Thursday, January 31, 2008

Cream City Conversations with Kevin Cannon

Next up is a guy whose hands I'm glad I didn't break and whose artwork I've been lucky enough to publish (with Bud Burgy) in Muscles & Fights. I could go on about how amazing Kevin's hand lettering is or how rich his background art is. Instead, I think I'll let you read Kevin in his own words.

CCC: For those who don't know, Name and location?

Kevin Cannon, Minneapolis, MN

CCC: How did you become interested in creating comics?

I used to copy the dailies as a kid and, then, produced my own TMNT comics in middle school. I'm not sure where the interest came from ... I guess it always existed. My uncle is an artist so maybe it's in the genes.

CCC: What was your first published work? Did you self-publish that work?

I wrote and drew five comic strips for my college paper, the Grinnell Scarlet and Black. In 2002, using college funds, I published an 80-page collection of one of those strips, Johnny Cavalier.

CCC: If you self-publish, what do you gain from that experience?

Printing Johnny Cavalier was eye-opening, in that it threw me head first into the challenges of off-set printing and book design. Maybe the best thing I learned was that there are experts out there and it pays to learn from their expertise. For instance, I worked closely with Jim Powers [Grinnell's art director] and he gave me great tips about scanning, resolution and Photoshop. I also worked one on one with a local off-set printer and he taught me all about paper grades, cover stock, binding styles ... things I hadn't known I should even be thinking about.

CCC: If you've been published by other publishers, compare the experience to self-publishing.

Right now my company, Big Time Attic, which I co-own with Zander Cannon, is publishing a graphic novel with Farrar, Straus and Giroux. The process is more stressful than self-publishing in that everything has to be perfect and on time. All of the art and text are being vetted by outside experts and they have an entire production staff making sure that all of our deliveries are spot-on.

Of course, that stress dissolves when you realize that this whole team out there in New York is working its collective ass off tomake you look good. Also, we have the pleasure of working with an amazing editor, Howard Zimmerman, who's overseeing every step of the process and keeping us in line. Unlike self-publishing, where I can shut out the world and get my project done in solitude, publishing through FSG means weekly or even daily emails with our editor, publisher or production team.

CCC: Give us a list of your published works (self-published or otherwise)?

*Johnny Cavalier (2002)
*Bone Sharps, Cowboys, and Thunder Lizards (2005)
*Project: Romantic (2006)
*Far Arden (online) (2008)

CCC: Describe the art scene where you live. If you've lived elsewhere and were producing art there, compare those scenes.

Minneapolis has a thriving, energetic art scene. But I often feel like everyone groups themselves into cliques, like in high school. To crudely generalize, you've got the Cartoonist Conspiracy, which is like the "drama club" -- a lot of very enthusiastic artists at all skill levels who all feel that production of comics goes hand in hand with the social aspect.

I think the Conspiracy has become the face of Minneapolis comics simply because they're out there putting on shows, blogging, doing magazine interviews and TV appearances.

Minneapolis has its handful of famous creators like Sam Hiti, Peter Gross and Ryan Kelly who are able to make a living at their comics. Let's call them the "lettermen" in this analogy. They steer clear of most Conspiracy functions, but you'll see them at all the local comics shows.

There's also a huge group of comics students at MCAD ("freshmen")... comics fans who meet to talk about comics ("AV club").

Nick Post and the MNCBA who organize FallCon and MicroCon ("student government"?)... My point is that there's a huge comics community in the Twin Cities, but it exists in self-aggregating pockets and these pockets rarely mingle except at a Conspiracy gallery show or an MNCBA convention. Uh... I've also lived in New York and our scene is better than theirs.

*Note: I am getting sick of reading... and hearing about... and talking about how great the Twin Cities art scene is. Aren't you? I'm half joking but, if you're reading this news for the n-teenth time, it should spur you to want a thriving scene in your city. Of course, the great Kevin McCarthy and I will be rectifying the situation in Cream City soon enough.

CCC: Do you belong to any online or 'real world' art groups? If so, list them and describe what that/those group/s benefit you.

I'm a card-carrying member of the International Cartoonist Conspiracy. We meet once a month to draw jam comics and we're almost always planning something in the public eye, like the City Pages Comix Issue, the Schmapples Tribute and the upcoming LutefiskSushi Volume C show at Altered Esthetics.

*Note: Yeah, that's right. Just keep bragging, Cannon. Why I oughta...

CCC: What is your ultimate or immediate goal in creating comics? Are there other mediums you enjoy working in? If so, what? How do you display this other work?

My immediate goal is to keep Big Time Attic successful. Ultimately, Zander and I would like to spend our days only working on our own books and properties. In the meantime, though, we have to take on a few corporate art projects here and there to remain in the black.

That's not such a bad thing, though. These non-comics jobs have included painting backgrounds for animated TV shows, photo touch-up for Target's NASCAR team and game concepting for Cartoon Network. My personal goal outside of work is to produce a library of pulp fiction graphic novels. If I can make money at that, fine. But I'm more interested in creating the books and getting them in front of an audience.

*Note: If you're smart, you'll be in line ahead of me when all those beautiful books are released.

CCC: What do you think is lacking from the underground art scene? If you had the power, what would you do to address that void?

Money. If I had gobs of money I'd invest in cartoonists the way Xeric does, but on a local level.

CCC: Do you blog? MySpace? ComicSpace? If so, what kinds of things do you communicate through it and what is your ultimate goal in using that site?

I'm on the Facebook, but not for comics reasons. Zander and I blog on bigtimeattic.com/blog. Our main goal is to have a spot on the web where people can find useful tips and tricks about cartooning. There are some comics and gags on there too. But I think our most rewarding posts disseminate information like "Here is a brush and here is how you use it." We also use the BTA blog as a vehicle to announce upcoming events and get people's opinions about stuff.

CCC: Do you read any other creators' blogs? If so, what do you think of them?

I check cartoonistconspiracy.com and comicsreporter.com often to keep my pulse on what's happening in comics. And, then, every so often I'll check in to local creators' blogs... like Ryan Kelly, Brittney Sabo, and Tim Sievert. However, reading creators' blogs gets me down a lot of the time. Everytime I look at Ryan Kelly's blog I think "Goddamn it, how does he make comics AND make those gorgeous paintings?"

*Note: I can teach you how to break his hands without leaving marks, Kevin. Tim is a brilliant artist, though. Look out for his book from Top Shelf this year.

