The Cross Hatch Rehash: The First Annual Read Comics in Public Day

Categories:  Events

I spent most of Sunday forwarding images to Sarah. There was the shot at the wedding, the happy couple reading Hellboy; the guy reading Batman in front of an illuminated Eiffel Tower at Dusk; the shot of the guy reading while driving (certainly not recommend). One woman took of a photo surrounded by dinosaurs for one of our contests. There was one of a uniformed police woman reading Sin City. And there are just too many adorable images of kids and pets reading comics to mention.

I suppose we first knew we were really onto something with Read Comics in Public the day after the initiative launched, when people first started asking about meetups—something we hadn’t really anticipated. If there was one thing we had to come to grips with fairly early on, it was the fact that, try as we might to control the thing, it belonged to the everyone now.

Comic shops all over the world started offering promotions, libraries were planning group readings, there were even some complimentary splinter groups like the much talked about Women Reading Comics in Public Tumblr page. Before it was over, we were getting notes from all over the world, from Alaska to Saudi Arabia. Official meetups were planned for four continents (there were more, but frankly I just couldn’t manage all of the submissions that came through—apologies for the numerous balls I dropped).

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Minneapolis Indie Expo (MIX) Programming: John Porcellino, Kevin Cannon, Scott Pilgrim, and More

Categories:  Events

I’ve been listening to a lot of Dylan, Hold Steady, and The Replacements this week—frankly, it’s the only way I can figure out to effectively prepare myself for my first-ever trip to the Twin Cities later this week. I’ll be in Minneapolis for a few days to attend the inaugural MIX.

The show is the brainchild of St. Paul Craftstravaganza founder Andy Krueger and our own Mini-Comics Editor, Sarah Morean. It’s being held at Minneapolis art space, The Soap Factory, on Saturday, August 21st.

I’m attempting to justify the price of airfare and my increased carbon footprint by cramming as many things as possible into a 24-hour period (sleep, sadly, not being one of them). I will be moderating five panels on Saturday, featuring, among others, folks like John Porcellino, Kevin Cannon, Will Dinksi, Spike, and Aaron Renier.

We’re taking a largely conversational approach to the panels, many of which are one-on-one “spotlights.” It will be a fun way to get to know the cartoonists in a manner that is often eschewed by convention programming, in favor of larger, conceptual panels. It will be a chance for the audience—and myself—to get to know the artists. There will be a few bigger panels, as well, including the Screenprinting for Beginners and Comic Book Inking workshops, A Crash Course to Webcomics, Comics Education on the Rise, and Cartooning Tools of the Trade.

I’ll also be DJing the afterparty at Altered Esthetics that night for roughly four hours or so. Oh, and Sarah tells me that I’m going to be working the check-in table at 7:30 AM that morning, so come by and say “hi,” if you don’t have better things—such as sleeping—to do. The plan, ultimately, is to make the entire upper-Midwest sick of in the course of a weekend—a mission to be completed the following day in the food court of the Mall of America.

Check out the full schedule for the show, including signings, parties, gallery showings, and a screen of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, over at the MIX programming page.

The First Annual International Read Comics in Public Day

Categories:  Events, News


You love comics, the images, the words—the limitless artistic and storytelling potential. Why, then, is it so hard to express that affection sometimes? We’ve all likely been there at some point—maybe on a bus or in an academic setting or on a first date. We’ve all had a moment when, for something has held us back, not allowing us to tell the world.

Why is that, exactly? Comics have made their way into libraries and institutions of higher learning everywhere. Comics are regularly highlighted in publications like The New Yorker and The New York Times. A comic book has even won a Pulitzer. But yet, for some reason, when we find ourselves cracking one open in a public setting, we invariably anticipate the sideways glances and snickers of curious on-lookers wondering what a grownup is doing reading a funny book.

It’s time to smash that stigma, friends. In other words, as a great man once put it, “it’s clobberin’ time.”

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Upcoming Events

Categories:  Events, Features
Tags: , , ,

Did you know that The Daily Cross Hatch manages a comics events calendar?  It’s true!  You can view it on the Upcoming Events page on our site or add it to your own google calendar.

