Jack Bracken

Nine Inch Nails references ahead…

Adults only, kiddos!

This book is filthy, and probably best described as For Adults Only. Only read it if you're filthy, or an adult.

Jesse Davidge is a huge badass. He makes music videos and mechwarrior movies. And Other stuff. You gotta understand that I pretty much played those games solely for the movie cutscenes. Intense stuff. He asked if I'd write a story for him a few years back, and I sent him some stuff awaiting the opening in his schedule. Years and a few awards later, he said he was finally doing the book. That story will be coming later. The one above is a shortened version of my old script we made to premiere at VanCAF. Maybe we missed the window, it's tame in comparison to Game of Thrones, but at the time, we thought this would make a particularly racy tale. Enjoy, adults.

PS If you're a NIN fan or were into it in school, you'll particularly appreciate the comic.

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Y’all’re just a bunch of nerds, working on your movies that are never gonna get published.

One last thing about Vancouver: the best burn I've ever had thrown at me.

Reid and I were at Metropol (the bar that stays open latest on a Sunday), playing 4-person Mario kart that they had hooked up to a projector by the entrance. What can only be described as a "preppy girl" walks in front of the screen, (which is totally okay as it's between the main entrance and the bar). A punker girl playing Kart with us takes a deep breath, and shouts at full volume something you often hear in Mario Kart but not that often in this aggressive of a tone, "get out of the fucking way, bitch!" Preppy girl got justifiably sassy and said that bitch isn't a nice thing to say to anyone (which really is true. Watch your gender slurs, y'all). After a little back-and-forth bickering, the preppy girl walks away, and her drunk friend stumbles in to deliver the aforementioned best burn ever. Reid's reaction, after a hearty amount of laughing: "that girl was more right than she even knew."

God bless you, Vancouver.

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How Jack Bracken found his favorite bar in Vancouver.


The lone bummer of this year's VanCAF was that the only time I went by my favorite bar, Funky Winkerbean's, they had a $10 cover because of a screechy thrash metal band. A few years back, when I started coming up here for the Vancouver Comicons, Funky's was a gnarly place. Wheather you're interested in hearing tales of insufferable woe, or tales of unbelievable madness, the human flotsam that regularly washed in from the tragic streets of West Hastings were always happy to talk with a nice young man like myself. And with the place decked out in early-20's erotica, bizarre wooden machines of a bygone era, or sinply crusty old wood with dead men's etchings in them, I was content to sit back and soak in the ambiance.  This used to be a place where snorting coke in the toilet was a step up from what usually went down in those grimy back rooms. Now, thanks mostly to Vancouver's voracious gentrification efforts, the unique mix of old grime, old grandeur, and the newly-forced approchability makes Funky's the perfect "Just-clean-enough dive bar" to host shitty metal shows. And to drive Reid and I to drink elsewhere.

Otherwise, I had an absolutely wonderful time at this year's Vancouver Comics and Arts Festival. The host, Shannon Campbell, was, yet again, utterly gracious and helpful and peppy and cheerful and amazing.  The only complaints with the volunteers was that they were TOO helpful. Too eager to wait in line for your Japadog. Too eager to watch your table and engage with customers while you wandered the floor. Too damn nice. Which is, as many before me have observed, somewhat stereotypically Canadian.

For whatever reason, most of my comic friends are from in or around Vancouver, so this shirt trip wasn't nearly enough time in which to see everyone. A few notable exceptions were the following fine folks. Josh Shalek, whose disposition could easily mistake him for a Canuck, shared my table (and a piece of my heart). Reid and Farel Dalrymple were wonderful company on the way to and from the Great White North. Robin McConnell was gracious enough to give me good dark rum when I got in, and to take us by a fantastic used CD store (yes there is at least one left) to get tunes for the ride back. I'll refrain from telling you who I smoked pot with until it is fully legal to do so, but let me just restate that I love Canada.

There once was a man from Gofuckyourself,As has become the norm, I have been selling writing commissions at the shows this year. Most people want dirty limericks, a few dare to take me to task on a sonnet, and a (un)lucky person even got an illustrated vignette. The highlight of my moonlighting was getting hired on to do the ad work for a coffee company out of Portland, Maine. You can bet I'll keep doing these at every show form here on out, so come on by if you want to get my words made to your taste.

Below is my first commission I did at VanCAF, a dirty limerick about a lesbian named Lorraine...

Specified as a girl from France, no less!

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Stumptown Comics Fest 2013

This weekend will be my fourth time tabling at the Stumptown Comics Fest here in bright, sunny Portland. The Stumptown before that, in the spring of '09, was my first convention I had ever attended—a big moment for a huge nerd like myself. This year I am honored to table next to my close and dear friends Reid Psaltis, Neil Brideau, Kenan Rubenstein, Josh Shalek, and Tyrell Cannon.

See Works to read my most recent comics, and come get a copy of 'em for yourself at the show. Hope to see you there.


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Interviews, Reviews, Shows, and Comics!

Howdy folks!

Jack here, back from a loooooooooooooooooong hiatus spent, mostly, watching British television shows. Time very, very well spent, but alas, I suppose I should get back to creating instead of consuming.

