Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Far Arden Sneaks on to a Few "Best of the Year" Lists

It's the end of the year, and comics bloggers everywhere are constructing their "best of" lists for 2009, and it'd be a gross understatement to say that I'm thrilled to see Far Arden grace some of these lists.

Here are three that I've run across:

New York Magazine

Flashlight Worthy

The Montreal Gazette

Monday, December 14, 2009

Far Arden Hits the Airwaves

By some strange alignment of the planets, Far Arden is the focus of three recent podcasts:

First, an interview with Robin McConnell over at INKSTUDS. Tom Spurgeon's blog turned me onto Inkstuds about a year ago, and it's really an honor to now be listed among the ranks of Robin's interviewees.

Also, the gentlemen at THE MILD MANNERED PODCAST made me blush with this lengthy analysis of FA.

Finally, I had a fun time hanging out with Charlito & Mr. Phil over the summer behind the Top Shelf booth, and at one point we sat down for chat. Check it out at INDIE SPINNER RACK.

Thanks guys!

Friday, December 11, 2009

"Forgotten Miracle" in NY Times

Stu Hackel has a great write-up of Forgotten Miracle in today's New York Times "Slap Shot" blog.

Also check out a post by sportswriter E.M. Swift, who was one of the experts interviewed for the film.

Forgotten Miracle trailer
Forgotten Miracle website

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Steinlicht Book Signing This Saturday!

This Saturday at Big Brain Comics, David Steinlicht will be signing copies of his new book Cornered!, which is a collection of his strips from the Pioneer Press. David writes:

Now available: “Cornered!” A collection of comics from the Pioneer Press newspaper by David Steinlicht — published by Nodin Press.

This Saturday, from 4 to 6 p.m., you can buy the book and get it signed by the author, at Big Brain Comics in downtown Minneapolis.

Great Christmas gift. Excellent Chanukah gift. Perfect Kwanzaa gift. Super solstice gift. Nice stocking stuffer. Use ‘em for holiday party favors. Just the thing for grads. Mom will love it — Dad, Sis and Junior will, too.

And at $19.95 per copy, it’s budget friendly. Color cover, 274-page B&W interior.

(Note to those of you who purchased the self-published edition of “Cornered!”: Don’t get all worked up. It’s the same book, mostly. There are 11 additional comics, one more intro page, another index page, a Library of Congress number, a ISBN number, a bar code, an author picture and a snappy new cover design.)

The signing is from 4-6 pm, but if you can't get enough Steinlicht in just those two hours, swing by the MCBA next door from 12-4 for Saturday Open Studio.

Details on the BOOK SIGNING.

Details on the OPEN STUDIO.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Happy 7th Birthday, Cartoonist Conspiracy!

In honor of the Cartoonist Conspiracy's seventh birthday, I thought it would be fun to publish a version of this month's jam that would actually be appropriate for a 7 year-old. Enjoy!

[ click image to read pdf -- caution: 10 mb ]

As always, you can read the original jam -- and all previous jams -- at

Monday, November 30, 2009

City Pages Turkey Shoot

Hopefully everyone had a great Thanksgiving break. If you're not too sick of turkeys yet, swing by your local coffee shoppe and pick up a copy of this week's City Pages. I've got a few illustrations in there, as evidenced by these fine snapshots:

This issue of CP should be on stands until Tuesday.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Forgotten Miracle Illustrations

Forgotten Miracle Trailer from Forgotten Miracle on Vimeo.

If you haven't heard from me over the past few months, it's probably because I've been working nonstop on illustrations for a documentary film called Forgotten Miracle. The film chronicles the 1960 US Olympic hockey team -- the first of only two hockey teams to bring home the gold for the US (the second being the much-lauded 1980 "Miracle" team). But the 1960 team had its own miracles; it's a David and Goliath story but this time Goliath is played by the Canadians.

The film was produced and directed by Andrew Sherburne and Tommy Haines, who also co-produced Pond Hockey. They asked me to illustrate several scenes in the film where they're short on actual video footage (it was only the first televised Olympic Games, after all). The drawings -- around 60 total -- are blended throughout the film and serve as recreations of some of the great stories told by the Olympic players.

