Midnight Ramblings - July 2010

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July 31, 2010

John Callahan RIP
Portland icon and cartoonist John Callahan died on Saturday, July 24 at age 59. The report from the Portland Tribune includes a short biography, recollections from David Milholland who published many of Callahan's cartoons in the Clinton St. Quartery, and some background on the long in-the-works biography film. Callahan's death was also written up in Willamette Week where his cartoons were published for decades. (Check out the comments and the links at the top of the WW article.)

Papercutter #13 and There's No Time Like the Present #13

Papercutter #13
I'm late to the party with this one, but Tugboat Press has released Papercutter #13. This issue includes a cover story by Matt Wiegle and other comics by Tim Root and Jonas Madden-Connor, with additional art by Nate Beaty. For $4 a copy this title is probably the best value in the known indie comic world.

There's No Time Like the Present #13
Paul Rainey
has completed the final episode of his epic story that he began in September of 2004. The final chapter of There's No Time Like the Present is a bit longer than usual and is available, as are the previous chapters, from the Paul B. Rainey shop.

Ed Update
Sean Azzopardi
reports great progress on Ed #5 and #6. He's also re-drawing #4 and has posted a before and after panel on Phat Comics.

Twelve-Way with Cheese #1Twelve-Way with Cheese #1
A delicious blend of a dozen cartoonists in one steaming, zombie-flavored stew. This 112-page, full color comic anthology features the work of Cincinnati denizens Brennan Bradford, Bruce Chrislip, Daryll Collins, Jerry Dowling, Tim Fuller, Brian Hagen, David Hartz, Woodrow J. Hilton III, Bob Kahnman, Darcy Vorhees, Christina Wald and Viki Woodworth. Foreward by Justin Green. Allen Freeman reviewed the book this week for the Small Press Newsroom. Twelve-Way with Cheese #1 is available for $20 from ComiXpress, where you can preview a few of its opening pages.

Yumishira #0
James Rubino
has started a Facebook page for his Yumishira Oriental Space Lily , who made her debut in Tales of the Seventh Galaxy #3. He reports he's in post-productiong on issue #0 of a new book of her own. It's scheduled for release soon. Rubino was interviewd by Paul Dale Roberts in Dec. 2009 on Jazma Online.

GM #4 is Funded
Great news, the Kickstarter project to fund the printing of Good Minnesotan #4 was successful! The limited-edition, hand-built version has already garnered positive reactions, and the production version will only be bigger and better. I believe the book is scheduled for a late summer/early fall release. Raighne Hogan reports he's preparing to print 500 copies of the 168-page book.

While you're waiting for it's debut, check out Hogan's blog Itchy Keen Art Fiends. Hogan interviews GM contributors, asking the same basic set of questions. I love the question set and the responses from a diverse group of comikers are both edifying and entertaining.

Presumed DeadPresumed Dead
Mystery writer Shirley Wells has announced her latest novel, Presumed Dead. It's her first digital launch from publisher Carina Press and is available for download from them, the big book monster, and other ebook outlets. It's the first mystery featuring Detective Dylan Scott. The man has problems. Dismissed in disgrace from the police force for assaulting a suspect, he has no job, his wife has thrown him out and—worse luck—his mother has moved in. So when Holly Champion begs him to investigate the disappearance of her mother thirteen years ago, he can't say no, even though it means taking up residence in the dreary Lancashire town of Dawson's Clough for the duration.

Although the local police still believe Anita Champion took off for a better life, Dylan's inquiries turn up plenty of potential suspects: the drug-dealing, muscle-bound bouncer at the club where Anita was last seen; the missing woman's four girlfriends, out for revenge; the local landowner with rumored mob connections—the list goes on. But no one is telling Dylan all they know—and he soon finds that one sleepy Northern town can keep a lot of secrets.

Carina Press is offering the ebook for $5.39. You can read the opening excerpt on their website. Wells is also offering a copy of the ebook in a drawing. Details are listed on the Shirley Wells blog.

Tim Corrigan's Comics and Stories #48

TC's Comics & Stories #48
The August edition of Tim Corrigan's monthly comic book is out. This issue features the conclusion of the story that began last time, The Return of Roy Ritter. This comedic western yarn was created by Larned Justin and Corrigan. Next issue will feature Larry Blake's Night Star! TC's C&S is available for $1.50 per copy or $15 for a twelve issue subscription from New Voice Media Publications.

Things in Panels
Bristol cartoonist Simon M. has updated this website, Things in Panels. Several of his comics can now be read online and he's opened a shop where you can purchase his mini comics Smoo, Days, and Lisbon.

Comic World #4Comic World #4
Harry Lee Green spotlighted Capt. George's Comic World #4 is week on his Hairy Green Eyeball II blog. The issue featured George Herriman's Krazy Kat. Also check out our feature on Captain George and his Vast Whizzbang Organization. (For a print version of our report see Comic Fan #6.)

