This week's Baltimore city paper is the seventh annual comic contest issue and this year's winner is, oh, surprise, Wham City's Dina Kelberman's Important Comics. I really don't mean this in too negative a way. I like her comics, but come on. Wham City? Soooo three years ago.
But ok, It's not that Dina Kelberman shouldn't have won, or that she isn't a talented comics creator/artist. Her work is individualistic and funny, and her minis (and I really must stress MINI, some are 1"x1") show that she has the creative wherewithal to do something more than a mutli-layered screenprinted, thread-bound, probably narrativeless piece, made while jerking off (or I guess flicking her bean), thinking about Fort Thunder. And it's not even that I don't like that sort of garbage, I just think every kid at MICA (or your local arts school) need to get their heads out of their ass and acknowledge that just because a majority of people probably haven't heard of Matt Brinkman and Brian Chippendale (and if you haven't, look into it), they're not fooling everyone.
Speaking of obnoxious arts students, there's also an article in the paper about another collective of self-publishing college students, Closed Caption Comics. Some of their work is featured in the paper's spread of contest entries, namely Noel Freibert's "My Friend Pumpskin." Ok, dude, we get it. Everything is kind of gross and melty and doesn't really make sense, alright. Acid is great, right?
What totally weirds me out is that ex-Fort Thunder dude Brian Ralph is a professor at MICA, where all these kids go. They mention him in the article, and show he gives generic praise to a group of young comics go-getters, but how in the world can he stand to see this shit?
My honorable mention for the comics contest goes to "99 Catch 22's" by Jordan Piantedosi of Perfect Stars and Zach "Hazard" Vaupen of Wigger Haircut. I've been reading Perfect Stars since high school and picked up the last Wigger Haircut a couple weeks ago, so seeing anything put together by the both of them is probably going to rule no matter what.