OF MASKS AND MAKING IT HAPPEN

15 Sep

I’m thrilled to announce I’ll be signing books at the wonderful Annex! Comics at 314 Broadway in Newport, Rhode Island, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, November 6, 2010.


Owner Wayne Quackenbush is a very interesting guy who’s made Annex! Comics into more than a shop—it’s become not only a gathering place, but a hub of pop fan art and culture in not just the world of comic books. He holds, for example, “Zombie Fridays” (check out his Facebook page for all the gory details – search on Annex Comics). He’s open to holding signings and other events. My favorite feature? He’s got an awesome selection of Japanese horror films. He also has a fantastic street-front gallery window and is always looking for artists to fill it with their work. Free gallery space on one of the most happening streets in any city is hard to find. If you’re an artist and you’d like to submit something for his consideration, you can visit Wayne’s web page at www.annexcomics.com for guidelines.

Right now, Wayne is preparing the MASSIVE GROUP WALL OF HALLOWEEN MASKS, which will run from the middle of October through the middle of November. He’s inviting anyone and everyone to send him a mask for display.

When I talked to him on the phone about the event, he said I should send him a mask for this show. I’d been tempted to do something because I’d seen his posts on Facebook, but shied away from making anything—I’m not very good with visual art. Like, AT. ALL. I’m pretty sure I even draw a crappy stick figure. But Wayne suggested that even one of those old plastic masks that used to come in the kits would be great—just anything that expressed my personality.

Well, that sounded fun. An excuse to go shopping.

What I really wanted was a Disney character mask—Alice in Wonderland, specifically, because of all the Disney characters I’d been as a child she was my favorite (and my mother hand-made all my gowns—this was in the days before they pre-fabbed costumes), but I’d take anyone pretty. Then I was going to get some small doll parts—arms, lets, maybe some heads—and glue them on there. You know, like a ‘bad memory of childhood’ type of idea.

But my local Party Stop didn’t have anything remotely close to what I was looking for—in fact, it didn’t even have those cheap mask-with-plastic bib kits; the shelves were crammed with the “realistic” costumes that way back in the 1970s my mother had to make (she’d have made a FORTUNE had she lived. She was way ahead of her time). So I decided to get creative after all. I bought a clear mask at the party store, then headed over to Michael’s to comb their aisles for anything I could mutate into creepy dolls.

In the scrapbooking aisle, I found an entire section of official Disney embellishments. The It’s a Small World set featured the familiar happy doll children—easy enough to make a little creepy by X’ing out their eyes with a Sharpie. I was also attracted to some Halloween-themed cloth flower embellishments. I figured I could use them to fill in the eyes (I mean, no one’s really going to wear this anyway, right)?

So, here is my pathetic attempt that I’ll send to Wayne later this week. I dunno, I think for somebody who has not one lick of visual artistic ability I did pretty well. When I stood back and looked at it, it had a Dia-de-los-Muertos feel to it—at least for me.


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