Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The oBliVioSiteR


Almost twenty years ago I started a little ‘zine, which later became a minicomic, called The oBliVioSiteR. Over the five and a half years that I produced it (1995-2000) I cranked out thirty two issues.



Looking back it’s really an impressive amount of stuff… considering most “’zines” at the time rarely made it to issue #2. ‘Zines were like the “blog”of the 1990’s.

To tell you the truth I had never heard of the term “zine” when I first started and had NO IDEA how many other kooks were out there doing the exact same thing. I was at the time going back to school and was taking Studio Art at the University of Saskatchewan. I was mostly painting, but wanted to find a more… I don’t know… “democratic” means of expression and remembered a school newspaper I had tried to start up in grade six that was mostly collage and doodles and the occasional attempt at an article typed up on old manual typewriter, pasted up, and photocopies. The first issues of the oBliVioSiteR was just that… but ruder… and the stuff I typed up (on that same, ancient manual type-writer was more or less stream-of-conscious nonsensical nattering about… whatever…

Most of it was utter crap… but I have to say I produced a LOT of that crap. I wish I could be so productive now… (There is a great article by Danny Gregory called On Making Shit which susinctly summariazed why I don’t look back on this period as a complete and utter waste of time, and why I am in fact a little envious of my former self)… but still… crap… produced by an young man trying to be “edgy” (mostly be being nonsensical and occasionally rude).

If nothing else if eventually got me drawing comics….

Also, around the time I published the second or third issue I stumbled across a copy of the Factsheet 5 and discovered that there were many, many more kooks out there doing the exact same thing. I started trading the oBliVioSiteR with all sorts of other ‘zine and comic makers and made friends with some brilliant folks, some of whom I am still friends with today… others I wish I knew where they ended up…  regardless it was great to realize there were other weirdoes out there in the world and I was not alone… it probably kept me alive through the ‘90s.

The numbering system for the first 22 issues used a sort of binary code…

oBliVioSiteR #00001 (#1), 1 January 1995, Half-Legal (7”x8.5”), 4 pages
Mostly stream of conciousness rambling, an article about a plot by the CIA to kill Lucien Bouchard, and interviews with band members both fictional and not-so-fictional, some faux classified ads and… good gracious…a poem!? Well, it was a start…

oBliVioSiteR #00010 (#2), Half-Legal (7”x8.5”), 8 pages
A stream-of-consciousness “obliviositorial”, THE FIRST COMIC – JJ BMX Courier (he deserves his own blog post at some point), and article from Christian Knudsen called “The Straight Truth”, an article from “Big Mad John” (Burt) called “the Right Answer”, a crossword, a movie quote quiz, other nattering… 

oBliVioSiteR #00011 (#3), 15 February 1995, Half-Legal (7”x8.5”), 8 pages
A stream-of-consciousness “obliviositorial”, an entire page by Christian Knudsen (including and article called “Why Cowboy” and “The Meaning of Life”, A day in the life of JJ BMX Courier, some collage, a JJ BMX Courier paper dress-up doll, another faux band interview, a reader survey, and  a couple pictures from my stay in Calgary the previous year.

oBliVioSiteR #00100 (#4), 67 Chaos 3161 (8 March 1995), Half-Legal (7”x8.5”), 8 pages
Apparently I started using the Discordian Calendar on this issue. A stream-of-consciousness “obliviositorial”, an article about the fun stuff I was getting in the mail (a hobby at the time was sending away for all sorts of bizarre free stuff from… well… any one that would send free stuff through the mail – mostly bizarre newsletters and catalogues from bizarre religious types and wacky survivalists and goodness knows what else), JJ BMX Courier comic, nonsensical “Things You Ought to Think About Next Week”, an interview with Shane Neville who was, at the time, a fellow art student at the UofS and publishing a ‘zine called “Oops I Hit a Moose”, Reader Survery Results, doodles, collage pictures…

oBliVioSiteR #00101 (#5), 8 Discord 3161 (33 March 1995), Half-Legal (7”x8.5”), 8 pages
Collage cover, stream-of-consciousness “obliviositorial”, JJ BMX Courier comic, Witchcraft by Mail article (more strange stuff I was getting in the mail), Vampires, an article from Christian Knudsen called “Special Post-St. Paddy’s Day Special”, I Met A Martian Once, other nonsense…

