Monday, November 01, 2010

Three new books from Sparkplug Comics

You can order these books from Dylan Williams, Sparkplug Comic Books, PO Box 10952 Portland, OR 97296-0952

"Flesh and Bone" 40 pages 6x8.5 color covers. $6.00

by Julia Gfrorer

Flesh and bone is an adult readers only, folk/fairytale that takes

place around 1798. A young man's one true love has died, and he was so in love with her that he also wants to die to be with her. He enlists the help of a witch, because he fears if he commits suicide he will face eternal damnation and never see his beloved Anabel.

Jadwiga, the witch, prepares type of potion, and in doing so calls up Buer being with a

Lions face. They discuss what to do about the young man that has asked for Jadwiga's help. In the mean time the young man hangs himself.

Very nice artwork, if not the happiest of stories

"The Heavy Hand" 108 pages 6x9 Color covers $14.00 by Chris C. Cilla

I think we all know that comics rank about last in the fight for the entertainment dollar. With that in mind it is up to the new Cartoonists to continue to bring something different to sequential story telling. There is a need to break any existing rules and go beyond the established norm.

One of those rules is, when telling a story be sure to keep the reader in mind, don't think the reader will know what in the cartoonists mind, is so clear. It is up to the Cartoonist to convey his story, through the dialog and pictures, so the reader can follow a long.

I believe Chris Cilla intentionally breaks that rule. This book , in my opinion, has been done more for the artist than the reader. The reader here is along for the ride, If the person reading this can glean a few tid bits of insight into the cartoonists mind that's great. Then Chris has not compromised his intent, and the reader has a little more to think about.

This is just one more approach to bending the limits of what comics can be. It may not be for everyone, but the days of trying to appeal to a huge audience are probably in the past. Like it or not the new cartoonist have to stretch the boundaries of sequential art.

'Lemon Styles" 40 pages 10x10 $9.00 by David E. King

Well I believe that most of what I said about "The Heavy Hand" applies to this book also. The book is billed as a series of one page gags. But here again only the artist understands the full meaning of the gag. In the page that I have chosen to to post here the dialog goes like this: panel one "sometimes there is a tickle in my ear! Panel two " I consume the trees of home" Panel three: " I devour the ghosts" Panel four: " Haw haw haw ha haw ho ho haw". Now, I don't know what that means, I don't know if it is funny, or not. I do know the art work is very cool. I love David's style.

But here again the reader is a bystander left to figure out the artists intent. The artist only gives the the subtlest of clues.....

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Sparkplug Comics

Dylan Williams of Sparkplug Comics has just sent me 9 books, all posted below.

These are more than just comic books, they are Art Comics. Dylan is doing more than just publishing small press comics, no, these go beyond that label. It takes some one brave enough and with a solid vision of what comics can be to take the risks involved in publishing books that have routes in the Dadaist, and Fluxus movements.
Thanks for sending the books Dylan, I hope this blog generates a few sales.


A European artistic and literary movement that flouted conventional aesthetic and cultural values by producing works marked by nonsense, travesty, and incongruity.


International avant-garde group of artists founded in Germany By U.S. artist George Maciunas. Opposed to tradition and professionalism in the arts.

You can purchase any of the books reviewed below from:
Sparkplug Comic Books
PO Box 10952 Portland OR 97296-0952


REICH 5,6 and 7

24 pages each, color covers, B &W interior, 6" x 9" by Elijah Brubaker $4.00 Each

The on going story of Dr Wilhelm Reich a psychoanalyst and sex researcher circa 1930.

A difficult subject to be sure, but the art work here is outstanding. Once again another brave cartoonist tackling a subject that not everyone will appreciate. But you just might learn something who knows?


28 pages, color cover, black and white interior, 7.5 x 10.25 by Dunja Jankovic $6.00

Here is an art comic, that in my opinion, represents dadaisim in comics. It is a brave thing to do, art for art's sake. I am not sure how many will appreciate it, but those who do, and purchase the comic,may very well have a collectors item on their hands!


36 pages color cover, black and white, with single color interior 9" x 6" by Olga Volozova and Juliacks $6.00

Truly this falls under the category of art comics. Two artists collaborate and blend their unique drawing styles, to create a surreal book.


160 Pages Digest size color cover, black and white interior, by Aron Nels Steinke $14.00

Aron owes a lot to John Porcellino, with regard to his drawing style, and that is not a criticism. John paved the way for a lot of fine cartoonists.

Neptune is an all ages story about a girl, her brother and their dog Neptune. There is a hint that Neptune just might have supernatural powers... or do we have a little girl with a big imagination? You will have to read the story and form your own opinion.


80 pages Black and White digest size, by Andrew Smith $ 6.00

The pen and ink work in this book is outstanding, and the drawings are exaggerated to their fullest.

With regard to the story, I will post part of Dylan Williams' Synopsis:

The story follows a mentally unstable character names Sausagehand in his exploration of a mall and its inhabitants.


20 pages, color cover and interior, mini by David King $3.00

Here is a mini that takes on a rather large subject.... the first instant of the universe! David makes it clear on the last page of the book that he is not a scientist, and does not understand physics or anything. But it is pretty interesting, and you won't find another mini comic like it!


36 Pages Black and white Digest size By Robert Sergal $5.00

A slice of life book, however an unusual slice! The book features very stark black and white art with no cross hatching. Along with the stories, Robert throws in two pages of portraits called " Sex offenders who live near me" I guess it is for the reader to decide if these are real people or not. But if you live in the Boston area take note!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Homemade light box

I always wanted a light box for tracing roughs, or backgrounds for the comics I make. The other day I priced one at the art store. For a 9 x 12 box they wanted $50.00. Well I thought I should be able to make a light box for less than that. So here is my light box project.

Materials: one 8 ft 1 x 4 $6.00

One 8ft 1x1 $$5.00

A lamp Kit $10.00

Two packages of plastic screen holders $2.00 each

A piece of Lexan left over from a previouse project. The Lexan dictated the size of the box

13 x 17

Below you can see the steps I went through to build my box. I am no carpenter, but it turned out OK!

Homemade light box

I scored a piece of scrap Lexan, that I had from another project, and bent it until it broke cleanly.( a rather scary process, but it worked great)

Homemade light box

Since My piece of Lexan was clear, I baught a roll of white contact paper, and cut it to fit the Lexan

Homemade light box

Next I applied the white contact paper to one side of the lexan

Homemade Light Box

These are the two side pieces with the rails attached that will hold the lexan sheet.

Homemade Light box

Here is the lamp installed in the top of the box. I used a kit intended for making a bottle into a lamp.

Homemade Light Box

This shot shows the box after all four sided have been screwed together

Homemade Light Box

The box with the Lexan installed

Homemade Light box

Here is the completed Light box with a drawing on it, ready to be traced

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Comics from SPACE

Here is my haul from SPACE 2010. Also some pictures below.

A couple of photos from SPACE

Here are a couple of photos from S.P.A.C.E. 2010