Saturday, December 16, 2017

TransCat Pencil Adventures #10: The Aztec Two-Step!

Hello! and Happy Saturday to you all! Knave Murdok reporting in! I must apologize for my absence over the past month and a half, but I have a good excuse.

First of all, it was my birthday this past November (wee! Happy B-Day 2 m3!)

Second, I've been HARD AT WORK on several TransCat related projects!
I just recently finished penciling Issue #10, and oh my god I'm super proud of it! After the new year, I will be uploading the roughs of that to my Patreon before I ink it.
When I haven't been busy with that, I've been putting in the work in on the remaster of TransCat issues #1 - #6 in preparation for the impending release of the graphic novel! Wooo! The new pages look great! I'm almost done with issue #4, and i'm so excited to debut!

I've also waded into the world of livestreams! I thought it would be fun to invite my fans to some behind the scenes looks at my creative process! I hold them weekly, usually on Saturdays. If you wanna catch me on one, hop on to my Facebook and check for updates!

There's a little surprise I'm cooking up for you all this upcoming Free Comic Book Day. If you live in the bay area that is. I dunno if I can afford to ship free stuff out too far :P
I AM making something cool tho, and who knows? It might become a cool collectors item down the road that you can find on the secondary market? THAT would certainly be cool.

Also, I have yet another upcoming project that might possibly be coming down the pipeline. I don't wanna blab too much about it yet, because none of it is for certain yet and a part of me just doesn't wanna jinx it! But rest assured, it's a BIG deal and i'll be talking plenty about it if and when we receive our conformation to do so around April.
Now, I KNOW that sounds like a big setup for an epic April fool's joke (which I am known for), but trust me, THIS one IS real, and I'll have to come up with something even more huge for actual April Fool's Day!

In the mean time, I wanna talk about this new free comic I got up on my Patreon!
TransCat Pencil Adventures Episode #10: The Aztec Two-Step!
This one's a little shout out to my friends and fan who are currently celebrating Hanukkah. now i know Hanukkah is already a few days in, but better late than never, right?
TransCat herself is not Jewish, nor does she celebrate Hanukkah, but we know we got a lotta fans who are, and do, so this one's for you :)

I dunno how much get up and go I'm gonna HAVE for the remainder of this holiday season, but I have plans for a few more holiday themed TransCat shorts, each centering around different holidays. So wish me luck and maybe we'll see s'more coming up soon!

There is also one more project I'm undertaking this holiday season, and it's in it's experimental phases right now, so BEAR WITH ME! I'll be trying to make and send out TransCat Holiday cards to anyone who wants one.
If you want in on this, please hit me up on my Facebook and send me a private message with your mailing address!

In the mean time, no matter what happens, have a happy holiday season! I hope yer all where you wanna be at this time of year and you're enjoying a well deserved break form the rat race, or that you WILL be enjoying that break soon! Love and hug to you all!

Friday, October 20, 2017

TransCat's Super Spoopy Inktober Special!!!

Happy Halloween, my precious little Hallowieners!

If you have not been following me on social media, then you might have been wondering "I wonder if Knave is participating in Inktober?"

Well the answer, which you would know if you WERE following me on social media (ahem: facebook, twitter, tumblr, instagram, patreon) is that I HAVE been participating in Inktober, and NOW you, the viewer, get to enjoy the fruits of my labout, as I've uploaded a BRAND NEW mini comic to my Patreon!
I'm calling it "TransCat's Super Spoopy Inktober Special!" it's a free four pager based on a TRUE EVENT! Which honestly, makes it even spoopier!

It marks the return of Senior Mysterioso, and shows you a small snapshot into Knave and Ron's pretty casual friendship as well. It ALSO drops some serious foreshadowing for some major plot points coming down the line.
So go check it out! It's 100% free! Dnd if you're feeling so inclined, drop some bucks on the Patreon! Every little bit helps me get closer and closer to my goal for the TransCat graphic novel! He'll Yeah!