CCC: What kinds of books do you enjoy reading?

Mostly historical non-fiction. But every so often I like to throw in a classic that I either missed or didn't understand in high school. I just finished Macbeth, I'm working on Schulz and after that I'll try to tackle some Jack London.

CCC: What kinds of standards and/or expectations do you place on a comics purchase?

The only expectation I have about comics is that they'll be expensive. I grew up only buying comics that were in the cheap bin at Half Price Books, so it feels strange to pay full price for a book. When I do go to Big Brain I like buying from smaller publishers or self-published work.

*Note: See how great this guy is? And his work is better than his answers.

CCC: What is your favorite indie publisher?

G.T. Labs. Jim Ottaviani is the writer/publisher of this very niche-focused company (science graphic novels). He has the curiosity of a child, the mind of a scientist, and the body of an olympic runner.

CCC: What is it about that publisher you find unique?

It's clear that Jim gets excited telling stories about science and has taken difficult steps to be able to share those stories with the world. I wish I had read his books in high school!

CCC: What are some the local venues for showing your work? Is/are that/those venue/s open to artists from other communities showing there?

It seems like there's always a gallery show around the corner that you can put your work in. For example, there are some pretty cool guys named Amado and Bud who just hung a comics show in Diamond's Coffee Shoppe, featuring art from their second "Muscles and Fights" anthology.

*Note: Ah, shucks. The check's in the mail, Kevin.

CCC: Who is your favorite creator/writer/illustrator?

Julie Doucet

CCC: Is there an artist working in another medium you follow?

Eric Rohmer

CCC: Give us a short list of indie creators you believe are sort of shaping the future of comics (indie and/or mainstream)?

I think Austin English and Jeffry Brown are the future of comics. Their styles and stories epitomize what comics should be: a medium that the everyman can not only consume but create. They are to modern comics what Die BrĂ¼cke was to printmaking a hundred years ago.

CCC: If you could change one thing about the modern comics 'industry' what would it be?

People's tastes. Who the hell reads superhero comics? I don't know a single person who waits for the next X-Men to come out.

*Note: I swear... Kevin is the person responsible for those words. I did not, could not and would not plug in a bunch of my own answers and attach Kevin's name to them. I will say this, though. The problem I have with X-Men and other super hero books isn't people reading those books. My problem with those books is the same people keep reading them and want those books to grow up with them. Will, Stan, Jack and the rest of the old greats created those books perfectly for a particular audience. They should have been left in their original forms so people could enjoy them as they were. The Spirit is an example of a title allowed to live perfectly ever-after. I know what I did when super heroes weren't doing it for me anymore... check my publishers links.

CCC: Give a shout out to any site and/or underground comic you think people ought to be checking into.

http://lamano21.com/This is Zak Sally's publishing company. He represents amazing talent... guys who straddle that often gray and blurry art-meets-comics divide.

CCC: Share a bit of advice for other creators.

Carve out an hour and just make something.

Reads like sound advice to me.

Thanks, Kevin!

-AR

Peace

Monday, January 28, 2008

Cream City Conversations with Jon Sloan

Hello. Guess who's back with another 'conversation'.

I'm really stoked about having the opportunity to introduce people [who don't know] to this next creator. Besides drawing and writing and publishing his book, "Sa-Bom Jim"... Jon is a practitioner/Instructor in the Korean combative art of Tae Kwon Do. Bud Burgy and I have been fortunate enough to include demonstrations by Jon at our M&F release parties as well as include his work in our series.

Jon...

CCC: For those who don't know, Name and location?

Jon Sloan, I live in the north-west Minneapolis Metro Area.

CCC: How did you become interested in creating comics?

I have always been a huge fan of cartoons and comics. I first learned to draw by copying the comic strip characters, especially "Peanuts". I had always been weary about submitting material to syndicates and large publishing houses because I thought my material wasn't up to par. This changed in the Spring of '03 when I met Bob Lipski ("Uptown Girl" creator) and saw that I could do this sort of thing on my own.

CCC: What was your first published work? Did you self-publish that work?

Aside from a few small projects I did here and there for high school flyers and programs, my first published work was "Sa-Bom Jim #1". It was entirely self-published.

CCC: If you self-publish, what do you gain from that experience?

A huge amount of respect for people who are able to publish more often than myself! The one thing I believe it continually teaches me is what I need to do to improve my writing, artwork, and storytelling. I'm sure a lot of people would agree that while that first-ever issue looks all impressive when you see it for the first time, you tend to cringe a little when you look back on it years later thinking "My God! How did I let this thing see print???"

CCC: If you've been published by other publishers, compare the experience to self-publishing.

I love the results that other people have turned out with publishing my work so far ("Muscles And Fights" 1, 2, soon 3 and "Uptown Girl Presents" #2). Yet, it's a lot different when someone else handles my work besides myself. There's a small feeling of detachment when you hand over your pages to someone else and simply have to wait and see what the end result is. Self-publishing for me is a bit more personal, and I get to see the finished result sooner due to the low-budget way I put my book together.

CCC: Give us a list of your published works (self-published or otherwise)?

Ok, to start it from the top: "Sa-Bom Jim" #0-6, "The Koffee Klutch" #1, Contributor to "Muscles And Fights" vol. 1-3, "Uptown Girl Presents" #2 (contributed a 24 page Walrus story), "Alley Cat! Cats On Bikes (With Ninjas!): A Tribute To Eric Lappegard" (contributed a 2-page story).

CCC: Describe the art scene where you live. If you've lived elsewhere and were producing art there, compare those scenes.

I am still exploring the Minneapolis art scene. So far, I am enjoying it quite a lot. The feeling of community with The Int'l Cartoonist Conspiracy is wonderful! This is totally different from when I was living in Duluth and especially in Mankato, MN. There was not much as far as an art scene in Duluth or Mankato that I was aware of, much less anyone that was known locally who were doing comics.

CCC: Do you belong to any online or 'real world' art groups? If so, list them and describe what that/those group/s benefit you.

As was mentioned before, The Int'l Cartoonist Conspiracy! The monthly jams (when I can get to them) are wonderful... I appreciate the networking and news about various projects that I find out about through them. A great group of people and I look forward to working with them in more projects/events in the future.

CCC: What is your ultimate or immediate goal in creating comics?

To tell stories and be creative. I had always wanted to be a cartoonist growing up and this gives me a chance to put my material out to the public. I figured that I had spent enough time on the sidelines and I wanted to be a contributor... not just another spectator.

