Road Trip Report – Short Run and the Trip to Brooklyn Comics and Graphics Fest

The two small press comics shows I can make it to this year are a week apart and separated by a lot of land. The first was Short Run, in the heart of Seattle on November 10th, just 3 hours drive from my house. The second was Brooklyn Comics and Graphics Fest in, obviously, Brooklyn. for some reason, i made crazy plans that involved me leaving the country twice within 48 hours. This may have been a regrettable choice in plans on my part.

I went down to Seattle with the White Swallows crew and Joel Rich. The trip down was nothing short of boring, gearing on almost horrid. the weather was crap and the border was worse. We didn’t actually make it to the show until 430 and the show ends at 530, so there was a lot of quick shopping. It was a good show, and in a way, I am glad I showed up late, so I had room to get around easy. it is still in a relatively small space. For the most part, it is a very regional show, featuring some of the pacific north west’s best. People like to talk about the halcyon days of mid 90s hate era Seattle, but what is happening now is really great and well worth checking out. Now onto the photo’s.

Alec Longstreth and Greg Means were my first visit. Alec and I talked about how he needs to be on the show at some point soon.

Aron Nels Steinke gave me a copy of his Big Plans, which he is signing for me here. I am a big fan of his stuff and glad to see a nice big book of it. He is going to be coming to Vancouver at some point in the new year.

Sean Ford made the trip all the way from New York to promote his Only Skin collection. I would end up seeing him a lot over the following week. We became good bro’s.

Speaking of good Bro’s, it’s Aaron Mew and Kaz Strzepek. I like anything they do. Kaz is in the Horror Hangover art show I am putting together.

If you have seen Noah Van Sciver’s strip about going to Seattle in the mid 90’s, you can tell he is feeling pretty happy here, with Pat Moriarty and Peter Bagge.

Jesse Reklaw had his amazing sketchbook there and was selling off his quote “final mini-comic”. Who knows what that means.

The always sharp looking, Corey Lewis and Maré Odomo. I was apologizing to Corey for being so mean to him on twitter and he laughed because it was nothing compared to how Bryan Lee O’malley treats him.

and then there was JFish.

I went for dinner with my traveling crew, Sean Ford and Seattle friends Ryan and Jen.

More Seattle trouble. At the after party with Chris Cilla, Tim Root, Noah and August Lipp. Talented folks all around.

Sam Alden and Sean Ford got into a deep talk about comics for sad teens.

They had a really great place to wash your hands there. I decided the party was a bit boring so i did the dishes too.

Here is tireless driver Daniel who was very excited for the 3 hour drive home.

Here is my haul. lots of good stuff to read. Including a collection of comics by triangle slash. Who’s art name was just a symbol. Instead of signing the book, she just left a bloody thumb print. No joke.

The next day, Noah Van Sciver came to Vancouver escorted by marketing king pin, Jen Vaughn. I have no photo’s of the afternoon. But it did happen. we went for a rainy lunch and I got to show Noah a little bit of Vancouver but not enough for my tastes. My flight was that night, so less 24 hours after getting him from Seattle, I was off to New York. I flew in at 6am New York time. Sean Ford was also getting in that morning, so I waited for him at JFK and traveled into the city together with style. Because of the damage to the subway system, we had a bit of a run around finding a way into town and eventually made it into the city 2 hours later. While Sean went off to work his regular job like a trooper, I crashed out hard for about 4 hours at my host’s place. It was a wonderful nap.

After a huge meal where i was shamed by the waitress for my lack of American Appetite, we went off to Bergin St Comics. It was a great store, while lacking in old work, it had a great selection of minis and new work. A classier store, I have rarely seen. This was also my first time meeting Matt Seneca. He is a smart writer for a cocky kid(just kidding, you are great Matt, even if young).

They even carry my book. So you know, that’s good.

Tuesday, I went all the way out to Richmond Hill in Queens. It was a personal trip to see a park that was named after my great-uncle Frank McConnell. He was my grandfathers eldest brother. My grandfather’s family lived in that neighborhood from the late 19th century to some point in the into the 1920’s at least. Great-uncle Frank was a student at Princeton when the US entered the First World War and died in combat like many others. It is a horrible thing for a family to lose a member in such a way. The First World War was a terrible exercise in imperialism which has cause untold damage that we are still feeling to this day, even down to simple impact of how one man was taken in his prime.My family only recently found out that there was a park named after him, so it was obvious that I had to go see it.

The area still has some remnants of the distant past, with some great old houses lining the streets. I can only wonder what it was like there 100 years ago when my grandfather was a boy.

The area has had a cultural shift over the years, which features some amazing additions to the yards.

I didn’t see much damage from Sandy, but this was a pretty good example of how strong and furious the storm was.

It was deep into the city for me.

Elmo wants to be your friend. or else.

I found the droids he was looking for.

These guys were rocking it at Mcdonald’s. They were so excited for me to take there picture. I was just shocked they still existed. Ninja for life.

Wednesday’s are for lunch with Nate Bulmer. He was as funny in person as his comics are! He brought me to this neat little sandwich place that was a hole in the wall of a garage. The food was delicious. Nate is coming to Vancouver in late December at Luckys and will be on the Inkstuds as well.

Every trip to New York should include a visit with Jerry Moriarty. Jerry is turning 75 in the new year and still has an amazing energy that leaves me excited for art after a visit. Here he is in front of his latest work, which he was kind enough to give me a tour of. While visiting Jerry, the city got covered in snow, making the rest of my evening very perilous. I am not a good person in the snow.

The night was capped with Brooklyn drinks with Tucker Stone, MK Reed and Barry Matthews. You can tell how impressed they are with my two drink Canadian accent.

Thursday was the beginning of the event madness. First stop was the B.U.L.B. art show in Brooklyn, where I got a chance to meet Mathieu Christe. He came all the way from Switzerland for the festival.

Next stop was Bergin to go see Patrick Kyle and Michael Deforge. It was a packed house with lots of great folks in attendance.

Tucker Stone was also man of the hour that night. Playing a great host. It was announced that night, that Tucker would become a partner in Bergin Street Comics. Congrats to Tucker. He is a good man that does good work.

Edie Fake arrived that evening in the very capable hands of Barry Matthews. Who was a little happier to see me than the previous night. Edie is a great cartoonist making very important work.

Oh hai Canadian favorite Keith Jones.

Thursday, I found that James Stokoe had made it New York recently.

Jen Vaugh, Mk Reed and I got to get a tour of the mad magazine offices by Ryan Flanders. Jen has a great post on the trip here. Check it out, to save me posting a million images.

Art Director, Sam Viviano had a ton of great Mad stories for us.

Jen appears to have found the grossest thing in the office.

Ryan pulled out this old Jack Davis piece that had been hiding in the art drawers. I love anything Jack Davis. He had a great story about how this was printed in a different version, most likely due to Harvey Kurtzman wanting specific changes.

And from there, we go see some art. More to come tomorrow.

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