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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Comix, Most Recent at Top [Help]
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BIRDth-DAY! April 1st marks the 11th anniversary of the publication of my first book, Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! Because of the support of Librarians, Teachers, Parents, Grand-Parents, and Fans the last 11 years have been a wonderful ride filled with opportunities for me to write, draw, and meet fantastic kids and grown-ups all over the world. Thank you for this gift.

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 COMIX! I'm on sabbatical for the year.  While I will be making various appearances in Europe and beyond, mostly I'll be spending time at the home base in Paris, France drawing and doodling.   You can check out my experiments over at Universal U-Click for a comic-strip-doodle-thingie called PARIS DOODLES . The strip runs drawings, dining room dinner doodles, and photos on weekdays.

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It's a busy month for Tanita and I, this merry month of May, so we've decided to feature a couple of guest posts and interviews over the next few days--on the 8th, we're part of Shana Mlawski's blog tour, and today, we're proud to be part of the... Read the rest of this post

2 Comments on NOTHING CAN POSSIBLY GO WRONG in a Q&A, Can It? NO!, last added: 5/4/2013
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4. On the Scene: NIGHT JOB Salon Gets Personal

NJ01 291x300 On the Scene: NIGHT JOB Salon Gets Personal

On March 21st 2013 at the Union Hall bar, restaurant, and music venue in Park Slope, Brooklyn, comics creator and TRIP CITY co-curator Dean Haspiel and comedian/actress Katharine Heller launched what may be the first of several salon events featuring comics, comedy, prose, and musical performances entitled “NIGHT JOB”. Though it was a new venture, neither Haspiel nor Heller are strangers to the stage. They were joined by stand-up comedian and writer Molly Knefel of the internet radio show RADIO DISPATCH, indie cartoonist Meghan Turbitt, author Reverend Jen of the long-running “Rev Jen’s Anti-Slam” performance event. Also performing were political satirist and stand-up comedian Angry Bob, and the music group Two Beards One Heart, including  Jeffrey Burandt (aka Jef UK of Americans UK), and Peter Boiko, supported by John Mathias and John Thomas Robinette III.

IMG 4748 300x225 On the Scene: NIGHT JOB Salon Gets Personal

[Haspiel and Heller host the salon]

Though the salon opened to a full basement venue, audience members probably didn’t know quite what to expect from NIGHT JOB, however they might have known some of the performers by reputation. The term “salon” often implies multiple genres in the mix, and NIGHT JOB presented quite a range. Though each of these types of performance have the potential to be very entertaining on their own, it’s a challenge to combine them and create a sense of a cohesive event that, collectively, develops its own personality. NIGHT JOB found its way by emphasizing the raw power of very personal content from its salon members.

IMG 4730 300x225 On the Scene: NIGHT JOB Salon Gets Personal

[Molly Knefel]

Knefel opened with a stand-up routine spoofing the “war on women” in congress last autumn, pointing out that a “war on anuses” would have had even the most conservative public official scrambling to sign up in protest. Her rapid-fire delivery and observational humor had the audience engaged from the outset, but her sense of personal commitment to the subject matter as a thinking person translating impressions of a bizarre world set the tone for the evening.

IMG 4735 225x300 On the Scene: NIGHT JOB Salon Gets Personal

[Katharine Heller]

Heller read a selection from her recent project featuring “erotica” geared toward Republican sensibilities, “Tickle the Elephant”, and ingenious attempt to get inside the minds of what appeals to conservative women particularly. Turning the lingo of the senate floor and government catchphrases into turn-ons relentlessly, Heller narrated from the perspective of a conservative seduced by liberalism into a sexual common ground. Heller revealed a rather in-depth knowledge of politics on both sides of the party schism in her artistry, and in her mix of satire and humor, suggested dialogue is possible even in the most heated debates.

IMG 4738 300x225 On the Scene: NIGHT JOB Salon Gets Personal

[A Turbitt comic panel]

Turbitt presented and performed a wide range of indie comix that appear online, increasingly irreverent to social taboos, particular in expressing women’s lives. From bathroom scenes of an intimate nature to things that most people find adorable but only annoy her, she pushed the envelope on expression and used the comic-panel reveal for shock-value. Her autobio approach struck many of the same chords as Knefel and Heller’s performances, bringing out the sense that discussing deeply personal subjects is still one of the most direct ways to reach an audience, who may be surprised to find out how much they have in common with the stories they hear and see.

