Thursday, December 15, 2011

Nicole gets interviewed!

Lookie!  Nicole gets herself interviewed about her awesome coloring book, Fat Ladies in Spaaaaace!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Artist Intro: Fes Works

Name: Fes Works

Current projects: Ardra (comic), The Webcomic Beacon (podcast), First Issue (webseries)

Projects on hold: A Pessimistic Sense of Inadequacy (comic), Jenny Everywhere: The Shifter Archive

Website: See above, or

Webcomics I read: I follow over 200 webcomics. Some of my favorites include Nerf Now!, Endtown, El Goonish Shive, PREQUEL, Get a Roomie, Newspaper Comic Strip, Zebra Girl.. only to name a handful.

Favorite things to draw: The characters in my comic, PSI.

What inspires me to make comics: The ideas in my head. I have to get them out, or my brain will explode.

Why are you in the BHC: Nice and welcoming group. Local.

My artistic new years resolution: Stop taking on new projects before finishing others.

Favorite part of the artistic process: Drawing with pencils on paper.

Finishing move: CTRL+S

Cutie Mark: Candle burning on both ends.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Black Hat Collective gets a nod from the Daily Planet

The lovely and talented Jesse Hausman has done a lovely and skillful article about us for the Twin Cities online news daily. Read it here.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Silent Night: Comic Artists' Night at the Opera

"Artists make bad soldiers."

--German Lt. Horstmayer of Silent Night

"Unsolicited criticism — Always a good seduction technique!"

—Anna Sørensen of Silent Night

[Silent Night] relates the tale of British, French, and German soldiers during World War I who disobeyed orders and spent the holiday not killing each other.

--Joel Vollmer

Jeremiah Halonie
As usual, it’s difficult to draw when the action is so amazing, you want to just lose yourself in what’s going on on-stage, but add to that the incredible sets and music this time around, and I had the most difficult time yet trying to draw what was going on and not just watch.

Kate Saturday:
The French troops were quartered in this bombed-out Cathedral. I fell completely in love with it and drew it one thousand times. Barely a shell, it had a creaky fragility that was offset by its clean geometry. It was strong enough to support actors on its upper stories, in the same way that a nautilus shell is strong. Strong enough to support what, i don't know, tiny mollusk actors in a submarine drama perhaps.

Thomas Boguszewski
: Watching this production warms the heart, but also gives one a sense of the terrible irony of war —where humanity is looked upon as "weird" and violence is the norm. I think the message of this play is not only that "Artists make bad soldiers," as Lieutenant Horstmayer points out at the beginning of the play, but also that good human beings make bad soldiers.

Lisa and Lee Blauersouth: Silent Night, the newest Opera in MN was at once grounded in both fact and myth and rides the line where the two meet. The event was real—a Christmas Eve Truce during the first World War, but it feels like a fairy tale or fable. The tales of it survived through letters and rumors and tales told by soldiers and civilians alike.

Check out more blogs and images at Joel Vollmer, MN Opera, and Diana Green!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Just a fast sketch/self portrait

Just thought I'd toss this up here. Last night, after looking over my fancy new print copy of The Less Than Epic Adventures of TJ and Amal I noticed a nice little artists self portrait sketch in the back, by the bio. And I thought, hey, it's been a long time since I tried a portrait, I should do a quick one to work on my iPad drawing skills. This is the result. Other than my habitual eye enlargment, I think it's a fair likeness. So, yay for apps.


Sunday, November 27, 2011

FTLY/Wyrd Romance Reboot: Teaser pinups.

Hi there. *waves*

Maria here. So, I had this webcomic a long time ago called For the Love of Yaoi. It's actually sort of how I wound up in the BHC. You can read the (decade old) archives over here (try not to sneeze from all the dust).

As several of the BHC members already know, I am working on a new and improved version of this webcomic, currently under the working title of Wyrd Romance (unless I come up with something better). Scripts for chapters 1-4 are written and in process of editing. Chapters 5-10 are in outline format. New character designs are happening. I intend to have pages drawn starting in January, and the comic should go live online by May 2012.

Until then, I'm working ridiculous 10 hour shifts, 6 days a week, at my current temp job. So all I have to show for myself right now are a couple of pinups. You can see them here at my Tumblr:

Black and white inked illustrations (Wyrd Romance main characters, as well as a sneak peek at some art I did for one of the other upcoming BHC projects).

A colored version of the Tristyn pinup.

Feel free to follow me on Tumblr for more arts. I'll probably create a dedicated Wyrd Romance Tumblr/Facebook/Twitter account eventually, but for now you can see some of my arts (and random fandom madness) on my personal account.

Cheers, and thanks for looking!


