MIST0720 infofile by Cthulu
MIST0720 infofile by Cthulu
Ever the contrarians, we went our own way back in the Mist Classic days.
Besides, how do you adapt comics to lit and tracker music? Even when we
did adapt comic book art, youd get lovingly rendered portraits of WTF
characters such as... Malibus Lord Pumpkin. Its a little weird considering
that we were just as comics-mad as the rest of the underground artscene --
while Eerie was drawing episodes of the adventures of Noise and Inspector
Dangerfuck, Lord Jazz was launching his original comics hero, Dive, in
RIPscrip screens, and Pinguino was running an entire small press empire
through Penguin Palace publishing... we were pushing hard for Dream Factory
Comics to go to print which it finally did, to the tune of a single issue on
the very cheapest paper stock money can buy. Sure, I was an emo poet, but
before that, I was a comics nerd:
1983. Before I was even in school, I had a set of Peanuts hardcovers in a
little bookcase right next to where I lay my head to sleep. My parents
reported theyd regularly check in to find me passed out among a half-dozen
different volumes strewn among my blankets and pillows. At some point I began
collecting and saving the Sunday Funnies collections included in our
newspaper subscription, stockpiling mild larfs by the pound for a rainy day.
1986. Two friends of my parents, grown men with a childs hobby,
inadvertently introduced me to comics outside the funny papers, one an
editorial cartoonist with bookcases groaning with collections of The Classics
for reference and inspiration - Thimble Theatre, Prince Valiant, etc. The
other was a lawyer who introduced me to his Tintin and Asterix albums but he
explained to my parents not to expect too much since I wasnt reading them in
the original French, then turned me loose on his basement long boxes of
pre-Crisis DC comics in the basement, piles of Dial H for Hero and zany
pre-continuity Superman one-offs I cant stop eating hamburgers! Action
Comics 454. I was changed forever when he sent me home with a little copy
of The Best of DC digest 61, including Alan Moores first flex on Swamp Thing
with The Anatomy Lesson. I was only seven years old, so it was a little
heady for me, but ... highly memorable!
1988. By grade four I was in a new school with a new best friend -- one with
a monthly subscription to The Avengers. I had a passing familiarity with the
origin tales of Marvels Silver Age heroes, but a lot of water had gone under
the bridge between then and the late 80s. They werent quite my speed, but
I developed quite a fondness for the neither-here-nor-there misfit team of
Great Lakes Avengers which probably tells you a lot about the origins of the
Mistigris underdog complex!, who went on to bigger things with Thunderbolts
and of course launched Squirrel Girl.
1990. A couple of years later were both sharing our recess breaks with a
scruffy tabletop gamer who designs his own games indeed, researching this
pack I was delighted to discover hes still at it! and makes his own
comics. All of us are inspired by his complete set of the Official Handbook
of the Marvel Universe and the heavy business going down at that moment in
Claremonts X-Tinction Agenda Im inspired by his comics to make my own an
8-issue run -- lost -- of my satirical canine antihero SuperMutt, now in turn
inspiring my daughters Captain Kitty comics, while were all it turns
out huddling in the footsteps of his father, 60s comix artist George
Metzger -- part of the original underground artscene!
1993. Hang on now, our stories finally converge once I get online! Who are
all these grimacing noseless characters advertising the pirate BBSes? And
this guy refuses to draw feet! Liked their work in X-Tinction Agenda, but
theyre clearly destined for obscurity. A pity our small town local boy Todd
McFarlane gave up a good regular gig for this flash in the pan! My artscene
colleague Nitnatsnoc gives me a crash course in new trends in comics,
expanding my conception of what is possible in the medium again by hitting me
simultaneously with Alex Ross Kingdom Come, Mike Allreds Madman and Ian
Boothbys small press 86d. Nits sister, spacecoyotl, studies his discards
even more keenly, and is now a comics professional, making her splash with
Saturnalia and Yokaiden, since coming full circle working with Ian on Bongo
comics and Sparks!
1997. He introduces me to a girl I fall desperately for, who leaves me an
opening to flirt with her in the form of a collaborative comic, confusingly
included years later in our MIST2000 artpack collection. Not only cant I
draw, generally, but for years around this point I suffer from debilitating
focal muscle tremors in my hand -- so how do you impress someone with your
comics prowess when you cant even write your name? I do my best to
improvise step 1, go to photo booth, step 2, add word bubbles. Voila,
instant fumetti! and outsource its production, keeping our love child on
live support for *years*, but alas the courtship is never consummated. It
leaves some great art in its wake, however!
2000. I meet one of my small press indie comix heroes knocking at my front
door, dropping off merchandise for my Mist alum roommates zine distribution
service with a logo designed by another Mist alum! Saving up my pennies
for big-ticket items like the wont-fit-on-the-shelf oddly-shaped copies of
Chris Wares Acme Novelty Library about which another modemer roommate, now
ex-Google, says I dont get it, you spend your money on these depressing
comics... Save your money, Ill make you feel bad for much cheaper!, I get
my comics fill buying cheap random grab-bags of dead stock from the local
comics shop, giving me some excellent insight into what there was to be found
in the comics that no one wanted to buy: apparently a whole lot of Dark Horse
crossovers with movie monsters.
2007. My unemployed self cant keep up during the graphic novel boom, but
fortunately my local library picks up the slack at this point. On one
occasion I go directly from the library to sound check a gig happening that
night, forgetting my backpack at the bar after we finish playing at 3 am, and
by the next morning everything has up and walked away, leaving me with a 150
library fine. On the bright side, it saved me the shelf space!
