“I’m Going To Midtown!” – Midtown Comic Con at Black Lodge and “Memphis Quarantine” at Crosstown Arts

This weekend Nicki Workman and I headed over to midtown to do some running around and just get out of the house. It was just too pretty to stay indoors!

Our first stop Saturday was The Art Center over on Union Avenue. It’s been a while since I’ve been by the shop.

I had to check out their stock of Copic markers. I saw online that they had them, and I’m always looking for another source.

I was also happy to see they still sell sketchcard blanks and physical comic pages for creating comic books, manga, and comic strips…sweet!

I dropped off some swag for their customers, and I bought a few of their stickers and some other art supplies. (You can see more about my shopping experience here on my Lin Workman site.)

Our next stop was the MidTown Con at Black Lodge over on Cleveland. It’s was their inaugural mini-con.

When we first walked in it was obvious that many others had this event on their list of things to do on Saturday. The place was much bigger on the inside than I had expected, and definitely much more attended than I had expected as well.

The first folks we recognized were Gabriel DeRanzo and MSCA’s Greg Cravens with Stoned Ninja” comics.

Apparently due to hunger Greg got one of his prints confused with the Stoned Ninja gummies!

I also ran into fellow MSCA member Jason Negan. Due to work and the pandemic it’s been too long since we’ve talked in person.

I also got to run into some other local artists at the show, such as Devin Hodges/DIAST Cartoons and The Common Days of Cade comics.

Billups Allen and Cramhole zine.

And artist/cosplayer Nora Childers, who is part of the Indie Artists Market (just around the corner from Black Lodge). She’ll be a part of the 901 Heroes Fantasy Wars cosplay fashion show at Black Lodge on Sunday, April 24th from 5-10pm.

I saw a lot of toys, comics, art, apparel and more. They even had a concession stand- and restrooms which I really appreciated.

Nicki brought along her new mirrorless Sony to play with at the show. Thankfully she only wanted to shoot me with her camera, and not what she’s usually packin’ when we go around Memphis..!

We ran into local cosplayer supreme Kelldar

…as well as a couple other cosplayers like this Mando and Harley. We had to cut out just as their costume contest got underway.

More and more folks were arriving and we felt the need to create a bit of space for them. Really glad the MidTown Con was such a success. I don’t know if the vendors did well, but I did see a lot of folks buying and selling. Overall it seems like folks are ready to get back to attending conventions and events.

Since we had parked at the Crosstown Concourse and Nicki had her camera, we decided to visit it next. It’s on Cleveland just half a block up from Black Lodge. Again, the weather was extremely nice out so we enjoyed the short walk.

We grabbed a few drinks at Farm Burger and walked around the Concourse.

We enjoyed checking out all the artwork hanging around on the walls.

We headed up the stairs to walk around the Crosstown Arts section on the second floor.

We noticed that there was an photography exhibit going on. It was “Memphis Quarantine” by photographer Jamie Harmon, who photographed 800 plus dwellings and over two thousand people between March 13th and May 31st of 2020- averaging 13 photoshoots a day lasting between 15-30 minutes..! Each home/person/family received a private web link with edited images they could download and have at no charge. (You can read more about the photo shoot here.)

There were photos everywhere we looked- all around the foyer area and in the large galleries. Two things I didn’t realize until last night. One- the show ended the next day, Sunday April 10th (today). And two- Jamie was actually hanging out in one of the areas. Had no idea what he looked like, and he was talking with folks so we tried not to bother them. Wish I had known both then!

If you missed the show, check out the website where they are doing preorders for the Memphis Quarantine book at www.memphisquarantine.com ($70ea).

When we were at Farm Burger earlier I noticed the guy behind the register was wearing a Memphis Listening Lab tee on. I asked him what that was and he said it was upstairs.

Yep, it wasn’t here the last time I had stopped in at the Concourse. Here’s the scoop on MLL

Memphis Listening Lab is a curated collection of music and music history, a forum for music-related talks and performances, and a music education, appreciation, and experimentation space located in Crosstown Concourse. The MLL mission is to provide the community with opportunities to study, research, and enjoy popular music by way of a steadily expanding catalog of resources that represent the rich musical heritage of Memphis.
You can find out more about MLL here and buy some merch here.

We headed back downstairs to turn in Nicki’s photo pass. This was the first time I’d seen someone behind the boards at the radio station. Usually I’m there a bit later, and I’m not sure if they were in the studio during the pandemic or not.

After we left Crosstown, we headed over to The Cellar in Bartlett, and then over to Comics & Collectibles off Poplar. It’s been about a month since we’d been to either shop.

I’ve got sketchcovers and sketchcards for sale at The Cellar – each hand drawn and done in markers. MSCA member Lonnie Easterling has some sketchcovers for sale there, and I noticed another artist had added their sketchcards as well.

I saw some copies of The Dragon Templar by Brad Starnes and MSCA’s Dale Martin, sitting next to a Fathom comic with a Skoot Starnes cover, and just above some of our MSCA The Good, The Bad, and the Sketchy zine on the shelf at The Cellar. Later at Comics & Collectibles we saw copies of Jetta: Tales of the Toshigawa by Martheus Antone Wade, Janet Wade, and Kevin L. Williams .

If you need acrylic stands for your collectibles be sure to check out Charles Ettinger‘s at The Cellar, or on his Etsy shop- www.etsy.com/shop/LaserheadStudios.

You can always find freebie MSCA and Drawing Funny podcast swag at Comics & Collectibles, The Cellar, and 901 Comics in the Copper/Young neighborhood.

