Friday, March 31, 2006

Radio Silence

Everyone is off to bed for the big battle tomorrow. I hope you'll stop by Big Brain Comics and the Center for Book Arts to support your favorite troops and bring us treats. (Don't expect to interact though, watching cartooning is really really boring.) If you're interested in participating yourself, you can still show up at 10 AM and be thrown on a straggler team or be drafted into an existing team.

A final thought for the Texas teams:

You Suck Texas Teams.

A final thought for Jenny Schmid:

Happy Birthday!


Let's take a moment...

In times like these we sometimes have to take a break and enjoy non-competitive cartooning...

Here's a photo of Tim Sievert of Minneapolis MN finishing the last panel of the last page of the Project:Romantic story and giving a big thumbs up to the troops.

No back to our coverage of Comics Jam War.


Thursday, March 30, 2006


OPERATION:Comics Jam War
BATTLE FIELD:Minnesota Center for Book Arts and Big Brain Comics
TIME:Saturday 1, April. ElevenHundredHours to TwentyThreeHundred Hours.
OBJECTIVES:Create an collaborative 8 page story about an undisclosed topic from scratch in 12 hours.

Big Time Attic: Strike Force Bravo Tango Alpha
Zander Cannon
Tim Sievert
Max Konrardy
Brett Von Schlosser

Big Time Attic: Fighting Hellcats
Kevin Cannon
Shad Petosky
Brittney Sabo
Jon White

Other Minneapolis teams include:
STANK! and the Roe Family Cartoonists
Team Geriatric



The Real Jam War.

Attn: Team Fighting Hellcats
Teammates, you may have read a recent "web-log" post calling for the defeat of our small band of warriors. While these local skirmishes are a fun way to boost morale, PLAYING GRAB-ASS IN THE FOXHOLE WON'T WIN THE WAR. To that end, I've attached a Juliet-Pappa-Echo-Golf to help remind you who the REAL enemy is. ... and if someone has more time and wants to make one with crosshairs in the middle, that'd be cool...


Jam War is this Saturday! The commanders speak!

A message from Captain Zander Cannon to the other members of Strike-Force Bravo Tango Alpha: Tim, Brett, and Max.

Men, I'm not going to lie to you. Your chances of coming back alive from this jam war are excellent. This is not a war fought with bullets, but with ideas. Not with blood, but with ink. Not with bravery, but with the same snivelling wimpishness that kept us inside and drawing for our entire adolescence. If any of you actually die in the process of making an 8-page comic in 12 hours (with a team of 4, for god's sake), I'll be very surprised.

Now, we do have to take into account our rivals here; namely the men and women of The BTA Fighting Hellcats: Kevin, Shad, Brit, and Jon. Do we fear them? No we do not. Do we respect their skills? Mmmm... sure. Are we nervous about their teamwork? Yes we are.

The Big Time Attic Fighting Hellcats are what we call in comic war circles a "Dream Team". Why? They are well rounded, have a diverse skill set, and work well with others. Brit is the plucky youngster, quick with a caricature or a bon mot. Jon is the clean cut recruit with a direct line to the man upstairs. Shad is the visionary with a bone to pick. And Captain Kevin Cannon is a workhorse, plain and simple.

Men, I hate to break it to you, but we couldn't work together to carry a bed. Tim, you're a fiery-tongued sarcasm devil. Brett, you're a grizzled viking-man with a girlish laugh. Max, you're a tree-hugging he-viper. And me? Heck, I'm a dog-tired pen-hater. We're a collection of lone wolves, lone rangers, and lone gunmen.

How are we going to work together, men? The short answer: we're absolutely not. Not because we're giving up, but because we have something that those lily-white West Point weiners haven't got a shred of: heart. And guts. And awesomeness.

Sun Tzu said it best when I paraphrased, "A comics jam isn't about cooperation, it's about mutual contempt for each other's stupid ideas." When I give you a panel to continue, do I give you instructions? Do I give you my wishes? Do I want you to be gentle with my intricately plotted speculative fiction epic set in 36th century Australia? If I do, just roll a grenade into my tent after lights out, because that ain't what Jam War's about. It's about taking what you get, hating what you got, drawing what you like, and giving what you can get away with.

It's days away now, men. The fire in your blood should be palpable. I want you to thirst for the defeat of the Hellcats, and I want you to burn with desire to humiliate your teammates. It will be ugly.

