Lunch Break 1.26.2011

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Lunch Break is a short round-up of favorite webcomics appearing here each weekday at noon. Here’s something for you to enjoy over your lunch break or whenever. The premise is simple: it’s another day on the internet. Here’s a new or forgotten comic that seems interesting. Have something to recommend? Email us: crosshatchdispatch@gmail.com.

  1. Duncan the Wonder Dog (digital version) by Adam Hines // 2010-2011
  2. San Diego Comiccon, part nine by Gabrielle Bell // October 5, 2010
  3. no. 056 – @trick_or_tweet by Twaggies // April 22, 2010
  4. Mysterious Licorice All Over the Place by Laura Park // March 8, 2009
  5. Hourly Comic Day by Dominique Ferland // February 1, 2009

Sarah Morean

Lunch Break 12.27.2010

Categories:  Lunch Break
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lunchbreak_graphic_1

Lunch Break is a short round-up of favorite webcomics appearing here each weekday at noon. Here’s something for you to enjoy over your lunch break or whenever. The premise is simple: it’s another day on the internet. Here’s a new or forgotten comic that seems interesting. Have something to recommend? Email us: crosshatchdispatch@gmail.com.

  1. Phase 7 #011 by Alec Longstreth // date unknown
  2. In My Mouth by Sam Henderson // December 21, 2010
  3. Three Serious Old Men by Gabrielle Bell // December 21, 2010
  4. On flux. by Meg Hunt // September 10, 2010
  5. Garfield Minus Garfield // December 8, 2010

Sarah Morean

Indie Comics Costume Contest : IT’S ON!

Categories:  Contests
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I’m back from APE and have collected an impressive batch of minis for you to win!  I hope some of you have good costumes planned for this weekend, because it’s anyone’s game! CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS

FIVE LUCKY COSTUME CONTEST WINNERS WILL RECEIVE THE FOLLOWING:

  1. Hand-made silk-screened mini pouch
  2. L.A. Diary by Gabrielle Bell The limited edition release from Uncivilized Books featuring a rare glimpse into Bell’s own sketch book!
  3. Milky Way Shuffle by Elio One to look out for!
  4. Sour Leaves #3 by Brendan Monroe The world’s last known copies of Monroe’s beautiful 2006 mini!
  5. Covered in Confusion by Will Dinski Winner of the 2009 Isotope Award!
  6. Prologue by Kenan The book you unfold to read!
  7. One of the following:

– Sarah Morean

Fallcon 2009 Walkabout + Round Up

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fallcon2009postcardThe Midwest Comic Book Association throws a big event each year called Fallcon.  In most ways it’s a con like any other con.  Costumes, long boxes, xeroxed minis that don’t sell well, and a lot of dudes wearing black coats.

To me, the identity of Fallcon was apparent long ago: it’s just your average hero-worshiping local comic convention.  Make of it what you will, but in the end, creators go because their friends go and the more they go the more friends they know.  It’s fun, but even if you come out a few books light, you’re not leaving with a book deal and you’re rarely getting out with a date.

Fallcon is a hospitality show that fosters comics love in the Twin Cities.  It works that way because it’s basically the pet project of a very successful local comic book shop owner.  Comics love = comics business.  Our good fortune comes as easy as that but it’s not a formula that could work everywhere.  Luckily, this show is very good at achieving it’s mission, but it’s also been decidedly predictable.  Until this year.

I recently noted a change of tone in MCBA’s marketing strategy.  At least, it seemed new to me.  I perceived this year, for the first time, that the identity of Fallcon is slowly attempting to morph.  Into what, I don’t know.  But while Fallcon certainly appears to be just another fanboy-centric con to you — look again.  Look at that postcard!  This year the MCBA slogan for this show was realized by me for the first time.  Suddenly I couldn’t think of Fallcon as “just a con” anymore because, as the postcard notes, it is “A Comic Book Celebration.”

Wait.  “Celebration.” That’s like a party!  Huh-freaking-zah.  We’re all friends here.  It’s about time we got down.

That word “celebration” got me totally psyched to attend Fallcon this weekend, but looking back on things, I think I took it the wrong way.  All weekend long I sought evidence that Fallcon was much more than a sales floor, but was in fact one big swinging bash the likes of which Saint Paul, Minnnesota, would not see again until its next annual, epic appearance in 2010.  We were gonna tear down the rafters and spike the cola and open a kissing booth and gamble on real life Superman vs. Batman combat bouts in the adjacent conference room.

