Sunday, October 19, 2008

My Personal 24-Hour Comics Day

Saturday was a weird but good day. It started out with three-plus hours consumed by Michele Bachmann, then turned to comics and theater. (Somehow, the three seem appropriately connected.)

First, I went to see the Hot Ink show at the Minnesota Museum of American Art. My original desire to see this exhibit of current Minnesota comic artists was based on the presence of Andy Singer's work, but it turned out Andy was in good company.

Andy's work in the show was all stuff that I haven't seen much of before -- his "Happy & Crabby," "Comics for Vegetables" and the Calvin and Hobbes-inspired "Nietzsche and Marx." Each one was wonderful. I have to say I identified with Happy & Crabby on a personal level -- more specifically, Crabby's helpless and hopeless world view. It sounds like Andy and I both are lucky to have a Happy in our life. (If you click on the image you'll get a bit larger version.)

Andy Singer's Crabby & Happy comic
Others whose work I really enjoyed were:

  • Kevin Cannon -- His brilliant Xcape Xcel game board caricatured every politician in the current election and included so many jokes it made my head spin.
  • Tyler Page -- His Stylish Vittles features incredible compositions that place the frames of his story over backgrounds of leaves and other objects, all rendered in almost mind-boggling cross-hatching.
  • Brittney Sabo -- Her Bad Lands drawings reminded me of a favorite illustrator, Trina Schart Hyman. I would love to read the whole thing, so I guess I'll have to spend some time on her website.
  • Evan G. Palmer -- His beautiful drawings for Ashen Cat continued from page to page in a sometimes languorous, sometimes abrupt pattern.
Then home for more on Michele Bachmann via the Interweb, followed by a trip to downtown Minneapolis to see Red Eye Collaborative's play Amanda Tears, Teenage Detective. It was inventive and fun, although I would have to say not quite as good as I was expecting. It did have one really great line in it, though -- something to the effect of, The freedom of driving on the open road is an illusion, since all of those roads were plotted by some government engineer in a suit.

Then, since we were already downtown, we decided to stop by the Minnesota Center for Book Arts to lend some moral support to the dedicated (alternate term: crazy) people spending the night there for 24 Hour Comic Day. This is a national event where comic artists come together and do one page an hour for 24 hours.

Ken Avidor's two demons, one short, one tallWe visited with David Steinlicht and I got a chance to meet Ken Avidor, who was drawing his demons and reveling in the Bachmann debacle. (In his non-comics life, Avidor has devoted himself to Dump Michele Bachmann. He's the one who has provided most of the videos of Michele over the years.) I got a peek at his current visual journal, which was pretty cool to see. I've long appreciated his pro-bike comics.

So in a way it all connected together. Strange but true.

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