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Dara Naraghi's graphic novel Lifelike is now available in both digital and print editions. Click here for more info.

Books – Dara
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Archive for the ‘Columbus’ Category

I needed to marinate in the juices that was The Mix for a couple of days. Drink in the academia, the art, and receding hairlines. The major thing I take away from it is the question, why isn’t Columbus a bigger comics town? That seemed to be the question posed in interview by Robert Loss and on the Indie Comix panel that Caitlin (from the Cartoon Library) moderated.  Hell, even today it was mentioned on the Comics Reporter. By all rights, we should be. The cost of living is significantly cheaper than Chicago or New York.  Our local economy’s fairing better than most metropolitan cities, despite the crappy economy. Life doesn’t suck in Columbus. Believe me, it took me five or so years out of art school to realize that. You can set up your homebase here, and travel to cons in Chicago, Baltimore, Bethesda, and or New York. Granted, the major drawback for a creative is looking for work in graphic design, or advertising for say a firm or company: the market’s flooded. It doesn’t mean you can’t start your own company or freelance for clients outside Columbus.

I was able to see both panels with Chris Ware. There was a ‘keynote’ Friday night that was more like an informal talk with Ware. Jeff Smith and the entire Cartoon Books staff was in attendance. Saturday he was part of a panel on contemporary life in comics. When I got there, it seemed more like a continuation of Friday’s keynote. I wasn’t complaining, I wanted to hear more from Ware. I went and checked out the exhibit of Ware’s work that’s still up in the Canzani Center main gallery. Make a hard right as you pass the ridiculously big Red Riding Hood installation.

The crowd was a mix of college professors and students. It was a modest attendance for most of the panels, save the keynote address which was of course, free. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that there’s a growing number of English college departments taking comics seriously. In that I mean there are college classes now where professors assign Watchmen or Fun Home along with Ulysses or The Invisible Man. CCAD’s Robert Loss teaches a course dedicated to graphic novels. Makes perfect sense for an art school. I’d love to see this grow and expand into sub-series of courses for cartoonists. Enriching the comics illustration class that I  took back when I was a student.

CCAD is moving forward with plans for next year’s Mix. To be a part of it, it’s a bit more complicated than being in a convention panel. You have to submit a resume, and an abstract (synapsis) of what you want to talk about in one of the panels. Artists, creators, and or writers are all welcome.

So the Mix started today at CCAD in Columbus: a series of workshops & panel discussions about comics. Technically it began last night with a panel discussion on Maus. As of now it appears all the workshops are filled up. Yay. There is a registration charge (cover) of $50 for all three days (except for the Chris Ware talk which is free).

Click here for the full schedule.

  • Friday I’ll be on the Indie Comics Spotlight panel. The panel runs from 4:15 – 5:30pm at the Canzani Center.
  • Saturday, I’ll be participating in the Authoring Comics panel. That runs from 12:45 – 2:15pm. Also in the Canzani Center.

The Chris Ware keynote speech begins at 7pm Friday with a reception to follow. Officially his new book drops this week, and of course it will be at the Mix pop-up shop. I’ll have some merch there as well.

Robert Loss, the Mix organizer & english professor at the school, runs a comics blog. The Comics Reporter ran an interview with him today. Sounds like the school is up for making this an annual event which is really cool.

See you there.

I spotted this sign at a resale clothing store on 161. It’s not open yet, but I’ll keep you posted.


I didn’t catch the name of the store, but I hope it’s Hit ‘Em Up Style.

I know it’s short notice, but I forgot to post this earlier.

Indie cartoonist Derf will give a free talk Tuesday, May 15, at OSU’s Wexner Center film/video theater.

Ohio State grad and Cleveland-based cartoonist Derf Backderf visits to discuss his new graphic novel, My Friend Dahmer, an account of growing up in the same small Ohio town as notorious serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer.

Best known for his strip The City, Derf is a two-time Eisner Award nominee and received a Robert F. Kennedy Journalism award in 2006. Join us following the event for a book signing in the Wexner Center Store.

The Ohioana Book Festival is a celebration of Ohio-based authors, and takes place Saturday, May 12, from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Fort Hayes Metropolitan Education Center. This is the 6th year for the event, and it will feature nearly 100 authors covering a variety of genres, across both fiction and non-fiction. There will be live music, food carts, exhibits, and author readings. You can meet your favorite writers, get your books autographed, and chat with them in an informal atmosphere.

And best of all, it’s free to attend, and parking is free as well.

The 2012 Featured Authors are:

Tom Batiuk
Jeni Britton Bauer
Cinda Williams Chima
Casey Daniels
Nancy Petro
Donald Ray Pollock
Emilie Richards
Les Roberts
Michael J. Rosen
Robin Yocum

I’ll be one of the guests at the festival, and I’m also participating in a panel at 2:15 pm titled “Young Adult Fiction – For Tweens & Teens.” There will be a ton of other panels, workshops, and author readings as well. Plus, children’s activities. Check out the website for all the details.

Hope to see some of you there.

Apparently after finding out that the city of Cleveland benefited from The Avengers filming part of its movie there – to the tune of $30 million – Columbus mayor Michael Coleman is jonesing for some of that sweet L.A. cash. So says The Lantern:

Columbus aims to reel in movie-making money

“In 2011, about $3.7 million was spent in Central Ohio on film projects. In contrast, about $68 million was spent in Cleveland and Akron and almost $30 million was spent in Cincinnati in 2011, according to the Ohio Film Office.”

They even get a quote from The Laughing Ogre’s manager, and our pal, Stang:

“Apart from financial gain, Jeff Stang, store manager of Laughing Ogre Comics, located at 4258 N. High St., said he didn’t see a good reason why a film like “The Avengers” should shoot in Columbus.