I took my camera and snapped what I could, but found none of this highly anticipated debauchery.  When I finally discovered the source of Fallcon’s celebration mojo, however, I was pleasantly surprised.  And while I’m sure that the celebration aspect of Fallcon takes on different forms for different people, to me it has become something very specific.

I’m taking you now on a photographic tour of the 2009 Fallcon.  Maybe the fruits of my walkabout will prove “celebration” enough to you, but it wasn’t until I reached the final piece of evidence that I really knew what it meant to have a comic book party.

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Cecil and Jordan in New York by Gabrielle Bell

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Cecil and Jordan in New York
By Gabrielle Bell
Drawn & Quarterly

gabriellebellcecilandjordancoverThey didn’t change the name of the title story or stick a group of actors on the cover or add the words “Soon to be a Major Motion Picture,” but timing reveals more than any of those things could—Cecil and Jordan in New York was released in an attempt to capitalize on Tokyo, a collection of film shorts recently released in theaters, a third of which was co-written by Michel Gondry and Gabrielle Bell. The lead off comic, which lends its name to this collection of short strips cherry picked from Bell’s work over the past few years, forms the basis of her segment in the film.

Let there be no mistake, however, while the release of Cecil and Jordan in New York is something of a thinly-veiled attempt to provide supplementary material to curious film-goers, it is, above all, an celebration of Bell’s work as a sequential artist. The decision on the part of the publisher to package the book as a fairly straightforward collection of comics, rather than a movie tie-in, is an attempt to create something that will outlast Tokyo’s likely relatively brief stint in limited theaters, a life that hinges on the quality of the strips contained inside. Fortunately as a cross section of some of Bell’s best work in recent years, there’s more than enough contained herein to sustain that life.

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Interview: Gabrielle Bell Pt. 4 [of 4]

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The final story in the latest issue of Lucky stands quietly aside from the rest of the book. “When I Was Eleven” follows the story of a young Gabrielle Bell so enamored with her experiences in summer camp the year before that she steals away from the day to day grinds that come with being an 11-year-old, opting to live out her days at the camp in the off-season.

It’s quiet, reflective, and arguably the most powerful piece in the book—in its own way, the story also goes a ways toward defining the grownup Bell who occupies the remainder of the issue.

As such, a discussion of the piece seemed an ideal place to close out our interview with the artist.

[Part One][Part Two][Part Three]

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Interview: Gabrielle Bell Pt. 3 [of 4]

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In this third part of our interview with Gabrielle Bell, we discuss the artist’s burgeoning solo career, years of anthology work, and the key differences between Lucky volumes one and two.

[Part One][Part Two]
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Interview: Gabrielle Bell Pt. 2

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The diary strip has become a nearly ubiquitous form of expression in the world of alternative comics, and while there’s certainly something to be said for that old adage about writing what you know, it’s rare to come across an artist that breaks free from the pack.

Thanks in large part to her primarily autobiographical series, Lucky, Gabrielle Bell has managed to do just that, with oft introspective short stories that focus more on the power and humor of universal experiences than the pursuit of extraordinary circumstances.

In this second part of our interview with the author, we discuss the ups and downs of autobiography and the role that the Internet has played in Bell’s storytelling.

[Part One]
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Interview: Gabrielle Bell Pt. 1

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In the decade or so since she first began distributing her work through the standard channels of black and white photocopied minis, Gabrielle Bell has fairly quickly become one of the more beloved autobiographical cartoonists in alternative comics, thanks in large part to her long-running, recently revived title, Lucky, which captures the life of a 20-something artist with frankness and unexpected humor.

In 2003, Bell moved from the Bay Area to Brooklyn. She’s appeared in a number of popular of anthologies like Fantagraphics’ Mome, and in 2006, Drawn & Quarterly began publishing Lucky, beginning with a hardbound collection of the title’s first volume. Bell has also begun to dip her feet into filmmaking waters, working with with acclaimed filmmaker Michel Gondry. The first fruits of their labor, Interior Designs is an adaptation of a piece that Bell created for the Kramer’s Ergot anthology.

We sat down with Bell upon the release of the latest issue of Lucky to talk about craft, autobiography, and what winds up on the cutting room floor.

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