Silver Sprocket

tru-punx art, music, and activism crew

mitchclem:

Did the album art for a pretty rad split 7”. Joe Dunn did the colors. If this is the type of thing you’re into, you can get the vinyl here or the mp3s here.

Kyle Kinane tells a weird story about a skunk!

The Slow Death present their take on two songs originally from Richmond hero’s (Young) Pioneers!

Art by Mitch Clem and Joe Dunn!

First pressing of 330 on skunk piss yellow and 220 on black death, Includes MP3 download.

Split release, get it from us (Silver Sprocket) or our buds at Rad Girlfriend

Two Portland visits ago, a rat-queen lead us from the woods to a backyard campfire sing-along with an outdoor bathtub and a furry naked dude in that tub smoking a cigarette and listening to a Mountain Goats cassette. That was the very best.

Last weekend’s trip was no less magical, this time with Andy from Irene Comics for the Rose City ComicCon, then with Nu Pagodi from the UK for tru punx adventure shenanigans.

Got some rocken comics and zines at the con and at the shows including standout gems from Lisa Rosalie, Danielle Steal, Lucy Bellwood, Corey Lewis, Peter and Mary Hoey, and (not pictured) Bryan (Forming).

Big thanks to hero’s for taking care of us, places to stay, rides, foods and adventure! Especially Alex @ Portland Button Works, Brian @ Robo Taco, Zack @ Blackbird Raum, August and Bryan @ Black Mold Tapes, Dannielle K and Gary at The Placenter, New Scowling House, other house whose name I don’t know… and all the stuff I forgot. Portland is my favorite town to chill out in, thanks big for having us. Will return soon. 

Postcards from the enchanted forrestscapes that surround us constantly even if we aren’t used to focusing in on them, the artwork of Lindsay Watson takes my mind to a place both intensely magic and serenely peaceful, like coming back from a mushroom trip without forgetting all of the lessons gifted from the universe.

We are stoked as six-legged pixies napping under mutant fauna to feature Lindsay’s artwork on the back of this month’s Silver Sprocket catalog, along with a limited run of screen-prints and pins of her “Care For Your Spirit” drawing, available now in the Silver Sprocket store.

Today’s edition of “Words From Good Art Doodz” is from the preposterously talented Emilja Frances. You might remember Emilja as “the first human consciousness uploaded to a computer,” paving the way for things like “the cloud” and “penicillin,” but after all the fanfare and award ceremonies, Bill Gates unceremoniously forgot about ol’ Emilja in a room under the Pentagon. What has Emilja been up to all this time since we were promised this new computerized way of living would “guarantee you live forever” and “spit in God’s smug, unruly face?” Making a ton of rad-as-fuck comics! We are so lucky to have talked Emilja into joining the As You Were crew, and we’ve been dying to interview this electronic marvel. Turns out the Pentagon is like, stupid easy to sneak into. We found good ol’ Emilja in a room marked with a crude hand-drawn “robots” sign, and proceeded to get the scoop, and steal Henry Kissinger’s Gmail password. 
Read on to find out what she’s been reading, what she draws, and why her dog is the most perfect creature ever.[[MORE]]
Interview by Ion for Silver Sprocket
How did you get sucked into this As You Were thing?
I have very little idea. All I know is that one day I was drinking a coffee after work and got an email from Mitch being like, “Hey y’all, I’m starting this thing and want you to be in it!” I had never interacted with him before, so it was a surprise, but I assume he had been alerted to my existence by friends of friends.
Your autobiographical comic, Ship of Fools, has been going for almost five years! Did you expect it to go on this long? Do you have plans for an omnibus or some sort of collection, and would you like this to be your main project?
I had no initial plans for it. I had just started drawing comics and realized I really liked doing [it], and I was already a zine person, so I just figured that’s what you do—start a series! I’m glad I’ve stuck with it for this long, though. My dream would be to put out an anthology once I finish ten issues, but I seem to be stuck at eight, so we’ll see. It’s the only way I can ever really see myself publishing a book, since I don’t have the attention span for drawing novel-length stories—if I try to go past 30 pages, I completely lose interest.

If you never had to worry about money/time/responsibilities again, what would your dream project be?
I guess this is supposed to mean comic project, but honestly, all I can think about these days is blacksmithing and woodturning. I recently got to forge a knife for the first time, and also use a lathe, so my dream project would involve those two things. Of course, I would probably simultaneously draw something about me being a badass female blacksmith.
What do you do in your non-artsy life?
Well, most of my life is arts/crafts-oriented. I just love to make things. Lately I’ve been really into woodworking and mead making. I grow plants and make tinctures and I learned how to quilt recently. And I fucking love to read, and hike, and go camping, and drink beer with friends… and of course I work stupid service jobs to pay the rent.

