I’m in Minneapolis at the moment, for a comics residency-lab with a bunch of great artists, thanks to Association Chifoumi. This is a collaborative work between me, Pascal Matthey and Charles Burns. We are all working on a book that you can pre order HERE If you happen to be at Autoptic Festival next week end, you could probably get it there.
New comics premiering at Autoptic August 8-9 in Minneapolis! “Mom Boy” is a comic about religious allegory and dreamy images and “Jupiter June” is a science fiction comic with retro influences drawn by the amazing Marissa Luna! You can find both books at the Plus Dog table (# 71) as well as a great new anthology and other goodies from me and all my talented pals in Plus Dog.
So hey this is probably a good time to announce it: I’ll be tabling at Autoptic Fest in Minneapolis the weekend of August 8-9! I’ll be there selling prints and other wares, where you can get fine goods like the ones above as stickers, plus other sweet stuff! Defo check it out, it’s going to be great. ✨
My dad and I made this book together about our trip to Tokyo in 2012. All the photographs are by him and the illustrations are mine. We did a print run of 10 copies, and I’m bringing my part of 4 copies to Autoptic Festival (Minneapolis, August 8 & 9). We are hoping to make another print run, so there may be more copies of our book in the future
I’ll be returning to my place of birth and showing at Minneapolis’s very own AUTOPTIC in LESS THAN A WEEK! (The show is August 8th and 9th!)
This Tumblr preview is only half of Saltwater Snow! You’ll be able to buy copies at my table LUCKY #77, along with A Bomb and E, my mini from last fall. I’ll also have a FREE preview mini of my upcoming graphic novel, “Ipswich” at the show as well! Exclusive!
Darryl Ayo, aka honeybeerevengeparty said of Saltwater Snow: “that comic was really good, for sure.” That’s a direct quote! (I didn’t ask Darryl for a promo quote, but I thought his off-the-cuff remark was charming. Sorry, Darryl!)
Gene Ha ( thegeneha ), of Mae, The 49ers and Top Ten fame said of my comics: “Truly haunting works. … Kurt’s stories use stark graphic image with minimal dialog to explore the soul, and how we deal with our hopes and fears. If you love David Mazzuchelli’s recent work you’ll love these stories too.”
Saltwater Snow won a New England Book Show award for Small & Self Publisher Illustrated Book! All copies at the show will have a snazzy new sticker proclaiming their award-winningness.
Art from both Saltwater Snow and A Bomb was a part of the second Comic and Cartoon Art Annual exhibition in the MOCCA gallery at the Society of Illustrators in New York.
In honor of the big Autoptic show coming to town next weekend I thought I’d draw a map of what – for a time – was the center of the Minneapolis cartooning scene.
Back in 2001 I interned for Zander Cannon (no relation) and stepped foot on this intersection for the first time. Zander’s studio was located in the Handicraft Guild building (shown on this map as the little building under the “M” in Minneapolis), which was, and probably still is, an ancient musty building with old carpeting and even older plumbing. This historical building was famous for being the first art school to allow women to be students (not sure how factual that is, but that’s what I was told). Fourteen years ago, though, it was a collection of studio spaces. Its rooms were occupied by cartoonists, poets, musicians, a drum shop, a violin repair shop, and a restaurant (I think it was a French bistro in 2001, but soon after it was home to the first iteration of Hell’s Kitchen – great heuvos rancheros FYI).
At its peak around the turn of the century, the Handicraft Guild was home to cartoonists Gene Ha, Shadi Petosky, Will Dinski, Sam Hiti, King Mini, Rob Franks, Adam Wirtzfeld, and of course Zander. They shared the three studios on the third floor, overlooking Tenth Street. I got a studio on the second floor after graduating from college.
Besides the cheap rent the big draw was being next door to Big Brain Comics, run by the great Michael Drivas. Michael has since moved the store to its current location on Washington Avenue. Michael had the only working fax machine in the area, so when Zander and I were working on the SMAX series, Alan Moore would fax his scripts to Michael’s shop, and Zander and I would run down to Big Brain to pick them up. Alan used up a lot of Michael’s toner.
As far as know there aren’t any cartoonists working there any more. Will Dinski, Sam Hiti and I were the last hold outs, and were witnesses to that corner of the block being bought out by real estate developers. We were told that the buildings on that corner would be knocked down in order to build the city’s largest condo tower, something that (thankfully) still hasn’t happened.
There have been casualties, though. The Big Brain building has been knocked down and turned into a private courtyard. Let It Be (a great record store which will always be plastered in light blue posters for Grandaddy’s “Sumday” in my memory) disappeared and was left unoccupied for many years. My understanding is that Target bought the building.
But the Channel 4 (WCCO) building is still there, as is the great Irish bar The Local, as well as the iconic Schmitt Music mural and the Dakota Jazz Club.
I’m not sure there’s a geographic center to the Twin Cities comics scene any more, but there are certainly nodes centered around MCAD, Nordeast, South, and Lowertown. If there’s an emotional center, though, it exists around Autoptic, which is run by a group of really amazing local cartoonists and teachers, whose mission it seems is to make Minneapolis the center of the cartooning world for a few days every two years. They’ve done it once and succeeded mightily, and we’re all looking forward to what next weekend brings.
Autoptic drops on August 8 & 9 in the Aria building (105 N. 1st St) and you can find more info here: AUTOPTIC.ORG
Though we’ve been working hard for the last two months getting AUTOPTIC into proper shape, it has been a while since we’ve had something to share with you. Well, that is all about to change! We’re going to be making some really exciting announcements next week.
But, in the mean time, we thought that we’d get you primed for all the good news by sharing Anders Nilsen’s amazing AUTOPTIC Poster, which sneaks in a few guest announcements of its own…
We hope you love the poster as much as we do. And, if that happens to be the case, then we should also let you know that there will be limited edition prints of the poster for sale at AUTOPTIC on August 18th.
Inés Estrada (Inechi) is a cartoonist and illustrator from Mexico City. She has been self-publishing comics since 2006, which she distributes through her online shop Gatosaurio. She is also the editor of the comics column for Vice Mexico and contributes regularly to The Believer Magazine.
Back in August, in a continuing effort to promote print and cartooning, we announced our first ever poster subscription service. Print Series 1 is the first set of a limited edition collection of curated posters. Every month a new poster is released, each one designed by an established or up-and-coming cartoonist. 6 posters per series, 2 series per year.
TODAY, WE ARE PLEASED TO ANNOUNCE DASH SHAW AS OUR SPECIAL MYSTERY ARTIST. THIS EXCLUSIVE PRINT (FEATURED) IS AVAILABLE ONLY TO SERIES SUBSCRIBERS.
All posters will be between 3-5 colors and hand-screenprinted by Nakatomi, Inc. in Austin, Texas. All prints measure 18in. x 24in. Usually signed, always numbered. Limited runs of 50.