Thursday, July 30, 2009

Far Arden on MPR's Art Hounds

Minnesota Public Radio's Art Hounds is a weekly series where local artists talk about something they're enjoying in a medium other than their own. This morning Britt Aamodt -- journalist, local radio personality, and author of an upcoming book on Minnesota cartoonists -- talked about Far Arden. Thanks, Britt!



You can hear Art Hounds archived on mprnewsq.com, or listen in today at 4:45pm to 91.1 FM for a rebroadcast.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

San Diego 2009 Scrapbook

Zander and I just returned from a rousing trip to America's largest comic book convention. Zander's weekend was filled with panel lectures and book signings for DC and Wildstorm, while I was given the star treatment by the nation's finest publisher, Top Shelf Productions. Below are some photos from the trip. Many, I have to admit, are stolen from Shad Petosky's facebook page. So thanks in advance, Shad.


The Minnesota section of Artist Alley: Zander Cannon, Peter Gross, and Ryan Kelly.



Zander had several signings over the course of the weekend. This one is at the Wildstorm nook.



Not sure exactly what he's sketching here, but I'm going to guess it's a smoldering version of Mazikeen.



I spent most of the time behind the Top Shelf table, where I got to geek out and meet some of the most talented men in the industry like Jeffrey Brown, Matt Kindt, Nate Powell, Rob Venditti, Brett Weldele, Andy Runton, Jeff Lemire, Charlie LaGreca, and Phil Jackson. And the Top Shelf brass was there as well: Chris Staros, Brett Warnock, and Leigh Walton!



Nate Powell and I have a good old fashioned sign-off.



Just some guys chillin' by a fountain.



One thing I noticed this year is that fewer and fewer people had theme sketchbooks. Most sketchbooks were themeless and open season (the ones handed to me, anyway). Here's an exception: a Kill Bill sketchbook. I hated the movie but I like drawing Uma Thurman.



Matt Kindt (Super Spy) and Charlie LaGreca (Indie Spinner Rack) share a tender moment.



I wants that trophy.



Nate Eisner-Winner Powell discusses a salient issue with Brett Warnock. On Friday night Nate won best graphic novel for Swallow Me Whole.



Chris Staros surrounded by the floating heads of Bruce Willis. Or are those Bruce Willis' surrogates?



Beard patrol.



I had dinner on Friday with Shad, Tony Christopherson, and BTA alum Julia Vickerman.



Oni Press threw a great rooftop party at Petco Stadium on Friday night. Here, Shad and I take a break from celebrity stalking to chat with Paul Guinan and Anina Bennett.



Peter Gross, probably also working on a sketch of Mazikeen.



My first panel! Chris Staros and Leigh Walton talked about the history of Top Shelf, while Nate Powell, Rob Venditti, Brett Weldele, and I talked about our new books.



...and the belle of the ball, as she is every year, the Star of India.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Terry Beatty's Big Funny Stocking Stuffer


This is unbelievably generous and one more reason why you want to be at Altered Esthetics on Friday, August 7th for the Big Funny opening reception:

Read the lowdown on Terry Beatty's blog


Terry Beatty is one of the 45 Big Funny artists as well as a professor at MCAD and a damned fine cartoonist.

Reminder: City Pages Cartoon Due August 5



Want to be included in City Pages' annual Comix Issue?

Be sure to read through our previous post about the City Pages submission process, but here are the quick facts:

THEME: "Minnesota Nice"
SIZE: 9.75" wide by 2.5" tall
RESOLUTION: 300 dpi or larger
DUE DATE: Wednesday, August 5

Click here for full submission rules!

My Science Cartoon Needs Your Vote!



The Union of Concerned Scientists is back again with Science Idol, a cartoon contest that is ostensibly named after a popular American children's television program. For the second year in a row one of my cartoons is a top twelve finalist, and I need your vote to make it to that coveted #1 spot.

You can click here to read about the contest and click here to vote.

Fun fact: After I drew the above cartoon, I learned that the oval office desk pictured is actually built from the famous ship HMS Resolute, which was stranded in the arctic on its way to rescue Franklin in the 1850s. The ship was eventually rescued by James Buddington and sent back to England. The Queen then turned around and made a desk out of it as a gift for President Rutherford B. Hayes.