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Artist Intro: Kate Saturday

Name: Kate Saturday

Current projects: Circus Season, The King of Lunch

Past projects: Shark Book, Parakeet Caper, San Jose: I'll Keep You, Monsters, DeatHat, Corpus Callosum, When I was Young I Lacked Perspective, Always Bringing- Always Taking Away, People You Know


Shop: email me and we'll work something out.

Webcomics I read that no one has said yet: Platinum Grit, Riot Nrrd, Dr. Mc Ninja, The Dreaded Atrox, Thingpart, El Goonish Shive, Doctor Cat, Magellan, SO MANY other webcomics you don't even know how many probably even I don't know

Print comics I buy when I have money: Doom Patrol, Akiko, Batman (if written by Jeph Loeb,) Groo

My favorite thing to draw: monsters

What inspires me to make comics: The way the language and the visuals combine to make more than the sum of their parts.

Why are you in the BHC: They're nice and they invite me to things.

My artistic new years resolution: Put some wonder in the world.

Favorite part of the artistic process: Creating! Making something where once that thing did not exist!

Finishing move: Impenetrable Joke

Astrological Sign: Giant Anteater

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Artist Intro: The Gerbil


Name: Jonathan, aka Gerbil

Current projects: Cordyceps Tickles (autobiographical webcomic), Grey Bouquet Designs (postapocalyptic childhood whimsy)

Past projects: "Don't You Hate When It Happens to You" minicomic from Day in the Life anthology; cover art and doodles for local zine Get Off Yer Ass!; many many unrelated things preceded by somebody telling me "hey, you should draw..."

Shop: --> go to "Shop" --> ??? --> profit

Print comics I read: [recently] Peepo Choo, Empowered, The Boys, Wonderland; [all-time faves] Transmetropolitan, Fruits Basket, Blacksad, absolutely anything by Junji Ito or Furuya Usamaru

Blogs I read: Hyperbole and a Half, Cracked (uh.. that one counts, right?)

My fav stuff to write or draw: Stuff that's endearing and somehow off-putting at the same time. Or even better, the stuff where somebody laughs at it and then immediately looks sheepish for doing so, but it's obvious they still like it. So basically whenever I win over cognitive dissonance in other people's brains, and it doesn't only make sense in mine. This is when I've done my job well~

What inspires me to make comics: NEED. TO GET IT. OUT OF MY HEAD. It never stops coming whether I write it down or not, but people seem to enjoy seeing it if I do, and I want to roll around in that I-made-something-that-is-awesome feeling every chance I can.

Why are you in the BHC: They keep me going outside, talking to other people, and drawing, and it's all enjoyable. 'Specially 'cause so many of us seem to be pushing against the same kind of art-making issues. Plus, they're the reason I now have a filter for what I say out loud. Which, seriously, is REALLY handy!

My artistic new years resolution: Two comic strips a week, for the autobio stuff. Keeping it going. No pauses. Final destination. Nodding as my punctuation for that last one.

Favorite part of the artistic process: When I get to see somebody look at something I doodled into the third dimension, and they start chuckling. Or wincing. Or d'awwing at how it's cute. Any of those, really.

Hogwarts House: who with the what now?

uh... Pokemon types?: Now we're talkin'! Dark, Psychic

Blood Type: the hippie kind ("be positive"? Really, blood?)

Astrological Sign: Scorpio, right on the edge vs. Libra

Minneapolis Indie Expo This Weekend!

The Black Hat Collective (or, a whole bunch of it anyways) will be at the Minneapolis Indie Expo or MIX this coming weekend! We'll be at tables 70-72. We'll have comic books, buttons, prints, coloring books, t-shirts, and even some jewelry. Come stop by to say hello and enjoy shipping-charge-free goodies at The Soap Factory this Saturday and Sunday. There's no charge to get in the door, so you have nothing to loose, and a reasonably high chance of catching a spontaneous musical number with jazz hands. *

*The Black Hat Collective makes no guarantees regarding the quality of the musical numbers, the accuracy of the lyrics, or that half of them won't consist of the original English Pokemon theme song.

Nicole in City Pages!

Since the fabulous Ms. Nicole Lorenz is up to her eyeballs in graduate school and running her coloring book empire, I felt it was important to let you all know that she was interviewed by Citypages for her fabulous premier coloring book Fat Ladies in Spaaaaace! (that's 5 "a"s, now). Go and hear how all this madness began, what her future coloring book plans are, and her ideas about humor.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Artist Intro: Gypsy-Maria Lorimer

Name: Gypsy-Maria Lorimer

Current projects: A number of novels, a reboot of my old webcomic (see below), some commission work

Past projects: For the Love of Yaoi (webcomic), Gabriel's Day (A Day in the Life anthology), commission and caricature work


Shop: None yet.

