Mike Dawson Comics

April 20, 2012

Recent Drawing Friday – 4/20/12

Filed under: comics,TCJ Talkies,The Ink Panthers Show — Mike @ 9:20 am

Recent drawing, done using those new Deleter Manga pens that the kids are all raving about.

A busy week: Cartoonist Julia Wertz joins us on The Ink Panthers Show!, to talk about a bunch of stuff, including “Vajazzling” and “Brozillians”. I am disappointed in us for never making the connection between the two, and coining the term “Bro-jazzling”, which is for when a man shaves of all his pubes and glues diamonds there instead, in the shape of a heart, or a 4-leaved clover, or Mets logo, or whatever it is a man might want to stick down there. Maybe that popular automobile decal of Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes taking a leak?

Also, the final episode of TCJ Talkies up at The Comics Journal – a conversation with Tim Kreider. I offer a ramble-y explanation of why I ended the podcast in the show intro, and everything I said there is true. Having had a few days to dwell upon it however, I’m realizing there were other things about the podcast that I could never get working quite right – the main one being my inability to produce shows on a more-frequent and consistent schedule.

I think a podcast needs to come out regularly and frequently, in order to build up a proper fan-base. In a perfect world, one where I could pay my rent on podcasting money alone, I’d put out episodes at least once a week, if not more. I think you have to, to build up momentum, and build up a listener-ship.

One thing I do mention in the show intro is an increase in non-comics and podcast demands in my personal life, and that’s certainly true. I think if things ever settle down, and I get the creator-interview itch again, it makes more sense to scratch it in the context of The Ink Panthers Show!, as part of the occasionally put-together PRO-T.I.P.S! series.

Have a good weekend!

April 18, 2012

TCJ Talkies – Tim Kreider

Filed under: TCJ Talkies — Mike @ 10:11 am

Listen to me chat with Tim Kreider over at The Comics Journal!

March 30, 2012

Recent Drawing Friday 3/30/12

Filed under: comics,TCJ Talkies,The Ink Panthers Show — Mike @ 10:18 am

Okay, shut up now, George Bush.

An interesting week for podcasts I think. I didn’t participate in this week’s Ink Panthers Show, instead Alex grilled Honorary Third Host, Tony Consiglio about his comics and career. We rarely mention Tony’s comics on the podcast, so this was a nice opportunity to shine a light on his work. I cannot recommend his book “ONE HUNDRED AND TEN PERCENT” highly enough. If you don’t yet own it, you can get it for cheap via that link.

I might be projecting here, but I think there’s an element of the Alex/Tony chat that acknowledges a point in a comics career where you might not be the most successful, but you might be having the most fun. Tony talks about his prolific minicomics period in the late 90′s, when it was all about making new comics and hitting as many conventions as you could.

I have a similar period of my own career which I look back on with as much wistful fondness. I may never have sold a lot of comics, and I didn’t know anybody in the room, but I was having a blast – setting up tables with my friends, and thinking about how we could do things differently and better next time. It’s a curious thing, if you stick around a comics career long enough, there’s going to be different periods and phases that you move along into, some better and more exciting than others.

It’s possible I’m experiencing my own waves of nostalgia. I’ve been packing up the apartment in preparation for our upcoming move, and have spent some time combing old bookshelves and boxes of old sketchbooks and artwork. Amusingly, I did have one thought in mind, which was to make sure I have no random stashes of vintage skin-mags in some forgotten box somewhere that I don’t want my daughter accidentally discovering one day, but I’m now wondering if I should burn some of my old sketchbooks and early minicomics. There’s stuff in some of those which is far more embarrassing to me than some old dogeared copy of Playboy. I don’t know, we’ll see…

I also posted a new episode of TCJ Talkies this week, a conversation with Craig Thompson, he of Blankets and Habibi fame. We cover some of the expected ground, (and interviewing someone who has been interviewed so much recently was a little intimidating) but I think also get into some more interesting and provocative topics. I refer somewhat to the recent critical discussion of Orientalism in Habibi, parts of which troubled me.

