Archive for the 'Altered Esthetics Gallery' Category


MANLY TALES OF COWARDICE #8–part 3(of 14), also: a “LIMINAL” preview

   I have to admit, I’m pretty fucking proud of that transition sequence there.  But there is bigger fish to fry today, see I’m in a comic art show that opens tonight–FRIDAY, FEB 4th– @ ALTERED ESTHETICS GALLERY!  It’s called LIMINAL and features the work of Minneapolis indie cartoonists Maxeem, Britt Sabo, Tim Sievert, Brett Von Schlosser, and myself.  Not only that, but all the art we did was based on the mini-comics of artists from the Netherlands–Ibrahim Ineke, Gareth Hopkins, Mark Van Katwijk, Bernard Meijer and Edmond Spierts.  Meanwhile in the Netherlands they will be putting on a show later in the month featuring all the above Dutch artists doing works based on our mini-comics (and even later on in the year the shows will swap continents and their art will be available for viewing here and our art there)!  It’s an International Cartoonist Collaboration!   You’ll have to come to the show to see how my painting based on the art of Bernard “B-MEN” Meijer turned out, but here a little behind the scenes evolution of my finished work:

   Again, to see how this turned out in a format of higher quality than a freaking cell phone camera, stop by ALTERED ESTHETICS gallery for the opening tonight or sometime in the month of February.  Hope to see you there!


‘MIX’–the Minneapolis Indie Xpo–is this Saturday!

   I really should have been making more noise about this, but MIX–the first (annual) MINNEAPOLIS INDIE XPO–is this SATURDAY AUGUST 21st at the SOAP FACTORY!  Organizers SARAH MOREAN and ANDY KRUEGER have done an amazing job setting this long-wished for indie comic con up.  For instance, just look at the amazing GUEST LIST!   And in addition to the show itself, there is a ton of pre and post show fun, including:

Thursday, August 19

Entry to the “Precious Little Film Fest” is free for the cost of regular admission. The first people through the door can pick up a free screen printed event poster (while supplies last) illustrated by Zander Cannon and hand-pulled by Pretty Picture Prints. Ticket stubs from this showing will be redeemable for a chance to win fabulous prizes!

Big Brain Comics will be offering the Scott Pilgrim comics for sale before and after the show.

St. Anthony Main Theatre
SE 115 Main St, Minneapolis
Thursday, August 19th
6:00 – Early bird poster pickup
6:30 – Film Fest begins
7:10 – Feature presentation

Friday, August 20

6-8pm : Graphic Novel Signings
Will Dinski signing his debut graphic novel Fingerprints published by Top Shelf Productions
Aaron Renier signing his YA graphic novel The Unsinkable Walker Bean published by First Second
Zak Sally signing the third issue of Sammy the Mouse published by Fantagraphics
@ Big Brain Comics 1027 Washington Ave S, Minneapolis
8pm-12am : kick-off party
– The Great Confinement
– Dreamland Faces
– Robots from the Future
@ 501 Club 501 Washington Ave S, Minneapolis

   On the day of the show itself there are a ton of great PANELS going on during the show.  And then once the show is done (wahn!), the fun just keeps on going as MIX and the other great Mpls cartoonist event of August–LUTEFISK SUSHI D–combine forces for the bestest after-party ever:

    So basically, if you’re anywhere near Minneapolis this week(end) and love indie comics, you MUST stop in for any and all of these events.  Let’s make MIX the yearly event it deserves to be!


LUTEFISK SUSHI ‘D’ opening photos, or “tonight we are all vampires”


   As you may have heard me mention (to the point you probably blocked me on Facebook yesterday) LUTEFISK SUSHI ‘D’ opened last night.  As always, I came armed with my camera: 

   I got there around 6pm as the AE crew and some of the “LUTEFISK SUSHI QUORUM of 12” members did some last-minute gettin’ ready for the 7pm public opening.

   The ‘Candy Sushi’ that LUPI, MIKE TOFT, and I made earlier in the day.

   The wonderful signage KEVIN CANNON made.  Now everything was SET!  We were ready to face the public!  The artists were starting to roll in and…… camera died.  Well, it said I had filled the memory to capacity (after 4 pictures), which I found weird since I had dumped all the photos on it earlier in the day.  Anyway…people filed in.  Talking was done.  Art was admired.  Gin was poured liberally from my trunk stash.  And the a couple hours later…

   My old buddy and pro photographer KRISSY DRAKE arrived and showed my wife how to make the camera work.  Huzzah!  This is also the point at which we all turned into red-eyed vampires.  THAT was weird, lemme tell ya.