Favorite conspiracy theory?
I wish I knew more about them. What’s the lizard people one about? Lizard people sound cool. Like the Silurians in Doctor Who.
Are your comics at all informed by your queerness?
I guess so, but only in the sense that my whole life kind of is, in subtle ways. My comics are all autobiographical, and while I very rarely write stories about being sweet with anyone, the whole way I relate to people is informed by my queerness—not just in terms of gender, but in the fact that I don’t view romantic relationships as this important defining thing in life. My commitments are to my friends, and those relationships are my priorities. And also, yeah, I don’t view gender as a weird binary, where I have to relate to people differently depending on which side of the line they’re assigned to. And I think, if anything, those are the ways my comics reflect my queerness. Maybe too subtle to be read that way, unless you’re looking for it.
Your comics don’t shy away from topics like depression and the general horror of being an ape with monster feelings. Is making yourself vulnerable on your own terms in your art therapeutic, or do you do it just because something compels you to not shy away?
When I first started drawing comics, it was a way to tell funny stories about adventures with friends. Then I ended up in this fucked up non-relationship, and I drew about it in order to process what was happening. Upon realizing how helpful it was to me, I kind of just kept doing it. My comics became an avenue to reflect on periods of my life, turn those events into a story, and find the conclusion to it or the lesson learned. And since I struggle a lot with depression and anxiety, those factor heavily into the stories. And the thing I quickly learned from drawing those kinds of comics is that… they mattered to people. People related to them or drew strength from the lessons I learned. And when I meet someone who tells me that my comics have gotten them through a difficult time… that feeling is why I keep drawing.

I just finished the last book I read. Any suggestions for a new one? Are you reading anything currently? If it is non-fiction, wanna take a wild stab at how it will end?
Oh goodness! Well, everyone should read basically everything by Ursula K. Le Guin and Octavia Butler. Masters of sci-fi, those two. I’ve been reading more than usual lately, because I just moved and we don’t have Internet yet. The Magicians trilogy by Lev Grossman, Audre Lorde’s collection of essays called Sister Outsider, M. Craig’s The Narrows, which fulfilled my dream of a fantasy novel about queer punk hipster babes. And I just picked up a copy of Judith Halberstam’s The Queer Art of Failure, which I’m excited to read next. Fuck, I love books.
Tell us about your dog!!
Oh my god, she’s perfect. And by that I mean she’s not perfect at all, but I love her more than anything in the world. She’s a blue pit who came from the Baltimore city shelter. She’s a giant baby, she wants to cuddle all the time, and [she] flops around like a little shark. I call her pig-shark. Also “Little Mouseface” and “Seal Pup” and about 20 other animal-related pet names. She has some behavioral issues; she’s dog-selective and not always good with strangers, especially men. But the people she loves, she does fiercely. Basically, she’s exactly like me.

You are elected treasurer for life of a small socialist archipelago. What do you spend the money on?
Um, abolish money and feel really confused that anyone elected me to anything in the first place? Be like, “Y’all, I have knuckle tattoos. Who thought this was a good idea?”
How do you think the artist community has changed in the Tumblr age of instant interaction? How do you think it has affected artists’ chances of success?

I think it’s weird, because Tumblr in particular makes it so the artist is removed from the art, because people reblog things they think are pretty, without ever looking up the creator. And I think it can sway people into making work for those platforms—more one-liners and less in-depth things. It’s just another weird form of capitalist consumption, supply and demand, whatever. But given all that, I think it also gives people a lot of exposure they wouldn’t get otherwise, which is awesome, and can be really beneficial. Like, my best friend started making knives less than a year ago, and he’s already supporting himself as a craftsperson solely due to Instagram. So that’s fucking awesome.
What the fuck is success anyway?
It’s such a subjective term. For [some people], it could just mean people noticing their work, while for [others], it could mean supporting themselves with their art. Like I said earlier, for me, meeting someone who tells me that my comics helped them through something feels like success. Sure, I’d love to publish a book someday, but in the meantime, since I’ve been in an artistic rut this past year, just putting out another zine would feel like success. It can mean whatever people define it as for themselves.

Can’t get enough of Emilja? Neither can we. Luckily, there is lots of E.F. art on Tumblr, and there are some seriously sweet comix of hers in the first and third issues of As You Were.

