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Preview: Alec Longstreth's Blog

Alec Longstreth's Blog



Alec Longstreth Comics, Illustrations and Blog



 



Drop Target Omnibus Kickstarter!

Wed, 1 Nov 2017 21:35:12 PST

width="550" height="310" src="https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1651383141/drop-target-omnibus/widget/video.html" frameborder="0" scrolling="no"> For eight years now I have had a pinball side-project with my buddy Jon Chad, called Drop Target Zine.

Today we launched a Kickstarter to collect all seven issues into a book, plus over 100 pages of new content. Lots of my friends are contributors - it is a project that is near and dear to my heart. If you are into pinball, or enthusiasm about a nerdy subject in general, check it out!

We're off to a great start, and it looks like we will have no trouble hitting our modest goal, so from here on out, it's just getting the word out to as many people as possible! Thanks in advance for any help spreading the word via social media, word of mouth, etc. !

Update #1 - We did it! 100% funded in 9.5 hours!!?!
Update #2 - Designing the Original Drop Target Issues
Update #3 - Drop Target Omnibus Cover Design!
Update #4 - Contributor Spotlights!
Update #5 - Blurb Spotlights!

PLEASE NOTE: All future updates are for backers only. Back at the $1 tier (or above) by 12/1 to receive future updates.




Pacific Daydream

Sun, 29 Oct 2017 18:53:54 PST

Weezer's 11th album, Pacific Daydream, was released on Friday. Or to be more specific, the second half of it was released, as the first five tracks had a staggered release over the last few weeks and months, as singles. The first track to be released was Feels Like Summer. My initial reaction to it was the same as many other weezer fans: it felt like a betrayal. Raditude and Hurley (weezer's 7th and 8th albums) are widely reviled, and although I still enjoy listening to them occasionally, it's easy to agree that they represent a low point for the band. When Everything Will Be Alright In The End (weezer's 9th album) was released four years later, it not only felt like a return to form musically, it felt like a record made specifically for us, the longtime fans. In the lead single, Back to the Shack, Rivers sings: "Sorry guys, I didn't realize I needed you so much / I thought I'd get an audience I forgot that 'disco sucks' / I ended up with nobody and I started feelin' dumb / maybe I should play the lead guitar and Pat should play the drums." In my favorite song on EWBAITE, I've Had It Up To Here, Rivers sings: "Don't wanna find myself homogenized / Don't wanna become the very thing that I despised / Don't need my mommy feedin' me culture with a spoon / Don't wanna end up with as much edge as a balloon / Don't want my ideas polluted by mediocrity / Don't want my sentiments diluted / This is important to me." And then in the next verse: "Don't wanna be another boy next door / Don't wanna pander to the masses any more / Don't need the whole wide world to love me, Don't wanna win the human race / Don't need my music to be less well known than my face / Don't wanna compromise my art for universal appeal / Don't wanna be mass-consumed / I'm not a Happy Meal." The sentiments conveyed in these lyrics are exactly what we old weezer fans have wanted to hear for years. EWBAITE really felt like the band saying, "We don't care that record labels have a waning interest in full-length rock albums, we're going to double down and shred the hell out of this record." And they did just that. "The White Album" (weezer's 10th album - self-titled) continued in this direction, and in my opinion, did an even better job recapturing their original sound. This was thanks mostly to their producer Jake Sinclair who actually used to play in weezer cover bands, so he knew how to get that perfect weezer sound. Old school weezer fans were on cloud 9 and the album was nominated for a Grammy for Best Rock Album - something that had never happened to weezer before. So then Feels Like Summer drops, with all its overblown "disco" production, and it feels like weezer going back on everything they had just declared on their last two albums. It felt like all those great lyrics were just lies, or... who knows? Both of the songs excerpted above were co-written, so maybe it was just a collaborator saying, "wouldn't it be cool if you sang this, Rivers?" and it has no real meaning. There were warning signs of what was to come in Pacific Daydream. The track Jacked Up on The White Album went more in a "pop" direction with no real guitars to speak of until the bridge drops halfway through. And the B-Side I Love the USA, which was released afterwards went even farther in that direction. As more and more tracks were released from Pacific Daydream, I listened to them a few times, but they just bummed me out. Instead, I listened to EWBAITE and The White Album over and over again, kind of out of spite. It was then that I realized two important things: 1) Weezer doesn't owe me anything. Or any other fan, for that matter. They have consistently put out music that I love for 20+ years. EWBAITE and The White Album are both astounding collections of music, and I will cherish them, and listen to them over and over and over again for the rest of my life. Whether the lyrics of I've Had It Up To Here were true for Rivers or not, they were true to me, and I believed them in my heart, and they have helped me better understand the g[...]



