Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Back in November, Whiskey & Fox, the "journal of poetry, theory, and queer-heterotopoi," published the above comic, and I figured it was about time I share it here, too. It was truly an honor to be included in the zine, and I encourage you all to click over to Whiskey & Fox's website, where you can download the full issue (titled "Parks & Occupation" No. 2) in PDF format.
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
As mentioned last week, this past weekend saw the L.A. Zine Fest take over the Spring Arts Tower in downtown Los Angeles. I made it down for a few hours. The place was packed. The scene was AWESOME. I hope like crazy that it happens again next year, and if it does, I hope to have a table to showcase a whole bunch of Danger Digest Comic Books. It was great to elbow my way through the crowds and squirm my way up to tables to chat with self-publishers and hand out copies of Pipe Dope #1, but I want to be even more a part of the thing. 2013 is gonna be big, but rest assured I won't just be sitting on my hands in the interim.
Everybody who exhibited is worth knowing more about, and you can check out the full list at the L.A. Zine Fest website, here. The small number of books I managed to buy and/or trade for during the show come from the extremely talented and radtacular Amanda Makes Comics, Andrew Alexander, Thi Bui, Sheika Lugtu, Jed McGowan, Carrie McNinch, Tom Neely, Revival House Press, Tugboat Press, Malachi Ward and Jennie Yim.
People are making minicomics and zines. People are reading minicomics and zines. Let's all make and read more minicomics and zines!
Friday, February 17, 2012
Hey there, friends in Los Angeles! If you're looking for something to do this Sunday, I highly suggest you check out the (free!) L.A. Zine Fest. (Click here for all the info!) I'll be walking the floor with copies of Pipe Dope #1 in hand, meeting new folks and marinating in the D.I.Y. stew. It's sure to be great!
Also, on Saturday night (info at this link), I'm hoping to check out what promises to be a radtastic reading, and I hope you'll check it out, too:
Thursday, February 9, 2012
Pipe Dope #1 (of 3) contains the first 65 (of 200) story pages, plus three pages of bonus content--not to mention the pretty cover! All that comics goodness for the easy-goin' price of only $3!
Now then, how can you get a copy for yourself, you may (hopefully) be wondering. Well, let me count the ways:
1) If you happen to live in the Los Angeles area, copies of Pipe Dope #1 are currently available at these fine comics shops: House of Secrets, Golden Apple and Meltdown. Ask for Pipe Dope by name--and think about picking up some other comics, too, while you're at it!
2) I'm also now selling copies directly. Click here for all the info!
3) If you've got a self-published comic of your own, I'm down as a clown to make a trade! Just shoot me an email (dangerdigest[at]gmail[dot]com) and we'll work out the details.
4) And last but not least, if you happen to be a retailer and you're interested in carrying Pipe Dope in your store, drop me a line (the address again is dangerdigest[at]gmail[dot]com) and we'll figure everything out. I would love, love, love to work with you on getting Pipe Dope into your shop!
That's all for now, but keep checking back for more Pipe Dope and Danger Digest news--including my convention-going schedule and when you can expect to see Pipe Dope #s 2 and 3.
Friday, February 3, 2012
And that was Pipe Dope. Before I ramble on for a spell, I want to thank my wife, Corinne, for being so damn cool with me spending hour upon hour hunched over the drawing table. Also, here's a look at the thumbnail's for this final week:
Now then. On to the rambling.
Pipe Dope was borne out of a number of ambitions, not least of which was the desire I've had for decades now to actually make comics. Growing up, I naturally enough felt that meant drawing X-Men or Batman, and at a certain point, I came to feel that my drawing chops wouldn't ever line up with the bar set by the pros working on those books. So I stopped drawing, and for a while even stopped reading comics.
After my freshman year of college, I was pulled back into comics, and began devouring a lot of the mainstream (i.e. superhero) books I'd previously missed. But what really blew my mind was a visit to the SPACE show in Columbus where, for the first time, I encountered self-published minicomics. (I met the late Dylan Williams of Sparkplug Books there, and picked up his incredible Reporter #1. The first minicomic I ever bought, and to this day one of my absolute favorites. You can buy it, and the complete Reporter series, at this link, if you feel so inclined--and I hope you do.) Suddenly comics was much bigger than I'd ever realized. Suddenly, it was something anyone could do. Something even I could do.
Around the same time, I encountered Scott McCloud's seminal book, Understanding Comics, and heard of the 24-hour comic challenge. I was primed and ready to make comics, and even accepted the 24-hour challenge (the result is here). And then, I got distracted. And just kind of stopped. Again.
After I'd been in California for a year or so, my drive to make comics was once again rekindled, but over the intervening years, I'd somehow managed once again to convince myself that I couldn't draw. Not really draw, anyway. But then, slowly, I started to remember the inspiration I'd felt upon discovering Reporter, and reading Understanding Comics. Eventually, I had the itch to pick up the pencil again, and began dabbling here on the blog. Then, a trip to APE in San Francisco back in '10 cemented in me the DIY jones. Further encouraging me was a chance encounter (at Burbank's own House of Secrets!) with Alec Longstreth's Phase Seven #011. Reading that issue was like reading my own story set in a parallel universe, one in which I'd never stopped drawing comics. Fortunately, rather than closing the book in a deep depression fueled by overwhelming thoughts of misspent years, it filled me with hope and spurred me to spend more and more time at the drawing board. Alec Longstreth is up there with Scott McCloud and Dylan Williams as one of my greatest comics-makin' heroes.
My time at the drawing board was still too scattered, and I knew I needed consistency if I was really going to improve. What I needed, I decided, was one long project that would keep me coming back to the drawing table day after day. And that's where the idea for a one-panel-every-day-for-a-year project came from. (Which, of course, was then modified to one panel every weekday, and then five panels per week--not necessarily weekdays, and not necessarily consecutive weeks, but still for one year.) As I've been packaging the first Pipe Dope minicomic collection, I like to think I have indeed improved. I see everything I'd do differently in those early panels, but I'm happy that the art grows with the story. Pipe Dope's about life, after all; it's only natural there be change.
Last but certainly not least, Pipe Dope stemmed from the need I've long felt to tell my dad's story. (As best I know it. More or less.) I could go into detail about how I broke the story down week by week, but I think I've been going on long enough, now. So I'll just say this about my dad: He was my best friend, and I want you all to know him.
Thanks for reading. More comics are on the way!
Thursday, February 2, 2012
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
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Two more to go! Also: New comics hit the shelves today, and if you happen to be in the Los Angeles area, one of the greatest comics shops of all, Burbank's own House of Secrets, has copies of the first Pipe Dope minicomic! 65 pages of comics goodness (plus some backup pages, not to mention the spiffy cover) for only $3!
Also again: Today is Hourly Comic Day! Good luck to everyone participating, and to everyone else, be sure to check out the participants' work. Comics!