Monthly Archives: August 2013

Cartozia Tales Kickstarter — now with more rewards!


A Kickstarter campaign is underway for Cartozia Tales, an all-ages fantasy series based on a collaboratively-created map. The comics in the anthology are filled with imaginative creatures, memorable characters, secret messages and fantastical landscapes. It has been incredibly fun to work on, and the contributors’ enthusiasm really shows in the final product. Our regular contributors are Sarah Becan, Lucy Bellwood, Isaac Cates, Shawn Cheng, Tom Motley, Mike Wenthe, Jen Vaughn and me, Lupi. Each issue also contains stories by FABULOUS GUEST ARTISTS, including Dylan Horrocks, Jon Lewis, James Kochalka, Adam Koford, Kevin Cannon, and more.

The vicuñicorn: invented by Adam Koford, named by Mike Wenthe, and drawn by me.

Read more about the project, our process, and the guest artists we have lined up for the next couple issues.

For a pledge of only $28, you can get a full color 8×10 print of one of our covers or promo images.

For $36, you get an original custom watercolor portrait on a trading card from ME!

Also, digital subscriptions are now being offered as a reward, for those of you who don’t want to pay for shipping, or don’t have a lot of room on your shelves for books. Great option for readers outside the U.S.!

Autoptic Festival and Related Events This Week!

The Autoptic Festival is happening in Minneapolis this Sunday, but there are related events happening all week! Here are the event listings.

Guest list here.

Exhibitor list here.

Friday, August 16th

6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Artist reception for “Jaime Hernandez: 30 Years of Locas”
Minneapolis College of Art and Design (2501 Stevens Ave, Minneapolis, MN)
7:00 p.m.
Jamie Hernandez Artist Talk
Minneapolis College of Art and Design (2501 Stevens Ave, Minneapolis, MN)

Saturday, August 17

12:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
PFC Opening and Public Exhibition
Experiments open to the public on the half hour, (12:30, 1:30, 2:30, 3:30), in Room 430
All Day Zine Creation Workshop MCAD Concourse Gallery
Minneapolis College of Art and Design (2501 Stevens Ave, Minneapolis, MN)

4:00 p.m.
PFC Artists Talk
Minneapolis College of Art and Design (2501 Stevens Ave, Minneapolis, MN)

7:00 p.m. – 8:30 pm
EYEWORKS/SALTWATER WEATHER: Experimental Animation Screening and Shadow Puppet Play
(also on view: Bats by Marijpol)
Open Eye Theater (506 E 24th St, Minneapolis, MN)

8:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m.
Autoptic Kickoff Parrty presented by 2D Cloud
CO Exhibitions (1101 Stinson Ave NE, Minneapolis, MN)

Sunday, August 18

11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
AUTOPTIC: A Festival of Independent Culture
ARIA (105 N 1st St., Minneapolis, MN)

8:00 p.m. – Close
AUTOPTIC After Party
Red Stag Supper Club (509 1st Ave. NE, Minneapolis, MN)

Altered Esthetics Featured Artist Contest

Altered Esthetics is gearing up for its 2014 Art Shows, including a new Comic Art Show.  This show will be a stripped down version of Rock Ink Roll and Lutefisk Sushi.  Instead of focusing on publications and mini-comics, this show will strip comics down to it’s very atom, the single panel comic.  Think Family Circus.  Think Far Side.  Think your Friendly Neighborhood Political Cartoonist!
Altered Esthetics is looking for a Featured Artist for this show.  This year we will be having a Featured Artist Contest.  To apply to be a Featured Artist, draw up a single panel cartoon as submit it using this form.  Be sure to select “Comic Art” as the show you are submitting for.

The best cartoon will be used for the shows promotional material, and the cartoonist will be the Featured Artist for the show!  More information about AE’s Featured Artist Contests can be found here.

The deadline is August 31, so get drawing!

Support Local Comic Conventions!

Below is a press release from our good friends at the Midwest Comic Book Association (MCBA). The Wizard corporate behemoth has decided to directly complete against the beloved local, non-profit, volunteer-run Springcon convention. Wizard is truly the Wal-Mart of comics conventions.

Springcon and its sister convention Fallcon (both run by the MCBA) both offer free table space to professional and amateur creators… if there are any other conventions that do this, I’ve never heard of them. Their generosity and inclusiveness is pretty unbelievable. The MCBA does much to support the local comics and cartoonist community beyond the conventions as well… we are very lucky to have them around.

I encourage you all to strongly consider whether you want to support Wizard’s ugly corporate convention, designed to funnel money and energy out of our community. With your help, perhaps we can make them reconsider whether they really want their tentacles in the Twin Cities venue.

I will not be attending any Wizard conventions, ever, either as a guest or a consumer… which is an easy decision for me to make. Since I have no investment in making or reading mainstream comics, I have little to lose. Some of you may think you do have something to lose, which may make this decision more difficult for you. Keep in mind, though, if no one attends, you probably have a lot more to lose by attending it.


Seems the “New Wizard” is Same as the old Wizard

Twin Cities, Minneapolis, Saint Paul, MN (August 12, 2013) – The New York based Wizard World convention organization has once again decided to reach out and attempt to bully a long standing regional convention group. This time it’s the Twin Cities based (Minneapolis/Saint Paul, MN) all volunteer, not for profit Midwest Comic Book Association that is Wizards target.

