MOMEntum

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podiumer

Last week, Eric Reynolds was in town for the opening of MOMEntum, a retrospective of comic artwork from the MOME anthology he edits. He also curated the show, which is on display in the MCAD Concourse Gallery now through April 19th. For the opening, Reynolds enjoyed the usual rigors of being a guest of the MCAD comics program, which include an incredibly busy day of critiquing student work, lecturing a hall full of students and the public, and drinking the night away at Grumpy’s. You can read more about his experiences HERE. For some very nice photos of the MOMEntum gallery opening, check out Tom Kaczynski‘s set on flickr HERE.

I sat in on the lecture with the intent of posting brief quotes and highlights from the talk.  However, this was the first time I recorded a talk I planned to cover for the Cross Hatch rather than scribbling quotes as they came.  As a result, I found myself typing up…pretty much all of it.  This is why, only today do you get what you should have received a week ago.

Reynolds talked primarily about the recent history of comic books, with a focus on how today’s “graphic novel big shots” first cut their teeth by serializing their work, how today’s cartoonists might be at a disadvantage if they leap right into long-format stories, and concludes with a smart explanation of how MOME is filling a need for young cartoonists.  Mixing art with commerce can be an ugly thing, but Reynolds did a good job talking live on the issue.  As a result, I did very little editing, but it should be noted that I did some.  Mostly adding words or punctuation to transform run-on ideas into readable sentences. Also, I chunked the information into bits that seemed to convey an especially similar block of ideas, so you on the internet will have an easier time reading it.

I recommend that you take your time with some of the information, particularly if the phenomenon of “the rise of the graphic novel” interests you, and particularly if you’re an upstart cartoonist looking to jump right onto the graphic novel gravy train.

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While You Were Out: Dispatches from Beyond SDCC 2008

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Chalk it up to the sophomore jinx, but the Second Annual Astoria Comic Con isn’t going quite so well as I had hoped. Sure there will be naysayers who insist that it has something to do with the fact that once again I stubbornly insisted on holding it the same weekend as the San Diego Comic Con. And then there’s the fact that I didn’t advertise or really mention it to anybody. And, of course, nitpickers will likely point out that I held the thing in my tiny backyard in Astoria, Queens.

Honestly, though, I think the whole thing is just a matter of building proper buzz, and that sort of thing takes at least three years of unsuccessful backyard conventions to build. Maybe next year J. Scott Campbell will return my phone calls…

We’ve still got another day-and-a-half to turn this whole thing around. And believe me, once word gets out about those discount-priced hugs, attendees will be fleeing the San Diego convention center like rats from a sinking Watchmen sneak previewing ship. At least it didn’t rain this year–yet…

In the meantime, we put out the word to some of our cartoonist pals and asked them why the hell they weren’t at SDCC either, this weekend. Check out responses from Jeff Smith, Evan Dorkin, Renee French, Tony Millionaire, Tom Hart, and many, many more, after the jump.

Bonus: almost certainly the most adorable picture in the history of The Hatch.
–BH

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