02 September, 2005

New MP3 of ADD's 2000 Kochalka Interview

Over five years ago, on Sunday, August 14th, 2000, my friend Marshall O'Keeffe and I drove to Burlington, Vermont to interview James Kochalka. It was the first time I met Kochalka, and the first of many times I interviewed him. The MP3 file of the interview is a rambling piece over an hour in length, and the ambient sound you'll hear is the pizza joint (Mr. Mike's Pizza) we did the interview in. It's been edited slightly to take out a few totally irrevelant rambles of mine and Marshall's, but for the most part this is an unedited and somewhat disjointed chat that will probably be most of interest to hardcore Kochalkaholics who just want to hear the guy eat pizza and talk to two strangers about his comics, his music, his life, his superpower, and whatever else that came to mind during the chat.

Note that although the original Comic Book Galaxy interview in September, 2000 was culled from this audio, this new MP3 has much, much more material than was posted in the text version on the site.


01 September, 2005

JKS Petition Reminder!

Dozzens have already signed the online petition politely asking Rykodisc to release the long-awaited James Kochalka Superstar CD "Spread Your Evil Wings and Fly," an album of brilliant rock and roll that has been finished for two years and needs to see the light of day. It's the follow-up to "Don't Trust Whitey," which was a great album. Trust me, "Evil Wings" is even better.


Please tell everyone you think would be interested about the petition and the link so THEY can request we get an official release of this great album. It's not RIGHT that WASH YOUR ASS go unheard, that BRITNEY'S SILVER CAN go unexamined. Please click the link and let's get behind the band and help make their record company understand that we've got sacks of money we'd love to give them, if only they would take it!

Dozens of people have already signed onto the petition. Won't you join us?

31 August, 2005

John Kochalka Makes the Papers

Looks like the Kochalka clan can't stay out of the papers this week. Even John Kochalka is in the news.

Kochalka Illustrates Poetry Chapbook

James Kochalka has done illustrations for a chapbook on the poetry of Frida Kahlo*. Thanks to Jeff Mason for pointing me to this item on the Fantagraphics Books blog FLOG.

* Anyone who knows how I can get a copy, drop me an e-mail.

Kochalka Makes the Papers

Readers to Burlington, Vermont's Seven Days newspaper are responding to a letter critical of James Kochalka's American Elf diary strips being included in the paper. More on the Seven Days Letters Page.

JKS in Big Heavy World Concert Series

Here's an article in the Burlington Free Press about a concert series in Vermont that includes a performance by James Kochalka Superstar tomorrow night.

Magic Cats

Spandy has long been one of my favourite James Kochalka characters, his real-life cat transformed into a charming and funny character key to the appeal of many of Kochalka's comics. Today's strip at American Elf is a great, old-school Spandy strip that's well worth checking out. If you don't see this pot today, though, you'll have to subscribe to American Elf to view it in the archives.

Subscribing to American Elf? About ten cents a day? A new strip every day and access to bonus MP3s?

That's the best three bucks you can spend on comics in any given month.

More on Brattleboro's Comic Art Exhibit and 24-Hour Comic Challenge

Gabriel Greenberg is the guest curator for the Comic Art in The Green Mountains exhibit currently running in Brattleboro, Vermont. The exhibit, which I covered last Sunday, features works by James Kochalka, James Sturm, Steve Bissette and other Vermont cartoonists. I spoke to Greenberg briefly last Saturday as the museum's 24-Hour Comic Challenge, a complement to the Comic Art exhibit, was getting underway. In the last few days I have had a chance to talk to him some more about the event.

Noted comics observers from Steve Bissette to Tom Spurgeon have remarked that they were surprised by the number of people that turned out to create 24-Hour comics on Saturday. Greenberg told me "When the director of the Museum, Konstantin van Krusenstiern, and I first discussed the idea of a 24 Hour Comic Challenge, we thought we'd be lucky to get 10 partcipants. As it turned out, nearly 50 showed up, making ours one of the largest such events ever to take place." Greenberg himself managed to create his own 24-page comic while the event was underway, somehow balancing his own administrative duties with the creation of his art. He also created a beautiful mural that serves as a welcome to visitors of the exhibit.