Oddly enough the MCBA, an all volunteer, not for profit group was initially excited to hear the rumors that Wizard was coming to town. For 25 years they’ve been dedicated to providing promotions, service and support to the comic book industry and the creators/retailers who make their living in it. They viewed Wizards arrival and high industry profile as an opportunity to grow the community and looked forward to working with them in a support capacity as well. The more the merrier. Unbeknownst to the MCBA, Wizard evidently has other plans.

Every year for the past 25 years the MCBA has sponsored two public events. One is the SpringCon show, a two day show traditionally held in May and a one day show called FallCon in October. So out of all of the dates available to Wizard, they choose to schedule their premier event in the Twin Cities on May 3 & 4, 2014. Just two weeks ahead of the weekend SpringCon which is held May 17 & 18, 2014). Seems like the “new Wizard” is just like the old Wizard.

Recently, Nick Postiglione, one of the lead MCBA volunteers recently spoke with Peter Katz, Senior VP of Business Affairs& Development for Wizard who informed him “we had no idea that we were scheduling so close to the MCBAs event” and further continued that the proposed space (the Minneapolis Convention Center) “Only had the first weekend in May available to us”. The MCBA SpringCon dates for 2014 have been posted for quite some time on numerous industry websites and the MCBA website as well. In addition, one quick phone call inquiry to a space rental employee about space availability at the Minneapolis Convention Center put the lie to his availability statement. Evidently, the first week in May was specifically and strategically chosen.

Another interesting tidbit casually mentioned by Postiglione “About a year ago, we were approached by Wizard to see if we were for sale or absorption” he continued “I told them that given the fundamental structural differences in our respective organizations, that probably wouldn’t be possible. But we’d be happy to help their efforts in establishing a presence here. I just had no idea that they actually intended to land right on top of us. It’s an unfortunate situation, a huge disappointment for many of our volunteers, and ultimately a missed opportunity for the various communities we serve as well.”

There you have it. A group that has donated over 30 tons of food to the food shelves, over $100,000.00 to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, the MN Lupus Foundation and the MN Literacy council, as well as promoting retailer and creator events and other regional events is about to be bullied about by the corporate Wizard World convention machine. Again, seems like the “new Wizard” is just like the old Wizard.

Most people in the comic book world are acutely aware of Wizards history of predatory convention and comic book industry practices. Wizards will claim it is not so and that the “new Wizard” is a “much different organization” than that of years past. This is simply not true. This situation perpetrated by Wizard is a willful and purposeful attempt to corner a market and squash the local competition regardless of the negative effects it would have on the regional community and highlights, once again, Wizards self serving, predatory instincts.

To be sure, we live and work in a free market system based on competitive principles. Competition generally serves us well. But, given the unique nature of the comic book industry, the situation is definitely unique and traditionally acts as such. It’s a multi layered community composed of many different, and ever evolving, wildly diverse creative and financial elements. Minneapolis St. Paul is the 15th largest media market in the United States and should easily be able to handle two events of this type. However, that’s not in question here. What is in question is Wizards ethics.

It’s all about timing and making a proactive choice to help build a community or deciding to simply show up, bully the locals and pillage what others have built. The question is obvious “Is there a difference between having the right to do something as opposed to doing what’s right?” Evidently everyone, except Wizard, knows the answer to that question is “Yes!”

While this issue may or may not be concerned with your specific geographical area or affect the way your participate in the world of comic books right now, make no mistake, it is your community here that is under assault and this is your call to action! Vote with your dollars and your heart when choosing what events to support and attend. Please e-mail or call Peter Katz at Wizard and let him know where you stand regarding this type of predatory market behavior. Your community needs you to be heard!

Based on what the MCBA has stated in public, if Wizard did the right thing regarding their event dates, they would welcome them with open supportive arms and continue to help build a bigger, better, healthier comic book community for all of us.

FW – The Super Anti Wizard Guy


Special thanks to the peacemakers at the MCBA who provided the information used in this press release.

Peter Katz – Wizard World – (646) 801-5572

Minneapolis, Saturday Open Studio, Aug. 17, noon to 4 pm

Come on down to the open studio on Saturday, August 17, noon to 4 pm, at the Minnesota Center for Book Arts. Meet, talk, and draw with a few of your fellow cartoonists. We’ll be at the flexi-space (low tables).

The coffee shop will be open. There are outlets for your devices, plus coffee-shop wi-fi.

There is free parking in the MCBA lot immediately east of the building. If the lot is full, go to the metered street parking on 3rd Street (one block south of Washington Ave.) for 25 cents an hour, or to the higher-priced meters on the other streets. Or, walk or ride your bike.

This is an open studio — all are welcome. Feel free to hang out, draw, or whatever.

Saturday, August 17, from noon to 4 pm, at the flexi-space (low tables).

Minnesota Center for Book Arts
Open Book building
(just west of Big Brain Comics)
Minneapolis, 1011 Washington Ave. South

Welcome to MCBA!


Future Saturday Open Studios:
September 7, bindery (high tables)
October 19, flexi-space (low tables)
November 9, flexi-space (low tables)
December 21, bindery (high tables)