Web comics I read: Gunnerkrigg Court, Freak Angels, A Distant Soil, Godseeker, Battle Pug, Silly Kingdom, Axe Cop, Skin Deep, The Fox Sister, Girls with Slingshots

Print comics I read: Shadowlords, The Dark Tower, Anita Blake, Dresden Files, Peanuts, Calvin & Hobbes, Watchmen, Sandman, Nightcrawler, and just about anything I pick up at conventions.

Blogs I read: Hyperbole and a Half, The Bloggess, Neil Gaiman, Patrick Rothfuss, Nicole Lorenz, Notes from a Fairy Princess in Exile

My fav stuff to write or draw: pretty boys, pretty girls, animals, fantasy creatures, chibis and other cutesy things

What inspires me to make comics: The winning combination of writing, drawing, and storytelling. Comics are, for me, the perfect medium.

Why are you in the BHC: Accountability and community. Group projects are fun, too.

My artistic new years resolution: What else? Draw more! Specifically, I'd like to be building a better portfolio of work to show potential clients, as well as getting a solid start on my webcomic.

Favorite part of the artistic process: I love all of it, but I think I especially like holding a finished piece in my hand and saying, "I did this thing."

Hogwarts House: Ravenclaw, all the way.

Bloodtype: A+

Astrological Sign: Aquarius

Samples of recent art:

Artist Intro: Lee Blauersouth

Name: Lee Blauersouth

Current projects: Godseeker, my ongoing epic stone age fantasy, written by my wife, Lisa Blauersouth. Also, Abby and Nicole Lorenz and I are doing a short story for Smut Peddler.

Past projects: A Day in the Life, with the rest of the older Black Hat Collective members.


Shop: indyplanet book shop

Webcomics I read: Gunnerkrigg Court, Girl Genius, Sinfest, Girls with Slingshots, Wapsi Square, The Not so Epic Adventures of TJ and Amal, La Macchina Bellica, Knights Errant, Stop Paying Attention, Templar Arizona, Skin Deep, comics by the BHC members.

Print comics I read: Fables, Ooku, Sailor Moon, print volumes of those webcomics.

Blogs I read: Apartment Therapy, Indistinguishable from Magic, Design Sponge

My fav stuff to write or draw: Pretty people, emotions, rocks, clouds

What inspires me to make comics: The way comics combines the best of both books and tv and art. Its such an amazing way to tell stories. The reader can add their own take on the work by adding the sound and movement, but have the added visual interest of the pictures. I like the way this combination lets you tell very personal stories, without needing the committee required for TV or even most novels. I can just tell the story and put it where people can see it. I'm also inspired to draw beauty- or at least what I see as beautiful, and I love drawing nature being epic.

Why are you in the BHC: Comics can be a lonely, isolated art form, since you can do it all yourself, but I get to learn a lot more from hanging around other people, and also finding all the cool resources and comics and art they find.

My artistic new years resolution: Improve on my anatomy, and do more drawing from life. Also, draw more dynamic and interesting backgrounds.

Favorite part of the artistic process: I think I like penciling the best. That’s when I get to figure out the emotions I'm drawing and the acting of the characters.

Hogwarts house: Slytherin

Blood Type: A+

Thanks, All!


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

MN Opera 2011-2012 Season

Its that exciting time of year again, time to sign up the second round of the Comic Artists Night at the Opera, in their 2011/2012 season. Big thanks to all who made last year such a success. It was, in fact, such a success, that they have invited us back for double the number of shows this year! We have an exiting lineup this year, have a look:

Silent Night, Nov 10th, 2011 a brand new production, commissioned by the MN Opera company and never before seen.

Werther, Jan 26th, 2011
a classic tale of a poet in love.

Lucia del Lammamore, March 1st, 2012 a tragic tale of star crossed lovers.

Madame Butterfly April 12th, 2012
the well known classic.

Now, there is a little change to this year's process, which I think you will all enjoy. This year, you can register for multiple shows at the same time. You will receive a confirmation email closer to the date. Other than that, the process is the same: email me with:

Your name
the address of your webpage
your email address
and a list of which shows you would like to attend

There has been another change. The reception we attend is going to be with the bloggers, which will hopefully be a great networking opportunity for all of us. Details about the when/where of the pre-show reception will, like before, be available closer to the date. Also, backstage tours may be available during intermission, as well as access to the conductor.

As before, bring your booklight, your art supplies, and yourself. Send your sketches and your experience to the opera liaison. Post the same to your webpage.

Please, let your friends know about this opportunity!

