Tuesday, March 29, 2005

COMICS: Jay's Days Giveaway!

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It's contest time here at the redesigned Spatula Forum! In honor of my one-year blog anniversary April 7, today kicks off the Jay's Days Giveaway. I've known Jason Marcy since 1992 or so, when we were both novice cartoonists in the small press game. Jay started out doing a goofy superhero parody called Powerwus, but for my money he really found his own voice when he started doing raw, funny and honest autobiographical comics. He wasn't the first person to tell his life story in comics, of course, but for my money he's one of the best. Jay is a bit of a neurotic guy, filled with self-loathing, big dreams, worries and passions. Pretty much like all of us, in other words. Reading his comics over the past decade or so, we've all watched him struggle in love, work and family, seeing him go from a single guy to a married father. Jay's carved out a nice niche for himself in the field of autobio comix -- not as insanely freakish as Joe Matt, younger and more optimistic than Harvey Pekar, but grittier and less whimsical than James Kochalka.

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Jay's work has been in minicomics such as "Tales of the Petro-Canada Man" and "Aaaargh," and the last few years in the nice graphic novels "Jay's Days." Last year's "Jay's Days Vol. 3: Rise and Fall of the Pasta Shop Lothario" is his most mature, heartfelt and accomplished work yet, taking on Jay and his wife Kris' leap into parenthood. Having just become a dad myself, I really empathized with Jay wondering if he's good enough, ready enough to take on raising a kid, wondering if he'll ever "hit it big" in his career. Jay worries and whines a hell of a lot, but he never becomes too annoying (of course, I don't have to live with him, eh?).

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So, now that I've introduced the man, I'd like to share his work. Here's the contest: In the spirit of Jay's confessional style, let's have the Jay's Days Most Embarassing Moments contest! Jay's work is all about telling us the sordid details of his life. So Spatula Forum readers, if you were going to write an autobiography, tell the story of your life, what would the title be? If I bought your book, what would you call it? Then, e-mail me your title to nikdirga @ hotmail.com. The winners will be picked from the most original, funniest and whatever the co-judge, my wife, likes the most. Feel free to tell us more about your imaginary autobiography if you want -- dust jacket copy, perhaps?

Thanks to my old pal Jay and Ron and Astor over at Landwaster Books for helping provide cool prizes. There will be three prize packages, including copies of Jay's Days Vol. 3 and Vol. 1, plus samples of Jay's rare early minicomics work and daily Internet strip! The deadline is April 29 - tax day, easy to remember, so have fun! Comment if you have questions, and fellow bloggers, be a pal and link to the contest!

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