  SEE!  I couldn’t resist the ‘dark gift’ of vampirism and immediately turned my wife.

  DAN “Van Helsing” OLSON rushed in and tried to stake me to stop the madness from spreading.  Luckily, he failed.

   BRITT HAMMERBERG–infected!!!

   Despite cash bets to the contrary, MATT KRISKE shows up…and is immediately attacked by Lestat-esque blood-lust.

   Once we were all Twilighted-up, we got back to the socializing at hand.  It was nearing 10pm and the once-massive crowd was thinning, but good times were still being had by local legends such as WILL DINKSI, AARON POLIWODA, TIM SIEVERT, ZANDER CANNON, SARAH MOREAN, STEVEN STWALLEY, BRITT, MARK McGINTY, VanHelsing, and longest-time collaborator DAN “DON” MURPHY.

  SHAD PETOSKY and KEVIN “C” CANNON talk about important subjects as RYAN DOW eavesdrops.

   My wife NICHOLE chats it up with LUPI and VanHelsing’s wife AJ.

  Look!  There’s AE founder and all around awesome person JAMIE SCHUMACHER!  

  TIME JUMP!!!  At 10pm AE turned into a pumpkin, so some of us headed over to the official Conspiracy watering hole–the world-famous YACHT CLUB!  There’s STEVE STWALLEY’s wife LEIGH-ANNE chatting it up with cartoonist  and Roe Family singer ADAM WIRTZFELD, the delightful RITA PANTON, and Conspiracy Founding Member MIKE TOFT.

   The newly christened DON chats it up Quorum member KRISTIN THOMPSON, while LANCE WARD and STWALLEY gab.

   ZANDER and SARAH are chatting about how much the upcoming MIX–MINNEAPOLIS INDIE XPO–is going to rock  (I’m assuming–about their conversation.  MIX is most certainly going to rock.  We can call that fact).

   “D” and “C” enjoy drinks and mull over where to have the annual retreat/hazing initiation of “D” with “A” and “B“.

  Have I mentioned how much JAMIE SCHUMACHER rocks?!  Seriously, we should all be so lucky to be so awesome.

    Anyway…that was more or less it.  People started peetering out.  Festivities for me ended around 1am.  It was easily one of the best nights of my life.  

    More pictures and re-caps of the night can be found HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and even HERE at the CITY PAGES.  Thanks again to everyone in the teeming crowd–friends both old and new, and strangers alike– who came to the show, making it such a massive night.   It’s one I’ll never forget!


‘LSD’–LUTEFISK SUSHI ‘D’–is today! today! today!

  LUTEFISK SUSHI ‘D’ opens tonight at ALTERED ESTHETICS gallery.  Might I present a sneak peek?

   First off, you should know what LUTEFISK SUSHI ‘D’ is. LSD is a group art show where-in the artists all create 150 copies of a  new, original mini-comic which is then placed in silk-screened bento box(and the boxes are stuffed the gills, as it were).  The boxes are sold at ALTERED ESTHETICS GALLERY, and we celebrate their creation by putting on a corresponding art show for the whole month.  So above is the comics, and now below is the art!


   A whole wall of ATHENA CURRIER is your first sight as you enter the Q’arma Building.  How she wrangled this precious position of comic ambassador I’ll never know, but it’s an awesome preface to what you get when you turn and walk thru the door of AE proper to see:

   …and that’s just the south wall.  To the north…

  (Sorry…Bud Burgy is not a permanent installation.)  The east wall is taken up by the elected ‘FEATURED ARTIST’ of the show (the person who designs the box).  This years Featured Artist is some know-it-all blowhard egomaniac.  Day-no Kolonwhiskey, or something like that.  Anyway, here’s his crap:

  Finally, the awe-inspiring display case to the east:

   And at last LSD comes to take it’s rightful place next to it’s brother and sister Sushi (and 24 Hour Comic) boxes:

   Just think–you could have all the fresh new comics of LSD for only a measly $25!  Thats only about 50 cents a comic!  An insane bargain in any language (though it’s all in English, so that helps).   BUT THAT’S NOT ALL!!!  You can also pick up a box of LITTLE FUNNY from the LITTLE FUNNY VENDING MACHINE:

 The show also features the always fun “READING LOUNGE”, complete with vintage spinner rack:

And last, but not least, you can pre-order or (possibly even WIN) your own copy of BRITT AAMODT’s upcoming book on contemporary Minnesota cartoonists “SUPER HEROES, STRIP ARTISTS, and TALKING ANIMALS”:

