CAKE 2014! that’s me on the left holding a comic by the awesome cartoonist benjamin urkowitz.
benjamin is on the right holding my comic, Well Come, published by Yeti Press.
peeking out between the comics is a character on benjamin’s shirt drawn by the amazing cartoonist, dane martin.
these are some of the comics i got at CAKE:
i’m mesmerized by sarah’s comics, they transport me to an intensely introspective place where everything is imbued with ultra-rich meaning, i
“life is beautiful”
i love the way david stages his scenes, and his pacing, makes me feel involved with the characters in his comic, they seem real, i care about them. there’s a part of me that finds the comic funny, and another part of me that is worried about these poor people.
this is baffling visionary stuff, and i love baffling visionary stuff. i’m listening to a CD of gw’s music as i write this, and his music has the same mysterious dark yet pleasant tone of his comics.
“absolute loneliness by john s.”
reading andy’s comic was like being initiated into an absurdist cult, and i’m glad i joined. sign me up for lifetime membership.
andy douglas day
i love the general obtuseness of this comic, the odd choice of words that characters use, the imagery that combines other-worldliness with the mundane, everything infused with a sense of wonder.
scott longo, editor
great bunch of cartoonists here. scott’s anthologies look like the coordinated expression of a distinctive art movement. where the comics share space in a book in a way that you’d expect from a good gallery exhibition, where each work gains resonance based on the context of where it’s placed.
i love the idea behind this comic. the reader enters into a bizarre world following a protagonist who casually accepts all the bizarre elements of his environment, and he focuses all his attention towards opportunities for romance with his boy crushes, “zy” and “choppy”. based on this premise alone, i would happily follow this story wherever it happened to go.
“ebbits two and tree”
the feeling i get from reading this comic is similar to the feeling i got when i started reading larry marder’s beanworld comics back in the 1980s. sweet whimsy combined with sincere trippy spirituality. it’s a great feeling.
this comic has all the joyful, angstful, beautiful, awkward moments that i expect from andrice’s comics, and more.
“stun nuts 10”
“tiny animal eats radish”
crazy, funny, inspired, unpredictable masterful cartooning is the chris cilla hallmark, and you see it in all his comics.
“the american mainstream”
benjamin is a phenom. his naturalistic-sounding dialogue combined with eccentric choice of subject matter and his impeccable sense of design, it all comes together like a drunken ballet on skid row.
i love the visual storytelling and the non-stop action. the bird witch character is awesome, a bug-eyed old lady who transforms into a psycho bird.
“rose from the dead”
this was a fun read, from beginning to end, i enjoyed every moment of it. the tone is: cute, sexy, charming, with a hint of the sinister.
“poop boobs poo”
every one who reads this comic laughs out loud, including me.
rj casey and eric roesner
engaging, well-crafted, clever, and absolutely repulsive, and i mean that as a compliment.
demon lords, fire portals, vermin thieves, all the cool stuff you want to see in a comic, and here it is, in all its glory.
“burning building comix”
i’ve never seen anything like this before. the comic itself is in the shape of a building that burns down as you read it. just from a formalist perspective, this is an incredible accomplishment.
great insight into the experience of some one figuring out their sexuality and the sexuality of others. this comic is labeled as “an illustrated story”, but it does what the best comics do when words are seamlessly integrated with pictures for a powerful effect.
also at CAKE, i had a good chat with the excellent cartoonist alex nall.
i told him he doesn’t look the way he draws himself, and he said, “yeah, no big nose.”
and i talked with the excellent cartoonist, kevin budnik.
i told him, “in person, you seem like a happy guy, but in your comic, you’re so sad.” (towards the end of CAKE, i started to get a glimpse of sad kevin peeking through happy kevin.)
mark connery and i had made plans to get together, but our paths never crossed, alas. i love his “rudy” comics. hilarious and poignant.
ok, that’s the end of my CAKE report. thanks, CAKE organizers, for putting on a great show!
in closing, i have these final comments:
all the comics i’ve been talking about here are just the tip of the iceberg of all the amazing comics that were at CAKE. many cartoonists there i wanted to meet, but i didn’t get a chance. many comics there i wanted to buy, but i ran out of money.
as much as i love the comics community, we have a big problem. there’s an overabundance of talented cartoonists, and it’s hard to keep track of every one and what they’re doing.
we have a small fringe group of heroic figures in the comics community who have devoted a huge amount of time and effort to promote the small press, but we can’t rely on these martyr-like individuals to bear the burden of the entire community. which leads me to this question:
is there a small press comic you like that exists in relative obscurity (as most small press comics do)? well, tell the world about it. i know a lot of you do this already. i see a bunch of folks on tumblr writing about small press comics, and that’s what inspired me to do it myself here.
if you are one of these people who writes about small press comics on tumblr, let me know every time you post something (send me a message or something). i will reblog all small press comics reviews here:
let’s spread the word about the awesome things that are happening in the world of small press comics!