Archive for the Conventions Category

Odds and Endpapers

Posted in Conventions, Monster Alphabet with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 19, 2011 by Paul Swartz

Hey, y’all. Sorry for the hiatus. It’s been a busy few weeks, what with MoCCA and Paint and Pixel to attend and thesis work (at this late stage it’s mostly the busywork of printing, binding, etc.) to complete*.

The conventions were well worth attending, though. When I tabled at MoCCA last year, it was the first con I’d ever worked. I feel like I’ve learned so much since then. It was a very rewarding weekend. I sold well and enjoyed my glimpses of civilized living. I can’t wait to move down to New York!

Paint and Pixel, in Northampton, was an especially pleasant surprise. For a new, small convention it was really well attended. There were lots of great people there, both behind and in front of the tables. It’s pretty much the closest thing there is (yet!) to a CCS con, so that felt pretty cool. It’s also kind of the Hampshire con, as Hampshire is probably our biggest feeder school.

It was nice for me to get back to Northampton, where I once spent a lot of time as an intern at the National Yiddish Book Center in Amherst. I can’t overstate how much I like the town. It’s really beautiful and a little European, filled as it is with old stone churches and humble tenants in grand buildings. I specifically remember an out-of-place-seeming Urban Outfitters. Where I’m from, the city is much newer and more homogeneous. There’s a lot less architectural hermit crabbing there and most of what there is involves the repurposing of Pizza Huts.

My favorite collision of the old and new in Northampton is definitely the (sadly) defunct comics museum, with its subtle, second glance-requiring Ninja Turtle gargoyles.

Anyway, I’m finally back to the studio and back to work, which feels great. It’s about time. I’ve been very anxious to get working. The only new work I’ve been able to do in the last couple of weeks has been on stickers (see the mole up top) and on the endpapers for “Meet the Monsters.” Here they are:

I like the design a lot. If there’s a cryptozoologists’ guild out there, or even just a casual cryptozoologists’ club, I’d be happy to work something out with them logo-wise.

* As some of you may have heard, I’ve also been auditioning for “Jeopardy!” I’ve got a pretty good feeling, but I’ve also got a year and a half to see it confirmed or contradicted. I’ll keep y’all posted.

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New World Nude Revue!

Posted in Conventions, Illustration with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 25, 2011 by Paul Swartz

The above is a drawing I did for Vintage Sleaze, a blog dedicated to showcasing the work of “forgotten, anonymous, and neglected sexy artists of the 1950s.” The site is an exhaustive, authoritative, and lovingly-compiled catalogue of risque art. It’s also a lot of fun to read. If you’re looking for someplace to start, my piece is here.

How I came to contribute to Vintage Sleaze is actually kind of an interesting story. A month or so ago, I was contacted by the site’s author, Jim Linderman. He had found my blog during a search for an (even more) obscure cartoonist by the name of Paul Swartz*. Lucky for me, Paul Swartz the Elder did his cartooning in the 1920s and 30s (when he was a lot less obscure), so I don’t have to worry about picking up a pen name…or driving him to do the same! Anyway, Jim liked my work enough to ask me to contribute to his new series “Contemporary Vintage Sleaze,” in which cartoonists of today channel early and mid-twentieth century smut, producing risque works that are retro in style, substance, or both. It’s an honor to be numbered among accomplished contributors like Vanessa Davis, Gary Panter, and Antonio Lapone (who I’ve only just discovered through this series). When you’re reading back through the archives, be sure not to miss the debut entry by the lovely Lena Chandhok!

I’m not exactly sure what my illustration is supposed to be. It’s got a Deco sensibility, with a heavy infusion of Swartz, and is meant as an homage to 1920s poster work. I’m undecided, though, on whether it’s supposed to be a poster for a patriotic burlesque that might have been, or an allegorical cartoon about the ravenous lust/blinding love that the men of the world felt for America (personified here by Lady Liberty). Also, is the cartoon Nativist (cruelly caricaturing the immigrants as ravening wolves, set to defile the New World), or does it sympathize with them; Lady Liberty’s sly smirk portending trouble for her suitors? Maybe it’s just a goofy drawing that reminds us that the fantasies, promises, conquests, and betrayals by which we build nations are the same tools we use in the pursuit of romance.

One weird thing I did learn while working on this drawing is that I have a preoccupation, apparently, with the Statue of Liberty. This is not the first sexy Statue of Liberty I’ve drawn. She also appears in “Jaws of Defeat,**” stonewalling a giant JFK on the prowl. I also have a “Mockingbird” chapter cover that features Irving’s face on the famous statue. So that’s weird. When he spoke at our school last year, Vermont’s first Cartoonist Laureate, James Kochalka talked about the self-knowledge you gain by, in his case, drawing daily diary comics for a decade. One of the weirdest discoveries he made was that, over the years, he had drawn two unrelated strips in which he mused (not eagerly, I should be clear) about having sex with trees. That talk stuck with me and it was fun to suddenly have a quirky discovery like he did. Still, I’m glad that mine was mine and his was his.

