GUESS WHAT? (What?) We’re holding copies of Troop 142 in our fat little fingers right now. See? It looks fantastic. If you’re one of those people on our press list, you, too, will be holding a copy some time next month. The rest of the world will have to wait for SPX. Don’t worry, we can’t wait for SPX, either. If you’ve never been, you should find a way. It’s pretty much a weekend sleep-away camp for indie cartoonists.
This blog has been awful quiet for a while, but we haven’t managed to shut up on Twitter. In fact, we had one tweet about something so stupid it made the Twitter homepage. Thanks, folks, for the honor of your furious re-tweeting.
Otherwise, we have been very busy bees. Our surprise TCAF debut, Samuel C. Gaskin‘s 2012 is now available in unlimited quantities in the Emporium and in finer comic shops (hopefully) near you. There’s been some love for Joseph Lambert and his I Will Bite You! here and here, and he even makes an appearance on Mike Dawson‘s TCJ Talkies here (which is a little meta for us, really, what with it being about CCS as well). Speaking of podcasts, make sure you give a listen to the always entertaining Robin McConnell giving our own Edie Fake the royal Inkstuds treatment here. Ken Dahl managed to recover from TCAFever long enough to get a Spanish language Monsters together (hitting shelves all over Spain this fall from europowerhouse Ponent Mon) and he even started a new webcomic detailing his tragic illness here. Not to be outdone, Mike Dawson has been posting his new comic Ain’t No Power on his site here, and Sean Ford has his nose to the grindstone of the complete Only Skin (which might as well be Only Skin Redux with everything he has planned for it). So there’s that.
Though it’s not Acres related per se, there are many Acres pals involved in the Retrofit project. This is a long overdue plan to get saddle stitched, comic book type comics from indie creators back into bookstores. This was very much on the decline a few years back, as thoughtful comics by sole creators take a while to make. It’s been pretty much non-existent since Diamond implemented their order cut-offs, prompting even the larger indie comics houses to pull out of the game. The star-studded rotating cast of creators and the network of retailers that have signed on to Retrofit make this a no-lose proposition. Though we at Secret Acres have issues with Kickstarter, you might want to drop some money on this one. Think of it like a subscription.
Not to pat ourselves on the back, but we’ve done a good enough job of moving comic book type comics with Sleeper Car and 2012 to prove there’s a market out there. Nor have we forgotten our mini-comic roots. We’ve been going through a staggering number of mini-comic submissions of late. This has been a trying process. There are a lot of good comics out there, maybe too many. As is our duty, we will be distributing a boatload of them. Right now, you can pick up minis from Jon Allen, Max Mose, Andrew James Christensen and Sar Shahar. We’ve got Ryan Cecil Smith on deck, and over the next days and weeks and there will be many more. It wouldn’t surprise us if we crack a hundred titles in the Emporium before the year is up.
Regarding the rest of our publishing plans, we mentioned in our year-end wrap up for 2010 that we had a book market distributor, which we do (that’s Baker & Taylor for all you bookstore buyers), and we said we had a plan for digital distribution. The digital plans are evolving, but are still a bit of a moving target, like the digital book market itself. We still think we can get it up and running by the end of the year. We may be late, but we will be awesome. More on that soon.
The next full Acres appearance will be at the Philadelphia Alternative Comic Con, aka PACC. We had a grand old time last year, but this year figures to destroy last. Take a look at the guest list, and very nice poster, here. You can practically sit and watch this show grow and evolve.
Speaking of shows, we’ve got an addition to our schedule of MoCCA, Stumptown, TCAF, PACC, SPX, APE, King Con and BCGF (if they let us in!). We will be splitting up the Acres for one weekend in November. While half the gang covers the local bases at King Con, Mike Dawson and Eamon Espey will be doing their thing over in Minny at the Minneapolis Indie Expo, better known as MIX. You Minny people better be nice to them! Don’t make us come down there! Or maybe make us come down there. It does sound like a lot fun.
We’ll be back with more PACC details once we have our attendees nailed down. Though summer Fridays do rock, we miss you guys. Seriously, when does school start again?
