Thursday, October 18, 2007

What's Next? Adventures In Sequential Art: The Workshed Studio Wrap-Up

The booksellers at Schwartz Bookshop on Downer know how to put on an event (and I’m not just saying that because I work there). From the beginning, Jay Johnson and Joe Lisberg were accommodating, enthusiastic, and committed to spreading the word about “What’s Next? Adventures In Sequential Art”. They put in their time networking with local businesses and schools to get the word out around town and pelted the interweb with announcements (the fantastic promo poster by Joe’s own Deep Sea Studios was spot-on and a great help). Store manager Doug James was supportive and willing to give up some of that all-important front-of-store floor space to make room for a cool display featuring the work of those speaking.

With our goals being to proselytize to folks the wonders of doing what you love and to foster a sense of community with our fellow indies, Alan, Randy and I all came away feeling great about the response. The audience was much bigger than I expected, but I’m an anticipatory pessimist. We took some great questions, and all involved had ample opportunity to speak to what we do and why we do it.

Max Estes and John Porcellino were both stand-up guys, willing to share their views and methods with the audience, us ‘Shed Heads included. I had a chance to speak with both of them, and can wholeheartedly endorse their sincerity and devotion. Max and I were flabbergasted in tandem that with Milwaukee being as small as it is (comparatively), we had yet to run into each other. John was an inspiration; I truly felt that comics were instinctual and necessary when he talked.

The only unfortunate aspect to the night was a technical glitch removing a podcast from the equation. It would have been nice to be able to share the sounds of the event (John Porcellino admitting that everyone in comics is “sad and bitter” being my personal highlight), but I also see the positive in no one knowing what a giant windbag I can be in person.

I’m working on some new stuff at the moment, and having a chance to rub elbows with fellow creators provided an added spark to my typing engine (way to stretch a metaphor).

Thank you to everyone who attended and to those of you who keep your minds open and your wallets at the ready for independence.

Justin Riley (Harry W. Schwartz Bookshop/Workshed Studio)


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