I'm gonna have some new stuff for ya REAL SOON! SO stay tuned, and have a FUN HALLOWEEN! BOO!

Thursday, September 14, 2017

PREVIEW! TransCat Issue #9

Good afternoon, TransCat Fans! Remember last month when I said I was gonna be uploading a bunch of WIP's of TransCat issue 9? Well, I finally did them ALL! I got the whole up there in pencil right now and YOU can hop on and view them any time on my Patreon!

I uploaded a page a day, and included a little mini-blog about each page, talking about what went into it, my experiences creating it, and whatnot. I think it's a great little series of blog entries, and certainly not something you'd get from a regular TransCat issue.

All it costs to join is a dollar a month, that buys you access to the whole book. not ONLY that, but you'll also gain access to my ENTIRE back archive of Patreon exclusive uploads, and every upload in the future.I do my best to have a new exclusive uploaded every month.

what's you're seeing here is a small collection of snapshots taken from a portion of each page. In case the thumbnails weren't enough to clue you in, in this episode, TransCat shrinks herself to a microscopic size and enters the human body so she can get an extra edge in passing her biology test.

HOWEVER! Along the way, she totally loses track of what she was supposed to be doing, and gets sidetracked learning about the biological realities of being trans, and what happens to your body and mind when you're undergoing HRT.

And not JUST what happens under HRT, but all the ways trans bodies are different and unique even before HRT enters the picture! Believe me, i was SUPRISED when i first learned that there were any differences at all, let alone how many there were!

All of the info that I used to write this issue was exhaustively researched by my new friend Tasha-Lee Watchurst who is a TRULY undiscovered talent I feel, in the trans discourse circle. I wouldn't have been able to do this issue without all her generous help. Thank's Tasha! 

I'll be including links to all her research when i put out the actual book. I need to go through it all (again) and single out the articles I actually used. There was a LOT of it and I feel like I could have started a whole new comic series based entirely off of it if I really wanted to :P

In either case, I'll leave you once again with the link
Hope you hop on board and that you LOVE it!

Until next time~!

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Sac Anime Summer and the Future of TransCat!

Click the image above to check out the pictures from my Sac-Anime Adventure!
Sac-Anime! The last con of the year for me this year. Now I go into hibernation, and start to focus more on creation for next year. I have a lot of projects I wanna complete before I stumble back into the convention world next spring.
At the top of my list is the TransCat graphic novel. There's a lot of cleaning up I need to do to all the early pages before they can all be compiled. Apart from that is the proposed TransCat Soundtrack that I wish to include with the graphic novel. It has a good start so far, but it really needs more work.
I've also theorized a short TransCat anthology I can whip together for the next Free Comic Book Day that deserves a little more attention. I also got penciled pages for TransCat 9 and 10 in the can. At least ONE of those will be released by my next con.
It's funny, around this time last year, I was truly worried that TransCat would simply not be able to go on, what with all the drastic changes my life had taken on all at once. A year later, I am still dealing with the consequences of those changes, but have found a system through which my art can still go on. If I devote half the year (Autumn and Winter) to dealing with things like working and debt, then the other half of the year (Spring and Summer) can be dedicated to TransCat and going to Cons!
I think it worked out pretty well this year. I didn't overdo it. A lot of stuff worked out for me, so i'm gonna see if I can do it again next year. maybe even improve upon it.

So let's talk about Sac-Con!
I am failry certain this will be my final con of the year.
Unless something irresistible shows up between now and January 1st.

Sac-Con was GREAT though, if not a little unorganized.
I arrived early Friday morning with my dear friends and helpers Savannah and Conor.
I once again had to skip Force Friday so I could pack and get some sleep, and wake up early the next morning, ready to hit that 2 hour drive. However, in a welcomed change of pace, I wound up not having to drive this time. Conor took the wheel in his Hybrid and we spent maybe 10 bucks on gas the whole weekend. Thank you, Conor! I got to rest in the back seat and listen to music as the scenery whipped by.