However, Wikipedia tells me that if you've seen the film National Treasure: Book of Secrets, then you already know all this.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Zander Cannon and Kevin Cannon will both be at Comic-Con International 2009!

Hi folks, I hope you're all as excited as we are to be going to Comic-Con in sunny San Diego this coming Thursday. Kevin and I will be there to chat you up, tell jokes, draw sketches, and, in a departure from our usual inwardly-focused convention personas, give panels!

First of all, where to find us:


Here are our two locations in the context of the whole place. Zander will be on the left, in Artists Alley, Kevin will (primarily) be on the right, at the Top Shelf booth.


Zander will be at CC-01, which you can remember by thinking "CC=Comic-Con, and 01=Zander is Numero Uno". Easy!


Kevin will be flogging his new hot book Far Arden at the Top Shelf booth, number 1721, which you can remember by thinking "R-rated movies, alcohol".

And for completeness' sake, here is the:

We will also be doing panels. As mentioned in a previous post, Kevin will be contributing to a Top Shelf panel at the same time that I will be giving a talk on how to do comics in the small, medium and big press.

Thursday, July 23

4:00-5:00 How-To Session: Zander Cannon— Zander Cannon has been working in comics since 1993 and has done both writing and art duties on comics about knights, robots, spacemen, cops, superheroes, ghosts, and mythical creatures. His presentation will cover how to produce comics and other books as an independent publisher. With Kevin Cannon (no relation) he runs the studio Big Time Attic, which focuses on educational comics for book publishers. Room 18
Categories: Art and Illustration | Comic Books | Seminars & Workshops

4:00-5:00 Top Shelf in 2009— With League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (Vol. III) and the new edition of Lost Girls, plus The Surrogates movie starring Bruce Willis hitting theaters on September 25, and literary titles such as Essex County, Alec, and Far Arden being released, it's going to be an amazing year at Top Shelf. Come talk with publisher Chris Staros and creators Robert Venditti (The Surrogates), Jeff Lemire(Essex County), Kevin Cannon (Far Arden), and Nate Powell (Swallow Me Whole) to find out all the details. Room 10
Categories: Comic Books | Movies

On Friday, Zander will be part of Douglas Wolk's panel:

Friday, July 24

Updated!
Sun, Jul 19, 09:49AM
1:30-2:30 After the First 1,000 Pages— It takes 10,000 hours of practice to become an expert at something. Art teachers say that you have to make 100,000 bad drawings before you can make a good one. Becky Cloonan (Demo), Zander Cannon (Top 10), Roger Langridge(The Muppet Show Comic Book), and Matt Kindt (Super Spy) will discuss how they've developed as artists since their early work and the creative breakthroughs that took them a while to reach. Moderated by Douglas Wolk(Reading Comics). Room 10
Categories: Art and Illustration | Comic Books | Comic-Con Special Guest Spotlights & Appearances

And on Saturday, I'll be here with Andy Schmidt talking about Art Portfolios:

Saturday, July 25

4:00-5:00 Building Your Art Portfolio— Moderated by Comics Experience founderAndy Schmidt (X-Men, Annihilation) and featuring the expert advice of comic creatorsChris Bachalo (X-Men, Generation X), Todd Nauck (Spider-Man, Young Justice), Robert Atkins (G.I. Joe), C. B. Cebulski (Marvel Talent Coordinator), and Zander Cannon (Top 10), this panel covers everything an aspiring comics artist needs to know about building a portfolio and getting his or her first gig. Join the discussion and ask your questions at the end! Room 30CDE
Categories: Art and Illustration | Cartooning and Comic Strips | Comic Books |Seminars & Workshops | Webcomics

I'll also be signing at the Wildstorm Booth (part of the DC pavilion, you can't miss it) at these times:
Friday 3-4 pm
Saturday 3-4 pm
Sunday 11:30 am-12:30 pm

Looking forward to seeing you all there, amigos!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Tim McNiff is Touching Our Book!

Check out this fun interview with KARE11's Tim McNiff and local Head Hacker Bruce Stasch. This past winter Zander and I worked with Bruce to create the Hacker character & identity, and eventually produced the cover design and some spot illustrations for Hacker's Guide.

