high-functioning fuckup



thanks to everyone who came to the stuff in chicago.

Quimby’s is the greatest; seems like it’s been ages since i’ve been there, and it was as fantastic as ever; a truly overwhelming amount of great stuff. Liz is awesome. Edie too (buy GAYLORD PHOENIX if you haven’t already, from our good friends at Secret Acres…it’s a truly transcendant slab of comix). QUIMBY’S forever!!!

i didn’t take any pictures. John’s talk was great. so was Dale’s. i thought mine was kind of rambling, but ok, but then the first question was “is there ANY PART of this that you actually ENJOY!?” and i realized that i’d again succeeded in being depressing while attempting to be uplifting. afterwards, when john and i (finally) ate food, i asked him if my talk was, indeed, depressing. he said “good lord yes.” i laughed, and then realized he wasn’t kidding in the least, so i said “john you’re not kidding in the least, are you?” and he said “no, i’m not”.

i’ve got to work on that.

slept on Grace’s floor. do you know Grace? you should. Grace set up the show. Grace is, as they say, the shit.

woke up the next day and started hanging. getting all 96 pages of Sammy Vol 1 up on the wall felt pretty damn good. some of you may not know this, but comics can be… a cruel and heartless bitch. seeing it all up there, in an 11 by 19 foot block gave me a real charge; mostly to get back to the drawing board.

Johnny ‘s wall had a bunch of stuff i’ve never seen before, like original King Cat pages, some photographs, and these gorgeous white on-black still lifes. Dale’s wall had the entire contents of his FLUXUS box…pretty amazing.

(not that you’d know it from these photos. this is without everything completely set up. dale’s on the left, john to the right.)

attendance was pretty good– met some nice folks, including anna from Johalla and some of the guys from the Rational Park studio…having this show up with 2 of my favorite artists/ good pals was a hell of a thing, and if i do say so myself, a really fantastic art show.

sorry there’s not more pics. guess you had to be there. thanks to everyone who made it happen (especially Grace).

ok. back to work.




a couple things before i leave for chicago:

1) nice little q&a with my pal Courtney Algeo, at the Twin Cities Daily Planet, here.

2) i love Tom Spurgeon and The Comics Reporter. i would love it even if he DIDN’T write things like this about the release of my new book:

JAN121176 SAMMY THE MOUSE TP VOL 01 (MR) $14.00

Zak Sally’s labor of love pulled back into his own grasp and away from other publishers and even printers. There’s something about the future of comics in Sally’s decision to just make these things himself, although the comics would be worthy of your attention if they were printed by a super-corporation on the bleached paper of original art from exploited 1960s creators.

but he did.

3) as some of you have noticed, the new La Mano site has ONE function, at present– you can actually buy Sammy The Mouse Vol 1. all the rest of the BUY buttons will go live when i get back and have a bit of breathing room (and then hopefully even more content soon after that), but for now…go for it. it’s here.



pretty excited about this.

Dale (TOOTH), John Porcellino esq, and myself are going to be in CHICAGO this weekend, doing a variety of different things– here’s what they are:

FIRST: signing/ talking/ presentations at what we all know is one of the best zine/ diy/comic stores in north america (and has been for a long, long time..)¬†, QUIMBY’S QUEER STORE.


the whole thing will start up at 7 or so, and be done i don’t know, whenever.

Johnny’s got a slideshow thing i think, Dale’s got one (i saw it a couple times this past weekend, and thought it was great), and i’m not sure what i’m going to talk about, really. maybe i’ll just recite my poetry. so this will be fun; i’ve been meaning to do a thing with/at QUIMBY’S since i (re)launched La Mano back in 2005. here it is.

and then, the FOLLOWING night


a one-night only show with the 3 of us called PHYSICAL EVIDENCE (here’s a poster Dale made for it…)

this is happening at RATIONAL PARK (address above), and…oh you get the drift. starts at 7.

the whole gist of the show is that none of the 3 of us really do artwork that’s supposed to be…viewed on a wall in a gallery and all that; our stuff ends up as comics or zines or posters or whateverthehell. so we’re each displaying a bunch of stuff on the wall that’s NOT for sale — in my case, all 96 pages of original art for Sammy vol 1 (it makes about a 28 x 9 foot rectangle on the wall; and i’ve got the messiest originals in the business, too…lots of Xacto cuts and white ink and rubber cement). John will be displaying original King-Cat pages (!!!) and Dale…lord only knows.

but, we’ll be selling the REAL things (i.e the Sammy Vol 1 book, Dale’s TOOTH: The Graphic Art of Dale Flattum, and King-Cat both in ‘zine and book collection form). also prints and lots of etcetera.

there’ll also be some rare stuff from each of us, namely John’s FUZZY BOX/FUCKIN DORK boxes, Dale’s BRILLO boxes and his you-have-to-see-it-to-believe-it FLUXUS boxes. and i think i’m going to sell a big painting, we’ll see.

anyway, it’s ONE NIGHT. we’re putting it up, then taking it down.

sometimes i wonder– do people think i’m kidding? i’m not kidding.

come say hi.



the dog ate my homework. i broke my arm. there was a flood. the doorknob broke. the car got towed. i was in jail.

choose one (they are all lies).

things are actually happening; not as fast as i’d like them to (and probably not in the order they should), but they ARE. i’ve got proof.

first of all there are some SAMMY THE MOUSE RELEASE EVENTS, and you should come to them; they are both with my good pal TOOTH, author of the 100% awesome book (you guessed it) “TOOTH: the graphic art of Dale Flattum”. we’ll be talking and talking and talking about our fancy new (yeah, i KNOW they were both technically “finished” half a year ago, but like i said…”not in the order they should…” etc etc.

first is….TWO DAYS FROM NOW, at the best bookstore in Minneapolis, MAGERS AND QUINN.

i’m going to talk about La Mano a bit, wave books around and cry, then dale will put on his best suit and give a 4-hour powerpoint presentation, after which the sartorially amazing Andy Sturdevant will ask us pointed questions (hopefully in a manner that will make us seem smarter than we are).

it’ll all start around 7:30 and wrap up at 9ish.

the VERY NEXT NIGHT, we’re parking our asses at BIG TABLE in st paul, from 7-10.

and we’re doing stuff the NEXT week, as well.

and, all out of order, like i said: the sleek new LA MANO site will go live next week. it’s all set, the whosit just needs to hit up the whatsit for whatever computers need to shake hands and just be friends. as soon as we do that, i’ll de-clunkify this site as well.

don’t believe me?


i love you,




well, didn’t take long for me to get behind. but now we’ll have something to talk about over lunch.

so somehow, strangely, there’s some TV crap going on– i got a bunch of emails saying “HEY MAN, YOU JUST GOT MENTIONED ON PORTLANDIA!”. and i said “what?” and then….well, i still haven’t seen the thing, but it sounds funny.

and this might be of particular “interest” (ha ha…oh wait you won’t get the joke for another couple sentences yet…) to comics nerds, but apparently there’s some show on CBS called (here we go) “Person Of Interest” an tonight’s episode centers around a comic store. or something. anyway, they asked me to send them a bunch of La Mano stuff to outfit this comic store, so i did.

who knows how much of it they actually ended up using, but the idea of a “real” comic store plastered with, you know– Sammy The Mouse and Kim Deitch posters everywhere…that’s humorous to me. only in the land of make-believe, folks. 9pm est, 8 central. i think its about cops and shit.



me and cartoonist Mike Dawson (Freddy And Me, Troop 142) gabbing about stuff for an hour and change.



so, look at that– one whole week and i did all those posts, right on time, just like i said i would. how rewarding*.

but while i was barely learning to set this deal up and operate it, there were a couple things ME-related, which i will now further relate to you, weeks after they occurred:

first, i did a great longish interview with Tom Spurgeon of my favorite comics site, The Comics Reporter. every year Tom does a gaggle of “Holiday Interviews” (this year featuring such esteemed folks as Art Spiegelman, Chester Brown, this guy Tucker Stone ranting in an awesome fashion and plenty more) and hey ho here’s mine. you can read the whole thing here:

i love this site, and how Spurge views and writes about comics. it was a pleasure talking with him.

secondly, looks like ¬†Minnesota Public Tv is re-running a piece they did on me/ La Mano for their MNOriginals program. watch me run my press, pretend to draw, and hassle my students (one of whom wrote when he saw it, “they ‘A-Ha’d you at the end!”. and they did. and if you know what i’m talking about here, it probably means you are old.). you can view it online here, or if you live in this neck of the woods it’ll be on a couple more times on Feb 29.

more stuff soon.


*i’m completely unsure as to whether or not i intended sarcasm here.


well, here we go.

new site, new book. stop me if you’ve heard this one before, but i actually intend this new site to be a living, breathing thing. how all that will unroll in the coming months, we shall see. i mean, YOU will; i’m just going to do some stuff.
what i’m intending beyond this here site is the redesign and relaunch of the La Mano site, hopefully in February.
a couple things off the bat–
first will be this: without fail (unless, of course, i fail…), i’ll be posting at least three times weekly.
i’ll be adding pages to the Sammy the Mouse Vol 1 archive; one on monday, one on friday. i’m getting the whole thing started off by posting the first 10 pages (obviously, i’m still getting used to how this whole webcomics-display-type-thing over to the right functions, but one can only hope it’ll get easier/ clearer in the near future).
secondly, i’ll be posting at least one panel (probably on wednesdays) from the NEXT volume of Sammy, which i’m going to get finished and published in calendar 2012. it’ll be the same size and format as the new Sammy collection (8 1/4 by 6ish, 2 colors throughout), and yeah–96 pages, only volume 2 will be all new material. this is the way every successive volume will appear, as well. all 4 or 500 pages of it.
more on this than i’ve got the energy to write at this moment, but the answer to “WHY, if you’re such a print guy, and you spent all that time and effort printing all of Sammy The mouse Vol 1 on your own printing press and all that,¬†would you then post all the pages online?”. because this– i don’t care if you read it here. the book i made is it’s own object, period. they are different animals.
and i’ll probably write more too, about other things and stuff.
but right now i gots to sleep.
honestly, though– welcome to the new deal.
best, zak.


but i will.