CCC: What do you think is lacking from the underground art scene? If you had the power, what would you do to address that void?

Mostly exposure. I feel a lot of people give indy/underground comics a bad rap simply because they don't have one of the logos from the "Big Two" slapped on the cover. I would give equal print space to advertise indies as well as mainstreams and promote more local book events within stores to let folks know that there's more to choose from than the flying spandex books their inundated with.

CCC: Do you blog? MySpace? ComicSpace? If so, what kinds of things do you communicate through it and what is your ultimate goal in using that site?

I blog on my MySpace page as well as Blogspot. In these blogs, I usually vent about issues that are bothering me or something exciting is coming up... more or less your usual whiny/angsty stuff.

CCC: Do you read any other creators' blogs? If so, what do you think of them?

I read Paul Taylor's (Wapsi Square) Livejournal entries and have just started reading entries of Ryan Dow. I enjoy them and it gives me a little bit of comfort that other folks have stuff going on in their lives that bothers them to no end just like I do.

CCC: What kinds of books do you enjoy reading?

Well, as far as actual non-comic/non-graphic novels go, any good books on Art, artistic techniques, or art history/biography are good for a decent read. I am always on the lookout for books about the "other" John Sloan, who was affiliated with "The Ashcan School" in the early 20th Century. Martial arts books about technique or philosophy are good, such as Sun Tsu's "Art of War" and especially Musashi's "Book Of Five Rings". A good book on Japanese swords and swordsmanship will hold my interest for a great while. I do read some science fiction and I have made it a goal to read some of the classics by authors such as H.G Wells, Asimov, Bram Stoker, Mary Shelley, and Gaston Leroux. F. Scott Fitzgerald is also a favorite writer of mine.

CCC: What kinds of standards and/or expectations do you place on a comics purchase?

After the comics implosion of the early '90's, I became a bit more fussy about who/what I read. The experience kinda soured me on superhero titles, so I focused more on humor and alternative titles instead. When I look for a particular title the story has to grab my interest. If the story can't keep me going, then, I won't bother anymore with a book. The book has to have an original slant on an idea for me to notice it and give it a look.

CCC: What is your favorite indie publisher?

I guess... I try to focus on the individual book than who is publishing it. Another habit I've kicked since the early "90's. I want to see the book and not who's putting it out.

CCC: Who is your favorite creator/writer/illustrator?

As far as nationally know people: George Perez (DC/Marvel/Ind.) has always been a constant favorite, John Kovalic (Dork Tower), Scott Kurtz (PvP), Frank Cho (Liberty Meadows, Marvel/DC projects), Aaron Williams ("Nodwick", "PS 238"), Jolly Blackburn ("Knights Of The Dinner Table"). Local talent: Bob Lipski, DANK!, Kevin Cannon, and other members of The Conspiracy.:)

CCC: Give us a short list of indie creators you believe are sort of shaping the future of comics (indie and/or mainstream)?

Alan Moore for writing, definitely. I just wish the Hollywood idiots would stay true to his books when they make movies of them. I think Neil Gaiman and Frank Miller helped turn a few heads in the 80's as well as recently to different writing and storytelling that have jump-started many an indy comic creator. The list grows due to more and more artists that I see. I think a lot of indy folks are shaping the way we look at comics simply by turning out more and more indy comics (Yeah, I know that's pretty vague, sorry!)

*Note: I really don't find that answer vague... at all. Change should come from the inside out... any other way is temporal... a fad. Every indie creator actually publishing AND pushing his/her work is shaping the future of comics. That is why it's so critical we steer clear of inbred-style writing and illustrating.


CCC: If you could change one thing about the modern comics 'industry' what would it be?

Sorry, this has to be TWO things.

Firstly: Knock it off with giving us multiple books about the same crap! I'm sure everyone else can agree with me that the X-Men were a lot more interesting when you could number all their books on one hand and still have a couple fingers left over. Really, their stuff has gotten so derivative that it's no wonder that they see turning their characters into ZOMBIES as a novel approach.

Secondly: They truly need to see beyond the idea that superheroes, manga and top names in the business are the only things worth printing. If they would open their eyes to the immense creative market that is outside their blinders, maybe, they would take more of a chance on something new.

*Once again, we are the system. If we don't evolve ourselves AND, in turn, change the way the system operates, who will?

CCC: Give a shout out to any site and/or underground comic you think people ought to be checking into.

Bob Lipski http://www.uptowngirlcomic.com/

Danno http://www.staplegenius.com/

Paul Taylor http://www.wapsisquare.com/

Ryan Dow http://www.ryandow.com/

Bud Burgy http://www.meatfistandgronk.com/

There is a ton more people that I can't think of off-hand. Like I said before, the more people's art/comics I see, the longer the list grows!

And so it does...

Thanks, Jon!

-AR

**I'd like to give special mention to a creator I've only, sadly, discovered recently. Fortunately, classic... quality... spirited work never grows stale. Jordan Crane is, in my opinion, one of the most exciting voices in modern comics. The palette he implores as well as the general subject matter, dialogue, layout and visual style in his work is something to aspire to. A big thanks is due to Fantagraphics for publishing The Clouds Above. Crane is the designer of FB's MOME anthology in addition to having his own small press shop, Red Ink: www.reddingk.com

Peace

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Cream City Conversations with Justin Cermak

Hello. I'm back after a healthy dose of community with many of the hardcore supporters of Muscles & Fights. Last Saturday was fantastic... a slow start to an in-store signing [at The Source] grew into a great finish. And, of course, the Musclier & Fightier release party [at Diamonds Coffee Shoppe] was a smashing success.

Bud and I debuted Bud's M&F t-shirt and my Heavee Underground ogn along with our ongoing anthology series (contact Bud through the M&F site for t-shirt inquiries). Jon Sloan and his able assistant kicked Tae Kwon Do @$$ all over the place which included some intense Kendo and board breaking.

Bud will have photos up soon on the Muscles & Fights website. For now you can read more here: http://thedailycrosshatch.com/2008/01/22/muscles-and-fights-2-release-party/#more-913
It's worth noting, while there are some editorial mistakes in the report, Daily Cross Hatch is supporting their community which is most important.

Enough of that, for now. Let's get back to my 'Conversations' series. Up next is Justin 'Spanky' Cermak. A man of very few unprinted words, Mr. Cermak puts his money where his mouth is everytime he hits a lily white slab of illustration board. I'd go on about this brilliant cartoonist but it'll read better if I leave it to him.

