Posts Tagged ‘stumptown’

They’re here

Both books have now arrived from the printers’. I started making shipments yesterday, so check those mailboxes. For those of you not yet on the bandwagon, I haven’t yet set up an ordering form on my website, but you can email me and request yours.

There are two books:

The Great Wave of Falling Rock, 7″ x10″, 50 comics. $4

Owl and Other Comics, 5.5″x6.5″, 19 comics. $2

I’m going to be at Stumptown Comics Fest this weekend. I didn’t get a table, but if you see me wandering around say hello. I’ll try not to act surprised that someone reads my blog.

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brush with greatness

stumptownPart of the reason for self-publishing collections of Falling Rock at this time was to have them ready for the Stumptown Comics Fest, which happened over the weekend. I went last year with Dancing with Jack Ketch and it was good to have something to trade. Instead of telling people about a website and hoping they’d eventually check it, you have a physical thing to give to them and say, “read this.” Since I have two years’ worth of comic strips, I chose some of my favorites and put them into the two collections, The Great Wave of Falling Rock and Owl and Other Comics.

Stumptown is the best. You get a wide range of cartoonists and publishers. Anywhere from photocopied zines to the hardbound “art books” from Fantagraphics. I took twenty copies of each of my comics with the goal of not returning with any of them. I achieved that goal.

My friend and fellow Oberlin alum Alec Longstreth got to be the Stumptown Welcoming Committee, which seemed to suit him just fine. He was literally the first person I saw when I entered the big room. His table was right in front. He told me that was just a fluke, but I have a feeling the organizers knew he’d be a good person to have close to the entrance. If you have not checked out his Phase 7 comics, do so now. He does a mixture of autobiographical stories and made-up ones (though, like any good writer, he blurs the fiction/non-fiction line when he sees fit).

A Portland cartoonist and Xeric Award winner, Aron Nels Steinke, was showing off his latest book, The Super Crazy Cat Dance. It’s a mixture of comic and children’s story, and it’s pocket-sized! He regularly does a series called Big Plans. He also has a story in the current issue of the comic anthology Papercutter.

The story, about the moment he realized he had to be a cartoonist, is both funny and meaningful. Why do any of us decide to do what we do? In his case, a series of blows to the head. It resonated with me because my own epiphany – “I must be a cartoonist” – was similarly gruesome. In his case, it took a series of blows to the head. In mine, my hand got mangled in a conveyer belt when I was in kindergarten.

The convention seemed to me even more successful than last year. There were rows of tables and the room literally hummed with conversation. I did a lot of trading and now have a stack of great comics I must read.

Stumptown was able to get a couple of cartoonist superstars: Nicholas Gurewitch and Craig Thompson.

Nicholas is the perpetrator of the extremely funny and disturbing Perry Bible Fellowship, a weekly comic strip whose style changes depending on the story being told. He’s a versatile cartoonist. I was beginning to think he didn’t exist at all, that there was a robot making those funny strips. When I first saw original art for the PBF, there was not a trace of pre-production. No stray pencil lines, no blue pencil. I couldn’t even detect the use of white-out. Then, at Stumptown, his table was unmanned for the first few hours I was there. It was only after lunch that I met him. Watching him slowly write in my name and inscription in his book, I realized why his comics look so pristine: the man is the most deliberate cartoonist I’ve met.

Craig Thompson is the cartoonist behind Good-bye, Chunky Rice, Blankets, and Carnet de Voyage. His comics are swirly, sweeping, and full of emotion. He’s been working on a huge adventure called Habibi for years now. I was glad to meet him. His comics seem so confessional it felt strange to meet the man; the character of himself seems so fully realized I began to believe that the character was the real thing. He has been living in Portland for quite a while: “old man Portland” even though he’s not old. Craig was generous; even with the long line to get his autograph, he took the time to chat with each person.

So that was Stumptown.

That afternoon I went for a run. I was doing laps at the high school near our apartment and I noticed something peculiar. A line of people snaking from the high school, down the block, and around a corner.

I finally asked someone what all the hubbub was about. “Bill Clinton’s here. Or he will be in a half hour,” she said.

I ran a few more laps but decided not to hang around. I did get to hear a crazy person railing against Bill and Hillary. Really screeching. He got booed by the crowd. No word as yet whether he was Ralph Nader.


Get your reading eyes adjusted, because the third collection of Welcome to Falling Rock National Park has arrived!
I went to the good people at Pinball Publishing to pick them up Thursday. Book 3 contains 32 pages of pure comic genius printed with soy based ink on recycled paper. Plus it has a very nifty chipboard cover that doubles nicely as a beer coaster. You get all the joy of reading Falling Rock on newsprint or your computer screen, plus a beer coaster. It’s a win-win. All for $4.

And I was so happy with the result I had to take a bunch of pictures.

Soon you’ll be able to order your very own copy of Welcome to Falling Rock National Park. I’ll be setting up a Paypal order form on my website. For those of you in the Pacific Northwest, I’ll also be tabling at Stumptown Comics Fest on April 18-19. If you can’t stand the wait, just email me and I’ll ship one out post-haste.

Hurray for comics in print!

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Falling Rock Book 3 order form UP

SHALEK_COVER-3Beginning now, you can purchase your own piece of Falling Rock National Park.

