Shout-out: Cha


Born November 2, 1982, Cha grew up on the French countryside near Orléans, reading her Boule & Bill, Tintin and Astérix comics over and over and thus developing great faculties of social inadaptation. Luckily, she managed to gain a bit of self-confidence through drawing, when the others told her what she was doing was not bad.

After a rough adolescence, Cha showed a lack of enthusiasm for almost everything. She didn't really know what the fuck to do with her life and didn't even know if she wanted to do anything with it. After a few shorts stays in mental hospitals, she decided to go to college in Tours to do like everybody else. But unable to fit in student life, she quickly deserted the classrooms to hang out with the comic writers of the Atelier Pop, who were much more fun.

One bad job experience after another (saleswoman, cashier, cleaning woman...), she decided to throw in the towel and made her parents believe she had a career plan in sequential narrative.

It is in 2003 that she began to attract attention through her blog "Ma vie est une bande dessinée" (English version : My Life is a comics strip :http://blog.chacomics.com), a pioneer of the genre, which led her to take part in the magazines Spirou and later on Psikopat.

Her encounter with Chester, an emblematic figure of illustration and fanzine publishing in the french punk/alternative scene, was decisive. Diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, she found in this scene an echo to her anger and urges of self-destruction. She began to shave her head, to draw comics for the MyWay fanzine and to have sexual intercourse with Melvin from the band Pekatralatak.

In 2006, led by Chester, Cha participated in the creation of the Humungus collective (http://collectifhumungus.free.fr). This dream team scours concerts and festivals to paint live frescoes and publishes every year the Speedball fanzine.

HUMUNGUS @ HOULA OUPS from SandraSide on Vimeo.

After having put out two comics and contributed to a few collective books, Cha finally saw her life change when in 2010 the illustrious publishing house Même Pas Mal edited the comic anthology "Oh! Merde!", which, thanks to a foreword by Guillaume Bouzard (best French comic artist), sold millions of copies.

Building on her success, Cha can now choose to work with the best. That's how she decided to team up with El Diablo (creator of the famous cartoon "Lascars"), finally found a meaning to her life and took a chance at conquering the world.

Website : www.chacomics.com

Editor's note: I can't remember how I stumbled on Cha's artwork (possibly on a Facebook thread about a comic on Mohawks I'd done for a German fanzine), but I was immediately in awe. Her comics have an adorable quality to them set against a flippant attitude that seems to accurately reflect the punk ethos from a definite feminine perspective.

She's one of those artists that makes it look effortless, although she has undoubtedly put in countless hours of hard work to get there. Cha is able to pull off something I've struggled with (and failed at) in my own work: the ability to depict something horrific, in this case factory farming, in a humorous manner that doesn't undermine the message. 

 Cha is providing the cover art for the Digestate anthology as well as three comics translated from French. I'm hoping she'll allow me to publish more of her work in the future!


Ridiculous photo reference

In celebration of the very recent birth of my pal Jeremy Broomfield's baby, I present to you a very questionable tribute:

I usually set up a camera on a timer and shoot myself for reference photos, but occasionally the situation calls for an outside model. Sometimes I'll coerce a co-worker at Utrecht into posing with promises of homemade cookies or something. BUT, if Jeremy is around (he lives in Arizona these days) he is not only willing but positively amped to lend a hand.

This panel called for a birds-eye view of Brazilian police inspecting a crime scene, so I climbed a tree and photographed Jeremy as both the two dead bodies and all of the surrounding policemen.

Cobbled together, the reference photo itself is pretty hilarious, but it certainly served its purpose.

Multiple personality disorder

Dead guys

Thanks again, Jeremy (and his wife Bridget, who probably did most of the work in delivering their baby and who is also game to model when a female is needed)!

This is a page from my upcoming contribution to Hic & Hoc's "Unsolved Mysteries" anthology, btw.


Shout-out: Nate Doyle


Artist (on left) photo shamelessly stolen from Nate Beaty's flickr page.

Nate Doyle is the cartoonist responsible for the mini comic series Crooked Teeth Comics and several other self published titles. Most recently he has contributed to the anthology Suspect Device #2 and is currently plodding away on Crooked Teeth #6 and various other projects. Look for him in the pit, on the floor or hurling himself off of something at a show near you...

Editor's note: I can't remember if I met Nate at Forbidden Planet (where he used to work) or at a comic convention, but I suppose it doesn't matter either way. Whichever locale, I picked up a copy of his 'Crooked Teeth' series and was duly impressed. Each issue collects shortish works that range in tone and subject. Sometimes you get autobio, but more often it's a fictional story. 

Punk music and drinking beer tend to worm their way into most of the comics, as I suspect they do into Nate's actual life. Whenever I run into him at conventions, he reminds me of guys I hung out with when I was younger. Now that I'm an old man with a kid, I'm more inclined to advise him to stay out of the pit and protect his drawing hand (he's gotten busted up a few times recently). 

There's a dark undertone and texture to his work that I find very compelling, but there's also a sweetness that occasionally shines through. The look of his work can also range from scratchy brushwork to clean linework within the same issue. The man is dichotomous, is what I'm trying to say.


Unsolved Mystery comic

Lest you think I live & breathe DIGESTATE, here's proof I am working on other things.
These are a few sample pages from a ten page comic for Hic & Hoc's upcoming Unsolved Mysteries anthology, edited by Emi Gennis.

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My comic is about a case dubbed "The Lead Masks Case" in which two dead men were found atop a hill near Rio De Janeiro. They were found wearing raincoats and clutching crudely made lead masks with no apparent signs of violence or struggle. The hilltop was known as a UFO sighting hotspot (as well as a rendezvous for gay men). I won't go into too much detail in hopes that you'll pick up a copy of the anthology when it comes out (keep you posted)!

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