Guest Strip: Sarah Morean

Categories:  Guest Strip

LSD002tzIt’s been awhile since I received a guest strip submission from any of you and even longer since I made a comic.  That said, won’t you please forgive me for posting this ridiculous thing, and take it as encouragement to show me you can do better?  Guest Strip submission criteria can be found on our site HERE.

This gag comic represents my submission to the limited-edition Lutefisk Sushi D mini-comics anthology box set.  It’s kind of a special endeavor here in Minnesota to participate in Lutefisk Sushi.  It requires the contributor to make 160 copies of their mini, which takes countless hours of preparation, and at least one night of hard drinking at the opening, which requires hours of recovery the day after.  The word your are looking for is “commitment.”

The Lutefisk Sushi release party is scheduled for August 6, so be ready to hear more about it then.  For now, I’ll just talk about how I arrived at this awesome moment: the day I completed my Lutefisk Sushi submission.

My LSD comic was going to be pretty special.  The idea for it came to me in a dream, actually, and I woke up in the middle of the night just to write it down.  I was going to attempt things I’d never before seen in comics.  I mean, it was going to be mind-blowing, in accordance with the acronym.

Somehow though, my great idea turned into a flyer-sized gag comic.  Because once you’ve blown all your free time doing other, valuable things, that extension date will likely pounce when you least expect it.  However, an extension was made for folks like me.  Felicity!

I present to you this thing I made.

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Guest Strip: Sarah Morean

Categories:  Guest Strip

Sarah Morean is incredibly famous for doing lots of very important things.  She is licensed to drive a car, she is responsible for feeding herself (often several times in one day) and Sarah contributes semi-regular reviews to the Daily Cross Hatch.  What you can’t possibly know about her is that she also doodles in a sketchbook and is occasionally believed to be a cartoonist.

Sarah recently took a trip out east to New York City, destination: MoCCA.  She made several stops along the way, including Chicago, where she bumped into her very favorite cartoonist.

Sarah Morean

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The Complete Ouija Interviews by Sarah Becan

Categories:  Reviews
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The Complete Ouija Interviews
by Sarah Becan
Shortpants Press

ouiI pity the ghoul who hasn’t played with a Ouija board.  Sometimes they’re unresponsive but more often they’re eerily insightful and communicative.

My cousins and I once made a Ouija board, drawing the appropriate letters and numbers on the back of some other board game and using the lid off a heart-shaped box as the planchette.  Believe it or not, you don’t need Milton Bradley to manufacture a Ouija board.  Pretty much any style board will do.  And really, because we made our pitiful board from our own tools and youthful cunning, it was even more thrilling than it ought to have been when the ghosts started talking to us.

In this Xeric Award-winning book, Sarah Becan illustrates real conversations with dead people that she and others had using a Ouija board in Nantucket.  Why Nantucket?  Well, although the island’s small size apparently makes it a magnet for ghosts, Becan was drawn there because her brother worked in a Nantucket hostel.  Still, after learning a thing or two about ghostly romances in the after-life, I’m inclined to think a certain limerick is to blame for all the dead in Nantucket.

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Ivy #1-3 by Sarah Oleksyk

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Ivy #1-3
by Sarah Oleksyk
Self-Published

Sarah Oleksyk can be proud of herself. Through three chapters of Ivy, she continues to build strong characters, awful tensions, incredible realities, and consistently beautiful, full panels. Nothing gets skimped. It’s just a wholly good comic and I’m sure it will wrap up someday as a very satisfying graphic novel.

Ivy tells the story of its title’s namesake, Ivy Stenova, an only child to a single mom living in a Boston suburb. She is a bratty, selfish sort of girl who’s just trying to figure out her own life. She’s just like any other kid who wants to be an adult, but so far her ride to the end of senior year is kicking up all the evil possibilities of high school and isn’t handing her much slack. Friends, boys, family, school, rivals, and drugs all conspire to make her life more difficult than it’s ever been before. She feels criticized and judged by the people who used to make her feel safe. As her supports fall away, she behaves like an utter child, stubbornly shouting and stomping off at every opportunity.

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I am Often Mistaken for Miles Davis by Sarah Louise Wahrhaftig

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I am Often Mistaken for Miles Davis
by Sarah Louise Wahrhaftig
Self-Published

I will call her Sarah Louise because I am afraid of repeatedly misspelling her last name, and who wants to copy and paste all day? Not me.

I am Often Mistaken for Miles Davis is a lovely little book and the first well-produced mini I’ve seen from Sarah Louise. Last year she had another mini to pass out at MoCCA, but her delicate, expressive line drawings weren’t very well copied and it was tough to read. This mini, at least, should be enough to tempt you and introduce you to her lively and attentive drawing style.

Miles Davis has a pretty little cover with a nice color selection. Inside it’s cute and messy and unassuming. Mostly autobiographical, but sometimes pure fiction, it’s tough to imagine Sarah Louise ever writing a serious comic because she’s always writing, lovingly, to the next laugh.