We're going into this war with an open mind, loose fingers, and a lifetime of forgotten skills. And the dark, old gods of cartooning will reward us with a hard-fought, ink-soaked victory. Semper Fi!


Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Comics Underway

We're working on a bunch of comics...and here are some photos:

Kevin on the Project:Romantic story.

Tim inking Project: Romantic.

Project: Romantic lettering.

Zander pencils the cover for the USGS book, the sequel to Space Weather and Space Junk.


The Lutefisk Sushi show was a rip-roaring success! Everybody's stuff looked really great, and the show turnout was better than even I expected. My dad came to town to witness the festivities, which was totally awesome, and I believe he had a good time too.

Saturday morning we stopped by the BTA to have a look around.

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This Saturday, April 1st, is the battle of the century when cartoonists from around the nation wage all out comic war on each other for bragging rights and prize money. The two BTA teams are constantly at each other's throats while gearing up for mortal combat. My team will dominate.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

What to Do if There is a Live Dinosaur in Your Attic

First of all, stay calm. Like birds, dinosaurs have extremely sensitive motion detection. Crouch behind a cabinet or trunk and stay absolutely motionless. Soon the dinosaur in your attic will think you have magically disappeared and it will wander over to the dormer window. Next, find the mannequin with the wedding dress on it. Most attics have a mannequin with a wedding dress on it. When you have spotted it, run toward it and stand behind it. Then stick your arms in front of the manneqin and wave and say "Hey, I'm over here and I'm wearing a wedding dress." The dinosaur will run at you and strike the belly. The mannequin's belly. You are saved. Run away before the dinosaur realizes that there is no flesh underneath the wedding dress.

If you're lucky, the live dinosaur in your attic will be a vegetarian. If this is the case, create a trail of lettuce heads that leads to the nearest highway. A bus or large truck should take care of your dino-pest.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Big Time Challenge #04

Good morning, cadets! While today's challenge is, uh, technically about 48 hours late, we're going to let that sliiiide right by and dive in to the brain-thumpin' action! In celebration of this past weekend's social-event-of-the-season Lutefisk Sushi opening, I've assembled a miniature excerpt from the minicomics submitted by Tim, Zander, Max, Shad, Jon, and Brit -- the only problem is, I've forgotten who drew which! Can you help me out by identifying the BTA "hand"iwork behind the following scans? (P.S.: Plowing back through your own stash of Lutefisk minicomics counts as cheating.)

The wrath of Tim

Before everyone decides how terribly inaccurate my representation of the studio is thanks to the panorama posted below, I would like to remind our readers that we have a magic, transforming studio much like Mary Poppins' bag of tricks, full of adventure and gaudy colors. If you don't believe me, just read today's comic!

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Office Space Panoramic

Here's a big ol' panorama photo of Big Time Attic...

Lutefisk Sushi B Photos

I sort of dropped the ball on the photos/video parade. The show was packed and it wasn't until the crowd thinned out a bit that I could move around enough to raise the camera to my face.

Click for larger version.

Zander and Julie Cannon, Baron Von Schlosser, and Jon White.

Cartoonists Mike Toft, Adam Wirtzfeld, Danno! (is it Dank now?), Sean Tenhoff, and Chole.

Animator/Cartoonist Max Konrardy and Zinester Sierra Fern.

Film Editor JoLynn Garnes and Rogue Taxidermist Scott Bibus.

Cartoonist Tim Sievert and Pa Sievert.

Cartoonist Sam and Romina Hiti.

Steve, Leigh Anne, and little Esther Stwalley.

Robotics artist-programmer Jesse Hemminger and Pilotvibe Dave Schroeder.


Friday, March 24, 2006

Box Printing Video

Here's some sped-up video of Lonny Unitus and me hand-printing the Lutefisk Sushi boxes.

Lutefisk Sushi

The Lutefisk Sushi show is TONIGHT at 7 PM. It's been getting a lot of great press, Minnesota Monthly, Pulse, Star Tribune...and we heard tell that Mary Lucia and Current DJs were saying that they dug the website. Neat!

We might need to do a bunch of Lutefisk Sushi related posts, expect this blog to be as enveloped by the show as our office has been for the last few months...


Thursday, March 23, 2006

Big Time Attic Halo 3 Illustration in this month's Game Informer!

