Stumptown Preview 2012

Bagge: "I'll Be Back"
Bagge: "I'll Be Back"

I’m not planning on doing anything radically different at this year’s Stumptown Comics Fest, which is happening this Saturday and Sunday here in Portland. I’ll be selling books, among them my latest, Extreme Perspective! published by Watson-Guptill, taking pictures with my Palm Pilot (like this 2008 shot of Peter Bagge, who I think will be back this year), sketching during downtime, visiting with friends, maybe taking in a panel or two. At 1 pm on Saturday I’ll be doing pretty much the same perspective presentation I did last year.

David Chelsea is reading:
The Hoarder in You: How to Live a Happier, Healthier, Uncluttered Life
by Robin Zasio

I do plan to print up some different decorated envelopes to sell. Here are a few I like:

Another new thing I plan to bring is a survey to help me decide on my next project. I would like whatever comic book or graphic novel I do next to be as popular and commercial as possible, not just because of the money, but because I respect the great comics reading public enough to give it exactly what it wants. Since I pretty much don’t have a clue what it wants (Manga with monkeys? Robot tween romance?), that’s where this survey comes in.

A great idea is worth stealing, and I fully own up to copping this one from Komar and Melamid‘s People’s Choice Painting project. Here’s the survey:

Most-liked painting: USA
Most-liked painting: USA
Least-liked painting: USA
Least-liked painting: USA

Emulating provocateur artists Komar and Melamid, cartoonist David Chelsea is taking his cues from the great reading public in crafting his latest comics project. From 1994-1997, Komar and Melamid worked on the series, People’s Choice, whereby they created the “most wanted” and “least wanted” paintings of various countries based on the results of surveys conducted by professional polling companies. Their book, Painting by Numbers: Komar & Melamid’s Scientific Guide to Art, published in 1997, explains the statistical underpinnings of the polling process and provides the results of each country’s preferences. Doing likewise, Chelsea is polling comics readers to ask what kind of comics stories they most want to see, in which style, even down to details of lettering and coloring technique. Based on their answers, Chelsea will produce two stories- one, assembled from elements that respondents say they most want to see, the other featuring the qualities they least want to see. David Chelsea invites you to be part of the process by filling out this questionnaire.

My favorite/least favorite genre of comics is:

Funny animals
Slice of life/autobio
Science fiction

My favorite/least favorite length of story is:

Single page.
Two to four pages.
Five to ten pages
Ten to twenty four pages
Twenty five to fifty pages
More than fifty pages; graphic novel length.

I most like/least like stories that are:

Bright and optimistic
Dark and gritty
Silly and funny
Thrilling and action-packed
Slow and meditative

I most like/least like stories to be told:

In captions only.
In dialogue only.
In a mix of captions and dialogue.

I most like/least like protagonists who are:

Male (straight)
Male (gay)
Female (straight)
Female (gay)
Multiple protagonists

I most like/least like conflict that is between:

Family Members
I do not like conflict

I most like/least like conflict that concerns:

Personal Issues
I do not like conflict

I most like/least like endings that are:


I most like/least like pictures that have:

Black and white line drawing alone
Black and white line drawing with a single second color
Black and white line drawing with flat color
Black and white line drawing with fully-rendered color
Painted color alone.
Flat color alone.
Black and white line drawing with flat gray tones.
Black and white line drawing with fully-rendered gray tones.
Fully-rendered gray tones alone.
Flat gray tones alone.

I most like/least like figures that are:

Highly realistic with near-photographic detail.
Cartoony, exaggerated.
Linear, stylized.
Manga style

I most like/least like panels that have:

A wide variety of shapes with line borders.
A wide variety of shapes without line borders
Rectangular form with line borders.
Rectangular form without  line borders.
An indefinite form without borders.

I most like/least like lettering to appear:
In rectangular balloons.
In rounded or scalloped balloons.
Within the panel, not enclosed in a balloon.
Outside the panel.
In captions

I most like/least like lettering to be:

Written by hand.
Typeset in a standard font.
Typeset in a custom font.

My favorite/least favorite panel format is:

One panel to the page
Two panels to the page
Four panels to the page.
Six panels to the page.
Eight panels to the page
Nine panels to the page
Twelve panels to the page
More than twelve panels to the page.
No definite number of panels to the page.

My favorite/least favorite page format is:

Standard comic size
Magazine size
Digest size
Horizontal trade humor

I’m doing things slightly differently from Komar And Melamid. They got their data by hiring a professional polling firm. That’s a little beyond my means right now, so I’m just going to print up copies of the survey and invite anyone who stops by my table to fill them out. The data I collect on what comics readers say they want will shape a proposal which I will eventually submit to publishers. (Actually two proposals, but I won’t be surprised if publishers pass on the project comics readers say they DON’T want. There’s always Kickstarter). Of course, the minority of Stumptown visitors who are motivated to stop by my table may not be entirely typical of the larger comics public. Eventually I’d like to get the questionnaire in shops and online, but it’s a start.

Well, actually the survey lS online, in this very blog post. If any followers of this blog want to send me their answers to the questionnaire by e-mail, just click the CONTACT link at the far right under my picture (One tiny restriction: please respond only if you live in the United States Of America. I’d like to keep the option open to do this multiple times for various countries. Komar and Melamid eventually did paintings for fourteen countries and one more for “The Web.”).

By the way, here are some questions I’m NOT asking:

I most like/least like stories that feature:

Popular licensed characters I’ve been reading about all my life.
Unfamiliar characters I’ve never heard of.

I would most like/least like to read a story drawn by:

Jim Lee
Frank Miller
John Buscema
Todd McFarlane
George Pérez
John Romita Sr
Walt Simonson
David Chelsea

Stumptown Comics Fest 2012

Oregon Convention Center, 777 NE ML King Blvd. Portland, OR 97232

Sat, Apr. 28, 2012 – Sun, Apr. 29, 2012

Sat. 10:00 am – 6:00 pm, Sun 12:00 pm – 6:00 pm

David Chelsea: Extreme Perspective for Artists Drawing Demonstration

Room B111 • 1-1:45pm

Komar & Melamid: The Most Wanted Paintings on the Web