Archive by Author

Cleveland’s Own – Genghis Con 2011

30 Nov
by Kevin Czap

Genghis Con 2011 John G

For the third year in a row, comics invaded the Beachland Ballroom this past Saturday for Genghis Con, Cleveland’s underground and independent festival. From where I’m sitting, the show this year was an unparalleled success on all fronts. Moods were high, attendance was up, sales were great and the work on display was really something. Since the first show in 2009, the Genghis Con has represented for me the state of Cleveland’s comics scene, and this year I’m having a hard time getting over my excitement with where we’re at. I’ll do my best to reign in my biases, but just know I’m very damn proud of this town of ours.

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Happy Birthday Darryl!

25 Nov

Reader Poll: Personal Best of 2011

23 Nov
by Kevin Czap

Hey gang. Not enough time for a proper blog post today, but for those worrying, I’ll have two heavy-hitting convention reports coming up in the following weeks, so stay tuned for those.

In the meantime, I wanted to maybe get some people involved with something that’s been on my mind. The end of the year is always a big whirlwind for me, and I am basically calling it a year by mid-November. So fittingly, my minds been going back over the past year and marveling at how momentous 2011 has been so far. Part of this recollection is thinking about all the great comics that have come out. What I propose is we use the comment thread here to list the comics that came out in 2011 that got you the most excited.

Now, end-of-year lists are nothing if not a dime-a-dozen, so I hope we can make this one a little different. We all there have been those huge releases that everyone lost their marbles over (Hark, A Vagrant, The Death Ray, yadda yadda). That’s all well and good. I think it’d be cool, though, if we could hear of some titles from off the beaten path. Tell me about the hidden gems that flew under the radar but still totally turned your world upside down.

My hopes with this is that if we all share the lesser-known comics we happened upon, other folks will get hip to them and check ’em out. This way we can all help promote these deserving works that don’t already have a lot of hype behind them. Even if it’s just one! I’d love to hear from you guys.

See you next week (or earlier [wink]).

Wherefore art thou Comix?

16 Nov
by Kevin Czap

On Sunday evening, the venerable Jame Harvey (HARVEYJAMES™) generated a discussion across Twitter about, essentially, what are comics good for? Is the medium itself capable of producing work as moving or significant as literature, film, painting, sculpture, theater, etc? Us true-believers might be compelled to issue a knee-jerk dismissal to this charge, but I think it’s important we ask ourselves truthfully.
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MIX 2011

9 Nov
by Kevin Czap

By the grace of show organizer Sarah Morean, I’m still basking in the warmth of this past weekend’s Minneapolis Indie Expo. When I discovered how far the drive was from Cleveland to Minneapolis earlier this summer, I had to scratch MIX off of my list of shows to check out. Then, right after the highs of SPX, I return home to an email from Sarah, effectively pulling me off of the waiting list and into the show. I’m really glad it worked out, because MIX ended up being as wonderful an experience as I was hoping it would be. Family, friends and comics – here’s how it went down.

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A Tribute to Harvey Pekar – Cleveland Heights, 10/25/11

26 Oct
by Kevin Czap

Last night I spent the evening at the Dobama Theater, a part of the Cleveland Public Library, to join in a celebratory memorial service for Harvey Pekar. I hope all of you reading this know how significant a figure Harvey is, but if not, I wrote a bit about what him and his work means to me at my other blog shortly after he passed last July. For more information, there’s no shortage of writing about (and written by) him. Anyway, the purpose of this event Tuesday night was to get together with a portion of the community that knew and supported Harvey throughout his life. Some folks had come up through grade school with him, some had only known him tangentially as a part of the culture of Coventry Road. My big take away from the event is that one of the most important things Pekar’s work did was to highlight real people, real lives, and in that little community theater it was all right there.

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Where My Eyes Can See

19 Oct
by Kevin Czap

Frank Santoro

It was quite a coincidence that Darryl made the post he did on Friday about poster-sized one-pagers, since it’s in line with something I’ve been thinking about recently. One of my bigger concerns when I was at school was to try and figure out how comics could work in a gallery context. I was never satisfied with just sticking pages up on the wall – they’re designed to be held in your hands and engaged with on a personal level. My self-righteousness on this subject has cooled over the years, but I still hold to that basic concept. I stopped worrying about trying to fit comics into a gallery and just focused on making my books (or websites). Needless to say, I never figured out the answer, which left me unprepared for when I was asked to have my first solo show.

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PIX 2011

12 Oct
by Kevin Czap

Ah, it’s autumn. Time for a trip to our sister city for the second annual Pittsburgh Independent Expo. This trip marks a year that I’ve been tabling at comics shows, and it’s nice to celebrate the occasion in such a great place. (For those interested in reading a long and enthusiastic report of last year’s show, check out this post. Everyone else, let’s move one.)

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Happiness (Finally) – slechtemeisjes

5 Oct
by Kevin Czap

Slechtemeisjes

Today I’d like to talk to you guys a little bit about one of my favorite webcomics. Dutch for “bad girls,” slechtemeisjes is a bizarre weekly strip starring a group of nearly identical teen girls who live with a professor? I’m not sure how much of a continuous storyline runs throughout the episodes, but I get the feeling that isn’t really the point. A typical strip consists of the girls getting involved in some surreal adventure or circumstance, punctuated by the odd, matter-of-fact dialogue that more or less narrates the scene, until culminating finally in some kissing and/or missing clothes.

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Perfect Balance

28 Sep
by Kevin Czap

I was reading the new James Kochalka book, Fungus #1 (from Retrofit Comics) and it struck me how complete Kochalka’s drawings were. He’s developed his cartooning to a point where he’s able to strike that perfect balance between black and white on the page. The simple imagery, however, disguises just how hard it is to get black and white drawings look this good.

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