Entries in chicago (8)


Chicago Alternative Comics Expo

I'm still reeling from the highs of the past two days: CAKE, the Chicago Alternative Comics Expo 2012, my last small press comic show of the season, is done. And what a way to end the season!

One thing that never fails to surprise me is how overwhelmingly friendly and open and generous everyone is at these shows. I met artists whose work I have admired for years, which is always a stomach-churning delight, but almost more exciting is seeing new work that makes me spark and light up while meeting the folks who put that in to the world. I've said it before and I'll say it again, if I could do a show like this every weekend, I would in a heart beat.

Also exciting: I almost sold out of In the Sounds and Seas: Volume I! I have only 2 copies left in the world. The Xeric grant will allow me to reprint Vol I & II in the next month or two, but it feels like a momentous occasion to have 173 copies of my first little book out in the world. Thank you to everyone who stopped by, to my talented neighbors at the show and to all the organizers. CAKE was huge. 

See y'all again at SPX!


Thanks, City of Chicago!

Monkey-Rope Press hasn't been without news, just without time to tell about the news. Apologies for the silence! Soon I will write an update on the gangbusters-inspiring-humbling great time I had at the Small Press and Alternative Comics Expo (SPACE) in Columbus Ohio last month, and the amazingly inspiring Comics: Philosophy and Practice conference at the University of Chicago this past weekend, and the but in the mean time:


Thanks and thanks again to the City of Chicago! "In the Sounds and Seas: Volume II" won a Community Arts Assistance Grant to fully cover the costs of materials and production. We're still on "In the Sounds and Seas" hiaitus, working on side projects and sneaky plans in the interim, but ISS Vol III (which, when complete, marks the half-way point on the complete project) begins production after the Chicago Alternative Comics Expo in mid-June with a spring in our step. 


New Year

I have been hiding out in my "creative cave," as a friend put it, powering through the illustrations for In the Sounds and Seas Volume II. The social sacrifices are paying off: after I finish the spread I am currently on, I will be at the half-way mark. Wonder of wonder, miracle of miracles, I might well be ahead of schedule!

In my hours hermiting away in the cave, the year changed around me. Rather than look back at the year concluded (and what a great year it was!), it is more exciting to look forward to 2012. Here are a few events I am eagerly anticipating:

  • Saturday, February 18: I will be teaching a one-day 2-Color Linocut workshop at Evanston Print & Paper Shop in Evanston, Illinois. Registration is open now!
  • March 9 & 10, Chicago Zine Fest in the South Loop of Chicago: Reading events and panel discussions on the 9th, and zine & small press folks tabling their work on the 10th, I will be selling the first volume of In the Sounds and Seas, and a few other smaller projects that I've got up my sleeves. (My wildest and most ambitious dreams allow me to debut ISS VII at Chicago Zine Fest, but let's be honest: I also have to sleep, y'all.)
  • April 21 & 22, Small Press and Comics Expo (SPACE) in Columbus, Ohio: I will be tabling this event, selling the first volume of In the Sounds and Seas and debuting Volume II.
  • June 16 & 17, Chicago Alternative Comics Expo (CAKE): This is Chicago's first official alternate/small press comics expo, and I couldn't be more exicited. Word will get out in February if my application to table the event has been accepted, but I will be there, either selling my wares or chatting with and admiring the small press comic work of my Chicago bretheren.
  • September 15 & 16, Small Press Expo: This is my first year attending SPX. What a dream! If you are attending as well, drop me a line.

I am also excited to be working on three (count 'em!) hand-printed wedding invitations this spring, all featuring multicolor linocut illustrations. There are also schemes and applications and plans a-plenty, which I will write about in more detail as news and details become less abstract.

Happy 2012, friends!


Thanks, Time Out Chicago!

I couldn't be more excited to share the news: Time Out Chicago's 2011 Holiday Gift Guide features none other than Monkey-Rope Press's CTA Announcement Series as a recommended gift! If you're not in town to pick up a copy, the digital gift guide is here. Check out the prints in our etsy shop, especially the new CTA Series Discount Bundle!

The foreknowledge of this shout-out is what motivated me back into the letterpress studio, re-printing the CTA series and all the other prints that emerged from that marathon printing weekend. As delighted as I was to get ink back on the rollers, I'm taking this post to share another celebration-worthy event: after printing and re-photographing and promoting and etsy-stats-stalking, I'm in production mode on In the Sounds and Seas Volume 2. I finished the first page on Tuesday, and am excited to spend the rest of this blustery November afternoon inking page 2.

Three cheers for good news!


Natural Cycles: Sustainability in Book and Paper Arts

Last Sunday we took a break from our mad city life to get thoroughly lost in the woods, pet some sheep and attend the opening of Natural Cycles: Sustainability in Book and Paper Arts. The show was curated by Melissa Jay Craig and Shawn Sheehy, and is populated by some amazingly talented paper and book artists. I was humbled and excited to have my books In Defense of Common Weeds and In the Sounds and Seas listed among their ranks. The show was held in Brushwood, a greek revival mansion hidden in the woods in the Ryerson Conservation Area in Deerfield, Illinois. The work is installed throughout the house, with hand-made "weeds" growing in corners, paper-sculpture animal heads and caged heads paired with taxidermied tableaus from the Ryerson's archives, and engaging books and narrative installations throughout. The show is up until December 23--friends in the Chicago area, try your best to stop by! It's definitely worth the drive. If you're feeling more adventurous, Melissa and Shawn are teaching a Sustainable Book & Papermaking class this Sunday afternoon (Nov 13). Sign up soon!