The illustrated scenes are animated in a motion design sort of way -- the pencil drawings were produced in layers so that Sherburne could create a 3D motion design effect in AfterEffects. It's hard to describe, but you can see some of that subtle movement in the trailer.

Anyway, the film was a ton of fun to work on, and I highly recommend getting a copy for the rink rat in your family. I'll probably have a few copies to sell at conventions this spring, but if you can't wait until then, you can purchase a copy at (The DVDs ship in early December).

Some teasers:

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Early Review of Star Trek: The Next Generation: Ghosts #1

The first issue of Star Trek: TNG: Ghosts came out this Wednesday, and there's an early review up on!

I'm pleased that Mark Martinez (the reviewer) feels that the story hews closer to the more detailed and serious Next Generation stories rather than the action-focused recent movie, and states that "...those of you who grew up with the Enterprise-D will feel right at home." High praise, indeed. I hope readers will feel like this comic comes close to capturing the spirit of the 24th century.

UPDATE: Another review has popped up on TrekWeb. It's less positive, but I do like that it posits that there are more words in this comic than any other Star Trek comic. Why thank you very much! It also has this comment:
...The remainder you can write yourself if you're vaguely familiar with The Next Gen: Riker is impatient (Page 2), Picard is diplomatic (Page 2), Troi feels overpowering emotion (Page 5--but not addressed until Page 16!), and Geordi solves a problem with 24th century science (Page 19). All that was missing was Data commenting on humanity and Worf jumping over his console.
Well, all I have to say is don't count us out yet! We'll make this a drinking game if it kills us.

Ex Astris Scientia!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I-Con 2009 Scanboree (Literally, a Jamboree of Scans)

Today is my first day back from an intense, novelty-filled weekend in Iowa. The excuse for heading south was the Iowa Comic Convention (I-Con) put on by the Iowa Comic Book Club. The organizers put on a fun little show, with lots of freebie tables and a big buffet at the end (or least that's what I'm told -- I had to duck out a little early, unfortunately).

The best part of the show was getting to hang out with fellow conspirators Ryan Dow, Danno Klonowski, and Dan Olson. Everyone should check out Danno's latest Manly Tales, which reveals the true origin of Army Shanks. Traffic was a bit slow, which was fine because it gave me an excuse to doodle, something I feel like I haven't done for months. So here are some scans of that madness:

First, Danno's Fleming Hazmat taking a jab at Atlantis Lad. Of course, this would never happen in real life:

Here's a quick sketch of Shanks Winning the Big Game, inspired by a soon-to-be-revealed project that I've been working on night and day for the last month:

And a Shanks cartoon, created in response to Danno's new Manly Tales epic:

And here's a Klonowski original, which is not supposed to be representative of anyone we met at I-Con:

Metromix Des Moines traveled to beautiful Adventureland to record the festivities and I wound up in a few shots. Check out the whole slideshow at

Credit: Dani Ausen for Metromix

Oh, also we learned that there's another comic convention coming up in Minnesota, but I can't remember when or where. If you want to know you should bug Dan Olson, because he's got it written down somewhere.

The rest of the weekend I spent at the House on the Rock, which I'm not going to attempt to summarize because it would take all day, so please just go yourself. Here's a little taste:

Friday, November 06, 2009

Tintin Sketchbook

Leigh Walton of Top Shelf fame has produced a massive Tintin sketchbook, accumulating sketches from the likes of Bryan Lee O'Malley and Kate Beaton. I drew the pic above during MoCCA this past spring.

Laura Hudson has a write-up of the sketchbook on Comics Alliance, and you can see the entire book's Flickr Set!

Some of my favorites:

Tim Sievert

JP Coovert

Will Dinski

Niklas Asker

Brian Hurtt

Alec Longstreth

... and something like 500+ more HERE.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Far Arden on Graphic Novel Reporter

I recently did an interview with John Hogan over at Graphic Novel Reporter. Check it out!

