LITTLE NEMO meets CAROUSEL!

 nemo carousel

Please join us at the Society of Illustrators on Saturday, March 14th at 2pm for

                                                         LITTLE NEMO meets CAROUSEL

A performance and tribute to cartoonist Winsor McCay

Carousel, the comics reading & performance series, presents a tribute to Winsor McCay’s Little Nemo. The show features cartoonists from the Locust Moon Press anthology LITTLE NEMO: DREAM ANOTHER DREAM, plus a special presentation by animation historian and Oscar-winning filmmaker John Canemaker.

Besides being one of the greatest cartoonists of all time, Winsor McCay was also a popular and innovative vaudeville performer, so this show is a perfect way to honor his amazing legacy.

With readings, animations, and performances by: John CanemakerMaëlle DoliveuxMaria HoeyAdriano MoraesDave ProchAndrea TsurumiRonald Wimberlyand special guests. Plus a slide show drawn by Dean Haspiel (not appearing in person).  Hosted by R. Sikoryak.

The Society of Illustrators, 128 East 63rd Street (btwn Park & Lexington Avenues), New York City.

Admission: $15 Non-members, $10 members, $7 seniors/students.

Also on display: an exhibit with original art from the Locust Moon Press anthology LITTLE NEMO: DREAM ANOTHER DREAM. The exhibition runs through March 28, 2015.

ABOUT THE ARTISTS

Animation historian and Oscar-winning filmmaker John Canemaker presents animation’s first female personality: the spunky dinosaur Gertie, who celebrated her 100th birthday last year.  Winsor McCay’s breakthrough film is a masterpiece of early character animation, a type of individualization in animation whose legacy is the pantheon of Walt Disney.  Canemaker is the author of twelve acclaimed books on animation history, including the only biography of Winsor McCay. He is a tenured professor and head of the animation program at NYU Tisch School of the Arts, and his short The Moon and the Son won a 2005 Academy Award as Best Animated Short. JohnCanemaker.com

Maëlle Doliveux is a French and Swiss illustrator, cartoonist and animator who’s clients include Newsweek, The New York Times, The Boston Globe, and Motorola. She graduated from the MFA Illustration as Visual Essay program at the School of Visual Arts in 2013, has received recognition from the Society of Illustrators, the Art Director’s Club and American Illustration as well as having been a jury member for the Society of Illustrators in 2015.www.maelledoliveux.com

Emmy award winner and Eisner Award nominee Dean Haspiel created BILLY DOGMA, illustrated for HBO’s “Bored To Death,” was a Master Artist at the Atlantic Center for the Arts, is a Yaddo fellow, a playwright, and the co-founder of Hang Dai Editions. Dino has written, drawn, and collaborated on many superhero and semi-autobiographical comix and graphic novels. http://www.deanhaspiel.com

Maria Hoey is 1/2 of Coin-Op. A studio started with her brother Peter in 1998. Together they create illustrations, animations, and comic stories. The best possible job on the planet.  Coin-Op studio is at www.peterhoey.com.

Adriano Moraes is a Brazillian born cartoonist working as freelancer in NY on almost all mediums from theater to film, illustration, animation, puppetry, burlesque shows, graphic design and advertising. He sucks at singing and dancing but that never stopped him. facebook.com/theadriano

Dave Proch is a Philadelphia based cartoonist and the creator of the ongoing serial book, “Mango Lizard”. He can be reached at www.daveproch.com.

