Author Archives: Erik Henriksen

START GETTING EXCITED.

FOR THOSE KEEPING TRACK, this will be the tenth Comics Underground. Alison and I have put together a lot of these goddamn things, so believe me when I say this: This one is going to be outstanding. We’re stoked to welcome back Kelly Sue DeConnick, who’ll be presenting some stuff from her amazing new book Pretty Deadly. There might be some singing.

From Pretty Deadly #1 by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Emma Ríos

Pretty Deadly #1 by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Emma Ríos

(This weekend, Kelly Sue appeared on OPB’s “State of Wonder,” discussing Pretty Deadly and Comics Underground. COMICS UNDERGROUND IS NOW RADIO FAMOUS.)

We’ll also be joined by the charming, handsome, and terrifyingly talented Frank Beaton, who—with some assistance from the beloved Atomic Arts crew—will be performing his short story from Outlaw Territory, “Someplace Like Hell.” It’ll be classy!

Someplace Like Hell by Frank Beaton and Brent McKee

“Someplace Like Hell” by Frank Beaton and Brent McKee

And we’ll have Dark Horse Comics Editor-in-Chief Scott Allie—who will (A) present a fantastic short story inspired by Serenity, and (B) give attendees a sneak peek at some of Serenity: Leaves on the Wind—the top secret, eagerly anticipated new series edited by Scott, written by Zack Whedon, and illustrated by Georges Jeanty! I’ve already seen some of it, because I’m fancier than you, and… well, how about I just leave this here.

Serenity: Leaves on the Wind by Zack Whedon and Georges Jeanty

Serenity: Leaves on the Wind by Zack Whedon and Georges Jeanty

Hot damn. This one-time-only, western-themed edition of Comics Underground goes down this Thursday, November 14, at 8 pm at the Jack London Bar (529 SW 4th, Portland). Admission’s $3-5, doors open at 7:30, and I recommend getting there early.

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Two Words About This Thursday’s Comics Underground

Image

THE LINEUP’S GREAT—Fraction, DeConnick, Bendis, Meconis, Oeming, Nebel—and the content’s even better, with no fewer than six extraordinary stories from the extraordinary Will Eisner.

As someone who’s got the inside track on how this one’s gonna be, believe me when I tell you it’s gonna be something else. More info here. See you Thursday.

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Here’s a Sneak Peak at This Thursday’s Comics Underground! You’re Welcome!

Goddamn! Comics Underground is this Thursday! That’s really soon. Uh… we should probably finish getting ready. There will be…

Jeff Parker & Ben Dewey’s DAMN DIRTY APES!

Lucy Bellwood’s SAILING ADVENTURES ON THE OPEN SEA!

Matt Bors’ ELECTION-SHATTERING POLITICAL COMMENTARY!

Erika Moen & Leia Weathington—WHOA, SWEET! A THREESOME!

Comics Underground! This Thursday, October 18! The Jack London Bar (529 SW 4th, Portland)! 8 pm! $3!

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Comics Underground Guests: Jeff Parker! Ben Dewey! Matt Bors! Leia Weathington! Erika Moen! Lucy Bellwood!

THE NEXT Comics Underground is Thursday, October 18! Here’s who’s gonna be up onstage, kicking ass and taking names. And, um, doing comics-y type stuff, too, probably:

• Two all-around hilarious dudes, JEFF PARKER and BEN DEWEY are studiomates at Portland’s Periscope Studio, where they collaborated on a Planet of the Apes story. Yes. That means this Comics Underground will feature talking monkeys. With guns! And hookahs!

• Nationally syndicated political cartoonist MATT BORS was short-listed for a Pulitzer earlier this year! Political comics? At Comics Underground? Mere days before an election? How timely! How relevant!

• LEIA WEATHINGTON and ERIKA MOEN are two Portland creators who teamed up on the very adults-only story “Easy,” for the lady-friendly anthology Smut Peddler. We repeat: Adults only. Excellent.

• Up-and-coming cartoonist LUCY BELLWOOD recently raised more than $10,000 on Kickstarter to fund her autobiographical comic True Believer. This fact alone should give you some idea how good Bellwood is.

Is this a fantastic lineup? YES. So. See you there: Thursday, October 18 at the Jack London Bar (529 SW 4th, Portland). 8 pm. Cover charge is $3, which will be waived for anyone who brings a real live monkey.

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So, About This Thursday’s Comics Underground…

… it’s going to be fairly fairly fucking awesome, and you can trust me when I say this, because I am someone who is in the know.

BEN DEWEY will present some tragedies from his phenomenal Tragedy Series. Your life will be made immeasurably better by Dewey’s comics, because they will remind you how much worse your life could be. For example:

SARA RYAN will read from her Flytrap series, specifically “Episode Four: Performance Anxiety,” featuring art by Sarah Burrini. Of the comic, I will say only that much of Sara’s story takes place at the Alibi—which means approximately 98 percent of Comics Underground attendees will suffer cripplingly humiliating karaoke flashbacks during the event. Wheeeee!

SUZETTE SMITH will read her story “The Man Who Dies,” which features both outer space and sexual intercourse. Can one ever go wrong combining these things? No, one cannot. It is impossible.

As for MATT FRACTION:

That “BATMAN DREAMS… thing” would be the piece Fraction first performed at w00tstock, “Batman Dreams of Hieronymus Machines,” which Warren Ellis called “brilliant” and Laura Hudson called “a smart, funny, and very personal reflection on comics.” So whatever Fraction’s cooking up for Thursday will likely be similarly brilliant, smart, and funny. Or it will be once Fraction gets it to us. Which he hasn’t yet. Because he’s writing Thor. But not even the God of Thunder will prevent us from debuting it for you on Thursday.

