First, there was the Intruder comic magazine, a free tabloid-sized comics newspaper that was delivered to comics shops and other cool locales around town. Intruder closed up shop and was followed by a similar publication called Thick as Thieves. And now, Thick as Thieves has stepped aside to make way for Hair Flip, a quarterly comic which debuts this Thursday at Fred Wildlife Refuge.
But setting aside the trappings of a party, there's plenty of comics stuff, too: local cartoonists like Max Clotfelter and James Stanton will be tabling, along with Push/Pull and a Hair Flip merchandise table.
Given so much of the editorial staff is overseeing the transition from Thick as Thieves to Hair Flip, you probably won't see too much of a difference in this new first issue. And in fact, casual readers likely might not even be able to spot a negligible difference between Intruder and Hair Flip. That's okay.
These new identities and frequent reinventions are part of what makes our local comics scene so vibrant. Print media is something different now than it used to be — it's simultaneously less valuable to advertisers but more valuable to readers. If you can't make something new, bring a new attitude to a print publication, why aren't you just running a fucking blog or something?
Better to keep things new and interesting, to keep handing the vision off to a new group every few years. Comics in this town have the energy and excitement of a thriving rock scene right now — best to harness that kind of energy with an of-the-moment magazine that might not exist a few years from now because it's too busy evolving into something else. That's how the really great scenes keep alive.
Fred Wildlife Refuge, 128 Belmont Ave. E., 322-7030, 7 pm, $10.