IMG 4740 225x300 On the Scene: NIGHT JOB Salon Gets Personal

[Meghan Turbitt]

Haspiel’s comix performance of “Awful George” from his series STREET CODE took the audience deep inside the strangeness, and the horror of urban stories, reflecting his own autobiographical reaction to witnessing a make-shift attempt to save a hoard of cats that had been wilfully neglected in an apartment, only to be topped by the discovery of a mummified corpse, begging the question, “How do you deal with these kind of realities?”

IMG 4745 300x225 On the Scene: NIGHT JOB Salon Gets Personal

["Awful George" panel by Haspiel]

The answer from Haspiel is clearly “by expressing them and reaching out to readers”. His debut performance of a newly created Tommy Rocket comic, a spin-off from his BILLY DOGMA web comix, spoke to the twisted aspects of love, and the realities of failure and regret. Haspiel never pulls any punches in his comics, autobio or not, and these hammered home the role of authenticity in performance; getting up in front of a crowd to read your comics demands a kind of soul-baring stance that hits home for the audience.

IMG 4743 300x225 On the Scene: NIGHT JOB Salon Gets Personal

[Dean Haspiel]

Reverend Jen took soul baring to a whole new level by reading from her unpublished novel, memoirs of her life as a prostitute attempting to support her artistic endeavors as a painter. She’s known for her extreme honesty during readings, and her narrative plumbed the depths of tragedy and suffering possible in what seems like an everyday world. Her description of images, as well as emotions, made for a stellar performance of prose. Rev Jen’s motivation in performing, to “get stuff out” of oneself actually also served the function of engaging the audience emotionally and reminding them, perhaps, of human resilience along the way.

IMG 4749 225x300 On the Scene: NIGHT JOB Salon Gets Personal

[Rev Jen]

Angry Bob, true to his moniker, took on the role of voicing, like Knefel, Heller, and Turbitt, many of the things that people think, but don’t say out loud for fear of being ostracized as freakish. The truth, of course, is that they are not alone and everyone is wonder what’s considered “acceptable” to think or say in social settings. He described himself as someone “rooting through the garbage for shiny objects” like a racoon or other scavenger, and the objects he held up for inspection at NIGHT JOB were the ludicrous aspects of Reality TV, the curse of failed opportunities, and the general rage-inducing capabilities of young children, particularly in public. Angry Bob’s signature delivery, a high-octane rant that frequently addresses audience members directly, had their equally signature outcome: inspiring absolute hilarity at NIGHT JOB.

IMG 4753 300x225 On the Scene: NIGHT JOB Salon Gets Personal

[Angry Bob]

The evening’s performances closed with the strikingly independent tones of Two Beards One Heart which also managed to match the ambiance of the previous salon members’ presentations. Not just in musical composition, whose sounds were so original as to suggest that the “personal” can be evoked as equally in sound as in words and images, but also in lyrics, Two Beards managed to create their own singular message.

IMG 4756 300x225 On the Scene: NIGHT JOB Salon Gets Personal

[Two Beards One Heart]

Their first song illustrated rising angst through lyrics despite its melodic construction, while the second contrasted the poetic, upbeat aspects of love with bigger realities and banal conflicts. Burandt’s vocals, far from predictable, were particularly engaging, and contributed to a sense of individualistic expression of life’s perplexing highs and lows.

IMG 4758 300x225 On the Scene: NIGHT JOB Salon Gets Personal


[Jeffrey Burandt]

One of the most winning aspects of NIGHT JOB, aside from his cohesion as a salon of the personal made public, was the fact that Haspiel asked, repeatedly, if anyone else would like to perform their work, friend or stranger alike. It suggested an open-door to artists of any genre who also had something to share. The tone of the evening, celebrating unique perspectives with communal implications, was as well suited to comics as music and comedy.

