I’m going to make this as short and concise as I can, leaving the beautifully written description of the project to better writers. Long story short, my colleagues and I from the Twin Cities Comic Collective worked together to produce a sci-fi comic called ‘Alpha X’. Almost every member of TC3 had a hand in some way in the creation of this book…writing, pencilling, inking and coloring(I was responsible for pencilling page 26 and inking pages 30-31.) Our goal is to introduce the finished book at Wizard World Minneapolis, on May 1-3. Again, I defer you to the beautifully written description on the campaign page.
If we reach our goal of $2000, that means all printing, promotional and table fees will be covered, leaving us to the pleasure of sharing our creation with all of you. Below is the link for the Indiegogo campaign page:
And here’s a sneak peak at the cover art:
If this doesn’t make you want to get your hands on a copy, nothing will! You can donate as little as $5 and you would get a pdf copy of the 44 page, full color comic. Now that’s how you spell AWESOME.
Ok…You’ve heard the spiel…now go support.
I’m sure every professional Cartoonist has a story like this…where an email out of the blue leads to a surreal experience, right? Well, it happened to me…
Sometime around last Christmas I received an email regarding a beer comic I drew. The author of the email said that this particular cartoon caught the attention of his good friend Alaska Matt and that he’d like to purchase the original art. He’d also like to commission me to recreate the cartoon featuring Matt. Oh, and he’d like me to present it to Matt personally.
“Sure!” I said. “Do you live in the Twin Cities?” The answer I received was unexpected. “We’re in Colorado Springs” said Matt’s friend. Needless to say, I was a little incredulous. I was even more incredulous when Matt’s friend offered to fly me out there to present the original art and commission!
The conversation continued over a few more emails until we finally agreed to a video chat. It turns out the Mark, Matt’s friend and the initiator of this adventure, lives in Colorado Springs as well. Mark and Matt and several of their friends get together on Friday nights to taste different craft beers, take notes and geek out over the stuff. Also during our video chat I found out that Mark had several other friends that wanted to open breweries, needed beer labels and various other illustrations. So, what does Mark do? He went about arranging a beer tasting and cajun-themed potluck dinner to hide the fact that he’s secretly arranging for an artist from Minneapolis to come to Colorado to present a beer cartoon in person.
I’ll admit it, I was skeptical. I mean, this stuff doesn’t REALLY happen, does it? I was nervous about traveling to a stranger’s house but excited because hey…who knows what could happen?
Things started to get more real when Mark booked my flight and made arrangements for me to get from Denver to Colorado Springs.
True to his word, Mark made everything happen. I flew out of Minneapolis at 5:45am and arrived in Denver at around 6:30am. I took a shuttle from Denver to Colorado Springs where Mark picked me up. He then drove me to breakfast and started introducing me around. It was a long day…early flights sure can take it out of you. We ran errands and bought groceries for the potluck. We went to a huge beer store and picked out the beers we were gonna sample that night. It was all great fun. After dropping off my bag at my hotel we went to Matt’s house.
Once everybody arrived, about twelve people, we started eating. While eating I chatted with all these strangers, who turned out to be very nice and accommodating. After telling stories about my impending fatherhood, my crazy visit to the Lars Tetens factory in Schuyler, NY and my appreciation of booze and cigars, we were all led to ‘Alaska Matt’s Bar and Grille’, or in other words, Matt’s garage. There we tasted several different beers and I showed my portfolio to those around me. Everybody seemed to enjoy my work and contact info was swapped. Then, after midnight, it was off to the hotel for some much needed sleep.
The next morning, Mark picked me up and we went to breakfast. I got to meet his wife and eat an amazing breakfast of chicken fried chicken. An aspiring author friend of Mark’s also joined us and we discussed character concept art. I look forward to hearing from him soon about getting to work. After breakfast, business was through. Mark and his wife took me on a sight-seeing tour of Colorado Springs…especially the Garden of the Gods, which wrapped up my adventure. At 1:30pm I was dropped off at the shuttle stop and off I went back to the airport and home.
It’s not very often that this type of thing happens. I’m very glad that I was able to take advantage of Mark’s offer, meet a bunch of wonderful people much like myself and of course, make it home safely. Thanks for the adventure, Mark!
Hopefully, I can get some business out of it, too.
You faithful readers may have noticed that I have posted a couple of my recent comic strips a little late or not at all (Yikes!) The reasons for this are…
1. My non-comic strip freelance workload. Since the beginning of the year I’ve been buried with commercial cartoon/illustration work and that’s a good thing but it also forces my lesser-paying projects, like Best In Show, onto the back burner. Want to change that? Buy merchandise or become a Patreon supporter (https://www.patreon.com/bestinshowcomic)
2. My wife and I are expecting our first child in a few weeks. There are lots of doctor’s appointments and preparations to be made. This forces EVERYTHING onto the back burner.
The late strips will not happen very often and I’ll do my best to make sure that they’re on time every time. Thanks for understanding!
This year, me and some colleagues from the Twin Cities Comic Collective were asked to participate in the Rosemount Area Arts Council’s “Star Wars Extravaganza” (http://www.rosemountarts.com/Star-Wars-2014.html), a celebration of all things Star Wars. We were approached by the board of directors of RAAC to draw caricatures for the throngs of people that attended the event. After a conference call and some back-and-forth emails me, Jeff Kulisek, Jack Kotz and Scott Rolfs came up with a set of pre-drawn Star Wars characters (with the heads left blank to accommodate the caricatures. I decided to draw Han Solo, Ashoka Tano and Ben Kenobi.)
The plan was to provide free caricatures for all those that were interested in having one done. We set up a booth displaying all of the different Star Wars character sketches and attendees would select who they wanted to be and brought the sketch to one of the artists. The artist would then do a quick caricature of the subject’s head on the character’s body. Everybody ate it up! The line was out the door for the entire 3+ hours of the event. We ended up staying almost an hour after the doors closed to finish up the last of the kids that wanted their caricature done. Talk about commitment! These kids stood in line for two hours to get a sketch…damn right they were gonna get one.
To be honest, this was the first caricature gig that I’ve done on this scale. I was surprised at how easily I found the likenesses and translated them into pencil and sharpie marker images. The best part were the smiles on the kids’ faces when they saw their own face on Han Solo’s or Boba Fett’s body. It was priceless.
Needless to say, I think we’ll be invited to do this again next year. Thanks to John Loch, Jim Kotz and the rest of the board of directors for RAAC for inviting us to be a part of this awesome event.
Now for a few pics…
One of the best things about Best In Show’s ‘reboot’ is that I get to rewrite my childhood. You’ll notice that the ‘Joe’ character is showing up a lot. Joe is one of my best friends and has been for 20 years. We weren’t children together but through Best In Show, we get a look at what it would’ve been like. This will be true for a lot of characters that will be making appearances and are based on people that I’ve known as an ‘adult’. It’s quite enjoyable and not a little emotional recreating this part of my life. Judging from the feedback from readers, it’s resonating with a lot of them, too.