CCC: For those who don't know, Name and location?

Justin "Spanky" Cermak, MPLS, MN.

CCC: How did you become interested in creating comics?

I think it was inborn.

CCC: What was your first published work? Did you self-publish that work?

The first comic I brought to press was Space Sheriff and Happy Space Boy issues #1-5 graphic novel and I actually got Diamond Distribution to distribute it.

CCC: If you self-publish, what do you gain from that experience?

There is so much to learn and even more to know; dealing with printers, getting your book out and on the road meeting the public... for me, that's the best part.

CCC: Give us a list of your published works (self-published or otherwise)?

Space Sheriff and Happy Space Boy, Dynamite Pilot and countless other small projects that didn't get too far.

CCC: Describe the art scene where you live. If you've lived elsewhere and were producing art there, compare those scenes.

The Minneapolis/St. Paul Art scene is huge! There are three main parts, all equally good. There is the NE (including the U of M scene) with many artist lofts, galleries and bars to see good bands , St. Paul has a lot of professional artist lofts around and the Southside, "REPRESENT" with MCAD, and tons of awesome galleries like Intermedia Arts and a billion great coffee shops with weirdos on every corner.

CCC: Do you belong to any online or 'real world' art groups? If so, list them and describe what that/those group/s benefit you.

International Comic Book Conspiracy, MPLS chapter. It's a 'skull and bones' thing, you shouldn't understand.

CCC: What is your ultimate or immediate goal in creating comics?

Turn these scripts into gold, solid gold! And to make what I want.

CCC: What do you think is lacking from the underground art scene? If you had the power, what would you do to address that void?

Government grants big enough to live on (40k) and not have to work, like they do in Sweden for the musicains, and free universal health care for everybody!

*Note: I don't know about the socialized health care but I'm all for those 40k grants for creative people who're contributing to society with their work.

CCC: Do you blog? MySpace? ComicSpace? If so, what kinds of things do you communicate through it and what is your ultimate goal in using that site?

I do both but not nearly enough; I still have the basic page layout from when I began on MySpace. On the other hand, I have put up almost everything I have ever done on comicspace... that is a great site.

CCC: What kinds of books do you enjoy reading?

I've really enjoyed books on physics, physicists and music... now I'm on to Russian literature.

CCC: What kinds of standards and/or expectations do you place on a comics purchase?

?Que?

*Note: Apparently, Spanky doesn't have any standards or expectations when it comes to purchasing comics. He just buys 'em for the love of it. Whatta guy! Make sure you hit'em up next time you spot him at a con.

CCC: What is your favorite indie artist/publication?

Geoff Darrow, Hellboy, Conan and Judge Dredd.

CCC: What is it about them you find unique?

Hell, damn, ass-good drawing styles.

CCC: Who is your favorite creator/writer/illustrator?

Steve Purcell, creator of Sam and Max.

CCC: Give us a short list of indie creators you believe are sort of shaping the future of comics (indie and/or mainstream)?

Hellboy, that stark graphic style is hot!

*Note: The creator of Hellboy, for the uninitiated, is Mike Mignola. The most notable artists to tackle Hellboy (besides Mignola) are Duncan Fegredo and Bill Wray. Duncan illustrates the book in a style similar to Mignola... Bill did anything and everything he could get away with.

CCC: If you could change one thing about the modern comics 'industry' what would it be?

"I only read Spider-man". Monogamy in comic love is boring, grab a title that isn't superhero related.

CCC: Give a shout out to any site and/or underground comic you think people ought to be checking into.

M & F, Forever!

*Note: I did not pay Spanky to shout-out our book. Bud may have but I most certainly did not.

Thanks, Spanky!

-AR

So... there you go... another edition of 'the indie loving machine' I like to call Cream City Comics/Conversations.

Peace

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Cream City Conversations with Mark Miller

Hello & thanks to the Cream City faithful.

I hope you're still having fun with these C. C. Conversations 'cos I've another fine batch coming your way. As per usual, I've switched gears on you to keep things fresh. My next Cream City guest is a first time comics writer/illustrator but he's not at all new to the comics biz.

Mark Miller is an editor/columnist at Ain't It Cool News. For me, one of the things bringing me the most pleasure in having him participate in C. C. Conversations is the amount of time and energy he's devoted to promoting underground/indie comics as he has the mainstream variety.

It's an honor to count him among my friends and colleagues. Take it away, Mark.

CCC: For those who don't know, Name and location?

Mark L. Miller. Chicago, IL.

CCC: How did you become interested in creating comics?

I've been reading comics since I was about 8 years old. I was always encouraged by my father to read and inherited quite a few old and valuable comics when he passed away when I was 12. Since then, I've been a comic book fanatic... reading everything from the most indie-rific to the mainstream of mainstream comics.

About seven years ago, a group of my friends got together and decided to put together an ongoing comic book review column for Ain't It Cool News. Seven years later, I'm still editing the column and reviewing both mainstream and independent comics.

My Indie Jones section at AICN sheds light on independent comics and serves to promote new and exciting voices in the medium. Although I've never created my own comic book story until now, I've always dreamed of doing so; constantly lobbing around story and character ideas with friends. I was lucky enough to befriend Amado a while back and that inspired me to hunker down and really do something with some of those ideas.

CCC: What was your first published work? Did you self-publish that work?

Well, if you don't count the weekly review column at Ain't It Cool News, the TALES OF JACKASSERY story in MUSCLES & FIGHTS 3 will be my very first published work.

*Note: Without getting all sentimental and mushy here, I want to inform you all, Bud and I are very pleased with Mark's first step into creating comics. His is a brilliant piece and we're excited about getting it into print.

CCC: If you self-publish, what do you gain from that experience?

Although I didn't self-publish, after spending the last few years critiquing comics created by other people, I have gained a new found respect for those who write, draw and publish their own work after finishing my first story. It's hard work, but in the end, when it's all done there's this feeling of accomplishment that can't be described.

But any name for ourselves that has come from reviewing at Ain't It Cool News has come from consistency and hard work to keep that consistency throughout the years. I guess you could consider that a self-publication because we had no guidelines starting out. We wrote what we wanted, formed our own code of ethics to adhere to and stuck to it.

