Conversation Bubbles Abound at “Art Jacuzzi”

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From left: Jarod Shanahan, Andy Scott, Nils Balls, Max Wheeler, and Nate McDonough. Illustration by Max Wheeler, OHIO alum.

Come on in, the water’s artsy!

“Art Jacuzzi,” a celebration and demonstration of the indie comics, zine and print community, takes place on Sunday, April 13th at 7 p.m. in Alden Library’s third floor Friends of the Libraries room (319), and you’re invited.

The event features Nils Balls, “godfather of the Pittsburgh indie comic scene” and creator of the graphic novel “Ship of Soiled Doves;” Andy Scott, illustrator, cartoonist, and editor of Andromeda Quarterly; Nate McDonough, cartoonist and creator of Grixly, Don’t Come Back and Made Fun; Jarrod Shanahan, writer and head of Death Panel Press; and OHIO alum Max Wheeler, printmaker, zinemaker, photographer and founder of Gnarly As I Wanna Be. These devotees of Do-It-Yourself (D.I.Y.) will showcase their work, offer a performance, discuss their art forms and answer questions.

In a time when clicking “publish” online was not an option, the zine, comics and printmaking movements offered a means of voicing ideas on a large scale. As the presentation will demonstrate, these art forms are still thriving, in both electronic and paper formats.

So are the artists.

“I am constantly amazed by the work that Nate, Nils, Andy and Jarrod make,” said Wheeler, who first learned about zines as a freshman attending punk shows in Athens. “We all genuinely love what we do.”

Gary Ginther, fine arts librarian, is eager for the OHIO community to see the successes of working artist peers and to learn more about the original, pre-web zine.

“Historically, zine-makers used this mode of expression to subvert the commercial press, build solidarity, and connect with like-minded people,” he said.

Wheeler emphasized that those interpersonal connections are at the heart of the D.I.Y. process.

“Printmaking is rooted in the camaraderie of working alongside other artists in a print shop,” Wheeler said. “The very nature of zines is built around community, sharing skills and points of view.”

And those are precisely the values that Wheeler, Balls, Scott, McDonough and Shanahan will put into practice at Alden Library. Join them for “Art Jacuzzi,” a night for all things indie comics, zines and printmaking, on Sunday, April 13th at 7 p.m. in the third floor Friends of the Libraries room (319). The event is free and open to the public.