The kissiest babyface on a campaign of Online Commentaries & Diversions:
• Review: The Las Vegas Weekly breaks out their ballots and their copies of Barack Hussein Obama by Steven Weissman. J. Calob Mozzococco says, "Weissman’s delicate line work and fine-art design style further remove the narrative from the caricature-style visuals usually associated with comics about politicians, and is perfectly suited to the meandering, poetic, almost meditative comic."
•Interview (audio): Steven Weissman talks about comics, math and trying to identify with such public, political characters on the Inkstuds podcast with Robin McConnell. Weissman talks about the impotes impotus for Barack Hussein Obama. "Initially, it was just his name and. . . the dreams his followers had for him. . . I started to treat Hillary Clinton as a Lucy van Pelt character."
• Interview: On the quest to The Cartoon Utopia, Ron Regé Jr. is interviewed by Ryan Ingram on Comic Book Resources. Regé states,"Similar to Lynda Barry's "What It Is," [The Cartoon Utopia] should be approached slowly, as a textbook would. It might also be useful when read via bibliomancy, opening the book to a random page to access the information in a magical way."
• Review (audio):Comic Books are Burning in Hell talks about Johnny Ryan and Prison Pit 4 with all the usual suspects: Joe McCullough, Matt Seneca, Chris Mautner and Tucker Stone. "While visually Prison Pit is very clean, composed and controlled, plotwise, I think, its the ultimate noise comic. Its fucking total destruction and nothing else. And I value the hell outta that."
• Review: Grovel enjoys the comics, yes literary but still comics of Lorenzo Mattotti and Jorge Zentner in The Crackle of the Frost. Andy Shaw states, "It’s a wilfully arty book – more of an essay in mood that just happens to have a plot, than a traditional story – but the writing is interesting and the artwork is stunning. . . so is one for the literary, rather than the mainstream comics enthusiast."
• Interview:Comic Book Resources coverage on the APE panel featuring all three Hernandez Brothers. Steven Sautter writes,"There was no set plan in those early days, no grand storyline or over-arcing plot; the Hernandez brothers simply told the stories they felt like telling, none of them counting on the eventual longevity of "Love and Rockets."
• Plug: Liv Suddall of It's Nice That thoroughly enjoys the content and design of Is That All There Is? by Joost Swarte. "With a more-than-just-a-nod nod to Tintin creator Hergé, this surprisingly raunchy book is a big slice of aesthetic pleasure from start to finish and should probably be on everyone’s wish list this Christmas."
In anticipation of their exciting book release party this coming Sunday, October 28th, we've been asking our artistsSteven Weissman and Ron Regé Jr. about the genesis of their friendship. You can read Steve's answers on Ron here. And now, today, it's Ron's turn...
Do you remember the first time you met Steven? No, I don't remember the first time I met Steven! It was probably at a comic convention? One of the 3 or 4 early memories I have of Steven must be the "first time," but unraveling it now, it feels like I already knew him all of those times. It was around the turn of the century. Who is this Steven character, anyhow? I thought his name was Ribs?
Do you have any funny stories of Steven? Steven used to live in a little house in Chinatown in San Francisco. It was on a really steep hill. It was a little shack in between all these big buildings, like that old Warner Bros. cartoon. As I came up the hill, there he was at his desk, looking out the window. I think it was at this moment that I stopped calling my peers "cartoonists" and just started calling them "cartoons." All them funny cartoons. haha.
Write me a haiku about his brand new book Barack Hussein Obama! ribs new book is art makes sense if you just read it stories get told all drawn
Angelenos, do not miss this incredible event. Now is your chance to ask them much better questions than the ones I asked! The book release party starts at 5:00 PM at Skylight Books [ 1818 N Vermont Ave. in the Los Feliz neighborhood ].
What will happen when these two incredible talents collide at Skylight Books in Los Angeles? Will time stop? Will doves cry? You'll have to find out for yourself at 5:00 PM!
To prepare everyone for the awesome, and to give those outside of the L.A.-area a glimpse of what we'll be missing, I asked the guys a few questions about the other. Today, we start with Steven:
Do you remember the first time you met Ron? Ron and I met at Wonder Con '99. I traded him a copy of Hi-Yo Silver #21 I'd just spent all my money on for The Dum Dum Posse Reader. He was really cool about it, so we exchanged numbers.
Do you have any funny stories of Ron? A few of us were driving around L.A. a couple of years ago when Ron's car started smoking like crazy. Luckily, we were near a mechanic I knew, and he was willing to take a look at it while we waited around. It was really hot out, so Ron bought us ice-cream from a passing cart vendor. After a bit, we wandered back to the garage where the mechanic was just finishing up, and he said it looked like Ron had blown a seal.
"What? No!" Ron told him, embarrassed. "We just had some ice-cream."
Skylight Books is located at 1818 N Vermont Ave. in the Los Feliz neighborhood of L.A. Someone go and tell Steve what a haiku is!!! And stay tuned for The Squeegee Thief's answers on Steven, coming tomorrow...
