Archive for the 'Athena Currier' Category


MIX 2011: A retrospecticus

    So MIX 2011 has come and gone, and I can say without hyperbole that it was the greatest comics-related weekend of my life.  I/we/Minnesota/comics are forever in debt to SARAH MOREAN for making this fantastic show happen for two amazing years.  THANK YOU, SARAH!!!  Thanks to all her staff of volunteers as well.  You are all wonderful, wonderful people and put smiles on the faces of all the exhibitors and attending public alike.  THANK YOU ONE MORE TIME!  And now…a blow-by-blow of my fabulous weekend…
    MIX began, in my mind, hours before the opening parties when the local NPR station (MPR!) had an early afternoon hour on the present and future of comics featuring Scott McCloud.  Best of all, that hour of programming opened with the announcement that is was going to be discussing comics because of–you guessed it—MIX!  Public radio loves its comics!
    Then MIX reeeeeeeeally began at 6pm with the WOMEN OF MIX exhibit at MCAD. I arrived at about 6:45.  After taking in SARAH GLIDDEN’s breath-taking pages from “HOW TO UNDERSTAND ISRAEL IN 60 DAYS OR LESS” I ran into old friends DANIEL J OLSON and KEVIN CANNON.  After chatting with them for a few minutes I attempted to get back to the art but immediately ran into CHRIS MONROE.  Chris and I had met last year at BOOK FEST, so we had that acquaintanceship (and Facebook) on our side.  Little did I know by the end of the weekend Chris and I would end up becoming bestest of friends. But I’m getting ahead of myself…
     Eventually people started clearing out of MCAD (the show closed at 8pm) and moving across town to the opening night DRINK AND DRAW/CLOUDY COLLECTIVE EXHIBIT at PINK HOBO (aka PUNY ENTERTAINMENT).  Chris was unaware of the event, but I twisted her arm (FREE BOOZE!) and convinced her to go. Doing my part to save the planet, I carpooled over dirty socialist/future L RON HUBBARD/amazing cartoonist MAXEEM KONRARDY and his friend/fellow cartoonist/MCAD alum ANNA BRATTON (who it was nice to finally meet. Love her and BRITT SABO’s “Francis Sharp” comic). Speaking of dirty socialists, on route we drove by OCCUPY MN and I swear to god PHISH was playing.  Anyway…
    After arriving at PINK HOBO, Chris and I hooked back up and enjoyed a Grain Belt and the Cloudy Collective show.  The show was spectacular, but the 2 stand-out pieces to me at had to be the ones by ED EMBERLEY and GRAHAM ANNABLE (its total bias, though). Chris and I then ventured into the back where the DRINK AND DRAW was going-on. And was it EVER going-on!  There were several large tables set-up, each covered in white paper, and all the tables were packed to capacity.  Eventually though 2 spots opened up, and as luck would have it they were at the same table as my friends NICK MUDGE and NICK STRAIGHT.  Also at that table was SCOTT SEEKINS
    If you’re not from MN you probably don’t know Mr Seekins, and I’m not going to get into it here, but all you need to know is he’s a Minneapolis fixture and he only does art that involves himself incorporated into it.  So Chris and I sat down by Scott Seekings and both began drawing Scott Seekins as Scott Seekins was drawing Scott Seekins.  Very meta.
    After some drawing and a couple beers I looked at the over-flowing mass of cartoonists and decided to do some mobile socializing.  But first…I’d need another beer.  As luck would have it, set-up next to the booze station was Conspirator/podcaster/online teacher/webcartoonist ROB STENZINGER, and the mobile chatting began.  Rob had brought with him MARK RUDOLPH (of the gone but not forgotten ART & STORY podcast) and SARAH TURNER (frequent guest of the aforementioned podcast), and it was great to finally meet them as people and not just the voices in my head.  Mark quizzed me on hotdish (whattya mean its not called hotdish everywhere?! MADNESS!), and a weekend-long running gag was born.
    Speaking of podcasters, I also finally met MIKE DAWSON shortly thereafter and we discussed the challenges of doing interview-heavy shows. Nice guy, that Mike Dawson.