oBliVioSiteR #00110 (#6), 23 Discord 3161 (6 April 1995), Half-Legal (7”x8.5”), 16 pages
A stream-of-consciousness “obliviositorial”, JJ BMX Courier comic, “Fight Fight Fight” (and article about attending a Campus Socialists meeting), “Kill Computers”, More weirdness in the mail, Answers to the Movie Quote Quiz, “Weasels Among Us” by (“Big Mad”) John Burt, a recipe for oBliVioSiteR’s Curried Rice and Potatoes, “Life on Puree” by The Blender (Meshon Cantrill), “Shiny Side Out”, “Epistle to the Idiots”, etc…

oBliVioSiteR #00111 (#7), 50 Discord 3161 (3 May 1995), Half-Legal (7”x8.5”), 24 pages
Obliviositorial, Letters, JJ BMX Courier comic, “Life on Puree”  and collages by The Blender (Meshon Cantrill), more weirdness in the mail, spring pictures, “Bad ‘80s Music”, “Accesorize Scottish Style”, “The Right Comment” by (“Big Mad”) John Burt, a recipe for oBliVioSiteR’s Kraft Dinner & Veggie Dog Casserole,  reviews of other ’zines

oBliVioSiteR #01000 (#8), no date, Half-Legal (7”x8.5”), 16 pages
That top picture is me holding the typewriter that most of the oBliVioSiteRs were typed on.
Obliviositorial, letters from and reviews of other ‘zines, JJ BMX Courier comic (vs. Cthulhu), reviews of bands and shows (including Furnace Face), The Blender (Meshon Cantrill), more stream-of-consciousness ramblings and stories, “Paranoia” by Christian Knudsen, a recipe for oBliVioSiteR’s Veggie Nachos, an interview with The Dalai Lamas (local band)…

oBliVioSiteR #01001 (#9), 39 Confusion 3161 (4 July 1995), Half-Legal (7”x8.5”), 20 pages
Obliviositorial, letters from and reviews of other ‘zines, JJ BMX Courier comic, more weirdness in the mail, The Blender (Meshon Cantrill), “More Paranoia… and A Call to Arms” and “Why The Simpsons Could Be The Most Dangerous Show You Watch” by Christian Knudsen, a recipe for oBliVioSiteR’s Omlette, (“Big Mad”) John Burt, a poem by Stephen Micklewright, more stream-of-consciousness ramblings,

oBliVioSiteR #01010 (#10), no date, Half-Legal (7”x8.5”), 16 pages
Obliviositorial, letters from and reviews of other ‘zines, JJ BMX Courier comic, more weirdness in the mail (some now completely unsolicited – because of reviews in the Factsheet 5), (“Big Mad”) John Burt, “Mr. Pumkinhead Stuffs It…Mr. Pumpkinhead Snuffs It”. “ I Cheesefish” (more stream-of-consciousness ramblings), another poem by Stephen Micklewright, “The Blenders Guide to Good Business” by The Blender (Meshon Cantrill), a recipe for Hot Wings by (“Big Mad”) John Burt, still more stream-of-consciousness ramblings …

oBliVioSiteR #01011 (#11), no date (probably September 1995), Half-Legal (7”x8.5”), 16 pages
Obliviositorial, (“Big Mad”) John Burt, JJ BMX Courier comic vs Spasm (by guest artist Shane Neville), “Kinky ≠ Perverted” by da veeb (Brian Weibe), “Zombie Sex Fiend” by The Blender (Meshon Cantrill), “Fear and Loathing in Dundrun, SK” by Christian Knudsen,  a recipe for Oatmeal Lace Cookie by Darisia Diduck, more weirdness in the mail, Amanda’s Page, proofs of some of the smaller prints I was making in a printmaking class, plugs for other ‘zines, etc…

oBliVioSiteR #01100 (#12), no date (autumn 1995), Half-Legal (7”x8.5”), 16 pages
Obliviositorial, JJ BMX Courier comic, a recipe for oBliVioSiteR’s Scones, A bunch more comics – this is where the ‘zine slowly started to turn into a comic – including the first installment of “Eiffel Tower Trailer Park” and “Adventures in the Help Centre”, The Blender (Meshon Cantrill), more stream-of-consciousness ramblings, plugs for other ‘zines, etc…

oBliVioSiteR #01101 (#13), no date (late fall 1995), Half-Legal (7”x8.5”), 20 pages
The first of the non-sequitor, comic oBliVioSitorials, JJ BMX Courier comic, Adventures in the Help Centre comic, “Ode to Ben’s Feet” by (“Big Mad”) John Burt, a recipe for Brain Fritters by My Cousin Kabbage (Mike Kozakavich), Eiffel Tower Trailer Park comic, “The oBliVioSiteR writes a history paper or sleep deprivation can be fun!” comic, The Blender (Meshon Cantrill), “Friday means Lunch at Louis’” comic, other comics (including a jam comic with Shane Neville and Aaron… whose last name I can’t remember… dammit…), an ad for the Camus Crusade for Cthulhu, still more comics by Neil “The Bean” (Labine) and Charles Dumont, plugs for other ‘zines, etc…