Andrea Tsurumi is an illustrator and cartoonist who likes history, absurdity, dogs and monsters (in no particular order). Comics of hers have appeared in The Graphic Canon of Children’s Literature, Flashed: Sudden Stories in Prose and Comics, The Nib and Quarter Moon. Her work has been described as “strange and emotive.” She likes funny stories, lives in New York City, and you can see her work at www.andreatsurumi.com

Ronald Wimberly is an artist who works primarily in design and narrative. He is an accomplished illustrator and cartoonist, having designed several graphic novels as well as shorter works for DC/Vertigo, Nike, Marvel, Hill and Wang, and Dark Horse. His last work was the critically acclaimed Prince of Cats for DC/Vertigo. http://ronwimberly.com/

R. Sikoryak is the cartoonist behind Masterpiece Comics (Drawn & Quarterly).  He’s also recently drawn for The New York Times Book Review, The Graphic Canon of Children’s Literature, SpongeBob Comics, Hellboy, and more.www.rsikoryak.com

For more info: societyillustrators.org

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The Locust Moon Top 40: July 2014

40. THE WICKED + THE DIVINE

The new Image series from McKelvie & Gillen, a sort of bottomless bonus track to their dark-magic rock opera PHONOGRAM, is one of the most promising series to debut in 2014.

40 wicked divine

39. This NSFW Spider-Man Statue

This baffling statue, atop a South Korean shopping mall, gives new meaning to the phrase “web fluid.”

40 spiderbone

38. CHARLES SCHULZ’S PEANUTS: ARTIST’S EDITION

This beautifully designed collection of unaltered original Peanuts artwork brings us Charles Schulz’s earliest strips just as he made them — raw, unfiltered, and a little bit mean.

40 peanuts

37. OUTCAST

The world-weary horror of Robert Kirkman’s story is brought to life by the atmospheric, choking tension of Paul Azaceta’s moody, worrisome artwork. A promising debut for what looks to be a truly frightening series.

40 outcast

36. This Animated Lobster Sculpture

Very lifelike. Keep it far away from butter sauce.

40 lobster
35. THE LEFTOVERS

This off-beat, darkly funny, sprawlingly intimate HBO series, based on Tom Perotta’s novel of the same title, follows life in a small town in the years following the Rapture.

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the palace of ice

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this is the book that launched my love affair with little nemo and winsor mccay. up until receiving this book as a christmas present, i had only heard of this master artist and cartooning genius. this book held pure, unbridled wonder from cover to cover, and it was impossible to read it and walk away unchanged. over the years the particular copy i have has acquired a kind of totemic power for me; although i know its contents by heart, opening it up has a mesmerizing effect, a feeling of being transported that i can’t quite describe.

hopefully someone will have that feeling when they open LITTLE NEMO: DREAM ANOTHER DREAM.

maybe they’ll be able to describe it better than i.

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–chris stevens

The Hands of the Masters

If you check in here with any regularity than I’m sure you know we’ve launched our Kickstarter for LITTLE NEMO: DREAM ANOTHER DREAM and that the book is done and off to the printer.

Let’s watch a few of the artists involved with the book do what they do best: draw. First up, the man of the hour himself, Winsor McCay.

Bill Sienkiewicz, with a sharpie!

Paul Pope, a few months back…

Here’s Dean Haspiel slinging some ink…

The boys from Brazil, Gabriel Ba & Fabio Moon, at work…

There should be a TV channel dedicated to this. Shouldn’t there?

TCAFtermath

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The Toronto Comic Arts Festival was, as expected, a beauteous beast, a many-headed hydra of pure comics wonder. It’s the greatest North American convention, bar none — the most efficiently run, thoughtfully curated, ambitiously imagined show that we’ve ever been to. Every second at TCAF is a teachable moment for us, an object lesson in how to create an event worth of the phrase “comics festival.”

We were lucky to share a table with the incomparable Laura Lee Gulledge, who was there promoting her beautifully sincere and personal YA graphic novels WILL & WHIT and PAGE BY PAIGE. We couldn’t imagine a better tablemate or partner in misadventures throughout the weekend. Go check out Laura Lee’s stuff.

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While our sales this year didn’t quite match the insane explosion of commerce that was last year’s TCAF, we still did very brisk business, turned a lot of Torontonians on to ONCE UPON A TIME MACHINE, 36 LESSONS IN SELF DESTRUCTION, and QUARTER MOON, and had ourselves a grand old time.

