Northside Comics Artists is a decidely indy spirted collaborative group that you may not have heard of before. Founded im January 2015, Northside is centered in Chicago as the name suggests though some of its contributors have moved to other locales. Collectively they have four anthology books behind them (Identity, The Middle of the Night, The Other Side, and Misadventure) and their fifth, aptly titled Memories.
The Northside collective has evolved over time since Ed Witte founded it. Witte turned his love for comics into a weekly webcomic while he also worked from home for his day job. The isolation made him want more human contact while he simultaneously realized an extra person or two would lighten the work load on the comic. In truth art making of any kind is very often a solitary effort between the artist with their muse hopefully in attendance. Other creative types like the ones at Portland’s Helioscope can thrive in a shared studio environment. Hanging out at the favorite neighborhood coffee place can be good for clearing the head and drawing in sketchbooks but it’s rarely a good setting beyond that for conducive art making.
Drink and draw events were the first manifestation of that need for community Witte experienced that led to Northside. As it’s grown over time they’ve also included or currently consists of community events, tabling at local mini conventions, painting murals, comics related discussions, the afore mentioned comics projects and monthly accountability meetings to help artists meet goals and stay on track. That monthly meeting sounds like a great way to support individuals while strengthening their little community!
Here’s the Kickstarter video or just click over here!