Click the image below to watch Bruce explain why 80% of all Minnesota golfers should have this book sitting in the back seat of their car:



Just a few weeks ago I was stumbling around Barnes & Noble and saw a big golf-themed table display with Hacker's Guide sitting front and center! Ego boosts are fun.

hackersguides.com

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Big Funny: Poopsheet & Pre-order

Big Funny's first review is online at Poopsheet Foundation! Click logo to read it:


Can't make it to the gallery opening at Altered Esthetics on August 7th but want to grab a copy of Big Funny? You can now pre-order a copy (limit one per customer at this point) on the Big Funny website.

Just click here and then scroll down until you see the purchase button:


If you don't have a paypal account, you can use a credit card.

The massive, 48 page Big Funny newspaper is $5. If you're pre-ordering one we tack on $5.95 for shipping & handling.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Little Funny Deadline Reminder


Still want to be a part of the upcoming Big Funny show? Create a Little Funny comic that will be sold in the patented Altered Esthetics trinket vending machine! But hurry -- deadline is July 20, 2009!

Full details and submission guidelines at:
www.cartoonistconspiracy.com/bigfunny/littlefunny.html

Sunday, July 12, 2009

T-Minus in the New York Times Book Review


Zander and Jim and I were thrilled to learn that our latest graphic novel, T-Minus: The Race to the Moon, is featured in today's New York Times Book Review. This is a huge honor and not one we would have ever expected!

Jack Shafer's review is available to read online at NYTimes.com.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Game Informer Braid 2 joke makes it to the official Braid blog!

As everyone who reads this blog surely knows, once a year we draw an illustration for Game Informer's April Fools edition, "Game Infarcer". This year, as luck would have it, the topic was Braid, a game that I absolutely loved, and I was thrilled to draw a parody of it. Better yet, the guys over at GI just let me know that Jonathan Blow, the creator of Braid, put up the image to joke about a sequel to Braid. Nice! Here it is on the official Braid blog, and here is the image without all that dang copy.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Dueling Panels at Comic Con

My good friend Google Alerts just informed me that Zander and I are having dueling panels at Comic Con in San Diego this year. That's right, you've only got two weeks to decide whether you want to spend 4-5pm on Thursday July 23 watching Zander deliver a well-rounded & thorough explanation of comic book production methods, or watch Kevin nervously mumble into his microphone about how much he loathes drawing things in twenty-four hour spurts. Room 18 or Room 10. There's no middle ground. You must choose.

4:00-5:00 Top Shelf in 2009— With League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (Vol. III) and the new edition of Lost Girls, plus The Surrogates movie starring Bruce Willis hitting theaters on September 25, and literary titles such as Essex County, Alec, and Far Arden being released, it's going to be an amazing year at Top Shelf. Come talk with publisher Chris Staros and creators Robert Venditti (The Surrogates), Jeff Lemire (Essex County), Kevin Cannon (Far Arden), and Nate Powell (Swallow Me Whole) to find out all the details. Room 10
Categories: Comic Books | Movies

4:00-5:00 How-To Session: Zander Cannon— Zander Cannon has been working in comics since 1993 and has done both writing and art duties on comics about knights, robots, spacemen, cops, superheroes, ghosts, and mythical creatures. His presentation will cover how to produce comics and other books as an independent publisher. With Kevin Cannon (no relation) he runs the studio Big Time Attic, which focuses on educational comics for book publishers. Room 18
Categories: Art and Illustration | Comic Books | Seminars & Workshops

Or . . . you could help us out and volunteer to watch our booth for an hour. That would actually be pretty awesome.

More details on CBR.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Two Far Arden Reviews & One Radio Drama

Thanks to Britt Aamodt and KFAI 90.3 fm for having Zander and me over to the recording studio last week. We chatted about T-Minus: The Race to the Moon and Far Arden, and those conversations have been turned into radio dramas! The Far Arden one went live a few days ago, and the T-Minus one will launch on July 20* (yep, the 40th anniversary of the moon landing).



* (Speaking of July 20th... if you're in or around the Michigan area, stop by Vault of Midnight for Jim Ottaviani's official book release party of T-Minus. Vault of Midnight, 219 S. Main St., Ann Arbor, MI 48104)


* * *


Also, many thanks to Matt Peckham and Brandon Schatz for their recent reviews of Far Arden. Matt calls the book a "glorious pulp throwback" which is a huge compliment.



