Tuesday, December 30, 2014

ICAF Retrospective

This past November, the Billy Ireland Cartoon Art Library and Museum hosted the 2014 International Cartoon Arts Festival. This amazing festival happens in a different place every year, and it was so great to see it in Columbus this year: to be able to walk out my back door and attend some amazing lectures and talks.

ICAF has their own "ICAF 2014 in Review" page, so this post is really about my own recollections. I attended some very academic lectures: about the influence of Rodin's "Gates of Hell" on Hellboy, the portrayal of women's bodies in Jaime Hernandez's half of Love & Rockets, different kinds of post-apocalypse stories in comics (including why Y the Last Man sucked), and a really cool comic book about an Arab-French kid with polio, Petit Polio by Farid Boudjellal. And that was just Saturday morning! Work kept me from being able to go on Thursday or Friday. Who knows what I could've seen.

Saturday afternoon saw a wonderful conversation between Jeff Smith and Tom Spurgeon. I've been kind of a Jeff Smith groupie since 1994, often hovering around his table or his talks at cons, usually too shy to say anything. This time, I asked a question which he answered in satisfying detail, about the times that Bone's plot got away from him -- in both good ways (the Great Cow Race) and bad (the giant bees in Atheia). He's always an engaging speaker and generous with his time.

At the end of the conversation, Smith and Spurgeon announced their plans for a Columbus-based (and Columbus-themed) comics/cartooning festival in 2016, called Cartoon Crossroads Columbus (CXC). That is super exciting and it deserves its own post -- so more about that later.

Then that evening, Congressman John Lewis spoke about his work in civil rights, starting with his days in the '60s marching to Washington with Martin Luther King. Sweet Honey in the Rock sang. It was inspirational -- but I was also very glad to hear the sweet, self-deprecating Nate Powell say a few words about his process in making the comic book March, a biography of Lewis. He showed some giant slides with his layouts and pencils.

It turns out my wife (who works at OSU) knows Jeremy Stoll, who was involved with ICAF and who created the anthology Dogs! containing work by American and Indian cartoonists. So Saturday night, my wife and I went and had a drink with him. It turned out to also be with a pretty big group of other comics people, including Spurgeon (whom I found out only that weekend is an important part of comics journalism and the force behind The Comics Reporter) and Caitlin McGurk of the Billy. I'm ashamed to say that I spent a good deal of my time letting Jeremy and my wife talk to each other while I eavesdropped on Spurgeon's and McGurk's conversation about what's wrong with comics ... a rambling back and forth that I barely remember now. I hope I wasn't creepy.

All in all, a great day that left me in awe of how much is going on in Columbus. Sometimes this place seems like the place to be for comics. Who knew?!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

John Porcellino Documentary


Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum Jean and Charles Schulz Lecture Hall (room 220)Friday, September 26 at 7pm

The "king" of small press comics, (and frequent S.P.A.C.E. exhibitor), John Porcellino will be coming to Columbus in support of the new documentary about his life and work in comics, Root Hog Or Die. The film, directed by Dan Stafford, features intimate and candid conversations with John as well as over twenty interviews with his friends, fellow cartoonists, bandmates, admirers, and confidantes.

Root Hog Or Die will be showing in the Jean and Charles Schulz Lecture Hall (room 220) on Friday, September 26, 2014 at 7:00 PM. Don't miss out on experiencing this rare and wonderful opportunity!

For twenty-five years, John Porcellino has been self publishing King-Cat Comics & Stories, a black & white (generally) 32 page comic/zine. His collected stories have been published by Drawn and Quarterly, and his work has appeared in McSweeney's, The Best American Comics, Kramer's Ergot, the Anthologies of Graphic Fiction, and in countless other anthologies and collections.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Say "Hi!" to our NEW *NEW* Monthly Meeting place: The Wild Goose!

As wonderful as it was having a Sunday Comix meeting at The Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum in February, and as hopeful as we all were to be able to utilize that wonderful space and fill it with cartoonists and comics creators on a month-to-month basis, alas... it was not meant to be.  The details aren't important. What is important is we have found a new home (and hopefully this one will last): The Wild Goose Creative!