Also check out their main page -- there are some great interviews with Junot Diaz, Emmanuel Guibert, and local physics hero James Kakalios.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Stuff of Life a YALSA Nominee

The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) has nominated The Stuff of Life as a "2009 Great Graphic Novel for Teens." Says YALSA's website:

"The list of 53 titles, drawn from 154 official nominations, is presented annually at the ALA Midwinter Meeting. The books, recommended for those ages 12-18, meet the criteria of both good quality literature and appealing reading for teens."

Thanks to Steven Stwalley for the heads-up, and thanks to Tom Spurgeon for showcasing Stuff's beautiful cover here.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

For You Kill Bill Fans Out There...

Thanks to Miguel Vasconcellos for scanning and sending me this sketchbook drawing I did in San Diego this year. God bless themed sketchbooks.

Punch for higher resolution

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Fallcon Fotos 2009

Convention neighbor and collaborator Gene Ha

The convention floor

Verily, only the worthiest may lift yon mighty hammer!

The closest safe distance from Lord Vader and his entourage

The drawing I later bought from...

...Brittney Sabo.

Jin "Little Jin" Cannon meets Gene "Big Jin" Ha.

Peter Gross wearing his new adjustable reading glasses. And holding a Gene Ha drawing of Phantom Girl (for his Legion of Superheroes fangirl daughter).

Ryan Kelly

Paul Fricke

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

24 Hour Comics Day EXPOSED

Check out Sarah Morean's great video of this year's 24HCD event in Minneapolis. Watching the documentary made me regret missing this year's event, but at same time I'm glad that I didn't set out the welcome mat to H1N1 like Sarah did.

Read the completed comics at the official Minneapolis 24HCD site! Zachary Garrett's wonderful watercolor strip particularly caught my eye. Congrats, everyone!

Friday, October 09, 2009

Kevin and Zander Cannon at FALLCON 2009!

Surely everyone in the Twin Cities knows about the MCBA's FallCon, the best local comic convention ever.

This year, both of us will be in attendance, though not on the same day. Zander will be there on Saturday (coming in at 11 due to a previous engagement) and Kevin will be manning the booth on Sunday. We will have comics, minicomics, ultra-secret previews of upcoming comics, and originals, and Zander will be doing sketches. We will be accepting credit cards on Saturday.

Come for the guy dressed as 1960s Batman, stay for the 25 cent bins! Oh, and don't forget to bring your copies of HATE and ATARI FORCE; Pete Bagge and Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez are gonna be there!

Watch this space, there will be moblogging of the event, you can be sure.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Zander Cannon's 2009 12-Hour Comic!

It's true, the pressures of having a child have caused me to dial back my output and led to this year's mere 12-hour comic, "The Mysterious Skeleton".

I completed it in the same manner as a 24-hour story, deciding the genre beforehand (a spooky mystery) and then drawing a Pictionary card to determine the plot points. The words this year were:

Skeleton (lucky draw!)
Black Eye

I also had a cast of characters I had to name, so I drew another card for that:


The comic was completed in 12 hours, 1 hour per page. I wrote, pencilled, and inked each page before moving on to the next one in order to keep on schedule.

The result is obtained by clicking the link:

I also changed the formatting of the book from the 5.5" x 8.5" I've done for 24 hour comics in the past to basically a 5.5" x 5.5" format, where each page is half as wide and one-third as tall as an 11 x 17 sheet of paper--that's 6 pages on each side. That way I can photocopy a 12-page minicomic on one sheet of paper. No one ever said Zander Cannon wasn't thrifty!

There are also a bunch of names in this comic that are homages to friends and people who have interesting names: Jesse Gillespie, Alice McGee, Jason Horshaw, Danno Klonowski (nee Ochsendorf), Tom Nguyen, Shawn Van Briesen, Ryan Dow, Lupi McGuinty, and my grade school gym teacher, Mr. Udovic.

Many thanks to Steve Stwalley and David Steinlicht for their camaraderie during the event!

Friday, October 02, 2009

Reviews A-Plenty*

People keep writing reviews, so we'll happily keep posting them!

