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Chicago Alternative Comics Expo 2013

Chicago Alternative Comics Expo 2013
When CAKE (the Chicago Alternative Comics Expo) debuted last year, it was the first such festival to take place in Chicago since the mid-’90s. This year, the organizers put together a lineup of more than 200 guests including Onli Studios, whose series Heroes of the Black Age recently celebrated its 20th anniversary; Gabrielle Gamboa, currently adapting the Nathaniel West novel Miss Lonelyhearts;... 

American Mangaka

American Mangaka
The way that many young Americans discover Japanese culture is through its cartoons and comics. While many Japanese people may be discovering American culture today through Disney, “Adventure Time”, and “SpongeBob” (all quite popular among my students), the same cannot be said for our comics. Japan has the world’s largest comics industry, and indeed, comics in Japan account for 40% of all... 

Imaginary Creatures of Vivid Color: A Conversation with Lindsay Kunhardt

Imaginary Creatures of Vivid Color: A Conversation with Lindsay Kunhardt
Lindsay Kunhardt is a painter, illustrator, dragon fanatic, science nerd, lover of craft beer, and all around badass.  Relatively new to Chicago, she moved here on a whim from California and has quickly found roots here through her involvement with 4Art Inc, RAW Chicago, and other shows, both solo and collective.  Her body of work, which is largely listed under her pseudonym, Red Feathered Frock,... 

The Multi-Sensory Experience: CHema Skandal!

The Multi-Sensory Experience: CHema Skandal!
The Multi-Sensory Experience is an ongoing project investigating the similarities, differences, and overlaps between the Chicago art and music scenes.  Mexican Artist CHema Skandal!’s career is dependant on the overlap of the music and art scenes.  CHema is an illustration artist and graphic designer who produces gig posters and album artwork for reggae and ska bands in Chicago, Mexico, and around... 

Comics Meet Journalism: The Illustrated Press

Comics Meet Journalism: The Illustrated Press
A few months ago I donated to an intriguing Kickstarter project, a comics journalism compilation by journalist/artist team Darryl Holliday and Erik Rodriguez called The Illustrated Press. The book was successfully funded and is set for an August release. It will include heartfelt snapshots of Chicago like 2011’s “Wedlock: Love and Marriage in the Cook County Jail,” which follows the courthouse... 

CAKE: The Chicago Alternative Comics Expo

CAKE: The Chicago Alternative Comics Expo
Comics in the United States stand out among other art forms as a uniquely stigmatized medium. A simple Google search for “comics stigma” will yield blogs, news sites, and academic articles including the terms unnecessary social stigma, geek stigma, kid stuff stigma, and low status. It’s hard to imagine a major art form in the US advocating a day where you experience it in public to combat its... 

A Return to Artists’ Alley: Interviews from C2E2

A Return to Artists’ Alley: Interviews from C2E2
April marked the third year of the Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo, or C2E2.  Like last spring, X-men, Poison Ivies, and Spidermen crowded the halls of McCormick Place, but artists were there in abundance as well.  Even with the advent of the Internet, conventions like this one are still a central part of many comic book artists’ careers.  They offer creators the opportunity to network... 

Arow Collective, PART II // The Drop Out Kids

Arow Collective, PART II // The Drop Out Kids
Ian Mitchell Wallace, "Friends With Golden Benefits." Watercolor. (Image courtesy of Ian Mitchell Wallace.) Two young artists, two vastly different backgrounds, one art show in a vintage thrift store where I used to find and buy three-dollar grandma blazers in its basement. Presented by Arow Collective, The Drop Out Kids features new artwork by Gianni Onassis, who grew up on the South Side... 

A Conversation with Beth Hetland

A Conversation with Beth Hetland
For the past 20-odd years, the independent comic, a subcategory of comic art, has gained strength and notoriety.  Some independent comics have their own publishing house while others are literally published in someone’s house.  I sat down with Beth Hetland, School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) and Center for Cartoon Studies (White River Junction, Vermont) alumni and current SAIC faculty... 

Tenants With Benefits

Tenants With Benefits
Michael Jewell. Run Yr Mouth, 2011. Mixed Media. Bucktown, Chicago, IL. (Photo Credit: Zachary Johnson) It’s no secret that the bulk of art produced by young Chicagoans is made in their apartments. Behind closed doors, living spaces are transformed into makeshift studios where countless art pieces are created, many never to meet the public eye. Some of these artists are supported by another kind... 
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