News of Stwallskull: Twin Cities Book Festival This Saturday, October 14th, The Dead Living in Double Barrel, Freaky Tiki, Monkey’s Paw News, and The Roe Family Singers

Below is a sketch I made of the wonderful Roe Family Singers setting the woods on fire at the 331 Club earlier tonight… boy, do they make some beautiful music. They play there every Monday to the most unbelievably enthusiastic Monday night crowd you are ever likely to see. Two of the members of the band, bandleader Quillan Roe and Adam Wirtzfeld on the saw, are also excellent local cartoonists. I can’t recommend checking their show out highly enough.

I also posted the image on Ken Avidor‘s fantastic group sketch blog, Urban Sketchers Twin Cities, which he was nice enough to invite me to participate in. There are lots of wonderful sketches of the region there to check out.

I have a table at the Twin Cities Book Festival this coming weekend. I will have pretty much everything I currently have in print there for perusal. I’m always delighted to draw something in copies of my Soapy the Chicken book with purchase, fyi… just ask if you’re interested.

I’ll be premiering two brand new mini-comics:

The first one is The Dead Living, a horror story I did that will also be in this month’s issue of Zander Cannon and Kevin Cannon’s incredible digital anthology Double Barrel, coming out this Wednesday from Top Shelf. If you haven’t checked out the other issues of Double Barrel, you really, really should… and I would do it before you pick up the one my comic is in, as the brothers Cannon are doing some extremely engaging serials that you will want to start at the beginning (a sequel to Kevin’s brilliant Far Arden called Crater XV, and Zander’s paranormal pulp opera, Heck among many other wonders). Double Barrel is the first digital comic I’ve purchased, and it is one hell of a deal… many of the issues have over 100 pages of some of the best comics around for a buck (the most recent two issues are $2, but back issues go down to $1. If you are like me, once you start, you won’t be able to wait for them to drop in price). Anyhow, getting back to The Dead Living… I’ve never done a horror comic before, so it seemed like an interesting challenge to attempt. Horror and humor seem like two of the hardest things to pull off well in comics. I went off of Steve Bissette’s advice/requirement to contributors to his wonderful horror anthology of the 80′s and 90′s, Taboo… I tried to draw something that I found genuinely frightening. So, if I succeeded, hopefully you will be in for an unpleasant read.

The other new mini-comic is called Freaky Tiki. It is a collection of drawings of strange and obscure minor island deities that perhaps exist. I made it for inclusion in the upcoming Lutefisk Sushi Volume E show that the Cartoonist Conspiracy is putting together with our friends at Altered Esthetics Gallery. It is our fifth Lutefisk Sushi hand-silkscreened, limited-edition box set of Minnesota mini-comics (the first was in 2004). So, if you plan to come to the opening for that on November 2nd and buy a box, you will not want to purchase this mini from me… you’ll get one included in the box.

Note that, of much greater interest than me at the Book Festival, noted genius Chris Ware will be there, and he will be giving a presentation on his incredible new box of books, Building Stories, at 12:30 in the Taxi Room.

Please note that if you have been waiting for updates to Monkey’s Paw, my ongoing webcomic collaboration with Ben Zmith… they will, unfortunately, be slowing down. They will continue, but we can no longer maintain the every Friday schedule. Ben and I were drawing them on our lunch breaks every day, and, alas, Ben got a new gig so now we can’t draw together as frequently. That said, we did every Friday for something like a year and a half… which is a pretty damn good uninterrupted run of free comics, I think. Anyhow, while you wait for updates, you can always check out the archive here. Soapy the Chicken remains in hibernation, but will be returning again one of these days.

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