Hello fellow artists,

As you may or may not be aware, our first comic anthology is off to the printers after a successful kickstarter campaign. But that doesn’t mean we are resting on our laurels. Quite the contrary, we are full steam ahead for our next book.

It’s still early, so I’ll give you a basic overview of what it will be as well as what I need from people right now:

Overview: This anthology will be run much like our last one. So here’s a description of the last one – 15 artists each did a 2-3 page original story about the theme of “Identity”. A few other rules:

1.) A hard R rating max (printer will not print anything X rated for fear of violating local municipalities obscenity laws – yeah, it’s 2015 and those are still a thing…)

2.) No use of copyrighted characters. If you are unsure about this, let me know and I will help you figure it out.

3.) You must have attended at least one of our in-person events prior to the anthology’s start point in order to participate. No exceptions. You must also reside in or around the city of Chicago (if you move during the course of the book, we won’t hold that against you).

4.) There will be an editorial board determining which comics end up in the book. This isn’t for any quality control reason (art is art as far as I am concerned). The issue is that we are about twice as large as we were when we did the last one and we have a hard limit on the number of published pages per book we can do before the cost of printing gets ridiculous, so we have to keep it under control. If interest is low all stories will be included and if it’s really low the number of allowable pages per artist will increase.

5.) There are opportunities for cover design if that’s your thing. You don’t have to have a story in the book to do the cover. If there are multiple people interested in the cover we may have each do a design and then let the group vote on the winning design.

What I need from you right now:

I need you to fill out this preliminary google form (http://goo.gl/forms/iQsG0c9MA3). Please do this by October 15th. At that point I will have appointed out editors and we will review the responses and decide on a theme.

If you have any additional questions, please let me know.

Ed

Last week Gorilla Tango Theater (1919 N. Milwaukee in Bucktown) was kind enough to fit us into their already bustling schedule so we could put in a little practice figure drawing. We had a pretty good turnout to sketch not one, but two models: Harley Darling and Jean Wildest. First up was Harley Darling dressed as Darth Vader. Here are some sketches of her from the event:

20150830_143327 rmxdarthDSC_0910-2

After moving to a different studio to accommodate patrons for a later show, we sketched Jean Wildest as Daenerys Targaryen. Here are a few of those sketches:

20150830_145030 rmxdaniDSC_0908-3

I heard nothing but positive reviews from both the artists and the models and we will definitely be doing something like this again sometime soon. So keep an eye out if you missed it. A huge thanks to the Harley, Jean, Dan, Katilin, Shane, and the rest of the crew at Gorilla Tango!

If you’d like to see Harley and Jean in their natural habitat you can catch them at one of Gorilla Tango’s regular parody burlesque shows. Check out the schedule here.

This is a series of posts about comics included in the forthcoming anthology comic “Identity” produced by Northside Comics.

 

mollyart

The next comic in our series is by Molly Clasen and is entitled Lorelle the Great.

Can you give us a brief description of your comic?
This piece is about how I grappled with the unexpected death of my former professor and mentor, Dr. Lorelle Browning. She was this incredibly passionate and caring english professor who always went out of her way to help me. I met her freshman year, and she became a real hero of mine. I still can’t believe she’s gone.
How does your comic speak to the theme of identity?
I wanted to examine what it means to lose a mentor. When someone seems larger than life to you in a way that’s almost mythical, how do you process her death? How do you fully understand the impact she had on your own choices and personality?
Where did you come up with the idea for your comic?
I use drawing and writing as a way to process my life, so it was really helpful for me to craft a visual narrative about this emotionally complicated event. It helped me say goodbye to someone I love and respect.
What influences your work both on this comic and in general?
I’m really interested in autobiographical artists with deceptively simple, emotionally-driven styles–Corrine Mucha, James Kochalka, Allie Brosh, Jeffrey Brown, Anders Nilsen, Julia Wertz, Sara Von, Yumi Sakugawa,  and so, so many more.
Where can people find more of your work?
You can check out my tumblr: meandyouandthingsandstuff.tumblr.com.

The full comic anthology “Identity” will be available later this summer for purchase. If you can’t wait that long you can contribute to our kickstarter and maybe get yourself some unique swag.

Hey everyone, I’m proud to announce that our Kickstarter to fund our first group anthology has launched. We really want this to be a success, so please check it out, contribute, and share! You have until midnight August 22nd to help us make this a reality! Click here to contribute.

This is a series of posts about comics included in the forthcoming anthology comic “Identity” produced by Northside Comics.

kittyart

The next comic in our series is by Kitty Curran and is entitled Department of Interplanetary Relations.

Can you give us a brief description of your comic?

A social worker who deals with secret extra-terrestrial visitors has a very difficult meeting with a new client.
How does your comic address the theme of identity?

The alien client has some pretty out-there choices for what his Earth identity will be!

Where did you come up with the idea for your comic?

I was brainstorming around the concept of secret identities found in superhero stories. The idea of creating a whole new persona when moving to a new planet appealed to me, and I wondered what sort of identity an alien visitor who didn’t have Superman’s advantage of being raised on Earth would come up with!
What influences your work both on this comic and in general?
This comic is riffing off on a few superhero stories, with a bit of a less glamorous Men in Black thrown in for good measure. I generally love comics with a silly/goofy sense of humor – like Squirrel Girl and Noelle Stevenson’s work.

Where can people find more of your work?

You can see my portfolio here:
My tumblr is here:
My twitter is here:
And I’m planning on launching a webcomic I’m working on with my friends this Autumn – you can check any of the above for updates!

The full comic anthology “Identity” will be available later this summer for purchase. If you can’t wait that long you can contribute to our kickstarter and maybe get yourself some unique swag.

This is a series of posts about comics included in the forthcoming anthology comic “Identity” produced by Northside Comics.

andrewart

 

The next comic in our series is by Andrew Larkin and is entitled Mother.

Can you give us a brief description of your comic and how it touches on the theme of identity?

Mother is a story about what happens when someone you love and look up to starts to fade away.  In this story, a daughter is dealing having to be the primary care giver for her aging mother who has dementia. Our parents shape our personalities, and influence the people we grow up to be.  What happens when that parent no longer knows who you are? For Helen, the daughter, her role in relationship to her mother is swapped; she now cares for the woman that once cared for her. Her identity as a daughter is called into question; her mother doesn’t recognize the woman she’s become, she can only vaguely recall the girl she once was.  To her mother, Helen is a ghost from the past.
I wanted to touch on some of the complex emotions experienced by both mother and daughter.  To the mother, the world around her is disjointed.  The past becomes the present, and she sees things that aren’t real.  Her experience can be blissful one minute (as she experiences a fond memory of her daughter as a child) to terrifying (as she realizes that her child is not there).
Helen’s emotions are more subtle and, at a deeper level, perhaps more complex. The stress of being the primary caregiver to her mother is taxing.  She experiences anger and resentment, a feeling she may not feel comfortable expressing openly because, at the same time, she loves and cares for her mother.  The line “some days I feel like it would be better if she died” may seem harsh, but it expresses the complexity of her emotions; Helen simultaneously wishes to be free of the burden of her mother, and for her mother to be free of the illness that plagues her.  A wish for death is a blessing for both mother and daughter, but also something Helen resists because then the loss of her mother would be complete and final.  This inner conflict manifests as a range of outward emotion, including exasperation and tears.
Ultimately, Helen’s question is one about identity; is she still her mother’s daughter, even if her mother can’t recognizer her for it?  Can she be a loving child and wish death on her parent?

Where did you come up with the idea for your comic?

I was mostly inspired by my wife’s grandmother. She suffered from dementia, and I was really struck by how this impacted the family. I never knew my wife’s grandmother before she was ill, but I could see how hard it was for my mother-in-law to have to be, in essence, a parent to the woman that once parented her. I think it’s easy to talk about feelings like sadness in relation to a dying parent, but it’s much harder to talk about feelings like anger and resentment, particularly when those feelings are partially directed at a person you love. I wanted to tell a story that touched on that feeling of anger towards a sick parent that stems from having to be burdened, and how that feeling co-exists with a deep feeling of joy and satisfaction in being able to help someone you love.

What influences your work both on this comic and in general?

So much of my inspiration comes from reading a lot of Calvin and Hobbes.  Bill Watterson is a master at creating these adorable characters that have the ability to comment on very serious things. His characters are relatable. When I was younger, I loved Calvin’s imagination and whimsy. As an adult I can begin to appreciate Calvin’s dad even more, despite my not yet being a parent. It made me realize that comics can be fun and serious at the same time.
For this comic, I was largely influenced by David Small’s Stitches. It’s an autobiographical story about how Small lost his voice as a child after having a tumor removed from his throat. The story is deeply psychological, and doesn’t pull any punches in terms of expressing the feelings of fear and rage that Small must have felt. In particular, I was impacted by the use of eyes in his illustrations. In Mother, the eyes are tied to each character’s identity.  When the mother doesn’t recognize Helen, we see her as the mother sees her – without eyes.

Where can people find more of your work?

I have a Tumblr site, andrewlarkin.net, that has a lot of my recent work, with more being posted all the time. I also can be found on DeviantArt as riatstar.

The full comic anthology “Identity” will be available later this summer for purchase. If you can’t wait that long you can contribute to our kickstarter and maybe get yourself some unique swag.

Voting ended last night and we have crowned a winner. Below is the winning primary logo entry that we will be using from here on out as well as the alternative logo. Thank you to all who submitted and voted. Keep your eyes open for future contests.

white primary

white secondary

This is a series of posts about comics included in the forthcoming anthology comic “Identity” produced by Northside Comics.

davidart

 

The next comic in our series is by David Schuttenhelm and is entitled New Guy in Town.

Can you give us a brief description of your comic?

A peek into the life of a friendly Ophidian shopkeeper trying to make his way in a human city.

How does your comic speak to the theme of identity?

This work examines how the expectations of our cultural context color our sense of self.

Where did you come up with the idea for your comic?

This is a character from a large story I’ve been working one. This was a good chance to work out a little bit of backstory.

What influences your work both on this comic and in general?

Some of my favorite artist mostly come from the world of animation, like Chris Sanders, Bruce Tim, and Kihyun Ryu. In terms of story I’d have to say Dan Harmon and the general way he scrutinizes life and people in his writing and speaking is very inspiring to me.

Where can people find more of your work?

See more of my work at EnigmaBerry.deviantart.com

The full comic anthology “Identity” will be available later this summer for purchase. If you can’t wait that long you can contribute to our kickstarter and maybe get yourself some unique swag.