Inside Midnight Fiction
Favicon is short for favorites icon. It's that tiny graphic that precedes the URL in the address bar of your web browser. When you bookmark a site it appears alongside the name of the webpage. This week I made a few improvements to the Midnight Fiction favicon. The size of these things is only 16 pixels square so it's a bit of a challenge to design them. Most websites settle for their initials. I've tried making tiny cartoon moons and an open book icon, but they just don't read well at 16x16, so I had to settle for "MF."

Also new this week is the final, missing section header. Shows is a short word so there was plenty of space for characters. Most are caricatures of cartoonists I've met at shows; a few are characters from their comics; and all are based on their own drawings. From left to right are: Alec Longstreth (Phase 7: Basewood), Graham Annable (Grickle), Sarah Burrini (Life Ain't No Pony Farm), Mark Campos (Exapno Mapcase), Greg Means (Clutch McBastard), Theo Ellsworth (Thought Cloud Factory), Kelly Froh (Debbie's Story), Jesse Reklaw (Ten Thousand Things To Do), Aron Nels Steinke (Big Plans), and Dan W. Taylor (Weird Muse).

Mineshaft #25

I'd Buy That
Comix collector and friend D. Blake Werts recommended Mineshaft to me a while back so I decided to try it out. The current issue is #25. If you've been wondering what Sophie Crumb's been up to check out her cover artwork—and she's got a couple of polished sketchbook cartoons inside too. Comix in this issue include a wonderful four-pager by Pat Moriarity, and another one by Elizabeth Loenig, a three-pager by Nina Bunjevac, who also turns in a gorgeous back cover, and a one-pager by Carol Tyler. Articles include Exceprts from R. Crumb's Dream Diary, Bruce Simon's The Yock Stops Here Dept. on all but forgotten comedians from way back when, Egg Whites and Nehi fiction by Jay Lynch, Chapter 10 of the continuing The Green Star by Everett Rand, Kim Deitch contemplates Crumb's Genesis, Ace Backward's tribute to B.N. Duncan (reprinted from The Berkeley Daily Planet), Gioia Palmieri's recollection Inside the Mineshaft, and Simon Deitch's report on the Dodo. In addition to the features there's also artwork by David Collier, Jim Blanchard, Robert Crumb, Robert Volckens, Art Spiegelman, B.N. Duncan, William Cook, Jr., and Simon Deitch. This is a wonderful zine and a rare gem. Subscriptions start at $20 for three issues (1.5 years worth). And there's a sale on for select back issues. Check out Mineshaft Magazine for issue details, background, etc.

Top      June 2010       May 2010

July 24, 2010

Ditkomania #80Ditkomania #80
Editor/self-publisher Rob Imes has just published Diktomania #80. Dedicated to the work of comic book creator Steve Ditko, this issue highlights Ditko's return to Marvel comics in the 1980s. Here's a list of the contents:
A review of Act 4 by Gene Hall
Ditko at Marvel:
  The 1980s by Rob Imes
A Checklist: Ditko at Marvel 1979-1998
Dragon Lords by Scott Stewart
The Ditko/Mantlo Collabo
  by Michael Aushenker
Captain Universe: Ditko's Everyman Cosmic Hero by Bruce Buchanan
Gwen Dibley and Steve Ditko's
  Secret Wars III by Ceylon Anderson
Marvelous Tales: Steve Ditko
  by Carl Potts
The Shroud and Iron Man
  by Jason Sacks
Letters column
Artwork for the issue includes work by Brian Franczak (cover), Larry Blake (back cover), Jim McPherson, Trevor Giberson, Winston Blakely, LYNSKI, Scott Stewart, Javier Hernandez, and lots of panels clipped from various comics by Ditko. I remember Ditko's work on Machine Man from this era, but he also collaborated with Bill Mantlo on ROM: Spaceknight for almost twenty issues and penciled dozens of stories for Marvel from '79 thru '98. This 44-page edition of Ditkomania is just $2 (plus $1 for postage). Six-issue subscriptions are $15 (postpaid). For online discussion of the zine and artist, visit the Ditkomania Yahoo group.

Kim Deitch

Boot Hill #2Kim Deitch on Smilin' Ed
Here's a very nicely produced video of Kim Deitch talking about the origins of his new book, The Search for Smilin' Ed. Besides the value of its content, it's a terrific example of how to make a high quality book trailer. John Kinhart does a great job of editing, pacing, and composing his shots. (It sold me on the book too.)

Boot Hill #2 and More
Jim Main
announced publication of the print edition of Boot Hill #2 this week. Sam Gafford's western horror comic features four yarns penned by Gafford and illustrated by Hal Jones (Prospector Bill), John Lambert (The Choice), Kevin Duncan (Town Swap) and Dave Farley/Jack Bertram combine talents on Gunslinger's Lament, the origin of The Old Gunslinger, who hosts the comic. Front cover by Scott McClung. Back cover by John Lambert. The 32 page comic is available from Main Enterprises for $4.50 (postage paid).

