Robot 6

You can’t do FLUKE in 45 minutes

FLUKE 2009 Anthology

FLUKE 2009 Anthology

I owe the folks that put together the 2009 FLUKE Mini-Comic Show an apology. Unfortunately, Saturday was a busy day, loaded with family commitments and I decided I could squeeze in a first-time visit to the show in Athens, Georgia. Here’s the problem, I live about an hour and a half away from Athens, and I had about two hours to spare for FLUKE. Well, I thought I had two hours, but my lovely wife has never been to Athens and wanted to join me. My wife completely supports my love of comics. I would not be covering comics in my free time, were it not for my wife’s encouragement and support. So when she asked me to spend some time in Athens with her without mini-comics being the center of my attention, I suddenly realized I needed to visit FLUKE in under an hour.

I thought–hey, mini-comic creators spread out across the top floor of Tasty World– this can be done in under an hour. I made this estimate after considering the parameters of the show: “Tables and spaces will be provided for mini comic artists and distributors on a first-come, first-serve basis. All attendees are welcome to bring enough work to fill a small (4′x 5′) table space. In the interest of providing display space for as many artists as possible, attendees may not use more than one table. Large displays and booths are not permitted at FLUKE, so please do not bring them. ”

Folks who have attended FLUKE in past years already know I was mistaken with my time and logistics estimate. The minute I walked into the show, even I knew I was way off with my planning. So, I’ll fully admit at the outset of this write-up, I did not get to visit with all of the FLUKE participants, not by a long stretch. So, before getting into who I did talk to, let me make an offer to those who I did not. If you attended or participated in FLUKE, please feel free to mention your mini-comic (or favorite fellow creators and projects that were at FLUKE) in the comments section. With any luck and better planning, I’ll try to stay much longer next year.

The Single Girls

The Single Girls

When I got in the door, I was struck by how jam-packed the room was with creators. I mean this in a positive sense, there was a variety of talent to choose from, but plenty of space for consumers to tour. After trying to get my bearings for a bit, I struck up my first conversation with a creator–Amy Martin. Martin’s most recent project is The Single Girls. As Martin notes in her bio: “She has been self-publishing comic books since 2004, and in that short span of years has completed eleven books (two of which never saw publication; heartbreaking, no?). Her work deals in large part with women and the ways we treat each other—how we are friends, rivals, cheerleaders, counselors, and contenders. We know what the world has to offer us, now how shall we divide the winnings?”

Next up in my whirlwind tour, I caught up with Michael Jewell of Parsnip Press, as well as Andrew Greenstone of Danger Park. I wish I had photos to run of these two kind creators, but unfortunately my ability to operate a camera phone is limited. In my defense, I’ve only owned a camera phone for three days now, a weak excuse, but it’s all I have. So due to my inexperience, few of the photos I took turned out as well as I had hoped. As a consolation to all parties reading this, I aim to interview these two fellows and a great many of the creators I met at FLUKE in the coming months.

It was also nice to catch up with folks who I have interviewed in the past, such as Owly creator Andy Runton and Joey Weiser, the author of Tales of Unusual Circumstance. Weiser was on-hand to show folks his new mini-comic The Late-Night Gang (“Featuring three stories starring Henry of the Black Lagoon, Victor Vampire, and Andrew, Son of Frankenstein!” according to Weiser’s website).

Two more folks I should mention that I got to speak to briefly were:

– Martyn Cooper, a creator of a many quirky humor mini-comics, one of which was about a pet by the name of Dave

– Henry Eudy, a North Carolina-based creator who did a slight homage to Swamp Thing with the cover to his funny mini-comic, Skim Milk

Always Comix

Always Comix

The attendees that impressed me the most (those of whom I met, of course) were the folks from the Always Comix group, who drove around 13 hours from Pennsylvania just to attend the show. It was not just the distance they traveled, but also their product that impressed me. The concept behind the Absolute Comix series strikes me as a comics version of This American Life. Every issue of the anthology offers up a collection of stories on a certain theme. The most recent issue is on EVIL . I bought the June 2008 edition, which focused on “age eight” stories. Coming up fairly fast is the May 1 deadline for their next theme: “How We Met”. This theme is intended to address “tales of how you met your best friend, worst enemy, partner in crime, your dog, your friends mom, your mailman.”

Again, please feel free to chime in with comments in any way, shape or form, if you attended FLUKE–or hey if you have an opinion about previous FLUKE’s and how this year’s gathering compared. Now if you’ll excuse me, I think I will dive into the 80-page 2009 FLUKE anthology.

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Comments

7 Comments

It was my first time at Fluke, you can read my report complete with pictures over at my blog:

http://www.jeremywinslife.com/2009/04/05/fluke-fest-2009/

This was my fourth visit to fluke, I’ll be chronicling my visit in my daily journal comic:

http://www.thebrainseed.com/odyssey

Our table was right across from Martyn’s, and I feel pretty lousy for missing a chance to speak with you! But I’m pretty glad you have a really awesome time there. I’m curious if you’ve been to Athens often, and experienced the joys of Bizzaro Wuxtry, since it sounded like you were on a bit of a tight schedule. I’m just saying that it must be seen.

Also, I’ll be posting a preview of the latest journal comic I put together and debuted at Fluke this year as well. So give that a look see.

Brett and Jeremy, thanks for the links.

Brett, the last time I set foot in Athens before Saturday was 1985. I definitely intend on heading back before FLUKE (and before the college football season starts!) to check out Athens more. Bizzaro Wuxtry will be one of my first stops, promise.

Saturday was my first time ever showing at a comics show. I’ll have to admit that the prospect of sitting behind a little table and explaining what these things were that I made to strangers seemed totally terrifying to me. Fortunately, the environment at FLUKE was so laid back and the people there so friendly that I was able to shake my jitters and have a really great time. I met a lot of really nice people and collected a huge bag full of awesome comics. I feel so encouraged and gung-ho about making comics now! Thanks to everyone there and especial thanks to you, Tim for giving me a mention up above, I hope you enjoyed Skim Milk!

I’ve been bunches of times and loved it every time. My report is here http://fileunderother.blogspot.com/2009/04/fluke-2009-postview.html

Tim,
I didn’t know you were semi-local, OR that you were at the show – I’d have liked to have met in person. Hope you enjoyed the time you did have, and next time, flag me down, and I’ll pass on some minis to you.
Chris S.

Howdy Tim;

One of the two FLUKE organizers here. I really appreciate you coming out to FLUKE Saturday and giving it a try. We try to emphasize that the show is teeny-weeny compared to SPX, MoCCA, APE, DragonCon, Sunnyville Pie Bake-Off, and that its space is in the second story of a bar. We did have more room than last year after Tasty World rearranged pool tables and booths awhile back. It felt like we had 30% more exhibitor space. I’m glad to see you enjoyed FLUKE and hope I can meet you next year.

I was there all day and I didn’t get a chance to really talk with everyone I wanted to either.

While I’m here, I want to plug my issue of Big Deal Comics #10; Knocked ‘Em.
http://patrickdean.livejournal.com/188732.html
I’ll have it for sale on my website eventually. The FLUKE website will also have some of our past anthologies for sale as well as this years FLUKE t-shirts.
http://www.flukeathens.com/

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