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
@seanonlyskin But DUDE, it's CREATOR OWNED Thor with a PENIS, BRO!
- Wednesday Jul 23 - 10:22pm
@ryancecil PHEW. We're 2 old 2 code over here.
- Wednesday Jul 23 - 5:48pm
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!