Get the Message #1, Sherlock Holmes, and Sheesh #1

Main also released a new batch of mini comics this week. Get the Message evokes feelings of peace, love, brotherhood, and understanding through illustrations and comics. Contributors include Huseyin Aluc, Tom Brinkmann, Brad Foster, Simon Mackie, Andy Nukes, Carrie Taylor, and Dan Taylor. The 20-page mini comic is available for $3.00 (post paid) from Main Enterprises.

Sherlock Holmes is a mini portfolio of illustrations by Chase artist and frequent contributor to Main Enterprise zines, John Lambert. Sherlock Holmes is a favorite of Lambert's and he's turned in a wonderful collection of finely detailed drawings. This 8-page mini is available for $1.50 (post paid) from Main Enterprises.

The next mini comic in the Main publishing queue is Sheesh! #1, followed by Zeroes! #1B. Other zines coming soon are: Dark Corridor #4, Holiday Out #2, and Main and Lambert's Chase #11.

Obleo #1 and 27 Years Later

Obleo and 27 Years Later
The latest comix from newave cartoonist Macedonio Garcia are at opposite ends of the spectrum. Obleo is a new science fiction series about an emerging alien world. The debut issue is bathed in pastel colors as its cosmic story slowly evolves. 27 Years Later is a follow-on to Garcia's old Comix World book Tales From the Inside. In 27, he recalls unforgettable moments from inside the Texas Department of Corrections, rendered in stark black-and-white. For more information on either comix, send email to Macedonio Garcia.

The Moon Hoax

The Moon Hoax
Darryl Cunningham
posted a 14 page comic on his site this week. Besides the fascinating subject matter of The Moon Hoax, this strip is also interesting for Cunningham's extensive use of photography. He's blended photographs and cartoons in previous work, but this time out the photo images carry the lion's share of the storytelling.

Adventures in Plymptoons

Thunder of TrumpetsAdventures in Plymptoons
Alexia Anastasio
is fundraising for a documentary on Oscar nominated indie animator Bill Plympton. Like all Kickstarter projects there are incentives at every level, but for only $10 worth of support Anastasio will include a Thank You credit in the final film. Such a deal! Let's hope this project is successfully funded, I'd love to see it.

The Thunder of Trumpets
Wildside Press released the tenth and final volume of their Weird Works of Robert E. Howard series this week.
The Thunder of Trumpets
is a limited edition hardcover featuring a cover by Fabian and over a dozen REH stories. The collector's volume is Smythe-sewn and printed on acid free paper.

Wildside is also extending their 2-for-a-penny sale through the end of July. Details at Wildside Press.

So Super Duper #10 and Friend of Dorothy

So Super Duper #10
Brian Andersen
is at SDCC this year with copies of the new issue of So Super Duper. Issue #10 was written by Andersen and illustrated by Celina Hernandez. Andersen has also penned Friend of Dorothy, with art by Neftali Centeno and lettering/color by Falecia Woods. To sneak peak both books head over to So Super Duper.

Inside Midnight Fiction
I made good progress on the last remaining section header—the Shows Index page—this week, but not enough to actually finish it and get it posted. I should have it ready for next week's update. I'm woefully behind on reviews. The review queue is listed in the right sidebar on the Review Index page. Unfortunately, I can only manage to read and write two per week, so to all those generous souls who've sent in review copies, please bear with me. I'm working through them as quickly as possible.

Top      June 2010       May 2010

Karen WehrleJuly 17, 2010

Uninsured Crisis
Karen Wilson Wehrle, wife of Joe Wehrle, Jr. of Cauliflower Catnip and Arkham House/Mirage Press fame, and talented creative in her own right, has just undergone a serious operation and has no health insurance. If you would like to help the family with a donation at this difficult time, please send whatever you can directly to Karen's PayPal Account (gift checkbox) or via regular mail to:

Joe Wehrle, Jr.
P. O. Box 41
Punxsutawney, Pa 15767

Karen is out of danger, but for the foreseeable future, the Wehrle's will only have a monthly income of $947 to rely on, while their medical bills are now in the thousands. All from a single emergency. I'll post an update on the situation when I hear anything more.

Litter Lane

Harvey Pekar RIP
I had the pleasure of hearing Harvey Pekar speak for an hour or so in 2006. I think he was in town as part of a book tour for Ego & Hubris: The Michael Malice Story. His delivery was casual and he seemed very relaxed in front of a crowd of about 100 (if memory serves). He shared the story of his life in comix and talked about his upcoming projects, which were numerous. The shock wave of his death this week rippled through the comix web. There are many tributes and summations of his place in comix history, as well as recollections of his work, his appearances on Letterman, his movie, and his impact on the medium. Jim Ottaviani and Steve Lieber interviewed Pekar and his wife Joyce Brabner for Hogan's Alley a while back. Here's the report from his hometown newspaper. They called him Cleveland's comic-book legend. Sounds right to me. May he rest in peace.

