STUDIO YOLO is brand new artist collective and a collection of some pretty cool cats - I was invited by my friend and ye olde classmate George Folz to participate in this first string of collaborations. Different artists are invited to reinterpret a script written by one of the members. Jay Ragorshek, one of my favorite screen-printing whizzes and a visceral comic magician, were invited to join the collective on their inaugural project. I think re-interpretation is a really fun way for cartoonists to collaborate, and, in a way, very quickly revealing of each artist's point of view. I feel very honored to have been a part, and this comic honestly almost kicked my ass.
And then I turned it around, faced its butt to me, and kicked it back.
But yeah. I'm very happy with the result - it was a lot of fun to draw - and now it's sitting in some very good company.
It's halfway through November, and the first issue of "The Godhead" is halfway inked. And I'm calling that as actually halfway, and not that point where I am halfway ready to burn it and throw that ash down a sewer drain. Which is want to happen when things don't go your way while inking. That stuff's goddamn permanent. If I don't manage to pick up the pace, I'll probably just have the Xeric book and Godhead issue 1 out by TCAF (knock, knock) and CAKE in May and June, respectively.
Because Minnesota gets cold in the winter, my printing season should officially be "over," but if the gods decide we're going to have November weather all season long like last year, printing will start on the Xeric book, Sea Change, in a month or two, as well as for Godhead #1, and the "Tiny Room" mini. I like to call the time between the first snowfall and the first 50 degree day in spring, "Cartooning Season," or "Drawing Season," and all the days warm enough to stand outside "Printing Season."
Hopefully, it'll be warm, and I'll print a lot, and draw a lot. Thank god for global warming, huh?
--> Tom K. of the conquering Uncivilized Books is hosting a Defenders movie screening at the Trylon Microcinema in good old Southie (that's south Minneapolis, my heart, my home). Half of the proceeds from the screening go to the Comic Book Legal Defense fund, and the other half goes to you paying to see whatever awful-wonderful movie Mr. K has chosen, in the most wonderful small film theatre in the cities. So, win-win-win. BE THERE.
--> and SAVE THE 16TH-18th of AUGUST 2013 for something very cool. You can't ask why yet, but you'll wanna do it, TRUST ME.
Unfortunately, due to me being press-inept the week previous to the deadline and pressed for time (ha!) to print in the first place, there were only blood, tears, and lots of scrapped paper to show for my efforts when the 15th rolled around. Oh, yeah. That deadline thing, Skaalrud.
Thank you thank you thank you again to AE for allowing me to scurry in after the punch and turn in my 160 copies for the show. That is actually too nice to me - but I appreciate it all the same. They also posted a sweet little blurb with a few questions I'd answered before hand, which you can check out here.
Printing round two was so goddamned easy, comparatively. So much better, in fact, that the second passes on each sheet were printing too well and were getting visibly better than the first pass. In order to have a similar baseline of print quality, I found myself trying to dial it down. Which was strange. But good. I didn't scream, or kick. I yelled once or twice. Sang along to the tunes mostly. I'm going to say it was because I'd gone in the second time not panicked, rushed, or frustrated. Or because she like the music that day better.
Currently, in the studio, the temperature is a moderate 77 F, the air is still, and smells like burning rubber and polyester with a strong, distinct, inexplicable overcast of nursing home.
Between the clunk-whir of the inkjet printer jimmy-rigged to print the poly plates for my press, I thought it'd be a good time to go update.
I'd meant to be done printing said plates earlier today, but instead of actually rising after I'd hit the snooze button a generous eight or nine times, I instead dreamt - pretty linearly, actually - of getting up, checking my email in bed, then getting up and dressing and leaving for the studio - without having done so in the least.
Lutefisk Sushi is due Saturday. No sleep 'til booklet!
So, learning that I do not really want to field all the Russian porn-hounds who apparently are putting such mild terms as "t i t s" into their Google and Meendo searches and ending up here (and I'm assuming pretty disappointed), we'll just call this my submission for Lutefisk Sushi E, rather than it's real title.
I'm proud (and still surprised, honestly) to say that thanks to the Xeric Foundation, I've received a very generous grant from them to self-publish Sea Change. It'll be the first major printing project I tackle on my printing press, under the moniker of my micro-press, and I am just so goddamn excited for it.
The Xeric Foundation started giving out grants in 1992 (as I like to call it, "Ninja Turtle Money") and this round in 2012, after twenty years, was the last of the grants in its current incarnation. Since print-on-demand and online-publishing has become widely viable, and changed the how print and book industries operate in a big way, they've decided to redirect how they distribute their charity and focus on other things. Which is great. Good for them. I'm incredibly happy to have been chosen to be a part of - which puts me in the company of some extremely wonderful cartoonists - and to have their support put behind this book. It was a year ago now that I started drawing this, in the rudderless feeling that came immediately after graduation. Which sucked. This mostly certainly does not.
I really can't thank them enough. It's wonderful.
I did wait a while before telling most people, but the press release for the May 2012 winners should be coming soon, so it's going to happen, whether or not I feel comfortable with it, or not.
Haha, wait, it is, out. Today. Have at, people. There are a lot of books coming our way.
My plan is to settle myself into Minneapolis this month, put all my printing dominos in a row, and move Maisie from home in Wisconsin back into the moony city in August.
I'm incredibly proud to have been part of this convention in its very first year - while I've heard reports from different 'toonists and publishers of less-than-astounding sales, mine were enough to at least fund my 'stimulation of the local economy' (read: BUYING COMICS FROM EVERYBODY) and it was a fantastic time in a fantastic town. And that line-up of exhibitors! UFF-DA, as my people say.
We all owe a huge debt of gratitude to the organizers, Neil, Grace, Edie, Max, and Jeff. I'll go every single year.
Nate Beaty came by and snapped the picture below while Grace worked Ms. Park's table and I lurked off to the side (I guess I do that a lot?) and Grace rejoined with, "What the hell, man? I'm not Laura Park!"
dec. 1990. i was probably always doomed. my first word was 'batman'.
Well. It's officially been one year out from graduating. I don't feel like it has been, and that it's been five years out all at the same time.
I miss Minneapolis sunrises, though.
This summer is shaping up to be pretty busy, at least this first month of it. CAKE is just a little over a month away, and I still have books to print, for Sea Change. Lots of books to print, collate, and bind. It's going to be a little crazy. Probably a lot of pictures of me up to my elbows in rubber black ink and desperation to come. But it looks like it's going to be an extremely fun time and the start of another great convention.
I've applied for the last round of Xeric grants. News will come in June, as I'm leaving for Chicago.
Maisie James (AB Dick 360 printing press extraordinare) is also moving to Seward, in south Minneapolis, sometime this summer. She's going to Amaya's garage and our fledgling, teeny print shop, working-titled 'Milkshake'.
Huh. That's a lot of 'm's, I just realized... (for anyone interested, here's her "handsy" previous owner looking dorky with her)