INTERVIEW: "Batgirl and the Birds of Prey" Hunt Rebirth's Oracle
“Postcard from Fielder 2″ by Kevin Huizenga
“The Miracle” by Johnny Ryan
Standing nearly two feet tall, boasting over 50 contributors (including Matt Groening, Chris Ware, Jaime Hernandez, Daniel Clowes, and Adrian Tomine), and costing $125, Kramers Ergot 7 — the latest installment of the avant-garde anthology series from editor Sammy Harkham and publisher Alvin Buenaventura — was a famously, even infamously, grand production. And now…it’s a minicomic?
Artist Hall Hassi has created what she calls a “ke7 zine“ — a 96-page, 8.5″ x 5.5″, black-and-white xeroxed version of the massive full-color hardcover. Pictures of the finished product can be found at the blog of artist Blaise Larmee, who notes that “sometimes the text is entirely legible. sometimes not at all.” God only knows what kind of Kinko’s kung fu had to be applied to even get the book to fit on a photocopier, so not being able to read some of it seems like a small price to pay.
Email Hassi if you’re interested in purchasing one — unless you’re Sammy Harkham himself, who’s still waiting to find out when he can expect a contributor copy.
(Via Kramers contributor James McShane.)
I somehow missed this in Tucker Stone’s report from MoCCA last week, but luckily Heidi over at the Beat caught it — Stone spoke with John Kerschbaum about his future projects, and the creator revealed that he’s working on this year’s Bart Simpson’s Treehouse of Horror book for Bongo Comics.
Kerschbaum isn’t the only one working on the book, though; as you can see below in the solicitation copy that Bongo was kind enough to send us, they’ve recruited a Murderer’s Row of creators, including Jeffrey Brown, Kevin Huizenga, Matthew Thurber and many more, and it’s edited by Sammy Harkham of Kramers Ergot fame:
Bart Simpson’s Treehouse of Horror #15
Edited by Sammy Harkham
48 pages/standard format/color/humor
UPC: 01511 (7-98342-02851-5)
Guest edited by Sammy Harkham, the award-winning creator of the popular Kramers Ergot anthology, this year’s issue is a jam-packed with some of the most idiosyncratic (and weirdest) takes on “The Simpsons” universe ever. Among Halloween-inspired short strips by such visionary cartoonists as Jordan Crane (Uptight), C.F. (Powr Mastrs), Will Sweeney (Tales from Greenfuzz), Tim Hensley (MOME), and John Kerschbaum (Petey & Pussy), are four featured tales of inspired Simpsons lunacy: heralded artists Kevin Huizenga (Ganges, Or Else) and Matthew Thurber (1-800 Mice, Kramers Ergot) collaborate on a weird and wild story equal parts Lovecraftian eco-horror and Philip K. Dick identity comedy. Jeffrey Brown (Incredible Change-Bots, Clumsy) does a creepy and suitably pathetic story featuring Milhouse in a “Bad Ronald”-inspired tale of murder and crawl space living. Harkham and Ted May (INJURY) pull out all the stops for a tragic monster tale of unrequited love, bad karaoke, and body snatching at Moe’s Bar. Ben Jones (Paper Rad) does the comic of his life with an epic tale of how bootleg candy being sold at the Kwik-E-Mart rapidly spirals out of control into an Invasion of The Body Snatchers-like nightmare of a Springfield filled with cheap bootleg versions of familiar characters. And nobody does squishy, sweaty, and gross like up and coming cartoonist Jon Vermilyea (MOME), who outdoes himself with “C.H.U.M.M.,” a C.H.U.D.-inspired parody featuring everybody’s favorite senior citizen, Hans Moleman!
With a cover by Dan Zettwoch, Bart Simpson’s Treehouse of Horror #15 is like nothing you’ve ever seen, and is sure to be one of the most talked about comics of the year by alternative comic readers and Simpsons fans of all ages!
This goes on my “must buy” list.
Continuing our occasional series looking at how small press and indie comics publishers are weathering the downturn in the economy, not to mention Diamond’s recent policy changes, today we’re talking with Drawn and Quarterly’s Associate Publisher Peggy Burns.
D&Q rather unintentionally became regarded as one of the first martyrs of Diamond’s new cut-off policy when two of their serialized comics, Sammy Harkham’s Crickets and Kevin Huizenga’s Or Else, were cancelled. The fact that said cancellations were due to the separate decisions of the artists themselves and not the publisher or Diamond didn’t matter much at the time; its close proximity seemed to have a direct cause and effect.
I was curious as to what Burns had to say about that matter and the industry climate in general, since she’s one of the most intelligent and candid people working behind the scenes in comics today. She didn’t disappoint and I’d like to thank her for taking the time to respond to the plethora of questions I emailed her.
I don’t really want to get into a numbers game with our authors whose comics fell below or near the Diamond minimum. Obviously, the titles (Or Else, Lucky, Crickets) that have been announced as ending in their pamphlet form hovered around the minimum, though the conversation with Or Else happened before the minimum news. Ending a series is not something we want to do. The artist wanted to tell their story in this form, and we have the job of telling this form is no longer viable. It’s not an easy decision and wasn’t fun to do.
OK, this is officially getting depressing now. Hot on the heels of Kevin Huizenga’s announcement that he is pulling the plug on his D&Q pamplet series Or Else, cartoonist and Kramer’s Ergot editor Sammy Harkham says on his blog that he is canceling his D&Q-published pamphlet series, Crickets after only two issues. Unlike Huizenga, he minces no words abou the reason why:
Wanted to just let those favorite few of you out there to know that my comic book, Crickets, has been cancelled due to changes made by the major comics distributor that effectively made it impossible to continue in the comic book format. Crickets #3 will come out in some DYI form in the next couple months…after that, I dont know exactly. While I am really bummed about this, as I feel I never even really got started on it, I appreciate all the people who supported it when it was coming out. Thanks. To the future.
Man, I really liked that comic too. Should we start some kind of Drowning Pool and take bets as to what series is next on the chopping block?