It's a thankless job. We don't really see any profit from it other than some comps here and there. We do it for the love of the comic book industry. I guess I gain a lot knowing that our column is read by fans and creators alike. It's just a good feeling to know that something you have written is actually being read. It kind of makes it all worthwhile. Acknowledges your existence in some way.

CCC: If you've been published by other publishers, compare the experience to self-publishing.

At Ain't It Cool, the comic book reviewers (AKA The @$$Holes) have the freedom to pretty much publish anything we want in our weekly column. I'm lucky to have that kind of freedom. But the only reason the reviewers at AICN Comics have that freedom is because we've provided consistent comic book reviews for seven years now.

Those who have read the site know that our reviews are anything but conventional. I've written reviews in iambic pentameter, skits featuring Batman calling into a Love Line show after being dumped by a girl, and movie reviews done from the perspective of a dung-flinging monkey. Some have been a blast to do... others I look back on and feel physical pain from how bad they are. But it's all fun, though. It's all a learning experience.

I look at my weekly reviewing schedule as a good way to keep the writing muscles in shape.

CCC: Give us a list of your published works (self-published or otherwise).

Online - Our weekly comic book review column at Ain't It Cool News. My favorites are our yearly awards column, better known as The @$$ie Awards. So far, the awards have been hosted by Green Lantern John Stewart (coinciding with the year Jon Stewart hosted the Oscars) and John Byrne's pitiful creation Crucifer. I manipulated already existing panels to use these characters to host the awards. It's a riff on the Oscars and occurs around that time.

Which reminds me, Oscar time is coming up, so I have to start picking my @$$ies for 2007.

CCC: Describe the art scene where you live. If you've lived elsewhere and were producing art there, compare those scenes.

I've always [unfortunately] functioned outside of the art scene wherever I live. I work better alone and unobstructed. I love promoting art in others and talking art with fellow artists, but I was never good at finding the art community. I understand the value of having other artists around to encourage me to work harder and produce more. A little friendly competition works wonders. But for some reason, I've found that I don't fit in.

I went to The Ohio State University and got a Bachelor's in Fine Arts. I remember loving the solitude of the art department there and usually did my drawings and paintings late at night because my roommates at home were too busy partying, as well as my fellow classmates, I guess, because the halls and rooms were always empty. I called myself an outcast among the outcasts.

Artists can be a fickle and clique-y lot, just as they are often chastised and out casted by those who don't appreciate art, I find artists to do the same quite a bit. There's nothing really wrong with that, but it always made it hard for me to fit in. Here in Chicago, I don't really know many artists.

By day, I work as an Art Therapist. So I know a lot of those. But they are much more interested in the psychology of art and the art that their patients create and less interested in creating their own work. I often find myself in that category too; placing other people's work ahead of my own, which definitely influences the time that it's taken me to produce my own work.

I know, when I do run into artists, I am often pretty giddy and fascinated because despite the fact that you can't throw a flaming beret two feet in this city without hitting a starving artist, I don't get to interact with too many of them on an even level. It's usually as their therapist promoting their own creation of art and not as a peer.

CCC: Do you belong to any online or 'real world' art groups? If so, list them and describe what that/those group/s benefit you.

I have my Art Therapist friends and my team of reviewers at Ain't It Cool News... both are always very encouraging. Although they are spread out over the globe and I've only met a few of them face to face, I consider some of the reviewers at AICN to be very close and valued friends. I usually use them as a sounding board for ideas. And they're usually pretty honest whether or not an idea sucks or not.

It's good to have people around you who aren't afraid to tell you that you suck sometimes. It's not that they constantly tell you that you suck, but they are there to nail your ass back down to reality when you get so caught up in a project or an idea that you are unable to tell if it sucks or not.

CCC: What is your ultimate or immediate goal in creating comics? Are there other mediums you enjoy working in? If so, what? How do you display this other work?

I write short stories. I have a drawer full of stories that I've always wanted publish in one form or another. Seeing my own comic book, written by myself and read by others is something that I would love to see. I always fancied myself a writer, but I think with the subject matter I write about, it would be better suited in a graphic storytelling format. I guess I've always wanted to write comics and always kept them in mind when I was writing those stories.

CCC: What do you think is lacking from the underground art scene? If you had the power, what would you do to address that void?

I think there are a lot of people like me who are not in tune with the underground scene. But I guess if it was easily accessible, it wouldn't be underground. Would it?

I guess, I think that the one thing about the underground scene that troubles me is the belief that if you become successful or have some kind of positive feelings for mainstream things, you no longer have a right to be a part of that underground scene.

I call bullshit on that because, no matter how indie you are, I'll bet it was some old X-Men or Batman comic that inspired you to make comics. So if the interest came from mainstream books, then there still should be a little appreciation towards the mainstream no matter how far you deviate from it.

*Note: I hope it isn't only me noticing how many of these Conversations take this tact when addressing attitudes in the art community. The underground is great... it's a breeding ground for growing talent. Some so-called underground folks are hanging art in a few... quite a few very mainstream galleries and museums. Sam Kieth is a great example, in comics, of someone with the ability to travel to and fro on the underground railroad.

CCC: Do you blog? MySpace? ComicSpace? If so, what kinds of things do you communicate through it and what is your ultimate goal in using that site?

I wish I had more time to blog or journal. I have a very selective memory and I'm sure there's a lot of good stuff I could use in stories if I documented my existence on this earth a little better. I have a MySpace page and a ComicSpace page. I occasionally pay attention to them. But I don't really use them for anything other than catching up with long forgotten friends and, of course, flirting with females.

CCC: Do you read any other creators' blogs? If so, what do you think of them?

I don't really read other blogs. Not because I'm not interested in them. Hell, I got into Art Therapy because I was often more interested in the lives of the artists than the art itself. I'm just extremely busy... no more busier than anyone else but busy. If you're a STUDIO 60 fan, I relate my weekly schedule to that of the Matthew Perry character. After working at the hospital doing the Art Therapy thing, I come home and work on the weekly AICN column.

Deadlines for reviews are Mondays... editing, formatting and imaging the reviews happen on Tuesdays... posting the column occurs on Wednesdays... then it's new comic day and we start all over again. It's like that clock in Matthew Perry's office in Studio 60. For a moment on Wednesdays, when the column goes up, there's that sense of relief and peace. But that relief fades fast and the work begins all over again on next week's column.

That schedule doesn't leave a lot of time for blogging or reading other's online journals.

CCC: What kinds of books do you enjoy reading?

