Those of you who have seen me at conventions will no doubt be familiar with the Falling Rock Show Poster. It is patterned after the brochures you get upon entering any of this country’s grand national parks or monuments. For the very first time, I will be exhibiting at Comic-Con in San Diego (July 11-15).
My poster, while serviceable for smaller shows, was not going to cut it in the San Diego convention center. Therefore, I have ordered a 4 foot wide banner and stand that will be as a beacon for the comic-hungry masses. May it draw them toward me and may they be satisfied by my humble offerings.
Of course I wanted to take this opportunity to revisit the poster itself. I redrew the pictures of Ernesto and Carver, inking them with a brush and coloring the background with watercolor. The result, I think, is even more dynamic than the original. Introducing the design for my new show banner:
I hope to see so many of you in San Diego! Just look for this banner and you’ll find me.
And lo, another comic convention has come to pass. The Chicago Alternative Comics Expo took place at the Columbia College campus in lovely (sunny, windy) downtown Chicago.
The man you see stoically trotting towards the entrance is none other than Greg Means, mastermind of Tugboat Press and all-around good guy. Greg is a fellow Portlander and it was good to see him in this far flung locale.
The Midwest! It has been a few years since I was last here. I had almost forgotten about the oppressive muggy heat and the friendly generous natives. I stayed with my college drinking buddy Charlotte, her husband Ed, and their two cats. Duck (pictured below) is the nice one. Squishy, the mean one, I only glimpsed once. I asked what would happen if I put my hand near him. I was told, there will be blood.
CAKE itself was a laugh and two halves. My tablemate Reid and I scored a totally sweet spot right next to the entrance. We were lucky enough to be standing beside my wonderwall Kenan and his tablemates, Betsey and Penina. Just around the corner you could find Chicagoland resident Tyrell Cannon (yes that is his real name), who next year will be sharing a table with me at [SPOILER ALERT] Emerald City Comicon in Seattle.
CAKE was my first comic convention not on a coast. This made it doubly special, since my first convention in the midst of the country was also my most successful since the first year I began going to conventions. It makes me giddy to think of all the folks who are now reading Falling Rock, Jack Ketch, and Tomb of the Zombies (not to mention my foldy comics). Thank you, Chicago, for making me feel so welcome. Thank you also to the tireless organizers, without whom CAKE would not have been the hit it was in its very first year.
If you’d like to see more CAKE next year, I suggest patronizing Quimby’s comic book shop either online or in person. I was finally able to visit that fine shop and found myself overwhelmed with the selection and presentation of low- and high-brow literature. I would also suggest checking out the impressive list of exhibitors CAKE brought to the (metaphorical and literal) table.
It was an excellent, but altogether too brief, excursion into the White City. I hope to be back next year.
This weekend I’ll be in Chicago at CAKE! Friday Robots are, of course, going with me for the ride…
This is probably as close as I’ll get to collaborating with Jeff Tweedy.
A gentle reminder to all of you in the greater Chicagoland area: I’ll be exhibiting at the Chicago Alternative Comics Expo this weekend! CAKE seeks to answer the question, Is there a greater force for good than Neil Brideau? Neil and his posse of comics friends have truly made something special. I can’t wait to come be a part of the very first CAKE.
Take a gander at this amazing list of artists! I will be found at table 79, nice and cozy next to the creator of the Foldy Comic, Kenan Rubenstein. Come on down Saturday or Sunday. It’ll be worth your trip. I promise not all the comics there will be as staggeringly depressing as some Chicago cartoonists’.
I will do anything to narrow the chasm that separates the kind of man Paul Newman was and the kind of man I am.I jumped at the chance to drink the same beer Paul Newman was drinking in the movie Sometimes a Great Notion (based on a novel by one of Oregon’s trippiest natives, Ken Kesey).
Olympia Beer was a Pacific Northwest staple for many years. Originally brewed in Tumwater, Washington, a town in the same county as Olympia and located near the mouth of the Deschutes River. Olympia was the beer of choice around these parts before Portland became the microbrewing capitol it is today.
Just look at how much Paul Newman enjoys his bottle of Olympia. The bottles are brought out:
He takes a swig:
And can’t help but grin:
I wanted to have that much fun. The next time I was at my local organic grocer, I spied a six pack of the beer featured in the 30 year-old film and snapped it up. It took every ounce of self-restraint I had to keep myself from cracking one open on my drive home. But I stayed safe, opting to speed home, screech to a halt outside my house, ignore the bags of groceries sweltering in the trunk, grab the six pack and sprint inside, landing with a thud on the couch. When I popped the tab on my very first Olympia beer, my expectations were sky-high.
How did it rate? Well, I found myself let down by the taste of what could charitably be described as Near Beer. After a few sips, though, I began to wonder if what I was being disappointed by was, in fact, my own Portland-dwelling beer snobbery. I finished the thin, metallic brew. Was it me? Am I so used to beer with bizarre spices, aged in bourbon casks, that I cannot enjoy a simple American brew?
After inspecting the label, I was vindicated. Olympia Beer is no longer Olympia Beer. It is PBR. Check the website:
Like so many small old breweries, Olympia was bought then bought again until it was only a label owned by one of the three major beer companies. My disappointment was not so much for a beer I didn’t especially like, but for the fact that I’ll never get to be Paul Newman by drinking the same beer he drank. At least I still have his salad dressing.
Read no further! Loose lips sink ships. The Aliens have won already.
– the song that plays over the end credits is Carly Rae Jepsen’s Call Me Maybe
– the head Alien moves to Earth and takes the name Dr. Levon Buckles. He becomes a podiatrist.
– Crazy Credit alert! “Lead Alien Wrangler”
– since 2000, Ridley Scott has had it written into his contract that there will be a shot in the woods. Blades of light cut to the forest floor, floaties float in the air, a hawk will screech in the background. Slow-motion violence will ensue.
– Sigourney Weaver has a hilarious cameo as the ship’s cook
– the mission in peril, the ship dangerously low on fuel and supplies, the crew not having slept for days, the movie ends with all actors onscreen looking directly at the camera and saying “What would YOU do?” Cut to white text on black background: “THE END…..?”
There are some really well-designed beer labels out there. I like studying the labels on the bottle between sips. It got me a-thinkin’, what would Friday Robots ale look like? I couldn’t decide what kind of beer it would be. Amber? Wheat? Porter? I’ll let the internet chatrooms decide.
As a special bonus, I’m including the entire, uncropped image from last week’s Robots. I stitched this together from three photographs of the interior of a decommissioned submarine currently floating in the Willamette River.
A very nice review of Tomb of the Zombies right here.