    From there I just made the rounds talking to old friends and the MNtoonists I usually only get to see at conventions and openings.  But the night was getting late and we had already exceeded the 11pm closing time (the crowd had thinned out, but it was still VERY crowded).  Knowing I had to be up early the next day I headed out. A great opening ceremony.  Take THAT, Hong Kong Olympics!
    While the con didn’t open to the public until 10am, I had volunteered for early/morning last minute set-up.  Sarah cracked the whip and we said “How High” to get everything running smooth. After a few errands I ended up being a greeter/usher helping the checking-in creators find their spot.  It was fast-paced and very fun and I’m glad I did it.  It was a nice, quick way to meet many fellow cartoonists and put faces to names.  It was also great watching the place fill-up–over 200 creators filled three big rooms. Amazing!
    At 9:45 I turned in my gun and badge (still don’t know why we were issued those) and settled into my table which I was sharing with my friends and collaborators BUD BURGY and DAN MURPHY.  Dan was tabling on his own for the first time.  All he had were three minis in his ever-growing ELLE CIRKA saga, but they were easily some of the best things anyone could have purchased at the show.
    We were also surrounded on both sides by friends like BOB LIPSKI, LUPI McGINTY, STEVE STWALLEY and AARON POLIWODAJORDAN SHIVELEY and  BRETT WARNOCK of TOP SHELFwere across the way.  It was a great spot in the chilly “Papa Bear” room (And yes, the other two rooms were “Mama Bear” and “Baby Bear”. Bet you can figure out why).  The crowd trickled in immediately, and by 11:30 or so it was a full-blown frenzy. I was behind the table more or less all day. Sales were good enough for me to make a couple or rounds purchasing (aside from a last-minute spending binge on Sunday, all my profits went into others books. I only *lost* money on food and booze, but the food truck grub was AMAZING and booze is booze, so I wouldn’t actually call it losing).
    I was honored to be asked to be a part of the SALON SALOON panel and was looking forward to it all day.  When it finally started at 3:30 I was not disappointed.
    ANDY STURDEVANT puts on a hell of show with SALON SALOON, and even in the truncated MIX form it was still a great time.  Fellow guests CORINNE MUCHA, LENA CHANDHOK, and JOHN PORCELLINO were all really entertaining. As I’ve mentioned in the pre-MIX posts, John P was one of the main reasons I got into mini-comics to begin with, so to find myself onstage with him singing “OH, YOKO” at the end of SALON SALOON…well, it was just magically surreal, lets say that. Lena and Corinne were also super cool people (and great cartoonists) who I’m really glad I got to meet and get to know in such a fun setting.  Luckily, Andy let me record the whole thing and it’ll be available as a part of the LUTEFISK SUSHI PODCAST this Thursday.
    Salon Saloon ran a little long (fine by me!) so the con was more or less over by the time I got out.  Luckily while I was paneling ATHENA CURRIER and her booth-beard JASON ROBEY were hatching dinner plans!  Given the ‘ok’ to invite ‘whoever’ over to Jason’s for a home-cooked meal I wrangled Chris Monroe to forgo a nap in favor of a potentially awkward meal.  But awkward it wasn’t, not in any way, no sir!  The one to describe the whole scene was DELICIOUS (also: boozy)!!!  Jason is a master fucking chef and the company was fantastic!  So thanks Jason, Athena, Chris, Bud, Murphy, RYAN DOW, BRITT HAMMERBERG, DAN OLSON, and TED ANDERSON for a great time. (On a side note: Athena did the most heart-felt book signing of the weekend on her new ACTION ATHENA collection.  It seriously melts my blackened, ice-cold heart.  Thanks, Athena!!!)