When I was at the museum, one thing that struck me was the diversity of the cartoonists gathered to create their own 24-Hour comics. Greenberg says "Our 49 participants were an amazingly diverse crew. Their ages ranged from 17-53, they were nearly one-third women, and they cut accross the social spectrum. There were school teachers, illustrators, hip arty types, hard-core comics fans, experimenters, and experienced adepts. It was an impressive range."

You would think that such a large crowd there to celebrate as joyous an artform as comics would have a hard time getting to work, but Greenberg notes they were fully committed to their goals that day. He says "They worked...so hard. No sooner had we hit the official starting bell, then the museum fell into a hushed silenced. Fifty people intently trained on achieving the near impossible. The hum of energy and focus filled the museum, and was sustained unbroken until the 23rd hour. It was unlike anything I've seen: a passionate factory of comic book creation."

Unlike corporate comics factories, though, it appears these creators were able to follow their own creativity wherever it led. Greenberg told me "The comic books were as diverse as their creators. There were science fiction fantasies, personal confessions, political protests, superheroes, cartoony meanderings, slap stick parodies...Drawing styles varied from obsessively well-groomed to the wild and experimental. The tools ranged from computer, to ink wash, to colored pencil."

Greenberg confirmed what I noticed on the way out of the museum Saturday afternoon, that the event was spilling outside, in addition to the creators doing their thing inside the facility. Greenberg says friends of the participants came and worked on their own art projects through the night, in moral support, and a sewing circle sprouted on the lawn of the museum.

One thing I noted in my report on the event was how wonderous it was to see these artists creating art among all the art already on display in the Brattleboro Museum. Greenberg agreed, saying "It was wonderful to see a museum transformed this way. No longer a formal space set aside for carefully inspecting high art, the Museum became a melting pot of enthusiasm, interaction, and creation. I overheard a group wandering the 'Comic Art in the Green Mountains' exhibit, saying, "This is the inspiration room." The participants could be seen all night getting up to take a break from their work and taking a good long look at the James McGarrell paintings around us."

So while the comics industry continues to struggle with how or even if to welcome a diverse clientele of all ages, sexes and interests, it seems that certain that these people have put the artform on notice that they are a force to be reckoned with, if not now, then soon. Greenberg says "By the time noon came [on Sunday, the end of the 24-hour event], we were a happy, dazed group, unable to believe what we had just pulled off. One girl told me, 'I learned more about drawing in the last 24 hours than I have in my whole life.'"

Greenberg noted that he, too had learned a lot about the power of a passion for telling stories through comic books. It seems to be a passion that won't be extinguished.

In addition to the Comic Art in the Green Mountains exhibit, Greenberg is also curating "Comicology: The New Magical Real," at the Slought Gallery. The exhibit deals with magical realism in contemporary comics and features works by Charles Burns, Marc Bell, Dame Darcy, Kim Deitch, Anders Nilsen, and Ron Rege, Jr.

30 August, 2005

2000 Kochalka Interview Coming

I'm in the middle of editing and preparing to upload the first interview I ever did with James Kochalka, from August of 2000 at a pizza shop in Burlington, Vermont.

It's tempting to whittle it down to only the most timeless and relevant sections, but I am leaning more, at this point, toward putting virtually the whole thing up for you to listen to.

The audio isn't the greatest -- we were using a handheld cassette recorder and condenser microphone, but if you're dedicated enough to wear earphones or at least find a quiet place to listen to it, I think the pizzeria ambience actually adds a bit of charm to it, and I'm personally having a blast putting myself back in Burlington reliving one of the most interesting days in my life as a comics journalist.

Look for the audio to be posted sometime later this week, if all goes as planned.

James Kochalka Superstar Rock Vermont This Thursday

Get details on the when and the where at the American Elf forum.

29 August, 2005

Update Your KOCHALKAHOLIC! Links Now!

As of today, you can officially find this blog at www.kochalkaholic.com. Thanks to Brian Florence for his always-excellent internet skills. Go buy some rare and hard to find soda from him already and tell him you're a recovering KOCHALKAHOLIC!

Sign The "Spread Your Evil Wings" Release Petition!

I have started an online petition politely asking Rykodisc to release the long-awaited James Kochalka Superstar CD "Spread Your Evil Wings and Fly," an album of brilliant rock and roll that has been finished for two years and needs to see the light of day. It's the follow-up to "Don't Trust Whitey," which was a great album. Trust me, "Evil Wings" is even better.