Admittedly, it’s one of those arguments where I certainly may not have the tools to properly engage in. It’s not an area that I’m especially well versed in, and I completely concede away all authority on the subject. But, there was one criticique that jumped out at me, which was the suggestion that the character of the evil Sultan was one of many lazy Arab stereotypes. He’s villainous, ruthless, childish, irredeemable, and lives a damnable life of luxury safe within his castle walls while the population outside lives in filth and squalor.

Craig talked about former US President George W. Bush actually being the inspiration for this character. We talk about it a bit. I get a little more hawkish in my suggestion that hey, you know what, despicable characters like this do actually seem to exist in the Middle East. Craig agrees, that maybe Gaddaffi is an excellent example. I agree too, but then keep pressing the issue, I worry to the point Craig gets slightly uncomfortable, then there’s a pause, and then it’s time to switch topics.

I don’t know though, I don’t think the concept of a fattened and well-off ruling class surrounded by the pitiable squalid masses is an especially American concept. Seems to me, it’s a global sickness… But, I also do think it’s maybe socially easier to (rightfully) critique the catastrophic ineptitude of George Bush than to start ranting about what the Syrian government is doing to it’s people. Maybe?

Don’t worry though, the whole conversation isn’t heavy like this. We talk about our different religious backgrounds, discuss certain concepts of Heaven, and then talk frankly about what’s happening to our once-hunky man-chests now that we’re entering middle-age.

March 28, 2012

TCJ Talkies – Craig Thompson

Filed under: TCJ Talkies — Mike @ 1:19 pm

Listen to me chat with Craig Thompson over at The Comics Journal

March 16, 2012

Recent Drawing Friday 3/16/12

Filed under: Ain't No Power,comics,TCJ Talkies,The Ink Panthers Show — Mike @ 5:40 pm

It’s 5:30 on a Friday afternoon, so clearly it’s time to post a new pic on my blog when absolutely nobody will see it:

This was a good week podcast-wise. I felt really good about the Renee French TCJ Talkies conversation. “Mentally Nourished”, even – which, is really the whole point of podcasting in general. My publisher, Secret Acres, debated with me a little bit about some of the half-baked theories I came up with in the chat, and you can read that exchange here. You really should “like” their Facebook page anyway, since it’s the main place they post news these days, while we are waiting for them to build a brand-new website (what? Are they first building a brand-new Internet too, before they post the new site? Come on guys, pick up the pace!)

It was also a significant Ink Panthers, as it was the episode where I publicly announced my intention to finally move out of Brooklyn and relocate to the suburbs of New Jersey. I don’t have a lot to add about it, but I imagine it means some hectic weeks ahead, as once we finish buying this house, we’ve got to move into it and get settled and all that. I wish it was the Summer already…

Have a good weekend!

March 14, 2012

TCJ Talkies – Renée French

Filed under: TCJ Talkies — Mike @ 10:23 am

New TCJ Talkies podcast, hoooray!!! I really enjoyed this chat with Renée French, now listenable to over at The Comics Journal!

March 1, 2012

TCJ Talkies – Box Brown

Filed under: TCJ Talkies — Mike @ 11:10 am

Brand new TCJ Talkies podcast with cartoonist and publisher, Box Brown, posted at The Comics Journal!

February 15, 2012

TCJ Talkies – Dylan Horrocks

Filed under: TCJ Talkies — Mike @ 12:24 pm

Dylan Horrocks is my guest inside The Comics Journal TCJ Talkies Hutt this week. I was really excited to have him on for a chat. I looooooovvvve Dylan’s comics. I think his work has been quite influential on me. I was so happy last year when he agreed to write the blurb on the back of Troop 142.

