and Theo and most of the Alternative Comics crew will be there to sign the thing. Collect them all!
On a more important note than usual: 282 Broadway is where the party has been for, well, seems like forever now. What the hell is that, you ask? It's the home address for Domino Books and Revival House and Rebus. It's known sometimes as Bill K's Place, as in Bill Kartalopoulos. Just about everyone who has ever attended or exhibited at a comics event in New York City or, hell, ever drawn a comic while in city limits, has been exhausted, high, drunk or lost in that apartment while rubbing elbows with their heroes. We've written plenty on our blog, about their comics and their parties, too. Now they're moving out. We're telling you this because these guys need a new home. Go buy some comics from them. Forget the good cause, their books are amazing and we've been seethingly jealous of their good work, so if you like us, help them and get some great stuff for yourself. Everybody wins!