“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

“Bluff City Life” Interview And Clip Studio Tutorial With “Bluff City Blues” Novic Creator At MSCA Dinner Meeting

On March 29th MSCA president Kevin L. Williams was interviewed by host Andy Mannis for “Bluff City Life”, which aired on WMC TV5 here in Memphis. Kev and Andy discussed the MSCA and our 35th anniversary this year (March 28, 1987).

If you missed the MSCA segment when it played you can now check it out online here.

On Tuesday, April 5th, we got back together for our MSCA monthly dinner meeting at Garibaldi’s Pizza. This was our second meet-up back at Garibaldi’s since we had to stop due to the pandemic back in March 2020.

We had another great turnout- not only some of our usual suspects, but folks we haven’t seen for a while like brothers Marvin and Spencer Cheveallier, former MSCA prez Charles Ettinger, and a new face- Courtney Dunn, from the Brooks Museum Of Art who heard about us from one of the postcards we recently sent out. She brought a few of her sketchbooks to show- which were great. Always love to see other artists’ sketchbooks.

I had Dale Martin sign my copy of “The Dragon Templar” comic. I picked up a copy of the first issue at The Cellar. He and writer Brad Starnes are working on the second issue now.

We had fun hanging out, talking toons, and eating pizza and pasta. Lots of catching up to do as always, sketchbooks to be looked at, drawings to be done, and more freebie swag to be had.

Towards the end of this meeting, member Antonio Johnson brought along his laptop, tablet, and extra monitor to do a tutorial on the art program Clip Studio Paint.

He showed us the basics that can be done, and took lots of questions from the group. A few members use the program and added some of their expertise to the conversation.

A few months back Charles had shown us a bit of how he used the program while on one of our Zoom meetings. He was working on the Memphis issue of our MSCA Zine. I was impressed with the what could be done with it in just those few minutes.

After last night I’m amazed to find out more about what else it can do and support, and for a very reasonable price. I really hadn’t thought about getting a new graphics program (I use Corel Draw and Photoshop), but am really tempted to get it and a new tablet for my new laptop. The question is, since I draw outside the computer left handed, and draw inside the computer right handed, do I just stick with the way things are, learn it left-handed since I’ve got to learn to use the program, or try to get comfortable with either hand- just in case..?

You can check out Antonio’s art at www.adjdesign.com, as well as purchase some of his and wife Tamika’s books, merch and apparel in their shop here.

Since the restaurant closes a bit earlier these days we didn’t have a long time to really get into what all the program can do, but it was a fun introduction to it for many of us. Thanks to Antonio for teasing us with Clip Studio Paint. I hope we can have more demonstrations at future meetings. If anyone would like to lead one, please give Kevin a yell so we can schedule it.

Also looking for guests to talk toons on our Drawing Funny podcast. I can either do a Zoom call or meet in person if needed. Just shoot me an email at podcasy(at)drawingfunny(dot)com and we’ll schedule it. I’d also be happy to interview anyone at our meetings or other events.

I’m glad we were able to have monthly Zoom meetings during the pandemic, but man it’s great to be meeting back in person again.

Don’t forget that MidTownCon is this Saturday from 10-4pm at Black Lodge Video here in Memphis. More and more cons and events are starting up again.

Also, mark your calendars- Free Comic Book Day (FCBD) 2022 is set to be celebrated on Saturday, May 7 at local comic shops across the country and around the world! Check with your local comic shop to see ig/how they are participating, and if there are any requirements/restrictions.

Oh, and Dale Martin has his first show of the year he’s participating in- the Annesdale Snowden Neighborhood Art Walk in Memphis. Dale does a lot of art shows and festivals around the mid-south, so keep an eye out for him and his work.

Stay “tooned” for more MSCA anniversary updates and member news. Hope you all are doing well and drawing funny!

Lin

MSCA Monthly Dinner Meeting This Tuesday- No Foolin’, fools!

Hey, gang- no April Fools jibber-jabber today. Just a couple MSCA bits of info for you-including the next monthly meeting this Tuesday.

Yep, it’s hard to believe it’s time for another MSCA dinner meet-up at Garibaldi’s Pizza off Walker Ave. and Highland (across from Tiger Bookstore).

It’s been a month since our first time back at Garibaldi’s after a two year pandemic forced hiatus. Yeah, hard to believe it was two years without any in-person get-togethers here.

We had about a dozen members stop in, and as you can tell everyone was super excited to be back together in the same room again..!

