Meet the C.L.A.W. at the T.P.L.! Meanwhile: Nerdycon by Nerdy Stuffs.

Comic Book MicroCon at the Tacoma Public Library

The Power Withing by Mark Brill

The Power Withing by Mark Brill

Join the C.L.A.W. at the Tacoma Public Library Main Branch on 11th Avenue and Tacoma. The event is intended to encourage aspiring artists in the community with live drawing and share tricks of the trade by taking questions and offering answers.

 

Jeff by Travis Bundy

Jeff by Travis Bundy

The Facebook event page features an hourly rundown of the event. Learn from the masters of cartoon magic!

Seldom Seen Films by local legend Mark Monlux

Seldom Seen Films by local legend Mark Monlux

Nerdycon at Nerdy Stuff’s New Location

nerdystuffClose to Nerdy Stuff’s one year anniversary and to celebrate their new store, the local comic shop is hosting a comic con at the store.

They’ve booked mainstream comic talent like Clayton Crain. This artist’s dark digital work fits well with ultraviolent Marvel characters like Venom, Carnage and X-Force. Crain will be promoting his Kickstarter effort to publish his Evolver hardcover.

There’s more where that came from. Check out the event’s Facebook page for information on the guests in attendance. Including nerdy cosmetics company Espionage Cosmetics, our very own local Stormtrooper outfit Garrison Titan, and members of the C.L.A.W.!

After the con, a Drink & Draw event will be held at local watering hole, the Haven Pub.

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Book Club Preview – Prophet Vol. 1: Remission

This new Prophet series is a radical departure from its roots as a creation of Rob Liefeld for early ’90s Image. It features a completely fresh take on the character in a collaboration led by story writer and artist Brandon Graham, with chapter artists Simon Roy, Farel Dalrymple, and Giannis Milonogiannis.

King’s Books in Tacoma is hosting a discussion of the book for the Capes & Cowls Book Club on Tuesday, August 27 at 7 p.m. The book is only $9.99 and there’s a 15 percent book club discount (you don’t have to show up for the discussion to get the discount). The book is also available through Amazon and ComiXology.

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The tale features a wanderer called Prophet on his futuristic, yet primal journey that takes him through weird planets and introduces him to interesting cities and biologies.

The story reeks of influence from Heavy Metal and swashbuckling adventure tales like Conan. It offers a fractured take on reality as Prophet meets gross creatures that demand sex, has to tear apart huge ancient cosmic beasts, outsmart beings with crystal brains, and win nearly hopeless battles across huge swathes of outer space.

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The IP that it’s based on was somewhat popular at one point in time, yet has basically nothing to do with that. Yet, in an interview about revamping his entire comic line at New York Comic Con in 2011, Rob Liefeld said Prophet was by far his favorite of the bunch, “You can read the book without any word balloons and follow the story effortlessly.”

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Despite it’s schlock-y ’90s past, Prophet is a book that’s masterfully done. Since the plot is surreal, it can be confusing at times, but it’s incredibly engaging and there’s a new mystery around every turn. Totally worth the price of admission.

Free print entertainment at the Rocket Zine Library in King’s Books

A cornucopia of zines!

A cornucopia of zines!

There’s lots of interesting little publications to check out at the Rocket Zine Library at King’s Books. It’s all free to borrow with donations of materials encouraged.

The eclectic variety of offerings include:

  • Journal comix
  • Advice on anarchist action
  • Anarchist essays on love
  • Recovery stories
  • Gardening tips
  • Youth center publications
  • Les Sar’zine, a collection of zines in a tin can by Seattle writing collective Les Sardines
  • and one really informative comic about the Dvorak keyboard layout!

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At first I thought the zine library was an effort by the store itself, but owner sweet pea Flaherty told me the entire idea and execution was due to a customer, Mo Lewis. I got ahold of Lewis through the emails and got her to answer a few of my burning questions about her zine library.

Mike Fitz: How did you come up with the idea?

Mo Lewis: The idea to start a zine library came from a couple different places.

First, I’ve always loved zines – I got my first zines back in 1993 when I was in high school in Olympia, and loved seeing the ways that people can document their lives or tell stories about the things that are important to them.It’s exciting to have this different way to create art, to reach out to people, to learn from each other, and to connect. Over the years I’ve amassed a collection of about 50 zines, and they just lived on my bookshelves.

The second part of the idea came from a conversation with a friend about all these little book libraries that people are putting up in their yards – little mailbox-sized containers where you can borrow a book or donate a book – and we both thought that was such a cool idea, and talked about wanting to do something like that. So when I was thinking about how to actually make this happen, I thought about zine libraries that I’ve seen in places like Olympia and Spokane and thought that it would be fun to apply that little book library idea to zines, and just try it out. I’m not a very good book sharer, but I like the idea of swapping zines and putting them out there for others to borrow or take, and Tacoma is the kind of place that embraces new projects like this. I have to give a big shout-out to sweet pea, who agreed to host the zine library at King’s Books. I’m not sure if all of these photocopied pages in an outside space would survive our weather.

Where did the cool cabinets come from?

When my partner and I first moved into our house, my dad got us these cabinets from Craigslist – some people were updating their kitchen and offered up the cabinets to whoever was willing to take them away. So when I was thinking about making the zine library, I figured why not use one of the smaller cabinets instead of building something new? Plus, it was free and already in the basement. Sometimes I get a little anxious and kind-of “perfectionist-y” about creative projects, so my goal for this was to make it as easy as possible to finish – using a cabinet and some orange paint I already had was low-pressure, and turned out pretty cute.