     The official Saturday after-party was at HONEY, a place where vampires and clubbers go for orgies.  But on this night the nerds took over!  The dinner crew (plus MIKE TOFT) stuck together for a while, but as the official MIX cocktail kicked-in, the socializing spread out.  An old friend, and currently dormant cartoonist, MATT MUNN was there and it was cool to get to see him again (he finally got a new computer. Here’s hoping the return of his “ZED RECKONING” webcomic is not too far behind).  Also CATHY JOHNSON was there!  Cathy was part of the Conspiracy back when she was 17 or so.  One day Cathy left to go off to college.  I could have sworn this was like a year and a half ago, but NOPE! Cathy is a full-grown college graduate and all-around awesome adult now, and it was great to get to catch up (feeling like an old, old man however, not so great).  The aforementioned Mark Rudolph and I also had some more fun.  He’s seriously a great guy.
     All good things must end, however, and with the 10pm end of the party came the vampires and models and shitty, shitty dance music with which they would soon cover HONEY with their jizzum and blood and VD.  Smartly, Chris suggested we bolt for NYE’S POLONAISE ROOM, so that’s what we (along with BUD and STEVE STWALLEY) did.  As Bud bought the first round I nabbed the biggest table in the Polka bar which was perfect since we were soon joined by KEVIN CANNON, SARAH MOREAN, BRITT HAMMERBERG, JORDAN SHIVELEY, BRETT WARNOCK, TIM SIEVERT, and several others.
    Drunken mayhem was had by all–Sarah and I dueted a tune in the piano karaoke bar, Tim and I had a magical polka bonding moment, Chris and I had tons of laughs, and we all went horse shouting out our conversations.  Despite the fact it was Daylight Savings night and we *technically* could have stayed out drinking until 3am (since the clocks turn back at 2am–the hour MN bars close), people started scattering around 12 or so.  Only the drunkity-drunks (myself included) stayed until about 1:30–the last 45 minutes of which was spent nursing glasses of water and making deals with deities so we wouldn’t be *too* hungover the next day.
     That extra hour of sleep was a saving grace.  Sunday morning wasn’t nearly as horrific as I feared, in fact I barely had a headache at all (I also ate like nine aspirins before passing out).  It was pointed out in the morning that Twitter was abuzz with talk of hangovers and mix2011 hash-tags.  Totally not surprised.
    Sunday was bitter-sweet, though.  Knowing this whole magical weekend was coming to an end was sad, but being in the moment of it was heaven.  I made several more sales, got a bunch more books, and got to meet the several more people who had eluded me previously like SARAH GLIDDEN (who says she might move to Mpls. I hope this weekend helped sway her decision!):
    Also, JULIA WERTZ.  Julia claims her signature in my FART PARTY collection is the “worst she’s ever done” so I won’t post it here, but its a pretty hilarious and I’m honored to be in possession of the “worst” thing she’s ever done (“I saw your panel, I KNOW your name is Danno, so why did I sign it…Wait! Why am I drawing myself as a hunchback?!”).  Thanks, Julia!
    The day drew to a close.  Goodbyes started to be said all around to both new friends and old.  And before we knew it MIX 2011 was over.  There was a closing party four hours after MIX ended, but once I went home I was DONE.  I had gotten maybe eight hours of sleep total from Friday night until 5pm Sunday so i was not surprised to find myself dozing off around 8:30.  As much as I would have liked to taken part in the grand finale, I don’t think I could have physically taken it.  As I type this I’m still recovering.  But it was ll totally worth it!
    So, was MIX 2011 the best show ever?  Yes.  Deal with it, every other indie show.  You might have age and experience and the what-not on your sides, but you don’t have SARAH MOREAN, and Sarah Morean knows how to throw a fucking party!
   You’re the best, Sarah!  Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!
(Photos by me, Sarah Morean, Amaya McBatman, Puny Entertainment, and Christian Erickson. All photos (c) their respective photographer.)

