In an effort to map out the current convention landscape for Press Gang, Francois & I put together this list of cons to consider. I realized that it might be somewhat useful, since I couldn’t find anything similar online. The year is halfway over, so a bunch of this has already happened, & the exhibiting deadlines  on the other half are likely either passed or coming in close, but maybe you will get something out of this anyhow. Even if it’s only planning your next year’s exhibiting schedule (or “jeez, there’s a LOT of comic shows now!” ). If I missed your show, or an important show to your region, that’s more of a function of not being able to get EVERY new or regional show all on the list. I had to stop somewhere, but feel free to post your suggestions in the comments as needed.



2013 :

Angouleme (FR) 1/31-2/3

LA Zine Fest (Los Angeles) 2/17,

Emerald City (Seattle) 3/1-3,

STAPLE (Austin) 3/2-3

Chicago Zine Fest (Chicago) 3/8-3/9,

Wonder Con (Anaheim) 3/29-3/31,

FLUKE - (Athens GA) 4/6

MoCCA (New York) 4/6-4/7,

SPACE (Columbus, OH) 4/13-4/14,

Stumptown (Portland) 4/27-4/28,

TCAF (Toronto) 5/11-5/12,

MCAF (Maine) 5/19,

ICAF (rotating, in PDX this year) 5/23-26

VanCAF (Vancouver, BC) 5/25-5/26,

Wonder NW (PDX) 5/25-26

HeroesCon (Charlotte, NC) 6/7-9,

Olympia Comics Fest  (Oly WA) 6/8,

Grand Comics Fest (Brooklyn) 6/8-9

CAKE (Chicago) 6/15-6/16,

San Diego Comic Con (San Diego) 7/18-7/21,

Portland Zine Symposium (PDX) 8/10-11,

Autoptic - (Minneapolis) 8/18

The Projects (Portland) 8/22-25,

San Francisco Zine Fest (SF) 8/31-9/1,

SPX (Bethesda, MD) 9/14-9/15,

NY Art Book Fair - (PS1 Brooklyn) 9/20-22

Rose City Comic Con (Portland) 9/21-9/22,

MICE (Cambridge, MA) 9/28-29,

Handmade & Bound (nashville) 10/4-5,

Locust Moon Comics Fest (Philly) 10/5,

APE (San Francisco) 10/12-13,

New York Comic-Con (NYC) 10/10-10/13,

Short Run (Seattle) 11/30,

Brooklyn Comics and Graphics Festival (RIP!?) ,


Expozine - Montreal December (?)

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There’s new books from every PRESS GANG publisher! 

We’ve got awesome guest friends BWANA SPOONS (saturday only, maybe), BRANDON GRAHAM, & FAREL DALRYMPLE!

Several of us are on various panels or workshops!



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So in all the hustle and bustle trying to get Farel Dalrymple’s new book promoted and ready for Stumptown Comics Fest, we haven’t really talked about our other debut of the show:

Study Group Magazine #2!

Yes, it’s true. We finally got it together. It’s here, and it’s beautiful. Same format as #1 but in classic SG Pink & Blue this time.

Art & Comics Contributions From:
  • Jesse Balmer
  • Lilli Carre
  • Michael Deforge
  • Jeremy Onsmith
  • Lark Pien
  • Tim Root
  • Kris Mukai
  • Mickey Z
  • Zack Soto
  • Trevor Alixopulos
  • JT Dockery
  • Dan Zettwoch
  • Julia Gfrorer
  • Jonny Negron
  • David King
  • Aidan Koch
  • Chris Kuzma
  • Sam Alden

And Comics Journalism by:

  • Rob Clough on Josh Bayer
  • JT Dockery visits with John Byrne
  • Milo George interviews Angie Wang (who provides our cover)
  • Sean Witzke on Baker & Helfer’s JUSTICE INC.
  • Zack Soto interviews Maré Odomo 

64 oversized two-color pages, edited by Milo George & Zack Soto. Drops 4/27/13.

art above by David King & Mickey z

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Jason and I. This is the best shot we could get of the table b/c of the crowds.