Now I had signed up for the Artist Alley a little bit late this year and as a result I would up on their wait list. I've come in from their wait list before, so i wasn't terribly worried. They asked me if I wanted to be on the "last minute" wait list too, which meant if someone with a table wound up bailing last minuted, I'd be one of the people they'd call. Last time I did that, they called me literally the day before the con. This time, i did not get a call. A reasonable person might have concluded that I did not get a table that year and just accept that.
BUT! I'm not a reasonable person, so i packed all my TransCat shit anyway, thinking the worst that could happen was I didn't get a tale and it would all just stay in the trunk of the car.

We arrived about 15 minutes before everything opened. We stopped at the hotel room first and attempted to check in, only to be told that since the person who originally booked our room (my friend Michael) wasn't with us, they could not legally let us in! I had to give him a quick call at work (the reason he could not come) and desperately plead with him to find some time to make the necessary changes so we could have a place to sleep. Thankfully, fortune smiled on us, and Michael was able to do all that for us in about an hour. Thanks Michael. Thanks.
While we were waiting, we decided that we'd head to the con, and maybe find out if the whole table thing worked out for me. I spoke to a security guard and explained my situation to him. He led me into the Exhibition Hall (which had not yet even opened) and helped me find the organizers.

I asked if I had a table, they said that since the hall hadn't even opened yet, they hadn't even started going through the wait list names yet. Okay, whatever, that's cool. We still had all these bags to unpack, so we headed right back to the hotel room. Unpacking did not take that long, but me and Savannah were VERY pleased to have found the swimming pool! we knew there'd be one, so we had all brought swim suits. Conor was DOG TIRED and decided that in lieu of a dip in the pool, he was gonna take a nap. I asked him to try to keep an ear out for my phone ringing just in case a space in the Exhibition Hall opened up for me.

The pool was oddly positioned ABOVE the parking garage. The garage was on the ground floor and the pool was on the 1st floor. It was strange because both me and Savannah were both acutely aware we were on "on the ground" the whole time we were in the pool. I think it gave us both a rush of paranoid excitement. I very much absentmindedly jumped in the water with my wallet still in my pocket. thankfully, nothing was permanently damaged. I did have a number of awkward conversations with people every time I handed them cash, making sure to let them know WHY it was moist. It wasn't gross sweat. It was nice, clean chlorine! Everyone was pretty understanding.

After we tired of the pool, me and Sav headed back upstairs. I was anxious to find out whether or not I had gotten a call from the Con yet, but was saddened to find no calls had come in at all. We showered off, re-dressed and decided to head back to the con and pester the organizers again.
I luckily found the same security guard and he ushered me back into the hall, which had been opened now for a little more than an hour. Once again, the organizers had no specific news for me. I decided to ask them where on the list I even was, thinking I could gauge the likelihood of my getting a table on my placement on the list. They informed me i was number 49. UGH! At that moment i was PRETTY SURE I was not going to get a table. The idea that 49 people would need to cancel for me to get in seemed impossible. I was pretty sure at that moment that I was just gonna buy myself a regular ticket and attend as a regular attendee, but I thought to ask the lady I speaking with just in case "If I buy a badge, and THEN I get called for a table, will I be reimbursed? Or no?", and to my pleasant surprise, she told me that they'd treat my badges as currency towards my table. That's a good system, I think.

SO! Slightly heavy hearted, me and Savannah and Conor walked over to registration to buy out tickets, fairly sure I would not get called. Our first day was PRETTY GOOD to say the least. I definitely refrained from buying too much (or anything at all) the first day, but I did my best to SEE as much as possible!
The day was coming to a close, me and the group were at the table of a queer erotica writer than Savannah was a huge fan of, when suddenly my phone buzzed! I checked it out, thinking it might be a late message from work (I had someone covering me on Friday who had called me a couple times to ask me about stuff), but I was wrong! It was from the Con! It was them letting me know that a table was gonna open up for me tomorrow morning and all i had to do was say I wanted it! YES!!!
I rushed over and signed the exhibitor agreement, showed them my sales permit, and turned in the badges we had bought, which were replaced with artist badges. (I paid back Savannah and Conor's contribution by taking them out for a nice dinner after the con).
To celebrate, we went to the anime rave that was being held that night. I hardly EVER go to these things when they have them at cons, but I was in a chipper mood and I felt like dancing! So dance we did!
We stumbled back to the room, sweating and tired (the intense Sacramento heat also added to that). I showered off yet again and settled in for a good, long night, knowing tomorrow was gonna be a whole new kinda challenge.

