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Nathan Bulmer talks Eat More Bikes

If I am grateful for nothing else, it’s that 2012 was the year I was introduced to the work of Nathan Bulmer, creator of the daily and often uproariously funny webcomic Eat More Bikes. That introduction is in large part due to Tucker Stone, who has been regularly featuring Bulmer’s comics in his weekly column, “Comics of the Weak.”

Bulmer celebrated the end of the year with the release of his new comic, naturally titled Eat More Bikes, from Koyama Press. I had the chance to chat with Bulmer about the new series, how he got into comics and the challenges of producing a daily comic.

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This weekend, it’s the Brooklyn Comics and Graphics Festival

One of the more interesting, art-focused and idiosyncratic comic conventions around, the Brooklyn Comics and Graphics Festival, will take place this weekend.

The bulk of  festival will be held from noon to 7 p.m. Saturday at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, located  in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, N.Y. The show has expanded considerably, however, to include a number of other events, including gallery shows and a film festival.

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My SPX 2012 photo diary

Another Small Press Expo has come and gone, and I have the empty wallet to prove it. My official SPX report appears at Comic Book Resources. You can also hear me blathering on about the show with Joe McCulloch and Matt Seneca over here. Short recap: It was a great show, arguably the best SPX I’ve been to in a long while.

Despite my self-induced reputation as a horrible photographer, I opted to take photos at the show anyway.

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This weekend, it’s the Small Press Expo

The annual Small Press Expo, better known as SPX, will arrive at the Bethesda North Marriott Hotel and Convention Center in Bethesda, Maryland, Saturday and Sunday. This particular SPX promises to be excellent — mayhap the bestest SPX evar — so allow me to run through some of the goings-on if you happen to be in that area this weekend.

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Koyama Press to publish Dustin Harbin’s Diary Comics 4

Dustin Harbin has been publishing his Diary Comics online on a more or less daily basis for some time, and Koyama Press has published the first three volumes, so this should come as no surprise: The publisher will release the fourth volume this fall. Here’s the note that Ed Kanerva sent with the announcement:

Dustin Harbin’s DIARY COMICS may have begun as a sketchbook exercise, and first seen print as a quotidian daily journal, but over their lifespan they’ve morphed into something more meaningful. They’ve become an exploration, not only of a person’s life, but of their own changing perception of that life. While the comics are no longer a daily-style journal, they still meander through whatever is on Harbin’s mind, warts and all, using the everyday events of his life to comment on the world and what it all might mean to one dumb cartoonist.

Of course you can read it all on Harbin’s website, but there’s a lot to be said for a nice collected edition in print.

AdHouse closing down AdDistro service

AdHouse Books publisher Chris Pitzer announced on the company’s blog that he’s shutting down AdDistro, his distribution effort to make comics from small publishers and self-publishers available for purchase through AdHouse proper. Pitzer kicked off AdDistro two years ago.

“Basically, I started AdDistro with the thought that I was bringing hard-to-find bibliogoodness to the people,” Pitzer said in his post. “Times have a-changed, and now the once hard-to-find beautiful things are a little easier to obtain.”

Through AdDistro, Pitzer has distributed comics from Nobrow Press, Bernie Mireault, Thomas Herpich, Koyama Press, Revival House Press, Malachi Ward and Benjamin Marra.” While there was once a pond that kept Nobrow from us, now you can get their stuff from Consortium. While I was once the go-to place for Koyamaness, I am proud to point you Secret Acres way. Others have joined forces with others, and honestly, it was a lot of work, at least for lil’ ol’ AdCasa,” Pitzer said. “Adding Thomas Herpich and Bernie Mireault at the end was the proverbial icings on the cake.”

AdHouse still has several of the AdDistro books available on their site, so if you’d like to get your hands on them in one big swoop, head on over there and stock up.

What Are You Reading? with Aubrey Sitterson and Charles Soule

The Massive #1

Happy Father’s Day and welcome to What Are You Reading?, where each week we talk about what comics and other stuff have been on our reading piles. Today’s guests are two of the contributors to Skullkickers #18, which features several “Tavern Tales” short stories by different creative teams. Joining us today are Charles Soule of 27, Strange Attractors and Strongman fame, and Aubrey Sitterson, winner of the Skullkickers Tavern Tales Contest. He’s also the writer of Gear Monkey for Double Feature Comics and community manager for WWE Games.

To see what Charles, Aubrey and the Robot 6 crew have been reading, click below.

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What Are You Reading? with Ed Piskor

G.I. Joe #60

This week our special guest is Ed Piskor, creator of Wizzywig and Brain Rot, and artist on the Harvey Pekar-written graphic novels Macedonia and The Beats.

To see what Ed and the Robot 6 crew have been reading lately, click below.

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Six by 12 | 12 comics to look forward to in 2012

Are You My Mother?

With 2012 still fresh and new, it seems like as good a time as any to look at various publishing companies’ plans for the year ahead and pick out what looks good, or at least interesting. Because the year looks to be filled with so many delights, I decided to double down and offer not just six but 12 comics I’m really looking forward to reading. Obviously this list is reflective of my own, indie-slanted interests, so feel free in the comments section to tell me what a dope I am for forgetting about Book X by Artist Y.

