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September 12th, 2017

Tales from the Hyperverse Debuts at SPX 2017

My new comic from Retrofit, Tales from the Hyperverse, debuts this weekend at the Small Press Expo near Washington, DC!

Tales from the Hyperverse by William Cardini cover

Unfortunately I won’t be there but if you can make it, SPX is a blast. I will be at the next show at which Retrofit is tabling, Cartoon Crossroads Columbus.

And if you can’t make it to either show and you missed out on the Kickstarter, you can preorder at the Retrofit site or wait until I get my copies and can offer signed copies on this site.

September 6th, 2017

KC Zine Con #3 Recap

Filed under: Event Recap — Tags: — William Cardini @ 7:21 am

Thanks to everyone who came by my table at KC Zine Con #3!

William Cardini table at KC Zine Con #3

I had a good show, I sold my last copies of the “Miizzzard Experiments” print on the lower left of the photo. I had higher sales in 2016, but I think it’s because I had a wider variety of newer comics last year, so I’m going to try and increase my inventory for KC Zine Con #4.

William Cardini haul from KC Zine Con #3
Here’s my haul from the show.

Every year KC Zine Con has more awesome exhibitors, I hope the show continues to grow and thrive!

August 24th, 2017

KC Zine Con #3

Filed under: Events — Tags: — William Cardini @ 8:16 am

This Saturday, August 26th, I’ll be tabling for the second time at the Kansas City Zine Con!

KC Zine Con 3 banner

They’ve changed locations this year to the historic El Torreon, 3101 Gillham Plaza, Kansas City, Missouri. The con once again runs from 10am to 6pm and Betty Rae’s Ice Cream, a favorite of my household, will be scooping out delicious treats from their ice cream truck outside!

Drumstick Pit cover

I was hoping to have Tales from the Hyperverse and Warmer for my table but unfortunately I haven’t gotten my copies yet. So I’ll have Vortex, the Vortex risograph posters printed by Oddities Prints that debuted last year, and a print edition of my minicomic, Drumstick Pit. Study Group Comics previously posted Drumstick Pit online but this is the first time that it’ll descend from the Internet to the paperverse.

El Torreon map

I’ll be at Table 102 between the entrance and the Oddities Prints stage.

July 25th, 2017

The Ends of the World by Peter Brannen

Filed under: SF Reviews — Tags: , , — William Cardini @ 8:36 am

Isn’t it strange that you could travel back in time to a point in the Earth’s history when the very atmosphere could poison you?

Of course there are the long years before life on Earth had evolved and there was no oxygen at all. But there have also been at least one period of high oxygen levels when insects could grow to gargantuan size and several periods of extremely high carbon dioxide levels.

In a post on The Atlantic site by science writer Peter Brannen called “Burning Fossil Fuels Almost Ended All Life on Earth,” Brannen vividly details what it would be like to visit one such era, the Permian-Triassic boundary around 250 million years ago:

You walk down to the shoreline and take a few steps into the lapping waters, drawn toward the enveloping gloom. The seawater is almost painfully hot. There’s nothing alive under the waves. There doesn’t seem to be anything alive anywhere really. You squint and marvel at the growing terror on the horizon. You’ve seen billowing thunderclouds before, but this panoramic tempest seems to tower into eternity. Wild hot winds begin to whip in all directions. You find it difficult to breathe. Slowly baking, you know should head back to the temporary safety of the ship, but you linger here all alone on the dimming coast, transfixed by the blossoming apocalypse just over the Earth’s curve. A putrid odor begins to ride in on the swirling winds and, as you finally turn back in a panic, you pass out. Before long, this doomsday storm makes landfall, and what meager life clings to this country is stamped out for millions of years.

Because of this great writing, I bought Brannen’s debut book, The Ends of the World, which came out this past June. It’s a clever, often times beautifully written account of the past five mass extinctions in the deep past of the Earth, when almost all complex species were destroyed by overwhelming geological and astronomical forces. Like the best science writing (I would compare this book favorably to Peter Ward’s Gorgon), Brannen makes the story of scientific discovery an adventure, chronicling contrasting theories of events in deep time through road trips and engaging discussions with scientists. Unlike the common conception of asteroid and comet strikes, geologists and paleoclimatologists now hypothesize that these extinctions were driven by sudden changes in the concentration of carbon dixoide in the atmosphere. One of those changes was a drop, possibly caused by the evolution of trees, which drew down CO2 levels and summoned glaciers. But most of those changes were spikes in CO2 caused by continent-sized volcanic eruptions, huge boils in the Earth’s surface that broke open to bake the land and acidify the seas.