Zoey Woodward
At the other end of the spectrum, congratulations to Anthony Woodward and family on the birth of their daughter, Zoey Clara, born on July 15th. He reports all is well!

Reading Frenzy masthead

Steve Lafler at Reading Frenzy
Proprietress of Portland's premier indie press emporium, Chloe Eudaly, held a launch party for Steve Lafler's El Vocho book on Thursday evening here at Reading Frenzy.

Steve Lafler plays Jack Black song

Steve signed books, chatted with the crowd and played Oaxacabilly tunes accompanied by David Perkin (I hope I got that right) on bass and JR Williams on electric uke. The songs included Jack Black Song, the El Vocho theme song, and several others.

Steve Lafler and David Perkin

Green energy comes to the comics. El Vocho offers a crackling urban romance pairing Rosa, a brilliant inventor, with laconic Eddie, boy/man artist. Can love blossom in this tense thriller pitting big oil against budding genius Rosa?

JR Williams plays the uke

Rosa and Eddie meet in a fender bender and tempers flare, but cupid shoots his arrow and the two fall for each other. It takes their combined smarts and intuition to create the perfect clean energy engine.

El Vocho front and back covers

“Vocho” is the nickname of the Volkswagon Bug in Mexico, where there are still millions on the road. The 100 page graphic novel is available now for $12 from Lulu.com, where you can also read a preview of the book. Steve's next stop in at the Mercury Cafe in San Francisco on July 22.

Free PDF Zines
TwoMorrows Publishing is offering free PDFs of seven of their current titles including Alter Ego, Jack Kirby Collector, Write Now, and four others. You can also download a copy of their full catalog. They reported the volume of downloads caused a few glitches, so if you're having problems try again a little later.

Buzzpop #4Buzzpop #4 Now Out
Matt Chicorel has published the fourth edition of his Buzzpop comics. The new collection from Night Light Comics includes parts 7-9 (the conclusion) of the Origins story and lots more. It's available for $4 from the shop at Night Light Comics.

Alec Longstreth Interview
Derek Neuland posted a great interview with Alec Longstreth this week on Overglued. It's loaded with links, cartoons, and photographs. Longstreth is one of the shinning stars of today's small press scene. If you haven't seen any of his Basewood work, look into it. it's a visual treat.

Short Pants Sale
Sarah Becan of Short Pants Press is offering 15% off her comics. Enter the code word ESCROW to get the discount during checkout. This would be an awesome time to get the Ouija Interviews (a Midnight Fiction Favorite). Just sayin'.

Digested #1 & 2

Digested #1 & 2
Gestalt Comics announced the release of the first two issues of Australian cartoonist Bobby N.'s Digested. From the press release: The artist draws together a series of short form sequential art with crisp, pen-and-ink drawings, combining an ongoing serial tale [that means they're comix fer christsakes], Oxygen with poignant observation and slice-of-life stories that cut close to the bone. Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Reporter, says, “The serial Oxygen processes its science fiction through an autobiographical comics template: spying on the neighbors, remembering strange moments from the past, dreamscapes." Digested #1 (24pp) & #2 (64pp) are offered in the current Diamond Previews catalog priced at $2.95 and $9.95 respectively.

Flash fiction has been around since the early 90s. From what I understand there isn't a universally accepted length; suffice to say flash fiction is very short. Publisher/editor/writer GW Thomas has created Flashshot, an online magazine, that provides a daily dose of genre (science fiction, fantasy, horror, mystery, or surreal) flash fiction of 100 words or less. He's collecting the best for a print anthology scheduled to be available soon.

Inside Midnight Fiction
I guess I was wonky ealier, about my RSS service, RapidFeeds. From their communications I thought they were going entirely fee-based from July 1 on. But I guess they grandfathered their old clients, so I'm still onboard with them for the MF.com feed. Sorry for any concern I caused to current subscribers. If you'd like to add our RSS Feed to your reader, I've put the buttons back in the right sidebar.

Also new this week is a Google Search box on the homepage. I'm not sure how useful this will be, but it provides an alternative way to navigate when you're not in the mood to browse.

A new section page header was added this week. This one is a replacement for the About section. I'm slowly migrating some of the About content to the more appropriate sections: History and Interviews, so the header needed an update. The characters shown are the detective from Satyr #9, caricatures of me and Nick Fury from Not My Small Diary #15, and one of Brian Buniak's imaginary assistants (bottled blonde).

