Pre-Holidaze news and 2017 wrap up

November has arrived, the imbecile-in-chief has not yet propelled the USA into nuclear war, and the 90° drop into the new year has officially been crested. As the holidays consistently find a way to siphon every ounce of time and energy one may have at the end of the year, I resolved to submit one last entry here to chronicle the vortex of events which have commenced recently (or will be initiated soon). As there is a fucking laundry list to wade through I am opting to spare you all of the garrulous—albeit thoroughly entertaining—introductions I typically regurgitate.

MARIN COMICS FEST

Back in June I was approached by Cartoon Art Museum board member, and longtime friend, Ron Evans about the possibility of designing promotional artwork for a new comic show he was organizing. The inaugural Marin Comics Fest was held between September 10th and 16th featuring a varied collection of North Bay writers and cartoonists including Judd Winick, Brian Fies, Alexis Fajardo, and Thi Bui. In conjunction with San Rafael library, Ron organized lectures and signings held at locations throughout Marin County. Unfortunately I was unable to attend, however I was able to tacitly burden each event via this uncharacteristically innocent logo:

Alexis Fajardo and Judd Winick holding the signed print gifted to me following the Marin Comics Fest.

DRUNK MONKEYS INSTALLMENT: SEPTEMBER

Though my main gig for Drunk Monkeys Magazine is producing the monthly misadventures of your that salty simian, MR. BUTTERCHIPS, every now and again the editors enjoy veering away from the norms to assemble a themed issue. Such was the case with September when I was asked to produce a piece for an installment revolving around the concept of Vice & Virtue. As I have long considered writing and art to be both a vice and a virtue at assorted stages of my sordid existence, I opted to craft a page reflecting such a disposition. This teaser should impart an idea as to the overall orbit of my contribution, but you can read ‘Carousel of Creation’ in full here.

DEFILING THE LITERATI

In an effort to compile some wares with which to hock during cons, I decided to assemble the bounty of literary magazine work I had produced between 2016 and 2017. I entitled the resulting smörgåsbord of demented offerings Defiling the Literati in reference to the (mostly) intentional contrary approach I have adopted with regards to crafting stories. Rebellion isn’t my objective, per se, I merely seek to convey relatable anecdotes unencumbered by the flowery, execrable, and ultimately fucking dispensable narratives which too commonly accompanies the writing of today. But I digress. For the time being Defiling the Literati is only available at conventions in which I partake (such as the upcoming Salinas Valley Comic Con), but may be available online soon.

APE (THE ALTERNATIVE PRESS EXPO)

Speaking of conventions, during the weekend of September 23rd and 24th this year I peddled my  wares as an exhibitor at the long-running Alternative Press Expo in San Jose. Overall it was a positive – albeit sobering – experience. It helped that my table-mate was good pal and writer extraordinaire Ray Zepeda, Jr. of Tragic Hero Comics Publishing! What was once a bustling, electric gathering of independent artists had dramatically dwindled since the show moved back to San Jose in 2015. The varied swath of Bay Area creators who typically exhibited in years past were noticeably absent. I still enjoyed the opportunity to meet and speak with enthusiasts of the medium. A few were even familiar with my work, which always stupefies me. In addition, I was invited by the event coordinator to speak on a couple of panels expatiating on the topics of storytelling fundamentals and the plight of the independent artist. I highly recommend attending APE and supporting one of the few conventions dedicated solely to underground and alternative creators of comics, animation, ‘zines, collectibles, etc.

The dedication inside the copy of ‘Defiling the Literati’ for cartoonist pal, Betsy Streeter
Day 2, ready to roll… Mostly.

BEST OF THE NET NOM

I was humbled, and honestly flummoxed, to learn via an announcement on September 1st that I’d been nominated for a “Best of the Net” award in the non-fiction category. The kind souls of Red Fez literary magazine are the publication which submitted my name for a piece I illustrated. The contribution, entitled Talent Scout, was a collaboration with infamous underground writer John Bennett. Unfortunately I did not have the opportunity to build a rapport with John as he is currently infirmed. Send good vibes his way! If you wish to read the aforementioned selection, you can do so here (add link). Win, lose, or draw, a huge thanks to Doc Sigerson and the Red Fez team!

INDIGENT PRESS – ENCHILADA FOLLIES

Whilst everyone was paying attention to my comics based slight-of-hand (or completely ignoring me), a new slice of spicy prose stowed away online. Published by my writer pal Charles Joseph’s new literary venture Indigent A La Carte, my short story Enchilada Follies recounts a rather awkward intimate encounter between a husband and wife. Succumbing to one’s atavistic desires whilst whipping up culinary delights which register on the Scoville scale can have dire consequences. There’s jalapeños, humor, and sex! What more can you possibly demand from your fiction? Read the tale of lust and woe here.