See you then.

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Comics Underground Guests: Ben Dewey, Suzette Smith, Sara Ryan, and Matt Fraction!

FINALLY. The next installment of Comics Underground will take place on Thursday, August 2! And who, you ask, will be that evening’s special guests? Possibly because you didn’t read the above headline? Regardless, I’M SO GLAD YOU ASKED:

BEN DEWEY, artist and creator of the hilarious The Tragedy Series, which provides inspirational reminders that things could always be worse. (Art via.)

SUZETTE SMITH, cartoonist and all-around fetching gal whose work appears weekly in the Portland Mercury. (Art via.)

SARA RYAN, young adult novelist (Empress of the World), librarian, and comics writer. Her first graphic novel, Bad Houses, with art by Carla Speed McNeil, is forthcoming from Dark Horse Comics.
(Art via.)

MATT FRACTION, Architect of the Marvel Universe, writer of The Invincible Iron Man, and creator of the beloved high-concept spy comic Casanova. (Art via.)

YES. This is a lineup we are ridiculously stoked about. Be there: Thursday, August 2 at 8 pm at the Jack London Bar (529 SW 4th, Portland, Oregon). Admission is $3. Everything will be great.

P.S.! Comics Underground is now sponsored by Bridge City Comics and DC Vegetarian! Bridge City’s one of our favorite bookstores in town—visit ‘em at 3725 N Mississippi, or online at bridgecitycitycomics.com. DC Vegetarian is where we eat. A lot. They’re on SW 3rd between Stark and Washington, and online at dcvegetarian.com.

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Previews of Coming Attractions!

OH, WHAT?! Comics Underground is only two days away?! Here’s what we have in store for you this time:

1. AN EXHILARATING DEAR CREATURE EXPERIENCE by JONATHAN CASE!

2. NEW HOPELESS SAVAGES by JEN VAN METER and MEREDITH McCLAREN!

3. MR. TAWNY LOSING HIS FAITH IN MANKIND as examined by JOE KEATINGE!

4. LIVE MUSIC and WITTY REPARTEE  from MIKE ALLRED!

{no image available; these things are not visual}

SO. Comics Underground. This Thursday, April 26, 8 pm. The Jack London Bar, in the basement of the Rialto (529 SW 4th, Portland, Oregon). Free. Be there.

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Comics Underground Guests: Mike Allred, Jen Van Meter, Jonathan Case, and Joe Keatinge!

THE NEXT COMICS UNDERGROUND is going down Thursday, April 26, and the lineup is, if I say so myself, pretty damn great:

• Writer and artist MICHAEL ALLRED is the Eisner-nominated creator of the iconic Madman, not to mention The Atomics and Red Rocket 7. He’s also the lead singer and guitarist for the Gear, and he might—just might—be performing some music at Comics Underground.

• Writer JEN VAN METER is the creator of the much-loved series Hopeless Savages, published by Portland’s Oni Press. She’s also written for Dark Horse, Marvel, and DC. Van Meter will be presenting—wait for it—new Hopeless Savages material.

• Writer and artist JONATHAN CASE recently drew the Eisner-nominated graphic novel Green River Killer. He’ll be presenting material from his first graphic novel, Dear Creature, which Kirkus Reviews called “a funny, bizarre, unexpected pleasure.”

• Writer JOE KEATINGE used to be known as the co-editor of the Eisner-winning anthology Popgun. More recently he’s made a name for himself as a writer, thanks to his work on Glory and Hell Yeah from Image Comics. It’s still up in the air what Joe’s going to do at Comics Underground—but rest assured, it will be legendary.

Yeah. So this thing is gonna be pretty excellent.

Alison and I  worked with the folks at the Stumptown Comics Fest to make this edition of Comics Underground coincide with Stumptown this year; if you like Comics Underground, you’ll like Stumptown, and vice versa. I can’t think of a better way to kick off a weekend full of comics than by watching Allred, Van Meter, Case, and Keatinge all doing their respective things, onstage, in the close proximity of booze, but that’s just me.

I’m excited. See you there.

OH, AND POST-SCRIPT: If you’re so inclined, the Facebook event page for this event is here, and the Facebook group for Comics Underground is here.

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Save the Date!

AT LONG LAST, the date of the next Comics Underground can finally be revealed:

Thursday, April 26, 2012. 8 pm.

Huh. That was kind of underwhelming, wasn’t it.

BUT THE EVENT WON’T BE! Very soon, we’ll be announcing the guests for this edition of Comics Underground, and if all goes to plan—which of course it will—it’ll be one of our best line-ups yet. Seriously. (And, for those of you paying attention, no: It’s not a coincidence that the date of our event coincides nicely with that of the beloved Stumptown Comics Fest.)

Stay tuned for details, and don’t make any other plans for the evening of April 26. You won’t want to miss this one.

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November’s Comics Underground in the Portland Examiner

I WAS GOING to (belatedly) write up a thing about how well November’s Comics Underground went, but Christian Lipski at the Portland Examiner went ahead and did it for me. Thanks Christian!

Comics Underground is something that should always have existed. It brings to mind the salons of the 17th and 18th centuries, with artists gathering to present their work to a patron, but also to one another. Standup comics, too, frequent out-of-the-way clubs where they can showcase their latest material among colleagues.

The Portland comics community is unlike any other, and close interaction of its members (and fans) can only enhance the goodwill towards the art form.

That makes it sound so fancy!

Stay tuned for details on the next Comics Underground.

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