First up, a great review of Big Funny from Mark McGinty, our friend at The Boogle.

Next, a Far Arden review from Rain Taxi, which is notable because it's IN PRINT. That's right, a rare ink-on-paper review. You can pick up a free copy around town, or better yet go to Rain Taxi's annual Twin Cities Book Festival happening October 10th at the MCTC cafeteria. BTA has proudly manned a booth there for years, but unfortunately we have to miss this year because of a vortex of scheduling conflicts. But you should go, as it showcases everything awesome that's happening in the local literary scene, from poetry to comics to novels to children's literature.

Next up is a review of A Time to Thrill from Adrean Clark at Comics Bento. Thanks, Adrean!

* As opposed to "Reviews A-Pawlenty," which makes no sense.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Go Nuts This Weekend

Mind Hacks has an interesting post about a marathon biker who hallucinates when he's out on the road for long stretches of time. I thought I'd quote it in honor of 24 Hour Comics Day this weekend.

". . . The last days are marked by hallucinations: bears, wolves and aliens prowl the roadside; asphalt cracks rearrange themselves into coded messages. Occasionally, Robic leaps from his bike to square off with shadowy figures that turn out to be mailboxes. In a 2004 race, he turned to see himself pursued by a howling band of black-bearded men on horseback . . ."

I normally hallucinate during 24HCD, although not as vividly as this guy. My episode usually starts around hour 20 and involves seeing little black bugs on the periphery of my vision. They don't actually look like insects, just blurry black moving things that my brain interprets as bugs. And of course, as soon as I try to focus on them they disappear.

If anyone else has a 24HCD hallucination story, please leave it in the comments!

Link to the Mind Hacks post
Link to the original NYT article

Thursday, September 24, 2009


Top Shelf's FIRST MOVIE is coming out tomorrow! Do yourself a favor and go see Bruce Willis do a bunch of cool stuff.

... or is it his SURROGATE doing a bunch of cool stuff?

You probably know that The Surrogates is based on a graphic novel penned by Top Shelf mail room guy Robert Venditti and illustrated by Brett Weldele. What you may not know is that I was roommates with these guys at this year's San Diego Comic-Con and Chicago Wizard World. They had a lot of cool things to say about the film, and about visiting the set in Boston. Little known fact: the film is co-produced by Elizabeth Banks, a WHAS alum. WHASome!

Anyway, let's give SURROGATES a successful box office run so that movie investors start knocking down Top Shelf's door looking for more graphic novels to produce.

"A Time to Thrill" on Top Shelf 2.0

Pink Hobo gallery is currently exhibiting a show of Pinewood Derby art cars. Unfortunately I missed the opening, but it looks like it was a ton of fun, as evidenced by this late night race and this eye-popping portrait. My contribution does not have moving wheels, unfortunately, so it had to sit on the shelf during the race. Or maybe Tim and Curtis threw it around like a football. I don't know. Anyway, playing off the ultra-cheesy theme that every car has a story inside of it, I decided to literally fill my derby car with a stream of consciousness mini comic, which you can read more about in the next paragraph.

"A Time to Thrill" is an automobile-themed comic strip I drew on eleven slabs of painted balsa wood. Unfortunately, when I joined all the slabs together to form a car-shaped sculpture, the world lost the ability to actually read the comic.

Until now.

Top Shelf 2.0 -- an online library of awesome mini-comics and serialized comics, updated daily -- has posted the complete comic! Go check it out! And then go check out the actual car at Pink Hobo in NE Minneapolis while the show is still running!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

We R Super Heroes Video

Zander and I (plus a boatload of other folks) are in a music video! We contributed original superhero designs for a Robbert Bobbert video, which is the brainchild of Apples in Stereo frontman Robert Schneider.

Puny directed and animated, and throughout the video you can see the visual stamps of King Mini and the rest of the Puny gang.

Here's Zander's guy, "The Bunny":

... and my guy, "Prosthetic Paddy":

Click on the stills to see all the other great superheroes created by these fine cartoonists: