Recent Days (Preview)

Here are a few pages from the comic I'll be reading tomorrow at Brain Frame 7. It's an autobiographical comic about the summer of 2011 called Recent Days. When it's finished, it will be well over 100 pages long. (The longest comic I've made to date is 11 pages.) I'm reading the first half at this Brain Frame, and the second half at Brain Frame 8, in September.

The comic is all drawn in pencil and non of it is planned beforehand. Usually, I methodically organize every little detail of my comics before beginning to draw them; not so in this case. The comic began as an exercise in forcing myself to draw and not worrying about it. It has morphed into a raw, honest, particular style, new to me and well suited to the subject matter. I often find autobiographical comics tiresome and problematic - it's been interesting trying to make one of my own, and one that I like.

There are a lot of real people featured in this narrative, and addressed by their full names. One of the great things about this reading is that most of those people will be present and playing themselves. Here're some photos of Ben Bertin, Gina Wynbrant and I working on a silhouette booth for the performance:

And here's a photograph of the Brain Frame 7 screen printed poster, which I finished last Sunday with help from Andrew Ghrist and susan sarandon:

This Brain Frame, I've upped the ante in more ways than just my reading and the poster. Brain Frame is goin' public! It got listed in The Reader, profiled (and recommended!) on Newcity, and Gapers Block was kind enough to interview me for a writeup as well! Susan sarandon also created this incredible gif:

Other, more personal, internet news include an artist's profile on Make Space and a wonderful, business-man's shout out on BOOOOOOOM! Yeah!


Corpse Pose Tattoo

Tyson asked me to draw a completely relaxed human being. John Herndon (of Tortoise) inked it. I like how now it looks like he's laying in hair grass.


Brain Frame 7

Edie and I made this poster. It is the most complicated poster I have ever made. It is insane. It will be screen printed on 22' x 30' paper, which is the size at which it was drawn. It will have five colors, and all that goldenseal you see will be actual metallic gold ink. The dragon will be less red and thus the blood spurting from it will stand out more. Edie drew the dragon, the non-flag text, and the pattern on the side panels. I drew the knight, the crag, the woodgrain, the plants, the flag-text, and the background. I spent so long coloring and compositing the various parts. I can't believe this image exists.


The heady spirit of underground, alternative, and/or experimental comics, shaken and poured over the glistening, ice cold rocks of interpretive presentation and/or performance; you are handed this cocktail in a glass, bubbling to match your own effervescence, as the crowd around you gawks, laughs, sighs, and/or is moved.

Andy Burkholder
Mairead Case [presenting a collaboration with David Lasky]
Lyra Hill
Ian McDuffie
Nicholas O’Brien
Leslie Weibeler

With obelisk dicks, Magic: The Gathering, harsh noise, Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Berkin, autobiographical self-destruction, celebratory champagne, and live music by Tyson Torstenson.

10pm on Saturday, July 28th, 2012. 1542 N Milwaukee, 2nd floor, $7.

NOTE: Wicker Park Fest is occurring the same weekend. Guests are advised against trying to drive. The festival ends at 10pm, which is when Brain Frame starts.


Sliders: Paradise Lost

Ian McDuffie is a close friend, peer, and artistic associate of mine. He is currently episode-by-episode blogging about all five seasons of Sliders, a late 90's sci fi drama about a rag-tag bunch who can 'slide' through dimensions. Ian is approaching the blog post for an episode that is widely regarded as the worst of all Sliders episodes, and because, according to Ian "enough has been said" on the subject already, he asked a bunch of his friends to watch the episode and draw response comics, instead of following his usual format.

I'd never watched Sliders before, and it sounded like a fun project, so Tyson and I sat down and watched Paradise Lost, the infamous lemon. It was really, really terrible. I took lots of notes and ended up with the above page. The first two panels are drawings of my favorite shot from the episode, where the camera zooms in on the wise, handicapped old woman's face as she repeats "The cove, the cove" and then cross-dissolves awkwardly to a shot of the cove. Never drawn a cross-dissolve before! It's hard! The third panel is in there because it was a ridiculous moment. I opted out of showing the more sensationalist plot lines (a giant cave/cove-dwelling glow worm who emits green goo which the town of centenarians eat to appear young forever, at the cost of sacrificing transients). Some of the other comics will probably tackle these subjects, so be sure to check them out when Ian posts them.



Paul Durica founded Pocket Guide To Hell, a series of tours, talks, and reenactments centering around key moments in Chicago history, in 2008. This month, they're organizing the largest reenactment to date. On Sunday, July 15th, three different moments when humankind meddled with the Chicago waterways will be re-lived in downtown Chicago.

I really love the Pocket Guide's events, so when Paul asked me to make the handbill for Like a Secondhand Sea, I was psyched. The name of the event was taken from Nelson Algren's book Chicago: City on the Make, published 1951, and quoted in pieces by man walking through the wind in the above graphic. I make handbills now!