What a whirlwind of a weekend at Latino Comics Expo! I’m far too exhausted to be verbose, so what follows is a succinct account of goings-on over the past few days. We arrived Thursday evening with sleep-deprived senses of humor and boxes of merch to pawn off on the unsuspecting con-goers.
The show itself commenced on Friday, which was arguably the busier day sales-wise. That said, Saturday was absolutely bustling due to the incredible guests and low rider show scheduled to coincide with the comics expo.
A beautifully curated display of artwork by some of the exhibitors and vendors stood as guardians over the convention floor entryway.
The weekend wouldn’t have been complete without meeting 2 of my longtime influences, Jaime & Gilbert Hernandez. Sorry for the blur… I have a shitty phone. The moment was captured though, which is all that matters in my opinion.
All in all, well worth the trip. I hocked some books, had some chuckles, and met a few new enthusiasts of my work. Finally, a huge shout-out to the Kranzman family who so generously put me up (and put up with me)! They even introduced me to a delectable new coffee roasting company.
I love bad puns. If you follow and enjoy my work you should know this about me now before you get too emotionally invested. Speaking of my work, there has been a tremendous amount of activity lately! I truly appreciate all the attention and wanted to round up all that has occurred in the past month or so (plus make a special announcement).
On February 21st I was invited by the Boys & Girls Club of Monterey to corrupt… er, conduct teens through a comics workshop. In the hour that was allotted we discussed the finer points of facial expressions, character design, page layouts, etc., which culminated with each attendee constructing their own one page comic. Thanks to Jonathan Lupisan for inviting me and I look forward to future classes!
Monday the 25th saw the publication of my guest article on the Effective Nerd site. I was solicited to pen a column revolving around the idea of sincerity in one’s work. It was requested that I also briefly touch upon ‘imposter syndrome’ as this all-too-common affliction tends to manifest in a particularly acute manner when your creative endeavors are at their most personal. Below is an excerpt and you can take in the full rant here.
We break our backs for years, sometimes decades, to establish our own corner of the creative universe only to constantly question the validity of any traction gained. So when does it feel as though you’ve actually triumphed? Unfortunately I don’t have the answer to such an enigmatic query. A favorable outcome to one artistic mind may be but a benchmark along the path to another. As long as you’re satisfied with the work you’re producing, continue to refine your craft, and possibly even make some headway in your field then you’re doing everything in your power to hold yourself accountable. Doubts and anxieties will persist, but when you truly love your craft you’ll find a way to forge ahead.
This past Monday Dexter Buschetelli of Multiversity Comics posted a sublimely peppery write-up on Decades of (in)Experience as part of the Webcomics Weekly feature. He classifies it as a “beautiful mess”, further clarifying, “All of this visual competence is the polish on the presentation of the disarranged dishevelment that is Luke’s life.” You can read all about his affinity for the poignancy and dark humor of the webcomic here.
The welcoming gentlemen of the Canned Air Podcast hosted a discussion with me on Friday March 8th. As per their format we discussed movies based on video games during their ‘Retro Roundup’ segment, then shifted into an exchange regarding our latest comic/graphic novel reads, and finally sailed into the interview portion of the conversation where I was encouraged to blather on about my work. Which I did. Ad nauseum. Pour a glass of your favorite adult beverage and tune in to this episode at ‘Video Game Movies with a Side of Butterchips‘.
Last, but certainly not least are 2 (count ’em, 2!) appearance announcements. As previously mentioned a few times on my social media pages, this coming Friday and Saturday I have the absolute honor of exhibiting at this year’s Latino Comics Expo in Modesto. This is the premiere American show to feature Latino Creators. Personally, I’m incredibly excited that 2 of the 3 Los Bros Hernandez (Love & Rockets) will be special guests! Their work has been transformational for me and I hope to have the opportunity to thank them in person. The full list of exhibitors and vendors is online now here.
And now for the pièce de résistance announcement: I will be exhibiting at Amazing Con Las Vegas in June with my pal, and comics colorist extraordinaire, Chris Arrocena! As with the Latino Comics Expo I’ll have copies of Defiling the Literati, The Unemployment Adventures of Aqualung, and The World’s Crummiest Umbrella on hand along with Mr. Butterchips coffee mugs and stickers, as well as limited edition art prints. I also recently learned this will be the inimitable George Pérez’s last comic convention appearance EVER. Mark your calendars now!
As of 1/18/2019, DECADES OF (in)EXPERIENCE kicked off year numero 4! I’m amazed by how far this webcomic has progressed and assure you all that Antix Press and I have a lot more in store for our hapless every(person), Luke Carlin. Episode 2 was served up piping hot as of Friday, January 25th and you can catch it now by visiting my publisher’s site here. In the event you haven’t already, be sure to catch up on year 3 which is still online in all its glory at the archive of apathy.
I’m also incredibly excited, and immensely honored, to announce I have been invited to exhibit at this year’s Latino Comics Expo in March! A short history: The organizers and I hit it off immediately several years ago while tabling at the Salinas Valley Comic Con and have kept in touch ever since. Spending my formative years in Salinas I have inexhaustible love and respect for Latino culture and art. My boundless gratitude to Theresa Rojas, Javier Hernandez, and Ricardo Padilla for the invite! More info to follow. Hope to see some of you there!
