Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013, let's get outta here!

Yeah yeah, you're saying, "Oh sure! Wait till the end of the year to finally update your blog!" Though, then again, seriously who is even keeping score when everyone is having a party over at Tumblr. Anyway, 2013 was pretty exhausting in every aspect of my life and a tad bit stressful, and let's face it, a lot of shitty stuff happened in the world. However there were some brighter moments and accomplishments in 2013 that I am proud of such as seeing my kid go to Pre-K and having fun with his new friends. He'll be starting "real" school next year so I know that these times are precious. He's the best dude ever, and when life gets me really down, I just have to look at his face and remember what's really important.

One of my huge accomplishments this year for sure was raising over $6,000 for the American Red Cross's typhoon relief effort in the Philippines. I was blown away by the outpouring of cartoonists and fan support. Cartoonists like Jaime Hernandez, Carol Tyler, Dan Clowes, Souther Salazar, Kevin Huizenga, Eleanor Davis, Dan Zettwoch, and SO MANY others took time out of their busy schedules to send art and books. I was speechless. And I have to thank all of the comics fans who bidded and were patient with shipping their winning items during the holidays when sending stuff through the post is the craziest. Most of all, I am hopeful that the money raised will help those in Tacloban and other cities affected by the typhoon. I hope that 2014 is an easier time for everyone.

In Yam Books news, I got to publish work by two of my favorite cartoonists doing exciting things in comics these today -- Sacha Mardou's "Sky in Stereo #2" and Renee French's "Hagelbarger and That Nightmare Goat". Both are available to purchase at the Yam Books web shop. Sacha was able to debut Sky in Stereo at the Chicago Alternative Comics Expo (CAKE) this past Spring and Renee was able to debut Hagelbarger at this year's Alternative Press Expo (APE) in San Francisco. Working with these two phenomenal women was unforgettable and I hope a fun experience for them too. Both of these works made it to some Best of 2013 lists which I'm very happy about. I want to thank both of them for placing their trust in Yam Books. I hope to be collaborating with them down the road!

I got to travel to Brooklyn to promote these two new books at the Comics Arts Brooklyn show, which was very successful for Yam and where I finally got to see another inspiring woman who I have looked up to, Miriam Katin. She is such a warm, funny, talented and smart person. It was such an honor to be talking to her about her life experiences and her creative passions. It was one of the most unforgettable moments in my life.

And there were many other great comics that came out in 2013 that I have to list here, but before I do, let's talk about the fun times of 2013 for me. I got to see with my pal Vanessa Davis, a cabaret performance by the one and only Sutton Foster (the Broadway musical powerhouse also aka Michelle from "Bunheads," the best show on ABC Family since re-runs of Gilmore Girls which inexplicably was canceled). When she sang "Nice n' Easy", I almost passed out. And we totally would have had a drink with her except we are very respectful of celebrities' privacy (No, we are not. NO, yes we are!!)

Okay, so before I end with my Best of 2013 comics list, I must share my all-time favorite-FAVORITE moment of 2013, albeit maybe ridiculous and pathetic to some, but after 20 years of dismal season after season, you will understand. Please just watch:

Have a great new year everyone! We can definitely use a good one!

My favorite 2013 comics (not published by Yam Books, heh)

I was going to write why I liked each one but I am too busy playing that video clip on loop.

  • When David Lost His Voice by Judith Vanistendael
  • LOVF New York by Jesse Reklaw
  • Men's Feelings by Ted May
  • Island of Memory, Vol 1 by T Edward Bak
  • The Trading Tortoise zine #1 by Souther Salazar and Monica Choy
  • Susceptible by Genevieve Castree
  • Sunday Night Movies by Leanne Shapton
  • Lose #5 by Michael DeForge
  • Ghosts and Ruins by Ben Catmull
  • World Map Room by Yuichi Yokoyama
  • Do Not Disturb My Waking Dream (Autoptic edition) by Laura Park
  • New School by Dash Shaw
  • Redbird #2 by Dan Zettwoch
  • The Half Men by Kevin Huizenga
  • Optic Nerve by Adrian Tomine

Wednesday, December 4, 2013