Countdown to Mix: “Germ Warfare”, also: The Lutefisk Sushi Podcast episodes 3 and 4

MIX is only 3 weeks away!  CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?!?! So I’m counting-down to MIX each week with a sampling of what I’ll have to offer.  Last time I mentioned the debuts of both the MANLY TALES OF COWARDICE and SUPERMARKET VIGILANTE graphic novels, but those won’t be the only debuts I’m part of…

Conspirator, FALSE WITNESS collaborator, and person with whom in 5 days I will be very drunk with in Mexico LUPI McGINTY will finally be debuting her GERM WARFARE book at MIX!  GERM WARFARE, an anthology, tells the collected stories (by Lupi, her husband Mark, and others) of Stew and Beryl–a couple of germaphobes with a germ-prone baby.  There are also lots of anthropomorphic germs. The image above is from my very sci-fi seven page take on these characters.  I can’t wait to see the book!  Its been gestating for almost a year now.  I recently got to see the cover by ATHENA CURRIER (who will also be having a debut of her own–the collected ACTION ATHENA)and its totally amazing! Lupi is also a co-host of the GEEK REPORT podcast and they will be doing a live show at MIX as well.  So yay!!! Lots to look forward too!  I’ll see you at MIX!

Also:  The 24 HOUR COMIC DAY episode of the LUTEFISK SUSHI PODCAST is up now and the next episode–featuring the Beardhero himself–will be up come Thursday.


The LUTEFISK SUSHI PODCAST episode 2 is up!

The second episode of my LUTEFISK SUSHI PODCAST (“The audio sampling of MN cartoonists”) is up and features me having a chat with friend of this here blog ATHENA CURRIER!  Enjoy!  So watch it on the website linked to or subscribe on itunes.  Oh…and follow the podcast on Twitter @SushiPodcast


The “lost” guest artist pin-ups: Athena Currier

   Its ATHENA CURRIER Crossover Day!!!    That’s right!  I have a comic up on Athena’s webcomic “ACTION ATHENA” today, and she has an illustration here!  Next we’ll fight and then resolve our differences to battle the real foe in a classic crossover scenerio!  Or something…

   Athena is a Conspirator, buddy, frequent convention tablemate, and has popped up on this here blorg a few times before, but todays post is kinda special.  As I mentioned before this whole “lost” pin-up thing started because I was putting together a MANLY TALES OF COWARDICE collection and realized I had a TON of pin-ups–more than I’d ever be able to fit into any one collection without going broke printing it (note: that will happen anyway)–so the last thing I needed was any more pin-ups.  What I did need however was some kind of cover for the BRITISHWORTH short BRIAN BASTIAN and I did for LIL’ FUNNYRealizing I didn’t have a pin-up from Athena (and would certainly be including one if I did), I “commissioned”  her to do a Britishworth drawing, and as you can see it turned out wonderfully!  Thanks a ton, Athena!


MANLY TALES OF COWARDIC #8–part 7(of 14), also: “Re-Action Athena-ed”

    For as long as I had the idea for this story in mind, this was the only villain attacks that I had planned out from the start as to how it was going to play out.  The rest were organic based on the characters dictating the action.  Brad and Angelaura have no character.  These bastards need to be scripted.  Ugh.  Theres really nothing worse as a writer than characters you created who have no personality and make you do all the work.  Jerks.

   ALSO:  I was immortalized once again by ATHENA CURRIER (along with several of our Co-Conspirators) in her delightful webcomic ACTION ATHENA. I swear if I were rich I’d pay Athena to ghost draw  autobio comics for me.  If only I were rich……


“TOMMY CHICAGO: FCBD”–prologue, also: more cartoonists do their camping homework, and 24 Hour Comic Day

   Soon after I agreed to take over the art chores on TOMMY CHICAGO (after BOB LIPSKI felt he had to bow out due to impending fatherhood), TC writer/creator BRIAN BASTIAN hit me up to do the 2008 FREE COMIC BOOK DAY special.  I agreed as it would give me a chance to refine TC and Jimmy more before we got to work on issue 1 of the regular series.  The 12-page FCBD special would pick up where the previous years special had left off, and be part of TC FCBD trilogy, suitable for re-printing one day as its own 36 page spectacular.  Well, here it is 2010 and still no collected special.  Ah well…that just means I get to take this fun little yarn about comics, demons, and zombies and present it to you all thru October as a precursor to HALLOWEEN! 