Tuesday, July 07, 2009

City Pages Annual Comix Issue: CALL FOR ENTRIES!


It's that time of year again: City Pages is gearing up for its third annual City Pages Comix Issue and is looking for submissions. City Pages has a readership of over 50,000 discerning eyes, and is thus a great showcase for any cartoonist. And even if your cartoon isn't picked for the print edition, it will be published online. Don't forget, last year the Comix Issue won a prestigious AltWeekly Award!

Please read all of following information very carefully (a few things have changed since last year):

From Nick Vlcek, City Pages Art Editor:

This year's theme: "MINNESOTA NICE"

Deadline is Wednesday, August 5th. That's when we'll close the space and figure out what we have to run. If there's any changes that need to be made or if a work is not finished, we have one more week, but we're not any more slots past the 5th.

What we learned from last time:

There is a finite amount of space for the print edition. DO NOT FEEL LIKE YOU WERE PASSED OVER BECAUSE YOUR STUFF DIDN'T MAKE IT IN TO PRINT. We'll put everything we get up online.

Regarding above, everyone should work in a horizontal, quarter page size:

9.75" wide by 2.5" tall

[ Click to download a Photoshop template ]

If you want/need to do something larger, contact me first, otherwise don't necessarily expect it will run in print! (half page is 9.75" wide by 5.4" tall; full page is 9.75" wide by 11.25" tall).

Black and white JPEGS, 300dpi actual size, or larger (fit to scale).

All email should be addressed to:

nvlcek [at] citypages.com

Subject should read: CP Comics Issue

Every email needs to have the title of the piece and the credit (how you'd like your name to appear in print). We will also need a W-9 (click to download) filled out and attached to the email with your real name and address if you want to be paid. Those who sent in a W-9 last year and got paid will not have to send one if their address hasn't changed.

Payments are $25 to all, another $25 if your panel makes it into print. That is the same rate no matter what size it ends up being.

Thanks for all!

Top Shelf Special Offer

Can't make it to the San Diego Comic-Con this year? Top Shelf feels your pain, and is offering FREE SHIPPING on some new releases (including Far Arden) through the month of July. Click your mouse on the logo for more details:

Friday, July 03, 2009

Simon and Schuster Graphic Novels

If you liked T-Minus: The Race to the Moon, check out previews of some other fine Simon and Schuster new releases:


[ click image to download sampler pdf (37 mb) ]

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Big Funny Website Updated



Hey folks, check out the new and improved (and final version) of the Big Funny website. The new site should answer every question you could ever possibly have about the Big Funny newspaper and the August show at Altered Esthetics.

And if you're near Diamond's Coffee Shoppe tonight, swing by and grab a couple of postcards. They're AQUA-COATED! You've never felt anything like it!

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Congrats to Tim Sievert and City Pages Cartoonists!


First off, congrats to Tim Sievert (former BTA employee and current PUNY wizard) for his Harvey nomination for "Best New Talent." Of course, Tim's amazing work is anything but new to us here in Minneapolis, so it's about damn time he got nominated for this award.

Tim is being nominated for his Top Shelf book That Salty Air, and you can read about his current project, The Intrepideers, here.



And congrats to everyone involved in last year's City Pages Comix Issue. City Pages won a third place trophy in the "Special Section" category. Cartoonists involved in the winning section include local as well as national names:

Derf, Carl Nelson, Kevin Cannon, Kevin McCarthy, Ken Avidor, Steven Stwalley, Jon Adams, Scott Gallatin, Keith Pille, Britt Hammerberg, Ward Sutton, Jonathan Baylis, David Beyer Jr., Ben-Z, Bud Burgy, Zander Cannon, Spanky Cermak, Will Dinski, Ryan Dow, King Drowns, Andrey Feldshteyn, Michael Furious, Blake Hunter, Matthew Kriske, Kelly McNutt, Lupi Miguinti, MJ, Daniel Olson, Dave Sandberg, Tim Sievert, Andy Singer, Jon Sloan, Mike Toft, and Lewis Tuck

You can read all the comix online. Congrats to all involved, and stay tuned for information about this summer's City Pages Comix Issue!