What is AUTOPTIC?
In late 2012, a group of Twin Cities based cartoonists and publishers began planning for what was to become AUTOPTIC's inaugural show the following year. Rather than creating “just another comics/ graphics festival”, we chose to take a giant step forward into the bigger, messier world of independent culture at large. To accomplish this we showcased not only cartoonists and zinesters, but also poster artists, printmakers, musicians, alternative & small labels, illustrators, designers, and more, ranging from the exclusively local to the internationally acclaimed. At its core, AUTOPTIC is a juried, expo-style show, but orbiting the expo are readings and talks, artist showcases, and music events, held both at Aria and several other sites throughout Minneapolis.
What’s new for 2015?
We’re glad you asked! This second AUTOPTIC will be greatly expanded — first and foremost by growing from a one to two day expo, but in several other ways as well. We’re opening up our expo space at Aria to allow for a greater number of exhibitors, partnering with a local venue for a satellite music event that will coincide with the expo (featuring at least one national headlining act), doubling down with our international partners (the French based ChiFouMi) for on-site zine and comics workshops, creating a dedicated kid’s area, hosting an art show, and much more.
Who will be at AUTOPTIC?
In addition to 120+ exhibitors from around the world (and around the corner), AUTOPTIC will feature an international slate of special guest artists; we will be announcing those names in the coming weeks. It’ll be good, trust us.
Where and When will AUTOPTIC happen?
We take our cue from the long, varied history of what might be called the underground, the counterculture, punk, and DIY; a world outside of demographics, advertising platforms, and major market concerns. AUTOPTIC is about people making culture happen in the real world from the bottom up, people who make things themselves, putting thought and care into seeing those things through and getting them out into the world however and wherever they can. AUTOPTIC is about feeding that impulse, and connecting those makers to each other and to a larger public.
Who is running AUTOPTIC?
AUTOPTIC is brought to you through the combined efforts of:
Uncivilized Books' Tom Kaczynski
Tom Kaczynski’s comics have appeared in The Drama, Punk Planet, Swindle Magazine, MOME, Best American Nonrequired Reading and in countless mini-comics. Beta Testing The Apocalypse a collection of his short fiction from MOME was published in November by Fantagraphics. Trans Terra: Towards a Cartoon Philosophy his philosophical mutant memoir has been translated into French and will appear in North America in 2013. As the publisher of Uncivilized Books he has published works by Gabrielle Bell, Jon Lewis, James Romberger, David B., Kevin Huizenga, Dan Zettwock and Zak Sally. He lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota with his partner Nikki.
2D Cloud's Raighne Hogan and Justin Skarhus
2d Cloud is a comics publisher and visual purveyor based in Minneapolis, MN. Founded in 2007 as a loose collective of local artists focused on the advocacy of experiments in visual narrative, the label has since expanded its scope to publish challenging, expressive work by both new and established creatives across North America and beyond. We seek out and champion artists with a distinct vision, one that questions norms both within comics and culture at large.
Talk Weird Press' Caitlin Skaalrud
Talk Weird Press is a Minneapolis comics micropress run by Caitlin Skaalrud. When not drawing comics in a furnace room, she is attempting to self-publish them on an AB Dick printing press in a two-car garage. Recipient of a 2012 Xeric grant for Sea Change: A Choose-Your-Own-Way Story. Her first word was ‘Batman.’
Grimalkin Press' Jordan Shiveley
Grimalkin Press is Jordan Shiveley and occasional cohorts. They are interested in DIY printmaking and publishing small press comics that might otherwise stay inside of sketchbooks. Do you have an idea for a book printed solely on the fall foliage of a solitary tree from your childhood? We might be interested.
in absentia press' Robert James Algeo
Robert has been self-publishing and self-uploading his comics through in absentia press since 2006, first in Philadelphia and now in Minneapolis. His comic Skull Pen Issue One was nominated for a Howard E. Day Prize. The Day Prize was discontinued shortly thereafter when the awarding body disbanded. His entire body of work was awarded a Keeper Award by Twin Cities METRO Magazine. The Keeper Award was discontinued shortly thereafter when METRO Magazine ceased publication. His was given his first adjunct teaching position by the College of Visual Arts in St. Paul, MN. Shortly thereafter, CVA announced it would be closing due to an inability to meet its financial obligations. Robert could not be more relieved that Autoptic has made it to its second show…
Jenny attained a Studio Arts degree from the University of MN for abstract oil painting. Married into the comics world and with no drawing skills of her own she decided to coordinate instead. In the words of John Witherspoon: "The secret is you got to CO-ORD-IN-ATE!"
Anders Nilsen is a cartoonist, illustrator, artist and occasional curator based in Minneapolis. He is the author of Big Questions, Poetry is Useless, The End, and Don't Go Where I Can't Follow among other works. He has received three Ignatz awards and the Lynd Ward Graphic Novel prize and his work has been translated into several languages overseas. His drawing and painting has been shown internationally.
La Mano 21's Zak Sally
Zak Sally is a cartoonist, printmaker, publisher, musician, educator, and so on. Sally self- published his first comic zine on a photocopier at the age of 13. In the intervening years he has done a bunch of other stuff (including playing in the band Low for 12 years, which got him all over the world & songwriting credit on 2 Grammy-nominated songs; a bit part in the Steve Martin penned movie Shopgirl: and a guest spot for ABC news online posing as a “music expert”) but not much has changed. Sally was nominated for 2 Eisner awards for the final issue of his Recidivist series, and owns and operates his own award-winning micro-press concern, La Mano. He has designed record covers, posters, zines, illustrations and all sorts of stuff, all over the place, for a long time. He released a solo record, Fear Of Song, in 2009. He has been teaching in the Comics Art program at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design since 2007. His current ongoing project is Sammy The Mouse.