Friday, August 31, 2012

Making The World Better One Can Of Chili At A Time

Dressing up like a zombie and stumbling around is a frivolous bit of fun that we here at the SLG Art Boutiki truly get behind. Yes, hard as it is to admit the SLG braintrust are one of those Halloween every day type of folks and we keep a jack-o-lantern at out front counter 365 days a year.

But what isn't fun is going to bed  hungry and while the big kahuna at SLG has never been accused of missing a meal there are many many people living here in the Silicon Valley who do, many of them children and seniors.

And that, as they say, is just plain wrong.

So as you prepare for zombie-o-rama tonight, don't forget that one of the primary activities of the evening is collecting canned food for one of the truly great charities in the valley, The Second Harvest Food Bank, an organization that literally puts food directly into people's mouths. 

Life is never easy and seldom fair and you would probably be surprised to know that many many people in this day and age are maybe one bad month or a layoff notice away from literally starving. Our social safety net has become so threadbare that one more jump on it threatens to make the entire thing snap. 

The thing is that if you want to live in a better place, a place that is safe for both the living and the walking dead, you have to be willing to do something to help. Grand gestures are always great, but seriously if everyone did one small thing, like grab a can of soup out of the cupboard and bring it down to Zombie-O-Rama, you will take a huge step towards cleaning your own karma and making the world a better place. 

That single can of soup might be the thing that gets someone through the day somewhere down the line. Think about that as you drop a donation of food into one of those bins, a donation of that sort is the most direct contribution you can make to a needy person or family and you get a chance to make an impact on the life of a total stranger.

Then maybe THAT person will turn around and help someone else later on down the line. Next thing you know, we're ALL living in a better place and all it took was a can of food.

If you can't make it down to Zombie-O-Rama, or if zombies just aren't your thing, then you can bring your donation down to the Art Boutiki because right next to that Jack-O-lantern at the counter is a Second Harvest food bin which also lives there 365 days a year and we will gladly take your canned food items and give you a free comic book for your troubles.

And if you are one of those legions of people who read the various SLG blogs who do not live anywhere near our space, please consider making a cash donation to Second Harvest at their virtual food drive page found here . Or, do an internet search and look for a similar local charity in your area because if there was ever a time to get involved in something positive, this is it.

Then go out and eat some brains, because that's cool too.

Dan Vado
SLG Publishing/Art Boutiki

Thursday, March 29, 2012

virtual comic-con

SLG will not be at the Emerald City Comic-Con this weekend and we are not going to C2E2 in Chicgo either (to answer many of your questions). In our desire to not disappoint our one or two fans I am going to recreate the experience of being at the SLG booth. Here are a few things you would have heard at our booth.

 1) Yes, that book came out last year...  

2) Glad you like Courtney Crumrnin, that book is published by Oni though.  

3) Happy you are an Evan Dorkin fan, check the Dark Horse booth, I doubt he is there either.

 4) We have no idea what Jhonen Vasquez is doing these days.  

5) Roman who?

6) I thought you wanted an honest opinion of your work?  

7) Generally speaking, I do not publish poetry.  

8) I am not certain that (insert obscure tablet or phone platform here) is really going to be all that big for comics.  

9) No, I don't know where (insert large publisher booth, bathroom location or concession stand name here) is.  

10) What time does this open tomorrow (always asked by me as I am never certain).

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

SLG Gallery Kickstarter

Music, Comics and the SLG Kickstarter

You may or may not know that SLG started a Kickstarter campaign to raise some funds to help improve our building to make it more of a venue for art shows and live music. The longtime SLG fan might be wondering why they should support this since, on the surface, it does not have anything to do with comics.

I think it is no secret that the economy has taken a real swan dive in the last few years. The thing we did here that we sort of made our name on, publishing new creators and introducing them to the comic book marketplace, was never easy and now feels almost impossible. The sour economy and the rapid disappearance of places where we sell our books (including the Hot Topic chain of stored dropping comics as a category in their stores) took more than a toll un us. New releases which once sold a few thousand copies now only sell a few hundred copies. we have cut our line back pretty dramatically and where we once published 2-3 titles a month will now only be publishing a handful of titles this year.

So we have for the last few months been looking for ways to generate more non-publishing revenue because, to be honest, I can no longer make a living publishing comics. Since I do not want to STOP publishing comics, I have to make a living doing something else and my preference would be to have that living be something that I can easily work around my life as a comics publisher. Thus, the music venue and art gallery business.

We have done a few shows here and there in our space over the last couple of years and, much to our surprise our place (which we call The Art Boutiki) has turned into not only a desirable place as an all-ages music venue, but to some bands we have become perhaps one of the best small music venues in the Silicon Valley. In addition to music we have been running monthly art shows, a series of pop-culture swap meets, a convention called The San Jose Comics Festival and a comics artists-in-residence series called The Creator's Studio.

In trying to build upon this success we have come across a few improvements that our space needs in order for us to try and make a full-time go of it, hence the Kickstarter, details of which you can read at the campaign page.

So if you are a fan of our comics, or maybe someone who we have published sometime over the last quarter century  please consider making a pledge to our venues campaign. The rewards are pretty neat and you will be putting some money to something that will benefit a lot of musicians and artists.

Dan Vado