oBliVioSiteR #01110 (#14),  January 1996, Half-Legal (7”x8.5”), 24 pages
Back to the written stream-of-consciousness obliviositorial, the rest is almost all comics now - except for the “Interview with an Elder God” by the Kabbage (Mike Kozakavich),… JJ BMX Courier (vs. the Men in Black) comic, comics about ordering pizza, and making pizza, and working in the Student Help Centre, and going to see Shuberts Mass in G, and sitting in the empty halls at exam time, and drunk guys wandering up from the bar below our apartment and banging on our door looking for drugs in the wee hours of the morning, comics by The Blender (Meshon Cantrill), Adventures of Petit Paul comic by Charles Dumont , a jam comic with Charles and Jasper Bintner, and a sci-fi comic called “Oblivion” by Duane Russell (and my comic commentary on it…), plugs for other ‘zines, etc…

oBliVioSiteR #01111 (#15),  no date (1996), Half-Legal (7”x8.5”), 20 pages
Obliviositorial, Again, all comics except for “Interview with an Elder God Part Two” by the Kabbage (Mike Kozakavich),… JJ BMX Courier (vs. the Evil Geniuses for a Better Tomorrow), How to make an Apple Pie, Eiffel Tower Trailer Park, Shitty Jobs That I Have Had: Rent-a-Cop, Joe-Guy Rock Star Extraordinaire, The Wasp, Walking to the Detroit Institute of Art, What Happens When You Base Comix on Personal Life Experiences, a comic about a fight in the hallway of our apartment, dream comics by The Blender (Meshon Cantrill), and a comic called “Catch the Boat” by Robin Bougie, plugs for other ‘zines and minicomics, etc…

oBliVioSiteR #10000 (#16),  no date (1996), Half-Legal (7”x8.5”), 20 pages
My attempt to make the cover look like a 3-D cover… Pretty sure it doesn't work... but then I never actually tried looking at it with 3-D glasses...?
Obliviositorial, all comics… JJ BMX Courier, the longest comic I’d don to date – 10 pages – “How the oBliVioSiteR Met the Love of his Live!” (this was later reprinted as a 20-page minicomic called “How Tim Met Amanda”), “Stuff that Happened to Me” by Jasper Bintner, “Les Adventures de Petit Paul” by Charles Dumont, “One Day in Philosphy Class” by Neil “The Bean” (Labine), “Why I love Tim” by Amanda Plante, “Randy Chaos: My Hero” by Randy Chaos, plugs for other ‘zines and minicomics, etc…

oBliVioSiteR #10001 (#17),  no date (1996), Half-Legal (7”x8.5”), 20 pages
Obliviositorial, “True Army Tales: RV 92 - Part 1 ‘Marching off to War’” – a comic about my experiences in the Canadian Forces reserves, a comic about winning a snowboard, “Obliviositer: Rent-a-Cop, Part 2”, a comic recipe for “the oBliVioSiteR’s Evil Peanut Butter Chocolate Swirl Pie”a preview of Robin Bougie comic “Vincent”, “…Your Move” by Shawn Fehrenbach, plugs for other ‘zines and minicomics, etc…

This was a real “turning point” issue where I can look back and say – “yeah, my comics were actually getting pretty good at that point” and I’m not so embarrassed to say “yeah, I did that”. Actually the one before this wasn't so bad either... 

oBliVioSiteR #10010 (#18),  no date (1996), Half-Legal (7”x8.5”), 20 pages
Obliviositorial, “True Army Tales: RV 92 - Part 2 ‘Into the Fire’” – a comic about my experiences in the Canadian Forces reserves, “Lets Take a Lil’ Stroll Thru the Tourist Trap Called Chemainus” by Robin Bougie plus a three-page jam comic with Robin, “Tall Tale” a jam comic with Adam Larson, “Suicide Al Does Acid” by Randy Chaos, plugs for other ‘zines and minicomics, etc…

oBliVioSiteR #10011 (#19),  no date (April 1996?), Half-Legal (7”x8.5”), 20 pages
Obliviositorial Q&A, a comic about my new job as a screen-printer at Tyreman Graphics and how I got it with a comic book resume (more about those in another post sometime…) including a reprint of said comic book resume, a reprinting of a comic essay I drew for a Art History class on post-modernism – it was supposed to be an essay comparing a modern artist and a post modern artist…. I handed in a comic comparing Picasso to myself… I got an 80 on the assignment?! My friend Andy who was in the class was super-pissed-off because I cranked out my comic the night before the due date and he had worked so hard on his essay and only got a 70… ah well… there was also a 3-page comic jam with Robin Bougie and two pages of plugs for other ‘zines and minicomics (I was corresponding and trading with a LOT of people at this point) …