OOPS! You might have seen this post go live without any text in it! That’s because I set up a placeholder post and meant to get back to actually, you know - writing it sometime before Thanksgiving. Like all (my) good plans, something went horribly wrong and I forgot.

Juj and I - photo by Lamar Abrams

ANYHOW, Jason, Julia and I went up to the Brooklyn Comics and Graphics Fest at the beginning of the month, and boy howdy did we have a good time. This was my third year at BCGF, and PRESS GANG‘s second (we’d just celebrated our first year of existence one week earlier at Short Run in Seattle!). As usual, it was insanely crowded and overflowing with mind-meltingly good comics and art.

Jason was debuting a new newspaper, SKYFACE SENSRMAP, by Brenna Murphy and I was debuting the new  full color SECRET VOICE v2#1. I’ll have ordering info for SVv2#1 up real soon, but  for now I’ll post a couple shots of me as a proud poppa:

Clearly, I missed my calling as a hand model.

Full bleed, baby.

Oh look, how cute! It’s my first new book in forever.  Response to the book was very gratifying. More on that later, but there’s more pics over here.

It’s always a great thing to get to go to NYC and soak up some hustle and bustle, since while Portland is one of  my all time favorite cities, it’s got a pretty sleepy vibe.

I imagine BCGF is also a great place to do some shopping for comics, if you’re not an exhibitor. I wouldn’t know, because it’s SO FUCKING CROWDED and hectic that I was only able to get away from the table about once or twice, so I literally only bought two things: Michel Fiffe’s COPRA and Ian Anderson’s THREE STORIES. Not for lack of trying, it’s just the way it worked out. There’s no time or space to talk to people you want to see or to browse for things you think you might want. It’s just that crazy.

BCGF is clearly experiencing some growing pains, and may have finally outgrown it’s venue? It’s one of the best shows in North America, without a doubt, but I’d personally like to see a second day added. It might alleviate some of the crush of the one day show, and extend potential sales for traveling exhibitors. Obviously, the church that houses BCGF negates the possibility of Sunday being that day, but a Friday lead in day might be worth looking at. In any case, we had a great time, as well as great sales as per usual with this show. Because of the fast pace of the show floor, a lot of the interactions tend to be pretty quick, but I managed to chat briefly with some favorite faces: Tom Spurgeon, Tucker Stone,Tony Shenton, Leah Wishnia, Robin McConnell, Jordan Crane and Lamar Abrams all stopped by the table briefly. I waved “hi” to Gary Panter as he surfed past through the crowd. On my brief foray away from the table I saw Annie Koyama, met “Tumblr’s own” Jane Mai, high-fived Fiffe, and perused the Hic & Hoc table before I had to get back to the booth. I’m probably forgetting someone or several someones.

After the show wrapped up and before the always legendary afterparty, I managed to sneak away for dinner at a local dumpling house with old friend Nick Abadzis (and new friend Tom Motley). Getting to talk with Nick is the highlight of any convention we manage to make that happen at. I’ve been a fan of his since I was a teenager reading Hugo Tate in Deadline, but we have been pals for about 10 years or more since he came over for his first SPX. He and T Edward Bak and I ended up bar-hopping around Bethesda and somehow survived to tell the tale. I don’t know, I’m getting all misty just thinking about it – that guy is aces in my book.

Then it was off to the After Party at Cartoon House, where show organizer Bill K (among others) hangs his hat. It was pretty insane. Good times, I barely remember you. One good  thing is that because the show was earlier this year, all the smokers smoking in the room didn’t pitch a fit when the windows were opened so that everyone else could breathe, like last time. Jason has some photos from that night up on his Facebook, I’m not sure if everyone can see those.  There was a friendly but competitive wrestling match, detailed here by “Chuckles” Connor from the Closed Caption crew. I put in some solid hours at the party, but I didn’t quite rock as hard as those guys or SG pal Chris Cilla, all of whom passed out in various nooks and crannies of the show. I eventually made it back to where I was sleeping, and spent the next day at my cousin’s house in a hung over fugue state.