We all enjoyed some good grub, great conversation, and traded/snagged some cartoonist freebies. I brought some MSCA and Drawing Funny podcast swag (pins, buttons, stickers, sketchcard blanks), Kevin Williams brought some MSCA postcards, Greg Cravens had some of his stickers, and Lonnie Eastering had some of his Spud Toons stickers. (If you’d like any MSCA and/or Drawing Funny freebie swag be sure to stop by Comics & Collectibles, The Cellar, and 901 Comics around town,)

This month marked the 35th anniversary since the first Memphis Cartoonists Group meeting- March 28, 1987.

The name has changed since that first meeting and so has our roster of usual suspects, but we still have some members from those early days and are always looking to have more folks join our ranks. Young or old, experienced or just starting out, published or just draw for fun- everyone is welcome to come out and talk toons with us.

This last Tuesday, March 29th- the day after our official anniversary, MSCA president Kevin L. Williams appeared on WMC TV5’s “Bluff City Life” to talk about our group’s history with host Andy Mannis.

During the MSCA segment some pics of the group (including a shot from out most recent March dinner meeting) and some member’s art was shown including some from our recent art show at Germantown Community Theatre.

There we a couple of minor technical issues, but Kev did great a great job promoting the association and getting the word out to the mid-south. If you missed Kev’s TV appearance, the episode should be available to watch on their website anytime now.

Hope you can all make it out to meet up with us this Tuesday, April 5th from 7-9pm at the U of M Garibaldi’s Pizza. Bring whatever art you’ve been working on, favorite art book/comic or recent art tool purchase to show, or some promo swag to hand out. Also, feel free to bring a friend or family member, and be sure to bring a few bucks to order off the menu. You and your stomach will be glad you did!

I’m hoping to actually sit down and do a bit of recording for the Drawing Funny podcast during the meeting, so if you’d like to be on the show please let me know.

I pity the fools that miss this next MSCA dinner meet-up!

Lin

MSCA Meeting And Local Event News- All On The Latest “Drawing Funny” Podcast Episode

Hey, gang- sorry it’s been so long since my last MSCA post. I honestly just haven’t had time for that- but to make up for it here’s a whole bunch of stuff for you in this website update!

BIG NEWS– after meeting virtually on Zoom for the last two years due to the pandemic, we were happy to return to in-person meetings at Garibaldi’s Pizza this month…and we’ll be back on the first Tuesday in April! We had a great turn out- about a dozen members or so.

Zoom meetings were great and essential to keeping in touch, but it was awesome to see and talk to everyone in person and not through a computer screen…and eating some pizza!

A new Drawing Funny podcast episode is also up. In this solo episode I have some MSCA member news, updates on upcoming conventions and events, as well as info on our president Kevin L. Williams being interviewed recently about the Mid-South Cartoonists Association‘s 35th anniversary for WMC TV5’s “Bluff City Life“. The show airs at noon on Tuesday 3/29!

Coming up this weekend – MidSouthCon.

Featured MSC guest is writer John Jackson Miller – that’s JJM holding the book.

Also coming up- Midtown Con, April 9th- Black Lodge Video, Memphis.

Metropolis Superman Celebration – June 9-12, 2022. Guests announced so far include SMALLVILLE’s Michael Rosenbaum and Tom Welling, as well as George Newbern- the voice of JL/JLU Superman.

MCX2022 poster art by Sam Payne.

Guest announcements have begun…such as Mark Waid, Ron Marz, Cullen Bunn, Sam De La Rosa, and “The Crow” creator James O’Barr! Go to www.memphiscomicexpo.com for more info.

In this podcast episode I also discuss some I CREATE COMIC BOOKS Facebook group threads and share my opinions on impostor syndrome, social/anti-social media, being social in person, making time for positive activities, and editing out toxic people and situations that are in our lives. These days I’ve learned to love “unfriend”, “block”, and “delete” when necessary..!

BTW- some of the member news I discuss is the first issue of “The Dragon Templar” being spotted out in the wild at The Cellar. Art by Dale Martin and story by Brad Starnes. Brad’s brother Skoot Starnes did that cover of “Fathom” sitting next to it.

And I give you a Mr. Pototo Head’s up on Lonnie Easterling’s new “Spud Toons” website- www.spudtoons.com.

I know that’s a lot happening, but hopefully you’ve got time to check out some or all of the above and/or give the podcast a listen..!

