Monday, July 22, 2002

Behind the Scenes: Rock Shows of Note XXIX
This weekend was the weekend of Art Beat on Davis Square in Somerville. I was involved in two Art Beat-related activities. One, I helped work the Somerville Comics Collaborative table, the brainchild of Jef Czekaj. He spent much of the day overseeing a collective comics creation project in which Art Beat participants could contribute panels and pages to an ongoing narrative comic.

Our spot at Art Beat

Even though the day was overcast and near-rain for most of Art Beat, there was a good turnout -- and the sun finally broke later in the afternoon. "The whole city is drawing a comic! You can help!" I would call into the crowds passing by. Young children, young adults, and even the elderly sat down for a spell to help develop a flip-book comic about a giant cat attacking Somerville, rocket ships, its friend Funky Dragon, giant cookies, dancing, and the sea.

Jef, head of the Somerville Comics Collaborative

We're going to produce a minicomic compiling all of the contributions to redistribute to all of the people who contributed. I was pretty pleased with how it came out -- and thrilled to be able to help Jef at the table. We're even discussing making a Web slideshow of the comic with a voiceover narration. I'll let you know if that comes together.

Somervillains co-create a comic

We shared table space with Dan Moynihan, who made Davis Square T-shirts sporting an image from a nearby traffic sign. He also had handmade note cards and minicomics for sale.

This is Dan. He's not glaring, but the sun is.

He only made 100 of the shirts, and they were quite popular. He was down to less than 10 by the end of the day and says that he might make more.

A better view of the sign. But not necessarily of Dan.

All that said, I spent much of the day hanging and helping out at the Dilboy VFW hall to set up for the Art Beat Sideshow organized by Handstand Command. (Mostly, it was organized by Emily and Beth of the Washington Street Art Center, so many thanks and kudos to them!) We gathered at the Dilboy to construct the stage, put together facades for the merch and display tables, and set up the popcorn and cotton candy maker.

The go-away zone.

It's amazing what paperboard, scrap wood, ribbon, thumbtacks, and duct tape can do -- and our constructions really changed the nature of the space. Even Rachel Strutt of the Somerville Arts Council contributed a display of Lemony Snicket-like circus relics.

Emily and Geisslah puttin' up the house.

Between meeting up with Jef at 11, checking out the Dilboy at 12:30, and reconvening for band setup and soundcheck at 6, Saturday was a full day -- and the Handstand Command Sideshow hadn't even happened yet!

Stay tuned for the rest of the story...

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