Ron Regé, Jr. is a very unusual yet accomplished storyteller whose work exudes a passionate moral, idealistic core that sets him apart from his peers. The Cartoon Utopia is his Magnum Opus, a unique work of comic art that, in the words of its author, "focuses on ideas that I've become intrigued by that stem from magical, alchemical, ancient ideas & mystery schools." It's part sci-fi, part philosophy, part visual poetry, and part social manifesto. Regé's work exudes psychedelia, outsider rawness, and pure cartoonish joy.
In The Cartoon Utopia, "Utopians" of the future world are attempting to send messages through consciousness, outside of the constricts of time as we understand it. They live in a world of advanced collective consciousness and want to help us understand how to achieve what they have accomplished. They get together to perform this task in a way that evolved out of our current system of consuming information and entertainment. In other words, the opposite of television. Instead, these messages appear in the form of art, music and storytelling.
Praise for Ron Regé, Jr.:
"One of a handful of cartoonists in the history of the medium to not only reinvent comics to suit his own idiosyncratic impulses and inspirations as an artist, but also to imbue it with his own peculiar, ever changing emotional energy. To me, he is unquestionably one of 'the greats.'" – Chris Ware
"Slow down when you read his pictures and ornately lettered words, quivering, scintillating, radiant, and they will leave you awake and awakened." – Paul Gravett
• Eugene, OR: The Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art at the University of Oregon in Eugene, OR is hosting the exhibit GOOD GRIEF! Original Art from 50 Years of Charles M. Schulz's PEANUTS, and curator Ben Saunders will interview Jan Eliot about her experiences with Charles Schulz and her own career as the artist of the nationally successful newspaper strip "Stone Soup." (more info)
I make no bones about how much I love this job, but when we get to throw an event like this, I really, reaaaallly love my job.
We're thrilled to announce that Steven Weissman and Ron Regé Jr. will be signing and reading from their brand-new books on Sunday, October 28th at Skylight Books in Los Angeles, CA. Goosebumps, people.
With the election on the horizon, you'll wanna get your copy of Steven's latest Barack Hussein Obama. And Ron will be unveiling his Magnum Opus, The Cartoon Utopia. Ron and Steve are two of my most favorite artists, and the thought of having them together in an event is mind-blowing.
At first glance, these books seem pretty different. But attend this signing and you will see that behind the surrealism and the psychedelia, there lies something very human and real. There's no better time for both these books than right now... or, um, 5:00 PM on October 28th, if you live in Los Angeles.
Skylight Books is located at 1818 N Vermont Ave. in the Los Feliz neighborhood of L.A. Come prepared for awesome.
You may remember last year when we shared news about MTV putting their classic Liquid Television shorts from the 19mumbledy-somethings online, including work by Charles Burns, Richard Sala and other cartooning greats. We were all waiting for new original material from our comics heroes and MTV has not disappointed, rolling out a new series Worldword! the new episode of which, "Heal Everything, Heal Everyone," features artwork by Ron Regé Jr.! Ron tells us "I did drawings for a second one too, that will be coming out! Future installments will feature art by Leif Goldberg, Brian Chippendale, Kevin Hooyman, Megan Whitmarsh, and probably other people that I don't know about... um.... yeah! ????"
How did the band Lavender Diamond manage to score the great Ron Regé, Jr. to do their album cover? Oh, I dunno... maybe they asked their drummer... Ron Regé, Jr. Yes, not only is the guy an amazing artist, he's also an amazing musician. Yes, your parents were right: life is not fair.
The new album is titled Incorruptible Heart, and it is out today on Paracadute Records. Go stream their awesomeness on their Soundcloud page. For a limited time only, the band is offering a "deluxe package" including an original, hand-drawn piece of artwork from Ron, an exclusive tote bag, the limited edition vinyl (on lavender, natch), and a digital download.
And hey, east coast! Lavender Diamond is heading over for a short lil' tour, so don't miss them!
09.26.12 - Mercury Lounge [ New York, NY ] 09.27.12 - Kung Fu Necktie [ Philadelphia, PA ] 09.29.12 - Glasslands [ Brooklyn, NY ] 09.30.12 - Brighton Music Hall [ Cambridge, MA ]
Creator of The Cartoon Utopia, Ron Rege will be hosting a workshop at SAW, the Sequential Artists Workshop, in March 2013. In this week-long workshop, students will work with Ron from morning to evening, expanding their minds and vision and translating their ideas and stories to the finished page. Rege has created autobiography, true stories, comics from dreams and histories and lately, intricate spectacles and essays on magic and the unknown. Students will get to work with Rege for a week, to learn his process and connect to The Cartoon Utopia!
Ron's workshop follows a week-long intensive with John Porcellino so you can soak up the knowledge and inspiration from two masters of comics in a short time frame. Sign up now or send your questions to Tom, Leela and the whole cartooning gang.