Seated to our left was the cartoonist and illustrator Renee Nault, whose stunning prints and gorgeous comics we had somehow never seen or heard of before. This is the beauty of TCAF — you’re constantly tripping over geniuses, pushing your way through a horde of visionaries. Renee’s table was constantly thronged by eager comic fans, and sometimes when she would go to the bathroom Andrew & I would sell her stuff, pretending we were the authors of these exquisite watercolor mermaids and comics about witches. Over the course of crappy afterparties at The Pilot House (TCAF! You can do better!) and failed 2 a.m. quests for karaoke, we strong-armed her into doing a little something with us in the very near future.

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Over the course of four days in Toronto we were treated to a mind-blowing lesson in comic shop entrepreneurialism from Alex Hoffman of The Beguiling and a terrifying demonstration of the purposes and iconography of the Australian aboriginal killing stick from Cody Pickrodt. We ate Korean barbeque and okonomiyaki, which is some kind of Japanese pancake that appears to have live fish swimming on top of it. We talked Liefeld with Ed Piskor and watched Tom Scioli scribble endlessly more insane layouts for his face-meltingly weird and original take on G.I. JOE VS TRANSFORMERS. (Tom seemed to be drawing at literally every moment of the weekend, over dinner, at bars, at his table, comics spilling from his mind faster that they could be sketched. Tom is the only person I know who can dominate a conversation with his face buried in a sketchpad. Electricity crackles off this dude like no one I’ve ever met — he seems less a cartoonist than a conduit for comic book revelation.) We caught up with our pals R. Sikoryak and Kriota Willberg, and Maria & Peter Hoey. (When I broke a pint glass in a bar called the Spotted Dick, Maria helped me hide the evidence.) Daryl Seitchik explained the difference between pink noise and brown noise and gave us a copy of her stunning new book 477 BRIGHT CIRCLE. We discovered that there is a place where the pizza is worse than West Philly, and it is called Toronto. We shared in the rare luxury of Porter Airlines with Maritsa Patrinos and Rebecca Mock one way and our hometown Dirty Diamonds crew on the other. We tipped drinks with cartoonists we’ve long admired but never met, like Luke Pearson, Gabrielle Bell and Jesse Jacobs. We shopped at The Beguiling and lusted after their DREAMS OF THE RAREBIT FIEND McCay original. We plotted world domination — pardon me, wider distribution — with Jared Smith of Big Planet Comics. We forgot to take photos. We ate between six and ten pounds of poutine. (Pic courtesy of Laura Lee.)

tcaf poutine

Meanwhile, back at the actual show, we copped books from Taddle Creek Press and Andrea Tsurumi‘s gorgeous new HOW TO POOL mini (to be featured in QUARTER MOON 4), rediscovered Zac Gorman‘s hilarious and heartrending piece of video game-inspired cartoon poetry MAGICAL GAME TIME in physical form, met Christina Ellis (whom I wish we had known when we were putting together our erotica mag), and cracked jokes with illustrator extraordinaire and QUARTER MOON 4 cover artist Steve Mardo. We got really mad at Ben Marra for selling out of TERROR ASSAULTER before we could grab any, then realized that Ben could kick our asses and quickly apologized. We sold QUARTER MOONS and 36 LESSONS IN SELF DESTRUCTION to Peter Birkemoe from The Beguiling, because a comic that’s not in stock at The Beguiling cannot really be said, in the truest sense, to exist at all. We discovered a weird little handmade hardcover book of woodcut porn, and we’re kicking ourselves for (a) not buying it and (b) forgetting the name of it. A little help anybody?

All in all, it was what you expect from this greatest of all conventions: a weekend full of cartoon glory, alternatingly passionate and hysterical conversations, and an ever-widening sense of the constantly expanding breadth and depth of this beautiful, broken industry we call home.

Still, it feels like we were just skimming the surface. TCAF is too big, too beautiful — you’re always in the process of missing out on hundreds of remarkable things. Do we really have to wait another year?

-Josh O’Neill
(& Andrew Carl)

P.S. Whoever’s spreading rumors of the LOCUST MOON COMICS FESTIVAL’s incredible ice cream (Little Baby’s!), please don’t stop. But also, don’t forget the puppy truck.