Please tell everyone you think would be interested about the petition and the link so THEY can request we get an official release of this great album. It's not RIGHT that WASH YOUR ASS go unheard, that BRITNEY'S SILVER CAN go unexamined. Please click the link and let's get behind the band and help make their record company understand that we've got sacks of money we'd love to give them, if only they would take it!

Kochalka's Work Area

Here's a photo of James Kochalka's workspace.

Much like when I visited him in his and Amy's previous apartment back in the summer of 2000, I do wonder how he has any room to draw on there...!

New Kochalka Interview at Comic Book Resources

Kochalka discusses SUPER-F*CKERS, CONVERSATION and more in new interview at CBR today.

Monday Morning Notes from a Kochalkaholic

Over in the sidebar at right I've added links to as many of my own articles, reviews and interviews with James Kochalka as I could find. I do plan to revise many of these pieces in the weeks ahead to make them more compatible with the overall KOCHALKAHOLIC! mission, but for now, I wanted anyone interested in this blog and its subject to have a central place to find as much of my writing about Kochalka comics and music as possible.

There are two other things I would like to add to the sidebar ASAP; one is a list of reciprocal links. So, please, if you've added KOCHALKAHOLIC! to your blogroll, drop me an e-mail and I will start setting that up. If you like what I'm doing here but haven't had a chance to add a link, please let me know when you're able to, and I will add you to the links here. I've also created a button ad/graphic link for this blog, so if you'd like me to send you that so you can add it to your site, please write me and I'll get it right to you.

Another set of links I would like to feature is to other cartoonists posting daily diary comic strips online. If you meet that criteria, or if you follow a strip or strips that is uploaded daily (or nearly so) and is about the life of its creator, then, again, send me some e-mail and help me make this blog an even better resource for people who enjoy James Kochalka's work, and the work of simpatico creators.

28 August, 2005

The James Kochalka Library Part One

Magic Boy and Girlfriend is a collection of strips from James Kochalka's self-published mini-comic James Kochalka Superstar, and contains some of his earliest efforts in comics.

The volume was released by Top Shelf Productions in 1998, and includes nine diverse strips ranging in style from Kochalka's primitive Deadbear Circus Detective material to semi-realistic autobiography in the artistic vein of Sunburn to the whimsy and hyper-reality of his later Sketchbook Diaries/American Elf work.

I first read this book in late 2000 or early 2001, and although I enjoyed it then, it has revealed new worlds of nuance and artistic development in Kochalka from my most recent re-read. It's fascinating to me to see the young artist struggle right there on the page with how to depict himself and those around him, in one extraordinary story (the titular "Magic Boy and Girlfriend") showing the elf avatars of himself and his then-girlfriend Amy acting as cartoon peeping toms to the more realistic depictions of the couple and their friends inside a window. I found it most interesting how the narrative both embraced and evaded strict reportage through the changing depictions of the characters, especially telling given the somewhat unusual and erotic events that occurred to James and Amy and a couple of their acquaintence on the night in question. Did any of it happen? The story seems to say yes, but it's so easy to dismiss it as fiction due to its presentation, a fact not entirely coincidental, I am sure, given James and Amy's ultimate assessment of the night's events.

This story and others in the book highlight one of my favourite elements that runs throughout the entirety of Kochalka's body of work, the constant exploration of what is real, hyper-real, surreal, and pure whimsy. My presumption is that there is at least a nugget of truth in almost everything Kochalka has published post-Deadbear, and one of the most challenging elements of his work for me as a reader has been determining what it is I am supposed to believe, and what it is I am supposed to feel as a result of what I see -- not always the same thing.

Perhaps the best example of this approach is the story "Satan's Walk," in which Kochalka begins fairly realistically, unable to contact Amy and thus having to walk home from his then-job at a Chinese restaurant. During the half-hour walk, though, Kochalka's mind drifts to nightmare scenarios of discovering Amy dead in their shared apartment, and possible scenarios that might spin out of that horrific discovery. While I can only wonder what Amy must have made of the story at the time, I have to admit to the visceral comics thrills I take from this weird, experimental story that incorporates and comments on Ernie Bushmiller's Nancy in ways both extremely funny and extremely revealing of Kochalka's noted lifelong inability to "stop thinking about comics."

