Tuesday, May 24, 2011
MAINE COMICS ARTS FESTIVAL 2011
Though I didn't have a table this year, I did spend a couple of hours roaming the Festival. I got to see some great friends and hugely talented creators. The thing I like about the Festival is everyone smiles---I didn't see a single scowl or furrowed brow in the place. Even the staff was grinning!
David Jacobson throws a punchHere's my good friend David Jacobson selling his Conversation Pieces, original hand-made blown glass creations shaped like comic word balloons, suitable for hanging. They come with dry erase markers so you can create your own sayings or drawings. These were a big hit with the kids! You can check them and other examples of David's work at http://davidjacobsonglass.wordpress.com/
Mike Lynch hides his work from the paparazzi
Mike Lynch, another buddy of mine, is a magazine cartoonist from New Hampshire. His clients include Reader's Digest, Playboy, Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Review, and the New York Daily News, to name only a few. Mike's the hardest working guy in the cartoon business I know. Somehow, he also finds time to write one of the best cartooning blogs on the web, http://mikelynchcartoons.blogspot.com/. I visit it daily and learn new stuff all the time. Mike was selling his booklet 'Cartooning Basics', a great introduction for beginning cartoonists:
Mike's Cartoon Basics booklet---order it at the above link!
John Klossner and his terrific funny animal cards
The lovely and talented John Klossner lives in southern Maine. Like Mike Lynch, John draws lots of magazine cartoons. He's also appeared in the New Yorker, the creme de le creme of magazine cartoon markets; thus, I both admire and hate him a little at the same time. Seriously, John's the nicest guy you'll ever meet, and as you can see from the cards in the picture above, a wonderfully whimsical cartoonist. See more of his stuff at http://www.jklossner.com/.
Anne Barrett & Julie Vohs
Anne Barrett is another friend and talented cartoonist. Her work explores the doubts and insecurities of the creative life, and I find it all too identifiable. Anne lives in the green hills of Vermont. She's just begun concentrating more seriously on her cartooning (is that an oxymoron?) and I think we'll be seeing big things from her in the future. Have fun viewing more of her work at http://www.anotherdaycomics.com/.
Julie Vohs was at the festival lending Anne some support. Julie is an incredible fine artist whose work is frequently featured in Portland's First Friday art walks. See her paintings at
Jamie Smith, either burnt out from too many
hours at his table, or auditioning for
'The Walking Dead'.
Bar Harbor's Jamie Smith draws hilarious cartoons with a Maine theme. Originally from Alaska, Jamie ended up in Maine after following a certain young lady who took a job at Acadia National Park. Raised by "hippie gardeners", he uses the mulch of everyday life as fodder for his cartoons. Check his work out at inksnow.blogspot.com. There's also a great interview with Jamie at
Mike Gorman displays his latest endeavor
Westbrook's Mike Gorman was exhibiting at the Festival for the first time. This guy's cartooning and illustration resume is longer than "War and Peace"! By day a web designer for a grocery chain, nights and weekends find him scribbling his hilariously distinctive work for clients like Sacramento News & Reviews, Boston Phoenix and Maine Biz. Recently he's doing some book illustration. Mike hails from Winslow, Maine, the same small town I'm from. He claims to know three or four other cartoonists originally from Winslow. "Something in the water," Mike says. His work can be found at http://www.mikegorman.com/.
John Platt makes love to his comic
I hate John Platt---because the man's so damn multi-talented! John earns his living as a freelance writer creating mostly environmental articles for numerous websites and magazines. He also pens some terrifically spooky fiction stories. AND, he draws cartoons! I get tired just thinking about his productivity. Get to know John and his wonderful work better at http://plattstuff.blogspot.com/.
This is just a small sampling of the talent on display at the Festival. If you didn't go, you missed a wonderful time. Too many people, when they hear the word 'comics', automatically think 'superheroes' or 'kids' stuff'. Nothing could be further from the truth. The work on display this year covered a wide range of subjects and ages, with something for everyone. Please consider giving your support to this wonderful event next year. I guarantee, you won't regret it---and if you do, I'll refund you your $5 admission fee!
Special thanks to Rick Lowell and Laura Meara of Casablanca Comics for putting on a Festival that just keeps getting better every year. And a tip of the hat to their incredibly hard-working staff who made everything run so smoothly. See you next year!