The Ends of the World by Peter Brannen, cover by Eric Nyquist
Cover by Eric Nyquist.

This new understanding of the past is extremely relevant to today because we’re pumping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere at a faster rate than those ancient lava flows. Like many, I was scared and panicked about David Wallace-Wells’ article on the worst-case scenario for climate change in New York Magazine. One aspect to many of the projections he collects in the post is that most of them stop, somewhat arbitrarily, at the year 2100. But as Peter Brannen and other science writers (such as Curt Stager in Deep Future, which I discussed in this post) warn us, our actions now will not only affect the next century but millennia to come. That’s why the perspective of deep time is so important to the discussion of climate change and yet simultaneously makes it too abstract for it to become a pressing policy issue for the majority. Maybe some immediate animal fear of being baked from the inside, or losing cognitive function from too much CO2, like Wallace-Wells caused in me, can spur us into action.

One positive fact that I got from Brannen’s book is that, despite many claims to the contrary, we are not (yet) in the midst of the sixth mass extinction in Earth’s history. Even if you add in all the megafauna extinctions, such as the loss of the charismatic giant ground sloths who ate avocados and dug out elaborate tunnel systems in South America, the world has lost only 1% of its species since we evolved. In the five mass extinctions in Earth’s history, the world lost over 75% of its species. There’s still time for us to implement sensible climate change mitigation policies and preserve our world, civilization, and culture for the centuries to come.

If you’re like me and need a chaser of hope for a shot of doom, read this post by futurist Alex Steffen on how climate action is imminent and check out this chat on Vox about Drawdown, Paul Hawken’s project to explore practical climate change solutions that use existing tech.

June 27th, 2017

Preorder a Collection of Poetry Comics about Climate Change

Filed under: Events,Print Comics — Tags: , — William Cardini @ 8:14 am

Hi y’all, I’m involved in another Kickstarter this year!

I have a four page comic in Warmer: A collection of comics about climate change for the fearful & hopeful, edited by Andrew White and Madeleine Witt. They’re raising funds to print the book via this Kickstarter campaign and they have one week and less than $1,000 to go to reach their goal.

Here’s a preview of my comic for the anthology:

Preview from the first page of my comic for the Warmer climate change poetry comics anthology

Any contributions or social media shares are much appreciated!

May 10th, 2017

The Retrofit Kickstarter Surpassed its Goal!

Filed under: Events — Tags: , , , — William Cardini @ 12:02 pm

I was very pleased to see that the Retrofit Comics Spring 2017 Kickstarter surpassed its pledge goal last night with about two days left on the clock! Thanks so much to everyone who pledged or got the word out on social media, I really appreciate your support!!

You still have about 34 hours left to back the project and get all the books at a discount – the $45 print and digital comics bundle is about $30 cheaper than getting the books individually. The campaign ends at 10:59pm CDT on Thursday May 11th.

I’ve got two more previews for y’all. Here’s the table of contents (sans background):

Tales from the Hyperverse

Here’s a crop from one of the pages colored by the incomparable Josh Burggraf:

Dim Red Sun crop

May 4th, 2017

One Week Left to Order my New Comic via Kickstarter

Filed under: Events — Tags: , , , — William Cardini @ 7:51 am

There’s one week left in the Retrofit Comics Spring 2017 Kickstarter!

I’ve been posting previews every day on my new public Instagram, @williamcardini. Here’s a crop from the colored version of my comic “Ghost Arrow,” which will be one of the short comics collected in Tales from the Hyperverse, one of the six books in the latest Retrofit Kickstarter.

Ghost Arrow crop

You can order just Tales from the Hyperverse for $8, all six books at a discount for $45, or all six books and an original black-and-white 9×12″ ink drawing on watercolor paper from me for $150. I’ll draw you the Miizzzard, the Floating Crystal Witch, or whatever you want. I did this for the Sparkplug Books Fall 2014 Kickstarter, here’s what I drew for people then so you can see some examples of my work:

William Cardini ink drawing
A drawing of the Miizzzard.

William Cardini ink drawing
A drawing when I was told to do whatever I wanted.

William Cardini ink drawing
A portrait drawn from looking at a photograph.

William Cardini ink drawing
A drawing of the Miizzzard vs Kid Space Heater for Josh, the creator of KSH.

April 24th, 2017

Retrofit Comics Spring 2017 Kickstarter

Filed under: Events,Print Comics — Tags: , , — William Cardini @ 9:22 am

I’m super excited to tell y’all that a collection of my old and new short comics, Tales from the Hyperverse, is available to preorder through the Retrofit Comics Spring 2017 Kickstarter!

