Profile on “Comics In Wisconsin” Author

July 31, 2009 at 4:54 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , )

BuhlePaul Buhle, author of the soon-to-be-released Comics In Wisconsin, will visit Kenosha’s Southwest Library, 7979 38th Avenue, on Tuesday, December 1st at 7 PM.  Prior to his retirement, Buhle was senior lecturer at Brown University, and is a Distinguished Lecturer for the American Studies Association and the Organization of American History.  His previous comics include adaptations of the work of Howard Zinn and Studs Terkel, several biographies, and histories of the Beat Generation.   He now lives in Madison, WI.

Selected booksby Paul Buhle include:

  • C.L.R. James: The Artist as Revolutionary
  • Encyclopedia of the American Left (with Mari Jo Buhle and Dan Georgakas)
  • Wobblies! A Graphic History of the Industrial Workers of the World (with Nicole Schulman)
  • Students for a Democratic Society: A Graphic History (with Harvey Pekar and Gary Dumm)
  • History and the New Left: Madison, Wisconsin, 1950-70 (with John McMillan)
  • A People’s History of American Empire (with Howard Zinn, Mike Konopacki, and Dave Wagner)
  • Jews and American Comics
  • The Art of Harvey Kurtzman (with Denis Kitchen)

“In 1970, after art school in N.Y.C., I landed in Madison, thinking it would be like living on Pluto.  Instead, I discovered the ‘Athens of the Midwest’.  All hip radicals passing between California and New York stopped off to exchange cultural DNA.  From pre-WWI Hearst newspaper strips to contemporary ‘art comics’, Paul Buhle uncovers the development of Wisconsin as a center of creative and radical cartooning.” — Sharon Rudahl, author-artist of A Dangerous Woman, The Graphic Biography of Emma Goldman.

“Comics in Wisconsin recovers the history of an important center of comic art experimentation and offers readers a four-color glimpse at the richness of a neglected political and artistic counterculture.” — Harvey Pekar

“Paul Buhle’s brew of culture, politics, history, and comics is rich and tasty.  There’s a lot of lovely work inside this book.” — James Sturm, director of the Center for Cartoon Studies and author-artist of The Golem’s Mighty Swing.

Above illustration by Steve Chappell

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Wicked Nursery Rhymes

July 30, 2009 at 5:52 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , )

GRISGRIMLYSWICKEDNURSERYRHYMES-2TArtist and storyteller Gris Grimly has explored the dark side of nursery rhymes through his books, Wicked Nursery Rhymes and Wicked Nursery Rhymes II.  He’s also a filmmaker, who debuted a trailer to his short film, Wounded Embark of the Lovesick Mind, at this year’s Comic-Con in San Diego.   Grimly’s books are published by Baby Tattoo, which was established six years ago by a pair of art collectors who had no practical book manufacturing or sales experience, but who loved Grimly’s Wicked Nursery Rhymes characters.   Baby Tattoo publishes books for adults and kids, including limited edition books, as well as painterly projects and photographic collections. 

Baby Tattoo is also a sponsor of Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School, a cabaret-meets-art-school-happening, founded by Molly Crabapple,  that currently takes place in 80 cities, and counting, around the world.   To visit Dr. Sketchy, click here, but be warned that the site occasionally provides evidence that its models are mammals.

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Extra! Extra! Read All About (13,900) ‘Em

July 24, 2009 at 11:31 pm (Uncategorized)

The WebComic List posts information on a mind-boggling 13,981 (as of the hour of this post) comics that are posted on the Web.   The list is updated every two hours.

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Mother Goosed Project Update

July 20, 2009 at 10:16 pm (Uncategorized)

nursery-rhyme-pictures-4Nine of the Mother Goosed project participants gathered at ArtWorks on Sunday evening, July 19th, to plan toward publication of the Mother Goosed book.  Here’s what we learned:

  • Diane Levesque has graciously agreed to create the cover/back cover artwork.  Thank you, Diane!  The image will wrap around from front cover to back cover.
  • Joshua Frazer will provide layout/design of the book.  Thank you, Josh!
  • John Hambrock has obtained a quote from a Chicago printer, which will print/bind this book.  Thank you, John!
  • The book will be a perfect-bound edition @ $14.95
  • There will also be a limited boxed edition @ $100
  • Project deadline is Saturday, August 1st.   Get writing!  Start inking!  Please submit your finished work to ArtWorks, 5002 7th Avenue.
  • The book has a title, of course, but it needs a subtitle to describe its contents.   We’ve had two suggestions (so far).   They are:
  • “Mother Goosed: Re-envisioned for the Perverse Generation”
  • “Mother Goosed: Alternative Adaptations for the 21st Century”
  • Feel free to vote on one of these two suggestions or submit one of your own.  
  • This project will hopefully be the first of many projects as we work to establish a small press publishing organization.
  • Next meeting date: Sunday, August  2 @ 6:00 PM– ArtWorks, 5002 7th Avenue.    Here’s hoping you can attend.

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Four Basic Principles

July 16, 2009 at 10:38 pm (Uncategorized)

Scott McCloud has been teaching people how to make comics through his books, Understanding Comics, Reinventing Comics, and Making Comics.  In this presentation at ted.com, he speaks of vision, as in visionary, but also of the kind that’s of interest to optometrists, and he presents four basic principles that are useful to anyone, whether they’re pursuing a life in the arts, science, politics, and sports. 

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Wisconsin: Epicenter for Comic Art?

July 15, 2009 at 10:43 pm (Uncategorized)

AIGA_RadAmericaKomiksComics In Wisconsin author, Paul Buhle writes, “Who could have predicted it?  Underground comix got a start right here in Madison, along with San Francisco and Berkeley. And in the intervening years, the Madison area became something of a fertile comics capital. Within a decade, alternative comics of the most remarkable and daring kinds blossomed in nearby Princeton, Wis. And today, when comics dominate the blockbuster programming of Hollywood, several stars of 21st-century art comics trace their origins to these parts.”   Read the entire article from the Isthmus here.

Buhle visits Kenosha, WI on Tuesday, December 1st at 7 PM at Southwest Library, 7979 38th Avenue.    Free admission.

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Comics In Wisconsin Author To Visit Kenosha

July 14, 2009 at 5:23 pm (Uncategorized)

comic_in_wisconsinExciting news, comics fans!   Comics In Wisconsin author Paul Buhle will visit Kenosha on Tuesday, December 1st for a 7 PM presentation at Southwest Library, 7979 38th Avenue.  This a free event.  Buhle was a senior lecturer at Brown University and in retirement is a returnee to Madison, WI, where he earned a Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin. His forty published volumes include a dozen comic art volumes, five biographies, and a book series on the victims of the Hollywood Blacklist.

More on this event in future posts.

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A Mother Goose Manifesto

July 11, 2009 at 8:28 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , )

from A Poetic Manifesto by Dylan Thomas:

Dylan Thomas“The first poems I knew were nursery rhymes, and before I could read them for myself I had come to love just the words of them, the words alone.  What the words stood for, symbolized, or meant, was of very secondary importance; what mattered was the sound of them as I heard them for the first time on the lips of the remote and incomprehensible grownups who seemed, for some reason, to be living in my world.  And these words were, to me, as the notes of bells, the sounds of musical instruments, the noise of wind, sea, and rain, the rattle of milk carts, the clopping of hooves on cobbles, the fingering of branches on a windowpane, might be to someone, deaf from birth, who has miraculously found his hearing.   I did not care what the words said, overmuch, nor what happened to Jack & Jill & the Mother Goose rest of them; I cared for the shapes of sound that their names, and the words describing their actions, made in my ears; I cared for the colors the words cast on my eyes . . . I tumbled for words at once.  And when I began to read the nursery rhymes for myself, and, later, to read other verses and ballads, I knew that I had discovered the most important things, to me, that could be ever.”

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Taking Flight

July 11, 2009 at 3:48 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

flight6_jellyfish_425In the earlier days of the 21st century, a group of comic artists met through the Internet with a simple plan: 1) Draw comics 2) See what happens.  Scott McCloud delivers this story through his afterword to the first issue of the glorious anthology, Flight.   CBR: Comic Book Resources gathered a more detailed explanation from the Flight series editor and contributor Kazu Kibuishi:

“‘Flight’ began as a tiny little project that Catia Chien suggested just a little while after the Alternative Press Expo last year.  We had such a great time at the convention that we felt we should put together a book full of short stories to sell at our table the next year. I thought it was a great idea, and I had been planning for a few years to do some sort of comics magazine or anthology that I wanted to call ‘Flight Patterns’ full of Moebius and Miyazaki-influenced material. The two ideas sort of converged, I shortened the title to ‘Flight,’ asked a few friends to contribute, and began putting together some material.”  (excerpt of article by Jonah Weiland, Executive Producer for CBR)

Since that time, a total of five editions of Flight have been published.

Kazu Kibuishi and friends have a new volume of Flight (edition #6), ready for release on July 21st.   Comic artists include JP Ahonen, Graham Annable, Bannister, Phil Craven, Mike Dutton, Michel Gagné, Cory Godbey, Rodolphe Guenoden, Steve Hamaker, Kazu Kibuishi, Andrea Offermann, Richard Pose, Justin Ridge, Rad Sechrist, Kean Soo.    Check it out!  Available online and in stores where good (comic) books are sold.

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Shake A Tail Feather: Getting The Word Out On Mother Goosed

July 9, 2009 at 10:59 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

mother-goose-clip-art-6There are many marketing/promotional issues to be addressed on the Mother Goosed project (and hopefully subsequent projects). 

  • Who is the target audience for the publication
  • Where and how could the Mother Goosed publication not only be promoted but the idea of a community of comic artists be fostered?  (Some suggestions follow).
  •  Other publications and Web locations that have an art and/or comic art audience
  • Online forums
  • Website with Paypal account for sales of publication(s).
  • News releases
  • Media kits
  • Sample copies of MG to public businesses, coffee shops, galleries, etc. (basically, any place that will take a copy for the public to view.)
  • Radio/TV interviews (with giveaways of copies of book)
  • TV promos and online video promos
  • Book clubs, writing clubs
  • Ads in college newspapers and other press such as Shepherd Express and Isthmus.
  • Ads to Websites such as Daily Cartoonist and to publications such as Comics Journal.
  • Permanent or temporary displays about the project in public buildings that provide such space
  • Bookmarks and bookmark distribution, incl. mailings
  • Posters/flyers and poster/flyer distribution, incl. mailings
  • T-shirts, caps, coffee mugs, etc. with logo
  • Business cards for use/distribution by project participants
  • Trade shows and at local events that invite groups to distribute materials and discuss their projects.
  • Lectures/presentations by established and emerging cartoonists
  • Film screenings (documentaries, shorts, and feature films on comics and cartooning)
  • Enlargements to human scale of Mother Goosed characters for photo opportunities for the public.
  • Classes in comic art and information-sharing sessions
  • Online social networks
  • Publication launch event 
  • Book signings
  • Mailing list for news/information/future publications
  • …and word-of-mouth

In Madison, WI, a project called Poetry Jumps Off The Shelf has taken poetry out of the libraries, bookstores and classrooms into the public arena, which means poetry has stepped off  book pages and onto postcards, java jackets, and into Madison’s Community Cars and Budget Bicycles.  

How can we follow the example of Poetry Jumps Off The Shelf and help to bring comics out of the comic book and comic shop and into the public arena?   A Mother Goose Parade?  (Click here for images and information on the largest parade in San Diego County).  

Feel free to add to this list.  Better yet, attend the next meeting of Mother Goosed on Sunday, July 19th at 6:00 PM at ArtWorks, 5002 7th Avenue.

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