The Beat took pictures at CAB 2014! Some of them are Hipstamatic. Live with it. This was a good show, as usual. I came back with a bag full of books and immediately started reading them, one of the virtues of the home show. Although jam packed the show was surmountable, and I thought I would go once around the room and take photos of every one so I would have good file photos for when someone wins the Nobel Prize or marries Taylor Swift. This plan did not go as well as anticipated as you will see.

The cotillion for young cartoonists was arranged by experience. It takes a few years to get to tyro.

This book, The Jacket, by Kristen Hall and Dasha Tolstikova is lovely. Published by Enchanted Lion.
Enchanted Lion publisher Claudia Z. Bedrick on the right, I forgot the young fellow’s name alas.

That’s Laura Lannes on the left, cartoonist of the mini comic The Basil Plant which got a rave review on the Comics Journal the other day which had about 200 times more words than the comics. but sometimes that’s how it works. She’s good! On the right is…another cartoonist from the Paper Rocket studio whose hand cleverly covered his name badge. I’m really awful with names, people.
Fantagraphics publisher Gary Groth spring into action as Paul Karasik looks on and Olivier Schwauren sketches away. This show was action packed!

Secret Acres creators. One of them is Theo Elsworth. Help me out here, people!
Sophie Yanow and Sam Alden are shocked to see all the action at the show. These guys have moved beyond Tyro class even!
People looked at comics sometimes buying them.
I was trying out this new Hipstamatic filter I just bought. A little too blue?
The animated Leslie Stein.
John Pham was at the show! I didn’t even know he was going to be there!
The mad talented Lala Albert. Her new comic from Breakdown Press was a sellout.
Patrick Kyle, returned from his tour more or less intact.

Dean Haspiel and Z2 Publisher Josh Frankel.

Nick Bertozzi is chatting to SVA’s Keith Mayerson, I believe, That’s David Mazzucchelli in the hat but don’t worry you’ll get a better look at that later. Bertozzi has developed quite a varied shelf of books. I adore his latest one, Shackleton

Gregory Benton of Hang Dai and Target.

Jillian Tamaki, Keren Katz and Mazzucchelli. David and I embarrassed Jillian by telling her how amazing her work in This One Summer is, and then David explained how tiny gestures can changes every drawing. A collection of Jillian’s funny and painful SuperMutant Magic Academy is coming in the Spring from D&Q.

I know this isn’t a very good photo, but CAB is full of magical moments like Keren Katz yakking with Ben Katchor while James Romberger and Marguerite van Cook stand nearby.

I grabbed a bite with tireless Torsten Adair at this little sandwich shop called re.Union which was around the corner from the church. Their sandwiches were JAMMIN’ but everyone turned backlit. Scott Eder of the Scott Eder Gallery was at the next table and we passed a pleasant half hour or so talking about shows and art.

Here’s the Breakdown Press gang, which is, I believe Simon Hacking and Tom Oldham. Breakdown is a small English publisher and they’ve put out works by Cossé, Conor Willumsen, Connor Stechschulte, Lala Albert, Joe Kessler and Seiichi Hayashi. They are kind of killing it. Seriously, loved every book I got from them. They also filled me in on some of the background of the UK’s fast growing indie scene. (Thought Bubble is already on!) I pointed out that once the English think something is cool, American hipsters have to go along, so all our hopes rest on these guys. They also told me a possibly apocryphal story about a cartoonist who had spent the night on a park bench and still managed to make a mini comic in the process.

Karl Stevens! He’s backed by Sam Henderson.

Action Austin English! Those Domino Books people totally use a hurry up offense.

Of course an actual wedding was going on at the church. What would a comics show be without a wedding nearby?

Adrian Tomine. A new issue of OPtic Nerve is on tap for 2015 he told me.

Annie Koyama and Gary Groth exemplify the love that is CAB.

Flash Forward to Day 2! There was some confusion over people thinking that there would be books for sale on Sunday, but there weren’t Only panels. Here’s Paul Karasik talking to Art Spiegelman and Roz Chast. This was a blockbuster panel by any definition, and I love Paul Karasik, but I kind of wish more had been devoted to the two talking about their parents. I don’t mean to gripe. Karasik put together a marvelous slideshow of both their work and of course both Chast and Spiegelman were witty and wonderful.

Then Josh Bayer interviewed Raymond Pettibon, the famed punk artist. This was a priceless, you-had-to-be-there moment as Bayer would ask a question and Pettibon would go off on an amazing rant about something, every line quotable. (I put a few really goods ones on Twitter.) It was a pretty unstructured talk but Bayer knows Pettibon well and quickly rushed through a slideshow that included work by Harold Gray and Jack Kirby, both obvious influences. Petibon clearly has comics hopes and dreams (Caniff and Frank Robbins were also cited as influences.) but luckily came up at a time when someone of his talents could make a ton of money doing commercial art and selling paintings.

If I may shift into diary mode here for a moment (I wasn’t already?) I experienced one of those weird time circles. Back when I lived in LA I went to a blockbuster show at MOCA that included Robert Williams, Pettibon, and Manuel Ocampo among others. It was called Helter Skelter: LA Art in the 90s, and it was a pretty incredible show, I have to say. The work of Pettibon and Ocampo and Williams very clearly referenced comics imagery in a respectful way. This was long before comics were as accepted as they are now, but I saw clear flashes of it back then. A few months later I was at that cafe in Silverlake we all used to hang out at (Jeebus what was it called?) with Phil Yeh and Alfredo Alcala and Ocampo and his fellow Filipino art crowd, because it turned out Ocampo idolized Alcala and the other cartoonists. Anyway flash forward 24 years, and Bayer asked Pettibon if he liked the Filipino comics school, and he said “Yeah, Alcala and…” So, see, everyone knows every one!

I saw Robert Boyd at the show and he was taking notes at this presentation. I look forward to his notes on the event because he knows a lot more about art than I do.

For a finale, Pettibon did a live drawing based on a Jack Kirby drawing of Spider-Man. It was awesome. CAB was awesome.

You can see the finished drawing here. WARNING: NOT SAFE FOR WORK! REPEAT NOT SAFE FOR WORK!


  1. I was mostly writing down the same quotes you were. I gave them to Tom Spurgeon, so he may run something about it eventually! (p.s., Jim Shaw and Mike Kelley, who were also in that great Helter Skelter show, had big comics connections in their work as well. Kelley, who is widely considered one of the great contemporary artists of the past 20-odd years, created beautiful glass Kandors (see–some of his last work before he died. I once saw him at Comic-Con carrying a piece of artwork he had just won at the auction. I asked him what it was and he showed me–a Bill Woggin Katy Keene paper-doll page!)

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