Friday, October 02, 2009

Reviews A-Plenty*

People keep writing reviews, so we'll happily keep posting them!

First up, a great review of Big Funny from Mark McGinty, our friend at The Boogle.

Next, a Far Arden review from Rain Taxi, which is notable because it's IN PRINT. That's right, a rare ink-on-paper review. You can pick up a free copy around town, or better yet go to Rain Taxi's annual Twin Cities Book Festival happening October 10th at the MCTC cafeteria. BTA has proudly manned a booth there for years, but unfortunately we have to miss this year because of a vortex of scheduling conflicts. But you should go, as it showcases everything awesome that's happening in the local literary scene, from poetry to comics to novels to children's literature.

Next up is a review of A Time to Thrill from Adrean Clark at Comics Bento. Thanks, Adrean!

* As opposed to "Reviews A-Pawlenty," which makes no sense.

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Friday, August 07, 2009

Big Funny Opening Reception TONIGHT

The Editors & Curators of Big Funny. From Left: Jamie Schumacher, Steven Stwalley, Hillary Berg, Bjorn Rolvaag, Danno Klonowski, Zander Cannon, and Kevin Cannon

Opening Reception for Big Funny
Friday, August 7, 2009
1224 Quincy St NE, Minneapolis, MN 55413




Thursday, August 06, 2009


The Roe Family Singers, who will entertain the crowd at tomorrow night's opening reception:

And, from some Finnish printing press to your eyes:


Wednesday, August 05, 2009


Some links for today, in preparation for this Friday's opening reception:

Danno presents more photos from the hanging party:

Click on Steve for the link

Jamie presents a [hopefully] false news story, inspired (I imagine) by the very real flood that nearly destroyed all 2,000 copies of Big Funny a few days ago:

Click on Guy for the link

BIG FUNNY in the media (updated!):

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Tuesday, August 04, 2009


Enjoy some snapshots from last night's hanging party:

Steve carefully protects his century-old comics collection in plastic. A bicycle keeps watch.

In addition to original artwork from the Big Funny newspaper, visitors to Altered Esthetics will be able to see prints and drawings from Jenny Schmid and Ursula Murray Husted.

Bjorn and Steve hang vintage newspaper strips -- some were printed as early as 1902. Sneeze all you want -- they're protected by plastic!

Jamie and Danno take a break from hanging to work on the Big Funny brochure.

Visitors to this Friday's opening reception will be able to see an actual printing plate used in the production of the newspaper, as well as videos showing how newspapers are printed.


Monday, August 03, 2009


Hard to believe that it was well over a year ago when a few of the Lutefisk Sushi C curators sat down to ask the all-important question: "What's next?"

Well, what's next is BIG FUNNY -- the hybrid gallery show and 48 page comics section. The printed newspapers have been sitting quietly in a secret location on Quincy Street, with only a handful having been released to the media. The paper will be released to the public (for a measly $5) at the opening reception this FRIDAY, AUGUST 7.

So come down to the opening this Friday and join over forty artists and their friends and family, as well as the Roe Family Singers. In addition to the long-awaited newspaper, you'll be able to check out original artwork from the paper, century-old newspaper strips (thanks to Steve Stwalley!), and never-before-seen original work from cartoonist William Ede.

Plus, the first 70 people to buy a copy of Big Funny at the opening get THIS.

BIG FUNNY in the media:

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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Terry Beatty's Big Funny Stocking Stuffer

This is unbelievably generous and one more reason why you want to be at Altered Esthetics on Friday, August 7th for the Big Funny opening reception:

Read the lowdown on Terry Beatty's blog

Terry Beatty is one of the 45 Big Funny artists as well as a professor at MCAD and a damned fine cartoonist.


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Recent Book Reviews

T-Minus: The Race to the Moon on Marty Devine's MAD WORLD, The X-Librarian, Savannah Morning News, and Telegraph-Journal.

Far Arden on Bookforum and School Library Journal.

Stuff of Life on The Johnandjanaverse.

Big Funny on Newsarama

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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Big Funny: Poopsheet & Pre-order

Big Funny's first review is online at Poopsheet Foundation! Click logo to read it:

Can't make it to the gallery opening at Altered Esthetics on August 7th but want to grab a copy of Big Funny? You can now pre-order a copy (limit one per customer at this point) on the Big Funny website.

Just click here and then scroll down until you see the purchase button:

If you don't have a paypal account, you can use a credit card.

The massive, 48 page Big Funny newspaper is $5. If you're pre-ordering one we tack on $5.95 for shipping & handling.

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Monday, July 13, 2009

Little Funny Deadline Reminder

Still want to be a part of the upcoming Big Funny show? Create a Little Funny comic that will be sold in the patented Altered Esthetics trinket vending machine! But hurry -- deadline is July 20, 2009!

