by Liberty Finch
For those whose cartoon sensibilities rarely stray from the likes of Dilbert or The Family Circus—sucks to be you. For those who relish misadventure, biting social commentary and perversion, Lutefisk Sushi Volume B offers a raw comic buffet to satiate your appetite and warm your twisted little hearts. And for the rest who prefer traditional superheroes or futuristic Japanese magna, there’ll be a plethora of panels for you, too.
The exhibit, held for the second consecutive year at Creative
Electric Studios, features a diverse array of original artwork, as well
as limited edition box sets of mini-comics created by the more than 50 cartoonists
in this show. Lutefisk Sushi Volume B promises to be bigger and better than
last year, which was mighty fine indeed.
show is sponsored by the International Cartoonist Conspiracy and Big Time Attic.
The Cartoonist Conspiracy is a group that began in 2002 after member Steve Stwalley
posted flyers around town looking for doodle pals. Over the years participants
have come and gone, but Stwalley suspects more than 200 people have attended
one or more of the group’s regular drawing sessions. They meet at 6:30
p.m. the first Thursday of every month at Diamonds Coffee Shop in Northeast
Minneapolis for jams—collaborative projects where each cartoonist draws
a panel then passes it on. It matters little if what evolves is cohesive or
chaotic, what’s important is to draw. And for some of the more introverted,
socially challenged cartoonists (isn’t that redundant?), it’s an
opportunity to mingle and network. As Shad Petosky of Big Time Attic explained,
“Jam comics stay in their original, albeit sometimes disastrous forms,
and get put on line.” He said about eight jam comics have been printed
so far. The Conspiracy also meets the third Saturday of every month at Minnesota
Center for Book Arts to work on individual, year-long graphic novel projects.
Big Time Attic is a comic and animation studio comprised of Petosky, Zander
Cannon and Kevin Cannon (no relation to each other), a group defined on its
website as “three friends with an impressive range of hair styles.”
Big Time Attic just came out with its graphic novel, “Bone Sharps, Cowboys
and Thunder Lizards,” a 126-page story about feuding paleontologists in
the late 1800s.
Big Time Attic has also done educational comics for the government: two for
the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and one for the U.S. Geological
Survey, which teach kids about satellites, space weather and geo-magnetism.
Petosky said that as a government contractor, he’s seen some pretty unusal
job postings. “As official government contractors, we get to see the bids
[the government] posts. For one of their projects, you had to go to Fort Bragg
and concept these patriotic comics for Iraqi children about how it is being
occupied,” he said. “They also use comics to teach airmen about
guns, like how to use a rifle.”
Big Time Attic designed the super cool website (CartoonistConspiracy.com/Sushi)
and postcard for the show, and served as the drop-off site for exhibitors. Petosky
said he’s been impressed with the work he’s seen, including “great
paintings by King Mini and some original comic pages. It’s cartoony, lowbrow,
Pop Art—the sort of art that cartoonists do.”
Lutefisk Sushi Volume B also pays homage to local cartoonist Ken Avidor,
the eco-conscious, bike-riding political activist who gave us “Road Kill
Bill” (which ran in Pulse for years). Seems Mr. Avidor is also Ken Weiner—former
art editor for Screw magazine, a naughty little porno rag out of New York City.
To honor Ken’s life-long work, a motley but impressive crew of cartoonists
have penned a 50-page compilation comic. “Cartoonists aren’t always
that extroverted, so it’s a comic book roast,” explained Petosky.
“There’s all these cartoonists, and famous cartoonists like Pete
Bagge, who contributed to a roast for Avidor and his ‘Road Kill Bill’
Lutefisk Sushi Volume B opens Fri. Mar. 24 at 7 p.m. at
Creative Electric Studios,
2201 NE 2nd St.., Mpls., 612-706-7879. Gallery hours are Sat. 11 a.m.–4
p.m. and by appointment.The show runs through Apr. 21.