I love short fiction. I love horror and offbeat stories involving characters and scenarios that defy explanation. Comic wise, I like indie books as well as mainstream. I like to read STRANGERS IN PARADISE then chug through an issue of BATMAN. Since I review a lot of comics, I tend to read across the varied spectrum of comic book-dom.

CCC: What kinds of standards and/or expectations do you place on a comics purchase?

Depends. If it's a mainstream book, my standards are set pretty high. Those guys get paid the big bucks, so their shit better be good. But I'll read indie books to see creators in their earliest stages of development. My expectations are set much lower. I like seeing artists and writers grow and evolve.

CCC: What is your favorite indie publisher?

I really like First Second. Some of my favorite reads of the last year come from them. LAIKA, about Russia's space race involving canines, brings tears to my eyes every time I read it. I love AIT/Planet Lar. Larry Young's ASTRONAUTS IN TROUBLE is phenomenal. Is IDW Indie? I like that whether it is or not. Ben Templesmith is an art god.

*Note: Yes, Mark, I'd consider IDW an indie outfit and Ben Templesmith is definitely a modern Expressionist master.

CCC: What is it about that publisher you find unique?

First Second seems to be publishing books of the highest quality. They focus on good stories, first and foremost. When I read their books, I feel like I'm reading literature... not funny books. They seem to want to push the quality of the comic book medium forward into something that can be taken seriously and I really find that to be unique and pretty scarce in comics these days.

CCC: Who is your favorite creator/writer/illustrator?

I like Larry Young as a creator and a publisher. AIT/Planet Lar, like First Second, is a publishing company that is pushing the medium forward with strong stories. But I like a lot of mainstream writers too. Chuck Dixon, Pete Tomasi, Geoff Johns. I like Garth Ennis when he writes serious stuff (his PUNISHER is honestly some of the best comic book writing in the mainstream).

I love some of Steve Niles work, mostly on the CAL MCDONALD MYSTERIES stuff. Jonathan Lethem is writing OMEGA THE UNKNOWN for Marvel and that is probably the most indie comic book Marvel have ever produced and it's fantastic. Art-wise, I love Ben Templesmith, Ashley Wood, Eric Powell. There's a book I just read called CHIAROSCURO by artist/writer Troy Little that turned out to surprise me both story wise and art wise.

*Note: For those unfamiliar with Omega... pick up an issue, read it, then surf back here and check out the link for the series illustrator. And, definitely, check out Troy's Chiaroscuro. It's been a while since the single issues were started but the hardcover collected treatment is what that book always deserved.

CCC: Is there an artist working in another medium you follow?

I love movies. Just saw THE ORPHANAGE and loved it to pieces. I've seen Crispin Glover perform and read from his novels at the Music Box here in Chicago. I got to see his film WHAT IS IT?, but missed it's sequel when it made it's way through town. It's amazing because Glover tours with the print across America and gives his own personal intros and Q & A's afterwards. His books are very graphically put together, using found art and pics, text from other books and Glover's own poetry.

It's just so off the wall and original, like David Lynch, but lacking Lynch's innocent way of looking at the obscene. Glover's stuff is obscene and he knows it... Lynch just seems not to know any better. I love both of their work. Films by Guy Madden fall into that category too.

I saw his most recent silent film last year at the Music Box. It was narrated by Crispin Glover again with a live orchestra, a sound team utilizing old school Hollywood gaffing techniques and even had a real castrado present for the final song of the film. It was like seeing a three ring circus in theater form. It's that type of experience, the type that defies explanation and categorization, that I love to experience... no matter what the medium.

CCC: Give us a short list of indie creators you believe are sort of shaping the future of comics (indie and/or mainstream)?

In my review column, I often give artists who rely too much on photo referencing a hard time. But after seeing what artists like Ben Templesmith and Ashley Wood and even Phil Noto (who utilizes computer art techniques over old school penciling) can do, I realize that it is an inevitable direction comic book art seems to be heading into. I'm sure there will always be room for the good old pencils and inks, but with my short story TALES OF JACKASSERY in M&F3, I found myself fascinated with what I could do using even the most rudimentary of computer programs.

CCC: If you could change one thing about the modern comics 'industry' what would it be?

I think egos are running rampant in the industry. Maybe this has always been the case and the internet has just made it more obvious now. I don't know. In mainstream, writers and artists care more about making that one all-encompassing, earth shattering, medium changing story rather than just telling a good story.

Fame far outweighs craft these days and it's bass-ackwards if you ask me. Frank Miller or Alan Moore didn't set out to make comic book history with THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS or THE WATCHMEN. They set out to write a good story. It was the strength of those stories, not the volume of the voice of the ad department or the writer's agent or EIC, that made those stories classics.

If more artists and writers were focused on writing and drawing good stories instead of making history, the industry as a whole would be a lot better.

CCC: Give a shout out to any site and/or underground comic you think people ought to be checking into.

A little website called Ain't It Cool News.com. Check it out every Wednesday for AICN Comics, our weekly comic book review column.I just read a comic called STRANGE DETECTIVE STORIES from OddGod Press. It tells a story about Renfield and Igor from the old Universal Monster movies as they set up shop as detectives in LA in the fifties. There is such a love for classic horror cinema in this book. It really is a cool book and worth seeking out.

CCC: Share a bit of advice for other creators.

How about "Sometimes you eat the bar... and sometimes, well, the bar eats you"...?

No? "Always bet on black"...?

No... Ahh... just work hard, respect others, don't give up and [hopefully] someone will notice it someday and there'll be some kind of payoff.

Erm... great advice, Mark. Thanks!

-AR

And... to the faithful readers... enjoy the rest of your week! Have a great weekend!! If you're roundabout the Twin Cities... visit Bud, Amado and many of the other M&F creators at The Source Comics & Games and Diamonds Coffee Shoppe. Don't forget, M&F... M&F2, M&F t-shirts and Heavee Underground will be available for purchase!!!

Comics, original art, Martial Arts, music and booze? No-brainer... put up your dukes!!!!

Peace.

**By the way, this is how this art 'community' thing works: http://www.aintitcool.com/node/35374

Thanks, Mark! RESPECT.


