Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Thirteen Sided Die #2

The Hidden Fortress is packed up and ready to embark on a journey to LineworkNW in Portland, OR this weekend. In addition to the regular staples of our catalog, I just finished printing the latest installment of my sketchbook series Thirteen Sided Die. 

I'm still pretty new to this offset printing process, and Thirteen Sided Die is where I try to work the bugs out. The first issue was literally the first thing I attempted printing on the Hidden Fortress Press, and it was a mess; as should be expected, I had no idea what I was doing. This second issue is my attempt at printing four color CMYK color separations on the press, with mixed success:

If you want this book but can't make it out to Portland for the show, I'll be adding it to the Hidden Fortress webstore when I return from the west coast. 

Thanks to Walker for helping me Riso those covers in a pinch! He and the Providence Comics Consortium will be joining me at the Hidden Fortress table at LineworkNW, and I think he's going to be on a panel too. Come say hi to us if you're there!

Monday, February 10, 2014


I'm starting to fill out the Hidden Fortress travel plan for 2014, and it's shaping up to be a pretty exciting year...

April 12th we'll be making our west coast debut at Linework NW in Portland, OR. I think this is the inaugural year for this show; it's being organized by Zack Soto and Francois Vigneault, and I get the sense that it's going to be one of the really good ones. Plus I've never been to Portland! I've heard that I will dine like a vegan prince while there...

On the weekend of May 10-11 we'll be making our triumphant return to TCAF in Toronto ON. Last year was my first visit to TCAF, and I was blown away! Such a good show, with fantastic programming, and a huge turnout. And Toronto is absolutely beautiful.

We'll be traveling to Chicago on the weekend of May 31 - June 1 for CAKE. This will be CAKE's 3rd year, and I'm proud to say that we've been with them from the beginning. It's always one of the most fun shows of the year; so many good, talented folks in Chicago!

September 13-14 is SPX weekend. Small Press Expo in Bethesda, MD is the premier indy comics show on the east coast, maybe in the whole country, and I'm psyched that we'll be participating in it once again. SPX is so important to our scene, on so many levels, it's hard to imagine a world without it... I'm looking forward to being a part of this show for a long, long time.

There are a couple more shows on the horizon that I'm hoping to add to my calendar, like the Rhode Island Indy Publishing Expo this summer and Comic Arts Brooklyn in the fall, but they both seem to be in a developmental stage right now. I'll have more information about them in the future.

The Hidden Fortress is working on a number of projects for release in 2014, which we'll be rolling out over the course of the year at these shows. Here's a preview of one of those new books, an anthology honoring those glorious combatants of the squared circle:

Box Brown has been slaving away on a highly anticipated Andre the Giant biography which will finally be seeing the light of day sometime this year. I'm thrilled that he drew this harrowing tale of Abdullah the Butcher (the greatest blader in wrestling history) for our book! He has a number of beautiful portraits of wrestling superstars for sale at his store, go check em out

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

CAB and Heather Benjamin

This weekend the Hidden Fortress can be found at the first ever Comic Arts Brooklyn! Gabe Fowler, besides being a really sweet guy, and running my favorite store in Brooklyn (Desert Island), AND putting out one of the best comics newspapers in the country (Smoke Signal), he has been involved in organizing some of the best comic shows in the area over the last several years. Recently, he was one of the founders of the tour de force known as the Brooklyn Comics and Graphics Festival, and this year he's forging his own path with CAB. And we're excited to be a part of it!

After the show, Heather Benjamin has an opening at Мишка in Brooklyn, which I highly recommend attending. Heather is brilliant, one of my favorite illustrators currently working; we were lucky to have her drawings grace the cover(s) of the new MONSTER book. The letterpress covers she designed for the individual books are difficult to photograph clearly, so I thought this would be a good time and place to show off her work:
Volume 1

Volume 2

Volume 3

I'm looking forward to seeing you all there

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

MONSTER reviews!

