‘Skyward #1:’ ADVANCE Comic Book Review By FBC Guest Contributor Steven W. Alloway!!!
At its core, Skyward is filled with that childlike sense of adventure that makes a good children’s fantasy story. The story itself is somewhat familiar, at least in Issue #1, mapping out what appears to be the beginning of the classic hero’s journey. But, though the story is simple, there’s a lot of potential in it for great things.
Neil Gaiman has released a book of his great commencement address, Make Good Art.
When things get tough, this is what you should do: Make good art. I’m serious. Husband runs off with a politician — make good art. Leg crushed and then eaten by a mutated boa constrictor — make good art. IRS on your trail — make good art. Cat exploded — make good art. Someone on the Internet thinks what you’re doing is stupid or evil or it’s all been done before — make good art. Probably things will work out somehow, eventually time will take the sting away, and that doesn’t even matter. Do what only you can do best: Make good art. Make it on the bad days, make it on the good days, too.
I love Gaiman’s message, but I also want to make a plug for something else: when the going gets rough, make bad art, too.
When 9/11 and Katrina hit and she lost a bunch of her close friends, Lynda Barry got really depressed, and all she could do is doodle:
I found myself compelled, like this weird, shameful compulsion to draw cute animals. That was all I could stand to draw. You know, just cry and draw cute animals…dancing dogs with crowns on, you know? And, like, really friendly ducks. But I found this monkey, this meditating monkey, and I found that once - when I drew that monkey, it’s not that it fixed the problem. But it did shift it a little bit, or provide me some kind of relief. And that’s when I started to think, maybe that’s what images do, because I believe in all my - with all my heart they have an absolute biological function…
“Good” can be a stifling word, a word that makes you hesitate and stare at a blank page and second-guess yourself and throw stuff in the trash. What’s important is to get your hands moving and let the images come. Whether it’s good or bad is beside the point. Make art.
Hi guys! I’ve moved this shop over to a new domain, and combined it with a few friends- enter THE WEREHOUSE!
Not to fear- all orders that were made through my old Bigcartel site will be shipped this week- and if you haven’t received an order for some reason please email me- firstname.lastname@example.org, and I’ll sort out the problem asap!
I want to thank everybody for championing my self-published work, and sticking with me even though towards the last few months it got a little crazy— especially now that con season (and allergies) have kicked in!
The main reason for the new store is because I just can’t keep up with this stuff on my own. It’s grown way bigger than I ever thought possible! I am overwhelmed by the support you’ve shown me over the last few years, and I’m pleased to say that I’ve mailed out over 4,000 books in that time!!! This whole thing has been a huge learning experience, since I basically jumped into this without any idea of what to expect, and now I feel like I might kind of know what I’m doing! (More or less.) Now with the Lounak guys behind Werehouse, it’ll free up more of my time at the studio to getting comics drawn!
So check out the Werehouse. It’s got work by Andy Belanger, Karl Kerschl and a whole bunch of other stuff too. Some products have bene taken off to make way for new ones, and DEMETER has been added up as a preorder! (Exciting!)
I want to point out one big change that comes with the new store- I’m phasing out my silk screened covers, which will be replaced with a new, completely offset edition. This new printing will still be wicked nice- I’ve even updated the cover design of both Wolves and The Mire! The interiors won’t change- really this just makes the silk screened editions a little more “collectable,” whatever that means. :) Rest assured that you will still be getting a good quality book; I took a page from John Hammond’s playbook and spared no expense.
As for DEMETER pre-orders, there are two options- $10.00 for the screen printed cover, and $5.00 for the offset. (There is also a third $50.00 sketch edition available, that is limited to 100.) The extra color on the cover raised the price point- but it looks great and I have no regrets!
Any questions you guys have please feel free to ask- I’ll try to answer them as best I can! :D
Thank you, I love you!
Brian Eno (via jessiethatcher)
I could reblog/post this every day as a constant reminder.
Mister Ghost’s Highly Enviable Monthly Parcel of Simple Yet Amazing Wonderments is now available!
Each month, Evil Supply Co. will send you a curated collection of about 3-5 pieces. Possible items include: stationery, pins, small illustration prints, stamps, postcards, magnets, rubber stamps, vinyl bottle labels, “to do” lists, memo books… you get the idea.
Each parcel also includes a copy of OBITUARY: a tiny monthly booklet (About 16 pages with covers) of stories and articles dedicated to life and death (with other non-sense mixed in for good measure. We might even tell the occasional knock-knock joke, or offer recipes, advice, et cetera).
New in the Birdcage Bottom Books shop:
The Hic & Hoc Illustrated Journal of Humor by the fine folks at Hic & Hoc
Edited by ambulatory laff factories Lauren Barnett (Me Likes You Very Much) and Nathan Bulmer (Eat More Bikes), the first volume of an anticipated 196 volume series of the best of funny comics throughout the world features the likes of Phil McAndrew, Box Brown, Madéleine Flores, Zac Gorman, KC Green, Ian Andersen, Sam Henderson, Sam Spina, Julia Wertz, Dustin Harbin, Noah Van Sciver, Jane Mai, Dakota McFadzean, Matt Wiegle, and Joe Lambert, who did the stunning cover! NOT FOR KIDS!
7″ x 10.5″, 64 pages. $10
Perfect-bound. Full-color cover with b&w interior
The ultimate irony is that my new novel (West of Babylon) is only available in electronic form. I didn’t merely get hoisted by my own petard—my petard fell on me and shattered my skull. There will be zero chance I’ll ever see anybody reading my book. Zero. It will never, ever happen. I will never be able to sign anyone’s copy. (There won’t be a copy!) I’ll never experience the sheer delight (it has almost reduced me to tears) of walking into a bookstore and seeing a novel I wrote prominently displayed on a table in the front (or rotting away in the H section on a shelf next to Ernest Hemingway and Herman Hesse). There will be friends of mine who, because they’ll never buy an e-reader, will never read the book at all.
But what’s crucial, what gives me some infinitesimal measure of hope, is that this book I wrote and slaved over every day and obsessed over for years will still be out there. Wafting in the either, zipping across USB cables, flickering on screens, bubbling up to the surface of the world. The book will be somewhere.
Get over yourself writers. Books are meant to be written, not displayed, unless you’re a pretentious ass who needs the validation of material objects versus the dissemination of your story & ideas into the public’s consciousness.
Advertisement for Stan Lee interview in Oui magazine, 1977.
Illustration by John Romita.