Thought we might not be nerds? Or more likely, thought we might limit our nerdiness to comic books? FAT CHANCE! Game Informer, a highly-respected video game magazine (as video game magazines go) located here in glorious Minneapolis, asked us here at BTA to draw a parody of what people are expecting out of the hotly anticipated video game "Halo 3". Let's not name names, but one of our members thought drawing the Master Chief astride a unicorn wearing rocket roller skates and firing a speargun while being chased by gangsters in a Formula One car sounded like... just possibly... the single greatest assignment that he had ever heard. Above is the cover to "Game Infarcer", the parody magazine-within-a-magazine that appears in every April issue.

It's on the stands now! Run, don't walk, to your nearest magazine retailer and demand it!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Just a few more days.

Hey the big Lutefisk Sushi show is this Friday! This is my scrambled attempt to make the deadline.

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Tuesday, March 21, 2006

It arrives, late but nearly intact!

Sorry for the delay to anyone who was depending on 'My 3 Bosses' to tickle their funny-bone monday morning. I was out of town and decided to make the cartoon last night when, unfortunately, servers were having some struggles.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Dallas Casting Finally "Sets Sail"

After years of speculation, the production team behind the big screen remake of "Dallas" has finally started casting. It looks to be a pretty insipid cast so far, with Marcia Cross, Jennifer Lopez, John Travolta, and Paris Hilton taking the major roles.

Here's my two-cents: why not pull the survivors of "Lost" off the island and stick them on Southfork Ranch? Then you might get something like:
Bobby = Jack
Pamela = Kate
JR = Locke
Sue Ellen = Anna Lucia
Ray = Sawyer
Lucy = Shannon.

And then get that old couple from Jon Stewart's Academy Awards "Reese Witherspoon for Best Actress" commercial to play the senior Ewings.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Big Time Challenge #03

Hey, gang! The recurring Big Time Challenge is back in full swing with a special math-themed challenge, so screw on your thinking caps tight and let's dive in!

It looks like the BTA crew has decided to tackle the following calculus problem:

...and each person has arrived at a different answer! So, who's the Big Time Calculus Champ this week: Zander, Kevin, Shad, Brett, or Brit?

Friday, March 17, 2006

Moore Also

Heidi MacDonald has the best interview ever with Alan about the movie thing that everyone is interested in.

To read an Alan Moore interview, you have to listen to audio or watch a video of him first.

I wonder if Warner Bros is sending out press releases and stoking this fire in the media. Tom Spurgeon made a quotable observation about downplaying the Moore vs. Hollywood thing that I really liked...but I can't seem to find it now. Everyone should be reading The Comics Reporter anyway. It had something to do about how reasonable Alan is...and he is...he's definitely puts his no-money where his mouth is.

If you're a BTA blog reader who's not into comics, familiarize yourself with Alan now. Then you can be in-the-know when people start going to jail for selling "Lost Girls."

Zander speaks in V for Vendetta article

The futuristic science fiction movie V for Vendetta opens today, and the Minneapolis Star Tribune is running an article about the writer of the graphic novel upon which it is based: the elusive Alan Moore. I got a call at home and chatted with the writer Colin Covert for a few minutes, and lo and behold, I look like an Alan Moore expert. So check out the article, and decide if you want to see if the movie is going to be any better than League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. I mean LXG.

Link to story.


Thursday, March 16, 2006

Fancy Smancy part II

Minnesota Monthly magazine has taken a break from its classier fare to do an article on the International Cartoonist Conspiracy that features some Big Time Attic and Zander Cannon and Shad Petrovsky and comics and minneapolis (welcome mm readers and google searchers!)

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Fancy Smancy

A HUGE thanks to cartoonist Sean Tenhoff (daily comic The Bean Men) for using his mad brush skills to do the underlayer or our big giant wall logo.

and HUGE II to cartoonist Phil Redmon (daily comic >Tart Pop for finishing it off.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

I still have 15 minutes!

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The Del McCoury Band played in Greenville SC last Friday night. I hope you made it if you were in the area. Unfortunately I was not, and thus could not attend.

Monday, March 13, 2006

But do you have the guts to read this?

While it seems that last week's strip was a disappointment for everyone involved -- not the least of the reasons being a willingly uncreative title for the post -- fear not, dear judges; I agree it was a mis-step. Until I think of a superior way to branch out a bit, it is with great acquiescence that I return to form for M3B #4: "Max actually draws Jon White ... and some other people" ...