Lin

 

New Drawing Funny Episode- “Play It Forward”

New Drawing Funny” podcast episode is available to listen to.

 

This episode is about “paying it forward” and some of the posts I recently ran across in the “I CREATE COMIC BOOKS” Facebook group and my responses to them. I’ve gotten a lot of help from others over the years, and I hope that this podcast helps anyone wanting to learn more about creating comics, and the business of promoting them. I mention some of the folks who helped me out along my art journey and touch on some of my art-anxiety, drawing-depression, professional-jealousy, and impostor-syndrome experiences.

I also talk a bit about what I’ve been up to art-wise, mostly drawing horror hosts/hostesses sketchcards for RRParks Cards, and give some advice on working with markers.

One of my official artist returns for this “Halloween Trick Or Treat” card set is this one of local Memphis horror host SIVAD..!

My sketchcards and sketchcovers (along with two by Lonnie Easterling) are available for sale at The Cellar. The sale of these helps to support mine and Nicki’s comics habit.

My 2 sided sketchcovers- $75ea
My official artist return sketchcards- $100ea
My personal sketchcards- $25ea

The Cellar: Tabletop Games & Comics
2737 Bartlett Blvd
Bartlett, TN 38134
(901) 382-8623
ComicCellarOnline.com

BTW: If you’d like to be a part of the show or have your comics project, event, or podcast featured on a future episode please give me a yell. You can contact me at: podcast(at)drawingfunny(dot)com.

Before I go, I want to mention again that we’ve got the 35th anniversary of the MSCA coming up in 2022. (That’s the original flyer for the first meet-up in 1987!). If you have any ideas about ways we can celebrate this MSCA milestone be sure to shoot me or Kevin an email at midsouthcartoonists@gmail.com or bring it up at our next monthly Zoom meeting. Due to current circumstances we are not holding any of our normal in person events such as our first Tuesday monthly drawing nights and dinners, but are doing them virtually. We had a decent turnout for this month’s meeting, and our next one will be October 5th at 7pm. Contact Kevin if you’d like to be added to our mailing list to receive the Zoom meeting invite links.

Hope you enjoy this latest Drawing Funny episode. Stay safe, stay sketchy, stay tooned- and please share with others..!

Lin (and Lena)

Back To Virtual Until 2022

Hey, gang-

I have a quick few bits of MSCA news for you. First up is some meeting updates from our Prez Kevin L. Williams

Hi, all-

With the latest details on Covid-19/Delta Variant from the Shelby County Health Department, I am going to cancel further in-person gatherings until January 2022. We will still gather digitally (via Z00m).

I look forward to seeing you all in a week at the zoom meeting!!  Have a great week, keep well, and keep safe

Sling that ink!
Push those pencils!
Craft those words!
Doodle those digitals!

Your Prez,
Kev

For the link to join in on the Zoom meeting or to join our mailing list contact Kevin at midsouthcartoonists (at) gmail (dot) com.

Hopefully if all goes well between now and the end of the year we will be back in person in the big room at Garibaldi’s Pizza near the U of M on the first Tuesday of January, 2022.

Here is some MSCA member news…

Member Jim Palmer let us know that he’s acting in “The Secret Garden” starting this month at Theatre Memphis. We all know it’s no secret that Jim and his wife JoLynn are terrific thespians!

Jim says, “I play the “crusty ol’ gardener” BEN WEATHERSTAFF, (a nice, but small role).  Of course, ALL this could change due to Covid, but, for now, this is the plan.”

The Secret Garden                

Next Stage

Based on the novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Adapted and Directed by Jason Spitzer

Touching and Sentimental. Foul-tempered, young Mary Lennox is an orphan sent from India to live in her distant family’s gloomy mansion on the desolate English moor. Once there, she discovers a sickly cousin who has never seen the light of day, a magical boy who can talk to the animals, a mysterious uncle haunted by the memory of his dead wife, and a long forgotten, secret garden hidden behind a locked door. This new adaptation of a timeless classic will open the door to the innermost places of your heart.

THE SECRET GARDEN is scheduled to open Fri. September 24 at THEATRE MEMPHIS, & continue Sept. 25, 26, 29, 30, Oct. 1,2,3,6,7,8,9,&10.  All evening performances will now begin at 7:30pm & Sunday afternoon shows at 2:00pm.

For information contact Box-office at 901•682•8323 or email theatrememphis.org .

The MSCA would like to welcome cartoonist Tim Jones to our group!

