Be Mine!: A February Update

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.

The table setup for SVCC.
Ray Zepeda, Jr. (right) and myself
Storytelling panelists (L-R): Ricardo Padilla, myself, Ray Zepeda, Jr.

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!

Me and the monkey manning the table.
Signing for a new fan.

OTHER

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!

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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

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!

2015 updates!

2015 is off to a roaring start, hence the lack of updates. There’s a lot of exciting things in the works and, while there are some I am not at liberty to divulge too much information, here’s a rundown of what I can share.

The Guitarist kickstarter will (hopefully) be coming your way next month from the good people at Under Belly Comics. CW Cooke and I have been wanting to share this story with everyone for some time and have now been lucky enough to find a publisher who is not only willing to distribute this crazy book, but allowing us to do it our own demented way. Maybe they’re insane. Along with our talented colorist Jeremy Kahn, we’re looking forward to bringing this tale of epic madness to you later this year. Here’s a sample page :

Page 5-colorRecently my time has been occupied by storyboarding thanks to my agent and the very cool DreamWorks TV (yes, that DreamWorks). I was hired to board an episode entitled Wish Delivery of their series Astrid Strudelman: The Unicorn Whisperer, created by Thessaly Lerner, aka The Ukulady, with animation by Will Guy. They’ve been fun to work with and it’s been a killer experience so far! I’ll be sure to update when I have more information as to when the episode will air. Without giving away too much of the story, here’s a look at some of the work in progress.

There are also a ton of short stories in the works, some being pitched to literary magazines and journals, as well as a novel being developed. Excerpts from both may be posted soon on the writing page, so keep an eye out.

That’s all for now, folks! Hope everyone else out there is having a great 2015 so far as well.