• A little announcement.



  • A look at the Toonseum

    Check out this look at the Toonseum.


    If you’re in Pittsburgh any time soon, be sure to visit!


  • Take a peek: Toonseum Frameshop

    Now that the Toonseum has expanded it has begun to move into its new space.

    Two weeks ago I helped organize and stock the Frameshop, This new space is a vast improvement. Now a good, clean and quiet work space is always available.


  • Tired yet satisfied: PIX 2011 a success

    As promised I survived last weekend. I’m swamped with work and I’m looking near and far for time to get everything done. All I know is that I’m not letting myself survive on caffeine. I crash way too hard. I’m dealing with so many people at the station and the Toonseum that being incapacitated by lack of sleep isn’t a valid option.

    Regarding PIX:

    I shared a table with the ever talented aspiring animator, Tara Helfer. I caught up with all of the great folks that I met at the Toonseum during 24Hour Comics, added a taste of my inky flavor to a jam comic with Nick Marino and Wayne Wise, and got to share some tastily prepared sweet and tangy chipped ham with everyone present. I sold out of “Balance” and plenty of copies “Old Conrad” made their way into PIX attendees hands.

    Selling “Bü’s Mansion

    All in all, I was successful in selling my wares,at the newborn PIX. We had great guests and a solid warm comradery all around. Some exhibitors seemed like they had a rough time with sales given the general slowness of the Expo. Luckily, I made a profit, but then again, the capital investment in my comics wasn’t too high. Just a bit of time and energy.

    I even started up a strip and gag comic email list. The idea is to send emails to a select group of people via email. It’s a little different from a webcomic that promotes itself via RSS in that the update in your inbox is not clumped with the hundreds of other updates. Additionally, the comics are crafted specifically for the audience of the list.

    If you’d like to be on this list, please send me a message: fernandez (dot) juan (dot) j (at) gmail (dot) com. 

    Additionally, I picked up some original art from Wayno and Dave Wachter which I was elated by.

    A real highlight for me was the panel that occurred on Sunday afternoon. Bill Boichel brought together Jason Little, Tom Scioli, John Porcellino, Jim Rugg and Ed Piskor. The panel focused on the nature of the importance of  local comics scenes and how to develop environments that foster them. Above all, the panel focused on networking.

    The panelists and the audience

    Given that this is my second year at PIX, I’m very happy to have a clear cut reference point to mark off my growth as a cartoonist. I had lots more to sell and knew far many more exhibitors and guests than the previous year.


  • Storeyville: Some Newsprint copies from 1995 have surfaced!

    A year ago I read Storeyville by Frank Santoro and it was an experience like no other. I read the hardcover copy that was available at the Toonseum and the delicate combination of hope and melancholy of the whole work stayed with me for weeks.

    I just read some exciting news over at the comics journal. Some copies of sealed Storeyville’s were found here in Pittsburgh. Awesome. Be sure to check out this awesome find and to pick up a copy if you can.

    This thing is a real collectors item that is sure to stir the spirit of the Pittsburgher in all of us.


  • Checking in to make sure that you know Kevin Huizenga is worth your time

    Folks, I’m bogged down by linguistics classes, managing WRCT and printing and binding work for PIX, but I don’t want the week to pass by without speaking to you. As such, I’ll point you in the direction of 3 interesting and inspiring things.

    1) Time Travelling by Kevin Huizenga is a story worth experiencing. It appeared in the original Ganges and I find it beautifully done. http://whatthingsdo.com/comic/time-travelling/

    2) Rob Clough just did a solid write up that covers Michael Deforge’s comics and illustration work over the past four years over at the comics journal. If you’ve got a bit of time, head on over and introduce yourself to Deforge’s work if you haven’t done so already.

    3) William Kentridge’s “Automatic Writing”

    Oh and if you’re looking for a good time on Tuesday nights, tune into WRCT Pittsburgh for my show Juan on Juan. I cohost it with my great friend Juan Lafontaine, but he doesn’t show up until the last 15 minutes to play some tightly rerubbed disco. I tend to play 60’s soul and ambient electronic of the Japanese variety. It’s a blessing to be able to such a fun show with such a fun loving guy. Call the request line and I’d love to talk to you.

    From Ganges 3


  • Gearing up for PIX

    Here are a couple of Photographs from last year. I was blessed to share a table with Caitlin Rose Boyle and Tara Helfer.

    Hope you enjoy and that you can come out to support me and the other folks that’ll be gathering next weekend to sell you our stories.]

    Andy Scott of Andromeda checking out the wares

    Caitlin Selling her 24 Hour Comic alongside the Cardboard Extravaganza that is Crinkled Comics


  • 24 Hour Comics at The Toonseum

    This weekend I’ll be working on a 24 hour comic from Saturday until Sunday at the Toonseum in Pittsburgh.

    I’ve been thinking about what to do and one of my goals is to create a work that has a loose, fast and expressive ink style. That might or might not happen.

    I’ll probably stick to a uniform frame format, so as to not have to reinvent the wheel on every page, given last year’s failure. I had some lofty aspirations that weren’t. Nevertheless, despite those lofty aspirations,  when I went back to work on the comic a week later, the ideas in the work simply weren’t strong enough for me to continue investing time. It was great as an exploratory work, but a failure in any and all other respects.

    Surprisingly, I’m not saddened when I look back at this failed comic. This is because of all the work that I’ve been able to churn out in the past year. Stories like Lionel and the Punks and Old Conrad, and explorations in caricature have allowed me to make a great deal of progress. What’s a failed comic in a sea of finished ones?

    I’ll be sure to keep you posted on the developments this weekend, but don’t expect any live coverage via tweets or facebook. I don’t do that shit.


  • Andy Bleck: Check 'im out

    I discovered Andy Bleck’s abstract comics 2 years ago, bumbling through the internet via Bill Boichel’s aggregated links on Copacetic Comics. The moment I saw them, I knew that there was something special. I saved a couple of files on my computer, not knowing that a year down the line, I’d be using them to explore the concept of abstract narration and drawing as the filtering of moving form.

    Here are two examples of his work. take your time and then breeze by the comics to get a satisfying picture of the form. Can you feel the transition between panels? Does your world feel a bit more solid, piece by piece, each time a new figure appears in the second comic or is its delicate balance thrown out of place? You tell me. Learn more about Andy Bleck. Or simply check out many of his works.

    A tasty treat can be found here: The drawings are of the Angouleme Festival of 2003. Frank Santoro had some links up on Comics Comics, but the links are no longer valid. I’ve never been to Angouleme, so I can’t make any judements on the validity of Frank’s comment regarding the ability of Bleck to capture the amount of time and focus that is spent during these festivals n the often unglamorous act of drawing. No costumes, just artists doing their thing. For me, Bleck’s line and the sheer amount of drawings show an emotional and tonal transparency. The energy felt makes its way on paper…


  • For the record...

    Not comics, but I did make this self portrait. This photo ain’t a half bad way to be remembered by. Taken with a timer in the summer of 2008 by the Diamond Lakes in the Sierra Nevada using my ma’s SLR, developed at a CVS in Chagrin Falls with Katherine Wolf.