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How to Understand Israel in Sixty Days or Less, Chapter 1: Orientation by Sarah Glidden

Categories:  Reviews

How to Understand Israel in Sixty Days or Less, Chapter 1: Orientation
By Sarah Glidden
Self-Published

Sarah Glidden Chapter 1

We are having the same thought: this multi-part mini has an inordinately long title.

Forgive it though, because Sarah Glidden’s book How to Understand Israel in Sixty Days or Less, Chapter 1: Orientation (hereafter called Chapter 1) was perhaps the most impressive debut mini at SPX in 2007. In fact, I hope it’s one you’ve already heard about.

As an American-born Jew, Glidden is one of many Jewish people ages 18-26 who are entitled to a birthright trip to Israel. Through Taglit-Birthright Israel, Jews living outside Israel are brought in on donated funds to learn about the Holy Land. It’s an effort to strengthen the Jewish identity of Jews living worldwide and the program has been extremely successful since it began in 2000.

Yes, it’s a great program, but it’s not taken without risk. Israel has sadly been in a state of unrest throughout much of its history and in Chapter 1, Glidden’s autobigraphical travelogue, she is even shocked to learn that the an armed guard is required to accompany the travelers as they go. So far, he hasn’t needed to use his gun.

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Here’s the story.

Categories:  News

I saw some mention today of Act-I-vate’s sixth anniversary and Comics Beat’s second. This means we’re five. I’m not sure when it started, but at some point it just became easier to use other people’s anniversaries to mark the passage of time. Like clockwork, I received a note from the domain registrar, reminding me to renew, and as ever, I hesitated for a moment. There’s a certain sense of obligation in such a renewal, as though it symbolizes locking oneself in for another year. I keep coming back to my friend Alex’s decision to shutter the doors of his much beloved Brooklyn comic shop, when the idea of another five-year lease simply proved too much to bear.

This is the part where I explain what’s going on. I’m sure I’ve touch upon this briefly in the past – work tends to get in the way of life, and 13 hour days and worked weekends have the tendency to take their toll on interpersonal relationships and labors of love, and this site has always represented a bit of both. In a sense, I never wrote for anyone but myself, so it ought be regarded as some astronomical impossibility that so many other people I know and respect saw fit to put any stock in the words that came out the other side.

And then it slowed down and then it stopped. These things always end with a whimper. But there’s no use here for such finalities. There’s no end here. Let’s call it a hiatus. And certainly me and comics aren’t through. I’ve already got some irons in the fire – for the time being, however, my involvement with comics will likely involve work for others, like the Engadget Comics I’ve been curating for my day job and the Art Spiegelman interview for Publisher’s Weekly – there are a few others as well that I’m not quite ready to yank the curtain from.

But the Cross Hatch never made sense as a one man organization, and thankfully, through the years, I’ve been blessed with a handful of writers willing, like myself, to work for free (or, in my case, a negative sum) for the sheer honor of writing about our era’s most vibrant art form (and, of course, the promise of free comics), most notably Sarah Morean, who served as my partner for the vast majority of the site’s existence.

So this isn’t a goodbye – it’s really just a note to let you know that, despite what you might have read on a CBR message board, I’ve not been kidnapped by Turkish Pirates, so maybe send a jokey birthday card in lieu of flowers – or better yet some comics. The stack’s starting to get low.

–BH

Guest Strip: Doug Latino & Gideon Kendall

Categories:  Guest Strip
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doug_tzDoug Latino’s earliest comic memories involve Mad Magazine, Mad paperbacks, and wondering if that Mr. Natural character he kept seeing on t-shirts really had all the answers. He also knew a couple of minutes in that the mom of his best friend at the time, Doug, made a big mistake taking Doug and Doug to the drive-in theater to see Fritz the Cat. He wouldn’t have gone if he had known about Crumb’s lousy film contract. He’s come back around to writing, giving it up shortly after college to pursue a rewarding career in newspaper publishing. You can follow him on Twitter at @douglatino.

Gideon Kendall always loved comics. As a youngster he copied Garfield and Doonesbury panels. He got really good at drawing the White House. Then he got into superheroes, and practiced inventing engorged fictitious muscle groups. Now he’s trying to get really good at drawing Doug Latino. He also paints garbage, works as an animation designer, and illustrates children’s books. He’ll do just about anything to earn a living, as long as it involves making pictures. Go to: gideonkendall.com

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The Cross Hatch Dispatch – 9.14.2011

Categories:  The Cross Hatch Dispatch

dylanwilliams

[Above, Dylan Williams will really be missed. Below, The Dispatch is grateful for the memories.]

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The Cross Hatch Dispatch – 9.7.2011

Categories:  The Cross Hatch Dispatch

dearjulia_cover

[Above, Top Shelf offers you a $3 steal. Below, The Dispatch steals 3 minutes of your time.]

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