I’ve had a busy fall, as noted. Here are some of the things I’m working on.
Holiday Shows: Most artists here do at least one holiday show because they sell. Small works go well during the holidays, and $2-300 extra cash during the season is never unwelcome. Small, interesting galleries also depend on this yearly cash infusion. I’m in two:
Open Press, 40 S. Bayaud Ave, Denver. Opens Friday, November 20, 6-9 PM. I have several framed and unframed pieces there, and there are a number of other good artists in the show, some of whom are present and former students of OP proprietor Mark Lunning, and coincidentally, myself. I’ll be there for part of the evening.
G44 Gallery, 1785 S. 8th St, Colorado Springs. Opens Friday November 20, 5:30-8:30 PM. A small gallery in the Broadmoor Hotel area that has really made an impact in the Springs’ reviving contemporary art scene. I’ve recently brought down several new framed and unframed works for this show.
I’m also in a non-holiday themed show at the Arts Students League, 200 S. Grant, Denver. Opens November 20, 5:30-8:30 PM. “From Process to Print” Shows both a finished print and the plate or material associated with its production, and features ASLD faculty members and students. I’ll be here too, in the earlier part of the evening, chatting with several of the students from my “Monotypes for Advanced Beginners” workshop just completed, who are also in the show. I’m showing one of my recent drypoint etchings with the plate. If you’d like to track my shows or whereabouts on this or any other night, you can follow me on Twitter @Hggns.
I have one more free Denver Public Library workshop (click “Workshops”, above), and the registration for a whole host of Spring workshops, including the second session of Monotypes for Advanced Beginners, designed to provide a studio-type atmosphere for those who would like to build a portfolio or resume, is now available online or at the ASLD office. The ASLD has a discount offer running if you register before the New Year.
I’ve mentioned the temp jobs I take to catch up on bills and debt. The latest one is a bit different- I’m executing fantasy murals and wall decoration for Lonnie Hanzon, the artist designing the interior of the new Wizard’s Chest toy and magic store on Broadway, in the Baker area. It’s pretty fun. I’m taking a lot of pictures and I’ll assemble an album at some point, but if you want to see what’s going on right now, you can follow me on Instagram @JoeHigginsMonotypes.
And sometime in the spring, I’ll be doing a public talk about a recent graphic novel. I just found out about it, and I’ll post more details soon. I’ve been writing a lot about comics lately- by design- so I’m sure I’ll have a lot to say.
Fall of the House of West, Paul Pope: This is the second part of two. I also read The Rise of Aurora West last month. These are spinoffs, with Pope as cowriter and Spanish cartoonist David Rubin as illustrator, of Pope’s Battling Boy GN from 2013. It’s more of a Young Adult type of effort, or has at least been received that way by libraries and reviews. But it’s fast paced and compelling, despite being a prequel to Battling Boy, and thus involving characters already known to be dead. Pope has a gift for simple youth-versus-monster story lines, and Rubin evokes Pope’s iconic loose, gestural ink style without overtly copying it.
Ant Colony, Michael Deforge: Surreal, horrifying and engagingly cute all at once, this is the story of two ants’ turbulently transforming lives after their colony goes to war. Deforge’s schematic scribblings and acidic bubblegum colors create a landscape both alien and seductive in which his characters act out eternal dichotomies of love and fear, searching and aggression.
Stroppy, Marc Bell: Melding the classic comics sensibilities of E.C. Segar (Popeye), and Milt Gross ( He Done Her Wrong), with the underground sensibilities of Jay Lynch (Snappy Sammy Smoot) and R. Crumb, (Mr. Natural) and never forgetting the dystopian slapstick of punk comics genius Gary Panter (Jimbo), Marc Bell weaves a nevertheless very original tale of futuristic tribalism. The Candide-like Stroppy suffers job loss, beatings and indignities as the innocent victim of rival factions’ power struggles. It all ends happily, with Stroppy, now homeless, back to his soul-destroyingly boring and insecure job.
I’ve got a couple of longer, pop culture posts I’m working on, so I should be posting fairly regularly during the holidays. One will be on books and reading, another on a favorite song from my youth. So check back.