Posts Tagged ‘Jim Rugg’

You got to have a J-O-B if you wanna be with me


Friday, February 18, 2011

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Jay Oh Bee. Job. Get a job. I can hear my girlfriend say the words. When are you gonna get a job? But, honey, I have a job – I’m a cartoonist. I mean a steady job, Frank.

Yah. Sigh. Time to make the donuts. How the hell am I supposed to be a cartoonist if I’m too tired from my real job?

Has this feeling ever visited you, friend? (Use ’50s TV commercial voice.) Well, you aren’t alone. Here at Comics Comics, we feel your pain. How to manage a career in cartooning and pay the bills? (more…)

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Faith in Comics


Saturday, December 25, 2010

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I wanted to do a post on the connection between illuminated manuscripts and comics but then I got sidetracked a little bit. From what I understand illuminated manuscripts were made like modern “assembly line” comics. They divided up the labor to construct the book. One guy did the calligraphy, another did the drawings, another did the “inking”, another the color and yet still others bound the book itself. Thinking about this also got me thinking more specifically about how I find it interesting that many of the leading alt/art cartoonists of yesterday and today come from interesting and varied religious backgrounds. Like maybe we’re all re-incarnated monks who used to sit for hours laboring over some miniscule drawing back in the 15th century or something. I’m kidding of course. But when I started thinking about my friends who are cartoonists who “had religion” I was surprised – or maybe I wasn’t – by the list I compiled. I dunno if there is a connection between “religion” – or “faith” – and comics – but there is something there. (more…)

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PIX 2010 audio interviews


Saturday, December 18, 2010

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Hello and welcome to ComicsComics weekend edition. This week I am presenting a slew of interviews I conducted with a plethora of cartoonists who exhibited at this year’s Pittsburgh Indy Comics Expo. Some of the names may be well known to you while others may be appearing on your radar for the first time. I had a lot of fun doing these interviews. It felt very old world fandom or something. Thanks to everyone who participated for putting up with my antics. And if I missed you this year, look for me next year.

The marquee interview of the show – Kevin Huizenga and Jim Rugg – is archived here at Inkstuds. All other interviews are presented after the jump. Check it out! (more…)

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Kevin H and Jim Rugg interview


Sunday, December 12, 2010

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Hello and welcome to Comics Comics weekend edition. I am your host, Frankie The Wop. In an effort to promote more crossover blog warfare, I have asked Mr. Robin McConnell over at the beloved Inkstuds to host the audio portion this week’s program.

I spoke to Mr. Kevin Huizenga and Mr. Jim Rugg at the Pittsburgh Independent Comics Expo (PIX) back in October of this year. Organized by Copacetic Comics and the Toonseum of Pittsburgh, PA, this event may be the beginning of something special. Very laid back, very beautiful location and all the indy comics you could hope for in western PA, it was a successful show. I think it may pan out to be an important show for midwesterners as there aren’t too many indy shows for regional creators. (Pittsburgh is basically halfway between Chicago and New York for those who can’t imagine it on a map)

I also spoke with many of the exhibitors and attendees at PIX. I will be posting those interviews hopefully in the coming weeks. Truth is, I’ve had some difficulty with the audio files and am trying desperately to preserve them. So, if I did interview you or your friends at the show, please forgive the delay in making them available. Thanks.

Click on the link below and head on over to Inkstuds. Make sure to open another tab while listening to the audio and check out Robin’s tour diary where he visits Al Columbia, Steve Bissette and others. Sounds like a fun trip (I’m jealous!).

Kevin Huizenga and Jim Rugg in conversation. Annoyingly moderated by Frank Santoro.

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Canned Riff


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

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I found this list written in my notebook. It was a cheat sheet for an interview on Inkstuds. We ran out of time before I could get to these riffs, so I am posting them here before they become too stale.

-Webcomics are good for gags only/contained stories for that screen, that day. They work like one pagers essentially; serialized stuff does work in theory but I’ve only read a few I actually like.

