Pilgrimage to Alabama's civil rights landmarks with John Lewis.

Photo by Sandi Villarreal.
In early March, I had the honor of participating in a pilgrimage to historic civil rights landmarks throughout Alabama, hosted by John Lewis and organized by the Faith & Politics Institute. It was a very powerful and at times revelatory experience (and it was really nice to see prominent lawmakers put their bullshit aside), and here's my collection of photos from that journey.

John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and I are collaborators on Lewis' graphic novel memoir trilogy, March-- the first book will be released at San Diego Comic Con this July, and will be available everywhere on August 13th.  

MARCH: BOOK ONE is complete!

Last night I wrapped up the pages of March: Book One! Excited to see how everything comes together in the final published form... it'll be out at San Diego Comic Con in July, and available everywhere on August 13th!

No time for rest, though: I have two more volumes of March to work through, as well as art for Rick Riordan's The Heroes Of Olympus: The Lost Hero (Hyperion, 2014), a few new short stories for You Don't Say (Top Shelf, 2014), my own graphic novel Cover (Top Shelf, 2017), record art for a Bad Years/ Crooked Roots split 7" (Max Recordings), The Bomb LP (No Idea Records), and a Holy Angell LP/cassette, along with a Henry & Glenn pinup and a new cover to the German translation of The Silence Of Our Friends.

THE SILENCE OF OUR FRIENDS in CBR's Top Books of 2012!

The Silence Of Our Friends (written by Mark Long & Jim Demonakos, and drawn by me) landed at #59 on Comic Book Resources' Top 100 Books of 2012, sharing company with powerhouses Becky Cloonan (Conan The Barbarian), Jeff Lemire (Sweet Tooth), Katie Skelly (Nurse Nurse), Matt Kindt (Mind MGMT), Jeff Smith (RASL), Julia Wertz (The Infinite Wait), Raina Telgemeier (Drama), Faith Erin Hicks (Friends With Boys), Gabriel Ba (Casanova), Noah Van Sciver (The Hypo), and Ed Piskor (Wizzywig).

Congratulations to all these talented comics friends!

Official announcement for MARCH trilogy with John Lewis!

Here's today's official announcement from Top Shelf-- that March (written by Rep. John Lewis & Andrew Aydin, and drawn by me) will be a graphic novel trilogy, with March: Book One debuting at San Diego Comic-Con on July 18th, and available in stores everywhere August 13th.

Lots of events, signings, discussions, and artwork exhibits are in the works too-- more updates as they come in!

New review of THE SILENCE OF OUR FRIENDS at Scapegoats And Panaceas

Here's a thoughtful and thorough review of The Silence Of Our Friends up at Scapegoats And Panaceas.

"There are few indications that well-intentioned white southerners or noble white activists, while present in the historical record and active during the movement, are actually representative of the Black Freedom Struggle. Yet Long’s account succeeds admirably in fleshing out the intimate and thorny exigencies of interracial friendship during difficult times. He and his co-authors succeed by not white-washing complexity."

New poster by Erin Tobey for Bloomington Sex Salon!

Here's an awesome new poster by versatile drawing-mate Erin Tobey for the first Bloomington Sex Salon, hosted by sex researcher and educator Dr. Debby Herbenick, and featuring Dr. Bryant Paul discussing his research related to the nature and effects of sexually explicit media. It's happening at The Bishop on Sunday, February 17th-- here's the FB page.

Check out more of Erin Tobey's work here, her solo musical project and previous band Fat Shadow, and her label Houseplant Records.

Publishers Weekly piece on MARCH!

Here's a new piece from Publishers Weekly on Congressman John Lewis, his activism and dedication, and our forthcoming graphic novel March (co-written with Andrew Aydin, published by Top Shelf this August.)

Congressman Lewis, Andrew, and I will be appearing at a number of events and conferences throughout 2013-- details to be released next week.

Salt-N-Pepa pinup for HIP HOP FAMILY TREE book!

Here's a pinup I did of Salt-N-Pepa for Ed Piskor's Hip Hop Family Tree book (collecting the amazing series featured on BoingBoing), which should be out later this year from Fantagraphics! I'm really excited to see the whole book come together.

I should note that Salt-N-Pepa's "Push It" was the first song that my band Soophie Nun Squad ever covered, starting in early 1994. Here's a version from our first full-length.