Rip Haywire website

Rip Haywire Originals
Fans of Dan Thompson's adventure/humor comic strip Rip Haywire will be glad to know he's now selling original black and white (no color or shading) dailies on the Rip Haywire website. You can choose from a large selection of strips from 2009 and 2010. The original artwork is 4.75" x 16" and go for $100 each plus shipping. The digital lettering is printed out first, then the strip is inked. Allow a couple of weeks for the cartoonist to package up and ship your order. To buy them, simply navigate your way to the strip you want and click the "$" button (circled in red above). Payment is made via PayPal.

Genesis & Bible

R. Crumb Genesis Exhibit
Portland was lucky enough to score Crumb's Genesis for several months at the Portland Art Museum. I went with friends last Saturday. It was a singular experience. Crumb is certainly at the top of his game. The drawings are extremely detailed with layers of cross hatching that give the artwork an amazing depth and richness. In fact, I couldn't help but think of Basil Wolverton's drawings of the bible as I looked at Crumb's.

I won't go into a review of the book. There have already been plenty, like DK Row's from The Oregonian. But I will add a few comments about the exhibit experience itself. This was unlike any museum visit I've ever encountered. Besides the excitement of seeing comic art in such a mainstream setting and observing the variety of people in attendance, there was something else. Everyone was reading. Obviously the comics medium combines words and pictures to tell a story, but I'd never been part of a group experience like this. The words gave everyone reason to linger over each page of artwork. The entire book was on display and many people read it from start to finish. They weren't chatting or milling around. Everyone was completely absorbed by the comics experience—for hours. In that way, it was like seeing a movie at a theatre. A shared, but individual experience. Just amazing. If you haven't already seen the book, it's well worth the effort to seek it out.


SDCC Freakshow
Ape Entertainment will preview their new title, Freakshow, at the San Diego Comic Con this year. Freakshow is a three-issue series co-created by David Server and Jackson Lanzing with art by Joe Suitor. The series won't arrive in comic shops until 2001, but advance copies of issue #1 will be for sale at Ape Entertainment (booth 2104) at SDCC. Cover options include one by Suitor and one by Darick Robertson.

Top      June 2010       May 2010

Big Book of Small Press #1July 10, 2010

Free Big Book of Small Press #1
After careful consideration, small press publisher Jim Main has decided to make his massive Big Book of Small Press #1 available as a free PDF download in place of a print edition. As a free digital publication, the book will have a wider distribution and each contributor's work will gain the opportunity for greater exposure.

The free PDF provides a chance to sample the work of a huge roster of indie cartoonists including Terry Pavlet (cover), Hal Jones, Jim Siergey, Jennifer Walker, Bill Shut, Josh Blair, Al Limacher, Andy Nukes, Matt Levin, Martin Oakley, Miguel Guerra, Brien Wayne Powell, John Lambert, Tim Temmel, myself, Sam Gafford, BeBop, Barry Southworth, Charles Kelly, Rock Baker, Jeff Austin, Lauren Barnett, Rick Limacher, Carl Alessi, Dave Farley, Dan Taylor, Michael Grassia, Laurence DuCheny, Kevin Duncan, Marc Haines, Larry Tisch, Brad Foster (back cover), Robert J. Sodaro, Jack Bertram, April Kurowski, George Leon, Cliff Kurowski, Noor Hafizah, Mike Pascale, Nate Corrigan, Robert Sumner, Larry Blake, and Jason DeGroot.

Edited by Jim Main, the book is available exclusively here on MF.com. Marc Haines provided production management. The book was produced by Main Enterprises. The volume is dedicated to the memory of newaver, and long-time small press cartoonist, Jamie Alder (aka Bill Shut), who passed away in February 2010.

The PDF of this massive volume has been divided into halves, which can be downloaded here:
Big Book of Small Press #1 pages 1-106 (37 MB)
Big Book of Small Press #1 pages 107-212 (47 MB)

El Vocho by Steve Lafler

Lafler in Stumptown
Steve Lafler returns to Portland next week at Reading Frenzy to promote his latest graphic novel, El Vocho. Lafter was featured this week on This Zine Will Change Your Life with a comic narrative of the story behind the story and one of his Oaxacabilly tunes: Jack Black Song.

Dark Dreams & Simpler Times

Floid's Saga
Adam Jakes
has published the first two editions of a four part series that follow the adventures of Floid, a physical manifestation created from the subconscious mind of a girl named Suzi. The first episode is Dark Dreams, and the second is Simpler Times. (Send for availability info.) Adam Jakes, 16 The Brache, Maulden, Bedfordshire, MK45 2DR, England.