There is some strict autobio material in this 144-page volume, including an anecdote that explains Kochalka's longtime association with the musician Moby and shows the then-emerging club DJ exasperated at Kochalka's other well-known inability, the one about keeping his pants on while performing his music in public. Other true tales recounted include the death by alcoholic mishap of one of Kochalka's college roommates, weird coincidences in the artist's life involving people being hit in the head with rocks, and his early and odd fascination with people's asses.

Magic Boy seems to literally grow up in these pages, whether it's in working through his sexual obsessions and experimentation, giving up his childhood belief in fairies, and eventually discovering and experimenting with various mind-altering substances. By the time late in the book when Magic Boy declares that "In growing up you lose innocence, but gain power," the observation not only seems honestly won but somewhat profound.

That's not to say these stories are going to change the minds of any of Kochalka's more facile critics. People who accuse his work of being artless or simpleminded won't necessarily have their eyes opened to the power and charm of his work as later
collections and graphic novels might. Some of this stuff is pretty primitive, and I don't know that it's an ideal introduction to the world of Kochalka's comic art.

Then again, it does lay down all the basic elements, from the surreal modifications of real-life people and situations, to the presence of Amy, and robots, and elves, and robot elves, and perhaps most touchingly, the artist's fascination with the moon.

If you've read much Kochalka, you know there are recurring themes and elements, and from the Magic Boy stories to Pinky and Stinky, the Earth's sole satellite seems to hold mystery and even be a place of retreat for Kochalka or his cartoon avatars.

In the truly moving piece "Magic Boy Wins the Moon," from JKS #8, we see Kochalka alone in Baltimore, attending art school, immersed in his work and apart from his longtime love Amy. The lights of the city drowned out the stars at night, as they do in cities. To lose both the stars and Amy in one move seems to infuse Kochalka with a profound sense of loss and longing, which is overcome somewhat by the fact that the moon remains visible, a lone companion in an unfamiliar night sky.

In his usual fashion, Kochalka turns this sad but somewhat common life experience into a thing of wonder through comic art, achieving the moon and gaining access to all its secret wonders, and thereby also finding his way home, once again, to the arms of his beloved Amy.

That this story was created so long ago and yet still resonates with the artist's current narrative themes and style says something about the holistic power of Kochalka's comics work over time. That it remains a moving piece of surreal autobiography perfectly in keeping with the very best and most vital parts of his body of work from then to now makes it all the more rewarding to revisit.

Magic Boy and Girlfriend is currently out of stock from Top Shelf Productions, but may be available from comics retailers and online sources.

Comic Art in the Green Mountains

"This is the mini-Woodstock of 24-Hour Comic Days."

With those remarks, artist Steve Bissette welcomed dozens of young cartoonists yesterday who had laid benevolent siege to southern Vermont's Brattleboro Museum and Art Center in the name of comics.

I was there with my family to see the Comic Art in the Green Mountains exhibit featuring the work of James Kochalka and other Vermont cartoonists, but as we were standing in line outside the museum waiting for it to open, I noticed and mentioned to my wife that our two children and ourselves seemed to be the only ones not carrying sketchpads, art tools and backpacks that I quickly surmised were packed with still more sketchpads and art tools. The museum staff was actually surprised to realize the four of us were there to see the museum's exhibits, and not participate in their 24-Hour Comic Day event, but like visitors to West Germany as the wall was coming down, it was pretty impossible not to be swept up in the joy and committment to comics that was evident in the crowd.

As the artists -- mostly young people but definitely ranging in age from at least 16 to at least 45 -- set up in every available corner of the museum, my entourage made our way to a surprisingly small exhibit room literally at the far end of the facility, where the Comic Art in the Green Mountains displays were waiting.

As Kochalkaholic reader Cole Odell noted in the
comments section
here on KOCHALKAHOLIC!, "The exhibit is pretty small, in the smallest of four galleries. Bissette has four pages on display -- two from Swamp Thing and two from Tyrant. Sturm has a couple of pages from The Golem's Mighty Swing, Vietch has two-to-four pages from Rare Bit Fiends, Miller has maybe two pages of Sin City up, and Kochalka has the most work on display wtih two Sketchbook covers, two intro pages from those books, and maybe six-to-eight pages from Monkey vs. Robot and the Crystal of Power."