We woke up early, knowing that it would take time for all three of us to get ready. Conor gracious offered to drive me and my supplies to the convention center so that I wouldn't have to carry it the three or four blocks from the hotel room. I had packed a kind of bare essentials version of what I normally bring to my table, knowing full well that I might NOT get a table, and I wanted to take up as little room in the car as possible. Even still, the box was VERY heavy and I wanted to carry it as little as possible. That Conor, what a guy.
The first day went well. It's usually the first and second days that are the best, sales-wise and the final day where you're lucky to pick up some stragglers. I was a LITTLE miffed that I missed that lucrative first day, but the second day more than made up for it. Once again, I held off purchasing any items, even though there was SO MUCH that I wanted. After the close of the second day, me and the pair headed over the the AMV contest.

I USUALLY only go for the winners, but I guess there was a part of me that wanted to see all the entries, just out of sheer, morbid curiosity. I knew they'd be mostly losers, but i knew I'd have a good time laughing at them, and marveling at the ones that were well done.
AMVs have changed a LOT it seems. Last time I went to an AMV contest it was specifically for finalists and it was two fanimes ago. ALL of them were top quality, and at the point the only way for me to decide which ones I liked the best were ones that had songs I particularly liked, or ones that were based on anime I particularly liked.
This contest was a lot harder to decided and a lot STRANGER! First of all, the ones that were bad, were still pretty good. There were a few entries that were just an unaltered scene from an episode or movie with a song that worked well on top of it. Lazy, but the choices were good. One I remember particularly well was a scene of Jin Roh: The Wolf Brigade paired with the this crazy, experimental hip hop song. The secene chosen was the beginning scene when the soldiers corner the rebels in the sewer. The song paired over it SO WELL that hardly any editing was needed.
Then there were some that had good songs and were based on good anime, but seemed like the editing wasn't really "there" if you feel me. Like they either went overboard with effects and it was really noticeable, or else the idea of what exactly they were trying to create wasn't fully formed. Then there were some that were really odd mismatches of song and subject. One that I remember was particularly cringey was scenes from the game Uncharted paired with Walk The Moon's "Shut up And Dance". The poor pairing, plus the uncanny valley quality of the game's human models made of one really hard to watch video.
The two REAL standouts of this contest were done by the same person, I'm pretty sure. The techniques seemed very specific and similar. I've not bothered to look them up yet, but if they were done by two different people, I'd be REALLY surprised.

The first one was called "Disney Zombies" and it was a video made up of some meticulously edited scenes from a bunch of Disney movies, where they placed a lot of characters in the kinda dingy, run down looking town, and through some very clever editing, made it seem like they were all interacting with one another. The "plot" of the video was that there was a zombie outbreak, and one by one, these lovable Disney characters got infected and began attacking one another. A REALLY creepy set to some really creepy music.
The second video was of the exact same theme.
Disney characters edited out of their natural surroundings and into a darker, scarier one.
in this one, Milo from Atlantis appeared as this horrifying specter who could see a little timer above everyone's heads that showed him when they were going to die. Mostly he looked on in morbid amusement as each character met their untimely end, until he meets Megara from Hercules about to be hit by a car. He falls in love with her and decides he's going to freeze time and save her from her untimely fate.
She seems safe as he places her frozen body into her own bed, waits long enough to see her time reset to show her full lifespan, and then unfreezes time. In the next scene, Meg is now hobnobbing with the two main characters from Road to El Dorado. Milo becomes enraged with jealousy, and kills them taking Meg captive. She resists at first but then he bedazzles her, turning her dim surroundings into some kinda of paradise wonderland, where she kind of falls under his spell, and embraces him. As the scene fades out you can see each one of their timers set to about 5 minutes, inferring that they're both going to die shortly, off screen.
This one REALLY shook me because the way they edited Milo, he was all shadowy and dark with bright red blood eyes. It was RATHER haunting. I dunno what causes a guy to wanna create not one, but TWO music videos centered around this jarring theme of cute, lovable Disney characters participating in these horrific plots, but this guy did it. Savannah theorized it was part of some really specific sexual fetish. I'd not be shocked to learn that that wasn't far off from the truth.

After the contest, Savannah and Conor decided they wanted to go to day 2 of the rave. I was really tired and wanted to make it an early night, so I headed back to the hotel room, and got comfortable. Sadly, for Savannah and Conor, the rave was really awful that night, so they left super early themselves. They were both back well before midnight and I wasn't even asleep yet. We all settled in for the night, prepping for day 3.

Day 3 was the slowest day by far, and most torturous, because it was the day everyone wanted to see everything, and I was mostly alone at the table. I definitely managed to make some sales though. I sold out of issues 1, 2 and 4. Still have plenty of 3's left, though! I wonder how that works out???
In either case, i was pleased at my sales, although I wished that I'd had more company.
Savannah and Conor came back towards the end of the day, and i had an hour or so to browse around and make all the purchases I wanted to make. I got a copy of Transformed #2 by my dear friend Al Neun. Rest assured i'll be reviewing that book here on this site soon! I got to see some friends, buy some toys and even a present for my friend tiger's new place in SF.

As the con drew to a close, we packed up the car, drove off to meet a friend in town and had dinner before heading back home. All in all, this was a great last con of the year. It was great to really get back into it.
Now I must rest, and refocus my efforts back on creating.
I'll be back soon!
Worry not, my sweet babbies~ worry not~!

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Crunchy Roll Expo 2017!!!

Crunchyroll Con! The Con that almost wasn't! how I wound up at all is as interesting of a story as the con itself. So I signed up on a total whim. This was Crunchyroll's first time ever doing a convention so naturally I wasn't expecting it or anticipating it in any way. To top it all off, I am not a subscriber to the Crunchyroll App either. I know some people who have it. Hell, I even know some people who work for them. But even still, I am far removed from any normal, conventional way I would hear about this con.
Thankfully, I feel like the guys who put this on knew that my situation was probably a lot of people's situation, so they spent a LOT of time, money and effort on advertising and making sure the word got out that this was an event, and it was happening! So good on you!
I heard it about it because it came up as a Facebook ad. i normally take pains to block facebook ads on desktop, but they come through on my phone anyway. I saw the ad one evening when I was fresh out of the shower. I wasn't sure what to think of it, it was only last month and usually signing up for a con with a month to spare is a BAD idea, and more often than not, it usually means they don't have any space left anyway.
BUT! I was in a mood. "what's the worst that could happen?" I said, as i tapped on the "Sign Up" link. As I suspected, I was greeted with a page that informed me that the Artist Alley was full, but if i still wanted to, I could sign up for the wait list. I clicked OK and proceeded to input my info. It was a relatively painless process on mobile. I put the phone down after that and resigned myself to probably not hearing back from tham, as it would be too late for them to clear up room on their wait list for a latecomer like me.


They got back to me no more than a week later, maybe less! Informed me that I had a table if I wanted it, and walked me through the process, it was all very cut and try, very simple, if not a little bit expensive. I laid back and anticipated the fun that was coming to me via this convention.


Less than a week from the first day, i was smacked upside the head with a vicious headcold! Ugh! What mortifying timing! I did my best to prepare, and rest, in the vain hope that somehow I'd be all better by Friday morning. It didn't work out that way, as it felt like the severity of the sickness spiked as the days went by. I was all ready to call the whole thing off, I didn't expect to get my money back, I was prepared to lie back in bed and just let the con chow down on my table money, grumbling, but hopefully healing.
Then, a VERY magical thing happened.
It came time to let Savannah, my long time helper and table mate, that I was sick as fuck, and that this con probably wasn't gonna go down like we hoped it would.
But inspiration struck as we talked, and together we concocted a plan wherein Savannah would man my table in my stead, while i got some MUCH NEEDED rest at home!
Looked like Crunchyroll Con was back on the table!