Klassic Krazy Kool Kids Komics

Yoe Books
Craig Yoe has a great batch of books either in the works or already out. There are others, but the ones that grabbed me are: Klassic Krazy Kool Kids' Komics, a 300 page collection with work by Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, Frank Frazetta, Walt Kelly, Dr. Seuss, Syd Hoff, Jules Feiffer, George Carlson, John Stanley, Dan deCarlo, Sheldon Mayer, Carl Barks, and myriad other brilliant geniuses created during the heyday of kids comics in the '40s, '50s, and beyond. Astute comics fans and their eager kids will love the funny and beautiful full-color stories of slap-stick superheroes, fantastic fairy tales, and awesome anthropomorphic animals.

Felix the Cat's Greatest Comic Book Tails, by Otto Messmer, penned brilliant stories for Dell and Harvey during comic books' Golden Age. Well over two-hundred pages showcase Felix's magic carpet trips to surreal lands, time's past, and into Toy Land, as well as his hilarious domestic adventures. Foreword by Don Oriolo, son of Joe Oriolo, whose wonderful stories ran alongside Messmer's are also included in the book. Comic Historian Craig Yoe sets the stage in his introduction with revealing behind-the-scenes insight complemented by rare original art and ephemera.

Popeye: The Great Comic Book Tales features the brilliant 1940s and 50s comic book stories by Bud Sagendorf. Editor Craig Yoe collects and beautifully packages the best of the best of Sangendorf's thrilling and roll-on-the-floor comics stories.

Candy or Medicine #10
Wraparound cover by Donal DeLay for Candy or Medicine #10

CorM 10
Josh Blair
just released the tenth issue of his quarterly mini comix anthology Candy or Medicine. The latest edition features Homesick by newcomer Tori Holder, O Cicla Da Vida, a beautifully illustrated tale of youth gone by from Brazilian artist Alberto Pessoa, City Kids, an autobiographical comic describing a six-year-old city kid’s discovery of horse poop by Katie Omberg, another Lunarcy strip about our lonely lunar neighbor by editor Blair, The Seeker by underground artist Carl Alessi and a wraparound Apothecary cover by Donal DeLay. All for a mere $1, plus 50¢ for postage and enveloping from Candy or Medicine.

The Oddly Compelling Art of Denis KitchenDenis Kitchen
Publishers Weekly interviewed Denis Kitchen this week about his career and his new Darkhorse book, The Oddly Compelling Art of Denis Kitchen.

The Willamette Week newsweekly has begun running John Isaacson's Feedback comic strip on their Local Cut online music journal. The weekly comic features Isaacson's commentary and quips on Portland's local music scene. Under the arrangement, Feedback will debut on Local Cut, prior to its appearance on Isaacson's own Feedback Comics blog. The comic will also appear from time to time in the print edition of Willamette Week.

Robin McConnell
interviewed historian Catherine Clinton about her new book about John Wilkes Booth this week on Inkstuds. A preview of Booth is available at First Second Books.

Timmy OlsenTimmy Olsen
Dan Burke
has just completed Superalien's Pal Timmy Olson. The 24-page black and white comic is available for $3.99 from IndyPlanet. For more of Burke's inspired loonacy check out his website Attack Earth aka the Art Studio Show. (Thanks to Allen Freeman for the tip.)

Exquisite Things
Matthew Dick
runs a review blog in the UK. He tries to focus on reviewing works that seem to deserve attention, things that he feels a connection with, that motivate him to review. He was lucky enough to get a copy of the preliminary version of the Good Minnesotan #4 recently and wrote a terrific review of it. Check it out on Exquisite Things and consider making a donation on Kickstarter to cap off the book's funding.

Inside MF.com
It was another busy week here at MF.com world headquarters. The highlight of the week was having dinner with newaver Bruce Chrislip and his wife Joan. I think Bruce must know every newave cartoonist who ever made a mini comix. If we're lucky, maybe we'll get him to contribute a bit of the era's history to Midnight Fiction.

I've also joined the affilitate program of my favorite online comic shop, MyComicShop.com. When you click through from one of the links here and purchase something, MF.com will get a small percentage of the sale. I tried this with Amazon about a year ago and it was a bust. But maybe MyComicShop will be an improvement. I really do like the folks there and they have a great selection of the type of things I'm interested in like Giant Size Mini Comics.

Fianlly, this week I completed one more section header. This time for the Interviews Index page. Hope you like it!

Top      June 2010       May 2010

July 3, 2010

Noah Van Sciver (kind of)

Noah Van Sciver
Summer has finally arrived in the Pacific Northwest and we welcome the month of July with Noah Van Sciver's calendar cartoon, a cross between a lizard and a young chap. (Download the 2010 Desk Calendar PDF.) Noah's been as busy as usual lately. He recently completed the sixth issue of his comix, Blammo, which was published by Kilgore Used Books and Comics in Denver. Since Kilgore became the publisher with issue #5, the comix's paper stock and print quality has improved nicely. Contents for Blammo #6 include the lead story called Abby's Road, a collaboration with Ethan Van Sciver called As I Remember I.T., another adventure of the Chicken Strips (I love those sick bastards), and many others. You can order Blammo from Kilgore, directly from Noah Van Sciver, and lots of other places that carry indie books.