INTERVIEWED BY THE GEEKISH CAST

On the morning of Saturday, October 14th I was interviewed by the incomparable Jeremy R. Vilmur of The Geekish Cast podcast. I was introduced to Jeremy and his stellar show via my perennial online promoter and pal, Christopher Ball. When I was asked to round out the panelists for a podcast themed talk at APE, Jeremy came to mind and graciously accepted the invite. I dug the cut of his jib and the feeling must have been mutual as I was soon invited to be a guest on his show. Clocking in at just under the hour mark, our conversation covered a wide range of topics including DECADES OF (in)EXPERIENCE, MR. BUTTERCHIPS, and defining the idea of what it means to be “indie”. Listen to our pithy banter as I battle a woeful deficiency of caffeine. Thanks again to Jeremy for having me on the show! Check the episode out here.

2 YEARS DECADES OF (in)EXPERIENCE!

This Friday marks the 100th episode of your favorite web-based illustrated flash fiction series, DECADES OF (in)EXPERIENCE! It has been quite the ride for the past two years following the trials and tribulations of one Luke Carlin. Francis Lombard (editor of DECADES OF (in)EXPERIENCE) and I have some fairly epic plans in store for year 3 of this slice-of-life roman à clef. You won’t want to miss the season finale this Friday December 1st, 2017 and you can only find the new episodes on the Antix Press website! If you feel like traipsing down memory lane, the archive of apathy can be found here. Thank you to everyone for the support over the past two years! We’ve only just begun…

Excerpt from the pilot episode, published October 30, 2015
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Free Comic Book Day update

Hurtling towards summer, and an uncertain future where freedom of speech may no longer be a right, I have finally found a wayward and far too infrequent moment to take a breath and reflect. The repugnant actions of the current incompetent and volatile administration aside, 2017 has been quite the whirlwind of a year thus far. Trials and tribulations, setbacks and gargantuan leaps forward have occurred. With my hazy brain sputtering in neutral at the moment I will attempt to catch you all up on my recent goings-on. Here’s months of activities rolled into one bite-sized post. Open wide!

February saw the inaugural Central Coast Pop Expo descend upon Steinbeck Country with rabid fans, cosplayers, and faux-celebrities in tow. I was asked to participate on the ‘Hometown Heroes’ panel alongside my pals writer Ray Zepeda, Jr and illustrator Ace Continuado. The discussion included tangents on our individual descents to the dark side of comics, the finer points of exposing yourself (networking and exhibiting), and a comparison of self-publishing vs. traditional publishing. Below is a picture of Ray and myself regaling those in attendance with our wit. I’m sure their yawns were merely signifiers of enthusiasm.

Another highlight during the second month of the year was having my collaboration with underground writer John Bennett published by Red Fez Entertainment. John is known for his ‘shards’, flash fiction pieces recounting mini episodes of his existence in his nuanced yet bold signature strokes. The piece I was lucky enough to illustrate was entitled The Talent Scout about his encounter with a less-than-reputable member of the sleazy subgenus of humans. Read the story in its entirety here.

Though I have not attended since 2013 while promoting my first graphic novel, the San Diego Comic Con saw it fit to award me with a verified ‘pro’ status in March. Come July I will be winging my way down the left coast to attend the largest pop culture event of its kind with hundreds of thousands of my closest nerd brethren. I am mainly attending with my agent to wheel and deal and as such will not have a table. Fret not, fair followers, for if you are attending the show and would like to see me I will be taking part in the annual sketch-a-thon for the Cartoon Art Museum. Schedules and details to come…

In these troubled fucked-up times my country is currently facing I am compelled to resist and fight back against America’s would-be oppressors in any capacity in which I am able. On March 5th I was honored to be one of three local cartoonists who were asked to take part in a fundraiser for the Monterey chapter of the ACLU. The ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) is a nonpartisan, non-profit organization whose stated mission is “to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States.” The premise was simple enough: For donations of at least $30 Bridgett Spicer, Jacob Rafael Estrada, or I would render a personalized illustration. I am pleased to report the event raised over $300. Another sketch fundraiser is being planned for June, if anyone reading is interested. Here are a couple of the sketches I produced.

In late March I was contacted via social media by a gentleman who is apparently a fan of my work and looking to turn others on to the splendor that is my shitty doodles. Chris (yes, the lovely fellow has a name) promptly put me in touch with Adrian King of the Adrian Has Issues podcast and within a week and a half I was a guest on the show. Adrian and I hit it off almost immediately and launched into an hour long discussion which bobbed and weaved between my current work, the obsolescence of answering machines, our prepubescent penchant for using action figures as storytelling devices, and many more inane such topics. To make sense of it all, or very well find yourself even more confused, listen to the full interview here.

