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5 posts from April 2010

April 23, 2010

Who Reads First Second?

Eek! Gadzooks! Richard Sala's Cat Burglar Black has been transformed into some kind of bizarre, backwards-alien language! How did we ever accomplish that amazing feat? Are you clever enough to solve the mystery behind this spell-binding achievement of modern optical trickery?

Photo 1

Do you read First Second Books? Send us a photo to mail@firstsecondbooks.com, and if we like it we'll put it on the blog.

April 16, 2010

:01 at MoCCA Round-Up

Here are the first of the MoCCA show reports from the First Second crew. More to follow!

Calista - :01 Editor

As usual, MoCCA was a big warm fuzzy for me. Seeing familiar faces, meeting new friends, and generally enjoying the feeling of being in a room with hundreds of people who share many of my enthusiasms. I also enjoy book shopping! This year I was really happy to get, among others, copies of Raina Telgemeier’s SMILE, Hope Larson’s MERCURY, Mike Cavallaro’s SAVIOR 28, Dash Shaw’s BODY WORLD, and THE ART of JAIME HERNANDEZ, all signed by their respective kick-ass authors/artists.

Colleen Venable - :01 Design Guru

Alternating working between three tables—:01, Graphic Universe, and one for my own minis—I probably walked around the floor for a total of 5 minutes. BUT being MOCCA, with such an abundance of great comics, 5 minutes was long enough to come across some amazing art. The latest PAPERCUTTER, issue #12, may have one of my favorite covers they’ve ever done, which says a lot considering the quality of their art direction. It’s consistently one of the best anthologies around. #12 features: Nate Powell, Rachel Bormann, Joey Alison Sayers, Mark Campos, Dalton Webb, and Nate Beaty. I was also really happy to get my hands on the latest issue of NURSE, NURSE, Katie Skelly’s sci-fi drama that makes the designer inside of me squeal with it’s unique approaches to layout and hyperactive use of patterns. While her comics are so charming, it was Megan Baehr’s hand sewn dolls that made my wallet want to jump out of my bag. I challenge you to look at these and not smile: http://www.friedwontons.com/index/nonesuch

Another anthology worth noting is the free newspaper print CABOOSE created by and starring the community in White River Junction, VT, home to the Center for Cartoon Studies. It reminded me of Roald Dahl’s “Ah, Sweet Mystery of Life”: a small town you get to know in small glimpses, puzzle pieces put together in your own mind to form a picture. I really hope this is Issue #1 of a much longer run of newspaper print anthologies from this community. I also hope other cartoonists take note. With the rising prices of small press tables and increase in print technology, it breaks my heart to see less and less handmade books at shows like MOCCA. Everyone is going for sleeker, more refined, P.O.D. and printing serves doing small runs, and some of the charm of the indie D.I.Y. comics world is diminishing. I want to see more handsewn books, more handmade bellybands, more ultra-tiny-minis with cheap photocopy paper inside and construction paper covers sold for $1 to spread the world about someone new and talented. I don’t want everyone to try and force their books look “professional” because there is a fine line between looking professional and having a D.I.Y. comic become a cold object...one that loses the connection between itself and the artist. CABOOSE has teeth. Quite literally. In a world going more and more towards super glossy coldness, it felt really wonderful in my hands.

April 13, 2010

PSA! Making a mini comic? Put your name on it!

This last weekend, as many of you know, was MoCCA Art Fest 2010. It's a lovely event, and a terrific place for up-and-coming comics artists to showcase their work, and for editors like yours truly to discover up-and-coming comics artists! More on this later.

But here's a tip, up-and-comers! Put your name on your mini! If you're feeling crazy, go ahead and put your website and your email address on there, too!

If you don't (forgetfulness? Shyness? Spite?) you run the risk of having someone (like me) pick up a copy with the intention of following up with you later on about, you know, Gainful Employment, only to find when the time comes that they have no idea who made the comic in question, or how to get a hold of the artist.

I should note - this didn't happen to me this year - but it has happened in the pas. And this year I certainly noticed a few mini comics with NO IDENTIFYING CHARACTERISTICS ON THEM. Bad! Bad!

April 08, 2010

Weekend Plans

(or, First Second at the MoCCA Art Festival)

The MoCCA Art Festival will be in town again this weekend!  (You can see how I consider them a kind of traveling circus that comes briefly into our lives to bring us comics delight and then evaporates away again with the beginning of the new week, leaving only memories?  They are exactly like that.)

We'll be there!  Our table is E32, and some of our authors have kindly consented to grace us with their presence.  Here's the list: 


11:00 – 12:30 – Susan Kim, Laurence Klavan, and Pascal Dizin stop by to sign the newly released City of Spies

12:30 – 2:00 -- James Sturm, Andrew Arnold, and Alexis Frederick-Frost stop by to sign Adventures in Cartooning.  Possibly the first public ensemble signing for this book!

2:00 – Mike Cavallaro stops by to sign the newly released New York fantastical adventure Foiled


2:00 – George O’Connor, just returned from a Texan adventure, signs the first two books in his newly released mythological series, Zeus and Athena

April 02, 2010

Who reads First Second?

I know what you're thinking - is that a Camper Van Mug to the right of the robot on the shelf behind him? And you would be wrong - it is a Camper Van Mug box. The mug has been removed and relocated to a more temperate climate.


Do you read First Second Books? Send us a photo to mail@firstsecondbooks.com, and if we like it we'll put it on the blog.

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