Book blurbing is probably the least pleasant aspect of comics-writing I can think of, for all parties involved. There’s the part where I have to send out a sheepish request, there’s the part where the person feels pressured to consent to reading your book, then the part where I have to needle them to hurry things along. Ugh, it’s terrible. The only good part is when a blurb comes back and it’s so nice and complimentary and you feel great because one of your cartooning heroes has actually taken the time to sit down and read your story and then thought of a nice thing to say about it. That’s the good part, but all the rest, not so much.

I had an experience with Freddie & Me actually, where I approached another personal cartooning hero of mine, who (probably begrudgingly) agreed to read and blurb my book, and that one didn’t turn out quite as well. I couldn’t tell you for sure if the person ever actually read the story, based on the three word blurb they sent back. I couldn’t use it in the end. Ah well, like I said, it’s not a pleasant process for anyone, and I can’t fault someone for not really wanting to do some job for a stranger, but also not wanting to seem like a bad-guy by telling me no. I’m sure it happens all the time.

Anyway, this is all off-topic. Go listen to the Dylan Horrocks interview!

January 18, 2012

Another drawing

Filed under: comics,TCJ Talkies — Mike @ 10:32 pm

Another recent drawing I drew.

Also: I posted a new TCJ Talkies podcast over at The Comics Journal, featuring La Mano’s Zak Sally. I really enjoyed chatting with Zak – check it out.

December 22, 2011

2012 – looking ahead

Troop 142 got a nice shout-out on an NPR Best of 2011 blog yesterday, which did actually translate into some book sales, I believe. I don’t know what amazon sales rankings really mean, but I know that I jumped into the top 100 for Graphic Novels for the first time ever. Again, I don’t know what these numbers really mean, but it was all very exciting nonetheless.

(I actually suspect a lot of sales came from friends who’d forgotten that I’d recently published a book until I posted about the NPR list on Facebook. A couple folks responded that “ah, yes, they really oughta finally buy that thing off of amazon…”)

In other news, I’m not sure that I’m going to be posting anything new on this blog for the remainder of 2011, as there’ll be no The Ink Panthers Show! episode next week, and then before you know it, it’ll be 2012 already.

Also, I am not sure yet when I’m going to resume posting actual comics up on this blog again. I have to admit, keeping the work offline for the past couple months has probably been creatively beneficial. I’m happy to report that I’m knee-deep in a new story and I’m feeling generally very positive about it. A couple days “staycation” this past week, where I just holed myself away and just drew and drew, really did wonders for my feelings of momentum and progress. I’m excited about the work, and am thinking maybe I’ll have something I feel good about showing sometime soon.

Here’s a video of me lettering a word-balloon, to tide everyone over.

Next year, I don’t have a ton planned. I’m going to be attending the big Angouleme Festival in France at the end of January, and will be doing some signings in Paris following that. My wife will come join me out there after all the comics business is done, and we’ll have a little mini-vacation to celebrate ten-years of being together.

In terms of other conventions, I am not sure what I’m attending or not. I imagine I’ll still make it down to SPX in the Fall, and am hoping that TCAF in Toronto is a possibility.

Nothing is changing with The Ink Panthers Show! I think this past year was really great for the show. We had some wonderful guests, and I think really had some strong episodes with just The Panthers (Tony “The Desert Panther” Consiglio is included in that. We should change his name to The Honorary Panther). TIPS is continually a work-in-progress, and Alex and I are always trying to figure out what is the best balance of solo-Panthers shows vs. Special Guest episodes. I think it’s probably best we keep aiming for that pleasant mix of both.

TCJ Talkies will return in January. It’s probable that those are going to be coming out at a slightly slower pace. The biweekly schedule really began to catch up to me at the end of this year, and listeners may have noticed a bit of a slowdown. My plan is to roll them out at a more relaxed rate, but we’ll see. I’ve found that I feel worn out before I record an episode, but once it’s done I get all excited and motivated again. I think I just really like talking about comics!

Happy New Year everyone!!

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