2 amazing shows down (three cheers for Chicago Zine Fest and the Small Press and Alternative Comics Expo!), 4 more to go! Mark your calendars if you live in Toronto, Chicago, Minneapolis or DC. Click through the images for more information:
Hello, Ohio! This weekend is SPACE, the terrific alternative comics expo in Columbus. Swing by the Ramada Plaza Hotel at 4900 Sinclair Road between 10am - 6pm Saturday & 10am - 5pm Sunday for a really wonderful show. See you there!
Exciting news: my Marrakesh comic is live on the Saveur website!
Last November I traveled with a group of amazing women to Marrakesh and Madrid, so that I could make a comic about my experience for Saveur. It was a dream assignment, and an unforgettable experience.
Keep an eye out for the comic covering the Madrid leg of the assignment; until then, here are some pictures from the trip!
It is a blessing and a curse to have so much going on: here on the website I remember to post announcements of events, but haven't had the time to follow through on what happened. Over the next two weeks I will post here more regularly, sharing all the shows & projects I've had the opportunity to participate in over the past few months. Leading the charge: BRAIN FRAME!
Brain Frame is a bimonthly comics performance event hosted here in Chicago by the amazingly talented Lyra Hill. I was invited to perform my book "In the Sounds and Seas" for the November 16th Brain Frame 9. Since I've never performed in front of an audience (unless you count my role as Alabama in first grade's "Fifty Nifty United States"), I decided to lean heavily on a skill set I knew inside and out: book binding & construction. I built a 4" tall version of my book out of foam core and hurricane tape, and had the illustrations printed on a large fabric banner that I cut down and sewed back together. To pace the reading of the book, I sewed a flap of thin white fabric to cover each panel, so that the audience reads the image one at a time with each reveal. When unfolded, the accordion/pop-up section of the book expands to over 9'. It was a beast of a project to assemble, but I couldn't be happier with the final product.
Three weeks before Brain Frame was scheduled, I was invited to the trip to Madrid & Marrakesh by the kind folks at Saveur Magazine. I couldn't say no to such an amazing opportunity, but I also couldn't abandon my performance. To do both, I marathon-finished the performance book a week and a half before I had planned and filmed myself performing the book, so that it could play at Brain Frame, while Lyra did the same in person.
Tonight and this coming Saturday, February 23rd I am humbled and excited to participate in a panel discussion about feminism, comics and the graphic arts scene in Chicago following the screening of the terrific documentary "Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroines."
February 20, 7:30 p.m. at Hokin Hall, Columbia College Chicago – 623 S. Wabash Ave.
February 23, 7:30 p.m. at Chicago Filmmakers, 5243 N. Clark St in Andersonville
with Robin Hustle and me
See you there!
The morning of Friday, Dec 14 I drove to East Garfield Park in Chicago, IL to meet with the Nicest Pressmen in the City at Salsedo Press to pick up the final edition of 1,000 copies of my comic. It is always a pleasure to visit Salsedo, and Friday was no different: I learned that the master pressman just published a book of his own! If you are interested in reading a Spanish-language novel about the immigrant experience in Chicago, order El Sabor Del Desdén by Victor Cortes. As we loaded boxes of books into the car, we shared our experiences combating creative blocks, balancing creative projects with day jobs and family, and our mutual excitement over making something new in the world. I couldn't have asked for a more lovely experience.
These boxes of books represent months of work in addition to the months of hunched-over illustration, jumping between peaks of high-intensity labor and long, hand-wringing periods of waiting for responses. Getting quotes for printing and binding, applying to the Xeric Foundation for the grant, getting the ISBN number and bar code, designing the new version of the book (going through 40 or 50 drafts of a cover design before deciding on the finished one), researching and preparing a packet to Diamond for distribution, prepping and packaging the digital files, proofing pages before press and picking up the books on Friday translate into 11 months of work to keep this project rolling ahead.
So what is next for "In the Sounds and Seas?"
- Date/location TBD, I am going to throw a book release party here in Chicago after the holiday & new year party-season has passed. Keep an eye out for an announcement in the next week!
- In January 2013, "In the Sounds and Seas: Volume I" will be listed in the Diamond catalog. Orders should start arriving from comic book stores by the end of January or early February; after that, copies of the book will ship to stores across the country. I'll also call up friendly comic shops to let them know that the book is in the catalog, hoping to increase orders with cold-calling good cheer. (If you happen to frequent a favorite comic book shop, let the owner know you're interested in seeing "In the Sounds and Seas" in stock!)
- I am excited to attend more comic conventions this year to share my books. I am confirmed at Chicago Zine Fest in March, the Small Press and Alternative Comics Expo in Columbus OH in April, the Toronto Comic Arts Festival in May, and a few more to which I have applied but have not yet heard.
- In the mean time, you can also order the book on the Monkey-Rope Press etsy store!
2012 has been a fantastic year here at Monkey-Rope Press, and 2013 is shaping up to be even more exciting. After finishing up two travelogue comics for Saveur Magazine in early 2013, I look forward to diving head-first into illustrating the next chapter of "In the Sounds and Seas." Thanks so much to all of you for your continued support and enthusiasm!
* * * "In the Sounds and Seas: Volume I" was previously published in mini-comic form under the slightly-confusing similar titles "In the Sounds and Seas: Volume I" and "In the Sounds and Seas: Volume II." This new publication is the relaunch of the series; future issues of the story will be double-volumes as well, so instead of a story told in 6 mini-comics, it is now a story told in 3 finished books.