26 May 2020

kuš! Residency Fundraiser

Our kuš! comics residency is currently on a standstill because of the pandemy. Our last artist in residency was Amanda Vähämäki, who had to leave just after two weeks. When the lockdown was announced she quickly grabbed her things and returned to Finland. We hope to continue the residency program when this is over, but meanwhile we have to cover some running costs. Amanda Vähämäki had an exhibition in Riga at the Neputns Gallery, and now she offers these drawings for sale. The pencil drawings are from recurring impressions, city spaces, memories of walks in the woods and dungeons and dreams.

Amanda Vähämäki is a comic artist and an illustrator living in Helsinki. She studied Painting in Bologna and started to self publish her comics in 2004, initially in Italian. She has been part of the Canicola collective in Italy and Kutikuti in Finland. She has completed four comic books and started and left unfinished numerous ones. But you can find plenty of her comics in anthologies and magazines worldwide

This is an exclusive opportunity to get one of her original drawings and in the same time support the residency. The price of the art works will be spread as follows, 60% go to Amanda, 30% to the residency and 10% for shipping and handling.

For a higher resolution and to buy these drawings, visit the shop. (click this link)

Go, get your favorite piece at our shop!

13 March 2020

š! #39 open call

Can you still keep up with the bad news? Now that COVID-19 has officially become a pandemic and people are stocking up on toilet paper and pasta worldwide is it time to panic? Well, the best you can do is wash your hands, socially distance yourself, and stay at home. Not yet the worst-case scenario for introvert comic artists. While you might spend some of the next weeks in quarantine, this could be a good opportunity to draw some comics! For this reason, we are launching a new open call!

Please send us your comics to the theme 'The End'. As always the interpretation of the theme is completely up to you! We are hoping to publish our very best issue so far, just in case it's our last one.

Full details of participation:

- Theme: The End
- Page count: 4-14 
- Language: English
- Format: DIN A6, width 10.5cm × height 14.8cm
- Bleed: In case you want your comics to be full bleed make sure to add 3 mm cut off space all around the comics (in this case the width of each page should be 11.1 cm and the height 15.4 cm). Don't place texts and important details close to the page borders (Bleed explained in a graphic).
- Colors: Yes, CMYK, b/w works are also welcome
- Resolution: 300 dpi (1200 dpi for b/w works)
- File format: preferably tiff or pdf
- If we publish your comics, you'll get a virtual hand shake and 10 free copies of the anthology
- Submit only low-resolution jpgs for our consideration (but big enough to read (approximately 900 pixels in width)! The big resolution files as described above we'll ask you to send later.) Please don't send zip files, don't use google drive, dropbox or the like, we only want preview files now as simple attachments.
- Please include a very short description of yourself and a link to your site/instagram
- Deadline: 27 May 2020
- Send to komiksukonkurss@gmail.com

Additional notes: 

- After receiving your work we'll write you a confirmation e-mail within 14 days. If you don't hear from us, write us again, maybe your mail got lost or the internet got shut down.
- The decision what we'll publish will be made until 1 July. We'll mail you if you're in!
- We'd prefer if you don't publish the full comics on- or offline before we print it. 
- Please don't send comics which are made for a bigger format. If your comic is unreadable in A6 format, it will not be published!
- We are always happy to feature experimental approaches in storytelling and art. Don't limit yourself!
- If you have any questions, just write us. Best if you write a comment below, as other people might have the same question.

And one more note: Apart from global news, 2020 has been already very difficult for us. Since the new year shipping costs have doubled or even tripled - not a good situation if you plan to distribute 1000 copies by yourself... And we also handed in this issue to get funding. But the Latvian state culture capital fundation thought this topic is not of "current relevance" (we wish they were right) and decided not to support it. Despite all these rather dark circumstances we decided to publish this issue anyway. And you can help, even if you don't plan to send a comic, you can consider buying any of our previous issues and therefore support the printing of the next one. You can find our books on komikss.lv and follow us on twitter, facebook and instagram.

Looking forward to your submissions. Stay safe!


UPDATE: We have some unforeseen delays. We hope to make the final selection and inform all artists by the end of July. Thank you for your patience!

13 February 2020

Myths of Riga

Comic-Workshop with Marlene Krause

Application deadline: 06 March 2020

Marlene Krause is coming to Riga to lead a comic workshop with the theme "Myths of Riga". Together we'll explore diverse stories of the city and then illustrate them as comics, or invent even new myths. Marlene will give a short introduction to the basics of comics and will show alternatives to the classical page layout, in order to experiment with the form of comics. The best results will after the workshop be printed as riso posters and exhibited at the Goethe-Institut Riga in May.

