Thursday, March 24, 2011

Your chance to help Secret Prison in 2011

Secret Prison, a Philadelphia-based free comics tabloid, has 10 more days to raise funds to keep it in print for 2011. It's doing well, but we need a final push to get it through the home stretch. Put it this way, if 25 people pledged $15 for a year's subscription, we'd be done. Or if 19 people put up $ get the idea, it's that simple.

So, why should you support Secret Prison? Because issue #4 has a great lineup of artists, who are doing everything possible to make new and original comics that you're not going to see in your local newspaper, or in any mainstream comic. Because it's a completely grassroots effort, no one has our backs on this one. The NEA isn't sending a grant our way, and the big shot museums and galleries are too busy putting up their noses to take notice. Because YOU believe that emerging artists need a venue to not only be published, but to help them find their voice and an audience for their work.

None of the artists putting together Secret Prison need to be doing this. We have bills to pay, jobs to go to, families to raise. But to tell us not to make comics would be like telling us not to breath. It's in our blood and our DNA, and we believe that it's important not only to us but to the cultural life of the city, and comics community as a whole. Sure, the Web is good and all, but there's something to say for that printed matter, being given something where each page offers a new world to explore. Some are funny, some are demented, some are downright weird and obscure. But each is a unique and singular voice worthy of recognition.

If you think that Jersey Shore, Dancing with the Stars, and Battle: LA are the only things that the culture at large has to offer, then all I can do is feel sad for you and your dull, boring world. Because there are artists right in your own backyard making incredible things, and one of those is Secret Prison. So step up, show your support, and help us make this happen!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Best Show Related Material

Both of these images saw the light of day a while ago, but I figured I would post them since I have a personal connection with at least one of the people depicted, and they are both connected to a radio show that I'm a big fan of, The Best Show on WFMU.

The top poster I made for my friend Geneva, who is currently in the running to take over for Best Show Protégé (or Protégée, in her case). Sara Bauer (of Hey Pais fame) came up with the idea, and then Geneva sent it my way to take a crack at it. I'm not sure how formal this campaign is, but it's been a fun aspect of discussion within the FOT community. One of the reasons that I even listen to the Best Show is because Geneva was always talking about it when we both lived in Minneapolis. At the time, I was listening to WFMU, just not the Best Show. But after Geneva's high praises, I finally gave it a listen, and I haven't turned back. So, for obvious reasons, I think it's only fitting that Geneva be granted protégée status.

The below image is of Best Show caller Laurie from Miami (now Chapel Hill), which was made for the Best Show trading cards that were part of the marathon rewards pack from 2010. I actually made it last summer, and from what I've heard, the cards are now being delivered (at least I hope the rumor is true...). Through that fabled network of 'friend-of-a-friend-of-a-friend,' I was asked by Best Show host Mr. Tom Scharpling to make the image, and I was only too happy to oblige. Laurie's library background gave me a chance to include a lot of Best Show related material, so click on the image to have a good look at the background.

Thank you Geneva! Thank you Tom! And thank you Laurie! Glad I could help in some small way.

Charlie Rose Sketch Card

I made a boast on Twitter that I was making a Charlie Rose sketch card, and I wasn't lying. Not sure what inspired it, but I figured he deserved one.

What can I say, Charlie Rose's show is really one of the last places in the media landscape where you can find critical, intelligent discussion. You're just not going to find it on any of the cable channels, and so I'm glad there's at least one outlet that can support his type of show.

Watch, and broaden your horizons. You won't regret it.