Eamon Espey stares deep into the void

On Monday, I managed to make it over to Bergen Street comics for the first time. It’s a well laid-out store, and the people I talked to were super friendly and helpful. Peeked through the windows of a closed Desert Island and vowed to make it there next year, and met up with Jason, Julia & Rikki for a Kinokunia trip before meeting up with eternal badass Randy Chang for our now-traditional post-con steak dinner. It was really good to have a quiet moment to catch up with Randy removed from the whirlwind of the rest of the weekend. That’s another solid bro. Afterwards, I slumped back to Williamsburg and my comfy bed for an 8am flight.

Standing in the shadow of Takehiko Inoue's greatest work.

Standing in the shadow of Takehiko Inoue's greatest work.

Overall, a very fun and engaging show as usual, and I’m looking forward to next year, even if I hope there might be some changes made to deal with the crowding. Thanks to Dan, Bill, & Gabe for a fun weekend full of comics! See you next time. xoxoxo

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Here’s your semi-regular “what’s goin’ on” post.


THE LONE WOLF gets wet.

Later on today we’ll have a new TITAN episode. Did you notice that Titan is back on a weekly schedule? I don’t know about you, but that makes ME happy.


Fridays: Psychedelic mega-quest comic It Will All Hurt continues on towards the end of part 2. Crime World has returned with the second installment of the hard-boiled hijinks you’ve come to know and love. Casual murder, racism, and tough guy antics continue to be the order of the day in this bleak workplace dramady.

Saturdays: HAUNTER continues her journey into the lush ruins.

Sundays: Peepers, our resident bizzaro-space race comic continues to baffle and amuse the rubes. Secret Voice part 3 has begun. If you read the Adhouse comic version of this story, you might have noticed that the whole beginning up to now has been completely rewritten and redrawn. Part 3 is where my new intro synchs back up with the old material. I liked the fight scene I drew way back when and didn’t want to scrap it. So sue me!  Anyway, if this stuff looks different than the pages leading up to now, that’s because it was drawn 6 years ago. U_U

Mondays:  Danger Country  nears the end of chapter 1!

Tuesdays: Kaz is getting ready for PAX (he works in video games) so The Mourning Star took the week off, but Klive & co. will be back Sept. 4th.

Wednesdays: The Yankee has gone on hiatus while Ian works on some other projects (including a PROPHET back up!). It’ll be back in October with Chapter 2.   Black Is The Color continues to  keep Weds wet and creepy. Speaking of which, the 2012 Ignatz Award nominations have been released and BITC was nominated for “Outstanding Online Comic!” Huzzah!


We haven’t stopped posting complete, awesome new work just because we’re clearly on the cusp of societal breakdown. The barbarians would want us to give up, right? Check these sweeties out if you’re against the heat-death of the universe:

Tales of The Cat Killin’ Coat – by Tim Root (nsfw)

Disappearing Town – Polaroid – by Morgan Jeske


Just two important links today.  First: Just one more day to help crowd-fund The Projects! Even the best comics shows in America tend to operate on a dynamic closer to a flea market than a celebration of an art form, but some friends of mine are trying to take a cue from the way European countries often run comics shows: no tables of sad-eyed people hoping you’ll buy their mini comics, just 3 days of workshops, socializing with artists, and appreciating comics qua comics. I’ll be helping out with a couple workshops and just straight up breathing comics for that whole weekend. You should consider making it up to PDX for the event if you’re into the comic art form. Should be worth it. In any case, those non-commercial festivals across the pond tend to have government grants and such backing them up, but we all know that’s crazy talk here in the USA, so the organizers have turned to Kickstarter to help make their dream a reality. Even if you can’t make it to the fest, I  urge you to  consider backing The Projects. There’s a bunch of cool incentives, including a way to get both recent Study Group publications and a cool print for a discounted price. Ok, that’s my spiel.