Jim Rugg discussion about imaginary audiences. Jim’s always talking about finding the audience who would read zombie comics or something popular and trying to devise schemes to get them to be his readers “How do you tap into these people cuz you know they would love this kind of story I’m doing” – Ed Piskor does same and finds that real/imaginary audience.

-Jesse Moynihan did the most amazing comic online but no one talks about it – if it was a book and laying around in the store, maybe people would write/talk about it more? (more…)

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Milk & Cheese versus Batman as drawn by Neal Adams


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

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This one is for Mr. Evan Dorkin. Drawn by Mr. Jim Rugg. I had imagined that this scene could possibly be something Evan dreams about at night: Milk & Cheese beating up a “Neal Adams” Batman. Then I told Jim about it and we had a good laugh. The next day, the above image showed up in my mailbox. Apologies to Mr. Neal Adams. And thanks to Jim Rugg.

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Random Riff Roundup


Thursday, June 24, 2010

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*You know who’s publishing the best art comics for the disaffected 19-year-old kids who hang out at the record store? Image Comics. I sell the shit out of King City, Orc Stain, and Bulletproof Coffin to the kids who hang out at the record store downstairs. Just sayin’.

*Night Business needs to go full color! Did you see Ben Marra’s story in the Diamond Comics #5 newspaper? Start a Kickstarter for that, Ben! Make a business plan that involves turning the book into a video game or something. Anything. Just go color!

*I was at a crazy comics warehouse out in the middle of nowhere looking for something and heard the local kids talking the usual Marvel/DC smack. Then one of them declared he loved Scott Pilgrim. His friend said, “I thought you were being sarcastic when you said that before … and now I think you’re serious.” Eventually the Scott Pilgrim fan convinced the kid in the Green Lantern shirt to buy volume one of Scott Pilgrim. Cue the doves and violins.

*Jim Rugg, Tom Scioli, and I were driving back from the crazy comics warehouse out in the middle of nowhere and talked the whole time about web comics and counting off favorite cartoonists who have let the industry crush them, crush their souls, dreams, haha, y’know, just a casual drive under gathering dark clouds. We weren’t having this discussion last summer. That was the Direct Market is over talk. And the summer before that was the Kramer’s Ergot 7-Final-Crisis-countdown. Just sayin’. And then I come home and read on CR that DC Comics just announced their digital comics initiative.

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Pittsburgh Scene Report


Monday, June 21, 2010

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*Copacetic Comics has moved to a new location. Here’s the local Pittsburgh Post Gazette article on the new store. I’ve been working on Sundays and it’s been awesome. So much room, literally up in the clouds, third floor of a building on a hill overlooking some of the most beautiful parts of this wacky town. I just love it. Bill Boichel, the owner and my hero, seems like he’s a new man. The customers are arriving in droves. Old and new. It’s like Bill’s old store back in the ’80s where we could all just hang out and shoot the shit. The coolest thing is watching the local kids come in and buy dollar comics. I sold 10 Iron Mans and ten Thors to two little kids the other day. Now that we have the room to put out all of Bill’s back stock we can really offer bargains. Lots of locals have been bringing in their own zines and comics to sell. It’s quickly turning into an “interzone” to be proud of, what with Mind Cure Records and a coffee shop in the same building.

*Bill Boichel gave a lecture at the Carnegie Library tonight in Pittsburgh. Tom Scioli, Ed Piskor, Jim Rugg, and I were in attendance. Bill gave the usual spiel about watching comics grow from obscurity to mainstream acceptance. And then I argued with him that we’ve been having the “comics aren’t just for kids” discussion for 20 years and I’m tired of it. Bill retorted that it’s “all gravy” as far as he’s concerned. “If you were running a comics shop like I was 25 years ago, you wouldn’t care that we’re still having that discussion.”

*Tom Scioli, the local self-publishing powerhouse, recently wrote me an email saying, “I’ve left the world of print behind (not really). Check out my new ongoing web comics, American Barbarian and 8-Opus.” Yes, check ’em out, True Believers, Tom’s idea of a short story is about 100 pages, so you hang on for a long ride.