Abby and Blammo #6

Noah's been working on his first graphic novel, called The Hypo. He's posted several preview pages on his blog, including this chilling excerpt of the duel. Noah provided a guest strip at The Daily Cross Hatch in June and was interviewed for MF.com by Anthony Davies around the time Blammo #3 hit the newsstands. My thanks to Noah for his calendar cartoon and for sending in the lovely watercolor of the main character from Blammo's Abby's Road (shown above).

50% Off Main Enterprises Sale
Jim Main
is having a 50% off sale on all of the publications at the Main Enterprises Shop, except mini comics, now through July 16th. This is a great opportunity to fill in your collection or try something new. When placing an order, just go through the regular PayPal process. When Jim receives your order he will refund 50% of the order (except mini comics) to your PayPal account.

Midnight Fiction Site News
I've been working on artwork for several section homepage headers. This week I finished an update for the new MF Favorites header (added characters from Dirt Nap, Chase, Ouija Interviews, and Rashy Rabbit).
I also added a header to the History section with characters from the work of Michael Roden, Bob Vojtko, and Kerry Lochner.

My formerly free RSS Feed host has begun charging for their service as of July 1st, so needless to say on my budget, I'm left feedless. I can't see adding yet another subscription fee to my monthly bills. If anyone knows of a good, free service please send email.

Last Call Comix #1 & 2

Maxx Graphix
Macedonio Garcia
started creating mini comix in the early 80's. He produced twelve issues of Tales from the Inside, little stories about life in the Texas prison system. The comix were published by Clay Geerdes' Comix World. Five pages of Macedonio's prison comix were featured in Weirdo #5, published by Last Gasp Eco Funnies in 1982. You can still get back issues from Rick Bradford at the Poopsheet Shop.

D'dsrp Comix and Bird on a Wire

After a 23 year absence from mini comix, he started self-publishing a few titles again in 2006. These were digest-sized, full color editions printed on heavy, glossy paper. Last Call Comix #1 and 2 take place in a tavern. Other titles published in 2007 include D'dsrp (D'pressed) Comix #2 and Bird on a Wire.

Questionable Comix #1-3

Pork Belly #2His most recent work is a new digest-sized series, printed in b&w, called ?-Able (Questionable) Comix, featuring cartoons of political and cultural commentary. Issue #3 includes a mini CD of music by Pat Sloan. Individual issues of ?-Able Comix #1-3 are $3 each (postage paid), or he's offering a special deal of all seven comix shown above for $15 (postage paid). Macedonio can be reached at 11722 Dorrance Lane, Meadows Place, TX 77477. To see more of his cartoons check out his page on flickr.

Marcedonio Garcia also has four pages of cartoons in the latest issue of Pork Belly #2, which is just out from Weird Muse Productions. Editor and keeper of the muse, Dan W. Taylor, drew the front and back covers, while Meeah D'zasteur contributed a two-page comix. Pork Belly is a new title from Taylor, that's modeled after Clay Geerdes' long running title Babyfat. Almost anything goes in these little 8-pagers, so bring an open mind and dollar bill to partake. Pork Belly is available from Weird Muse Productions for $1 a copy plus 50¢ for postage.

New Books from Wildside

Wildside Press
John Betancourt
reports Wildside Press has a lot of interesting new books this month. He's very excited by Sasscer Hill's mystery novel, Full Mortality. Sasscer (who breeds and races horses) is an amazing new talent about to burst onto the literary scene with her debut novel. If you like Dick Francis, she's a must-read author. Her novel launches in October, but Wildside ran off a few hundred advance copies for promotional purposes, and you can still get one.
Wildside's third "Ace Double" style 2-in-1 science fiction book is just out—by Ed Lerner—features Countdown to Armageddon and A Stranger in Paradise.
Wildside is working their way through the Rick Brant young adult series and have seven volumes available. If you have fond childhood memories of the series, you may want to introduce a new generation of young friends or relatives to Rick and Scotty and their adventures by John Blaine.
On the Pulp front, Wildside has a ton of new books, including new titles by Edmond Hamilton, Paul Ernst, Leigh Brackett, Johnston McCulley (a new Thubway Tham collection), and many more. There are 14 titles on the front page of the Wildside Books website.

Cragmore #1-3

More Cragmore
Pat Lewis
reports he's nearly finished with his mini epic Cragmore. The first three issues of the four part series are available from his website, Lunchbreak Comics. He's posted a lengthy preview on his site if you'd like to feast your eyes on a sample of his expert cartoon work.

The latest mini comic from Jim Main's publishing empire is Zeroes! Main asked a group of talented cartoonists to create the lamest super heroes and villains they could dream up and make a trading card for them. He collected all the "cards" into this mini anthology. Contributors include Jim Siergey, Dan W. Taylor, Larned Justin, Brad Foster, and George Leon. it's $1.50 from Main Enterprises.