Today’s edition of “Words From Good Art Doodz” is from the preposterously talented Emilja Frances. You might remember Emilja as “the first human consciousness uploaded to a computer,” paving the way for things like “the cloud” and “penicillin,” but after all the fanfare and award ceremonies, Bill Gates unceremoniously forgot about ol’ Emilja in a room under the Pentagon. What has Emilja been up to all this time since we were promised this new computerized way of living would “guarantee you live forever” and “spit in God’s smug, unruly face?” Making a ton of rad-as-fuck comics! We are so lucky to have talked Emilja into joining the As You Were crew, and we’ve been dying to interview this electronic marvel. Turns out the Pentagon is like, stupid easy to sneak into. We found good ol’ Emilja in a room marked with a crude hand-drawn “robots” sign, and proceeded to get the scoop, and steal Henry Kissinger’s Gmail password. 

Read on to find out what she’s been reading, what she draws, and why her dog is the most perfect creature ever.

Read More

irenecomics:

Irene and Silver Sprocket in Portland this weekend!!! Sept. 20th 10am - 7pm and Sept. 21st 10am - 5pm. Come see us!

HEY PORTLAND BUDS!  GET IN THE FRIEND ZONE!Rose City ComicCon is this weekend!!
We will have new comic books, screen prints, patches, stickers and all sorts of stuff, along with our usual bad ideas, and special guest Alex from Portland Button Works on Sunday. Come hang out. We will be giving bad haircuts if we can find an extension chord long enough. Bonus if you can give us a ride to the Nu Pogodi (UK thrash/crust) shows Sat and Sun night.   High-res

irenecomics:

Irene and Silver Sprocket in Portland this weekend!!! Sept. 20th 10am - 7pm and Sept. 21st 10am - 5pm. Come see us!

HEY PORTLAND BUDS!  GET IN THE FRIEND ZONE!
Rose City ComicCon is this weekend!!

We will have new comic books, screen prints, patches, stickers and all sorts of stuff, along with our usual bad ideas, and special guest Alex from Portland Button Works on Sunday. Come hang out. We will be giving bad haircuts if we can find an extension chord long enough. Bonus if you can give us a ride to the Nu Pogodi (UK thrash/crust) shows Sat and Sun night.

We’ve been framed! Don’t worry, its not like Roger Rabbit. Thanks to Mission Comics in San Francisco for carrying our screen prints from Liz Suburbia, Ben Passmore, Nation of Amanda and Lindsay Watson.

On display now, limited to 50 of each, in person on 20th Street or from [our online shop]. They even have our As You Were comics along with a stellar collection of small press like books from our buds Liz Prince, Alec Longstreth and Irene Comics, check em out!

There’s a certain gritty, self-deprecating vibe to the characters in Lauren Monger’s comics; her main character is Clementine, a punk rock opossum, and the rest of the ensemble includes characters that are equally angst-y and heartwarming, all at once, with bonus points for animal faces. In addition to themes of class, mental illness, and finding your way through the shitstorm that is life, these comics sort of smack you in the face in the best kind of way with their raw presentation and straightforward and vulnerable subject matter, while still managing to be funny and surreally weird slash strangely uplifting.
Read on to find out what inspires L. Mo, how she started making comics, and what other kinds of art she dabbles in.
[[MORE]]
Interview by Natalye for Silver Sprocket
So what’s the backstory of how you got invited to the As You Were party?
Mitch Clem asked me kind of out of the blue! I remember avidly reading some of his stuff in high school. How could I resist?
Which came first: drawing comics or painting? What was the impetus for making art? Are there any other mediums you are experimenting with or wanna try out in the future?
I’ve been compelled to make stuff, and especially draw, since I can remember. I grew up in the Georgia foothills and spent a lot of time alone, without much in the way of entertainment, besides running around in the woods and reading, so that was just what happened I guess! I later went to art school with the intention of majoring in sequential art, because I was really getting into some of the Vertigo and Dark Horse titles at the time. I didn’t even get a chance to take a sequential class before the painting department brought me to the dark side. I was a little more than two years in (my time at school was very erratic, since I couldn’t afford it most of the time) when I started doing these paintings of these characters. I spent a quarter and some time outside of school painting them, and while I was working on them, I started coming up with little stories and personalities for them. Eventually I pretty much switched entirely to making comics about them instead.
I used to think it would be fun to try animation, but I’m not sure I have the patience for it! Printmaking is probably the big one. I’ve been trying to do some very DIY-style screenprinting lately.

