Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Trees & Hills makes its MoCCA debut!

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N.H. cartoonist Marek Bennett mans the Trees & Hills / Mimi's Doughnuts table at the 2007 MoCCA convention in New York City on June 23. Thanks to Matthew Reidsma for the photo.

We met a lot of people who previously had never heard of the Trees & Hills comics group. And we sold and gave away lots of comics, including our new 52-page anthology, Field Guide to Cartoonists of Vermont, New Hampshire and Western Massachusetts.

Trees & Hills members walked away from MoCCA 2007 tired and partly bruised, but with open eyes and excitement for the future. Here are a few thoughts, three days after the end of the show.

1)Location: The Trees & Hills/ Mimi's Doughnuts table was located on the seventh floor of the Puck Building, six floors up from the three other MoCCA rooms. This meant we got about one-fourth the traffic that the other floors saw, but the incoming natural light and breathing room turned our floor into a nice island away from the bustle of the convention.

Reviews are a bit mixed on this. Marek Bennett (Mimi's Doughnuts) preferred the location. But he's a true natural with relating to people and sold what appeared to be a good number of comics and a few shirts. Trees & Hills co-founder Colin Tedford and I felt that the access that the downstairs floor would have given us outweighed the nice, upper floor atmosphere.

2)Comics. We got Trees & Hills comics into a lot of fan's hands, including an editor at DC Vertigo, several small press publishers, The Beat's Heidi MacDonald (who later posted a picture of me and listed the anthology title on her blog), Brian Wood (a former Vermonter) and lots of others. This was clearly a success and at least one big indie publisher expressed interest in a graphic novel one of our cartoonists is working on and I was told by a major publisher that I should pitch to them.

3)Vermont Comics. The Green Mountain State was well represented. The Center for Cartoon Studies had two tables at the show and their SUNDAYS anthology sold out on, appropriately, Sunday, and was one of the true buzz books of the show. Rick Veitch (Army @ Love, Rare Bit Fiends) was right around the corner from our table and he had some nice original pages for sale. Alison Bechdel had a huge line for sketches, which nicely occurred directly behind our table.

We did expect to sell more comics. For me, the show did highlight the oddity that – at this level of the comics industry at least – we are almost all operating at a loss. But its the love that keeps us doing it, even if sales are fractions of costs.

Still, the networking and the crackling energy and excitement and the after parties (monsters dancing on stripper poles!) made it all worth every cent. On the second day of the show, I happily put down the $325 to lock in our table for next year.

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Friday, June 08, 2007

Comics & Shop update - E.J. Barnes & Some Jams

Two comics by E.J. Barnes are now available through Trees & Hills Comix Distro:

Tales Of The Ling Master Preview #1: The Bread-Doll Fancier and Tales Of The Ling Master Preview #3: The Squid Boys Of Terra Haute - both adaptations of the stories of "Blaster" Al Ackerman.

Trees & Hills will have a table (S32, upstairs) at the MoCCA Art Festival in NYC June 23-24 and E.J. Barnes will be there, too, selling comics from her own table!

E.J. also organizes the monthly Pioneer Valley Comic & Cartoon Schmooze in western MA (email art at ejbarnes dot com for more info) - you can see a small jam from last month's Schmooze as well as a couple other jams that happened in western MA in the Comics section.

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Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Big Shop And Article Updates

I'm pleased to announce that Colin's Comix Distro has finally grown into the Trees & Hills Comix Distro, an "official" organ of the group, with T&H cofounder Daniel Barlow of VT and cartoonist & columnist Anne Thalheimer of western MA coming on board - you can check it out via the 'Shop' link on the site menu. In honor of the changeover, I'm bringing the online stock up to date, starting with these comics by Marek Bennett:

The Making Of...24 Hour Comic, Mimi's Doughnuts #9 (Fall 2006), and Mimi's Doughnuts #10 (Winter 2006-7). Read an interview with Marek and a review of Mimi's Doughnuts #10 in our 'Articles' section. Marek will be at the Trees & Hills table (S32, upstairs) at MoCCA June 23-24 in NYC.

Also in the Shop, you can now acquire some comics by Matt Levin:

Matt takes the unique approach of mostly using and manipulating rubber stamp images to make his comics. We have Walking Man Comics Presents Special #34: Myths And Magic, WMCPS #7: New England Patriot, Musicomics #1: Sink Or Swim, Musicomics #7: You Know Who, and Musicomics #13: Saturday Dreams.

There are also more Articles: Stephen Bissette's interviews with Center For Cartoon Studies Fellow Gabby Schulz (aka "Ken Dahl") and CCS graduate Colleen Frakes, plus 2 more Fleen columns by Anne Thalheimer.

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Friday, June 01, 2007

It's A Busy June!

Our next cartooning party will not be on the 3rd Saturday of June, but rather the 2nd - June 9 from 1-5pm at the Center For Cartoon Studies, 94 S. Main St., White River Junction VT. Bring drawing supplies & snacks & prepare for good times! The Senior Thesis Exhibition will still be up, so it'll be a good chance to check the quality work of CCS's first graduating class. For more info or to RSVP, contact Robyn Chapman (chapman at cartoonstudies dot org).

The next monthly Pioneer Valley Comic & Cartoon Schmooze will be June 12 7pm at the Northampton Brewery in downtown Northampton, MA. Schmmoze, eat, drink & maybe draw w/the cool cartoonists & friends of the region! For more info or to RSVP, email E.J. Barnes (art at ejbarnes dot com).

That same night, Alison Bechdel will read from the new paperback version of her graphic memoir Fun Home at the Stowe Free Library in Stowe, VT. Then on June 21 she'll appear at 7pm at Everyone's Books, 25 Eliot St., Brattleboro VT. Don't miss it!

Trees & Hills will have a table at the MoCCA Art Festival indie comics convention June 23-4 11-6pm at the Puck Building, 293 Lafayette at Houston, New York City. The table will staffed by Daniel Barlow, Marek Bennett, and Colin Tedford, with appearances by various other T&H folk, and we'll have a new mini-anthology for sale! E.J. Barnes will also have a table, as likely will other folks from the region.