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Koyama’s covers: an exclusive preview of Koyama Press’ 2012 titles

Most people would settle for being a death-defying stock-market genius and leave it at that, but noooooo, not Annie Koyama. She had to go and form Koyama Press, creating a home for acclaimed cartoonists like Michael DeForge and Dustin Harbin, and racking up Joe Shuster Awards for Outstanding Comic Book Publisher and, via the comics duo Tin Can Forest, Outstanding Comic Book Cartoonist. Not one to rest on her laurels, Koyama has provided Robot 6 with an exclusive look at her very strong-seeming 2012 line-up. It features new books from Tin Can Forest, DeForge, and Harbin–including the children’s comic The Playground War, whose cover you’re getting a peek at above–as well as the Koyama Press debuts of Jesse Jacobs (Even the Giants) and Julia Wertz (The Fart Party).

The full press release and the covers for the new Jesse Jacobs and Tin Can Forest books are after the jump.

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‘I generally want my comics to feel like dreams’: An interview with Michael DeForge

Adding the RSS feed for Michael DeForge’s blog to your Google Reader this year was a bit like wrapping your mouth around the business end of a firehose. Barely a day went by without DeForge posting some beautifully strange, strangely beautiful new illustration or comics page. And at the rate he was producing work, there was no telling where it would be from — his two minicomics series, the art-world satire/science fiction Open Country and the kids’-comics oddity Kid Mafia; his ongoing bug’s-life black-comedy webcomic Ant Comic; “College Girl by Night,” his gender-bending contribution to the erotic comics anthology he co-edits with Ryan Sands, Thickness; the third issue of his flagship solo anthology series, Lose, from Koyama Press; various previously published works now archived at Jordan Crane’s webcomics portal What Things Do; comic strips and illustrations for magazines like Vice, Maisonneuve, The Comics Journal and The Believer; contributions to anthologies including kus, Smoke Signal, Gang Bang Bong, Root Rot, Sundays, and probably more that I’m forgetting.

But even more astonishing than the sheer volume of his output was its quality. As I wrote in CBR’s Top 100 Comics of 2011 countdown, DeForge published his four best comics last year, and many more thrilling works besides. I focused on that killer quartet of Lose, Open Country, Ant Comic, and “College Girl by Night” for this interview with DeForge, looking back on amazing year and teasing what’s to come in 2012.

Sean T. Collins: Sexy stuff first. I have a few questions about “College Girl by Night,” the story you contributed toThickness. Since you co-created and co-edit the series with Ryan Sands, I’m wondering which came first, the idea for the story, or the idea for the anthology it eventually appeared in? Did wanting to make smut also make you want to create a publication to house it for yourself and others, or vice versa?

Michael DeForge: My idea for the story came way, way later. I think that’s why I wanted to be slotted in the second issue instead of the first – when we decided to do the anthology, I had no idea what I wanted to draw yet. “College Girl By Night” was actually my second story idea, too. My original comic was going to be a homoerotic riff on the movie Class, starring Rob Lowe and Andrew McCarthy. I did all these character designs and had all these plans on how I’d draw their outfits and the prep school the comic would take place in, but everything fell apart when I actually started to plot it out.

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This weekend, it’s the Brooklyn Comics and Graphics Festival

From noon to 9 p.m. tomorrow the Brooklyn Comics and Graphics Festival (or BCGF as it’s more commonly known) will take place at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church, 275 North 8th Street, Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The show, curated by Picturebox, Desert Island and Bill Kartalopolous, has very quickly built up a reputation as being one of the “must-attend” indie shows on the East Coast, and this year promises to be the the most impressive and largest show yet with a murderer’s row of top-flight guests and expanded exhibitors list debuting some killer-looking books. Best of all, the show is free to attend, so

Click on the link below to read a run-down of who will be debuting what, when and where:

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Does Koyama Press have the coolest publisher backstory ever?

Consider the tale of Annie Koyama, the publisher of the eponymous art-comics outfit Koyama Press, as explained to Robot 6′s Chris Mautner (him again?) for CBR.

Her successful career as a producer in film, television, and commercials came to an end when she was handed a terminal diagnosis of multiple brain aneurysms. Unable to work, she started playing the stock market with no experience whatsoever…and ended up generating enough cash to form both a nest egg for herself and a slush fund for local artists whose work caught her eye. Meanwhile, a risky surgical procedure saved her life: “I still have another aneurysm but choose to mostly ignore it” is how she describes what remains of her condition. And now she’s responsible for getting gorgeous comics by Michael DeForge, Dustin Harbin, Steve Wolfhard and more into our hot little hands. Kickass Annie, I salute you.

Read the whole thing for much more on Koyama the person and the press, and what they both look for in art and comics.

Start reading now: Michael DeForge’s Ant Comic

It was easy to miss amid the seemingly neverending torrent of incredible comics pages he’s posted to the Internet over the past couple years, but Michael DeForge, the Doug Wright Award-winning creator of Lose from Koyama Press, has quietly launched a biweekly webcomic called Ant Comic. Spinning out of a contribution to the newsprint anthology Smoke Signals from Desert Island Comics in Brooklyn, Ant Comic so far appears to be a series of standalone episodes in the lives of various ants, featuring exquisite coloring, existential angst, and deeply disconcerting imagery involving the fears and lusts of insects. DeForge is planning 50 installments, and he’s only up to #3 right now; a new one goes up every other Monday. Cans of Raid not included.

What are you reading with Annie Koyama

Little Tommy Lost

Welcome to another round of What Are You Reading. Our guest this week is Annie Koyama, owner and operator of the wonderful Koyama Press, which publishes fantastic books that you should buy ASAP. To see what Annie and the rest of the Robot 6 crew are reading this week, click on the link below. Continue Reading »


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