October 5, 2012
Accidentally Unearthing Comics In Middletown, USA
So I'm in Muncie, Indiana this week on a personal trip. The city of my youth has a first Thursday arts walk downtown, which is an astounding thing given that I grew up in the 1970s and 1980s at the nadir of Midwestern small-city downtown areas as any kind of home for bustling activity (it was basically, lawyers, jewelry stores and pawn shops when I was a kid). While I liked the walking more than the art, I did see a couple of comics related things. The first was a collective for Ball State University students, with a tumblr here
. They were set up in the local park next to the YMCA. The second and potentially more interesting find was a comic given me by a 19-year-old kid at the tattoo parlor. The artist's name is Malik Head
, the comic would fit in pretty well at just about any small press comics festival, and it's hard for me to fathom finding one's way in a city like Indianapolis (or his hometown, Warsaw) doing work like that even in the context of a lot of different kinds of arts-making. So I hope Head's Internet profile
grows while he continues to make art as it comes to him to want to make art.
When we talk about the growth of comics art, we tend to focus on the highly-commercial end of things -- both the limits and successes seen there. There are, however, a lot of cartoonists operating out there a long way away from showing at an SPX or placing work at one of the mainstream publishers. There may be more people making comics and related work than ever before, in ways that we can only barely grasp.
posted 4:00 pm PST
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