“See, the problem is that most of the Marvel universe takes place in New York City, so you have to find something that can model either New York City or one of the boroughs, or something like that, and Columbus just doesn’t have the skyline to do it,” Stang said.”

C’mon, Stang, why you gotta be like that? Where’s the love? I once saw an episode of a TV show that was ostensibly set on the campus of “The Ohio State University,” except that in the background you saw palm trees between the buildings. If L.A. can double for C-Bus, C-Bus can double for NYC. It’s all movie magic, baby!

I have a short post on my personal blog about this year’s Small Press and Alternative Comics Expo (S.P.A.C.E.), including scans of some of the original art I picked up at the show, and a link to a great photo gallery of the event.

Art by Matt Kish

The Columbus Dispatch profiles animator and comic book illustrator, Rafael Rosado. Rosado moved with his family to Columbus to escape the grinding life of LA.

He has also found time for more personal work — including his first graphic novel, Giants Beware!, a story written for all ages by his friend, Columbus native Jorge Aguirre.

The fantasy stars a girl named Claudette.

“Her aspirations are to be a warrior and to kill giants. . . . There’s just not enough female protagonists out there with a strong character,” said Rosado, the father of two young daughters.

Another central Ohio graphic novelist, Bone creator Jeff Smith, calls Giants Beware! “fast, fun and joyous to look at.”

The Dispatch has a nice article on the Small Press and Alternative Comics Expo, and profile local cartoonists Bob Corby, Max Ink, and Matt Wyatt.

Such publishers are refreshing because they take chances that big-time publishers won’t, said Gib Bickel of Laughing Ogre, a comic-book store at 4258 N. High St.

“Most of the real creativity comes from the small press.”

This weekend is the 13th annual Small Press and Alternative Comics Expo (S.P.A.C.E.)

Check out this year’s show poster, by fellow PANELista Tom Williams:

Where: Columbus, Ohio (Ramada Plaza Hotel & Conference Center, 4900 Sinclair Road)
When: Sat April 21, Sun April 22
Who: hundreds of indie comix creators
How Much: $5/day, $8/weekend

I’ll have a table, as will several of my fellow PANEL Collective members. Debuting at the show will be the 19th volume of our well-reviewed anthology, PANEL: Green.

Also this year, it’s the return of the pre-convention party!

Friday, April 20 – The Laughing Ogre Comic Shoppe (4258 North High Street, Columbus, OH 43214) will host the pre-party from 7:00PM-11:00PM Come meet and talk to many of the SPACE exhibitors before the show. Also, free SPACE passes to the first 20 people through the door.

Hope to see some of you at the pre-party, as well as the show itself.

…of the imminent release of PANEL 19: GREEN!

This time, it’s the madcap ravings of Captain Responsible in Andrew Lee’s slacker-rrific cautionary tale, “The Devil’s Coleslaw,” lovingly lettered and toned by multi-talented guest artist Ben Smith!

Captain Responsible!

32 pages of 60% post-consumer awesomeness are coming your way SATURDAY at SPACE! Hope to see you there.

The floor plan’s been rolled out. Here’s where ‘Panel Row’ is seated…

looks like more of the Michigan contingent will make it out this year. Nate Powell, Tom Scioli, and John Porcellino are back as well as some regulars and new faces. Should be a good show. S.P.A.C.E. is on April 21st thru the 22nd. Same place. Same price to get in the door. See you there.

Did you know that OSU’s Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum has a blog? Go check it out.

Below: a “delightful relic from 1963 accompanied Glenn Bretthauer’s How To Make Money With Simple Gags: A Complete Course in Gag Writing!

I always suspected if Bruce Wayne really existed, his Wayne Industries would be a little something like Columbus’ own Battelle Institute. Full of engineers, linguists, analysts, and mad scientists, they do R&D on everything from Environment and Material Sciences to National Security and Defense. (In fact, PANELista Tony Goins spotlighted their “Batman grappling hook” in a previous post.)

Today’s Columbus Dispatch has an article on one of Battelle’s inventions, a “vortex ring gun” capable of shooting an ionized ring of air up to 50 yards.

Their device is a modified shotgun that fires blanks and blasts rings of air that travel 50 yards at about 60 mph. Battelle ran tests of the gun about seven years ago.

Battelle filed for a patent after Dvorsky recently added a battery-powered electrode to the barrel. The electrode gives the vortex an electrical charge.

They say they’re really not looking to weaponize the device, but rather “looking for businesses and public safety departments that could use it.” Applications could include clearing smoke from a burning building, or targeted delivery of tear gas or insecticides.

Sorry I’ve been to busy to post this but there’s still space available for a workshop with Paul at the Thurber Center. If you’re an aspiring creator, student, or take advantage of this, it’s a good opportunity. Here’s the deets…
What: The Graphic Novel
When: March 26, 2012; 6-8 p.m.
Instructor: Paul Hornschemeier, author of acclaimed graphic novels, including MotherCome Home, and the New York Times bestseller, Life with Mr. Dangerous.
Deadline to Register: March 16, 2012

Where: Thurber Center, 91 Jefferson Ave., next door to Thurber House.

Details: Class size is limited so enrollment is on a first-come, first-served basis. Participants must be over 18. Please go to: www.thurberhouse.org for price and further details or call: 614-464-1032.

Paul’s been honored with the first ever ‘graphic novelist in residence’ offered by the Thurber House & the Columbus Museum of Art. This is one of many events planned while Paul is here in town. (click the tag for the full rundown) Again, congrats to Paul.


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