Second: Aidan Koch is the first SG alum to take her webcomic from the site to print, and she’s having a Blonde Woman book release in NYC to celebrate, as well as accepting pre-orders! The book looks beautiful. Says the artist herself:

You are invited!

To the official release party of The Blonde Woman in NYC!
Party will take place on September 08, 2012 at 8pm at the Cartoon House, 282 Broadway #2, Brooklyn NY.
The will be refreshments as well as beautiful company to enjoy the evening with.
Come flip through some books and celebrate with me.
Copies will be available.
If you do not live in NY you can pre-order your copy now!
I will also be attending this year’s Small Press Expo September 15-16 as well as the New York Art Book Fair September 29-30.
Thank you so much, and I hope to see you all soon
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Whew! It’s been a busy couple of months here at SG HQ. Stumptown was a blast, Milo and I are working on SG Mag #2, and Larry Reid of the Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery asked me to curate a SG themed art show! crazy.

I asked a handful of SG artists from both the website and the magazine to send in art for the show – in the end the show consisted of myself, Aidan Koch, Jennifer Parks, Farel Dalrymple, Kazimir Strzepek, Levon Jihanian, David King, Malachi Ward, Ian MacEwan, François Vigneault, and T Edward Bak. The space was limited or I would have shoved even more homies in there.

So it was one beautiful Friday afternoon before the show that Ian, my wife Krista and I headed up there to peep the show and see some friends. I managed to take a couple photos here and there, and stole a couple from pal Max Clotfelter’s facebook account.

Here’s Ian and Kaz getting sleepy Friday night at the Redwoods bar. They were playing TCM (instead of a sports channel or Seinfeld) on a big screen and Ian and I were overly impressed by that. Not a bad place to pass the time, plus some good people watching. Krista and I talked about how nice it was to be in a bar and not recognize a SINGLE PERSON (Portland, for all its charms, is a relatively small/big town).  Tom Van Deusen and Dalton James Rose came and met us for a drink, but before long it was time for some Tacos Gringos and deep deep sleep on Kaz’s couch. I wish I’d thought to take some pics at Kaz’s place, as he has a CRAZY amount of awesome old toys and pages of Mourning Star to ogle. I somehow never realized Kaz works at print size?!??! the pages are TINY. Kaz, if you don’t watch out you’re gonna get hand cramps!


Anyhow, the next morning Kaz and his lady Jesica joined us for brunch before Krista and I went down to the waterfront for some olde-fashioned tourista action. We made a beeline for Ye Olde Curiosity Shoppe, as Krista has a squished penny collection that needed adding to, but we also met some new friends there, like Sylvester:

And here I am shoving Krista into a wall of disgusting bubblegum. This alleyway was COVERED in chewed up gum, it was sort of like being in a HR Geiger bioform tunnel.

After a couple hours of sun-worship, we met up with Ian and Dalton at Half-Priced Books, which we joked is one of our favorite comic book stores. Seriously, I always find some crazy out of print gems, and the .25 cent comic selection is awash with lots of great back issues. This time I picked up a cheap reader copy of Jeff Rovin’s Encyclopedia of Super Villains, mainly because I have such fond memories of poring over the Encyclopedia of Super Heroes as a kid. I doubt it’ll have as much of an impact on 36 year old Zack as 16 year old Zack, but that’s a nice Ernie Colon cover!


From there, we decided to bop down to the Fanta Bookstore, check out the show, and grab some grub. Larry was busily cutting up labels for the art and waiting on his “signage guy”, and pointed us towards Smarty Pants, a sweet sandwich shop around the corner. We were all starving and in need of a beer, so Ian, Dalton, Krista & I headed over and enjoyed some refreshments before the show:

and by the time we got back, it was all set up!