2012. With a kid on the way Im ironically charged with getting room of my
childish things but you dont understand, our child will also enjoy childish
things..., so I squeeze the last drop of enjoyment out of my musty newsprint
by filtering its dregs at videogamecomicads.blogspot.com for a time. OK,
comics took me on a good 35 year ride, arent you glad you asked for my
credentials? ... What?? No one asked? It was a thousand words, so a
skilled artist might have summed it up in a single picture. This was the
kind of material editors hide in small boxes reading * IN LAST ISH -- Ed. Ah
well, Im sure you all had similar but different stories. The point is, even
though I never circulated pictures I drew of Spawn, nevertheless comics cast
a large shadow over most of my life, also!
Which brings us to the present. Since we started releasing themed artpacks
back in 1017, we always intended to have a comics-themed collection... its
just that the other mass media formats of film, television and music kept
accumulating fanart at a quicker pace, and our hands were tied -- whichever
one was closest to popping needed to go to the front of the line! But
comics have been waiting very patiently in the eaves for a very long time,
and theyre going to get their turn done right. If you didnt get the
memo... here it is, this is our comics-themed artpack, covering comic books,
comic strips, comix, webcomics, manga, etc. Its not just sprawling personal
essays, thats only the infofile. Hey, Im simply tapping into the
autobiographical tradition of Seth and American Splendors Harvey Pekar!
So here we are, over a hundred lines of text in. Is there any, you know,
info about Mist in the infofile? Why, sure. This, uhh, issue contains the
origin story for Elizabeth Alfaro, who has never been seen in an artpack
before and, to be fair, very likely never will be seen there again. Rare
collectable issue, exclusive appearance! Hologram foil cover! This packs
theme led to a collaborative project brewing of which Blippypixels perhaps
head-scratching series of teletext screens is just the tip of the iceberg --
we look forward to completing it on its own time and presenting it in a future
artpack, at which point this vague sentence will resolve as a little less
The big story is that artists who really vibe on this comics theme really
had a chance to open up in this months collection, as with our Lego mosaic
specialists FarrellLego and LegoColin, while Rapid99 formerly miscredited
as The New Hotness, which as it turns out is just the name of his GameFAQs
ASCII art blog cleans up with two fists full of work engaging a subject that
very nearly wound up in last months unthemed collection: Homestuck -- its
not a movie, its not a TV show, its not a video game, its... well OK, I
suppose it is a webcomic. Hes also a manga fan, so you get a double dose of
his double dose.
The well-nigh unprecedented development this month is that Cthulu got tired
of waiting for his regular artists from the active end of Mists stable the
other end is an industrial park where slush is sourced, artisanally scraped
and fermented in aged oak barrels to come up with thematically appropriate
work for this artpack, locked himself in a Moebius server and emerged a week
later with a pile of ANSI art traces. I would say that this eventuality was
as likely as Bruce Wayne marrying Lois Lane, but I just looked it up and that
took place in 1969s issue 89 of Supermans Girlfriend Lois Lane 60s DC,
man!, so perhaps a less comics-apropos metaphor would be when Hell freezes
over. Nothing is truly impossible: I genuinely expected I would never live
to see the final, plot-thread-resolving issue of Scud the Disposable
Assassin! Anyway, Cthulu did not pull it off alone. You can see for
yourself: his solo pieces are outlines with flat colour fill, there are a
couple more gently seasoned by The Odd Fire Cat, and the bulk of the
worthwhile ANSI work here this month has been a heroic effort by LDA to
salvage Cthulus WIPs, including a complete suite of infofile art and DIZ
iconography. So sure, give Cthulu credit for venturing out to the deep end,
but MVP goes to LDA for his work tossing out the ring buoy every time the old
man went under the waves for the count of ten.
As with Blippypixel before her who had enough creations coming through the
pipeline that no one had a chance to notice his absence Picrotoxin -- no
stranger to worthwhile comics -- was also laid low this past month by
Covid-19. Shes back in effect, but came up short against our deadline...
but with her previous contributions of screens from Daniel Clowes Ghost
World and Robert Crumbs Fritz the Cat, its almost like this pack has just
been catching up to her!
Next month well be serving up the nature artpack that seemed inevitable in
June -- featuring flora, fauna, landscapes, weather, natural phenomena
animal, vegetable and mineral, and spectacular outdoor vistas and
activities! Beyond that, well, theres been discussion of trying to wrap up
the record-setting Mistigris monthly artpack, themed artpack and slushpile
experiments by the start of next year, which means we probably have at least
one more artpack each on themes of TV, movies and music coming up over the
next six months, so submit em if you got em, then we can look forward to
more leisurely-paced collections of fresh art and side projects populated by
active contributors. Thats the thinking, at least -- a lot can change in
six months. Damn, remember six months ago? That was a different world!
Cthulu then prepared a long list of acclaimed and eminently worthwhile indie
and small press comics that no one has ever even attempted to adapt into ANSI
art and was prepared to scold you all about neglecting them, but lets face
it, none of you are going to let him tell you what to draw and this
newsletter is long enough as it is. Nuff said!
Greets to the Vancouver Comics Jam and our local Cloudscape Comics
collective, and to Gary Larson who, like Horsenburger, just recently picked
up drawing again after a quarter-century break after discovering just how
easy tablets made it! Excelsior!