I blinked and now we’re nearly through August and past the halfway mark for 2018. I’m dazed, stunned, nauseated, deflated, and surprisingly tenacious amidst a few months of breakneck ups and downs. I’ll spare you the details in an effort for brevity which may have some of you thanking whichever deity you subscribe to for the absence of my typical introductory verbosity. There’s simply too much to get through to muddle the post with a meandering salutation. Buckle the fuck up, because off we go!
Next, I wanted to get some bad news out of the way. Though CW Cooke and I were scheduled to publish our saga THE GUITARIST through Antarctic Press beginning this summer it is no longer to be. We’ll simply chalk it up to creative differences as neither CW or myself saw eye-to-eye with the editor with whom we were set to work. Fret not, fair enthusiasts, for our indomitable—or at the very least pertinacious—spirits drive us to continue our search for a suitable home for this little comic that could. If and when news breaks of us striking a deal, rest assured the announcement will be here posthaste.
Now in it’s third year, DECADES OF (in)EXPERIENCE continues to stampede across the webcomic landscape in its signature whiplash weekly lurches. If you haven’t had the time to follow each and every installment my publisher Antix Press has corralled all entries produced thus far om the archive of apathy site. Feel free to catch up there at your leisure and be sure to bring a friend along to share the depraved wealth! Should further prodding or proof of virtue be necessary you can read a glowing review of the feature from none other than Bleeding Cool here.
This past May I was also invited to provide the cover illustration for the underground punk rock literary magazine Paper and Ink. The 13th installment, Tales From The Bar Side, is brimming with yarns spun about the denizens of “dive bars, shitty pubs, and back alley boozers.” Publisher and editor-in-chief Martin Appleby believed I was the apposite choice to supply artwork. I can’t begin to fathom why. Nab yourself a copy of the May issue (as well as their entire catalog while you’re at it) by visiting their store at https://www.etsy.co/shop/PaperAndInkZine.
Finally, in October I will be one of the guests during the Central Coast Pop Expo held this year at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. The convention will take place over the weekend of October 20th and 21st, celebrating all areas of pop culture including comics, movies, television, gaming, cosplay and more! Despite my association the event promises to be a family friendly affair. I will do my utmost to refrain from hurling feces, verbal or otherwise, though I can make no such promises for my fellow guests Ace Continuado (Dark Horse, Zenoscope) and Ray Zepeda, Jr. (Tragic Hero Comics Publishing).
February has already arrived with love (and the odor of this putrescent country) in the air. No need to be disheartened though, my fellow Americans, for I do believe in my heart of hearts that the residents of this nation will drown the reprehensible vocal minority and thwart the attempts of tyranny currently facing us. Seeing as the 24-hour news cycle, social media, the fucking barista at your local coffee shop, etc. all veer towards the political these days, I will attempt to stay on topic. As my plan is to discontinue the use of my personal Facebook page (though a fan page will be moderated by my pal, Chris Ball), I will make a concerted effort to update this blog on a far more regular basis. That said, with the profusion of projects depriving me of sleep these days that chore is easier said than done. Regardless, we’re all here now so let’s catch up.
Quickly… I have a lot to do.
SALINAS VALLEY COMIC CON
Held over the weekend of December 16th and 17th, 2017, my local convention assailed the student center of the community college for two days of comics and cosplay. Unfortunately the regional rags decidedly focused on the superhero aspect of the convention, once again putting on display the public’s tone-deaf comprehension of the breadth and scope of stories told via the comics medium. Moreover, the organizers were quite wonderful and welcoming to all who exhibited. I tabled alongside my writer buddy, Ray Zepeda, Jr. (of Tragic Hero Comics), which made the minimal sales and devisive attitude towards my particular brand of humor tolerable.
DECADES OF (in)EXPERIENCE YEAR 3
With the new year brought a makeover for my anti-hero weekly series published by Antix Press. I discussed the shift with my editor, Francis Lombard, and we both agreed it was an organic evolution which could very well enhance our capabilities to convey the follies of Luke Carlin. Of course, the decision also equated to a more labor-intensive production schedule, but Francis and I have been content with the outcome thus far. It would be great to have some feedback from some of you readers out there! Let us know how you are enjoying (or despising) the new full-page comic strip format. The third year begins in the archive here (episode 1 below), and new episodes are published every Friday on the Antix Press site.
DEFILING THE LITERATI SIGNING
Our local comic shop, Current Comics, invited me to hold a signing for my literary magazine comic collection held on February 10th, 2018. There was a decent turnout, resulting in a number of sales (including a few MR. BUTTERCHIPS coffee mugs). A huge thank you to the store manager Nick Black, who is always tremendous when it comes to supporting local creators, and the comics enthusiasts who took the time to chat and purchase a book!
2018 also brings a new year of monthly diatribes railing against the insanity of modern times from your favorite curmudgeonly Capuchin, MR. BUTTERCHIPS. Thus far he has already lambasted intolerance in all of its expansive vile forms (as seen below) and the bullshit rationale behind the religious freedom rights espoused by the reprehensible illegitimate POTUS and his irretrievably insane evangelical hangers-on. Whatever will he call out next? The only way to find out for certain would be to follow his antics in the literary magazine Drunk Monkeys.
A couple of projects are in production as well, which I must keep under wraps for now. Apologies for the vague posting, but hopefully receiving word on said endeavors will be forthcoming posthaste. As I said, I will do my utmost to keep this blog apprised of any and all new events, announcements, etc. going forward so be sure to check back often. Maybe not that often, but often enough. Thank you to everyone who continues to support my work!
Stay gold, and here’s to another year of spinning yarns!