Please excuse the cropping of the edges of the show, and the general low-res nature of the images. I posted these photos to Instagram and my phone decided to delete the originals so these are the only evidence of the show that I have. Larry did a great job framing and hanging the show!

And look at that signage! Worth waiting for, very Pro! That’s a blown up version of Eleanor Davis’ logo from SG Mag #1, btw.

It wasn’t too long before people started to show up, and I became more focused on socializing than taking pics. Here we have Kaz, Max Clotfelter, Marc J Palm and myself all comparing our “Kuatos”. Hey, we’re cartoonists who drink beer!  Cut us some slack.

Scott Faulkner checking out the show. Kaz & Ian debate pen nibs or something. More of that/different angle:

Aaron Mew! I love that guy! He’s a funny boy. Pals from the local comics scene that showed up that I managed to not get photos of include Kelly Froh, Tom Van Deusen,  Jacq Cohen, Lillian Beatty, Dalton Webb, Tony Ong, Eroyn Franklin, Matt Southworth and probably more. A great time was had by all.

Before too long, though, we had to pack up and head home. What a great trip. I’d like to send a super special big shout out to Larry Reid for both the invite to do the show and the excellent hospitality we received in Seattle. The whole thing was just so damn nice and refreshing. And hey, if you’re in Seattle in the next few weeks, the show will be up until June 6th!



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Oh my, is it time for our favorite local convention again??

Why yes! Yes, it is!

Stumptown is here and it’s time to have fun in Portland, currently blessed w/it’s unofficial status as a “Top Two” comics town (what the other city might be I will let the scholars debate).

If you’re not here or on your way already,  you can still make it. Should be a fun time.


I started making a map with all our friends and their locations and blah blah blah, but man I had to stop or else the map would have looked like this:

Anyhow, yeah here’s the deal:

PRESS GANG, including STUDY GROUP, FAMILY STYLE, and FLOATING WORLD COMICS is #occupying a grip of booth space over in the 200 block, 207-209.

SG friends, family & contributors are all around us as well!

  • Tom Neely at a-20
  • Sparkplug Comic Books at a-19
  • Revival House at booth 211 (including homedawgs Chris Cilla, Tims Root & Goodyear, & Jason T. Miles!)
  • It Will All Hurt (and some other stuff) creator Farel Dalrymple at a-12
  • That Wuvable Oaf Ed Luce at 206
  • Pony Club Gallery, including LONE WOLF creator Jennifer Parks at 205
  • Studio J-Fish at 204
  • Max Clotfelter & Kelli Froh at a-13
  • Oh shit, Jesse Moynihan at a-9
ok I’ma stop now, the point is: lots of awesome people all on one wall, it’s going to be a fun time. And you can get either one of the Study Groups I’ll have for sale signed by a ton of people!




STUDY GROUP: I’ll have some copies of all of our SG publications, as well as a handfull of Bodega Press books, INCLUDING both volumes of MOURNING STAR by Kazimir Strzepek, who will be in attendance!

Also at the Study Group table, Sharknife and PENG! creator Corey Lewis will be splitting time between our spot and the Oni Press booth, selling copies of his super-dope Layered Jacket Mini.

Snakebomb maestro Jackson Wyatt Hayden will also be there repping his crew and the Snakebomb anthology.

SG Magazine #1 interview subject Craig Thompson will also be signing copies of the magazine for one hour, either on Saturday or Sunday… I can’t remember. It’s the same day he’s signing at the CBLDF table. Whatever. Craig has a great, super revealing 20 page interview in the new issue and it’s basically a “how to” course of it’s own complete with TONS of previously unpublished Habibbi process art. Craig has graciously offered to sign some copies at our table and chat a bit. So, uh it’s either Saturday or Sunday from 3-4 that Craig will be hanging out.

I’m also going to see if I can talk the Magazine co-editor Milo George out of his zen monastery for one of the days, so you might see him around. If he shows up, let him know what you think of his Craig interview or the ever popular Old Comics Weds posts!