Comic Book Religion
What will comic book fans think of next? Comic Book Religion is an index of comics characters and their religious affiliation. How deep does it go? Ever hear of Jonah Amittai? He's the lead character in Ancient Tales from the Future by James Rubino. (Rubino's TFTSG3 is a 2010 MF Favorite.) The comic is an adaptation of the Biblical Jonah with a science fiction bent. It's one of several comics available directly from James Rubino.

MYX bookMYX Collected Works
Jamie Chase, creator of MYX, reports he's collecting the first four issues of his MYX comic book into a trade paperback. The volume will re-present the stories with the added effect of full color.

Darryl Cunningham
posted a 19-page comic story on Darryl Cunningham Investigates this week about homeopathy and the strange case of Penelope Dingle. The story has created quite a stir that Cunningham notes here, along with his references for the piece.

Rashy Seven
Josh Latta
previewed three pages of pencils from the next adventure of Rashy Rabbit this week over at Lattaland. The as yet untitled comix takes place at sea. Latta reports he's about halfway through the thumbnail stage.

The New Funny Book #2Digest Comix Classics
Harry Lee Green
posted the entirety of three classic newave comix this week on the Hairy Green Eyeball II. It's a great chance to read The Funny Book #1, published in 1975 by Ful-Horne Productions. The 12-page comix is copyrighted by Lucie Severino and Larry Fuller. The second and third issues were called The New Funny Book and graduated to regular comic book size. Although the comix in issue #1 aren't signed, Lardo and company's adventures are all signed by Gary Figari in issue #2 (shown at right), which also includes work by Bob Vojtko, Danilo Bulanadi, Edna Jundis, Reggie Macabasco, Ken Maclin, Dan O'Neill, and sports an Alex Nino cover.

Captain Retro (1980) by Doug Bryson is only 4 pages, but it features one of the few recurring characters of the newave era.

It's followed by Windy City Comix (1978) by Gary Whitney, who contributed to my own Funny Paper #2, and started doing Phoebe and the Pigeon People with Jay Lynch in 1979.

Ed #6Ed #6
Sean Azzopardi
reports he's deep into production on Ed #6. He previewed the cover this week on Phat Comics and reports he plans to collect the full run of Ed's adventures into a book this winter.

Hogan's Alley #17
Tom Heintjes
reports Hogan’s Alley #17 is at the printer and will ship later this month. You can read a preview of their SpongeBob SquarePants oral history online. To get the print edition, just subscribe at Hogan's Alley, where you can purchase a sample edition for a mere $3, and pick-up back issues at bargain prices as well. Hogan's Alley is Twittering at HoganMag.

Good Minnesotan #4
With around three weeks remaining on their Kickstarter fundraising drive, Raighne Hogan reports the effort is just over the halfway point of the goal. GM is a terrific experimental comix anthology that's well worth supporting. Hogan has posted several updates on the site. He's also started a new blog called Itchy Keen Art Friends, that features interviews with GM contributors like Joseph Nixon, Meghan Hogan, Kevin Cannon, Lupi, Lizardman, Steroid Party, Justin Skarhus, and several others.

Important Comics
Note: Covers shown are not to scale.

Important Comics
Dina Kelberman
sent in a copy of her Important Comics collection. The perfect bound "collection of unquestionable merit" is filled with her cartoons, quips, and comics. It's available for $12 from Important Comics and a variety of indie shops, which are listed on her site. She also publishes a sort of foldy comic called The Regular Man, that you can subscribe to: $15 for twelve issues.

Tim Corrigan's Comics and Stories #47
Tim Corrigan's Comics and Stories #47 front and back covers

TC's Comics & Stories #47
Tim Corrigan
has just published Comics & Stories #47. This one features part one of a new story starring Roy Ritter and The Red River Wranglers by Larned Justin and Corrigan. Subscriptions to this small press monthly are just $15 for twelve issues at New Voice Media Publications.

Al Burian Goes to Hell and Microcosm 2010 Catalog

Al Burian's Hell
A loose comic interpretation of Dante's Inferno; Burn Collector/Natural Disasters zinester Al Burian places himself as protagonist, journeying through a hell based around his person torments at the time: work, art school, the meaning of life, grazing in the bulk bins at Safeway, endless pontification on literary criticism, and the concept of making a college thesis about making a college thesis. The big question being "is marking up pieces of paper expressing something that 'was' in the artist or just marking up pieces of paper?" Al Burian Goes to Hell is a new comic available from Microcosm Publishing for $6.00.

Microcom also issued a catalog of their published and distributed books, zines, DVDs, Tees. stickers, patches, buttons, etc. It has such a wonderful cover by Alec Longstreth, I couldn't resist showing it here.

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