Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Zine Fest Roundup

EDIT: I also have a guest comic up for Sauceome! I met Sarah Becan via twitter and am a big fan of her diary and food comics. Check out her work and the great lineup of guest comics she had starting last week!

(Here's a peek of the comic. See the whole thing here.)


I had a lot of fun at my first Pete's Mini Zine Fest on Saturday! Met lots of new zinesters, got reacquainted with contributors to the Zinester's Guide to NYC and met a bunch of cat and music enthusiasts.

Here are a couple sketches I did of the crowd and fellow exhibitors:

Pete's Candy Store has a great stage space.
Awesome stage

I was set up in the garden which was nice and shady within half an hour of our arrival.
(Photo courtesy of Andria Alefhi)

Ayun had an ingenious setup for her always hilarious and informative zine The East Village Inky.
Ayun Halliday of Zinesters Guide to NYC fame!

Ben bought some issues of Counter Attack and requested a cat sketch. He and his wife have two cats and a turtle and thanks to phone technology, I was able to see just how cute they are. He posted a better image of the sketch and a nice review over here. Thanks Ben!
I did a sketch of a cat and a coffee mug for Ben.

Friends Marc and Erica lived in the neighborhood and stopped by to say hi! It was great to see them. Hope you guys like your copy of Urban Nomad!
Erica and Marc stopped by!

Thanks to everyone who came out, especially Marsha and David (who I totally didn't get a photo of)!
Checking out some zines

And now for a NEWSFLASH!
1) My website which was down due to changing servers is mostly functional again. The page for my animation reel is still a bit wonky, but otherwise you should be able to see my work again via www.alisaharris.com It's been a while since I've changed my blog format, so I spruced that up too.

2) I've decided to post my journal comics from Allan and my trip to Europe last summer. I never quite finished chronicling the last few days of the trip due to work and other projects that took up my time over the year. I figure if I don't plan to post them now, I will never finish them. So check back here on Friday for the first of 17 days of travel journal comics!

3) Another long awaited project is finally at the point where it will be making a debut very soon! Hint: It's the namesake of my twitter account. I know a bunch of people have been super patient with my getting this webcomic off the ground. More about that next week!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A week of zine production

Here's a peek at my process for my new mini comic Rock On!

First, some back story. When I moved to NY, I didn't know a whole lot about music. My high school and early college taste included Nirvana, The Smashing Pumpkins, Weezer, and lots of classic rock like Led Zeppelin and The Rolling Stones.

My new circle of friends introduced me to the world of hardcore and post-punk which soon included going to live shows. In the late 90s, bands played almost every night in NYC and most shows were easily under 10 bucks. A few years after I discovered the scene a lot of the venues came under scrutiny. As new club laws passed and rents were raised, many of the bars closed or stopped hosting live shows.

I decided to record some of my memories in comic form and include each venues' address and years they were open for posterity. There is also a handy map on the back if you're so inclined to take a walking tour of NYC's musical past.

Research for this project was actually a lot more time intensive than I had anticipated. I had some blown out photos of shows and bands, but because this was the era before everyone had a phone or digital camera at their disposal there isn't much documentation online. A lot of the venues are barely mentioned aside from an article or two on their closings. I ended up digging through a box of memorabilia (or "junk" as others might call it) under my bed. I unearthed a copy of the Village Voice from September 2001 which is how I found out about weekly shows back in the day. Luckily my analog file helped me out here and I found all but one of the fonts I was looking for from this source.

Since this is the smallest I've ever worked, I wanted to make sure that my writing and images would be legible when they were minimized. I thumbnailed the comic on one sheet of paper just like I planned to print it.

I scanned it in and did a pass in photoshop with blacks so I could see where I wanted contrast. I also found some of the logos from the bands I was mentioning and pasted them onto the pshop document. I wanted to get a show flyer look, but much preferred to ink all the lettering by hand. This part took a long time. I've made a font from my handwriting that I tend to used for my diary comics, but I feel like lettering is something I wanted to work on more. And well, after the lettering took much longer than inking the art, I think I got that out of my system.

When I was happy with the basic layout, I made the thumbnails larger and printed them out. I did my tighter pencils and lettering on another sheet of printer paper. When everything was lined up how I wanted it, I penciled each page on a sheet of bristol board with the roughs on a lightbox. My final pages were pretty small, 5.5" x 8.5"

I inked each one with a brush, erased the pencil lines long after the ink dried to prevent smudging, and voila! It's ready to be scanned and re-formatted for print.

I did minimal photoshop cleanup on each page, re-sized them and laid them out in the same file as my inital thumbnails. I did a few test prints and needed to tweak the layout so everything lined up right when the zine was folded. I figured out the folding process by taking apart some minis I've gotten at cons and reconstructing them. I'm sure someone has written out far better instructions on how to fold and cut comics like this online.

This was my first foray into one sheet comics and it was fun. A little more time intensive than I anticipated, but I put in the hours of research and fixing layouts so that it would be something I was proud of, no matter how little it is. And it was only about a week of production time, not including a few hours of thumb-nailing and brainstorming on my commutes last month. Hope you enjoyed checking this out and are possibly excited to try making your own mini zine!

Rock On! will be available for the super low price of $1 at the 2nd Annual Pete's Mini Zine Fest this coming Saturday at Pete's Candy Store in Williamsburg, Brooklyn from 3pm-7pm. Live music, beer, zines, what more could you ask for? The fest will be indoor/outdoor so be aware the rain date is June 4th.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Self-portrait and a Zine Fest

Well the past two crazy months culminated in a pretty kick-ass pilot that no one will ever see, but will hopefully get green lit as a series and then I can be like "THAT was the thing I was working on!" I drew a rough sketch of how I saw myself pre and post-work that got a giggle out of Allan so I cleaned it up and colored it too. It was so nice to ink on paper again, even if I feel a bit rusty.

I'm pretty excited to be a part of the upcoming Pete's Mini Zine fest on Saturday May 28th! It will combine two of my favorite things: Comics and live music! I'm working on a topical new mini comic to debut at the fest. Check back next week for some more on that!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Hiking Wren

This was my contribution to a hobo bindle for my friend who is currently hiking the Appalachian Trail. If you like to travel vicariously, here is her blog!

Also, I'll be at Pete's Mini Zine Fest on Saturday May 28th from 3-7 pm at Pete's Candy Store in Brooklyn. Mark your calendars, come have a beer, listen to some live bands and buy some comics and zines!

Friday, May 06, 2011

Green riding hood on the 7 train

Whew, one more crazy work week and then hopefully back to drawing my own stuff for a bit. This is the last of the memory subway sketches I had stashed from the beginning of April. I just finished up the color tonight, though. Have a great weekend!