P.P.S. This is what Andrew & I look like when we talk about farts.

tcaf afterparty

The Locust Moon Top 40: March 2014

40. DESTINO

This is what it looks like when Walt Disney and Salvador Dali sort of collaborate. Sure makes you wonder what could have come of a deeper partnership.

39. BASEWOOD

Another delicious fruit of the Kickstarter era. Never before would a work as personal and idiosyncratic as Alec Longstreth’s BASEWOOD have seen publication in such a beautifully produced oversized edition, a handsomely made book containing a flawlessly cartooned story of loss, survival and connection.

basewood

38. GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL

OK, so none of us have actually gotten around to seeing it yet. But we’re so happy to have more Wes Anderson in the world that we’re listing it anyway.

37. MONSTERS & TITANS – the BATTLING BOY art book

Finally, we can see BATTLING BOY artwork the way it deserves to be seen: BIG.

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36. This Terrifying Short Film

Watch if you’re sick of sleeping, and would prefer never to do it again.

35. New Wu Tang Album

They are pressing one single copy of their new double album, which will be sold to the highest bidder. Something tells me we won’t end up finding this one for $3 in the bargain bin of the Princeton Record Exchange, like we did with 36 Chambers in 1997.

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On Annie Lennox, David Bowie, and Waking Up

Imagine: you are a seventeen-year-old Annie Lennox, 1972. Listening to Ziggy Stardust with headphones plugged in to the hi-fi, alone with the songs, trying without luck to solve the seemingly insoluble mystery of what in the world this Spider from Mars is doing to you. Stuck in your shabby little teenage life, receiving this interstellar transmission that lays you open, hits you where you’re weak. You close your eyes and the music envelopes you. This little room in this worn down house, your bad haircut, your petty kid confusions — they all fade away and you are there in the bigger, scarier world from which this stuff is broadcast, this shadow dimension that feels realer to you than the mundane one in which you live. John, you’re only dancing.

Jump two decades, 1992. Here you are in London in your billowing dress and sequins, with your white-painted face and black-painted eyes in the visage of some dark goddess, having successfully climbed through the speakers into that other world, the one made of music and sex and voodoo, the one where this impossibly beautiful shape-shifting genius lives. He’s right here, Ziggy himself, Alladin Sane, the Thin White Duke in a pale green suit – you can see him, you can touch him, and even better you can sing with him. Not just any tune, but UNDER PRESSURE – this four-handed battering ram of a song, this song that doesn’t make sense at all unless its performers wield it as a weapon and try to burn each other down with hungry love. It’s a song that you have to try to win, and if it works its magic and the center holds you fight to a draw, close it out having laid everything on the line, Rocky and Apollo Creed clinging to each other, barely standing, spent – ain’t gonna be no rematch.

So here’s you, dizzy, drunk on impossibility, unsure sure how you got here in front of this sea of humanity, fronting Queen with David Bowie – you’re supposed to be paying tribute to Freddie Mercury, but for the moment it feels like you are Freddie Mercury, and didn’t he and Bowie fuck? Who knows what the rest of the night holds. You know one thing: you will give yourself to this performance, this moment, this song. You’ll get its blood under your fingernails. You’ll hang yourself from it like a cross, let it tear you limb from limb. You’ll sing it harder, louder that Mercury ever did, you will sing it better than the imponderable creature singing with you, this flesh & cheekbone godling with the mirrored eyes and lacquered hair – he’ll sing it like he always does, just like it sounds on the record, the consummate showman, his three decade career beyond its finest days, but damn if he doesn’t look ageless, good as ever, better even – he’ll sing it well but you’ll sing it like you’re trying to stave off execution.