Click here to go directly to the book order form, or use the handy icon to your right (it’s the image with all the books in it).

Falling Rock Book 3 contains 32 pages, 67 (give or take) high-quality jokes, printed right here in Portland, Oregon on recycled paper and utilizing the latest in soy-based ink technology. (WARNING: This is not the same thing as a book made of tofu. Do not try to make a stir-fry with this book.)

If you’re going to be in the Portland area on April 18th or 19th, make your way to the Stumptown Comics Fest, where I’ll be hawking my wares with the rest of the Portland comics community.

Order up!

Stumptown Love Fest for Comics

stumptownCF2009You’ve been hearing about this Stumptown Comics Fest thingy from me, and now it’s here. I will be there selling my comics to the lowest bidder. Stop by, say hello, or just walk past my table and give me a weird look.

10AM-6PM Saturday and Sunday, Lloyd Center Doubletree Hotel Exhibit Hall
Nearest MAX stop Lloyd Center

And if my presence wasn’t enough incentive for you, Jeff Smith is gonna be there! I’m so excited I can hardly breathe.

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the cartoonist is [IN]

stumptown-table Stumptown was a blast. I stood, I talked, I sold and traded comics. I can’t imagine a better first convention. It was great to meet people who had already heard of Falling Rock and to introduce Falling Rock to some new friends, too. My ego has expanded to galactic proportions. It now contains billions and billions of stars.

My neighbors, Dennis and Robyn, really made the experience for me. I mainly watched Dennis draw Batman over and over again. He’s got this trading card project he’s working on for DC Comics. (He draws sketches of superheroes and they put them (the originals) into a deck of cards. Sounds pretty cool.) My “help” consisted of making suggestions on how to draw Batman better. Draw him with a tail. Draw him sniffing cantaloupe at the supermarket. Draw him biting the head off a real bat at an Ozzy Osbourne concert. Dennis sighed and continued to draw Batman for the tenth or eleventh time.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention my across-the-hall neighbors Neil Brideau and Kenan Rubenstein. Definitely check out their work, accessible through the handy links provided. I would like to mention everybody by name, but this picture will have to do. If you want to know more about any of these books, leave a comment.stumptown-trades
Between stints bothering my neighbors, I bothered my old college drinking buddy Alec. We used to brew up moonshine in our fraternity’s basement and then go cow tipping until the sun came up. This weekend was more about comics, but I did see Alec secretly tipping back a flask every now and again. It’s just like Picasso said: if you’re not drunk, it isn’t art.

There was so much talent in the Doubletree Exhibition Hall it would be impossible to describe it, let alone name all the names. Cartooning superstars Jeff Smith, Keith Knight, and Craig Thompson were there, mingling with us lesser known comic artists. It was a real positive weekend.

The good vibes will undoubtedly last me a long time. I hope to do more conventions; this was a highlight of my cartooning experience. We draw alone, we write alone, and there are many days when I wish for more interaction with those brave souls who read my comics. I can’t say I’m a great salesman, but it was great to see so many people.

Thanks to the coordinators and volunteers of Stumptown 2009. I hope we can do this again next year. Same Bat-time, same Bat-channel.

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self-serving link round-up

Cartoonists and bloggers (as well as the overlapping “cloggers”) make great friends. In the past week or so I’ve seen an outpouring of news related to Stumptown, all of it good. I should point out that the majority of it is not about me, but the following is a list of links that do mention my name. In collecting them here, I wanted to prove that we cartoonists (and cloggers) are a generous and gorgeous breed.

From pre-Stumptown, this wonderful review of Falling Rock from partner blogger (and clogger) Stabbone and McGraw.

boy blue productions, the superhero alterego of Kenan Rubenstein, has a nice write-up of Stumptown including a mention of yours truly.

Midnight Fiction has a picture show of a few of the creators of Stumptown, including me in my Arnold Is Numero Uno shirt.

Neil Brideau, a guy who claims to have not attended Oberlin but hangs out exclusively with Oberliners, snapped this shot of Stumptown with me blocking a perfectly good view of the carpet.

Joshin Yamada took this picture, possibly the only photographic evidence of me in an Obama shirt. (Just kidding.)

In non-me related news, Stumptown neighbor Dennis P. (or D. Pacheco), creator of Neon Girl, finished drawing and coloring TEN BATMANS. I’ve only drawn Batman ten times in my whole life. Okay, maybe twenty. But never all at once, all in the same pose.

Thanks to everyone for your write-ups. I love you people.

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stumptown a-comin’ ’round th’ bend

stumptown comics festCheck out this awesome poster by Portland cartoonist Theo Ellsworth.Saturday and Sunday April 24th and 25th is the Portland Stumptown Comics Fest! I’ll be sharing a table with the Creator*, Kenan. Make sure to stop by and say hello!

*…of the 5-Page Folded Mini-Comic

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friday robots

Make sure to see me at Stumptown Comics Fest tomorrow and Sunday! It’s going to be a rip-roarin’ good time.And now, may I proudly present this week’s Friday Robots:friday-robots-4-30-10


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stumptown is happening RIGHT NOW

stumptown comics festStop by Table 99 to see me!
Kenan and I are partying like it’s Table 99.
Directions and relevant information HERE.
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