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Friday, April 30, 2010

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Nib Lit 9

Nib Lit, Issue: 01.09 Preview

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Nib Lit dispatches from MoCCA 2010!

Podcast interviews now available: Matt Loux, Sean Pryor, Mike Dawson, Abby Denson, Tim Fish, Liz Baillie and Josh Bayer.

mykl sivak and Matt Loux photo by Revista Larvae

Matt Loux Interview MP3

Sean Pryor Interview MP3

Mike Dawson Interview MP3

Abby Denson Interview MP3

Tim Fish Interview MP3

Liz Baillie Interview MP3

Josh Bayer Interview MP3

Bill Plypton Interview MP3 (the worst interview in the history of the genre) This is so bad I couldn't even listen to it while mixing it down. My favorite part is when Plympton is clearly so vexed by my terrible interviewing tactics that he starts talking to another person about an unrelated topic during the interview. I hope you enjoy my shame.

Coming soon, interview with: Gabrielle Bell!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

After the storm

First two pages of a multi-page story about two friends exploring a beach the day after a storm:

Space kids!

Flashback 1996: Ball & Triangle

Probably the last one of these I ever drew. Think I made while in art school in ATL, GA.

Sake Bomb!

2 or 3 years ago, I got the idea to make a series of prints for My good friend, chef Bun Lai of in New Haven, CT. I wanted to give him the prints as a gift for all the hospitality he'd shown me over the years and for being like a big brother to me. In the end, the prints were a disaster. My equipment was so broken down that no matter what I did everything kept ending up terribly off-register. I still have a stack of really gross prints. I may have given one or two to Bun as proof of my good-hearted attempt. Anyway, here is one of the original drawings I used in the photo emulsion stage of the process. I think it has its own charm. I like seeing the non-photo blue and whiteout. I think it also serves as an example of how even though sometimes things don't really work out as you intend them to, the process itself can be good and rewarding.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Monday, April 19, 2010

Nib Lit 8

Nib Lit, Issue: 01.08 Preview

MoCCA 2010 Recap Column!

Nib Lit Gets Weird @ MoCCA 2010!

Mykl G Sivak
Comics Editor

On April 9, 2010, I packed my bags and headed to Harlem to sleep on Bam-Bam and the Barbarians creator Josh Bayer’s couch. I helped him clip his Guinea Pig’s toenails. Later, I wandered the city alone and got drunk on Canadian whiskey and tonic. After that, I ate an egg and cheese on a hard roll, downed a coffee and went to sleep. This is why I felt like crap at MoCCA Fest, one of indy comics’ top yearly events. Despite the hangover, I recorded a handful of interviews with a number of comics creators. With the exception of my interview with animation legend Bill Plimpton they all turned out pretty good, I’d say (the Plympton interview is probably the worst one ever).

After the fest, I ate dinner at the Chat ‘n Chew with Tim Fish, Monica Gallager, Tim Piotrowski and a few other notable comics artists who happen to prefer boys to girls. Then it was on to the official MoCCA afterparty at The Village Pourhouse. The party was overcrowded, the drinks were weak and overpriced. I mostly just hung out on the sidewalk with New Haven’s own Andrew Bonia, writer of Tales of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and House of Twelve Comics’ Dave McKenna, who I always love talking to.

The sidewalk experience was also good because I finally got to meet Nick Abadzis, Londoner turned New Yorker and writer/illustrator of the acclaimed graphic novel Laika, which is about that dog the Ruskies shot into space. He’s got a comics CV that includes work for Marvel, DC and 2000 AD. I told him how I felt British directors, in their films, love to explore just how precious and quirky their countrymen are. He is a patient and tolerant man.

I hung out with Abby Denson, Matt Loux and a few others for a while. At some point, someone handed me a slip inviting me to a semi-secret afterparty at the Brooklyn loft of some local artists and soon enough Bayer sent me a text inviting me to the same joint. The party was pretty chill. Black Hole writer/illustrator Charles Burns was there too. So, that was cool. I drank a few 22’s of Yuengling beer that cost me a dollar seventy a piece at the corner shop. Gross but cheap. I smoked some Black and Mild cigars and took a few hits off a little bottle of Jameson this girl stole from her roommate. The subway ride back to Harlem took about two hours and the sun was high and yellow by the time I got back. I ate an egg and cheese on a hard roll, downed a coffee and went to sleep. This is why I felt like crap at MoCCA Fest day two.

Bayer and I drove down to the fest on the West Side Highway. There’s a bike path that runs beside the highway along side the Hudson River. We saw some guys in suits and trench coats wandering the path. They turned out to be NYPD homicide detectives. A cluster of them, along with uniformed officers were huddled around a white body bag in the grass beside the path. We could make out the shape of a corpse inside. “A floater,” I said. Then we talked about The Wire for a while.

Considering my double hangover, I think I did a fair job of grabbing a few more interviews, including a weird one with Gabrielle Bell, whose comic Cecil and Jordan in New York was recently adapted to film by director Michel Gondry. Sunday was “family day” at the fest and there were a few kids running around the auditorium. It was interesting to see the hungover cartoonists talking to the children. The whole fest now had a new vibe. Talking to the artists, I had the sense that we’d all been through something together. It felt good.