Workshop Details
Three day workshop: 
20.03.2020 (18.00- 20.00), 21.03.2020 (11.00-18.00), 22.03.2020 (11.00-17.00)
Place: Goethe-Institut Riga, Torna iela 1, Riga, Latvia (Enter from Klostera iela)
The workshop is open for adult participants from Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania.
Language: English
Participation is free

The spaces are limited, so you need to apply with the following information to kushmens@gmail.com:  
- Name, age, city
- Link to your blog/portfolio (alternatively three drawings, or comics pages)
- Brief motivation letter

Application deadline: 06 March 2020

Workshop Leader 
Marlene Krause is an illustrator, comic artist and tatooist. She lives in Barcelona and is currently undertaking a Master's program in Berlin. She has published two graphic novels (À un autre endroit, L'Association, France, 2013 and Momento Móvil, Apa Apa Comics, Spain 2019) and many smaller zines with comics and drawings, such as mini kuš! Maud in 2018. Her comics are often autobiographic and inspired by daily life.

Travel Grants
The Goethe Institute Riga offers four travel grants of 50.00 euros for participants from Estonia and Lithuania. The application procedure is the same as above, just mention you are interested in a travel grant.

The workshop is organized by Goethe-Institut Riga in collaboration with kuš!

Write to kushmens@gmail.com 

20 January 2020

Kuš! comics Residency - Open Call II

                                                                                                Illustration: Oskars Pavlovskis

Open call for comic artist residencies in Riga from June 2020 – December 2020.
Organised in collaboration with ISSP, kuš! will continue to host comic artists in our residency apartment in the centre of Riga. This is a wonderful opportunity for artists to focus on their projects in an inspiring environment away from home. In the same time ISSP will host photographers, this creates extra opportunities for interdisciplinary interaction between the residency participants.

Who can apply?
Comic artists and other professionals working in the field of comics from around the world. The residents will be selected based on their applications.

Duration and timing
The applicants can choose to spend one or two months between June 2020 to December 2020 at the residency. Stays shorter than a full month are possible but the residency calendar is based on month-long slots, so the monthly fee will apply.

What we provide
- A private bedroom with a work table in the residency flat
- Participation at drink and draw to meet local comic artists
- Promotion of your project on our social media
- Individually we can agree with the residents to make an exhibition or hold a public talk or workshop
- A part-time staff member to provide local support
- The possibility to use the library and extra equipment at the kuš! office
- Invitation letter so you can apply for public funding

What we expect from you
- You work on your own comics project (no relation to kuš! needed!)
- To be open to present your work to the local audience in the form of an artist talk or other public event

One month at the residency costs 370 euros. A partial advance will be payable to confirm the participation. Applying for the residency is free of charge.
The selected participants will need to cover their travel and production cost by themselves. You'll get an official invitation letter from us, which you may use to apply for funding in your own country.

Accommodation and facilities
The artists-in-residence will reside in an spacious apartment located in the city centre, which will be shared with two other residents in the field of comics and photography. Facilities: private bedroom, table, shared living room, fireplace, bathroom, kitchen, wi-fi, scanner, black/white deskjet printer, bicycle.

Host town
Riga is the capital of Latvia, a country in the northeast of Europe next to the Baltic Sea. The city hosts an active cultural scene with plenty to discover. The countryside with beautiful forests and beaches can be reached easily by public transport.

Project Partner ISSP
ISSP is an international platform for contemporary photography, based in Latvia. ISSP offers highest-quality education and networking programmes for photographers, organises residencies, exhibitions and events, and creates new ways to promote the cross-border exchange of ideas in the art of photography. Photographers can apply for their residency here.

The residency is supported by the Latvian State Culture Capital Fundation (SCCF)

"I had a great time at the Kuš! Comics Residency and was sad to leave. It was a trusting and open-ended working arrangement, very much self-directed, that allowed me the space to work while providing me with chances to see and connect with the arts scene in Riga. Having not done a residency before I really appreciated that freedom. Almost every night of my stay something genuinely interesting was happening at spaces in the city ranging from underground bars to the more cutting edge gallery spaces. The work I made there was definitely inflected by what I saw and who I met in a way that there really is no substitute for.

The accommodation itself was generous, I had plenty of working space and the apartment was well looked after. Grocery stores, art supplies, cafes and cheap food spots were just a few minutes walk away, as was the tram into the city (though I usually found it possible to walk everywhere I wanted to go). It was the ideal place to be shacked up, even in the notoriously cold Latvian winter.

Overall I loved it, 10/10! Go if you can."
- Bailey Sharp, cartoonist from Georgia, living in Melbourne. Co-art editor of The Lifted Brow and part of GLOM PRESS, kuš! resident in December 2019.

Apply! (update: DEADLINE IS OVER!)
Please submit the APPLICATION FORM by 15 February 2020. The results will be announced in the beginning of March.

Write us to komikss(at)gmail.com
Good luck! Looking forward to welcome you in Riga soon!