Questions or registration, just email me! Lets fill these seats!

Thanks, all!

Lee Blauersouth

Thursday, October 13, 2011

BHC meeting set for Nov. 12

Hey guys! Come to this meeting! We'll draw robots. Why? Because I said so, and no one is around to disagree!

Saturday, Nov. 12, 1-5 pm in the Waterbury building. That address again:

1121 Jackson St. NE Suite 106A
Minneapolis, MN 55413

Character Design tutorial book is on track!

Neat mesquite! As October draws to a close, so does the first half of the Black Hat Collective's character design tutorial. Oh, you haven't heard about our character design tutorial? Well.

As you may have noticed, we are a, ahem, widely diverse group with widely diverse styles of art. But in diversity, strength! Many of our members, working from the same character specs, have designed characters in their own style and aesthetic. The resulting mass of drawings is a surprising look into the range and variety of characters that can be derived from one idea, and how the design of a character can give visual information about the character, the environment, the narrative.

BHC's character design smorgasbord is expected by the end of the year. Updates as they occur!

Black Hat Collective's 24 Hour Comic Day Make-up!

Every year on Oct. 1, cartoonists around the world work feverishly to complete a 24 page comic in 24 hours. Well, Oct. 1 wasn't good for us. We had things that day. Things we wanted to do. So join us on Oct. 22 and make a comic of your own, or collaborate on our group comic. Making a full comic in 24 hours is hard, but potluck meals and moral support make it easier! Members of the Black Hat Collective will be there working, and the event is open to the public, the private, and the just shy. Join us at the Geek Partnership Society from Oct. 22 10 am to Oct. 23 10am, and show the world how tough you really are.

GPS is located at the Waterbury Building, 1121 Jackson St. NE Suite 106, Minneapolis, MN 55413. See their website for more info:

For more information about 24 Hour Comic Day, visit

Thursday, September 15, 2011

New Opera Season!

Attention all Black Hatters & Friends!

Due to stupidity on my part an evening of Comic Artists Night at the Opera has snuck up on me! I misread the schedule and failed to put an opening night NEXT THURSDAY down in my planner. Which means I have not had time yet to properly get the word out! Which means you all get first, and possibly only, dibbs. We have 14 slots to fill by next Tuesday evening.

What you need:
       An email to me by Tuesday afternoon detailing ALL of the following:
              * your name
              * your currently updating website
              * your desire to attend a FREE opera full dress rehearsal Thursday September 22nd, 2011.

By emailing me this information you are agreeing to the following:
              *you will be on-time to the opera
              *you will sketch during the opera (email me if you can't get your hands on a booklight, we may be able to provide one.
              * you will email a scan of at least one of your pieces, along with 1-5 sentences about your experience to an email I will forward you as part of your confirmation within ONE WEEK of the event itself
              * you will post at least 1 sketch and some sort of write-up to your own webpage/webcomic/blog within 1 week of the event.
              *you will allow MN opera to use this sketch for promotional purposes without further compensation (you will retain the copyright, however, as well as the use of the rest of the sketches)

And that's about it! Please get the word out and tell as many online local comicers as you can. Since this is so last minute participation in this event will NOT effect your eligibility for other shows this season.

Now the important parts:
             *information about the show
             * By participating you are also eligible to come to their blogger preview meet n greet, which can be a fun, low-stress networking opportunity. This is held for about an hour before the show, just like last year, at a nearby restaurant
             *transportation assistance may be available by request

Questions/Comments welcome!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Meeting time!

Helloooooo comic-ers!
Hiya! It's Meeting time again! Woo!

Meeting time is 1-5 on Feb. 12th. It is a Saturday. We'll be in 106A. Which just means that you'll go to 106, enter and then go into the room that is in the room. Less complicated then it sounds, I assure you. I'm working on getting the space 2nd Sat of every month, but we have to talk about alternate dates on a couple of months.

The Geek Partnership Society is our meeting space. You can find them at 1121 Jackson St NE, Suite 106 Minneapolis, MN 55413. Park in the big lot in the back, follow the signs for Xelias, and come in door C. Yes, we're in the big red building across from the metalworking shed-what-looks-about-ready- to-fall-down. If you need more info, shoot me an email at

We should have our large format scanner by then! Our resident Gerbil, Jonathan, has donated a computer to hook up to said scanner! The world is coming up roses, and fun scanning times. Hopefully our Foreign Correspondent can Skype in and jam with us--Maria, you still wanna try that?

If you have a buddy that wants to come along--bring'em! We're an open club of GPS and the only thing we ask is that you love makin' comics in some way.

See Ya There!
Lisa Blauersouth
El Presidente