Capital Comics Collective

capital comics collective composite

By Emily Rippe

After several attempts at networking with local artists, mostly of the painter and photographer varieties, cartoonist T.J. Kirsch still felt out of the place. The scenes just didn't feel right to him.

So he formed his own.

Fast forward four months and the Capital Comics Collective has not only become a place for local comic artists to meet like minded folks and develop ideas -- they've already managed to publish their first min-comics anthology.

The members of the Capital Comics Collective initially found each other on Twitter.
Since then, they've met a handful of times in person. Now they're hoping other comic artists will join them.

"The goal is simply to bring like-minded comics-makers together in the real world and away from the drawing table for some human contact once in a while," Kirsch said.

According to Kirsch, the Capital Comics Collective is the first of its kind in the area, providing a welcoming place for cartoonists to share their creative processes. Meet-ups are casual, and the only requirement is that participants hail from the Capital Region. While not mandatory, members can choose to present their work in the bi-annual Capital Comics Collective Anthology, where topics range from haircuts and road kill to pizza and "the good old days."

capital comics collective private detective

The first installment: The Capital Comics Collective: Winter 2011 Anthology recently debuted at the Albany Comic Con, and the fledgling group even made some sales. The CCC has 12 members so far, and its inaugural anthology includes work from six contributors including Emily Armstrong, Jenny Blanchard, Caroline Corrigan, Eric Newsom, Craig Staufenberg, and, of course, Kirsch himself.

While the majority of CCC members consider comics-making to be a hobby, Kirsch is clearly a professional. An alum of the Savannah College of Art and Design and the renowned Kubert School, he's made a career out of this under-represented art form, and has worked on collaborative and solo projects as a writer and cartoonist.

Some of his popular online work includes She Died In Terrebonne (written by Kevin Church) which will soon be collected and published by Chicago publisher Nan Bu Nan. Beefed (featured in the first CCC anthology) and Slim Johnson's Fever Dream are some of his self-written titles. During his art school days, Kirsch remembers falling under the influence of comics legends such as Daniel Clowes (Ghost World, David Boring), Chris Ware (Jimmy Corrigan) and Craig Thompson (Blankets).

As an artist, it can be difficult to communicate why you're drawn to a particular medium, but Kirsch explains it better than most.

"We're an obsessive bunch, and once someone gets hooked on comics and graphic novels, it's fairly consuming. It's also an element of control, when creating comics," he said, "I like the film analogy--when you make comics by yourself, you're the writer, director, actor, and set designer all in one. It's your vision right there on paper."

Learn more about the Capital Comics Collective by following them in Twitter @CapitalComix, or email T.J. Kirsch at idrawcomics@gmx.com to get involved with the group.

Earlier on AOA:
+ Jess Fink has created the best book about Victorian robot sex that we've ever read
+ Jenny Blanchard's Enjhuneer
+ Summer with Emily Armstrong

Comments

This sounds amazing -- I'm an amateur cartoonist myself and was just thinking how cool it would be to put together an anthology of local artists. I'll definitely be getting in touch.

Well it's about time : )

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