      …The only problem is Brian and Bob did the first 12 pages, not Brian and me.  So instead of posting 12 pages of a comic I had nothing to do with, allow me to present this 2 page RECAP of that tale–in GLORIOUS COLOR, no less! 

Writer BRIAN BASTIAN had this to say about that first FCBD special:

   “I wanted to do something special for Free Comic Book Day. The Jimmy Jams store down in Rochester was a really nice store. The employees were nice, the customers were (mostly) nice, the other artists were nice (and talented). My first idea was an interactive comic, but this idea was quickly discarded because of the very real chance of Bob’s arm falling off. So I went with the “Tommy Chicago comes to Rochester” story that is recapped here.  It was also the first real Tommy Chicago parody cover (of Flash #163). I was really happy with how it ended up, and thought it was a nice little story. Little did I know that it was soon to become an epic story…”

    So there you go.  We’ll pick up on Monday with part 2 of the FCBD special.  In the meanwhile…24 HOUR COMIC DAY is this weekend.  I’ll be there for my (*ugh*) SEVENTH YEAR.   If you are so inclined you can check in on me and my equally insane drawing friends via our official MPLS 24 HOUR BLOG.  And if you’re in town you are of course more than welcome to come down to the MN CENTER FOR BOOK ARTS and say ‘hey’ in person.  Just don’t feed us after midnight.  That never ends well.

  FINALLY:  As I posted on Monday, some cartoonist friends of mine and I went “camping”.  We swore an oath to do a comic each about the experience.  So far (myself included), we’re up to 3!  First up, ATHENA CURRIER does a nice over-view of sweet, drunk, campfire talk:

   And BRITT HAMMERBERG does the sadly accurate follow-up:


MATT CHICOREL vs ‘MANLY TALES OF COWARDICE’, also: ‘GEEK REPORTICUS’, and’When Cartoonists go camping…”

  One of my favorite things about doing a series like MANLY TALES OF COWARDICE is seeing other people’s drawings of the MTOC cast, and I’ve been lucky enough to get lots of said drawings.  Recently I got a whole slew of’em (yay!).  The first came from Milwaukee cartoonist, ‘MUSCLES and FIGHTS’ co-contributor, and a guy I feel I can (after a weekend of hard-core nerd partying) actually call a friend–MATT CHICOREL:


   You might remember Matt from some rad LOST jams we did together last spring.  And while he lives far away, there is always a chance you might be seeing us do something else together in the next year or so.  Maybe.. Just sayin’…

   ALSO: It was a big weekend for me!  Not only did I get to hang out with some friends and guest host on their THE GEEK REPORT  podcast (with special guest/old friend ALEX KUNO) I also went camping with some of my other friends for the 1st ANNUAL CARTOONIST CAMPING TRIP.  Not surprisingly, all hell broke loose:

   So yeah…I was pretty drunk…and I’m MOSTLY sure events didn’t go down EXACTLY like that.  For instance…

  Here is KEVIN CANNON and I enjoying each others company–about 10 beers and a couple of glasses of Lemonade/Root Beer/Whiskey concoctions before the ‘pretty lights’.  So who else was nearly killed you may be asking…

  ATHENA’s “BOOTH BEARD” JASON , myself, ATHENA CURRIER, LARS MARTINSON, KEVIN CANNON, JAMIE SCHUMACHER, BRITT HAMMERBERG, LUPI McGINTY, and SARAH MOREAN (Click on their links to your immediate right for more on them and their wonderful works.  NICK, MARK, and STRAWBERRY MAMA not pictured).    Thanks for fun times, gang!  Can’t wait for next year!  And thanks again to MATT CHICOREL!   YAY FRIENDS!



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