I’ve been quiet about my new book, Beta Testing the Apocalypse (Fantagraphics), mainly because, until very recently, I was still working on finishing all the art & design for it. Fantagraphics has already announced on their site, where it is also available for pre-order (hint, hint). I’m very excited to officially announce it here. What’s in the book you ask?
It collects most of my work from MOME. Finally, a single place to see all those stories.
Most of my work there was black & white, so I took some time and colored all the stories. The book will be printed in two-colors throughout. A different Pantone color for each story.
A brand new story ‘The New’!
A full index. I’ve never seen a proper index in a comic-book (at least I can’t remember seeing one). I’ve always wanted to be able to look up concepts or even just drawings or sequences based on an index. It was really fun to put together. I’m hoping to start a trend here…
Over the last few months, I’ve been wanting to post some art and progress reports on the book. In the end there was little time for that. In a way this felt like I had a chance to one more last MOME story, and it’s also the last time I was MOMEd. Over the next couple of months, in anticipation of the release, I’m going to share a bunch of drawings, ideas and other goodies about the book. Stay tuned!
I’ve always admired French comics, now I made one… sort of. I should’ve blogged this months ago. But, I became distracted by work on Beta Testing the Apocalypse. In May, 2012 a French edition of my Trans-series (Trans-Alaska, Siberia, Atlantis, Utopia) came out in two tiny hardcover volumes. Alter Comics published the books. Each one is a flip-book, with two comics back to back. I re-lettered each volume and re-worked a bunch of the graphics & typography to match the translation. I’m really happy how it turned out and extremely excited to have a book in French! As far as I know, there is one French review so far. If you are a French reader who has read it, please let me know what you think. I’m really curious how the translation reads over there.
This is also a homecoming for me. I grew up reading European comics like Thorgal, Valerian, Asterix, Lucky Luke, Kajko i Kokosz, Funky Koval, etc. I’m honored my own comics now appear on European soil. Seeing my own work translated, made me realize how little European work makes it over the Atlantic to the US. It inspired me to bring more European work to America via my Uncivilized Books project. Look for some announcements about these plans are coming real soon!
Another several weeks old story I should’ve mentioned on here at some point. Over at the Comics Journal site I was interviewed by Mike Dawson for his TCJ Talkies podcast. The conversation took a lot of weird but enjoyable turns. We ended up talking a lot about the Trans-Series and the social & philosophical issues that crop up again and again in my comics. Check it out.
Here’s another item I neglected to note: the passing of the MOME anthology. My first comic for MOME appeared in issue #7. That time seems impossibly distant. I was still living in New York at that time and hadn’t published much of anything… besides a bunch of mini-comics and short pieces here and there. I was grateful & excited to be included and produced a steady stream of short pieces for my first few issues. I was unable to keep up that productivity indefinitely, which was just as well. There were other cartoonists waiting in the wings for a chance to be included. But since then, MOME became a constant presence. Whenever I came up with some crazy short story idea I knew it would probably find a place in some future volume of the anthology. Well no longer. MOME closed it’s doors this summer with issue 22. I was fortunate enough to be able to contribute to the last volume. My final MOME story is called “Music for Neanderthals.” In retrospect the theme of extinction was fitting…
I think MOME’s influence will reverberate into the future and will have an outsized effect on future comics… or maybe that’s just my wishful thinking. Here’s to MOME! It will be missed.
Fantagraphics posted some preview pics of the last issue. You can ge the book here.
It’s been quiet around here for a few weeks. The good thing about job 2.0 is that, unlike job 1.0, you can blow it off without much consequences. Oh sure, your search engine rankings are going to start tanking, people who read your blow start dropping off slowly, cobwebs start forming on your home page… (do people still say ‘home page’?) but really what other consequences are there?
I’ll try to catch up and post of some recent news. First up, a few weeks ago I got nominated for an Ignatz Award in the Outstanding Mini-Comic category. I probably should have mounted a campaign to try to win the award, but I never got around to it. I didn’t go to SPX either. It looked like a good show from afar. Congratulations to the Ignatz Winners!
I forgot to link to this shot Q&A conducted by the fine folks at 2D Cloud. It’s part of their gargantuan effort to interview every contributor to Good Minnesotan #4. If you’ve seen that little book… you know there are a LOT of them. My contribution was a short Ranson Strange story. Check it out here… if you can find it on the page.
I’m about to hop in a car with Zak Sally and drive to Toronto for TCAF. Please come to check out some new mini-comics from me, Gabrielle Bell, Jon Lewis and Dan Wieken (Me & Zak will be camped out at table 116).
On Sunday I’m also going to be participating in a panel on Print Culture (1:15 – 2:00). The panel will be moderated by Zak and will also include John Porcellino and Dylan Williams! See you in Toronto!
A few days ago I talked on the phone with Rina Ayuyang and Thien Pham. We talked about my new comic Trans-Utopia, Uncivilized Books, and many other comics related topics. It was pretty fun. The conversation was recorded. It’s now available here.
I meant to post this sooner but various things conspired to prevent it. This is just a brief note that new comics are now available on the Uncivilized Books site. All of these debuted at the Brooklyn Comics and Graphics Festival and are now available for purchase via the magic of the interwebs:
Diary is the follow up to Gabrielle Bell’s acclaimed L.A. Diary. This pamphlet continues Gabrielle’s autobiographical project with stories set in Minneapolis, New York and California. The star of the book is ‘Manifestation’, Gabrielle’s ‘adaptation’ of the notorious Scum Manifesto. Tom Kaczynski contributes a one-page introductory comic.
KLAGEN: A HORROR briefly considers the movements and practices of the death cult which has silently infiltrated every level of society throughout our world. Drawn in dirty gray and black, it sheds no more light than is prudent and gives no false hope. One closes this small book feeling that although we live in God’s house, God has not been home for a long, long time.
The long awaited fourth part of the well received Trans series of books (which includes Trans-Alaska, Trans-Siberia and Trans-Atlantis). The cartoon journey through philosophy, pop-culture, politics and the occult arrives at its destination: Utopia…
I’ll have a longer post on Trans-Utopia and utopias in general soon.