Monday, January 14, 2008

Cream City Conversations with Bob Lipski

Bob Lipski is the creator featured, thusfar, in my 'conversations' I know least about... at least on a personal level. What I do know is he is incredibly prolific and consistent with his Uptown Girl comics. What's even more impressive is he's garnered enough attention and fanfare to have an independent film based on his work. You can learn more about the Uptown Girl movie here: http://www.uptowngirlcomic.com/movie.php

I've been fortunate enough to publish some of Bob's work and I can tell you he's never let me down. His work will not soon be mistaken for Neal Adams'. But who needs another Neal Adams refried rip-off artist when you could read something fresh and new... and heartfelt?

With that intro... take it away Bob!

CCC: For those who don't know, Name and location?

Bob Lipski, Saint Paul, MN

CCC: How did you become interested in creating comics?

I always liked drawing and I always enjoyed reading comics. But I always thought that creating comics was impossible because I couldn’t draw like the DC and Marvel guys. I didn’t really want to draw superhero comics... even though I liked reading them. It wasn’t until my friend, David Tea, turned me onto mini-comics... I started to discover a lot of indie cartoonists after that.

CCC: What was your first published work? Did you self-publish that work?

My friend, David Tea, encouraged me to try my hand at doing mini-comics but the idea of doing a whole comic seemed impossible. So I started doing a one page autobiographical comic called ‘Fake Farm Landscape’. Dave started to publish those strips in the zines he edited.

CCC: If you self-publish, what do you gain from that experience?

You have to wear a lot of hats being a self-publisher. You have to have a business mind and be detail-orientated. Me, I would rather spend the time drawing instead of doing invoices so it’s hard for me to manage the business side of things.

CCC: Give us a list of your published works (self-published or otherwise)?

So far, almost all of my work is self-published. My major work is the monthly comic book ‘Uptown Girl’ which has been going for almost 5 years.

CCC: Describe the art scene where you live. If you've lived elsewhere and were producing art there, compare those scenes.

I’m not really in touch with the art scene where I live, I suspect it’s comprised of people who like make crafts and all that.

CCC: Do you belong to any online or 'real world' art groups? If so, list them and describe how that/those group/s benefit you.

I belong to a cartoonist group in Minneapolis called ‘The Cartoonist Conspiracy’. I like that group because I get to meet other cartoonists and develop my skill and get involved in projects I normally wouldn’t.

*Note: I suspect it's also drawn Bob into his local art scene... although I doubt he's taken up crafts.

CCC: What is your ultimate or immediate goal in creating comics?

To entertain myself. I want to write the stories that I want to draw.

CCC: What kinds of books do you enjoy reading?

Lately, I’ve been enjoying biographies of cartoonists. I just finished the one about Charles Schulz. But I like the books about Jack Kirby the most.

*Note: For the unintiated, look into Kirby's work. Modern comics would not be the same without him.

CCC: What kinds of standards and/or expectations do you place on a comics purchase?

I just want to be entertained. I don’t care if I have a life changing moment or if it has a meaning.

CCC: What is your favorite indie publisher?

I like Slave Labor Graphics and First Second.

CCC: What is it about that publisher you find unique?

Just the variety of work they publish. They’re willing to take chances on stuff.

CCC: Who is your favorite creator/writer/illustrator?

I really dig Darwyn Cooke. There’s this energy to his work that I really like.

CCC: Give us a short list of indie creators you believe are sort of shaping the future of comics (indie and/or mainstream)?

James Kochalka, Alex Robinson and Craig Thompson. I think those three guys are doing comics that appeal to people who normally don’t read them. It pushes the perception of what comics are... and what they can be.

CCC: If you could change one thing about the modern comics 'industry' what would it be?

Just make comics more accessible, not only in terms of content but the availability of them in the first place. As much as I dislike the big bookstores, I do like seeing the areas that are dedicated to comics. Most times they’re well organized and on the shelf.

Thanks, Bob!

*Note: I don't have a personal preference in regards to bookstores. Although, I want to see specialty stores/comic shops around in another 20 years I'm not sure it's a realistic expectations. The big stores don't need to play the 'industry' game. I've been introduced to many independent publishers through traditional bookstores... publishers I've never seen at my local. This is another reason it's VERY IMPORTANT underground/indie/creator-owned folks build a strong community. The louder the voice in our community, the more attention we draw... AND the more respect we gain from vendors.

On the subject of respect, I've got to take this opportunity to pay mine to Schwartz Books. It's a local chain which has played a big part in a lot of stuff going into publication... stuff I don't think would have otherwise. Search out these kinds of bookstores in your city and support them with your dollars.

That's all I have for you today. Come back soon for the next installment. And, if this blog does you any good at all, spread the word to other people you think would enjoy it. Word-of-mouth, people... word-of-mouth.

Peace

-AR

Friday, January 11, 2008

Cream City Conversations with Bud Burgy

Hello!

I'm back, again, with more Cream City Conversations. I've received a lot of positive feedback about this blog. I've even read [on other blogs] sentiments like "I wish I'd thought of this"... very humbling, indeed. A big thanks goes out to each and everyone reading, returning to and promoting this blogspot.

Enough of that. This newest of interviews is with someone I've known for a couple of years and think enough about to become equal partners with in regards to the Muscles & Fights anthology series. Bud is one of the most easy-going people I've had the pleasure of meeting... just don't give him too many choices or you'll pay dearly. It's also a very bad idea to mention vinyl siding to Bud... hell, he's created an entire franchise out of surburban fodder. And, besides, he may kill you dead.

And so...

CCC: For those who don't know, Name and location?

Bud Burgy, Saint Paul (formerly Pig's Eye, until the Catholics ruined it) on Grand... kady corner from Thomas Liquor.

*Note: It's a great place to purchase malted beverages to fuel Mancurian film mayhem... but that's another story.

CCC: How did you become interested in creating comics?

The first comic I remember buying was G.I. Joe issue 12. I thought it kicked ass. I expanded my collection for a few years but, then, lost interest. After a period of no-comics for a LONG time, I caught wind of some indie stuff like Zander Cannon's Replacement God. I thought to myself, 'this guy has created and published something entirely his own. He didn't need a big studio or anyone to convince. He just made it.' So off I went to a comic convention to find more people like Zander. Little did I know I would meet MANY others like him. Next thing I know, I was making comics.

CCC: What was your first published work? Did you self-publish that work?

Bud Burgy's Create-A-Comic! was my first publishing endeavor. It was an interactive comic where the user could create their own story to go with my drawings. And, yes, I self-published.

*Note: Create-A-Comic also had a part in creating the backstory for what would become Muscles & Fights.