And really, that is about the physical extent of the exhibit. But it's extraordinary to think that Vermont has produced so many gifted cartoonists, and even more so to have some of their very best and most noteworthy art all gathered together in one place, where visitors to the museum can not only see the work as close-up as they might like, but through the canny placement of reading copies containing the pages on display, can gain a greater understanding of the context of the material and the mechanics of comic art.

For example, my wife was fairly mesmerized by the original art of the two Sketchbook Diaries James Kochalka had lent to the exhibit.

Cllick for larger image.

I'm not the only Kochalka reader who has long admired the particular artistry the cartoonist brought to bear in the four covers of the individual, yearly Sketchbook Diaries volumes released to date. What was surprising to me was to see just how vivid the linework was on the original art, particularly noteworthy in the lines outlining the artist's body in the image you see on the right above (click for a larger look at those two covers). It was instructional to hold up the actual cover of the book to the art, and see that despite how impressed I'd been with Kochalka's art on these covers, its impact and immediacy was increased tenfold by being able to examine the fine detail that is inevitably lost in the reproduction of most art, even when the artist and publisher are among the most conscientious in the industry.

Other Kochalka art in the exhibit includes multiple pages from Monkey vs. Robot and the Crystal of Power, and seeing the energy and power of the pages on display, I found myself wanting to revisit that volume and once again experience the unique appeal of one of the cartoonist's best-known concepts. A pair of pages that I had thought were from Reinventing Everything but that Cole Odell reminds me were, indeed, introductory pages from the Sketchbook Diaries outlined James and Amy Kochalka's decision to have a baby. My wife found those pages, dense with panels and packed with information, among the most compelling of the exhibit, and she asked me to dig out the volume they were from so she could read the whole book.

It should be noted that autobiographical works by Kochalka, Jason Marcy, Tom Beland, Robert Ullman and John Porcellino are about the only comics that have ever held my wife's attention, and as I am sure she would say she is generally not a reader of comics, this goes a long way toward my conviction that as comics find a wider and more diverse audience, it's to be achieved with human stories told in a comprehensible manner by cartoonists skilled in storytelling that resonate with the reader's life experience and contain humour, insight and energy; something one rarely sees anymore in assembly-line-produced corporate superhero melodramas.

That said, the few pages of comics art produced under the work-for-hire corporate comics system that were on display in Brattleboro contained a startling artistry all but absent in the modern era's equivalent titles. Two pages of Steve Bissette and John Totleben's Alan Moore-written Swamp Thing were on display, including perhaps the most iconic image of the character from that landmark 1980s run, a full-page image of the title character ecstatic in his place in the world, arms raised, and the hyper-detail of the swamp indicated in the frantic, gorgeous, impressionistic linework of Bissette and Totlenben working at the height of their artistic partnership.

Bissette also had gorgeous, mind-bogglingly detailed pages on display from his solo Tyrant series, and I was thankful to find full sets of the series available for around $12.00 in the museum's giftshop. I was further delighted to discover at least one of the issues was personally signed by the artist once I broke open the set at home, and even a further bonus of a dinosaur-starring issue of the Moore-written and Bisette-pencilled 1963 was included in the pack, in addition to the complete set of Tyrant issues.

For the most part the museum shop's selection of works by the exhibiting artists is fairly common stuff available in most quality bookstores and decent comic shops, but the inclusion of Tyrant and some copies of Bissette's Taboo anthology (Vol. 4) indicate that the artist likely had some input and assistance in what is available for purchase.

Probably the least interesting artwork in the exhibit is, ironically, also the most well-known and perhaps one of the biggest potential draws: Frank Miller has loaned the museum a number of pages from Sin City. While the set of pages does include one striking close-up full-page image, for the most part the pages are quickly absorbed and lend an extremely limited understanding of Miller's overall contribution to comic art. Sin City might be his biggest claim to fame thanks to the movie of the same name, but I would have much rather seen some of his earlier, more detailed work, or at least some sketches or preliminary material that might more completely evoke the artistic process. To say that hanging up photocopies of the pages in question for this exhibit would have been as powerful and effective a statement about Miller's art might be an overstatement, but only by a small degree. I found myself learning nothing by looking at Miller's work in this exhibit, a sensation sadly resonant with my reading of most of the artist's work over the past decade or more. So perhaps these pages do evince an accurate understanding of the artist's current era, although not in perhaps the expected or desired manner.

