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
@dankois Eagle or Golden Eagle.
- Wednesday Oct 15 - 4:20pm
RT @PhantomOakland: Indie artists James Kochalka and Theo Ellsworth-Thought Cloud Factory both have stories in the new Sponge Bob... http:/…
- Thursday Oct 9 - 6:50pm
It's that time of year again! The Best American Comics 2014 edition is out there and there are plenty of folks, like the Comics Reporter's Tom Spurgeon and the Stranger's Paul Constant calling this book the best of the series so far. It's the first time out for new series editor, Bill Kartalopoulos, and it has a new format of sorts, devised by edition editor, Scott McCloud, of Understanding Comics and Zot fame. McCloud groups the main selections, making a map of the current comics landscape. Broader than previous installments, it includes specific instructions to read the entire book, rather than browse through it - and you should do just that. Our very own Theo Ellsworth's the Understanding Monster Book One is included in the section titled EVEN STRANGER ADVENTURES (of course), and there are FOUR Secret Acres artists in the BAC Notable Comics section: Eamon Espey's Songs of the Abyss, Edie Fake's story from Monster Vol. 1, Robert Sergel's Eschew 3 and Sar Shahar's Sequential Vacation 2. Not bad, huh? We've got Bill K's blog post below, but you'll want to sit and read this one cover to cover. Thanks, Bill and Scott for all your hard work and congratulations on putting a great anthology together!
And Theo Ellsworth's the Understanding Monster Book Two has its very first ever review, from RE:Views Media's Max Szyc! It's a rare thing that a review makes us laugh out loud, or LOL, as the kids say. If you've read the first book of the Understanding Monster, you'll understand that reading doesn't begin to describe the experience of this story. The logic of this world, like most psychedelics, takes a minute to kick in. Like Max says, "A few more pages and then I think my mind may have reached some sort of subconscious arrangement with the material, meaning I think I 'got it'. Perhaps the book is so futuristic that it actually has the psychic power to make me think I’m understanding it." Cue us giggling. It is a long, strange trip indeed for toy mouse-bodied Izadore and his consciousness, but the sheer force of Theo's art will move you along with him. You may even start to identify with him. You can thank Max for capturing these feelings so well by reading his review. Thanks, Max!
We survived yet another Small Press Expo. This is no mean feat. Between the thousand deep gang of exhibitors and the crush of so many attendees, it's a wonder we're still standing. Credit Corrinne Mucha for pulling us through. In the absence of Theo Ellsworth (DNP - Fatherhood), Mike Dawson (DNP - Bachelor Party) and Brendan Leach (DNP - Get well soon!), Corinne sketched out everybody's books. We mean everybody's. Even Sean Ford's books. And Sean was there. Secret Acres made bank, yes, but we hardly got to see anybody, or so it felt. This might explain how we escaped the con crud which is laying so many folks out after SPX. This year's show was really all about the Breeders, meaning the band, not folks making babies. Corinne, you see, had not heard of the Breeders. We can see not having heard of, say, U2. But the BREEDERS? COME ON. Also, fair warning, we don't dare dish on our SPX 2014 Celebrity Comics Mule, Tucker Stone. In fact, we're terrified of what he must be saying about us right now. Check out the blog, and you can also get some details on this Sunday's event, the Brooklyn Book Festival! It's going to be a star-studded affair at the Secret Acres-Koyama Press megatable...
OKAY. Summer's over and we're heading back to school, or at least back to our Scuttlebutt blog. It's been a while and a half, but we've been busy, sitting by the pool, giggling, eating watermelon. Included in this post is a rundown of our trip to RIPE, our first ever internet kerfuffle, SPX news and switcheroos, and one rather ridiculous Secret Acres baby boom. Boy, oh, boy are we looking forward to SPX. We know we promised you the second volume of Theo Ellsworth's the Understanding Monster. The good news is that the book WILL be at the show and it will be beautifully sketched and signed. The bad news is that Theo is skipping out - but he'll be coming out to Comics Art Brooklyn to officially debut his new book. He has a a good reason (note the mention of a baby boom above). We do, however, have Sean Ford, Eamon Espey and Corinne Mucha coming to comics camp with us and they will armed with new minis, prints and even little paintings. Our guest comics mule for the road trip will be Tucker Stone, so we'lll have plenty of gossip to dish when we get back. You get yourself to SPX! See you this weekend...