You’ve said in the past that your artwork is inspired not only by your life, but more specifically by mental illness and the lower class. I am assuming these are also experiences you’re familiar with, so to the level that you’re comfortable speaking about them, can you explain how they inform your art and, in turn, what you hope your art can communicate to others about these topics?
Yeah, although I think I failed to elaborate enough on the intentional cartoonish-ness of what I was initially going for with the paintings, with regard to class stuff. They were originally sort of intentionally silly in their presentation. There were some rough times when I was a kid, but I’d say overall [that] my friends’ lives were more of an inspiration than my own life was. Old houses that have gone to shit due to neglect and shortness of money, living with family too long—that sort of feeling—was something I was going to approach, but I’ve changed directions somewhat. That’s better for something properly autobiographical, maybe.
The paintings, at least of these characters, are something I’ve pretty much given up on as I’ve done more writing. I was aiming for just this kind of ridiculously lowbrow sort of thing on huge panels and canvas that I can’t imagine anyone with the money would be willing to buy. I just got kind of mad that painting was so inaccessible. It felt like decorating for rich people, you know? A little misguided. Anyways, that concept feels really flat compared to what I can do through a narrative.
One thing that’s going to keep coming up, though, is the money that’s wasted on distraction and little pleasures, and how it’s hard to make money when you have none. Family tensions and this sort of transient feeling as you begin to realize you need to care. And, in the case of mental illness, still not doing a very good job of caring whether you want to or not. Hopelessness and no discernible future. A lot of people are intimately familiar with some of that, I think.
Would it be fair to say that Clementine is supposed to be a version of you? What made you decide to make her an opossum? (Or do you call her a possum, since you’re from Georgia—I hear they do that in the South?)
Hah, yeah, in a way. She’s a lot like I was when I was around 18-21. I’m not so much in that place anymore, so it’s weird to write her. Kind of cathartic, just pouring out a lot of my own flaws. But she’s also her own person and there are quite a few differences. She spends a lot more time on the manic side of things, I think.
Since these were the first comics I’d ever really tried to stick with, I went with the whole “write what you know” thing pretty hard. I wasn’t really expecting anyone to notice them. A lot of the characters are lifted from friends and acquaintances or combinations of people I’ve known. As I’ve written more, they don’t feel like those people so much anymore. I just straight-up named Kyle after a friend of mine. Thankfully he’s the sort of guy who finds that funny.
As for Clementine being an opossum (maybe I’m a weird Southerner!) it’s kind of a long story, but basically an opossum moved into my house without my permission. She had a bunch of babies and they were really adorable and would come into my room and I’d give them strawberries or whatever. They also brought fleas with them. It was both a magical and terrible time, but I’ve been sort of crazy about opossums ever since.

What is your studio/room/work space like? Do you have any specific rituals you rely upon when you’re making art?
I work in my room, and my living conditions are not the greatest in general, so it’s a total wreck. I try to rearrange things every so often just to keep things interesting. I almost wish I wasn’t a traditional artist sometimes because I have to keep so much stuff. It’s everywhere. I keep a lot of books, too.
I’m not sure about rituals. I have a big calendar on my wall that I write deadlines on and try to keep little lists with little checkboxes on it of stuff I need to get done that day. I try to get to work almost right after I wake up because it’s easier to stay focused that way. Then I’ll have it on hand if I start shitting around on the Internet later, and then I’m like, “Why am I shitting around on the Internet? This is so much better a way for me to spend my time.”
Your contribution to As You Were deals with a lot of heavy stuff, and all of the things you touch on (the patriarchy, the class system, social interaction, self-worth, etc.) are tied in to one another in the form of this systematic oppression. What do you feel is the role of art in inspiring or instigating people to change or consider these issues in ways they might not have before? Does art still have that power to influence and sway in a positive direction? Or do you approach it more on a personal level of self-expression?
I honestly don’t approach these with a whole lot of an agenda. I’m not sure I’m so much interested in making people change their ways as I am in making the people who can relate feel less alone. I’m pretty uneducated and misguided in a lot of areas, and I can be really fatalistic and miserable, so I think if I made comics with a solid agenda, they’d be really shitty and fucked up.
Some people may have thought I was compelling the audience to think Clem’s boss was some sort of asshole, but when I was writing it, I wasn’t thinking he was intentionally trying to denigrate her or whatever, you know? People don’t know what they’re doing half the time. Life just isn’t a black and white thing and sometimes good people are shitty and vice versa. A lot of the main characters are extremely flawed, but I try not to make them unsympathetic because of those flaws. I may not always be successful, but I think that sort of understanding might be one of the major things I’m trying to accomplish. All the same, oppressive systems exist and I try to be aware of them.
As for art itself compelling people to change, well, I think it can be done really well or really poorly. A lot of the time, the audience has to bring themselves to the table when viewing some work, so it can be unwise to make them feel attacked. At other times, in-your-face, no-bullshit stuff is what is needed. It all depends on what you’re aiming for and who your target audience is.

