Letters of Mass Construction

A Labor of Love

Got to love the catchy title don’t you (okay it was hokey but I can’t help myself). I got to spend a wonderful Sunday afternoon meeting new people and listening to Marian Call play music at a house concert. If you have never been to a house concert make sure you do so some day because you have never really experienced the intimacy of music until you have the musician a few feet in front of you. Marian told all of our lovely little group about her friends at the Alaska Robotics website doing a blog for Labor Day listing some of their favorite independent comics done by women. It was a nice way to help support something they loved. Run on over and take a look at their site because they have some great creators listed.

I really liked the idea of highlighting artist on Labor Day and told Marian I was totally stealing the blog idea. As an independent writer trying to do my own thing outside of the umbrella of the corporate world I know how hard it is. I write because I love to and to not write would be the death of me. I like when people pick up one of my books because then it has been read. I am not making a living at this and am a long way from doing so (hence the day job). We live in an interesting time right now. The model for artists is blowing up. When the dusts settles we are going to see more and more people going their own way. As consumers of art we need to support that which we love. A few years back Sheri and I made a decision to actively support the arts. Every year we make sure some artists out there creating pieces of magic gets as much help as we can give them. Here are a few people I really love. Check them out. If you find someone new and exciting and can give them your support, great. If you are a little short of money to do any supporting then just spread the word. Getting noticed is half the battle most of the time. I would also encourage you to write a blog. Post on Twitter, Facebook, social media of your choice, links to artists you would like to spread the word on. It is a lot of work to create art. If we, the fans, don’t support it then a lot of the things we love will go away.

Marian Call

I am going to start right off with this geektastic choice. Her music is funny, touching, warm, geeky, and everything in between. I wrote a lot of my last novel listening to her music. She works her ass off to bring fans great art. There was never a better time to jump on the Marian Call bus because she has a new double album coming out October 1st. Trust me when I tell you it is fantastic. Go take a listen, you won’t regret it.

Kim Boekbinder

Kim just made one of my favorite albums ever. If you haven’t heard The Impossible Girl, then you are depriving yourself of musical joy. Kim has been trying to break out of the box for years. The constraints of the corporate music world have always hampered her true goal in life, to play music for everyone. She uses Kickstarter a lot and her latest adventure has been to pre-sell concerts in towns across the U.S.

Zoë Keating

She plays the cello. This is not really an accurate statement about what Zoë does. She plays the frakking hell out of the cello. A one woman cello orchestra with easily the best live show you will ever see. This is not an exaggeration. You will not want to leave one of her cello performances as she layers her cello magic one track on top of the other. She does everything live on stage (which also makes going to multiple shows a joy because they are never exactly the same). I can listen to her albums over and over again (and have since I listen to her more than anyone while writing).

Amanda Palmer

I love Amanda because she is fearless. This doesn’t mean she knows no fear. Only that she will not let it stop her. Like all the women above she is always looking for a new way to connect with fans. Make her music. Create great art and somehow support herself. She is also the main reason Sheri and I support the arts as much as we do now. A few years back she talked about how important it was going to be to have fan supported art and how great art needs patrons. We really took it to heart.

[blip.tv http://blip.tv/play/AYKT02cC]

Awkward Embraces

The little web show that could. Growing up I used to love watching sitcoms on TV. Laughing keeps me sane. About five years ago I noticed I was barely watching any sitcoms. They were simply not funny anymore. They had taken the formula and driven a stake right through the heart of it. This web series is everything a TV sitcom should be. First and foremost it is fucking hilarious. I would recommend not watching it with liquid in your mouth because you will be spraying that shit all over your computer screen. You add in great writing that is telling a really interesting story about finding love while not losing yourself and you have a complete winner. This series often gets written up as a geek anthem to dating but honestly for most people dating is a difficult dance. Everyone will be able to relate to the journey. Plus, did I mention it is hilarious. Go and watch it. They don’t get made without fan support so if you like it help them get season 3 made when the call goes out.

The Guild

If you have been reading my blog for any length of time you know I am a huge fan of The Guild. I am sure there were web series before and of course there have been a lot after but The Guild will always be the standard-bearer for me. Like Awkward Embraces there isn’t a show on network TV which delivers the laughs in 30 minutes which The Guild gives you in six. The whole cast is spectacular. I know the show has blown up (if you don’t believe me try to get into a Comic-Con panel) but the truth is non-gamers and visitors to the geek world are still missing out. Do a friend a favor and make sure they watch it. Dspite getting huge in the geek world none of the individual cast members are out their blazing a path of glory across the TV and movie world. The show started as a way to show everyone what they are capable of and we need to support it so they can all have long and successful careers.

Molly Crabapple

Molly is my favorite artist walking on the planet right now. I wish I had a bigger house so I could buy even more paintings. I am simply running out of room on my walls. She is currently working on a crazy Kickstarter project where she locks herself in a room and fills every available inch of wall space with her art. She does comics, books, posters, t-shirts and I have yet to see a picture I didn’t want to own. I would love her just for her art but I love her even more because she helped me pick out some books for a gifted artist in my class to practice with. I hope I can send some support back her way.

The Bean

The Bean is a web comic drawn by Travis Hanson. It is well written and superbly drawn. I am always waiting expectantly for the next part of the adventure and Travis never fails to disappoint. A great comic for family members of all ages, it has easily passed Bone as my favorite comic out there (and I love Bone. So this is high praise). Travis has a Kickstarter going right now to support the omnibus edition of his first four collections. Never a better time to jump on board. Check out his site. Read a few strips and then buy a collection. All comics should be as good as his.

I hope you find something new and interesting above. If nothing jumps out at you as something you would like to support go find something which does. I can think of no better way to celebrate Labor Day.

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One Response to “A Labor of Love”

  1. Dymphnasis aka Mary says:

    Great blog. I agree wholeheartedly! The art we love will thrive with our support, whatever support we are able to offer, it’s all good. The art we love will die without our support. It’s a pretty simple concept and kudos to Amanda Palmer for being one of the greatest advocates of this fundamental concept!

    Also love your compilation of artists, many of my favorites as well!

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