oBliVioSiteR #10100 (#20),  no date (still 1996), Half-Legal (7”x8.5”), 20 pages
Obliviositorial, The Return of JJ BMX Courier, “True Army Tales: RV 92 - Part 3 ‘Les Garçons de Troupe Radio’”, “Adventures in Zine Publishing”, “TRAGIC – but not actually true perse – STORIES” by Shawn Fehrenbach, “Gen-X Suicide” by Yul Tolbert, “Heaven Sent” by Shawn Fehrenbach, a comic about a nonsensical conversation with J.C. and Steve-o, Güter and Scooter – Abstract Artists on the Roam” by Adam Larson, two more pages of plugs for other ‘zines and minicomics…

oBliVioSiteR #10101 (#21),  no date (still 1996), Half-Legal (7”x8.5”), 32 pages
The “Working for THE MAN” issue.
Obliviositorial, a 11 pages comic about working at Tyreman Graphics and “True Army Tales: RV 92 - Part 4 ‘Routines”,, “Have You Had Your Crap Today” by Yul Tolbert, “My very First Petty Tyrant” by Adam Larson, “Pizza Delivery to HELL” by Shawn Fehrenbach, “Bustin My Ass for th’ Man” by Robin Bougie, “Graveyard Caretaker” by Shane Neville, two more pages of plugs for other ‘zines and minicomics…

Another “turning point” issue – I started using brushes and “crow quill” dip pens and I was pretty happy with what I was doing. Unfortunately, my art had changed so much, so rapidly, I wasn’t sure what to do about the “True Army Tales” – I had originally wanted to collect the series into some sort of book at some point, but my artwork had changed substantially since I started I didn’t think it would look good all together… considered re-drawing the first few installments…

oBliVioSiteR #10111 (actually #22, though it was accidentally numbered #10111 – which should have been for #23),  no date (still 1996), Half-Legal (7”x8.5”), 20 pages
Obliviositorial, The entire comic was one big “True Army Tales” story – plus an add for t-shirts I was printing and a page of plugs for other ‘zines and minicomics…

oBliVioSiteR #23, 1997, Half-Legal (7”x8.5”), 20 pages
Obliviositorial, 18 pages of “True Army Tales: Kitchen Duty”. Last issue in the Half-Legal format changed mostly because I was mailing these out to a LOT of people at this point and it was a LOT cheaper to mail a minicomic…

oBliVioSiteR #24, 1997, Minicomic (4.25”x5.5”), 24 pages
Obliviositorial, 18-page “True Army Tales” comic, ads for t-shirts and the Brown Comix Catalogue – I was at that point trying to distribute other peoples minicomics through mail order…

oBliVioSiteR #25, 1997, Minicomic (4.25”x5.5”), 28 pages
Obliviositorial, “Pulpspotting” part one, two pages of paid ads!

oBliVioSiteR #26, 1998, Minicomic (4.25”x5.5”), 32 pages
Obliviositorial, “Pulpspotting” part two, one page of paid ads!

oBliVioSiteR #27, 1998, Minicomic (4.25”x5.5”), 36 pages
Obliviositorial, “Pulpspotting” part three, an add for the Brown Comix Catalogue
I only printed 50 copies of this one and numbered them. I only gave them out to people who I’d been trading comix with and/or supported me for some time as the collected  Pulpspotting was being printed around the same time. I should do another post about Pulpspotting at some point…

oBliVioSiteR #28, 1998, Minicomic (4.25”x5.5”), 36 pages
The School Fight Comix Compilation – Part One
“How my Teeth got Chipped” by Carrie McNinch, “Big Head” by Timothy Winkler, “At da Playground” by Morgan Parducci, “the Day my Grade 6 Class Beat Me Up” by myself, “Temper” by Darren Schmidtz, “Education… That Lifelong Adventure” by David Collier, “Talk Radio: by Suzanne Baumann, Obliviositorial and plug-ola for all the contributors.

oBliVioSiteR #29, 1998, Minicomic (4.25”x5.5”), 28 pages
A bit of a “filler issue” with writing and comics about what I’d been up to recently, a brief (5-page) “True Army Tales” story, and another 2-page jam comic with Robin Bougie.

