September 18, 2012

Top Five Tuesday: Small Press Expo All Up In My Grill

I don’t ever get to just GO to a lot of the events I sell at — IF I’m lucky (unlucky?) enough to be working a convention or trade show with occasional lulls in foot traffic and wander around, it’s never enough time to fully absorb all that the conventions have to offer, and I can never do it concurrently with Meredith, as she and I switch off who mans the fort while the other wanders.

Which is why I was SO excited to hit the 2012 Small Press Expo this past weekend with Meredith — we got to see the WHOLE show floor, and take our time at each table/booth, engaging with the artists and chatting with friends.

Here are some of our favorite new (to us) artists from the show, and where to find them:

1. K. Sekelsky, author of The Time Traveler’s Pocket Guide


Text-heavy, but in the best way possible, with perfectly executed illustrations that support the hilarious rules and tips for seasoned time travelers and noobs alike.

2. Minty Lewis, author of PS Comics


Adorable anthropomorphic foods and animals engaged in very relatable (if absurd) slice of life activities.

3. Eric Feurstein, author/illustrator of Rutabaga: Adventure Chef


Rutabaga is an adorably adventurous chef, forever seeking out the most magical and legendary ingredients, and feeding the denizens of the forest along the way!

4. MariNaomi, author/illustrator of Kiss & Tell: A Romantic Resume, Ages 0 to 22


At times cringe-inducing, at times hilarious, this auto-bio is expertly executed, drawing from the creator’s own romantic (and less-than-romantic) experiences.

5. Scott Campbell, author/illustrator of Amazing Everything: The Art of Scott C.


Cute, funny watercolor illustrations of the absurd. Difficult to describe succinctly, as Scott’s themes are wide-ranging, but really well done!


Honestly, there were so many, many other awesome creators selling wares at SPX that Meredith and I found ourselves saying “I want to buy everything!” to one another countless times over the 4 hours we spent walking through the convention hall. Some other really awesome artists to explore include:

Alphabet Press

Sticky Comics

Mike Mitchell

Jonathan Eaton’s Food Porn

Ben Claassen

Happy reading!

December 14, 2011

Artists I Like: Christian Peterson, The Modern Stylographer

Filed under: Artists I Like — Tags: , , , — ex-boyfriend @ 6:09 pm

Being a legit graphic designer (I have the degree that proves it!), I love a lot of the early 1960’s movie title cards done by Saul Bass and other giants of the pop art era. Simplistic, powerful, and full of contrast. While that sort of thing went out of style once the hippies arrived, it’s made a nice comeback over the last decade or so, and Christian Peterson’s poster homages are a great example of this:




December 12, 2011

Mystery Monday: Stippling Is Awesome, But It Is For The Birds

Filed under: Artists I Like,Mystery Monday — Tags: , , , , — ex-boyfriend @ 6:06 pm

I love stippling, and would use it all the time in drawings after I learned about it as a kid. But man, is it tedious!

Hero from Miguel Endara on Vimeo.


November 21, 2011

Mystery Monday: Drawing Is Fun—Keep It Up!

Filed under: Artists I Like,Mystery Monday — Tags: , , , , , — ex-boyfriend @ 9:12 pm

This is pretty cool. Makes me wish I was better at/more willing to learn about animation:

keep drawing from studio shelter on Vimeo.


August 29, 2011

Artists I Like: David Witt

Trading under the name DWITT, David Witt is a Minneapolis-based illustrator who is in the midst of a pretty awesome series, both in terms of concept and execution: Last Words.

Basically, he does quasi-caricatured portraits of famous dead celebs paired with the last words they uttered before shuffling off to the Great Cocktail Party In The Sky. I really hope he continues the series; his most recent addition is Bob Marley, though besides Bogey (pictured above), my favorite would have to be Groucho (of the human variety—not the canine). You can check out his full portfolio, including posters and other design/illustration work, here.

(Via Thrillist)

July 11, 2011

Mystery Monday: Vandalism-Free Street Art, Cupcake Ninjas, Space Monsters

Filed under: Artists I Like,Mystery Monday — Tags: — ex-boyfriend @ 8:22 pm

I’m of two minds about street art. I mostly love walking through a city and seeing really cool art worked into the urban landscape. When delinquent property owners saddle me and my fellow urbanites with ugly, boarded-up, abandoned buildings, I feel like those spaces should be fair game for “beautification”. On the other hand, I wouldn’t really advocate tagging the cute little independent bakery around the corner without the owner’s permission.

Russian street artist Rustam Valeev has found a really cool happy medium for adding his art to a cityscape, without causing property damage. Check out what he’s done with sidewalk chalk:

The only thing more amazing than these pieces is that Rustam puts that kind of time into art that the rain is going to wash away.

Via Daily Picks and Flicks

P.S. If you haven’t heard, I’ve been working on some really cute kawaii pieces for Otakon later this month. My two newest creations feature cupcake ninjas kicking some toothy ass and a space war involving those trouble-making plant monsters I created several months back. Check ‘em out below:

cupcake ninjas

June 20, 2011

Mystery Monday: New Shirts, New Digs, New Everything

So there’s a lot of new stuff coming your way from Ex-Boyfriend. We finally got around to posting my two newest designs, Eight vs. Ate and Transylvania Is 4 Lovers. I’m hoping to get at least one or two more up by the end of the week; I know it’s been a bit quiet in that regard lately. Don’t worry, though. I’m on it!