IMG 4732 225x300 On the Scene: NIGHT JOB Salon Gets Personal

[Haspiel delivers an open invitation]

Setting comics alongside other genres in performance is not a new practice, but it’s becoming increasingly popular, perhaps because of the rise of self-publishing and internet sharing of creative work.  As comics find their footing among other artistic modes, it’s appropriate to start asking what comics have in common with other formats of expression, and what makes them particularly powerful for self-expression. NIGHT JOB did an excellent job of illustrating the point. Performance art forms are about a meeting of minds between the performer and the audience, and many genres already push the boundaries of inter-personal communication, comics included.

IMG 4728 225x300 On the Scene: NIGHT JOB Salon Gets Personal


Hannah Means-Shannon writes and blogs about comics for TRIP CITY and Sequart.org and is currently working on books about Neil Gaiman and Alan Moore for Sequart. She is @hannahmenzies on Twitter and hannahmenziesblog on WordPress.








1 Comments on On the Scene: NIGHT JOB Salon Gets Personal, last added: 3/28/2013
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5. Graphic Novel Notes

Technically speaking, today I'm not here. That is, I'm on vacation. However, I set up this post for you with some books I'm really excited about reading--specifically, some graphic novels that I hope to get my hands on before too long. Last year I... Read the rest of this post

2 Comments on Graphic Novel Notes, last added: 9/8/2012
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6. Read It & Weep!

 What happens when you combine the indie-hipster vibe of the Center for Cartoon Studies and the establishment of the National Cartoonist Society to work on a project together? Something to make you cry. The Cartoon Crier is a really amazing 36 page comic featuring morose strips by an astonishing array of inidie and traditional cartoonists.  You got your Blondie,  Cul de Sac, Rhymes with

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Looks like I'll be making a few last minute appearances in NYC this weekend: This Sunday, April 29th, is the 2nd day of the annual MoCCA festival, an indie comic fest filled with great artists, panels, comix and more.  The fest has moved from the Puck Building to the less claustrophobic Lexington Ave. Armory.  It's a great place to discover new comics and meet your cartooning heroes.

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8. Toon Hiatus & A Few Links

Today, I think, was supposed to be Toon Thursday. Alas, my utter swampage still persists, and I couldn't quite make it to doing a toon this week. Thus, I present you with various links (most of them toon-related, some just general visual goodness)... Read the rest of this post

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9. Backing out of the Cul de Sac...

And in case you missed it, here is my last Cul de Sac strip (previous ones are here . The back story is here.)  Here it is before that Stacy Curtis guy got his talented paws on it: What a fun experience playing with Richard's characters!  Thanks to Richard, Stacy, & the fine folks at Universal Syndicate.

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10. Toon Thursday: A Rerun, but a Good One

This one's for Jules especially, and all my weird-solicitation-receiving kidlitosphere homies.To be fair, the amount of inappropriate books that actually ARRIVE in the mail is far lower now than when I originally drew this cartoon. However, the... Read the rest of this post

4 Comments on Toon Thursday: A Rerun, but a Good One, last added: 3/23/2012
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11. A Few More Links

I've been too busy for a lot of my regular bookish activities--including writing reviews or updating Goodreads or anything like that--but I still wanted to tune in and say hello with a few interesting writing- and YA-related links that have crossed... Read the rest of this post

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12. Graphic Novels Galore

In honor of the fact that I'll be a Round 2 Judge for Graphic Novels during this year's Cybils Awards, I thought I'd post a roundup of some great graphic novel-related links that have come my way in recent days/weeks. Also, rather fortuitously, the... Read the rest of this post

4 Comments on Graphic Novels Galore, last added: 10/14/2011
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13. Toon Thursday: Using Autobiography in Your Fiction

You'll really want to view this one larger. Just click on it to bring it up in a full-sized window. Trust me; it's worth it. Today's tip brought to you by the letter Z! For zombies. And, obviously, the number 8.A few tidbits: this October, the U.S.... Read the rest of this post

4 Comments on Toon Thursday: Using Autobiography in Your Fiction, last added: 9/11/2011
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14. Thursday Tidbits: Great RIF News, Online Fun, &C.