The Ballads and Beards of Basewood

Thu, 26 Oct 2017 18:08:23 PST

(image) Both Phase 7 #020 and Phase 7 #021 have gone out of print recently, so I made them a new home in the latest Phase 7 collection, The Ballads and Beards of Basewood!

The print version is 136 pages and costs $9.99. Phase 7 #020 contains the lyrics to Songs From the Basewood, so you can stream that for free, or download it digitally for $7 on bandcamp.com

I'm trying something new with the digital version of this book. It's free! Or, well, it's "$0+" which means you can get it for free, or pay whatever you want.

As with all my comics, now that the minicomics are sold out, you can also read Phase 7 #020 and Phase 7 #021 for free in the Phase Seven Comics online archive.

While I was creating the eBook of this new book, I also set up the long-overdue eBook for Gabby Schulz's A Process of Drastically Reducing One's Expectations. It is also priced at "$0+" so go download a copy if you want to check it out. 67 of the pages are now reproduced in full color, so it might be fun to check out even if you already have a copy of the book.

In other publishing news, my buddy Jon Chad and I are putting the finishing touches on the Drop Target Omnibus, which collects all seven issues of our pinball zine, Drop Target, plus over 100 pages of new content. We're hoping to launch a Kickstarter to fund the initial printing of this book sometime next week, so I'll probably be blogging again soon to promote that!

Lots going on in these last few busy months of 2017!




CXC 2017! Blogging!

Mon, 25 Sep 2017 18:53:24 PST

(image) This week I will be heading out to Columbus, Ohio for Cartoon Crossroads Columbus, a four-day comics festival (September 28 - October 1). On Thursday and Friday I'll be attending some of the amazing programming and then on Saturday and Sunday I'll be exhibiting at the CXC Expo along with my dear, dear comics friends Aaron Renier and Nicole J. Georges. I'll also have a bunch of cool free stuff from The Center for Cartoon Studies. If you are in the area, come find us! It is going to be fun.

In other news, my blogging output on this, my personal website, is at an all-time low. This is my 8th post of 2017, clocking in at just under one post a month. My time is so limited these days, most of my blogging output has moved to other platforms. I'm posting photos from my life each day on Instagram (which automatically repost in my old Flickr account), I write twice-weekly posts about my comics process for my $2+ Patreon supporters, and I'm occasionally posting original thoughts on Twitter, though with the current nightmarish political climate, usually I'm just retweeting other peoples' thoughts and links to resources. I do have a list of thoughts/ideas that would make better long-form posts, but at this point I wonder if/when I'll ever have time to write them!

Who knows how long I can keep all this up, as my time seems to be getting more and more limited every day. Suzanne keeps learning and growing (she's walking! she can kind of talk a little bit!), plus we've got this old house to work on and plenty of chores to keep things moving around here. Sometimes I just want to delete everything online and live "IRL." Maybe someday....




Super Rabbit!

Wed, 12 Jul 2017 17:35:54 PST

(image) Did you ever wonder what would happen if Roger Rabbit was secretly a super hero? WELL NOW YOU CAN FIND OUT!!!

In 5th grade, I drew a Roger Rabbit fan-fiction comic for my 5th grade English class, when I was 12. It's called Super Rabbit and I just posted the whole thing over in the comics section of this site.

This was the project that culminated from a debate with my 5th grade teacher, Mr. Shoemaker, about whether or not comics counted towards my class's reading requirements. You can read more about this struggle and my eventual victory on pages 8 and 9 of Phase 7 #010.

This comic went on to win a blue ribbon at a local art competition. For the event, my mother had the whole comic framed - all six pages mounted under a giant piece of glass. This was great, because they have been preserved these 25 years, but this week I figured out a better use for that frame, and so decided to carefully remove them so I could scan and post them here.