As usual, the stubbornly unchanging image below reveals the new cartoon.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Jumanji Day

Think Cat Day was wild? Don't forget about Jumanji Day! We had to replace the floor after that one.

Thursday, March 09, 2006


Now that Tim has paved the way for us to make blog posts without pictures, I'm going for it, full steam. This post shall be full of nothing but what your mind makes of it. If I say, "biomechanical castle" or "wizard zeppelin", I expect to hear brains spinning at furious rates trying to think of what the hell that would look like.

I'm training for Grandma's Marathon currently, and although I have always liked distance running, in my youth I always had a more liberal notion of what qualified as "distance". Five K? Distance. One mile? Distance. Ten K? Good God, let's not get carried away here, Pheidippides. In high school, even the half-milers qualified as distance runners. C'mon, just because some of them were slow doesn't mean they're distance runners. And now, distance running is serious. By "now", of course, I mean "in my thirties." To people in their thirties, until you're running a half-marathon at LEAST, you might as well stay at home and play video games.

So I resisted it as long as I could, telling myself I had nothing to prove, but c'mon, let's get real here. Of course I have something to prove. You think anyone will believe I'm in shape unless I drag my ass 26.4 miles* and get the pictures to prove it? No. People in their thirties are cruel.

My friend Rocco is trying to get me to set my goal at 2 hours, 45 minutes. That's insane. I won't make it through 26 miles in that time unless I strap a rocket to each foot, a helmet to my head, boxing gloves on each hand, and then call a freakin' cab.**

Okay, thanks to Tim for allowing me the freedom not to post pictures. The End.

*That's one of those "evocative phrases" I spoke of in the first paragraph. Picture it, if you dare.

**Another one. "Gee, why is no one stopping for me?"

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Cat Day, 2005

It's been pretty busy around here lately, and a lot of debates, discussion, and general 'creativity storms' are hovering around the attic. At busy times like these, we like to take a break from the world and have a 'cat day'.

That's right, we bring some cats over to the attic, talk about our feelings, and try to loosen up for once, without the aid of so call internet 'blogging' or 'technology'. If you've had a busy/stressfull/hyper creative day, stop for a moment. Take a breath. And go hold a cat.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

to the Attic

I'd like to remind my fellow employees of the joy text based blog entries can bring into your life. Do you see how simple this is? How clean and relaxing the relationship between black text on white background truly can be? It's serene and relaxing. There is no pressure to outdo any previous entry. You don't have to set a new standard in BTA blog history, you can get back to your job, which is what we're really all here to do isn't it? Sure we all feel important and innovative when we try to turn this simple blog into a phlog, trlog, comicog, elasmlog, or vlog or whatever else you can throw in front of 'og' instead of the standard 'bl'. I know what you are going to say, "Tim haven't you posted photos in this blog on more than one occasion?" My answer to that is no. No it wasn't me.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Who let the blogs out?

When I first realized I couldn't draw Jon White, I considered joining the Yahoo! support group, but when I noticed five too many "Maxeems" already there, I decided it was time to bite the bullet, roll up my sleeves, shake out the cats, butter up the sandals, pull myself out of the caboose, and take this blog into uncharted territory ... something that can only be appropriate for one kind of very special "My Three Bosses" ... and a format for the strip that will never NEVER be attempted ... again ...

Now I just have to figure out how to get out of it next week ...

Saturday, March 04, 2006

New York Comic-Con Photos

So, I went to the New York Comic-Con last week. You may have read about the crowds of people that the fire marshal wouldn't let in, because someone failed to anticipate that demand for a major comic convention in a major city would be slightly major. Bummer for them, although it's a pretty easy mistake to fix for next year.

This was the first big East Coast convention I'd ever been to, and it was cool to see a slightly different lineup of creators-- in particular those who live in New York, but don't make it out to Chicago or San Diego (the reason being that neither of THOSE cities are the center of the universe, I suppose). The convention was held at the Jacob K Javits Convention Center in ...midtown... ish. I'm a little bad at New York geography. I think it was in the 30s, street-wise. Above is a picture of the outside, and if you click on the picture, you can see the entryway in a super-awesome Widescreen deluxe presentation.

