Monday, October 22, 2007

New Comic - what format?

I spent this year's 24-hour comic day writing and pencilling a big chunk of a larger project - A Dangerous Man: Why Andrew Jackson was the Meanest, Rottenest, No-Good Son of a Gun what Ever Became President. I'm not sure exactly what to do with it - I inked a page today as a sample and then played around with it a bit in the computer. I'm not sure if I want to try and get it published (it'll be some 100 pages or so upon completion), publish it myself as a small book to sell direct, or make it a web-comic and simply collect it later. Were the latter the case, I could play around with color like this. Anyway, Andrew Jackson was a horrible, horrible man. I hope that, whatever this project's venue, his despotic and cruel ways will be brought to light for a generation that knows him only as the guy on the twenty dollar bill.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Back from S.P.X.!!!

SPX was last weekend, and I had a GREAT time. Hunter Clark and I we took a train up instead of flying, because Liz found us a great buy-one-get-one-free deal with Amtrak. The train took off more than four hours late, but it wasn't too bad. We were both so tired that we slept through pretty much the whole ride. Though we DID see an old guy who looked like the late Pat Morita at the station.

The train had SOOOOOO much legroom. I never want to fly again. Trains are the least-stressful manner of travel that I've ever used. Anyway, we got into D.C. Thursday around Noon, and met up with Shawn Crystal shortly thereafter for lunch and a big chat about teaching, the SCAD sequential art department, upcoming classes, rising star students, and that sort of thing. Later that day we hooked up with our editors James Lucas Jones and Randy Jenkins (Shawn, Hunter, and I are all publishing through Oni. James bought us a great dinner at this little Italian place, and then we went to Big Planet Comics, where a bunch of the creators went for an open-house/pre-party. Big Planet is a GREAT store. Smaller than my regular store in Atlanta, but with a selection better suited to my reading inclinations. Plus an all-ages section right by the front of the store, which I'm a BIG proponent of.

Hunter and Shawn left early, but James and I stayed and caught a ride back to the hotel with Brett Warnock and Matt Wagner, who had a car.

The next day Shawn and Hunter and I had breakfast, and on the way back into the hotel to set up our table we ran into some of the SCAD alum/CCS crowd. We split off and went with them for second breakfast.

Stephen Floyd, Bearded Joey Weiser, Me, and David Yoder

Starting at the head of the table, and going clockwise - Kyle, Hunter, J. P. Coovert, Stephen Floyd, David Yoder, James Hindle, and the almost totally-obscurred Joe Lambert (whose stories in the Fluke Anthology and the SPX anthology were probably my favorite pieces this show)

We rushed back afterwards to set up our tables. Our spot was bad - the back of the room at a corner whose aisleway led into a wall. But we were okay with it, as we were surrounded by friends - Eleanor Davis and Drew Weing, Joey Weiser, Kevin Burkhalter, David Yoder, Alec Longstreth, and Patrick Dean, and a lot of the amazing SCAD up-and-comer undergrads like Jeremy and Coleman - as well as folks we liked a lot but hadn't gotten a chance to really get to know - Liz Prince, Maris Wicks, Marcos Perez, etc.

Eleanor Davis, Greg Means, and Alec Longstreth

Kevin Burkhalter and Kyle, whose last name I don't know 'cause he's mysterious

We were going to take a picture of us at the table, but my camera battery died and my charger had broken getting off the train.

I had a great time. We did see tons of friends and had a really great time, and I was surprised during the last few minutes of the show by some relatives - my Grandmother, my Aunt Samantha, my Uncles Matt and David, and my cousins John and Luke. We ate at a great Asian buffet, and I pigged out on Sushi.

I came off well in the black - I sold out of Giovanni Potatoes, and sold a lot of other minis (made a lot of trades, too!). Unfortunately, that's ALL I did. I spent last year combing the aisles and getting tons of cool stuff; this year I was so busy at the table that I didn't have a CHANCE to search for cool stuff. Luckily, a lot of it found me, but I got no book-books, aside from Oni books that I grabbed at the end. And I didn't take advantage of some of the amazing work that WAS there - I got a drawing from the AMAZING Roger Langridge, but never got back to purchase wares - he had a ton of amazing minis, and I'm kicking myself for it. I need to make sure that next year I give myself an hour each day to peruse.

Sorry to have such a short entry, and that it came so late - I was sick upon return, and then the internet was down for a while, so it's been rough trying to get this up! All is better now, though.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Off to S.P.X. in Bethesda, MD!

Well, it's finally arrived - tomorrow Hunter and I board the train to Washington, D.C. for the Small Press Expo, perhaps the most anticipated annual event of the indie/alternative comics world. I'm really, really excited, and have been for weeks.

Liz made me prepare early this year, because I tend to stay up all night two or three nights before each event in order to get ready for it - not this time. My minis have been done for weeks. Huzzah! I drew and printed them, and Liz put them together (with the exception of the Giovannis, which she cut and I assembled) while we watched T.V. I never, EVER would have gotten as much done without her help.

Since we're ahead, we've also been helping to assemble some of Hunter's books. Here's Liz, hard at work.

So this year, here are the wares!

Giovanni Potatoe and the Pizzas of Love, co-done with my dad, composer and mystery novelist Mark Schweizer. Just a little bigger than a business card, this four-volume, 300-page rhyming mini-comic comes in a right purty slipcase. A very limited number, so get this one early, before they sell out!

Regina Rich, Middle School Detective. Regina's best friend is accused of stealing the choir fundraiser money! Can Regina prove his innocence? 24 pages, full color

Portraits Volume I: Authors of Adventure Literature. A sixteen page mini-gallery of some of my favorite high adventure/historical fiction writers. B&W.

Shoot the Moon. Around thirty or so small comic memoirs about me and the missus, crammed into eight pages of mini-comic yumminess. B&W.

The Goodbye Beard. A short comic about shaving off a beard. This is the way that every guy does it. If he tells you different, he's a fibber. Color on linen.

• Prints!!! New 24-hour comic day poster, Crogan family trees, and tons of postcards.

• Original art! I'll have some pages, portraits, drawings, etc, at very reasonable prices. Plus I'll be happy to draw in your sketchbook, etc.

• Although I won't be selling any at my table, AWESOME, the Indie Spinner Rack anthology, will be premiering at SPX. It'll be for sale at the Indie Spinner Rack & Evil Twin Publishing tables. I've got a short story called "The Hero" in it. The book is chock full of new work by some AMAZING cartoonists, including Roger Langridge, Raina Telgemeir, Kazimir Strzepek, Alec Longstreth, and many more!

That's it, I 'spose. Oh! I got a set of what I consider to be Harvey Kurtzman's best stuff - Two Fisted Tales, in black and white! Shawn Crystal showed me these editions a while back - they're flat out gorgeous, reproduced in black and white so that you can see exactly what the artist did. The stories are great, the art is amazing (most of it), and it really plays up the adventure. A four-volume set - I got it on eBay!

Anyway, my table number is 42. If you're there, go in through the front doors and we're near the back right-hand corner, in the same area as a number of other SCAD alums - Eleanor Davis, Drew Weing, Kevin Burkhalter, Coleman, Joey Weiser, David Yoder, etc. Should be fun!

And speaking of SCAD, I may have an essay here soon. I've been thinking a lot about the role of the cartoonist as an artist, what the responsibilities and expectations are (i.e. how work-for-hire comes in to play, if it's okay to change one's style/voice for a job, etc). So keep an eye open, and remind me if I forget, which I likely will.