THE SILENCE OF OUR FRIENDS in YALSA Top 10 Great Graphic Novels For Teens!

YALSA just announced that The Silence Of Our Friends is in their Top 10 Great Graphic Novels For Teens list for 2013-- excellent news!

Congratulations to comics friends Raina Telgemeier, Joseph Lambert, and Faith Erin Hicks, each of whom also had books on the list!

Tem Eyos Ki's remastered LP masterpiece now available digitally!

I am honored to announce that, after being out-of-print for 9 years, North Little Rock punk/speed metal/chamber folk powerhouse Tem Eyos Ki has digitally reissued their classic 2002 LP on my Harlan Records site!

(download/listen here!)

The album is completely remixed and remastered by drummer/engineer Kevin Rains, and features a previously unreleased song as well. If you haven't heard this band (or this album), you're missing out on something powerful, visionary, and heartfelt. My favorite band of all time! Besides sharing membership with Soophie Nun Squad, members have gone on to perform in Humanbeast, Bloodhuff, V Manuscript, Universe, Divorce Chord, Holy Angell, and Zucura. Vocalist Maralie Armstrong-Rial is a multimedia performance artist, guitarist Eli Milholland runs the Gross Domestic Product cassette label, and guitarist Michael Lierly is an accomplished painter.

Here's a collection of Tem Eyos Ki photos up on my Flickr site.

You can also download digital versions of their 7", split 7" with Hundred Years War, and tour CDR.

Tem Eyos Ki in Richmond VA, June 2001. Photos by Chris Boarts Larson.

R.I.P. Mason Mauldin

Sugar And The Raw, 2008 (Mason seated at center). Photo by Matthew Martin.
Little Rock lost another good fellow too soon-- Mason Mauldin, a solid fellow best known as frontman for Sugar And The Raw and Big Boots and more recently a skilled airplane pilot, passed away yesterday in a terrible accident. Thoughts and love going out to all those affected, and all the intertwined friends in our community. You are sorely missed, Mason!

Here's a clip from KTHV news on Mason and the LR music scene's reaction to his loss.

And here's a clip of Big Boots playing in 2007:

new comic with AL BURIAN in RUNNER RUNNER this spring!

I'm pleased to announce that work is finished on a new 10-page comic called "Unchained", written by beloved writer/musician/cartoonist Al Burian (Burn Collector, Natural Disaster, Milemarker, Challenger, Hellbender) and drawn by me. It'll be published by Tugboat Press in the spring, as part of their Runner Runner anthology.

This story marks the first time Al and I have collaborated since the story "Scrubs" from Walkie Talkie #1 back in 2000 (reprinted in Sounds Of Your Name). Back in 1997, Al's comic The Long Walk Nowhere (now reprinted in Things Are Meaning Less) completely opened up my perspective on what stories to tell with comics, how, and why. Make it count. Pay attention to the surroundings that made you who you are. I'm honored to work together again!

Soophie Nun Squad's 1st album now available digitally!

I've been working up a new archive site for Harlan Records, the punk record label I ran from 1994-2010, and i just put up Soophie Nun Squad's long out-of-print first album, Don't Let Them Take You Alive from 1997.

(cut to the chase and download it here!)

I'll be continuing to archive every release over the coming weeks... more soon!

My top graphic novel & album pairings up at CBC!

Recently I wrote a piece about five near-perfect teamups of graphic novels and albums-- check it out here! 

You'll find Moss Icon, Lungfish, Pretty Girls Make Graves, Tristeza, and Harold Budd/Brian Eno represented in the mix, along with comics by Katie Skelly, Eric Drooker, Gabriella Giandelli, Kolbeinn Karlsson, and yours truly.

new Harlan Records archive site is up!

From 1994-2010 I ran a small DIY punk label called Harlan Records. That label (and its accompanying site) and defunct, so I thought I'd start up a new site to document all of those moldy old releases and bands.

I'm still working out the kinks-- but the first release is up now. Soophie Nun Squad's "We Ate Slayer" demo tape from 1994! 

Please email me at seemybrotherdance@yahoo.com if you have any photos or videos of any of the bands. Thanks!

In Memory of Sarah Kirsch

Last Wednesday, December 5th, we all lost a truly inspiring, compassionate, talented human being.

Sarah Kirsch (long-time fixture of the Bay Area hardcore punk community, formerly known as Mike Kirsch, and member of the bands Fuel, Sawhorse, Pinhead Gunpowder, Navio Forge, John Henry West, Sixteen Bullets, Torches To Rome, Bread and Circuits, Please Inform The Captain This Is A Hijack, Baader Brains, and Mothercountry Motherfuckers) passed away last week after a long and difficult battle with Fanconi Anemia. She was someone so fundamental in shaping the way I have grown to experience the world, how to move through it and how best to use my expressive energy in confronting it, that it's difficult to imagine a world without her.

Here are pieces on her passing in the SF Weekly and MaximumRockNRoll.

Growing up in Arkansas in the early 1990's, my friends and I spent countless hours skateboarding and trampolining to the Fuel LP while writing and drawing our early comics efforts. That LP remains my ALL-TIME favorite album. When I sent word to one of those friends, Nathan Wilson, about her passing, I urged a listen to the album in her honor. He remarked with such simplicity and truth, "She really did create a sound that is immediately accessible whenever I think about it (even 21 years later), and probably always will be." He didn't even need to actually play the record-- the sound was so pervasive, so deeply-rooted in every fiber of our beings, that he only needed to find the space in his heart where it (and she) resides.

Bread And Circuits in Memphis TN, June 1999.

Sarah and I finally met at a Seein Red/ Yaphet Kotto/ Deathreat show in Little Rock in 1998, and built a friendship in the year after that as we helped book shows for each other's bands, and embarked on a short leg of tour together (with Bread and Circuits, Former Members of Alfonsin, and Soophie Nun Squad). Especially in the reactionary-PC climate of the late '90's, this pairing seemed pretty weird and incompatible to most people, but it was apparent that Sarah "got" what Soophie was trying to do with our performances, and respected our creative vision with which we tried to intertwine levity, fantasy, politics, and human interaction. Likewise, Sarah's bands used a holistic approach to their work-- building up music, performance, packaging, text, and intention to convey something much more powerful than even the already incredibly passionate music. At times we'd be a bit nervous that we falsely represented ourselves as being apolitical or disconnected, especially in the presence of older punks who had a much more pointed and serious focus to their music, but Sarah would constantly put us at ease, shedding those pretensions, costuming up with us at shows and even tucking us all into bed in Memphis one night, singing us an ad-libbed Frampton-style lullabye while wailing away on her guitar with a head-mounted miner's light casting shadows across the room. I'll treasure that forever.

Sarah and her friends displayed hospitality and unrivaled generosity when Soophie embarked on our West Coast tours, showing up at her door with 12-14 people for entire weekends, at the time oblivious to how imposing our presence might've been-- she always made us feel right at home, well-fed, and ready to take in the sights and sounds of her lifelong home.

I feel so privileged to've been able to spend time and break bread with Sarah semi-regularly since then, to see her last band play on tour a few summers ago, and to spend as much time as possible with her in the hospital last February.

 In a scene/community that generally eschews the notion of heroes, Sarah was probably the closest thing I've ever had to a hero throughout most of my life, and this was made all the more sweet and amazing as our friendship grew over these past 15 years. 

I don't want to write anymore about this right now, so I'll just say this: Sarah, you are missed and loved by everyone whose life you've touched, and truly by everyone who knew you. You amaze me, and always will. I would not be who I am today without you.

I recommend these tracks to give a glimpse into her incredible musical vision:

Skinflutes-- "Rebel Run"
Fuel-- "Instrumental (2:52)", "Cue To You", and "For Lack Of Better Words (Shine)"
Sawhorse-- "One"
Pinhead Gunpowder-- "I Wanna" and "Hey Now"
Navio Forge-- "Weaponizing"
John Henry West-- "Avoiding"
Torches To Rome-- "Young Arsenal" and "Numbered Days"
Bread And Circuits-- "Statute Of Limitations" and "Bloodbath"
Colbom-- "Prisoner Of Work"
Please Inform The Captain This Is A Hijack-- "Postcards From The Future", "Transnational Vampire Killers", and "The Asymmetric Enemy"
Baader Brains-- "Fear Not The Lions" and "Vostok Welcoming Party"