   That book features several of the artists in the LUTEFISK SUSHI ‘D’ show, including that jackass Kolonwhiskey.  But to me the oddest twist of all this:

   Local hipster ‘TO-DO’ rag THE CITY PAGES listed LSD on it’s ‘A-LIST’.  That’s pretty cool to begin with, but what makes it even cooler is that there is in that very same issue an article on NATIONAL BIRD–a band featuring NELS, one of the illustrious ‘STAPLEGENIUS 4’!!!  Oh, how far we have both come…

             In addition to all the amazing comics in the box and all the wonderful art on the wall, being selected as the ‘Featured Artist’ for the show has been one of the most amazing, humbling, and exciting thrills of my life.  I really hope you all come and have a great time tonight.  The show is up all month, but the party is TONIGHT!!!  See you there!!!


a brief history of ‘LSD’ (which is in 14 days, BTW)


    Now is probably a good time to mention that I am the “FEATURED ARTIST” of the LUTEFISK SUSHI ‘D’ show (which is opening AUGUST 6th and put on as a joint venture of the INTERNATIONAL CARTOONIST CONSPIRACY, ALTERED ESTHETICS GALLERY, BIG TIME ATTIC, and PUNY ENTERTAINMENT).  What this means is that despite the fact over 50 cartoonists (and writers) are contributing about 50 mini-comics to the LSD box, I have been selected by my peers to not only design this years box, but to also have a 1/4th of the gallery show to feature my work.   Previous Sushi Featured Artists have been KING MINI” , KEN AVIDOR, and KEVIN CANNON.  Needless to say I was honored and scared shitless  to be following in their shoes and ink (mostly cause you have to get all the way to KLONOWSKI before you get to a K in my name).  But really–there was no time for shitlessness.  Once I was elected last year to be the Featured Artist, I immediately had to begin work and come up with SOME kind of image for ALTERED ESTHETICS 2010 calendar.  I wasn’t ready to commit to a final image for the box/show 11 months in advance, so I came up with this instead:


   That out of the way, I was free to ignore my duties as box design guy for a few months… And then suddenly months later we needed a box design!!!  Ok, ok…I spent quite a bit of that down-time working on ideas for the box.  Box printer SHAD PETOSKY and I had a chat early on where he gave me some thoughts and advice on box design.  “Never come to house again at 4am” was the first thing he said.  Then he said to keep it simple–remember that silk-screening ink can bleed pretty easy, so the less lines (and thick ones at that) the better.  This was great advice cause going into that talk I had lots of ideas–all involving lots of small, thin lines.   

    So those were out. 

    Pages and pages and pages of drawing later…and I still had nothing I liked very much.  And then one night I decided I was running out of time and HAD TO come up with something.  Out of options I did was Hansel recommends…and I went ZEN.  I literally sat in a chair and stared off into space for well over an hour and let my mind go blank/free associate/and just work in images instead of words and thoughts.  And then it came to me:

   See, I’m a vegetarian.  But at the time I was thinking up a box design I was working with a client who earned a lunch outing every 2 weeks or so…and all he ever wanted to do was go to KFC.  I found this whole affair ridiculous, and spent a lot of time during those outings staring at KFC buckets and shaking my head.  So this is what my brain mined in a moment of zen…KFC.  Whatever.  Next I had to think up color.  Sushi boxes are always screen-printed in 2 color passes.  2 colors.  That’s it. 

    The Lutefisk Sushi ‘A’ box was black and blue.  Box ‘B’ was black and red.  ‘C’ was blue and orange.  What was mine to be?  Do I go for colors that haven’t been used yet–your greens and purples and browns–?  Do I try to develop some kind of consistent theme–black and blue have been used a lot–?  After several tests I realized blue and red were probably going to be the best way to go.  Then I started to realize you could overlap the red and blue and make an almost blackish purple.  The I realized this blue/red/purple combo looked a lot like old Ray Zone 3-D comics.   So I did a mock-up of a phony 3-D cover.   And the key word here is PHONY.  I can’t see 3-D–old school red and blue 3-D, that is.  The new-fangled movie 3-D I can see ok.  But old 3-D?  No sir.  So I proposed to the Sushi Quorum of 12 that we do a PHONY 3-D box.  It looks 3-D!  It says 3-D!  It comes with 3-D glasses!  But man–it is NOT 3-D!!! 