And after the breakdown, with barely a moment to catch your breath, as the melody starts to build again to the shattering keen of its climax, you’ll let yourself get carried away: standing together on the lip of the stage you’ll wrap yourself around him, feeling his cool body and hot breath, his pulse barely elevated because he’s David Bowie, and what would it take in 1992 to make his heart race? You’ll push your face against his, feeling the softness of his skin, his fresh shave — he is human, after all, not an ambisexual android, not the man who fell to earth, just some person of impeccable vision, a dreamer who built a better myth, newer, sleeker, that turned on multitudes, multitudes which include you. And you’ll pull yourself closer to his body, constricting on him as tightly and ferociously as you’ve splayed yourself out across this song.

It’s erotic to be sure – your lip-quivering longing as you touch him with your mouth, push your space-face close to his – but it’s bigger and wider than lust, it’s wishful identification and hero worship and ego and sorcery and transcendence, that whole larger than life rock & roll current burning through you. It’s an erection of the heart. You want to fuck him, of course, that goes without saying — but what you really want to do is combine with him in violent harmony, your claws in each others’ hearts as reality comes crashing down around you in some kind of metaphysical orgasm, little death made huge, two perfect post-gender geniuses locked in an Ouroboros of art and fame and sex and myth and music.

You push in, closer and closer, your eyes closed, as dreamy as they were listening to Ziggy on the floor of that boring teenage house. You let the song, this perfect song, carry you, your lips moving ever nearer to his but never touching, some tantric proof of Zeno’s paradox, your heart hammering, your voice swinging every note like a haymaker, your eyes tight as he keeps his gaze set dead on the crowd, the perfect performer, deflecting every gaze, shining back the light shone on him brighter and hotter. Happily withholding everything, so utterly comfortable with his role as a totem, an object of painful longing and unmanageable desire, from you, from the crowd, from the world. Enjoying your perfect love but betraying nothing, letting your pure incendiary thirst hang hopefully in the air. Until the note ends and with a sly smile he steps away, finally looking at you, snapping his fingers, and the greatest moment of your life is over.

Or maybe your heart can’t handle that kind of thunder. So forget Annie Lennox, try this one on: you are me in 2014. A fledgling comic publisher and retailer with a career that’s half imaginary, no book that’s done any big sales, no money, no business plan to speak of, just a lot of love and partners who constantly inspire you and an unshakeable desire to make comics even though you don’t really know how and can’t draw, a fixation that you don’t entirely understand but you know stems from the fact that comics did something to you when you were a kid, worked some kind of strange magic and you never shook it off so now you’re stuck in this fucked up industry with no idea what you’re doing, with nothing on your side but this pure want.

And you and your dudes wind up concocting this tribute to Winsor McCay, who is your favorite cartoonist of all time (tied with Bill Watterson), start pitching it to people and suddenly the thing takes on a life of its own and the lineup of contributors reads like a list of the people whose work you admire most, some of them the actual ones who enchanted you in those formative, bad haircut, transmission-from-another-planet years.

All these pages start pouring in and they’re so wild, so massively ambitious, just full of sublime desperate passion, all these brilliant people from the top to the bottom of the comic industry breaking their backs, working fingers to the bone, drilling deep into the wellsprings of their vision, creating these glorious strips that look back with gratitude and forward with hope, dancing across the huge, forgotten expanse of this broadsheet page, pushing comics to their very limit.

And as the whole beautiful thing begins swimming into focus it starts to feel like you’re spending your days in conversation with the dreamer himself, this titan who died eighty years ago, and it feels like he’s listening. Talking back to you. It feels like you reached through the page somehow, these magical pages that ravaged your mind, that infiltrated your dreams, that became a central part of your understanding of the world and yourself, of your fantasies and nightmares. It feels like you read so hard, and loved so much, that a doorway opened, and even if you could only poke your head in for a second you could feel the soft Slumberland sun on your face, taste peppermint on the wind. You’re doing it not by talent, not your own at least, but by lighting a beacon, finding remarkable people who love what you love and bringing them together. And it turns out, for fleeting moments, that yes Virginia, love is as potent as money, as strength, as power.

You press your face against it and it dances away. All you get is a taste – it can’t ever be yours. But goddamn, Annie, thanks for the reminder: if you ever get a chance to sing with David Bowie or build your own Slumberland, you better not fuck it up.

-Josh O’Neill