Comics? Zines? People who MAKE them?

Like, that Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles guy, even?

The pen is bitier than the sword.
The pen is bitier than the sword.

Yes, because:

It's Staple! time again.

That is, it's Austin's eighth annual
celebration of independent media

You know what that means, right?

Comic books, zines, posters, gaming gear;
all the handmade, limited-edition, geek-o-centric
goodness that emulates or sometimes drives
so much of what's happening in pop culture.

Not so much with the Hollywooded
megasuperblockbuster movie trailers
or the Z-list gods & goddesses slumming
among the fannish supplicants, though, no.

This ain't no ComicCon, in other words.

Even though it boasts exhibitors from all over the country,
it's more of a downhome kind of thing.

Tim Doyle's Nakatomi Inc. will be there.
Yehudi Mercado and Buffalo Speedway.
Big Big Truck Productions with TJ and Amal.
Austin Books & Comics.

You know what we're talking about.

Even though, yes, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' co-creator Kevin Eastman
will be among the featured guests, it's an ordinary-folks kind of gathering.

Well, if you consider the likes of Master Pancake Theatre
and the Intergalactic Nemesis's Jason Neulander and
Monica Gallagher of Bonnie N. Collide to be ordinary folks, anyway.

Or Chris Nicholas (AKA Uncle Staple) – he's ordinary, right?
Even though he seems, with the increasing success of this yearly expo,
to have organizational and promotional skills beyond the ken of mortals.

(He'd probably tell you that those skills are beyond the Barbie of mortals, too.)

(Actually, what he told us is much less corny, yes,
so let's get to that – right after these parentheses close.)

Austin Chronicle: Uncle Staple, what are you looking forward to at the expo this year?

Chris Nicholas: Well, we've got a got of fantastic things together.
Master Pancake Theatre is gonna perform. We have lots of
wonderful guest artists – Kagan McLeod's gonna be there,
Cullen Bunn and Brian Hurtt – the creators of Six Gun
and a buncha others. Kevin Eastman is gonna be there –
they're promoting Turtle Power once again.

Chronicle: And this year it's two full days at the Marchesa?

Nicholas: This is actually our second year to go two full days.
But, yeah, the thing's definitely too big for just one day now.

Chronicle: And too big for just the daytime, right?
You've probably got a lot of afterparties lined up already ... ?

Nicholas: We do, in fact. There's a preview party on Friday night at Austin Books.
And on Saturday night, we're having the traditional live-art show,
where artists draw art live – right before your eyes! – and then it's sold.
This year all the sales go to benefit Austin's own KOOP Radio.
That party'll be going on at Shangri-La on East Sixth Street.

Chronicle: Looking forward to it, man. Looking forward to it ...

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