The big day came. I drove Savannah to the con and helped them set up. Made sure they were set in the routines and specifics of running a table. They've been with me a number of times but usually as a support character. I've never really put them "in charge" before, so I'm so so happy that it worked out. Savannah is a capable as fuck person and probably one of the best friends I got right now. I dunno who else woulda done this for me, let alone done such an amazingly good job.

I went home and slept basically all day long, it was exactly what I needed. I woke up that evening to pick up Savannah feeling like I'd turned the corner. After that I resolved to make the last two days of the con. I wasn't fully at 100% yet but I was well enough that I could at the very least sit in a chair and talk, which I did, a lot.

I didn't get up an walk around a lot. I only got to see a very small section of the con when I finally did, and it wasn't the BEST con i'd ever been to, but everything I had to go through to make it happen in the first place made it all worth it. I would definitely go to Crunchyroll con again next year. hopefully this time I'd be well enough to actually experience it to it's fullest! It's a great con that i think is trying very hard to fill the gap that Fanime left behind once it got too big for it's britches. It's even being held at the Santa Clara Convention Center, where Fanime USED to be.
I'd definitely support it through the years, because Fanime has truly morphed into a new beast altogether, and while I still really enjoy Fanime, there's a lotta things I can't do there anymore (like easily get into the Artist alley).
I think that with some luck, and a little bit more prep work, Crunchyroll could become THE con of the summer. I used to waste a lot of time and money and effort trying to make the details of Fanime work out. I could easily let Fanime take a back seat and attend that con a lot more casually (as long as I'm operating under the assumption that they won't let me back in to the Artist Alley again), and instead dump my emotional resources into making Crunchyroll Con the con that I go all out on, turn into a business AND social event! I definitely see a future here.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

QCE Review Series: Part 14 - "Active Voice The Comic Collection" By P. Kristen Enos

Good morning everyone!
So this is my LAST comic review for awhile, I've officially gone through every book I've gotten at Queer Comics Expo. I hope to do more stuff like this at future cons where a lot of indie stuff is available.
for now though, let's focus on the last book in my pile, "The Active Voice" by P. Kristen Enos, a gay Thai immigrant who lived in Orange County during the 80's at the peak of the gay rights movement in the U.S.