Since last we talked, I've been to a couple more shows in Vancouver, the Alternative Press Expo, the Small Press Expo, and probably a few other ones I'm forgetting to mention. Burnout was high last year, and I'm happy to take on many less conventions this season. I just tabled at the Emerald City Comicon with longtime friend and collaborator Reid Psaltis. You can find me tabling again during the last weekend of April at the Stumptown Comics Fest with new collaborator Ragnar Guidote. We have been working on the pitch for our comic, Steambun Samurai, and we will have a teaser copy to debut at the show. Finally, we'll have the third installment of The Matter debuting at Stumptown, featuring two stories by yours truly—the third chapter of Brink, as well as the first of a three-part story by Reid and myself titled "Express Yourself." After Stumptown I've got two shows up in beautiful Vancouver, BC in the month of May—the Vancouver Comicon at Heritage Hall on the 13th, and the inaugural Vancouver Comics Arts Festival at The Roundhouse on the 26th-27th.

If you are unfamiliar with Reid's and my previous collaboration, you might want to check out the review we garnered at the MoCCA Fest. (Please do check it out, and tickle my fragile, fragile ego.)

"The Malaise Trap is an amazing character study (with a fantastic title…I love a clever title). So complete and well-considered is the narrative that I was convinced that I was reading an autobiographical account... For those of you who are interested in writing character-driven narratives, this is a great book to look at."

At that same show, Reid and I were picked out from the crowd as the rabid, insatiable Indiana Jones fans that we are, and were interviewed on the internet's #1 Indiana Jones podcast, the IndyCast. They begin covering MoCCA at about the 54-minute mark, and you can catch our interview at just before the hour mark. As Reid put it, "We don't sound as ridiculous as I remembered, which, I suppose, is a good thing." I think we both did an amazing job of bullshitting our Indy cred, but you be the judge.

Finally, a new comic! I've been quite busy with the Portland branch of the Occupy movement, and have decided to apply my talents to the cause by way of informational minicomics! What fun, and more fun to follow. The good Mr. Kenan Rubenstein, the de facto king of the Five-Page Folded Minicomic, can be credited with inspiration and perspiration with regards to getting it online. Oh, also, it was selected to be in an art show, which is a very neat thing for a writer person such as myself.

Alright gang, it's back to work! I'll be updating periodically until Stumptown comes around, with snippets of the stories you can expect to see there and many more incredible surprises along the way.

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After this, I am blessedly done with cons until SPX

What can I say?  I love Vancouver like conservative governments love fucking marginalized people over.

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What Just Happened

MoCCA 2011 - NYC

Stumptown 2011 - PDX

The bird a nest,
the spider a web,
man friendship.

~William Blake

I'd say ol' Bill Blake is on to something, given the past couple months of my sleep-deprived, chaotic mess of a life and the plain fact that I could not have possibly gotten through them if not for the diligent efforts of my friends. Without fail, my friends stepped up to help me not just keep my wits, but to help me thrive. Whether with getting around and housing me in a foreign land, laying out, editing, printing, and putting together books, tending to my needy kitties, helping me table at conventions, getting me around town after my car breaks down, setting up websites, sounding off my crazy ideas, getting me to or into afterparties, festivals, and so so so much more.

My comic odyssey started with an impromptu visit to the Emerald City Comicon in March, which was considerably more...diverting than I thought possible.  I had intended to just go as an attendee, but ended up something else entirely. Still sussing that one out. Perhaps in a future post. Anyway, two weeks later I went up to a Vancouver Comicon to try my hand at Steve Rolston's homemade Canadian parlor games. After another two weeks of constant scrambling, I headed out for NYC for the MoCCA Festival in early April. Any visit to NYC is a trip which I would gladly lengthen, but I had to cut my East Coast time regretfully short and get back to Portland too soon. I was required back the Saturday after MoCCA, which happened to be my birthday, to attend the first day of the Stumptown Comics Fest and the grand opening of the Samo Lives gallery, where The Matter is on permanent installation.

The week from MoCCA to Stumptown was a sleepless, bewildering juggernaut that I couldn't stop, slow, or even comprehend most of the time. Like any good show should be. Not surprisingly, the Monday after Stumptown closes up, I tailspin into a week-long illness as my body stops fighting whatever nastiness I got from the NYC subway handrails. However, since I'm a con/fest/party animal, I was rewarded by scoring free all-access wristbands to the Bridgetown Comedy Festival. I live at the epicenter of the fest, and the last two years I've been unable to go, so this was sweeter than Sweet Reward. And as usual, it was all on account of my friends. In this case, Mr. Josh Bremer, who did the Festival's website, let me use his passes.

On that note, I suppose I should end this senseless, rambling post. I wanted just to stress that I have the best friends ever.  I might gloss over the details of Emerald City and the last Vancouver Comicon, but expect posts about MoCCA, Stumptown, Samo Lives, Bridgetown, and more as time rolls along.  I'll get to the fests soon, because I have some neat pictures, but most importantly, a jam comic about lil' ol' me by, I kid you not, the finest artists at Stumptown.

Now that I'm done with all manner of fests and conventions (besides an occasional Vancouver jaunt), it's time to get cracking. The Matter no. 3 is near it's printing, though we've already printed the Issue no. 3 Teasers. We'll have an electronic version of the teaser up before the week is out, which should be concurrent with launching the Kickstarter for the issue as well. Anyway, I'll have more to say later. I'll endeavor to make it more exciting if you endeavor to make it back for it.

Thank you again, friends. You know who you are.


P.S. Sorry to get all blabby on everyone. There's been a ton of crap what done gone on since we last talked, and I had to start somewhere. My thoughts got a little bottlenecked, so forgive the 90s-era blogginess of this post.

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