Wednesday, October 1, 2008

SPX and Ignatz

October not only brings wonderful weather, but also some wonderful events. The Big Apple Circus, Pumpkin Patch, and SPX.

SPX is the biggest little comic convention, held nearby in Bethesda Md. Since I have not only attended, but in years past been roped into serving on the steering committee, as well as know a few folks still serving on the committee, I was thrilled to accept the assignment to make the stands for the awards at the show; the Ignatz.

"The Ignatz Awards, named for the character in the classic comic strip Krazy Kat by George Herriman, is a festival prize that recognizes outstanding achievement in comics and cartooning. The ballot is created by a panel of five cartoonists and is then voted on by the attendees at the event. This offers a unique reflection of the views the professionals and their fans."

Since I had never been at the awards presentation, I found the sample they sent for me to mimic a little strange. Once I found out that the actual award is a brick (because that is what Ignatz the mouse hurled at Krazy Kat) the stand started to make much more sense.

A simple mitred box, with cut out sides for the brick to nestle into, and a slanted front. Finished off with a 1/4" veneer ply bottom, and felt.

I wanted to improve upon the model I recieved as I went, as well as make it easily repeatable if I'm asked to make them again next year. The original had the 1/4 bottom mounted straight to the bottom of the box, with the plywood edge showing, as well as being screwed and pluged on the sides.

I rabbeted in the bottom, hiding the ugly edge. And I fastened the mitres with glue and headless pin nails, which are much easier to conceal.

As for repeatability, I made a jig to hold the tiny 5" sides on the tablesaw to be able to cut the front angle and save my fingers. The only part I was dissapointed in, was I didn't think up a way to repeat the cutouts on the sides. In the end I just bandsawed and sanded them, which leaves them different from one to the next.

Next year I'll figure out a way to keep them exact.



So, I'll be out at SPX this Saturday (Oct 4th), delivering the Ignatz stands, and checking out this years comic offerings. And so should you.

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