Last, and possibly least, my foul-mouthed furball MR. BUTTERCHIPS has turned 1! Yes, it’s been an entire year since the satirical simian began assaulting the pages of Drunk Monkeys magazine on a monthly basis. If you wish to throw a little support behind the marvelous aforementioned publication—not to mention this starving artist—hop on over to the MR. BUTTERCHIPS online store and snag yourself some goods. Here’s to year 2!

Alright, this has been fun but it’s time I quit procrastinating and return to my assiduity. DECADES OF (in)EXPERIENCE and my current graphic novel sure as shit won’t write and draw themselves. Until next time, my internet cronies.

Declaration of (Creative) Independence

Barbecues, fireworks, parades, picnics, family, and a metric shit ton of food. Yes, friends it’s that time of year again to celebrate the U S of A’s declaration of independence from the tyranny and persecution of an overbearing government. I would say the old adage, “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree” is relevant here, but I digress. It’s the motherfucking fourth of July so let’s uncork a bottle or five, stock up on the chips and dips, grill some flesh, and make with the hooting and hollering. Amidst all of the nationalistic brouhaha I invite you to take a few moments to scour the decrepit and unkempt corners of the internet where my work lay in wait for the daring souls who care to discover its irreverent humor.

My weekly online graphic narrative Decades of (in)Experience continues to progress at break-neck speeds and is now entering its tenth month of publication. While the latest entries can be found on Antix Press’ website, the backlog of misadventures endured by the great American anti-hero Luke Carlin are available for your peepers on the newly revamped archival site: https://decadesofinexperience.com/. Do yourself a favor and whet your whistle for future installments by diving into the thirty-six bite-size morsels today! There may also be some exciting news coming very soon, including the possibility of a print collection, so make sure to stay in the know.

Ep-34-web

As staff writer for Five 2 One Magazine I have now delivered fourteen hard-nosed articles for my tough-love advice column Bread Crumbs from the Void. While the writing tips contained therein are geared toward the novice or beginner I hope to appeal to all levels of writer with (what I believe) is a no-nonsense approach. There’s hyperbole and humor galore, but I do my utmost to weave those strands as part of a final product which may actually be of some assistance to those who are just deciding to enter the masochistic fucking world of rejection, er, I mean writing. You can find the archives at http://five2onemagazine.com/category/breadcrumbs-from-the-void/ and please feel free to comment or email me with your questions, complaints, or declarations of lust.

Five 2 One Magazine is also just psychotic enough to appoint me as Art Editor and allow me to cultivate a series of depraved and wonderfully insolent alternative cartoons and comics. I’ve dubbed this assemblage of crude cartoonists The Fucking Funnies and, as a contributor myself, have appeared online alongside the talents of Kelly Campanile and member of the original underground comix scene, David GeiserMy comic “Downtown Weed” following the adventures of a couple of Hipbag Douchsters was also featured in Five 2 One Magazine’s latest issue. Below is a sample from the first page, but you’ll just have to cough up a couple ducets and buy your own copy to read the rest…
Downtown Weed sample

The good folks over at Drunk Monkeys continually allow me to sully the pages of their monthly issues with none other than that delightful degenerate, Mr. Butterchips. With the release of their fourth issue, Drunk Monkeys published the third strip featuring the foul-mouthed, hard-living Capuchin. There are talks of a more frequent (i.e., bi-weekly) update schedule and I will be sure to announce it here if Mr. Butterchips does in fact make the shift. To get your hands on some kick-ass swag spotlighting the lovable little bastard, visit his online store! Comment under the strip on the Drunk Monkeys site if you purchase an item and I’ll send you a free signed sketch. What are you waiting for?

Butterchips flask

Paper and Ink Literary ‘zine out of the UK invited me to produce some artwork for the back cover of their latest issue #8 revolving around the theme of “first times”. A big thanks to the editor Martin Appleby for digging my ink stains enough to solicit the illustration! You can snag yourself a copy, and support a killer independent publication, by visiting the Paper and Ink Literary ‘zine shop here. Red Fez has also asked me to design some accompaniment for several humor pieces by underground legend  John Bennett. Editor-in-chief Doc Sigerson knows his shit and has been fantastic to work with so far. We are looking forward to unleashing these pieces and while I won’t divulge any spoilers, there will be more info about publication dates provided shortly. With any luck there will be news forthcoming regarding more short stories, flash fiction, and (Lord willing and the creek don’t rise) my first novel!

Now I believe I will be getting quite twisted in the name of our country. See you on the other side, kids!