Hope you’ve all had a great weekend. If you were set up at the MidTown Con I hope it was a success for ya!

Lin

 

Black Lodge Video
405 N Cleveland St.
Memphis, TN 38104
(901) 424-1514
blacklodgememphis.com

 

Crosstown Arts
Crosstown Concourse
1350 Concourse Ave #280
Memphis, TN 38104
crosstownarts.org

The Art Center
1636 Union Ave.
Memphis, TN 38104
(901) 276-6321
The Cellar: Tabletop Games & Comics
2737 Bartlett Blvd
Bartlett, TN 38134
(901) 382-8623

901 Comics (Cooper/Young)
2162 Young Avenue
Memphis, TN 38104
(901) 421-8819
901-comics.business.site

Comics & Collectibles
4730 POPLAR AVENUE #2
MEMPHIS, TN 38117
901-683-7171
memphiscomics.com

“Is this thing on..?” New MSCA ‘Drawing Funny’ Podcast Is Live And New ‘Magic’ Zine Is In Stores

Hey, gang- as of this month I am a podperson again!

It took a little doing, but the new MSCA podcast Drawing Funny is now available online and I’ve got 3 (and a half) episodes in the can.

Episode 0 is the pilot/introductory episode, Episode 1 was our last meeting Zoom call…

Episode 2 was an interview with the MSCA President, Kevin L. Williams, and Episode 3 was with local Memphis comic creator Matt Bowers.

I’ll be recording more episodes soon. As soon as it is safe enough for us to get together again in person I’ll be taking the show on the road to our dinner meet-ups, to comics shops, conventions, and other events to record.

Please be sure to “like” and subscribe to this podcast on iTunesSpotifyBreakerGoogle PodcastsRadio PublicPocket Casts, and other places you can get podcasts.

You can also follow this show or contact us on social media:

Twitter- @drawingfunny1
Instagram- @drawingfunnypod

I’ll be recording our next monthly Zoom meeting, which is next Tuesday, November 3rd.  If you’d like to attend the virtual MSCA meeting please contact Kevin– midsouthcartoonists (at) gmail (dot) com, and be sure to put “zoom invite request” in the subject line.

Lots to discuss this month, including the latest issues of the MSCA Zine. Issue #3 “Magic” is in stores now, and #4 “Animals” (with a Jim Palmer cover) will be out in mid-November. Copies of issue #1 “Horror” and #2 “Space” are still available at Comics & Collectibles, The Cellar, and 901 Comics. Deadline for entries for the “Winter/Holiday” #5 issue is coming up soon, so be sure to get your art sent over to our editors Dale Martin and Jason Negan.

Speaking of 901 Comics, you can pick up Matt Bowers’ Memphis comic there. Issues #1 & #2 are available for sale there now. He had a singing at the shop last weekend. Matt was also featured in the October 22, 2020 issue of the Memphis Flyer.

Matt Bowers’ Memphis: Superheroes in the Bluff City
It’s Here: Matt Bowers Signs Copies of Memphis No. 2

BTW- if you missed the last MSCA Zoom Meeting, you can listen to it on DrawingFunny.com (Ep1 – “Calling All Cartoonists”)and hear some MSCA history by the man responsible for us all being drawn together- founding member Jack Cassady. I’m hoping to edit some of the video together to use for our new YouTube channel Kevin is putting together. We will be uploading some drawing/painting videos to it soon. Would love to see some of your work on there, as well as in the MSCA website’s Members Gallery I’m currently curating, too.

Kevin and Muley have been very active over on YouTube with their “Muley Reads” videos, where just like the title suggests, Muley reads some fun, entertaining, and educational books. Fond out more info over at MuleyTheMule.com.

 

Stay tooned!

Lin

Our 2nd Zoom Meeting Was Out Of This World!

We had our second MSCA virtual dinner meeting on Zoom Tuesday night.

Thanks to Kevin “Nuggethead” Thorn for setting it up for us. He couldn’t stay for the meeting, but turned over the reigns to me (Lin) to let in folks who wanted to join in on the call.

We had a special VIP guest show up for the meeting- MSCA founding member Jack Cassady stopped by to catch up with us.

We got up close and personal with Jack for a minute or so, but as soon as he and Kevin Williams got their web cameras situated we got to talkin’ toons. We talked a lot about how the MSCA came into being, the first meeting, Jack’s other group he started in Florida, his teaching job, the NCS, and him repeatedly jumping out of perfectly good airplanes- over 1000 times…!

We also had a special appearance by Jason Negen’s new puppy! My wife Nicki and Jim Palmer’s wife JoLynn also popped in to say hi. Nicki even brought me chicken wings to eat.

Kevin Williams and Antonio Johnson had cooler backgrounds and spfx than the rest of us.

We spent several minutes at the beginning of the meeting just laughing at Kevin in outer space and the digital pizza party hat or sunglasses he was wearing.

Towards the end of the call Greg Cravens was able to join us for a bit. He was working late on a project and had finished just in time to join in on some of the virtual fun. Was glad to have Cravens join us and get a chance to speak to Jack.

It did feel weird that when we got done with the meeting we couldn’t walk outside Garibaldi’s Pizza and talk for another couple hours like we normally do when we meet in person.

We’re planning on making this a monthly event on the first Tuesday of each month until we can safely meet up in person again. If you’d like to be a part of it shoot Kevin Williams an email for an invite- midsouthcartoonist (at) gmail (dot) com. Just put “MSCA Zoom” in the subject line.