Tim is a self-syndicated comic strip artist from Rhode Island where he lives with his wife and two daughters. Cartooning for over 20 years, he created his comic strip, Sour Grapes, in 2013, which is currently published in multiple newspapers throughout Rhode Island, Southern Massachusetts, California and Texas. Tim is a member of ARIA (Association of Rhode Island Authors) and a member of The National Cartoonists Society.

You can read his comic at sourgrapescomic.com and follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

I (Lin) got laid off this summer from my printing day job. Since most of what we printed was event and school related orders, COVID had caused printing orders to slow to a trickle. I was able to pick up a part time job working at Area 51 Ice Cream a couple weeks ago. The new/larger location is still on Commerce Street in Hernando, MS. It’s within walking distance of our house, so I don’t have to risk my life driving on I-55 and 240 every day- well, unless they need me to fill in any at their Crosstown Concourse location! I’m also working on some new tee designs for them and will post those later.

Nicki and I have known the Cubbage family who run A51 for years now. We stopped in for Nicki’s birthday right after they opened and have been frequent customers ever since. Oh, I’m not the only “Lin” at the shop- their alien mascot shares my name. The ice cream is scratch made in-house and several of the flavors feature produce grown locally. Great seasonal flavors, shakes, drinks, and baked goods are available. Check out their Facebook page for their daily menus, or stop by and sample some.

I recently dropped off my latest sketchcover to The Cellar out in Bartlett. It’s a “Suicide Squad” Polka-Dot Man comic with a wraparound hand-drawn cover. Done in pencil, Copic markers, black Pigma Micron pens, white Gelly Roll pen, and white Prismacolor pencil.

Lonnie Easterling’s two sketchcovers (top left and center) and my three- Polka-Dot Man, Dr. Who, and The Riddler are for sale at the shop.

I also still have several of my sketchcards that are available for sale- both official artist returns from companies like Topps, Crytozoic, and RRParks Cards and personal sketch cards drawn on my own custom blanks. The profits from those sales help fund my comics and art supplies habits..! I recently did sketchcards for an Ultraman card set, and am finishing up a Zorro set this week.

Be sure to check out the MSCA Zine The Good, The Bad, And The Sketchy at The Cellar- issues 1-6 are available for sale.

Don’t forget to snag you some free MSCA, Drawing Funny Podcast, and Memphis Ghostbusters swag while you’re there. It’s near the front door. Lots of stickers and buttons to choose from.

The Cellar: Tabletop Games & Comics

2737 Bartlett Blvd

Bartlett, TN 38134

(901) 382-8623

ComicCellarOnline.com

Hope you all are having a Happy 901 Day!

Lin

$upport You Local Cartoonist$


Our own Greg Cravens has a Patreon for his webcomic “Hubris”. Patreon levels begin at $1 a month!

“As the newspapers dwindle, and webcomics are the go-to for the daily comics, Hubris! is your safe-for-work/family comic. Aside from four comic strips a week (at this point), there are links to outdoorsy videos, cartooning lessons and video, absurd product reviews by people that, frankly, abuse their outdoor/recreational gear just the way YOU do, and silly stories about mishaps out-of-doors. Join Team Hubris, read, enjoy, then go outside and play, for heaven’s sake.”

There are several different sponsorship levels, some include getting original comic strip art and caricatures by Greg.

Check out the Greg goodies at:
www.patreon.com/Hubris

You can find copies of his books in bookstores and online at Amazon, and see several examples of Greg’s advertising, illustration, syndicated strips and webcomics work on his site:

www.cravenscartoonist.com


Greg also has his comic book “Stoned Ninja” available for sale at 901 Comics.

While you’re at 901, be sure to pick up one of our  MSCA zines, or Dale Martin’s “Watusi” zines. You can also pick up the MSCA zines in town at Comics & Collectibles and The Cellar.


At The Cellar you can also purchase sketchcards by me (Lin Workman), and sketchcovers by me and Lonnie Easterling.

Each are hand-drawn and one of a kind. There are both official artist returns from companies like Topps, Cryptozoic, Breygent, and RRParks Cards ($100ea)…

…and personal sketchcards done on my own custom card blanks ($25ea).

I’ll be adding more of them and hopefully soon we can get back to drawing these at the comic shop and/or at Michaels again.

We are planning to be at the Woodruff-Fontaine House next month, and back at Garibaldi’s Pizza starting in January (fingers crossed), so be sure to get Greg to scribble on your comics at one of our MSCA monthly meet-ups!

Lin