Play good, kids, or the Lego Batman will knock you silly. L.B. was guarding the entrance of the hall, and serving the double purpose of letting the people at the travel convention and the housewares convention that THIS IS NOT YOUR DOOR.

I was lucky enough to sit next to the creator of CIVILIAN JUSTICE, a comic that apparently has what looks to be an ironic cult following. The first issue of Civilian Justice involves the war on terror, and C.J. apparently performs what he likes to call a "terrorectomy". Now that I'm home, I'm kind of shocked that I didn't pick up an issue.

Saturday night there was a big do at a local bar, in which Joe Quesada's band played their particular brand of Springsteeny rock tunes. They rocked their hearts out, but we mostly drank in the back.

Here's me and my homie Stuart Moore on the left and my homie Frank Cho on the right. This was the second try at this picture, as a drunk Essad Ribic kept putting his finger across the lens. And that was the totality of our interaction.

Okay, no captions time:

BENDIS! Sometimes when I come to a crossroads in life, I ask "WWBD?" The answer in this case is, "Bendis would write a caption." It would be filled with swears, though, so that is where the prophet Bendis and I part ways. My mom reads this blog.

Here's me and SF author/columnist/comic book writer Paul DiFilippo. I believe he was saying, "It's the button on the right. No, my right. No, no, the other one; you just turned it off. Okay, that one. Okay, now press it halfway down. No, it didn't take it. No, it'll flash. Okay, halfway down, then Ah! right. You got it. Uh... was I smiling?"

Some of my favorite people, Kevin and Deanna Nowlan, came in from Boondocks, Kansas just for the show. They got pickpocketed sixty-one times in three days.

I did a uniquely awful job of booking my hotel for this show, and had to stay in North Bergen, New Jersey at a Day's Inn. The hotel was great, but since taxis charge twice as much to go to New Jersey, I had to catch a bus at the Port Authority on the half hour. It was a drag, but the neighborhood is cool to check out. It's full of tourists, and I got to go to Yoshinoya, a Japanese beef bowl restaurant I used to frequent when we lived in Japan. Ah, memories of grade B beef and a bunch of white rice. Mm!

Okay, so what I learned at this show: Don't stay in New Jersey. Don't mess with Civilian Justice. Get to the convention center early and get a good spot in line. Don't let the airlines delay your flight back to Minneapolis and then lose the bag with your originals in it (Well, do what you can on this one).

To conclude this post, it's a once-in-a-lifetime photo of the team-up of the decade. Terrorists and anachronistic animated knights, beware!


Our Endangered Cartoonists, part VIII (Conclusion)

And now, the conclusion of "Our Endangered Cartoonists" ...


Big Time Challenge #02

Ahoy again, kids! Major applause to everyone who attempted last week's brain-buster, and an alert heads-up to this week's trivia showdown! One of the convenient perks about BTA's facility's geographic location is its proximity to North Minneapolis' veritable corncopia of dining possibilities. In fact, by the looks on their faces, it looks like Jon, Max, Shad, and Tim could go for a mid-day caloric pick-me-up! Match each starving artist to what he had for lunch (on 2/28/06) -- a Whopper Junior, a Rainbow salad with jalapeno bagel, Rainbow fried chicken with cottage cheese, and a Rainbow salad with croissants and an apple. Bon appetit!

Friday, March 03, 2006

Our Endangered Cartoonists, part VII

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Open Studio TONIGHT

Tonight is our first-first Thursday Open Studio running from 6:30pm to ?? We're excited to be a part of NE Minneapolis' First Thursday tradition and anyone is welcome to come down and see what the heck we're doing.

Tonight special out-of-town friend o' BTA cartoonist Linda Medley will joining us on our inageral once-monthly party of sorts. Fantagraphics is collecting Linda's multiple Eisner award winning "Castle Waiting" series in a 475 page hardbound edition, and Linda has recently announced starting up "Castle Waiting" the series once again.

Visit for the skinny on this exciting bit of news.

Of course, the International Cartoonist Conspiracy continues over three years of first thursday cartoon jamming at their new Diamonds Coffee shop location, right down the stairs from BTA.

ANNNDDDDDDDD...the Lutefisk Sushi Volume B box set is here, so come down if you want a sneak peak.

See you tonight!


Our Endangered Cartoonists, part VI

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Our Endangered Cartoonists, part V