*Ed Piskor, the other local self-publishing powerhouse, recently went to Denmark with heavies, R. Crumb, C. Ware, C. Burns, and D. Clowes. That’s right, you heard it here first, now Eddie is going by “E. Piskor” to reflect his new star status.

*Jim Rugg, I’m happy to report, is “not so intense” since Afrodisiac has been released and subsequently sold-out it’s first printing. Here’s Jim’s poster for new Copacetic Comics location.

*There was a Steve Niles signing here in Pittsburgh. I’ve never read his comics but I love pointing out that he was in Gray Matter! Scroll to the bottom of this page to see his recordings. One of my favorite bands out of the DC hardcore scene.

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Frank’s Soapbox #4


Friday, May 21, 2010

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SPX crowd

Howdy True Believers! Frankie The Wop here with a rant for your Friday afternoon. We’re in the middle of a pledge drive here at CC and we thought we’d keep you faithful readers peppered with some thoughts on our beloved little community (while you groan at the computer screen waiting for the pledge drive to be over).

I was over at Jim Rugg‘s house yesterday hanging out and talking shop. He’s got this cool new mini-comic called Rambo 3.5 and I asked him if he’d taken any by Copacetic Comics to sell. “I haven’t had time,” he said. “TCAF was a couple weeks ago, I’ve got this show in Indiana this weekend and Heroes con is coming up soon. I’m almost sold out of the edition just from doing shows. I want to sell them to stores but the shows are more important.”

A light bulb went off in my head when Jim said that the shows are more important. Since the late ’90s when SPX and APE and other small-press comics shows popped up, there has been this yearly schedule that many cartoonists operate under. I know I try and have a new book out by MoCCA (which used to be in June) or by SPX in the fall. Nowadays, there is a convention every few weeks. I think this is a good thing. But it makes me think about how getting work into comics stores has become less of a priority for many cartoonists. The shows are the priority.

Also, this is the part of the argument that I think is missing when we all wonder why there aren’t more serial alternative “pamphlet” comic books out there. Retailer Brian Hibbs often argues that if 20 to 30 cartoonists each committed to two or three releases a year, that a critical mass would form so that every week you walk into a comics store there might be something that tickles your fancy. I think he is correct but I also think the fact that there are so many shows nowadays that many alt cartoonists and fans of alt comics just do not go into comics shops that often anymore because there really isn’t anything for them. The fans of such work know that they can wait until SPX or MoCCA or TCAF or just order from the artists directly or through distros like Sparkplug.

The other reason, I think that there are less serial pamphlets is because the market determines the form. The Direct Market determined that the pamphlet form was THE FORM. Now, the form is whatever tickles the fancy of the maker and what they can sell at a show. I know 20 to 30 alt cartoonists who release two or three comics a year but they aren’t serials and they aren’t pamphlets. These works don’t engage in the Direct Market’s periodical model. These works reflect the demand of the market which is generally geared towards handmade zines or trade paperbacks that are not serialized.

Anyways, I could go on and on. I know there are a a lot of different factors that make up the current marketplace and that I’m missing some important points. But I just wanted to float this one out there. The Bridge is over. We live in the era of The Show.

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Afrodisiac Comes Alive


Monday, March 8, 2010

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We’ve spent a good portion of the last week or so batting around ideas about comics reprints. Taking a sideways glace at the theme, I offer Jim Rugg and Brian Maruca’s Afrodisiac, an expertly conceived and executed hardcover that presents an anthology of, well,  comics ephemera related to the titular blaxploitation character. Rugg and Maruca smartly present not complete stories, but rather snippets, splash pages, covers, and even the “final” Afrodisiac story, all rendered in a variety of styles that emulate the look and feel (right down to the paper tone and off-register coloring) of 1970s and ’80s Marvel comics.

Comics making as comics history is not new, of course. Dan Clowes did it wonderfully in his The Death Ray and Alan Moore, et al, did it in 1963, not to mention Image’s recent The Next Issue Project. But what I like here is that Rugg and Maruca don’t try to create an overarching narrative – they’re less interested in the stories themselves than in the junky world they inhabit. (more…)

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