Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Comics Reading

On Saturday night I was in the standing part of the standing room only crowd at Vince & Pete's Three Dollar Bill Cafe. Prism Comics was sponsoring an evening of comics readings by local cartoonists, coinciding with WonderCon. The event was well-attended by a supportive & knowledgeable crowd, & I had fun time.

A wall-mounted LCD showed images from the comics while each creator read, making it a multi-media event.

Justin Hall (True Travel Tales) read from his very silly Glamazonia series & from a made-up dysfunctional family history.

Mari Naomi (Estrus Comics) provided a humorous narration to a series of woodcut-style images that revealed what a bad date she can be.

In the truest moment of the evening, Brian Andersen (So Super Duper) was so proud to share with us his labor-of-love comic that he got choked up & nearly cried.

Paige Braddock (Jane's World) gave us a teaser of the new volume of her strip Jane's World. I'm tempted to read this one just to find out more about "The Vegan Menance". Braddock was sporting a very cool varsity jacket with Snoopy fighting the Red Baron on the back of it. I had no idea that she is in fact the creative director for Peanuts licensing. According to David Michaelis's recent biography, Charles Schulz had his stroke right outside her office, & she helped Schulz prepare the final Peanuts cartoon.

Andy Hartzell (Fox Bunny Funny) solved the challenge of "reading" from his wordless graphic novel by providing a sound track for it instead. Someone vamped on the guitar while Hartzell supplied sound-effects in the manner of a foley artist.

Tommy Roddy (Pride High) directed a multi-accented cast of 10 or so & made the experience of reading his super-hero comic like watching a Saturday morning cartoon.

This was billed as a "Queer Comics" event, but there was gratifyingly little else that the presenters seemed to have in common. Each cartoonist had a distinct artistic as well as personal style. Each also put obvious thought into his or her presentation, with the result that this came close to being an evening of performance art as well. Super Duper!

(If you look real hard, you can see me in the crowd at the Three Dollar Bill Cafe.)


Verdant said...

Glad you had a great time! Now if only I could fund a Pride High animated series...

Axel Feldheim said...

How cool to receive a comment from one of the creators! & congratulations to you, Mr. Roddy, & to Justin Hall on your grant from Prism. Perhaps that Pride High animation series can really happen.