oBliVioSiteR #30, 2000, Minicomic (4.25”x5.5”), 20 pages
After  a bit of a hiatus I returned with The School Fight Comix Compilation – Part Two
Obliviositorial, “Grade 4 Dogpile” by me, “Bully Me” by Michael Hind, and a comic by Jesse Reklaw. The ISSN is for real – a guy from the Library and Archives Canada had come around at Canzine the year I went and was signing small publishers up for ISSNs… 


oBliVioSiteR #31, 2000, Minicomic (4.25”x5.5”), 16 pages
A comic about carrots. Seriously. I was trying to find new meaning and direction in life and taking classes towards a Prairie Horticulture Certificate, thinking I’d take up market gardening on the small acreage we were living on at the time and I had to do a report about a plant or vegetable and so I did a comic about carrots – this is a reproduction of that assignment.

oBliVioSiteR #32, 2000, Minicomic (4.25”x5.5”), 28 pages
The Great Canadian Hockey Comic Jam

The last issue. I was trying to get this going again and tried selling adds and using the revenues to print the comic and give them out free again. I think I printed over 1000 of them and game them away at a bunch of local stores and sent them to the other contributors to give away in their hometowns… I think I also sent some to Strange Adventures in Halifax (since they took out and ad and all!).

The comic itself was a jam comic with Michael Hind, Jean-Guy Brin and Shawn Fehrenbach. I laid out the comic and drew myself in a bunch of panels then sent it to Mike in Montreal he drew his bit, then sent it on to Shawn in Calgary who drew his bit, then sent it on to Jean-Guy in Ottawa, Jean-Guy drew his bit then, I think sent it back to Mike for some additional bits and then sent it back to me and I finished it up adding the backgrounds – it was basically a comic about four comic geeks playing hockey with each other – me and Shawn versus Mike and Jean-Guy… It was quite the fun romp!

I had a bunch of other stuff planned – I had another issue or two of my own School Fight comics planned – one issue of which was mostly even penciled… but I’d run out of steam and/or lost hope or something and hung up my cartoonist/artist hat for a decade…

It was drawing with my kids that got me going again and I’ve got PLANS for some new stuff… but more on that in another post!


Coming soon on Tim’s Art Blog:

Pulpspotting and new comics to come! 

6 comments:

  1. Christian KnudsenJuly 22, 2014 at 9:32 PM

    3 Points:

    1. I totally forgot how many guest rants I did - I had only remembered doing a guest drawing of Cthulhu for JJ vs Cthulhu, b/c I thought my drawing of his great squiddyness was pretty good. But apparently I did a few articles too! Please don't let me read them, I was an idiot back then.

    2. I had no idea you had gone past 23! I read (bought, I think?) Pulpspotting, but I didn't realize the Obs had gone on - was there a gap between 23 and 24?

    3. These are (mostly) great! It was good to see your art and storytelling evolve. And it's great that you can look back on it objectively, too. I remember looking forward to you putting these out, they were always a lot of fun.

    4. Discordia!

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    1. I had also forgotten how much you and John had done as well until I went through them. I do remember John had submitted a few articles, but not nearly so many as he did, and, honestly, I hadn't remembered any of the ones you'd submitted until I started going through them!

      Thanks!

      I still have a few copies of those later ones if you would like them!

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    2. I don't think there was a huge gap between 23 and 24... there was a format change (from the larger half-legal to the smaller minicomic). What DID happen, which may have had something to do with why you never saw the later issues, was I had quit school and moved to Hanley - so I probably just didn't see you much to pass on any new comics.

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  2. I got one of these from my girlfriend at the time, then bought a few more and bought an Obliviositer shirt. This was 1996. The shirt was dark green but because I didn't specify my size you sent me XL. So I couldn't wear it because I was a skinny 90s boy, but I tried for years (cos some clothes eventually hang right or whatever) before I gave it away to somebody who thought it was cool. I remember you included some foil stars like from elementary school in the envelope which sprinkled to the ground when I opened the envelope. I have checked every once in a while to see if the Obliviositer ever got uploaded cos I read those few issues I had over and over again. This is how I stumbled across this site right now--idly googling while I wait to see if my kids are really asleep or just faking it, before I commit to something requiring concentration. --Drew

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    1. Dark Green, huh? Did it have a circular logo? I think those were ones I printed at home and only ever made maybe two or three of them (a true "collector's item"!?).

      Some people got really angry about the stars - got all over - stuck in carpets - kept finding them months later...

      Thank you for your comment!

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    2. The circular logo was your head, so yes. I thought the stars were a nice touch. They came out like, "Yay!"

      I have though Matt Stone and Tre Parker may have read The Obliviositer, and that's where they got the idea that Canadians have heads bisected by their mouths.

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