     Everyone loved the idea–except the phony part.  Everyone else CAN see 3-D and didn’t find it amusing in the same way I did….damn 3-D seein’ freaks…  As luck would have it Quorum member KEVIN CANNON had recently done some 3-D coloring work and was able to render a 3-D version of my box designs in no time.  Now here we are just under a year from the time this all started and the box is done and printed and collated.  See:

  It’s been like watching magic seeing it all come together.  Especially the silk-screening part.  How the hell did people ever figure out they could do that?! 

   Anyway…I hope you come see and buy the result for yourself in 2 weeks!


MANLY TALES OF COWARDICE #6–pgs 18 & 19(of 27), also: 25 days until LSD…

  These two pages have some of my favorite business in the whole issue.  If MATT RISNES, KEVIN CANNON, and I all ever hung out together in real life this is exactly how it would go.

   AlsoLUTEFISK SUSHI ‘D’ (or LSD) is in 25 days at ALTERED ESTHETICS GALLERY in NORTHEAST MINNEAPOLIS.  Here’s one of the many ways I have been preparing: 

    I have to reprint MANLY TALES OF COWARDICE mini-comics again so I have copies for LSD and for MIX, but I’m still an issue short of being ready to make one single trade (issue #8–which I’m currently penciling).   But I decided instead of making 7 separate books, I’d just make MINI-TRADES–3 of them, to be exact.  So this is the cover to the first trade.  This trade will feature MANLY TALES OF COWARDICE #’s 2 and 3, the 2007 FREE COMIC BOOK DAY story, the short that first appeared in SUPER FANTASTICA COMIX, an explanation as to why issue #1 wasn’t re-printed, and a couple other things you may or may not have seen before.


MANLY TALES OF COWARDICE #5–pgs 8 & 9, also: retrospecticus–“Iron and Candy” Cankeratures

     My favorite part of doing this bit was grabbing arm-loads of my favorite DVDs and drawing them.  This will also be remembered as the point at which I gave up and just decided to coast on Joss Whedon’s coat-tails.

    ALSO:  Last Friday (April 30th, 2010) several of my CARTOONIST CONSPIRACY Conspirators and I drew “Bad Caricatures” (or “Cankeratures“) to help raise money for our good friends at the ALTERED ESTHETICS GALLERY.  Things went very well!  The Cankeratures alone raised $200!!!  All drawings were done purely by donation, with many people only throwing in a buck or two.  Needless to say, we did LOTS and LOTS of drawing that night.  And it was pure fun.  So here’s a Retrospecticus of the evening done in photos, words, and doodles…

   The fundraiser more or less started at 7pm.  Things were slow for about 15 minutes or so until people caught on to what we were up to.  We warmed up by drawing each other (“We” being L to R: KEVIN CANNON, LANCE WARD, STEVEN STWALLEY, DAN MURPHY, and CARLOS MERINO).

DANIEL J OLSON soon showed up to join in the fun.

As did RYAN DOW.

And MIKE TOFT!  But sadly…

…Altered Esthetics Exhibitions Director KRISTIN THOMPSON devoured Mike’s head as a part of the annual human sacrifice AE performs in order to assure a successful fundraiser.

AE’s Head Priestess JAMIE SCHUMACHER blessed the sacrifice, and then the cash started rolling in!!!

LUPI dips her brush-pen in the inkwell that is Mike’s skull and then joins in the drawing fun.  And now…some satisfied patrons of the arts:

The Cankeratures were scheduled to end at 10pm.  When I had to leave at 10:30 the scene looked like this:

So yeah…a pretty huge success!  I’m pretty sure we’ll be doing things like this again soon.  Oh…and in case you noticed the wall of Cankeratures we did of each other behind us, here’s some closer looks:

What?  Those aren’t close-up enough for you?  Well, here’s some awesome Cankeratures of myself, wife, and kid to wind this up:


Me by DAN MURPHY.  That’s right, kids.  The trademarked/living joke facial hair is gone…for now. 


Me by STEVE STWALLEY.  This might be my favorite one, and only because Steve complimented my ever-greying hair.  Flattery will get you everywhere.  But enough about me.  My wife is convinced that NO ONE can draw her, so she threw down the gauntlet (and a few bucks):



The LOS.

And KEVIN CANNON bats clean-up!   Finally, my step-daughter was actually able to sit still for over 30 seconds, and here are the awesome results:

There’s the LOS again.  And last but certainly not least (since it’s one of my favorite drawings of the night):


An amazing LUPI Cankerature that was all a part of an amazing night, and I can’t wait to do it again soon!

COMING UP ON WEDNESDAY:  95% less content.



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