I hope you enjoy checking out one of my earliest cartooning efforts, and probably my first-ever finished comic!




East Coast Adventure!

Fri, 7 Jul 2017 22:50:08 PST

(image) Well, last weekend I returned home after two weeks on the East Coast. Claire and Suzanne joined me for the first leg of the trip, which took us over to Portland, Maine to visit our old pal Liz Prince.

Then Claire and Suzanne drove with me over to White River Junction, Vermont so Suzanne could meet some of my friends there. I uploaded a bunch of photos from our trip into a new Flickr album.

After a few days in Vermont, Claire and Suzanne headed back to Maine to fly home to Santa Fe, while I stayed put to teach two weeks of summer workshops at The Center for Cartoon Studies.

I'm happy to report that I survived teaching my new animation course for the first time! There were a few hiccups, but I had an excellent group of students who stuck with me and they all ended up creating some amazing work during an intense week of drawing. You can see some of their projects on this Tumblr that I set up to showcase their work. I definitely learned a lot by teaching this material for the first time and I'm already excited to teach it again next year with a number of improvements.

I'm very thankful that I get to be home for the rest of the summer, spending time with Claire and Suzanne and chipping away at all my various projects.

After spending so much time amongst friends back East I was feeling kind of isolated out here in Santa Fe, so I... I set up an instagram account? My thought was that a lot of my friends are on there, and it might make me feel more connected to what is going on in their lives, but for now it's just causing me a lot of "social media stress." It's been a while since I had to join a new platform. Ugh...

Anyway, I hope everyone is having a great summer so far. Stay cool, everybody!




2017 Summer Workshops at CCS!

Fri, 12 May 2017 05:18:43 PST

(image) I recently finished up a big freelance project, the school year wrapped up and both of the MFA students I was advising this year (Sandy Bartholomew and Steve Thueson) both passed their thesis reviews!

I am now looking forward to the next few months and starting some new projects. In the mornings I am working on the illustrations for a picture book that my sister Galen wrote and the last 24 pages of the current Isle of Elsi storyline. I'm taking a break from Phase 7 until Galen's book is done, because the next issue kicks off a massive (10? 20? issue) arc that I'm going to be working on for the foreseeable future.

The rest of my work hours these days are being used to prepare for the CCS Summer Workshops that I will be teaching in Vermont this summer.

From June 19-23 my old pal Jon Chad and I will be teaching the Create Comics Workshop. This is our heavily-structuded comics course for beginners. If you've ever wanted to spend a week learning a whole ton of stuff about comics, join us!

Then from June 26-30 I will be teaching an all-new workshop, Beginning Animation. My teaching assistant Mary Shyne and I will be exploring the intersection of animation and comics all week, while drawing short experimental flip books and a few larger hand drawn 2D projects (with pencils! on paper!). It is going to be fun.

There's about a month to still sign up for these, so if you're interested, hop to it! If any CCS alumni are out there, you get 50% off!




Using Art to Resist Trump!

Mon, 6 Mar 2017 19:20:47 PST

(image) The night that Trump's first Muslim ban went into effect, many of my fellow cartoonists sent out offers over Twitter to make original drawings for people that donated a certain amount (usually around $50) to the ACLU.

This was so cool and inspiring, but I didn't join in because I knew that I wouldn't be able to create a bunch of new art for folks. I am barely keeping up with my current drawing obligations (and actually falling behind on many projects) because of my new parenting duties.

Then, the other day, one of my favorite cartoonists, Eleanor Davis, auctioned off the original art for an amazing poster she drew for this year's TCAF:

Then, on Sunday the 12th from 6-8pm, I am going run an information session and portfolio day event for The Center for Cartoon Studies as part of my new job as their Director of Academic Outreach. It is free and open to the public, and takes place at Roast Coffee Company. There will be free coffee for attendees!

I'm going to talk about CCS for a bit, answer any questions and then give a lecture about the creation of my book Basewood. At the end I will be doing some portfolio reviews for anyone who is interested in someday attending CCS. There are a limited number of slots, so if you think you want one please RSVP on the event's webpage.

If anyone is in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin area, it would be great to see you there!