One artist who did provide preliminary material that demonstrates the creative process in vivid relief is James Sturm. The head of the soon-to-open Center for Cartoon Studies provided for this exhibit two pages from The Golem's Mighty Swing, and hanging next to each of these pages is the full-sized pencil breakdowns for that respective page. Visitors to the exhibit will be able to note the places where Sturm remained committed to his initial layout, and be intrigued by the places where he revised angles and concepts to better effect. His original art is well worth taking in, as it allows a greater appreciation for his artistry and technique, much like Kochalka's sketchbook Diaries covers.

The final artist in the exhibit is Rick Veitch, whose work is represented by pages from his dream comic Rare Bit Fiends. The pages are well-chosen for an effective sequence of dream logic, but out of context are perhaps the least comprehensible of the exhibit. Curious visitors will, though, be able to investigate the reader's copies near the display and Veitch is also well-represented in the gift shop, with at least a couple of Rare Bit Fiends collections available for purchase, as well as The Maximortal and Brat Pack.

After we were done browsing the comic art exhibit, we returned to the main area of the museum, where the crowd of young people with art tools had increased. There were dozens of people, men and women, setting up their own chosen work areas, and a surprising number of them were plugging in laptops and even entire desktop computer systems to create or enhance their work. They seemed quite delighted to be told by museum director Konstantin von Krusenstiern and guest curator Gabriel Greenberg of the many amenities they were to have at their disposal, from wireless internet connections and photocopy machines to free soda, pizza, bagels and more donated by local shops. Listening to the artists hear what was available to help them get through the next 24 hours, from bathroom locations and kitchen privileges to likely spots to grab a quick nap, I was really struck by what a committment it is to do nothing but work on comics for 24 hours straight. Listening to Greenberg gently implore the artists on hand to be mindful of the proximity their ink and other tools had to the museum's precious stock of original artworks (both comics and not) was a heady evocation of the surreality of this situation -- a new, temporary and vital community of young artists creating art among art. I said to my wife, "I wonder how many of these people will have their work on display here 20 years from now?"

Steve Bissette was on hand to officially kick things off, and was introduced by Gabe Greenberg to enthusiastic applause from an audience clearly familiar with his work, as was I. Bissette's Swamp Thing work was some of my formative comics reading in the 1980s, and remains among the most effective and timeless of its era, as good with every repeated reading as it was on its initial release. Bissette is widely acknowledged as a master of horror comics art, and not without good reason -- the visceral, iconic imagery he and his Swamp Thing colleagues created decades ago inspired an entire generation of artists that followed, just as Bissette's rousing, energetic words to the artists assembled in this museum (an assemblage that he noted was the largest of its type that he had seen and that he called "The Mini-Woodstock of 24 Hour Comic Days") in Brattleboro inspired these folks to create as yet unseen new worlds in comic art. Bissette provided advice both practical and profound -- save the coffee for the last few hours, when you'll really need it, and use the tools you are comfortable with to create the art you want to create.

In a brief question and answer period, some of the assembled artists asked about issues such as whether a planned photocopied collection of the stories to be created over the next 24 hours could handle uninked pencil art or full-bleed technique, but Bissette urged the artists to create what they were compelled to create, and to let the reproduction of the work be a worry for a later time. One might almost say that Bissette was letting these young artists know that, for the next 24 hours, craft is indeed the enemy, and art is the highest -- the only -- goal.

I look very much forward to seeing what these young people create, and I continue to wonder now, back home in Glens Falls here at 3:39 in the morning, as they are a little over halfway done with their work back there in Brattleboro, what they are creating, and indeed, who among them will still be creating comics in 20 years. Perhaps some of them will be known to my children, and my children's children. I have no doubt at least some of them will make it. Because between the energy, enthusiasm and committment they demonstrated as they got underway yesterday at noon and the awe-inspiring works of Vermont cartoonists very nearby to provide them with inspiration and hope, I have no doubt that comics are alive and well in the Green Mountains of Vermont.

And everywhere else.

Comic Art in the Green Mountains features the work of Vermont cartoonists Steve Bissette, James Kochalka, Frank Miller, James Sturm, and Rick Vietch. It is on exhibit through November 5th at the Brattleboro Museum and Art Center.

Updates: Read The Brattleboro Reformer's coverage of the 24-Hour Comic Challenge. Also, read Steve Bissette's coverage at his new blog.