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
@ryancecil Sorry, Ryan! There were issues galore with the site, but they appear to be resolved. Emphasis on appear.
- Tuesday Jul 22 - 3:09pm
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!
We do realize it's all Corinne Mucha and all Get Over It! all over all the time these days, but we just had to share our joy over this latest rave from Joseph Erbentraut at the Huffington Post! Yes, that Huffington Post. Complete with an actual excerpt, Joseph gives a brief rundown of the rules regarding breakup recovery times, citing scientific studies and How I Met Your Mother, no less. We're not entirely sold on the sciences here, mostly because the science of love seems to make everyone feel bad for being insane. Let's face it, love is not just blind, but very stupid. As for HIMYM, we're playing catch up with that one, but their rule seems to fit pretty well. However, if you want the real, straight up survival guide to heartbreak, look no further than our Ms. Mucha. SHE KNOWS. Thanks, Joseph and HuffPo! Have a look at the link below.
Hooo boy... WELL. Corinne Mucha is not shy with the Philadelphia Inquirer, it seems. Tirdad Derakhshani, talking about Corinne's new book, Get Over It!, asks the ever important question when it comes to autobiocomics: did that REALLY happen? And, to quote Corinne, "I didn't add or make up anything." Really, one would hope that in the making of comics, the finest medium there is, about one's actual life, that the cartoonist behind them would be brutally honest. Get Over It! is surely that. Let's face it, heartbreak is ugly as love is beautiful. And who the hell would be able to identify with a clean breakup? Does that even happen? Our favorite part of this Inquirer inquiry is the origin story that sneaks its way in. No, Corinne wasn't super into Wolverine as a kid. She wanted to be a REAL artist. The comics all started by accident, it seems, in Rome. Like Rome, Italy. Also, speaking of the other half of the (not in) love story of Get Over It! you can get That Guy's reaction to the book here, too. In other words, you pretty much have to read this.
ICYMI, as the kids say, here at last (after some more technical difficulties - and, yes, between this and our Friday night love-in at Bergen Street Comics being rained out, we are having technical difficulties galore) is Tom Spurgeon, aka the Comics Reporter, doing his Sunday Interview thing with Mike Dawson. As we can attest, these interviews are a lot of work, and require a ton of thought, so count yourself lucky that Mike is a thoughtful guy. There's plenty of shoptalk here, lots of stuff on process and the like. Angie Bongiolatti, Mike's latest graphic novel from us, was a long time in coming. There are plenty of ideas in this book, though, in a sense, it's about one thing and a certain time and place and age in post-9/11 New York. There was a lot of experimentation involved in finding a style that would both corral and express the ideas and move the narrative along, too. After all this, there was a lightning quick turnaround, with Mike finishing the book in January and us getting books printed by April. Angie Bongiolatti is catching up with its audience about now. Meanwhile, Mike has been all over the place, on tumblr, on Slate, on TCJ Talkies, and Tom has Mike talking about the future quite a bit, too. If you like Big Questions for cartoonists, this is a good place to be. As for Angie Bongiolatti, well, ask Mike says, " I think people just sort of have to read it." So go read it!