Cool! The book has only been in existence for a couple of weeks and we're excited to be seeing some sweet reviews appearing online already:

Tom Spurgeon wrote about it on his blog, the Comics Reporter. I love Tom, he's one of the best people in the business, and every time he mentions us on his blog, our views over here triple! Like most people in the independent comics world, we owe him a lot!

Andy Rench wrote an equally wonderful review over at his Printed-Matters blog. I don't know Andy personally, but he has excellent taste! And his blog belies a deep, passionate appreciation of printed work. Great stuff!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

SPX 2013

Did SPX seem a lot bigger this year? The Hidden Fortress Press set up shop at one of (what seemed like) hundreds of tables in the ballroom, selling our new MONSTER book, some old favorites, a new book by Cybele Collins, and a ton of PCC books.

We had the good fortune of sitting next to Michel Fiffe (I'm kinda in love with his COPRA book), Melissa Mendes (who debuted Can't Lose at SPX, her new Friday Night Lights fanzine), Chuck Forsman (whose TEOTFW collection disappeared so fast he had to cancel his second book signing), and Ian Densford (who made some awesomely action packed, and beautifully printed, minis).

I didn't get many chances to walk around on the showroom floor, but here are some of the things I found during my brief forays:

Frans Boukas released a super limited edition (of 30!) print version of his contributions to the BARTKIRA project. His work is awesome, and deserves to be printed much, much larger...

Technically not new, but new to me, is this OBJECT 10 book from Floating World Comics. Killian Eng is one of those super young super-talents that drives me mad with envy; the vast amount of beautiful work he's produced in a relatively short period of time makes me feel like I've been seriously slacking.

This Frontier series from Youth In Decline is only 2 issues deep, as of this writing, but I'm already a superfan. The first issue focused on the work of Uno Moralez, someone whose work I'd seen for a while but never connected the name with the face, and this second issue focuses on the immensely talented Hellen Jo. I'm psyched to see where it goes next...

I could go on, there is so much beautiful work being done right now, but I'll have to save it for later.

On our drive home, we delivered the new MONSTER to every decent comic shop along the way. You can now purchase it in our store, as well as these fine establishments: Atomic Books, Chapel Hill Comics, Floating World Comics, Drawn and Quarterly, Big Planet Comics, Ada Books, Armageddon Shop, and (soon) Desert Island and the Million Year Picnic. I'm going to try and get it into as many stores as I can, so keep an eye out...

Friday, September 13, 2013


the Hidden Fortress wagon is fully loaded with boxes upon boxes of books, and we're about to begin the harrowing journey to distant Bethesda, MD 

the new MONSTER is finally upon us! 200 pages of comics, offset printed in two colors, with letterpress and silkscreen covers by Heather Benjamin. here's a shot of the fully unfolded wraparound cover:

here is a full list of the contributing artists:

Tom Toye, Edie Fake, Brittany Hague, Jon Vermilyea, Leif Goldberg, Mike Taylor, Sam Dollenmayer, Michael Deforge, Keith Jones, Mickey Zacchilli, Marc Bell, Molly O'Connell, Seth Cooper, Devin Flynn, Lale Westvind, Jordan Crane, Brian Ralph, Mollie Goldstrom, Paul Lyons, Mat Brinkman, Roby Newton, Walker Mettling, Andy Neal and Kevin Hooyman.

that's a lot of talent to cram into 200 pages!

the book will be available this weekend at SPX, come by and take a look!

this book is now available in our store

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Roby and Paul

3 years ago, I conned Roby into helping me print a new Monster anthology. She was running the offset press at Black Cat Graphics, and printed most of that over-sized Monster book there after hours. It was kind of a hellish experience for the two of us, getting that book done in time for SPX. I think we finished stitching them around 2am the morning of the show, and I promptly jumped in the car and drove overnight to Maryland.

And apparently we learned nothing from all this, because here's a new MONSTER book, and it's another back breaker, with SPX breathing down our necks yet again...

Here's a glimpse at the comic that Roby drew for the book:

and I did this thing: