I don’t usually blog about comic conventions, on account of the fact that it’d be incredibly boring because most con photos are of a bunch of cartoonists acting like ass clowns in hotel rooms or eating inordinate amounts of breakfast. My ma’s always like “what do you do during conventions? who are you with? are you eating properly?” The answers are making fart jokes, cartoonists and no. And now here is some stuff about that:
Tom Neely and Virgina Paine picked me up from the Minneapolis airport and the first exciting thing I saw was a Target. You might not think that’s newsworthy, but after a decade of living in San Francisco and New York, the idea of driving to Target to buy socks, toilet paper and pajama pants is alluring. Suburban envy is a real thing, y’all. I have to walk to three different stores just to get the right ingredients to make a PB&J.
Later, when we picked up Sarah Glidden, we drove past these unfathomable structures and I lost my mind for a minute. What are they? There were mutterings of grain mills and doomsday machines and nefarious scheming.
Zak Sally gave a bunch of us a tour of the La Mano 21 printing office/studio space which is a hoarder’s delight.
Here’s Zak pointing at something while John Porcellino and Anders Nilsen look at the thing he’s point at while standing next to an old printing press. Zak gave us a demonstration of how the machine prints comics and I think Dustin Harbin JIMPed over it. It was pretty magical though. And it made me excited about all these small press, craftily printed comics that are coming out right now. There was a lot of talk over the weekend about how now that the craze of big publishers pursuing indie cartoonists is over, it’s giving rise to more, for lack of a better word, underground small presses. These publishers (like La Mano, T0m K’s Uncivilized Books and Koyama Press to name a few) have been around for awhile, however, as many people concurred at MIX, people are getting increasingly excited about the work coming out out these places. As someone who has worked with both small and big press, I’m honestly thrilled to be working with Koyama Press on a book that’ll come out next spring. I’m grateful for the opportunity I had working with a big publisher, but I’m much more comfortable working with “my people” so to say.
Pages of Sammy the Mouse getting ready for another layer of color
oh look, John Porcellino and I time traveled from a Neil Young concert in 1972 to attend the Cloudy Collection show at Pink Hobo Gallery with Zak Sally and Noah Van Sciver.
Nic Breutzman, me, John Porcellino and Zak Sally were on a panel that was supposed to be about failure but we mostly sat around accusing each other of living in trash bags and dumpsters. I told a story about sitting in the NYC food stamps office, a rite of passage for every cartoonist at least once in his or her life.
Here’s a bunch of nerds standing around in a comic book store as nerds are wont to do! L-R: Anders Nilsen, Kevin Huizenga, Noah Van Sciver, Jim Rugg and Tom Neely.
We stayed at Zak Sally’s, which led to a late night perusal of Anal Cunt’s song titles. If you have no idea what that sentence means, as I previously did not, google it. I’m sorry and/or you’re welcome.
John Porcellino and Elzie Crisle’s Christmas card.
Karen Sneider and Jon Lewis took me to Candyland…
…where they had a candy called “Squirrel Turds” that made me laugh a lot because I’m five.
I just realized I didn’t take a single photo of the convention itself. There are more photos of the weekend but I just got tired of posting and captioning all of them and now I want to talk about…
THE MALL OF AMERICA!! Yeah, that’s right, I went to the MALL OF AMERICA.
I was afraid that an ironic trip to the MALL OF AMERICA would lead to unironic shopping.
It did not. I mean, how can anyone shop under these circumstances?
oh wait, this lego stuff is kind of awesome.
This corridor on a mostly empty level was full of ghost farts. (drafts)
All this is the stuff that nightmares are made of. And you know what else? There was an American Girl store, and Karen and I went in to see if the dolls based on the books we read as kids were in there. I used to read the Kirsten books (which were by far the most dire, all about prairies and poverty and such) and it turns out they “retired” her. As in no kids these days are interested in stories about pioneers and wood houses and farming. We left feeling old.
I’ve got a set of photos from the MALL OF AMERICA but now I have PTSD and I don’t want to talk about it anymore.
I don’t know why I added this photo at the end, I just like it is all.