Full details and submission guidelines at:


Thursday, July 02, 2009

Big Funny Website Updated

Hey folks, check out the new and improved (and final version) of the Big Funny website. The new site should answer every question you could ever possibly have about the Big Funny newspaper and the August show at Altered Esthetics.

And if you're near Diamond's Coffee Shoppe tonight, swing by and grab a couple of postcards. They're AQUA-COATED! You've never felt anything like it!


Monday, June 29, 2009

Three Ways to Help Promote BIG FUNNY

Click to bigify

While the Big Funny newspaper is off at the printers, we've been busy gearing up for August's show at Altered Esthetics gallery. You won't want to miss the show, as it will feature (huge) original artwork from the newspaper, actual turn of the century Sunday strips, videos of the newspaper printing process, and original burned printing plate from our printer.

If you want to help spread the word about the Big Funny show, please download this press release and send it to all your friends (especially your media friends):

Click to download

Also, stop by Altered Esthetics later this week to pick up a stack of postcards to spread around town.

Finally, if you haven't already, why not be Big Funny's friend on Facebook? And while you're at it, RSVP for the opening on the BF opening reception event page.

See you on August 7!


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Want to Advertise in Big Funny's Classified Section?

** NOTE: All Big Funny artists get a free bio in the classifieds section -- The call for entries below is separate **

Congratulations to the nearly fifty artists who made it into this summer's Big Funny newspaper and gallery show. We had over seventy outstanding submissions and it was very difficult to whittle it down. We usually like to be as inclusive as possible, but for this project the budget and limitations of printing an actual newspaper limited the amount of entries we could accept.

But there's still a spot for people to get their name in lights: the classifieds!

The newspaper is going to press in a few weeks, and we're looking for advertisements to throw in our CLASSIFIEDS section in the back of Big Funny. You get 50 words for $20, and all proceeds go to helping the Big Funny show exist -- Altered Esthetics Gallery is a community-based nonprofit and can't exist without your help!

Get all the details here.

Hurry, though -- deadline is May 31


Thursday, April 30, 2009

Mayday! Big Funny Submissions due tomorrow!

We've had a number of GREAT entries come in for Big Funny, but there's definitely room for more. I'm looking forward to seeing the final batch on Saturday morning.

Artists, don't forget to register at Altered Esthetics website here.

Full details on Big Funny submission guidelines and gallery info are at:

Once the submissions are in we'll be building a bigger website with more detailed information about the Big Funny newspaper and the August show at Altered Esthetics gallery.


Friday, March 20, 2009

Big Funny: Deadline MAY 1

So I was over at the watercooler today, and a co-worker leans over his cubicle wall and says, "Hey Kev, what's this 'BIG FUNNY' all the kids are talking about?" So I say, "Well, Doug, check the BTA blog in a few minutes and I'll tell you!"

So here's the scoop:

Minneapolis cartoonists have a tradition of curating a yearly show at the Altered Esthetics gallery in Nordeast Minneapolis. Last year we mounted Lutefisk Sushi: Volume C, which was a huge hit, had a ton of great contributors, and had an absolutely packed opening night party.

This August we're doing something a little different: Big Funny, a nod to the glorious & wacky full page (and often full color) newspaper comics of the turn of the century). Where Lutefisk Sushi asked participants to create mini-comics and gathered them all up in a BOX, Big Funny is asking people to draw a 15.5"w x 20"h comic strip (color or bw) which will then be printed in a big fat NEWSPAPER.

The Big Funny gallery show this August will have original art from the Big Funny newspaper, as well as vintage turn o' the century comics (thanks to collector extraordinaire Steve Stwalley). You'll also be able to get your hands on the Big Funny newspaper -- right now we're thinking it'll be 48 pages.

Interested in having your cartoon grace one of those pages? Here's a quick guide to get you started:

  1. Read through That should answer most of your questions.
  2. Create your comic. Keep these specs in mind:
    • Art should be 15.5" (wide) x 20" (high)
    • If you're doing color, make it 300 dpi
    • If you're doing black and white, make it at 1200 dpi
    • You can submit more than one cartoon
    • All submissions must be DIGITAL
    • [This is a truncated list to get you started -- PLEASE read the info on the Big Funnywebsite!]

  3. Content: This show is a nod to the old-timey comics, but your comic can be any style, theme, etc. Just try to be funny (it is called Big Funny, after all)
  4. Deadline is MAY 1, 2009

Unlike Lutefisk Sushi, this is a juried show, which means that some comics won't make it in the show. This has less to do with us being art snobs, and more to do with the complicated nature of putting a physical newspaper together on time and on budget.

We've already got a few submissions in (which, for a month before the deadline, is pretty outstanding), and they look great, so keep 'em coming!

If you have any questions, please read the Big Funny website. If you still have questions, please leave them in the comments section, and we'll answer them there.