michael wertz

A fun ditty to celebrate Golden Gate Park's 150th birthday

Happy mutants Andy Cowitt and Michael Wertz have collaborated on a song that tells the story of Golden Gate Park -- San Francisco's three-mile-long stretch of man-made natural space -- from its sandy start to "skaters on streets." It was created to coincide with the park's 150th anniversary (Saturday, April 4!) and the release of Marta Lindsey's new children's book (illustrated by Wertz), Golden Gate Park, an A to Z Adventure ($17.99).

Look at how stunning the book is!

-- Michael Wertz previously on BB Read the rest

Children are becoming snail mail pen pals with Fairyland "elves" in this time of social distancing

You might remember that when I'm not blogging for Boing Boing, I can usually be found at my other gig — Children's Fairyland. Of course, the Oakland, California kiddie theme park is closed now and will be until it's safe to reopen. But, we do have a skeleton crew of essential "elves" who are on site to care for the donkeys, miniature horses, and other animals. While there, they also water our plants and check our mail. That's when we got the idea to offer the children in our community a chance to became pen pals with these "elves." We already have stacks of super-fun, kid-sized stationery, so launching it was just a matter of announcing it on social media.

The offer:

Play with us! Have your child draw us a picture or write us a note, and then snail mail it to us. Our "elves" promise to write back (on special Fairyland stationery designed by Oakland artist Michael Wertz, no less).

Send to: 699 Bellevue Avenue, Oakland, CA 94610

Well, in just a week, the response has already been incredible. Local children, plus some as as far away as Texas and Utah, have been sending us snail mail like crazy. Read the rest

"Verasphere: A Love Story in Costume" is a vibrant, psychedelic must-see doc

You don't want to miss the technicolor "rainbow of love" that is Verasphere: A Love Story In Costume. This new KQED Truly CA short documentary film made me smile, laugh, tear up, and want to pull out my glue gun and start making costumes again, all in the span of 20 minutes.

[It] follows two San Francisco artists, David Faulk and Michael Johnstone, who fall in love at the height of the AIDS epidemic. While most of their community is overcome with grief and rage, David and Michael discover an unlikely joy through the creation of Mrs. Vera, an outrageous costumed character made from found materials. What began as an intimate art project and a way to pass the time while they faced an inevitable death, soon took on a life of its own. Now 25 years later, a large and diverse community has evolved around Mrs. Vera, all centered around one day of costumed celebration in the San Francisco Pride Parade.

For SF Pride this past weekend, Mrs. Vera and Michael Johnstone rode in the parade as Community Grand Marshals, followed by colorful members of the "Verasphere." Put on your sunglasses because the photos are super bright!:

Mrs. Vera

Mrs. Vera and Michael Johnstone

Marcos Sorensen and Isabel Samaras

Andy Cowitt and Michael Wertz

Also, don't miss Mrs. Vera's Daybook, an ongoing series of photos by Michael of David as Mrs. Vera.

Thanks to Ruby Rieke for the SF Pride photos! Read the rest

The World’s Smallest Post Service to open a magical brick-and-mortar experience in Oakland

After ten years of making and sending custom tiny mail for people via her online transcription service, Postmaster/artist Lea Redmond is dreaming big. She is currently crowdfunding on Kickstarter to bring a magical brick-and-mortar World’s Smallest Post Service to a vintage storefront in downtown Oakland. Yes, you'll be able to experience the joy of tiny mail in person!

The installation will feature an early 1900s oak post office counter (which she scored off of Craigslist), a bank of brass eagle P.O. boxes, and other delights such as dioramas and letter-writing nights. Back her Kickstarter project to send tiny mail and to get some gorgeous commemorative faux postage stamp sheets by Oakland artist Michael Wertz (shown above).

The World’s Smallest Post Service started out as a quirky roaming postal office around the SF Bay Area, and since then Lea and her postal pals have crafted and sent tens of thousands of tiny letters and packages to loved ones all over the world. In addition to single custom tiny letters and packages, they offer DIY tiny mail stationery kits, tiny serial stories called “Keep Me Posted,” secret admirer Valentine’s chocolates, and other charming wee things.

I'm a huge fan!

(RED) Read the rest

The Return of the Best Damn Comics of the Year -- Boing Boing Edition

I realized that I promised you some stocking stockers for December, but then it occurred to me: why not just approach the whole thing Tom Sawyer-style, and get a few tastemakers from around the industry to help paint this year end fence by picking their top five books for 2012. We've got a couple of dozen folks, including cartoonists, writers, critics, educators, publishers, librarians and podcasters singling out some of the best pieces of sequential art the past 12 months had to offer.

No surprise that Building Stories, the latest masterwork from Chris Ware rated at the top of the top of the list. Tied for second place are Brandon Graham's Prophet and two Fantagraphics titles, Barack Hussein Obama and Heads or Tails, by Steven Weissman and Lilli Carre, respectively. Directly below, you'll find a list of those titles that scored multiple picks and further down, reviews from the panel members themselves, featuring more than enough comics to help you survive the holidays in mostly one piece.

Eight votes:

Building Stories, by Chris Ware

Four votes:

Prophet, by Brandon Graham, et al.

Barack Hussein Obama, by Steven Weissman

Heads or Tails, by Lilli Carre

Three votes:

Are You My Mother?, by Alison Bechdel

The Nao of Brown, by Glyn Dillon

Zegas #2, by Michel Fiffe

My Friend Dahmer, by Derf

By This Shall You Know Him, by Jesse Jacobs

The Hypo, by Noah Van Sciver

Two votes:

No Straight Lines, edited by Justin Hall

Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, and Me: a Graphic Memoir by Ellen Forney

Suspect Device #2, edited by Josh Bayer

Batman by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo

Cleveland by Harvey Pekar, Joseph Remnant

The Voyeurs by Gabrielle Bell

Goliath by Tom Gauld Read the rest

:)