This book was endlessly interesting to me. I learned a lot about the 80's and it's gay rights movement and I learned a lot about Orange County as a place (apparently it's one of the most conservative places in California! Who knew?). Not to mention I got a somewhat unique perspective on the intersection of sexuality and race, which is a hard story to come by, even today. A lot of gay stories are mired in whiteness and don't offer a lot in the way of a racial perspective at all. Angels in America came close, but for a 4 hour play, they could have said a lot more. this book is only 120 pages long, and says WAY more than Angels in America even attempted.
The book is organized into a series of short stories about Kristen's life. The stories jump around in the timeline, so sometimes you'll be reading a story about her in high school, then jump to college, then leap backwards to early childhood, and then lurch forward to adulthood. It isn't TOO jarring as long as you go in equipped with the knowledge that these short stories are all a series of anecdotes and not part of a larger storyline. I mean, they ARE... since they're all part of this one woman's life, but it's not like each anecdote relates to the last in a specific way.
Another thing that's kind of jarring is that each anecdote switches artists. There's a pool of about 3 main artists they choose from with a few others here and there. For the most part everyone is good. Casandra Grullon has kind of a Nickelodeon anime style that makes me think of Avatar. Beth Marni and Derek Chua have more serious and rigid art styles. Derek's in particular look like figures you'd see drawn in an instruction manual. Very realistic lines but without a lot of individuality present. i guess it gets the job done, it's nice art for the most part.
The only artist I have a problem with is Lessamarie Croal, her style is VERY awkward and it seems characterized mostly by a severe lack of facial features in every character EXCEPT the main character. She draws Kristen like how Kristen looks. She put effort into that, when i see Kristen on her pages, I can tell who it is. Every other character, on the other hand, looks like a Sesame Street muppet. totally round heads, wide open mouths, usually they don't have noses and have only small black dots for eyes, and every other feature they have seems tacked on like a paper doll.
As if that wasn't bad enough, the way Lessamarie draws clothes is VERY strange. She does not seem to have an understanding of how fabric folds and falls over a human body. Some characters have big, billowing sleeves on T-shirts with lots and LOTS of creases drawn. Makes it look like they're wearing a poncho. when it's not that, clothes look very, very tight instead, showing many many creases around where limbs bend once again exaggerating the fabric's presence to an intense degree. Before this, i couldn't conceive of a garmet that was at once both too loose and too tight but Lessamarie captured it. It's easily the worst part of the book, and it's tragic because in the back of the book is a little tribute to all the artists who took part in the book, and the image that Lessamarie uses as an example actually looks kinda good. She can obviously draw better than this, but for some reason just didn't.
The only thing I can think of was maybe she got this assignment and put it off, so what we're seeing is a rush job, or it's also possible the book was drawn during that awkward transitional time where an artist has their technique down okay but are still struggling to find their style. Lord knows I spent a long time in limbo in that place.
In either case, this book is a fantastic read. I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in reading about early gay rights movements in the U.S., specifically from a non-white, non-male perspective. Lots of good stories in here. i think my favourite one was the one where Kristen decides to take part in one of the city's first actual pride parades and how they were faced with hyper bigoted protesters from the start. There's a part where she notices that these homophobes even brought their kids with them and were making them hold picket signs with hateful messages about AIDs etc. Kristen noticed that the kids seems to not be paying much attention to the protest and were just trying to have fun with the other kids there, and even caught some of the kids dancing cheerfully to the music coming from the parade. she had a private moment of laughter, which later turned to fear as she saw one of the children's parents descend angrily upon them and shout at them about how it is VERY WRONG to be having fun in conjunction with anything related to gayness. A terrifyingly real moment depicted in these pages.
You can check out Kristen's work HERE.

Friday, August 18, 2017

QCE Review Series: Part 13 - "Rites of Dionysus Act One: Whatever's Clever" By Zak Plum

We're closing in! This is the second to last review, guys! Today we're doing Rites of Dionysus Act One: Whatever's Clever by Zak Plum, a story told entirely in verse that resembles beat poetry with an art style that seems to be inpsired by south-western american native tribes, maybe specifically the Hopi.
The copyright date on this book says 2013 but everything about this books says 1991 to me. I can imagine it being narrated by Jeanine Garafalo or Tracy Ullman or something. It's definitely got that kinda vibe, that kinda art house, coffee shop, midway point between grunge and hippie kinda folk-punk vibe. This book is your kooky english teacher, the one who liked to have class outside on sunny days. If this book was a smell, it would be patchouli and if it had a pattern it would be paisley. If it had a soundtrack it would be Pure Moods and if I found it anywhere other than Queer Comic Expo, I'd have just as easily assumed it was something someone picked up from the local art and wine festival. I know it sounds like I'm making fun of this book, and I KINDA am (because it's just laid on SO thick), but it's not entirely without it's merits.
For example, the artwork, while derivative, is executed expertly. It very much captures it's inspirations and wears them proudly on it's sleeve. The verse for the most part flows very nicely. There are some times when you have to make yourself re-read a line just so you can re-assert to yourself how the rhyme scheme is supposed to flow. That can be a little jarring. BUT, thankfully, it's not a problem that occurs often enough for me to see it a determent to the book as a whole.
All in all, it's an okay book but it would definitely appeal a lot more to someone who actually dug these aesthetics. If you gotta gay friend who's still living in the 90's, get them this book.