Comics is often a terribly lonesome thing. The act of creating them is a solitary experience. It is isolated, meticulous work. Often, it’s thankless as well. As an artist, you lock yourself away behind your drawing table in your little artist’s lair. You sweat and fret over line and composition and story arc. You push yourself to take risks, artistically and otherwise. You challenge your own sensibilities and you push yourself to create things at the outer reaches of your philosophical comfort zone. Then you post your art on a blog or personal website and hope that someone somewhere finds some enjoyment from the fruit of your labors. You hope it provokes some thought in the mind of some anonymous websurfer. Then you feel terrible and consider giving up comics altogether.

Facebook friends may give you a thumbs up here and there. If you’re lucky some comics blog might repost your work. But in the whole, you garner little response. This is why events like MoCCA are so important. They uncover the very real community all indy comics artists are a part of. To quote that film My Blue Heaven, “You are so not alone.”

To quote myself: “though comics are initially a solitary endeavor, they open up the possibility of a special type of community. A thoughtful, vibrant and talented community, whose prime psychological directive is one of perpetuating creativity, freedom of thought and communal connection.” I was reminded of this April 11. But perhaps more important than any of this has little to do with the artwork we creators produce. Perhaps, the most import thing that festivals like MoCCA supply us is the simple opportunity to intermingle with like-minded peers. I’m sure I’m not the only comics nerd to feel consistently alienated and/or marginalized by the surrounding masses. However, from April 9th to the 11th, I didn’t feel like a weirdo. I saw that I was a member of a very large club of extremely talented and creative individuals. I saw that we aren’t flawed freaks, but people with unusual and special abilities. To paraphrase, with particular vision comes particular cost.
Maybe I’ll never have a normal life. Maybe I’ll never have a well-paying job. Maybe I’ll never be able to express myself well to the many people that surround me each day. But a few times each year, I get to interact with a group of people I understand and whom I feel understand me. I get to have long conversations about the types of things I think about every day, but don’t always have the opportunity to discuss. I get to discuss the craft, techniques and materials I work with everyday of my life, with others who do likewise. I get to see some people who have actually been able to find success and make a career doing this strange thing I love. This makes me glad for them and hopeful for myself. And best yet, I get to throw a few back with these people I admire so much.

I don’t have to worry about jocks, or fratboys, or elitist intellectual boors who in reality are talentless hacks offering nothing in terms of new thought but are spectacular at intellectual regurgitation. I get to experience art in the making. And this makes the double-hangover doubly sweet.

Friday, April 16, 2010

More Songs

"Scarborough-ouroboros": background tracks I composed for an early Colony Collapse show. We played noises over this, but it works on its own, I think:


"Second Draft": Also used in an early Colony Collapse show (ends with a version of Scarborough-ouroboros):

Second Draft

"An Introduction": Early Colony Collapse opener:

An Introduction

The Diatom Project

Sound Landscape project I was working on with Steve Ross a few years back. The compositions were based upon the microscopic world of diatoms and the organisms present during the infancy of life on Earth; Here are my contributions:

Geologicka Session 3

Geologicka Session 1

Another old song...

I wrote and recorded this song in one sitting late one night shortly after September 11, 2001. Despite a certain lyric, I was not aware of the band "Explosions in the Sky" at the time:
A View of Meteorites From a Deathbed

Some other old techno songs I wrote

A silly old techno song I made one time about Erik Satie doing absinthe:
Absynth Satie

I wrote this song some years back as an homage to the type of crappy techno I used to listen to late at night on the radio when I was a kid and would sleep in my tent in the backyard during the summer months:
The Epicentre (1993)

I wrote this song years and years ago in the middle of the night and into early morning. Probably keeping Kyle Roller awake in the room below:
Planets That Small

Sivak art @ RKYV:

Hey, check it out, RKYV #34 features some art I made!:

Monday, April 12, 2010

Nib Lit Showcase!

I put together this Nib Lit Showcase for MoCCA. if you didn't get one, here's a PDF. It features comical stories by: Howard Cruse, Tony Millionaire, Sean Pryor, Sam Henderson, Steve Skeates, Kristyna Baczynski, Josh Bayer, Joaquin delaPuente Marc Palm, Box Brown, Nicolas Chalupa Chanic, Jarod Rosello, Craig Collins,... Iain Laurie, Dave Alexander, and Mykl Sivak!

MoCCA minicomic:

If you didn't go to MoCCA or didn't get one from me there, you can download a PDF of the minicomic collection I made for the event here:

Some Gentlemen Poster Art:

Nib Lit #7

Nib Lit, Issue: 01.07 Preview:
Hot off the press: Nib Lit #7, featuring art by the usual freaks and a 2 page story by Nicolas Chalupa Chanic!

Contact/Nib Lit Submissions

mykl g sivak:

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Fortune favors the brave?

Nib Lit #6!

Nib Lit, Issue: 01.06 Preview:
Featuring art by the usual gang of weirdos, plus the NL debuts of Lazer Art Zine's Nicolas Chalupa Chanic and the legendary Steve Skeates!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Nib Lit 01.05 Preview!

Nib Lit, Issue: 01.05 Preview:
Featuring comix by: Millionaire, Wheeler, Baczynski, Sam Henderson, Bayer & DelaPunte, Swellzombie, Box Brown, Jarod Rosello, and yours truly.
(Coming later this week: the Wheeler, Millionaire glut issue; so many comics, so few issues!) Enjoy!