The new summer issue, themed Hard Work, is almost done! Here's a sneak peak at Andy Warner's story "Sex Workers of the World, Unite!" Needless to say, this issue is only for mature readers.
Here are four awesome free events in June and July that I'm extremely excited about:
6/4 Hothouse Happy Hour: DC’s Independent Print Scene (SW Washington, DC)
Presented by Washington Project for the Arts. A chance to meet and learn about some of DC's zines, including The Cartoon Picayune!
6/15-16 Chicago Alternative Comics Expo or CAKE (Chicago, IL)
Last year was a blast, and this year is chockablock with comics journalists. The Hard Work issue debuts at this show, and will be available starting this weekend. More details to come soon.
6/21 The Hard Work Issue Release Party (Downtown Washington, DC)
Our first ever release party! Please join me and the rest of the Studio on F (923 F St NW) in celebrating the new issue, the summer solstice, and my birthday! 6-9 pm, free drinks and snacks. Original art on display and comics available for purchase.
7/20 DC Zinefest (Columbia Heights, Washington, DC)
This was a blast last year and I'm thrilled to be invited back for their 3rd show. The organizers do a great job and it's a fun little show at St. Stephen's church.
Saturday night I attended the opening reception for the Joe Bonham Project at the Pepco Gallery here in D.C. The group visits with wounded veterans at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and they draw while the servicemen tell their stories. The show features works of illustration in different media from professional artists including The Cartoon Picayune's own Jess Ruliffson (seated, center).
Her story, Bethesda, in the current issue, is the direct result of her visits to Walter Reed and the only work in the exhibit in the form of comics. It was great to see the whole breadth of the exhibit, and the take in the diversity of styles and experiences.
Here, for example, is a drawing by Ray Alma, who visited with Michael at the same time Jess did. It was so interesting to see the same people portrayed by different artists, and the little bits of information scrawled on the page often added a lot of emotion and narrative to the portraits.
If you'll be in D.C. through the 30th, the gallery is open to the public from 12-4 Tuesday through Friday, at 702 Eighth Street NW, between G and H. Seriously, it's quick and not too overwhelming. Instead, it's powerful and engaging. I'm really proud of Jess' contribution, and pleased with the work the Project is doing and the broader conversation it is encouraging. You can support them here as well.
SPX is probably my favorite time of the year, not least of which because there's a brand-new issue of The Cartoon Picayune. It is only right that the issue with a theme like "Distress" should arrive the day before its debut, but it's here! Issue 4 is hot off the presses and now available in the store. If you're in the area, come to SPX out in North Bethesda this weekend, it's really going to be an amazing show this year.
Here's a page from Matt Diffee's amusing and interesting piece "Rattled," click to view bigger.
And here's a splash-page from Jess Ruliffson's amazing feature story "Bethesda." Just a taste of the stories in this issue.
One more thing. I re-did the Paypal buttons so now you can add multiple items to a "cart" and check out all it once, and decided to make a small change. Since I started The Cartoon Picayune, the price of postage has been raised and I've come to realize how much Paypal actually takes out of each transaction as a fee. Going forward, each issue will ship for $1.50 instead of a dollar. Subscription prices will stay the same, and the retail price of the comic will remain $4 online, in stores, and in person.
Here's something new and exciting.
I've taken what I've done so far on sequentialnews.com and made a little black and white zine that's like a "director's cut" where I write about each piece. It's a nice chance to reflect on the format and some of stuff I had to leave out.
Anyway, they're half the size of The CP and half the pages. They've been mailed out to subscribers today in these colorful envelopes. Then I'll sell them at shows for $1 until they run out. There are only a hundred, and I'm not selling them online or through shops. Grab one at a show or become a subscriber. Your support helps me do this, plus you get awesome bonus stuff like this mini and you get your copy before anyone else. Really, I send out the subscriber copies before I send one to my mom.
They'll debut at the D.C. Zine Fest on Saturday, July 28th at St. Stephen's. This event is free, and it should be a lot of fun. Come say hi. I'll also have them at SPX, September 15th and 16th in Bethesda (where I'll be debuting Issue #4!).
That's right, plenty of news from California!