Barry and Leon
@826CHI Back at you. We love what you're doing. It would be fun to work on something together one of these days.
- Thursday Apr 17 - 5:33pm
Hello! Are you in New Jersey or have you escaped? If you are still in Jersey or anywhere near it, you ought to stop by the Asbury Park Comic Con, which is right along the historic boardwalk, which is the site of some terrible goings on in Brendan Leach's Iron Bound. Of course, Brendan will be there, and we promise it's much safer than you would think after reading his book. If you don't have a copy of Iron Bound handy, you can pick one up from Brendan at the show. If you do have a copy, you might want to wait to read it until after the show. You can still play pinball at the Silver Ball Museum, though. Even more ridiculous, Jersey boy Mike Dawson is crashing the party. He's back living in Jersey now, but his latest book, Angie Bongiolatti, is all about life in New York post 9/11. His other books, Troop 142 and Freddie & Me will give you all the non-scary Jersey you need. Get over there and get some comics and take a little stroll along the beach, where the "Jedi" play "Tatoine," as the kids say. We actually saw that last year. It was HILARIOUS.
HEY! Are you in Portlandia or something? Because Edie Fake is in Portland, Oregon, doing some Linework. Linework NW, kinda like Edie himself, is blurring the line between comics, fine art and illustration work. They have Jim Woodring and Michael Deforge and some pretty killer events planned for the show, including an evening of Edie at the legendary Floating World Comics. We'd tell you what Edie is doing there, but the Lineworkers say it best, "Fake will be giving a short and colorful experimental lecture on the sexuality of patterns that weaves together fabric, the tarot, the concept of individuality and jeggings." Yes, sexy fabric and jeggings. Now you have to go! Read all about it here...
Hi! Are you in Ohio someplace? Because Sean Ford is in Columbus, Ohio, aka SPACE, the Small Press and Alternative Comics Expo. Sean's got the brand new edition of Only Skin and a brand new issue of Shadow Hills, which is the third of that series (!). There's lots of fun programming, but you can also double dip and go check out the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum right next door. It's probably the largest collection of comics anywhere and, in conjunction with the SPACE Jam (that's a thing), they're opening up the Bill Watterson (Calvin & Hobbes, duh) and Richard Thompson (Cul de Sac, duh) exhibits, too! Now that's worth the trip. Make sure you get Sean to sketch your books out. That guy acts like every day is Angouleme. Deets at the link!
Well, well, well! It's Paste Magazine's Hillary Brown on Mike Dawson's Angie Bongiolatti, which is a lot of names. It's also a very thoughtful review. Angie Bongiolatti is indeed a macro, holistic view of a group of people at a particular moment. The book is not so much about the people themselves, but more a book of ideas. That ain't easy. Hillary is too smart to take the bait on the politics of Angie Bongiolatti, of course. As she writes, it's a story of ideals and idealization, and how they distort our view of some very flawed thinking and very flawed people. Hillary is one of the best critics out there, so stop reading this and go read her. Go on...
And we're back on our Scuttlebutt blog with a rundown of all things MoCCA. Even as steering committee members, we were skeptical that a year's worth of planning would make much difference between last year's show and this one, but it turns out we were wrong, or we were "haters" as the kids like to say. A big balloon, a new layout, a Comics Week worth of events all over New York, some killer programming and a drop in admission prices really brought this show to life. And it WAS dead, Jim. We should have given the Society of Illustrators, and ourselves, a little more credit for learning on the fly. You can also check out the early bird reviews of Angie Bongiolatti and Memory Palaces, AND you can see where everyone is heading next, since both Sean Ford and Edie Fake will be at shows this very weekend, while Mike Dawson and Brendan Leach will be heading back to Asbury Park. We're staying put until TCAF time, but we'll return to warn you about that one and Corinne Mucha and Get Over It! we promise. Thanks, everyone, who came to MoCCA and to the Bureau of General Services - Queer Division and to Bergen Street Comics. We do it all for you!