Mark your calendars for these upcoming events:
Cartoonist Conspiracy Meeting
DATE: Thursday, Oct. 4, 2007, 6:30-10:00 pm
WHAT'S GOING ON: 10-20 local cartoonists hang out in Diamond's Coffee Shoppe and draw a jam comic. What's that? Someone picks a theme (e.g. Robot Dinosaurs vs. Karl Rove) and everyone draws panels of a larger story, trying to either build off the panel before you or connect your panel to the one that follows it.
SOCIAL INTERACTION QUOTIENT: 5. This is the one time of the month most of us see each other, which involves about 30 seconds of catching up before we dive into the drawing. For most observers it's a very quiet, somber affair.
REASON TO GO IF YOU'VE NEVER GONE BEFORE: I don't think there's a more inclusive group of artists on the planet. Every single one of us has had that "Uh, hey, this is my first time ... what do I do?" experience, so there's a 0% risk of you feeling out of place if you're showing up for the first time.
DATE: Saturday and Sunday, October 6 & 7, 2007, 10 am to 5 pm
WHAT'S GOING ON: This is Minnesota's biggest yearly convention. A healthy mix of professional cartoonists and dealers. This is your chance to see every Minnesota cartoonist in one room.
SOCIAL INTERACTION QUOTIENT: 9. Lots and lots of talking goes on here. For two whole days, cartoonists are forced to socialize, make eye contact, and read body language.
REASON TO GO IF YOU'VE NEVER GONE BEFORE: Word on the street is that the Cartoonist Conspiracy is setting up a reading room of sorts with couches. Reading material from the past three years of the Conspiracy, Lutefisk Sushi, and 24 Hour Comics Day will be on hand in a fancy spinner rack. Oh, and one of the couches is from the BTA office, so please, no making out.
24 Hour Comics Day
DATE: Saturday, Oct. 20, 10 am through Sunday, October 21, 10 am.
WHAT'S GOING ON: For many of us, this will be the fourth 24 Hour Comics Day in a row. The challenge is simple: draw 24 pages of comics in 24 hours. And do it surrounded by your peers, and also surrounded by lots and lots of food and coffee.
SOCIAL INTERACTION QUOTIENT: -2. Speaking only for myself, if you try to talk to me during this event you will be greeted by a wall of silence and a cold stare. But the stare will reach you by way of bouncing off the page I'm working on, because I can't even afford to look up and stare coldly directly at you. Must keep working...
REASON TO GO IF YOU'VE NEVER GONE BEFORE: This is the most competitive you will EVER see us. This isn't an art contest, however; it's a feat of endurance. If you're a cartoonist, this is a rite of passage. Literally, you're not cartoonist unless you go through this. You may be a handsome young dude with a big fat book called "That Salty Air" coming out from Top Shelf later this year, but if you haven't survived this event you're not truly a man.
And for your pleasure, here are some photos to remind you of last year's 24 hour comics event:
Eric Lappegard and Ken Avidor at Grumpy's
Curtis Square Briggs
Vas Littlecrow and Steve Stwalley
Some jerk who looks really tired
Zander Cannon, using the old "milk crate" technique