Wild Goose Creative is both a resource and a gathering place (and so much more) for local artists, audiences, and creative people. With a multipurpose creative space at 2491 Summit Street that is sometimes a gallery, sometimes a school, a kitchen table, a living room, a concert hall, or a dance floor, Wild Goose Creative cultivates the creation of excellent and surprising art. Members of Sunday Comix have a history of good experiences with the WGC and we're looking forward to a more engaging and invigorating future together.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Say "HI!" to our new monthly meeting home: The Billy

Yesterday, February 16th was a special day for Sunday Comix-- it was our first meeting held at The Billy Ireland Library & Museum! The turn-out for our inaugural get-together in our new digs was nothing short of spectacular. Over 30 Columbus comics creators and enthusiasts gathered in the Will Eisner Seminar Room of The Billy and got to know each other, talked about comics and some shared works-in-progress or completed comics.

Below are some pics from the meeting and there are lots more on the Sunday Comix Facebook site.

If you make comics in Columbus and want to connect with others who do the same, Sunday Comix at The Billy is the place to be! We're open to all!

Special thanks to Ken Eppstein for helping to guide the meeting in a forward direction and to Canada Keck and Evette Langford for the tasty treats & drinks!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Celebrate Comics in the Short North

I received a pretty awesome email today from my friend, Jean, who works at the Wexner Center. Jean loves comics and she loves Columbus (it's no wonder that she's my friend!). For the past year, she's been working with musician/cartoonist Julian Dassai to put together a pretty cool project called The Weinland Park Story Book. The book is a collection of stories from residents of Weinland Park that have been turned into comics. (The explanation of the project/solicitation for Weinland residents to share their stories is pretty cute.) A few Sunday Comixers are participating as illustrators (myself included).

But y'know what?

This post isn't about the book. It's about one particular page of the book titled "Good Morning."  The story is about a family, a little bird and memorable morning. It was written by Naddir and adapted it into a playful comics page by Katie Velaska. (You can buy her utterly sweetastic book, Next Year's Girl, here!)

Okay, but guess what? This post isn't even about that. It's about this:

The Short North Alliance is unveiling a new series of murals that are giant “stickers” (12ft X 10ft) which will be placed (temporarily) on buildings throughout the Short North.  Naddir and Katie's comic page is going to be one of those murals! How cool is that??? The mural will be featured at the corner of 5th and High on the Dress for Success building across from Out of the Closet.

There will be a reception on Friday, February 28th from 5:30-8PM in Ray’s Living Room located at 17 Brickel St (a stone's throw away from Rigsby's Kitchen and Tasi Cafe).  There are a number of other murals to see all around the neighborhood and sponsoring galleries will be open and have snacks and drinks for everyone to enjoy!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum - Visiting Via Video

Want to see the World's Largest Collection Of Cartoon Art? If you live in Columbus, it's easy! You can simply get yourself to 1813 N. High Street Columbus, OH 43210 and visit The Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum to see all it has to offer (it's got lots and lots)!

Here's a preview of what "The Billy" has in store...

...and, if you don't live here, c'mon and visit!

Videos provided by OSUexperts.

And... for the heck of it, check out these videos from The Billy's Grand Opening Celebration.

Part I: This historic lecture (Ohio State University) by Beetle Bailey artist Brian Walker took place at the opening of the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum.

Part II: Artwork from the opening exhibit at the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum at Ohio State. See examples of animation, political cartoons, comic strips, graphic novels and gag cartoons. Artwork from DC, Marvel, and the American's Sunday comics section are on display. Artist such as Will Eisner, Rube Goldberg, Joe Kubert, Walk Kelly, Bil Keane, Windsor McCay, Charles Schultz. And examples of comic strips such as Blondie, Prince Valiant, Brenda Starr, Beetle Bailey, Dick Tracy, Popeye, Steve Canyon,

Videos provided by Lost Art Student