You can hear me talk about my comic and see previews of the other five great books in the video:

I’ve been working on this series of comics since 2009 when I drew “The Floating Crystal Witch ATTACKS the Miizzzard of the Year 2978.” Since then I’ve drawn comics in a similar size and format off and on. You can see some of the comics on the “Tales of the Hyperverse” page on my site.

The Retrofit published collection will be 40 pages and include 16 pages of comics that I haven’t posted anywhere. I’ve also asked my friend and frequent collaborator Josh Burggraf to add his painterly colors to five of the pages and I’ll color the other ones that were originally black and white. I’ll post more details throughout the Kickstarter campaign which ends on the night of May 11th.

February 21st, 2017

Yarn-Ball Future Earth

Filed under: SF Reviews — Tags: , — William Cardini @ 8:01 am

I decided to continue my journey in the Dying Earth sub-genre by following up As the Curtain Falls by Robert Chilson with Earth in Twilight by Doris Piserchia. Compared to the other two Piserchia books I’ve read, Spaceling and Doomtime, Earth in Twilight is pretty straightforward.

The protagonist, Ferrer, travels from the planet Laredo to Earth. It’s far in the future. Earth has been overrun by an enormous jungle. The vast forest is punctured by tall space elevators that are connected by bridges and thick threads of spider web extruded by elephant-sized insects. All the human-built structures are in disrepair. I’ll let Piserchia’s own words from the first page describe her vision:

Earth looked like a big ball of yarn with a great many knitting needles sticking out of it. Loose yarn seemed to be strung from needle to needle, some of the strands so loose they nearly touched the land while others were so tight they were many thousands of miles up in the sky. Creatures great and greater made their nests on the bridges…

Everyone on Laredo thinks that humanity vacated the Earth and left it to nature centuries ago.

The setting is very similar to Hothouse by Brian Aldiss. Unfortunately I’ve only read the abridged version of that novel, published in the US as The Long Afternoon of Earth. The Earth has become tidally locked with the sun, only showing it one side which is covered in a giant banyan tree. I liked the abridged version but I want to read the full novel.

Earth in Twilight by Doris Piserchia, cover by Wayne Barlowe
Earth in Twilight by Doris Piserchia, cover by Wayne Barlowe.

In Earth in Twilight, Ferrer’s mission is to prepare the way for spaceships from Laredo that will spray the Earth with a chemical called Deep Green that will defoliate it (an ironic name in reference to the defoliant chemical Agent Orange from the Vietnam war) and make it ready for humans to repopulate. But Ferrer discovers people, strange human-plant hybrids who disgust and then charm him.

Because this book was written by Piserchia, the prose is slightly stream of consciousness and there’s lots of weird monsters, inexplicable events, and mind mergers. I won’t spoil it but the first chapter has a great twist that sets the theme for the whole book. Piserchia explores what it means to be human while showing us another one of her weird, vital visions of the future.

February 14th, 2017

Space is the Place by Sun Ra

Filed under: SF Reviews — Tags: — William Cardini @ 9:40 am

This month I’ve been ripping all my Sun Ra CDs onto my computer, correcting the metadata, splitting the LPs that were combined onto one CD, and adding missing album artwork. One of the first Sun Ra CDs I ever bought was the album Space is the Place (which is different from the soundtrack for the movie Space is the Place).


Screenprint cover by House of Traps for the three 7″ record set The Shadows Cast by Tomorrow by Sun Ra, put out on Jazzman Records.

The first track is one long 21 minute session of the Arkestra playing “Space is the Place.” There is a solid loop of horn playing and June Tyson’s signing that keeps the rhythm going while the other instruments go off on their own journeys. One of my favorite details is when Sun Ra produces the sound effect of someone being beamed up by a UFO on his space organ. Listening to this song is a spiritual experience for me. I was in tears after hearing it for the first time in many years.

Jazz in Silhouette by Sun Ra & His Arkestra
Cover for the CD Jazz in Silhouette by Sun Ra & His Arkestra, a reissue put out on the Impulse! label. Photo by Jim McCrary. Jazz in Silhouette is one of Sun Ra’s most critically acclaimed albums but I only listened to for the first time recently.

Sun Ra believed he had visited Saturn by way of astral projection. Space is a place, a state of the mind, that can be reached without technology. In this place of pure bliss, of enlightenment, there are no worries or limits. You can finally be free.

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