I also put the finishing touches on a new site design this weekend. Still a few minor things to do before that goes up, but I’m hoping to have it up later this week as well. The pitfalls of running a business with just two people!

Anyway, here are the new designs:

And just so you don’t think this post is all about MY shizz, here’s a pretty cool art blog I discovered via a couple weeks ago: It’s called Ten Paces and Draw, and the concept behind it is that the blog contributors come up with a conceptual theme and then invite artists to work collaboratively on a piece that reflects the given theme. One artist starts off and creates a sketch inspired by the theme, and then passes it off to another artist who completes it. It’s a very cool idea. One of my favorite recent pieces is this collaboration between Kyle Fewell and fellow Baltimore-based illustrator Ariyana Suvarnasuddhi. Check out their other stuff; it’s very good!

June 14, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday: Oslo and Berlin (Part 2 of 2)

So after a quick diversion into the robotic realm last week, I thought I’d wrap up this two-part series about my recent European escapades!

Previously I posted some pics of the cool art to be seen in Oslo, Norway and the choicest selections from Berlin’s East Side Gallery. This week’s focus is a bit more on Berlin’s excellent street art scene.


This awesome Japanese woodcut-style portrait decorated the side of a hotel across the street from the East Side Gallery facing the Spree River. We really loved the economical use of color and elegant contours and just thought in general it was great art AND marketing for the hotel; it’s hard to miss AND hard to forget.


After a couple of mis-steps seeking out the cream of the art scene crop that we’d heard so much about before arriving in Berlin, we asked the proprietor of Big Brobot, a very cool book/toy/comic/t-shirt shop in the Friedrichshain section of the city, if he could recommend any good galleries that exhibited more street art and pop art (as opposed to the truly awful installations we’d seen up to that point.) He kindly pointed us in the direction of the NeuroTitan gallery and shop.

After a couple of missed turns, we finally were pointed in the direction of the correct alley leading to the gallery. Once we stepped into the alley, we were greeted with some really wonderful pieces of street art, from spray can art to traditional media to paste-ups.


The alley then led into a courtyard that featured this very cool steam-powered sculpture of a steampunk bat-creature with flapping wings, roving eyes, and flailing proboscis. I really wish I’d switched on my video camera to catch it in action!


Finally, to get to the NeuroTitan gallery, we had to climb a few flights of stairs to enter the shop area before checking out the exhibit. While the exhibit was pretty “meh”, the trip up the stairs was awesome, with the walls just COVERED in really cool graffiti and street art. One of our favorites was the “Fashion Chimp” ad paste-up, done in the style of a 1930s-40s women’s magazine. Who wouldn’t want a giant, life-sized “fashion chimp” for their home?


That pretty much wraps up our 2011 European adventure. Sad as we were not to be able to make it to Tokyo, it was an excellent diversion none the less, and hopefully the planet is done kicking Japan’s ass for a few years and we can make it over there soon.

In OTHER Ex-Boyfriend news—AT LEAST two new designs are going to be up by the end of this week. If you or someone you know is into vampires, kitties, and/or kawaii-style art, be sure to check back!

ALSO: Be sure to tune into The Daily Show on Comedy Central tonight at 11pm. Our good friend Jackson Galaxy from Animal Planet will be sporting our very own Fuzz Aldrin this evening during Aasif Mandvi’s segment! Woot! Be sure to spread the word!

UPDATE: The Daily Show segment featuring Jackson Galaxy wearing Fuzz Aldrin tonight has been postponed thanks to some big political news today, but I’ll keep you guys updated about when it really airs!

June 6, 2011

Mystery Monday: Charts & Graphs That Won’t Make You Want To Fall Asleep In Class

Graph paper aficionado Jim Darlington likes charts. He’s like a lo-fi Marshall Eriksen, giving us such valuable data as “The Fire: An Argument That We Didn’t Start It, With Evidence That It’s Always Been Burning (Since The World’s Been Turning)”:

Visit When The What? for more of Jim’s pen & paper brilliance!

May 9, 2011

Mystery Monday: The Art of Baseball

Filed under: Artists I Like,Mystery Monday — Tags: , , , , — ex-boyfriend @ 6:22 pm

Austin, TX-based artist Summer Anne Burton took on quite a challenge in January of 2011: She set out to draw annotated portraits of all 293 members of the National Baseball Hall of Fame within a year, each one featuring key statistics and anecdotes. That’s roughly 1.25 portraits a day, which is pretty impressive—granted, her stuff is a little more basic than my work, and she’s doing this as a purely self-satisfying enterprise, so she’s not really going out of her way to sell these and suffering through all the marketing and self-promotion that it entails (though she is taking commissions for stuff at her Etsy shop)—but I’m lucky to average one new design a WEEK.

Still, the concept is sound, and her simple line art style is perfectly suited for this sort of project. Pains me as it does to feature a YANKEE on my blog, The Babe was born in Baltimore, and since Summer Anne is drawing these chronologically based on their induction into the Hall, it’ll be a while before any Orioles pop up (John McGraw is in there, but the Baltimore Orioles of the late 19th/early 20th century have no real connection to the team that moved here from St. Louis in 1954 other than geographical and titular symmetry.)

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