CCC: If you self-publish, what do you gain from that experience?

Complete control is nice. No pressure, another. No one to look at my work and say, "That's not good enough".

CCC: If you've been published by other publishers, compare the experience to self-publishing.

It's nice to just make the comic and hand it off for someone else to deal with. But, I think, the best part is having someone else promote my work. And vice-versa. Its easier for me to jock someone else's work than my own. I'd rather have someone else say, "That Bud guy's comics are awesome", than have to say, "Check out my work, it's awesome".

CCC: Give us a list of your published works (self-published or otherwise)?

*Bud Burgy's Create-A-Comic!
*Meatfist and Gronk: A Twelve Foot World of Hurt!(
http://www.meatfistandgronk.com/)
*Meatfist and Gronk: Swamped!
*Muscles & Fights(
http://www.musclesandfights.com/)
*Muscles & Fights 2: Musclier and Fightier
*Cats on Bikes Anthology (a tribute to Eric Lappegard)
*Danno's: Manly Tales of Cowardice (issue #4,
http://www.staplegenius.com/)
*Dan Olson's: Superfantastica Comix (coming soon,
http://www.superfantasticacomix.com/)

CCC: Describe the art scene where you live. If you've lived elsewhere and were producing art there, compare those scenes.

Without tooting our own horn, I'd say that the art scene in the Twin Cities... especially northeast Minneapolis, is one of the best in the country to be self-publishing or an artist. The state offers more funding than you can shake a stick at, there are galleries galore and indie-friendly shops all over the place. Need I even mention the International Cartoonist Conspiracy, founded by Minneapolis comic artists Steve Stwalley and Danno Klonowski.

*Note: All true and I'm very jealous.

CCC: Do you belong to any online or 'real world' art groups? If so, list them and describe how that/those group/s benefit you.

I recently co-founded the Saint Paul cell of the International Cartoonist Conspiracy with fellow comic artists Kevin McCarthy and Dan Olson. Anyone out there...PLEASE JOIN US! We meet once a month and produce jam-comics. It's a social/technical exercise usually followed up at O'Gara's Bar when it's over. Oddly enough, Charles Shulz has some original artwork haniging up in that bar. He went to high school just up the road from there.

CCC: What is your ultimate or immediate goal in creating comics?

I love to draw, but more importantly, collaborate. My ultimate goal would be to compile edit and promote other artists' work. The Midwest version of Fantagraphics or Top Shelf. I know so many great indie artists personally and I'd love to help them get their work distributed on a larger scale. There is SO much good stuff out there that never hits the shelves.

CCC: What do you think is lacking from the underground art scene? If you had the power, what would you do to address that void?

I think a lot of underground artists lack in promoting and distributing themselves. They bust their asses making the art and, then, stop. I think what it lacks is some sort of cohesive distribution system. A label maybe... I don't know the answer, but I'm working on it.

CCC: Do you blog? MySpace? ComicSpace? If so, what kinds of things do you communicate through it and what is your ultimate goal in using that site?

I think the internet is a great way to network and deliver your art without having any printing costs. But there's nothing like having a TPB on your shelf, or coffee table, or bathroom... I don't know what it is, but when you see a printed book, you know someone went the extra mile... so it must be worth checking out. But to answer your questioin, yes. I'm the webmaster for musclesandfights.com and search for Bud Burgy on myspace and comicspace if you'd like to hook up via internet.

CCC: Do you read any other creators' blogs? If so, what do you think of them?

Big Time Attic and Stwallskull are both great informative blogs from guys who really know what they're talking about (regarding comics). Other than those, I check Dan Olson's Bewildered Kid site once a week as well as Ryan Dow's Introspective Comics. They are two self-conscious comic strips that are very original and interesting. If you like satire, go to Jose Cabrera's Crying Macho Man.
CCC: What kinds of books do you enjoy reading?

I'll just say what I don't. Superheros. Unless there is an interesting angle or symbolic reasoning behind it. Other than that, I'm really into what hasn't been done before. If something strikes me as 'what the hell is this', I'm all over it. I also like 'snippets of life' type-stuff. Sarah Morean does a good job of re-telling her daily life observations.

CCC: What kinds of standards and/or expectations do you place on a comics purchase?

Different, indie, non-superhero, an interesting idea. It's usually something I look at and say to myself, "I've got to show somebody this".

CCC: Who is your favorite creator/writer/illustrator?

Mike Toft, who does a once a year mini called Brain Food. It is absolutely brilliant on every level. The style, the writing and the fact that you can't even pigeonhole what genre/category it falls in. Other than that, local heroes Zander and Kevin Cannon of Big Time Attic and, of course, Danno Klonowski. You can't even keep track of all the projects he's left his mark on.

CCC: If you could change one thing about the modern comics 'industry' what would it be?

An indie-friendly distribution system.

CCC: Give a shout out to any site and/or underground comic you think people ought to be checking into.

Danno (Staplegenius), Mike Toft (Brain Food), Bob Lipski (Uptown Girl), Spanky Cermak (Space Sheriff)

Thanks, Bud!

Bud is a comics creator after my own heart. He's serious about community and he's equally serious about creating avenues for others to use. Brilliant!

-AR


Peace

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Heavee Underground Update: On Sale!

Happy Wednesday!

New comics today. And news on my comic, Heavee Underground. I made it available for purchase this morning. You can preview and purchase it here: http://www.lulu.com/content/1667014

Do yourself a favor and pick the slowboat (US Postal) for shipment. You'll get the book in a decent amount of time without it costing you an arm and a leg.

Once again, a very big thanks to everyone involved in helping get this together. Bernie, Jim, Dave, Chang, Tim, Bud... Respect.

Special thanks to Ponbiki... things would not have come together as smoothly without him. Much Respect.

Next post, barring finding more things to mention about Heavee Underground, will be a return to the Cream City Conversations.

Happy reading.

-AR

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Muscliest & Fightiest Release Party

Welcome to 2008!

Bud Burgy and I will be hosting our second release party/artshow for our Muscles & Fights ogn series! The show/party will take place at Diamonds Coffee Shoppe @ 1618 Central Ave Northeast, MPLS from 7PM - ?

Bud and I will be guests at an in-store signing/meet'n'greet before the show/party at The Source Comics & Games from 3-6PM.

It should be a good time. If you're in the neighborhood be sure to stop by. For more information and a look at some shots from our first show/party visit us @ www.musclesandfights.com

Cheers!

-AR