  1. Log into your google account as usual and open your google calendar. 
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  2. Click on Add > Add a friend/coworker’s calendar.
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  3. Type in “” and click the “Add” button.
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  4. The Cross Hatch Dispatch calendar i.e. our Upcoming Events calendar will be added to your google calendar.  Click the name to hide or highlight that calendar.
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If you have an item you would like to submit to the Cross Hatch Dispatch or Upcoming Events calendar, please email us!

Sarah Morean

Minneapolis Indie Xpo Exhibitors on Parade

Categories:  Events, Features
Tags: , , ,

Check out some of the great artwork and projects you can expect to see at MIX 2010!

The Minneapolis Indie Xpo has run out of exhibitor space, but you can still attend! Fun and adventure! Minneapolis, ahoy! Admission is free.

MIX will take place on Saturday, August 21, 9am-5pm. Please join us for the kickoff party and signing at Big Brain Comics on Friday, August 20, and for the after-party at Altered Esthetics on Saturday, August 21. Details to follow.

Sarah Morean

Shameless Self-Promotion

Categories:  Events


Hey all, quick plug for those of you in the greater New York City area. This Thursday I’ll be DJing another comics event—a joint party for Dan Goldman and Molly Crabapple/John Leavitt. Goldman is celebrating his new online series, Red Light Properties and his (albeit brief) return to our hemisphere. Crabapple and Leavitt are marking the debut of their Zuda series, The Puppet Makers.

The event goes from 7-10PM at Sutra in NoHo (1st st., between 1st and 2nd). I will be spinning a mixture of soul, mod, ska, power-pop, and post-punk. Drink specials will be available. The Facebook invite can be found here. Hope to see you there.


Cross Hatch Rehash: SVA Fresh Meat 2010

Categories:  Events

There is, perhaps, no comics show title that more accurately captures the nature of small press book browsing than that of SVA’s Fresh Meat. Even after all of these years, it’s hard not to view such shows as something of a creative meat market. It’s one thing, after all, to judge the merits of a book from a 30 second cursory glance. It’s another thing entirely to do so with the book’s creator timidly smiling up at you, from the other side of table.

It’s a lot of pressure, really, being asked to assess the culmination of some creator’s blood, sweat, and tears, stapled neatly into a pocket-sized pamphlet. It’s all the more trying in the context of a show like Fresh Meat, Manhattan’s School of Visual Arts’ annual showcase of student work. For most of these students, after all, having to deal with the constant threat of small scale commercial rejection is likely a new phenomenon.

Fresh Meat is something of a farm league of indie comics shows. After a couple of MoCCAs, Stumptowns, SPXs, or APEs, the burn wears off for the most part, even amongst many of the more fragile egos. Everyone has a bad show, from time to time, and even in the context of the better ones, not everyone who picks up a book off the table is eventually going to buy it.

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MoCCA Panel Recap: Best of the 00s

Categories:  Events

Here’s another quick attempt to save an unfilmed MoCCA panel from the discount bin of history. I had the pleasure of moderating this one, as well. The title was The Best of the ‘00s.

The concept behind the panel was fairly simple: we gathered together a handful of prominent artists, critics, and general industry folks, and asked them to pick five to ten of their favorite books of the decade. Of course, given the limited amount of time, we only managed to cover a fraction of that. It was a good sign, really, the artists had plenty to discuss.

This was one of the few panels in which the slideshow really took center stage (Bill Kartalopoulos also always does a good job bringing his visually accompany to the forefront, as well, and his discussion of color with Dash Shaw and Frank Santoro was no expection). Early on, it was suggested that we produce a panel along the lines of “What is a Graphic Novel?” Something for beginners. The Best of the 00s was my solution.

I was joined by Becky Cloonan, Alex Robinson, Nick Bertozzi, Fantagraphics’ Eric Reynolds, and co-moderator Douglas Wolk. A cursory scan of the list below reveals that, with the exception of Charles Burns’s Black Hole (and, kind of sort of Love and Rockets), there’s no overlap in choices between the four panelists and Wolk.