First is Comic-Con. I'm pleased to note that Andy Warner, author of Issue 3's "The Man Who Built Beirut," will be representing The Cartoon Picayune on the Publishers Weekly panel concerning comics as journalism this Sunday. Thanks to Calvin Reid for moderating and putting it together, there are some great people on it.
Also, copies of The Cartoon Picayune are now in three shops over there, including two new ones. Pick up a copy at...
Mission: Comics & Art in San Francisco
Fantastic Comics in Berkeley
and Secret Headquarters in Los Angeles.
That's it for now! Always feel free to tell me which shops you'd like to carry the CP and I'll do my best to get it there.
Hey, here's a little post to get us back on track. More soon.
First, hi Pittsburghers! You can now buy The Cartoon Picayune at the Copacetic Comics Company.
Also, CAKE was a blast. Chicago was beautiful, and the show was really well-run and fun. It was small, free to get in, and there were great views up on the 8th floor. I can't say enough about this show, I had a great time and it provided a great excuse for a mini-vacation to Chicago. I was even able to meet up with some other comics journos. Here's my table along with my gracious host/tablemate for life Beth Hetland:
And here are two things that are not exactly comics journalism as it is in the CP, but they are still non-fiction comics I've drawn recently. First, I did some freelance work with Culture magazine (yes, an artisan cheese magazine), and you can read that story here. Also, I've been working on something on the side called Sequential News. You'll see what it is when you get there.
Issue #3, the Spring 2012 Cartoon Picayune, has just arrived back from the printers and orders are now available for sale in the site shop. Isn't it a beaut?! Also Issue #1 has been reprinted locally and all three comics are looking real nice these days. Each issue is now available for $4, with shipping for only one dollar more.
Here's what Rob Walker, of The New York Times Magazine and Design Observer, had this to say for the back of this issue:
"A growing number of artists and writers are creating reported, researched, factual work these days, and a doing brilliant, memorable job of it. They're also finding an audience, and that audience wants more! So Josh Kramer has tapped into something significant by making The Cartoon Picayune a new home for this vibrant subgenre, and he keeps proving it with each issue."
Here are a few preview pages from Darryl and Erik's story, about marriage in a Chicago jail:
Here's a sample of Ethan's story about a fellow artist in the making:
And finally, two pages from Andy's 16-page comic featured in this issue:
The Spring issue officially goes on sale this weekend at the Toronto Comics Art Festival, and I'll start mailing out orders when I get home next week. Subscriber copies are already in the mail. Just a reminder, subscriptions are available for two or four issues, with extra goodies thrown in.
You can expect complete notes and bibliography from Andy's piece here soon, plus a Q+A interview with artist Ethan Leners soon as well.
Back again, and with plenty of exciting news. I'm doing a spring cleaning of sorts here at the site. There's a new color on the background (no, this isn't for awareness of anything, we have this thing here about our cherry blossoms) as well as severe edits to the text on a few of the pages.
Most importantly, I've gotten most of my own busyness out of the way and I'm now putting together Issue 3 of The Cartoon Picayune: the Spring 2012 issue. Check out the cover, why don't you:
I know, right? This cover is by Andy Warner, who is also contributing the main story of this issue. It's an incredible insight into the part of the world that we tend to know the least about as Americans — the Middle East. His grasp of the issues at play are possibly only outdone by his skills as a cartoonist.
I'm also excited to have a piece from Chicago duo Darryl "Lee" Holliday and Erik "Kirby" Nelson Rodriguez. Their commitment to the journalism is impressive and inspiring, and they know how to tell a pretty good story. You can find more about them and their and forthcoming book here.
Finally, I have some work from a student also in Chicago named Ethan Leners. He eloquently presents an interesting angle on a familiar story, and the resulting comics look unlike anything else I've published so far.
I'm also in this issue, but only for two pages! I'm thrilled to mostly backseat drive on this one, and watch this thing actually turn into a vibrant anthology. I think this issue is a nice mix, and the next one is shaping up nicely as well.
Just to get it out there, I'll be selling The Cartoon Picayune, issues 1, 2, and 3 at three conventions so far:
More info on each to come!