Finally, on another note, if you live anywhere near Northampton, Mass., or anywhere in the Upper Valley, really, you should come see Lena and me at the Paint and Pixel Festival on April 16th. It’s only $4 for adults and $2 or free for kids (depending on their age). We’ll be there with our own table, but a slew of other CCSers will be there too, manning a school booth and leading workshops. Even if you’re not in the area, check out our slick profiles on the site’s main page! Just click on the image displayed to see more pics and a bio.

* Jim was kind enough to send me five original pages by the original Paul Swartz, which are a lot of fun and surprisingly relevant to my interests. They tend to portray forgotten Vaudevillians of the 1930s, which is what my “Mockingbird” comic is all about. I’ll be sure to scan them and post them sometime.

** I’ve really got to post the rest of this.

And the Winners Are…

Posted in Conventions, Merchandise with tags , , , , , , , , on March 10, 2011 by Paul Swartz

The poll is closed and the results are in! The following four charms/keychains are going to be printed and sold at MoCCA and online. In descending order of popularity, they are:

Unfortunately, I just wasn’t able to get second place finisher Humanzee to work. He was printing way too dark, with his fur and smoking jacket (which is to say, most of him) blending into the black background too much. I’ll work on recoloring him with a view to printing a charm for Heroes Con or something. For now, though, I’ve bumped the fifth place design (the Lounge Lizard) into the winners’ circle.

Thanks for voting, everyone. And my apologies to all ape enthusiasts. I hope you can forgive the Putin-style chicanery.

Space Balls-the T-shirt, Space Balls the Coloring Book…

Posted in Conventions, Merchandise with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 5, 2011 by Paul Swartz

I’ve always thought that I could design some great toys. I think my characters would translate really well into plastic and the world of three dimensions. Someday I’ll have to learn to make toys, but, until then, I’ll take what I can get as far as merchandising opportunities go. Recently, I was clued in to a pretty good one.  I’m very excited to tell you that I’m going to be making up a batch of plastic keychains depicting my characters! Thanks to the folks at Printsess, I’ll be able to sell two inch acrylic keychains/charms at MoCCA this year.

I’m not sure which characters make for the best, most salable keychains, but I bet you are! Below are 11 designs. Check them out and then vote for your favorite in the poll at the bottom of the page. I’ll probably end up printing the top four vote-getters, barring a a blowout. If you have the time and the inclination, leave a comment ranking the designs (at least your top four) and telling me if you would be interested in buying some keychains yourself. Whatever stock I have left over after MoCCA I’ll sell here on the website, off a yet-unlaunched store page, perhaps. If I see a great demand, though, I’ll take orders and print keychains specifically for sale here. If you’re interested, they’ll probably run about $5 each. I’m thinking of starting off with a 50 piece order for the con, but that could change.

So vote, and vote now! I’ve got to get this order in soon, so I’ll probably only let the poll run through Tuesday or so. And if your going to do my poll, why not do Lena’s too? She’s doing the same thing over at her blog and would appreciate some input.

Anyway, without further ado, here they are: Your lovely contestants:

1) Alien

2) Axolotl

3) Bat4) Dragon

5) El Diablo

6) Golem

7) Humanzee

8) Lounge Lizard9) Nessie

10) Quetzalcoatl11) Slot Bot

Come to My Show(s)!

Posted in Conventions, Shows with tags , , , , , , , on October 16, 2010 by Paul Swartz

Well, I’m happy to announce that the page I submitted to the Charlotte Arts Catalyst coloring book is going to run in the finished publication. For anyone who might be interested, there’s going to be a release party for the book on Saturday, October 16th (tomorrow) at Pura Vida Worldly Arts (old 1521 Central Ave. location) fro 6 to 10. There will be music, food, and books and art to browse and buy. So, if you’re in the Charlotte area, come and see my work on the page and on the wall!

Also, if you happen to be in Pittsburgh this weekend, come by my table at PIX (the Pittsburgh Indy Comics Expo)! I’m here with three awesome fellow CCSers: Lena H. Chandhok, Max Mose, and Carl Antonowicz. Be sure to look them up too! I’ll be sharing a table with Lena, and Max and Carl shouldn’t be too far away. PIX is an exciting new indie con and I’m thrilled to be around for it’s premier year. This is a big year for these new -IX cons. I just tabled at the inaugural MIX (Minneapolis Indie Expo) in August.

OK, I’m off to get some sleep. Wish me luck this weekend!