Additionally, I’ll have a bunch of prints, including these new ones:


FAMILY STYLE:  Francois will be there with all 3 of the recent ELF WORLD anthologies, and you probably haven’t seen the very excellent #3 yet! MOME and ELF WORLD contributor Andrice Arp will be in attendance.

FLOATING WORLD COMICS: Jason will be there with all of his awesome new books like DIY MAGIC and the brand new Benjamin Marra AMERICAN PSYCHO DRAWINGS newspaper they just collaborated on.  It’s beautiful! Ben will be in attendance and he’s also debuting his new comic LINCOLN WASHINGTON: FREE MAN, which is balls out awesome!

Jason also organized all the panels, and along with pal Ryan Alexander-Tanner’s workshop schedule, this fest has A TON of exciting things to do when you’re not shopping and yukking it up with hung-over cartoonists. Check out the full schedule here. Of potential interest is a panel on Sunday from 2-2:45 called “The New Underground” which I’m on with a bunch of awesome peoples. here’s the blurb:

Frank Santoro referred to the current independent comics scene as a dawn of a new “Golden Age”. There is a theory that if you go deep enough underground you hit the actual main stream. This generation is equally fluent in zines and Tumblr accounts; genre exploration and abstract art; printing process and independent distribution. Join panelists Chris Cilla, Max Clotfelter, Farel Dalrymple, Julia Gfrorer, Jack Hayden, Jason Miles, Jesse Moynihan, Emily Nilsson, Zack Soto, Angie Wang and Malachi Ward for a roundtable discussion on the future of underground comics.

I don’t even know what we’re going to talk about, but that’s a cool bunch of people to be lumped in with. There’s a bunch more, including a presentation by pal and MOME contributor T Edward Bak, a Skype-powered layout workshop w/Frank Santoro, and a digital inking tutorial by Ben Marra.

SO YEAH. Stumptown. If I’m wearing sunglasses inside it’s because I’m hungover.


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Welcome to, the mutant offspring of our print publication Study Group Magazine, itself a comics/criticism hybrid of comics’ greatest Missing Link from Parts Unknown, the StudyGroup12 anthologies.

Already being publishers of fine mini-comics and periodicals, Study Group Comic Books is delighted to present our new dual-channel webcomics and blog. We hope to become a part of your life, especially when you’re supposed to be working and need excitement and/or entertainment the most.

Because we love making the Gods laugh, we have made a plan: We’ll be uploading new comics every weekday at noon EST, with the occasional one-shot story mixed in by our wrecking crew:

MONDAY: Danger Country by Levon Jihanian
TUESDAY: The Mourning Star: Klive’s Story by Kazimir Strzepek
WEDNESDAY: The Yankee by Jason Leivian & Ian MacEwan
THURSDAY: The Lone Wolf by Jennifer Parks, and Titan by Francois Vigneault
FRIDAY: It Will All Hurt by Farel Dalrymple

Additionally, Michael Deforge will be contributing complete short stories every 6 weeks or so, Zack Soto’s Secret Voice starts on February 3rd, and there are to-be-announced contributions coming from Malachi Ward, Tom Neely, and more!

The site already has several short stories available for your reading pleasure, including Tom Neely’s thimble theatrical “Doppleganger” and Malachi Ward’s mindbending “Utu,” as well as SG Founding Father Zack Soto’s mystery “Day 34” and art-school confessional “Lost Art.”


Study Group Magazine co-editors Milo George and Zack Soto will provide a variety of daily content on the blog, from image-tumbling, to link-blogging to criticism, with occasional guest posts from our site cartoonists.

If this is too much free entertainment for you to handle, may we recommend sir or madam visit our Publications page to puruse our wares, and perhaps then essay over to the Shop to purchase copies of your own. Especially as this is not a “goddamn library.”



Milo,  Zack & the Study Group crew

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