My suspicion is that a number of those involved were attempting to avoid overlap with other panelists—case and point Bertozzi, who picked all re-issues (save for Town Boy, which did, at least, get its first American edition in 2007). That decision, I think, also resulted in the omission of some books, which seemed like no-brains–like, say, Persepolis. But, let’s face it, a decade is a lot to cover in under an hour.

After the jump, you’ll find the full lists provided to me by the panelists.

–Brian H.

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Audio: MoCCA 2010 Sequential Activism Panel

Categories:  Events


[Above, L-R: Tom Hart, Brian Heater, Josh Neufeld, Bill Ayers, Peter Kuper, and Ward Sutton. Photo by Seth Kushner.]

Activism Panel sound bite

For me, the highlight of this year’s MoCCA was the opportunity to moderate a panel featuring Bill Ayers, Peter Kuper, Ward Sutton, Tom Hart, and Josh Neufeld. In fact, as I mentioned in last week’s MoCCA report, I honestly consider the hour-long discussion to be one of the highlights of my work in the field of comics criticism, thus far.

Thanks to technical difficulties (and, really, what’s a comic convention without a few of those?), there is no official video from the event. There were, however, a few cameras in the audience, and I’m currently working to tracking down something I can upload. For the sake of getting something up while the subject matter is still fresh, I’ve opted to upload audio of the event recorded by yours truly.

The audio is imperfect for a few reasons. First, it’s not video. The slideshow is referenced a lot during the panel. Seeing it (and our handsome faces) isn’t entirely necessary to appreciate the panel, but there’s a certain nuance lost without it. Second, it’s a room mic. The microphone was not plugged into any board, rather it was placed on the table in front of me. It’s a bit hard to hear Neufeld at the end of the table. It’s much easier to hear the guy in the audience having a coughing fit. Third, the recording starts several minutes into the panel. This is entirely my fault for not having properly fired it up in time.

The piece opens up with Sutton mid-thought. With that in mind, I hope this audio will still prove valuable for those who were unable to attend the event (and, perhaps, even for some of those who were). All said, I thought it was a rather thought-provoking conversation about a subject that oft gets overlooked in the context of such events.

–Brian H.

MoCCA 2010: The Cross Hatch Rehash

Categories:  Events


[From L-R: Brian Heater, R. Sikoryak, Michael Kupperman, Sara Benincasa, Jon Glaser, Kim Deitch, Sam Seder, Gabriell Bell, and Emily Flake. Photo courtesy of Seth Kushner.]

Don’t ask me how MoCCA went this year. At least not quite yet. Get back to me in a day or so. I should have a sufficient answer for you then. In the meantime, I’m in desperate need of a nap—and I’ve taken two already today. It’s not just sleep deprivation that’s clouding my judgment, however. And it’s not something that will simply be corrected with a day or two worth of decompression.

It’s more a lack of emotion distance, I think. Emotional distance and scope. For once I find myself compulsively refreshing Google and a number of comics blogs, in order to piece together an approximation of an festival I attended from open to close (and then some).

I spent the better part (roughly 85-95-percent) of MoCCA underground. This wasn’t exactly my plan. I knew for certain that much of my weekend would take place in the panel room on the bottom level of the 69th Regiment Armory, sure, but if I had to wager (and if anyone were foolish or obsessive enough to bet on such things), I’d have put the over/under at roughly 40-percent.

The lesson I learned quickly, however, is the one that any vaguely responsible adult most likely encounters on a daily basis: if you want something to happen, do it yourself. Of course this isn’t to suggest that MoCCA and its small army of volunteers were anything less than spectacular (an extra special thanks to MoCCA director Karl Erickson and the museum’s president, Ellen Abramowitz, who worked closely with us, every step of the way). If anything, having been granted something of a behind-the-scenes looks at the inner-workings of the show gave me extra insight into just how many stars have to perfectly align in order for a show to work on the most fundamental level.

It’s just that, even with the greatest of volunteer staffs, panelists go missing, camera problems ensue (leaving us with no official footage from Sunday, incidentally—if you or anyone you know shot any good video or recorded audio, please e-mail me), projectors break down, people drop out last second, and name placards—well, I’m not really sure what happened to those. At some point, one becomes a host, a computer tech, a guide, an emcee, and a makeshift expert in any number of subjects.

[Additional Photos, Videos]

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