Via Chasing Ray comes this awesome news about Kidlitcon and RIF: I am delighted to announce that KidLit Con is now entering into a partnership with Reading Is Fundamental which we hope will extend for many years into the future and make a powerful... Read the rest of this post

4 Comments on Thursday Tidbits: Great RIF News, Online Fun, &C., last added: 8/21/2011
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15. Random Monday Madness: Archie in Hindi, and More

That's right, I said Archie in Hindi. Your old pals Archie, Betty, and Veronica are getting a South Asian makeover, and will soon be released in Hindi and Malayalam for audiences in India. Says the article:"Fans can now expect Archie and Veronica to... Read the rest of this post

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16. ABC Silent Auction

One of the highlights of Book Expo America in NYC next week is a party and silent auction to benefit independent Kids bookstores. (I've heard rumors of an on-line auction as well, but have no details). This year they've posted some of the great work available for auction, including mine, an original frame of Elephant and Piggie from a comic strip I recently did for McSweeney's.  It is a

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17. Cul.De.Piggie...

Those of you who love cartooning know that Mr. Richard Thompson is the greatest living cartoonist whose name isn't Ronald Searle.  Mr. Thompson's greatness is thrown into sharp relief when you learn that he does his daily strip, Cul de Sac, while suffering from Parkinson's (which he calls his Slapstick Affliction). Richard Thompson & myself at last year's National Cartoonist Society Gala. 

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18. A Shout-Out for Planet Esme, and More

When I got my latest copy of the UC Berkeley e-mail newsletter, I was excited (as I always am, because I am a big nerd) to see that they've announced their latest summer reading list for incoming freshmen. It's been a tradition for a number of... Read the rest of this post

3 Comments on A Shout-Out for Planet Esme, and More, last added: 6/22/2010
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19. Thursday Twitter-tacular

An enormous number of fantastic links have appeared in my Twitter feed this morning, so I thought I'd share them here. I was going to post a couple of reviews, but I guess that'll wait until tomorrow!Firstly, via Jen Robinson, Laini Taylor's newest... Read the rest of this post

4 Comments on Thursday Twitter-tacular, last added: 9/21/2009
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20. Cybils, Kidlitcon, and Other News

If you haven't visited the Cybils website lately, check out the latest news, including introductions to the organizers, who's on what panels, and more--and you can even download a nifty logo to post on your blog. Nominations are open October 1 - 15... Read the rest of this post

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21. the comic book that changed a nation.

In December of 1957 a comic book was published that really did threaten the future–at least the future of American segregationists. Carefully preserved in the special collections of several academic libraries, such as The Smithsonian Institution, Morehouse College, and Stanford University, The Montgomery Story, a 14-page comic book is, credited with being one of the most influential teaching tools ever produced for the Civil Rights Movement.

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22. Almost Here...Drum Roll...

I can hardly believe it's almost time for this year's Cybils announcements! Just another day or two until the winners are revealed......in the meantime, while you're waiting, check out Little Willow's Smile giveaway at Bildungsroman in honor of... Read the rest of this post

1 Comments on Almost Here...Drum Roll..., last added: 2/13/2010
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23. Cartoons and Cartoons and Books and Books

I'm just back from a whirl-wind trip to DC for the Knuffle Bunny Musical.More on that later.Until then, here's a quick report on my recent visit to Center for Cartoon Studies and Dartmouth by the fine folks at the CCS (keep in mind I was talking to grown ups about craft, this is not really for the kiddies).I had a great time hanging out the with students, pontificating on the sins of

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24. The Summer Blog Blast Tour Presents: The Hazardous Players

Summer's Almost Here!It's time for that beloved tradition (well, for the last few years, anyway) called the Summer Blog Blast Tour, where Aquafortis and I, along with a lot of the gang in the kidlitosphere, get together to celebrate story and the... Read the rest of this post

5 Comments on The Summer Blog Blast Tour Presents: The Hazardous Players, last added: 5/19/2010
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25. The Summer Blog Blast Tour Presents: Tom Siddell

Story 2.0: Interactivity. Breaking down barriers between creator and audience. Whatever you want to call it, we're celebrating it here at FW during this year's Summer Blog Blast Tour.We started on Monday with the Hazardous Players, and we're... Read the rest of this post

6 Comments on The Summer Blog Blast Tour Presents: Tom Siddell, last added: 5/21/2010
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