I’m admittedly the resident nerd at Busy Beaver, but it’s no secret that most the folks here are fans of comics. We have a number of comic artists on staff and based our entire 2011 Button-O-Matic series on superheroes, after all. So of course we jumped at the chance to work with Chicago Alternative Comic Expo (CAKE) on a collaborative project this year.
I approached the CAKE organizers with an idea—let’s make a button-y comic together! What did that mean exactly? Well, I had an idea based on Busy Beaver’s packaging options and my niece’s copy of The Very Hungry Little Caterpillar.
We could create a 6-8 page comic with a 1.25-inch button pinned to the inside back cover. With a circle die cut through the center of the comic, the button would interact with each page, thus becoming part of the storyline. And, voilà! Comic masterpiece!
The organizers of CAKE chose two artists, Lale Westvind and Carrie Vinarsky, to each create a 500-piece edition. Westvind created a futuristic, frenetic composition in red and purple. Void of text, the story unfolded through image only.
In contrast, Vinarsky layered textures and text to create a story with a somewhat zen quality. She also added visual complexity by screen printing each cover on silver paper and choosing to create a cosmic button as the centerpiece of the storyline. Both artists created an interesting mini-comic that brought the comic and button mediums together in a fun way.
All 1,000 mini-comics were printed here at Busy Beaver and, in an interesting twist, the production team who did the assembly are all artists themselves– Otto Splotch, Anya Davidson, and Marieke McClendon each helped piece these comics together under the watchful eye of Carrie Vinarsky, who also happens to be Busy Beaver’s Production Shift Lead.
So how do you get your hands on one of these beauties? Sneak peek copies will be available to the first 100 attendees at our release party on June 15 at Parson’s Chicken & Fish. The mini-comic will make its official debut at CAKE 2013, June 15-16 where copies will be given to the first 250 visitors each day. And for those of you who won’t be in Chicago this weekend, an additional 300 copies will be distributed to Busy Beaver customers with orders throughout the month of June! So come eat chicken, check out alterna-comics or order buttons and you can become the proud owner of one of these limited edition button/comic masterpieces!