Where do you find your zines?

I order zines mostly online – there are some great distros that have compiled interesting collections of zines (Doris Press is my favorite, and there is even a distro here in Tacoma – Mend My Dress Press) – it’s really easy to find good zines that way. Plus then there’s the excitement of getting them in the mail! The POC Zine Project is an important resource, since I think zines tend to have a reputation of being associated only with a predominantly white, punk and riot grrrl scene, which is really just one small portion of who is making zines. I also like getting zines from friends, or at local bookstores or comic stores.

What are some of your favorites in the collection?

Doris zine is my favorite of all time – #3 was one of the first zines I read, and Cindy (the creator) just put out #30, which is amazing. There is a zine called Violette’s Letters that is made in Tacoma, and it’s very cute – it’s a four year old girl’s letters to people in her life. Adventures in the Land of Greasecars and Fireflies zine documents someone’s process of converting their car to run on used cooking oil, which is so cool to me.

I also have a particular fondness for zines about sexual assault, specifically around consent, accountability, and supporting survivors. I work in the sexual assault field, and the amount of knowledge and community conversations that can come from zines like these is amazing  – I frequently will hand out these kinds of zines to young folks I am working with, and I try to make sure there are a few copies of these zines in the library at all times.

Any cool stuff to watch for?

Yes! There are lots of new zines in the library, which is heartening to see. After the Wayzgoose festival at King’s Books, I saw a few beautifully printed zines arrive, and recently a writing group brought by a copy of the mini-zines they created, which are compiled in a silver tin. It’s always great to see zines by Tacoma zinesters show up at the library.

What’s the future of the Rocket Zine Library?

The future holds more zines, for sure! Even though the zine library is just a few months old, there are zines being borrowed and brought in all the time, and I expect that will continue. A friend brought up the idea of hosting a zine-making workshop, so we’ll see about that. This whole thing is a fun experiment, so I am looking forward to seeing what happens.

The reason you got on the internet.

The cutest book salesman.

Items from the library can be picked up any time King’s Books is open, 7 days a week 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

It’s good to be proud.

Tacoma Pride Festival is coming up, featuring almost two weeks of fun events put on by the community. I can’t think of anything else in Tacoma that goes on for that long at so many different and important spots in the city. Things are going on at City Hall, Wright Park, The Grand Cinema, King’s Books, and plenty more that you can find listed at tacomapridefestival.org.

The Mix Block Party 2011

The Mix Block Party 2011, taken by me.

The big day is Saturday, July 14. I plan on at least doing Out in the Park and The Mix Block Party as far as Pride is concerned. I’m not really sure what to expect at the park, there’s no alcohol/beer garden type of thing allowed in Wright Park. Benjii Bittle, a Pride organizer who works for the Broadway Center, said it was going to be family friendly plus drag queens. This I gotta see!

The Mix Block Party should be a blast. Road signs are already out warning motorists that St. Helens Ave. will be closed. I asked Randy and Adam at The Mix if they were ready, they sounded pretty confident and then turned it around to me and asked, “are YOU ready?” Now I’m not sure!

I’m excited that JD Elquist will be emceeing the event. I was kind of curious why a straight guy, although quite dapper, is hosting such a big Pride event. He told me it’s because he’s hosted events at The Mix before with his DJ buddies like DJ Broam that were quite successful. I also think being a part of such a big event in the city brings him one step closer to his plan of taking it over.

Poster designed by Travis Pranger.

Apparently members of RuPaul’s Drag Race will be there. My guesses are Shangela because she’s going to be performing at The Deltan Club and Shannel because she’ll be in town at her friend’s shop, London Couture. We’ll see!

The event at London Couture is recently announced and I’m pretty excited about it. Shannel will be officiating gay weddings with faux certificates. It’s ten bucks but that’ll get you cupcakes, champagne and other neat bonuses like tickets to a Deltan Club show.

Unfortunately those tickets won’t be eligible for use at their sold-out show later that night featuring Shangela, Seattle’s Mama Tits, and a long list of other amazing performers. If you already grabbed your tickets, know that I’m jealous of you.

I’m really excited that City Hall will be such a big part of the event, thanks to City Council member Ryan Mello. The raising of the rainbow flag on the Municipal Building is kind of a big deal. One better than the Space Needle! The gathering happening at B2 Fine Arts Gallery afterwards should be a hoot. Hopefully this will get the word out about Referendum 74 and WA can be the first state to establish marriage equality with a popular vote.

On the 19th, sweet pea flaherty and my librarian boyfriend, Matt, are hosting an event at King’s Books called “Queering Your Bookshelf”. Details are still being hammered out, when I heard they might include graphic novels like Love and Rockets, Wandering Son, and Batwoman: Elegy, I suggested they include Fantagraphics’ new anthology No Straight Lines (keep in mind that this is coming from a guy who volunteers for this publisher’s marketing department).

No Straight Lines comes out the day of the “Queering Your Bookshelf” discussion.

The Grand Cinema is also showing a trio of interesting films. I think the one I’m most excited about is “Codependent Lesbian Space Alien Seeks Same”. The way Philip Cowan (the Grand’s Executive Director) described it to me made it sound like an old Ed Wood film.

I know I’m leaving out details about some really awesome events, and I’m sure there’s some I haven’t even heard of and I’m totally missing out. Check out the festival’s website for more information and be sure to ask your friends what they’re doing!