My favorite show of the year, Crocker Con––the celebration of local art and creativity held at Sacramento’s Crocker Art Museum––is happening this Thursday (September 14) and I can’t wait for it.

As the video above mentions, what I love most about the show is its hybrid or melting pot nature of attendees and exhibitors. On the exhibitor side, we have people who love superhero comics and make their own as a declaration of their creativity and fandom mixed with fine artists whose work will, one day, be featured in a museum like the Crocker. Together we get to mingle and chat and talk about making stuff no matter the medium. For attendees, we get cosplayers and comic book fans along with museum members who attend talks on Impressionists and the like that the Crocker holds regularly.

I would argue that I fall directly in the middle of these demographics. When I started my academic journey after high school, I was an art major. As part of the major I had to take not only the studio classes but the “appreciation” classes, meaning Art History. To be honest, I loved those classes. I loved them to the point that I started investigating into whether I could move from being a general Art major to, instead, focusing on Art History because I love seeing how eras connect, to see how every generation––as defined and finished and unique as they seem––end up being the loose sketch for the next generation to refine, change, and make their own. I like the fact that as boring as young people think Monet and Seurat are, those artists were the hell-raising rebels of their day, eschewing neoclassical standards of not only technique but business (painting for yourself?! The horror!) and changing––like a rock through a window––how the art world is viewed. Now their art is sewn onto pillows and sold as demonstration prints for cheap frames at Target. It’s fascinating.

At Crocker Con, I probably try more than other shows to engage with the people who stop at my table, to act as an ambassador between these two disparate worlds of artistic appreciation and show the erudite art museum members that these popular mediums have kernels of cultural worth in them and to show the pop culture fans that there is more to appreciate in art than mere aesthetic value and irony––that art can mean something even it that means working a little bit on the viewer’s end to find it (or make it).

This type of environment is why I do what I do as a comicker and, perhaps, as a teacher. I like trying to bridge chasms of appreciation, aesthetics, and even taste because there is so much talk between different groups about “them” and “those”, speaking as if the gulf is a border that none shall cross.

But I do. Regularly.

With practice, it becomes an easy hop. What’s more, it’s a fun jump to make and allows me to reap the rewards of more than just one or two avenues of this thing we call “Art.” It’s all art, what separates them is willingness to approach. And while people come up with excuses to avoid eye contact, in truth, that’s the easiest part.

Crocker Con will be on Thursday, 14 September 2017 at the Crocker Art Museum from 6-9:30pm.

Sadly, I will not be debuting volume 3 of Long John there as I had planned and hoped. Trying to tackled a 36 page book over a summer was a bigger task than I had hoped and while I have made incredible headway on it, I couldn’t bring it home in time without sacrificing something. With school now in session, production has to slow down, but I hope to have it done by the end of the calendar year. Apologies for getting hopes up, mostly my own.

I’ll be posting more information on volume 3 soon, including a title, a cover and some other information associated with it as it develops. Since the book won’t be done for awhile, I plan to post pages before the book gets released so as to keep the dry spell of comics on this site shorter rather than longer.

Stay tuned!