What format does your art come in aside from the Internet and as paintings? Do you distribute your comics or have you been featured in any other collections, and do you have any plans or aspirations to publish a book of your work? Also, what’s the deal with your collab with Space Face Books?
I’ve only been making comics for around a year, and I often feel like I don’t know what I’m doing, but my goal is definitely to get more stuff out in print. I just have a personal preference for holding comics in my hands when I read them. I recently finished my first mini comic with Space Face Books, but I’m not entirely sure when it’ll be out yet. People will just have to stay tuned I guess!
I totally want to make a graphic novel and plenty more mini comics while I’m at it. Whenever I hold other people’s mini comics or zines, I feel like I’ve got little jewels or treasures in my hands, so that’s definitely something I want to continue with.
You’ve cited the filmmaker Jan Švankmajer as an inspiration. What other artists (or things) inspire you and in what ways?
Yeah, I think about film and animation a lot for sure. I just like the way Švankmajer so intimately (and often hilariously) expresses feelings around politics, oppression, and interpersonal relationships. I think about a lot of older stuff I grew up with, too. Namely, Rupert Bear and Beatrix Potter. There’s a lot of literature. I really love a lot of early 20th century authors. Evelyn Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited has been important to me for a long time, as well as Thomas Wolfe’s Look Homeward, Angel and You Can’t Go Home Again. I think I consider literature more often than I do comics when I’m writing.
I’ve also got a massive soft spot for Romantic painters and a lot of more contemporary types like George Condo, Basquiat, Richard Prince, Keith Haring, and also Kent Williams and Phil Hale; the list goes on forever. A lot of my local peers are pretty inspiring as well.

If your art were a mixtape, what would the tracklist be?
This question makes me nervous! Probably just, like, The Replacements’ entire discography.
If adult things like money, time, and responsibility weren’t factors to consider, what would you do with your life?
I think I’d be pretty happy if I could just live relatively comfortably doing art things. I just like making stuff. I’d be miserable if I couldn’t make stuff, really.
Take a look at more of Lauren’s art on her Tumblr, and if you dropped the ball and forgot to pick up a copy of As You Were #3, head on over to our shiny new store and get one now.    High-res

There’s a certain gritty, self-deprecating vibe to the characters in Lauren Monger’s comics; her main character is Clementine, a punk rock opossum, and the rest of the ensemble includes characters that are equally angst-y and heartwarming, all at once, with bonus points for animal faces. In addition to themes of class, mental illness, and finding your way through the shitstorm that is life, these comics sort of smack you in the face in the best kind of way with their raw presentation and straightforward and vulnerable subject matter, while still managing to be funny and surreally weird slash strangely uplifting.

Read on to find out what inspires L. Mo, how she started making comics, and what other kinds of art she dabbles in.

Read More

No offense to the other As You Were contributors, but Cathy’s comic is the one that, more than any other in #3, hit me right in the emotional fruit stand. Reading more and more of her comics I just kept thinking: “oh no, I’m about to have feelings”—and that is great and should be feared and respected. Way to go emperor deep comics. FYI, I’m not the only one who feels this way. Case in point: Cathy has been nominated for the Ignatz Award in Promising New Talent, which will be voted on and presented in September at SPX 2014

Read on for Cathy’s thoughtful interview and wonderful artwork.

Read More

Choo choo, all aboard, here comes zine fest! They tried to keep us from giving haircuts by placing us as far away from an electric outlet as possible. The cowards don’t even realize how many extension chords we have. Come get some fellowship and peep our new wares. We will be flanked by the ragtag likes of Mixtape Comics and Irene! Tomorrow and Tomorrow’s Tomorrow in Golden Gate Park! (1199 9th Ave and Lincoln Way, San Francisco)
  High-res

Choo choo, all aboard, here comes zine fest! They tried to keep us from giving haircuts by placing us as far away from an electric outlet as possible. The cowards don’t even realize how many extension chords we have. Come get some fellowship and peep our new wares. We will be flanked by the ragtag likes of Mixtape Comics and Irene! Tomorrow and Tomorrow’s Tomorrow in Golden Gate Park! (1199 9th Ave and Lincoln Way, San Francisco)


Cathy G Johnson has been nominated for this year’s Ignatz Award in “Promising New Talent” for damn good reason. Visit her and vote next month at SPX 2014. Here’s her seriously good (and unfortunately timely) comic from As You Were #3. Visit this Tumblr next week for our interview with Cathy and more arts!

As You Were is a punk-comix anthology series featuring new stories by our favorite independent artists from punk communities around the world. The theme for issue #3 is “Big, Big Changes”, available for [purchase here from Silver Sprocket].