I did 24 Hour Comics Day this year! Or half of it, at least. I sat down at Nuclear Comics intending to do only like a one-page garbage comic, but I ended up staying til midnight and made a five-page not-entirely-garbage comic. It's not done (I was only there for half the event after all), but here's the first half of "Sp00py Bois". Enjoy!
There’s an oil drill in my neighborhood. It’s been there for decades now, poorly hidden behind a vine-covered wall and some ugly topiary shrubs. In order to extract whatever oil remains these days, the drillsite owners have to pump a toxic cocktail of chemicals into a spiderweb of channels beneath my neighborhood--beneath homes, churches, and elementary schools. The chemicals find their way into the air and soil and water, and they make people sick. Nosebleeds or respiratory problems are common, and cancer and miscarriage rates are unusually high. Folks have banded together to protest this injustice, but response from the city has largely been indifferent. Progress is happening, but it’s been slow.
I seek refuge from this urban sprawl at the Natural History Museum’s Nature Garden, just down the street. When I’m there, it feels like I’ve stepped backwards in time.The garden is filled with endemic trees and plants and insects, the kind that were common in Los Angeles before we paved it over. I sometimes wonder about what will happen in the future once the drill site is gone. I imagine the vacant lot being rewilded with native plants, an act of penance of sorts for what happened there. That’s my hope, anyway.
This post originally appeared in the "My Piece of Earth" series in Paper Earth Project, an online publication about art and conservation. View the whole series at https://www.paperearth.org/
I tabled again at a zinefest, this time Inland Empire Zine Fest in Redlands. It was a pretty slow (and suprisingly rainy) day, but people did come through. Zinefests and other DIY spaces have always intrigued me more than Comic Con or other more traditional conventions. The stuff published there is always so unique and idiosyncratic--non sequitur photo books, pages out of a diary, queer subculture zines, etc. Each table is uniquely that person's life experience and interests made manifest. Sure, not everything is polished and accessible as your average comic book or graphic novel, but it feels real and tactile in a way that the slick, fandom-oriented tables at COmic Con doesn't.