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Meet the Finalists: Danny Lewis

If you look closely at Danny Lewis’ entry for Beer Is Culture, you’ll find grains, goblets, and other pictographs related to beer. Taking a page from history, his Egyptian-themed illustration is definitely appropriate to the topic at hand. The Somerville, MA-based artist has “uncovered” many more subjects in his comic art and illustration, which can be viewed at his website. Read on for more about Danny’s work and great entry.
As the artist, tell us a little bit about your entry. What is the inspiration and story behind it?

DL: Well, the ancient Egyptians were one of the earliest civilizations to brew beer, and it had a hugely important role in their society – it even figures in to one of their creation myths, as a tool for stopping a rage-goddess that almost destroyed the world. So, it was good from the start! The history of beer has such wonderful stories within it, and I feel that the cultural aspect of beer and brewing is an important factor in the explosion of the craft beer world right now, and it’s one that reaches back thousands of years. The Indiana Jones-type explorer in my entry represents the modern beer drinker or brewer engaged in the active search for and celebration of the ties that beer culture creates.

Do you have any academic or formal artistic training, or are you self-taught?

DL: I’m mostly self-taught, aside from a few art classes here and there. I had wanted to make comics since I was in high school, but it wasn’t until I was practically out of college that I started drawing in earnest.

Even before civilization, there is evidence of cave paintings by early humans. Flash forward to today, perhaps the most significant innovation and development for the artist in the past 30 years was the invention and proliferation of the personal computer, which has a remarkable efficiency in generating art. How does art generated by the artist on a computer relate to some of the more conventional art forms?
DL: To be honest, I really only use computers for the very last touch-ups on my work — I’m much more of a pen-and-ink kind of guy. Personally, I find that computers are a good support tool in editing my work, but I much prefer to work with physical media, myself. It is nice to know that if I drip ink all over a perfectly good piece, it’s possible to render it nicely in Photoshop without having to do the whole thing over again!

Who are some of the artists who have influenced you the most?

DL: Lucy Knisley, Brandon Graham, Moebius and Joe Sacco are some of the comics artists whose work I love – they’re all incredibly different in style and substance, but they share a kind of lyricism in their comics that is simply inspiring. I’m also majorly in debt to the animations and sculptures of William Kentridge, Richard Feynman’s memoirs, and the plays of Sarah Ruhl, particularly Eurydice.

We believe “Beer is Culture” given the synchronized parallel between the explosion of civilization, art, and culture and the cultivation of cereal grains by the earliest human societies. When you hear the phrase “Beer is Culture” what does it mean to you?

DL: Culture isn’t something that springs into life fully-formed – it takes hard work, love, and dedication to something long before it becomes a part of culture. “Beer is Culture” reminds me to take a moment before I drink my beer to think about how it arrived at my glass, and to appreciate the care that went into it. Cheers!

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  • No Shame CMJ Showcase
    7:00pm October 22, 2014
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    This free event features three of No Shame artists and a guest opener. Wild Pink, formerly known as Challenger, starts the night with their epic, cinematic, pop songs followed by Loveskills, with his “relentlessly accessible and stupefyingly catchy” sounds. Our comrades from Russia, Pompeya will treat us to new songs from their upcoming LP “Real” as well as their newest single "Does". And closing out the showcase, we will have Brooklyn's own Walking Shapes, who will be laying down their unique brand of “Feel Good” rock. Sixpoint Brewery will be graciously providing 1 FREE BEER for every entry and will also be hosting specials all throughout the night! Mark your calendars and come down to Cameo gallery on Oct 22nd. Check out all the lovely music, as well as a happy hour for your enjoyment. We look forward to seeing you all at the showcase! To RSVP, please click here
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    2:00pm October 23, 2014
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    Please join us on Thursday, October 23rd as we help our friends from Barcade celebrate 10 years of classic arcade games and craft beer! This is sure to be epic!! We're opening early for this one! Event starts at 2pm. We pulled the very very last keg of the 2006 Bolshoi! out of our walk-in box and it will be served alongside the Batch we made for them last year. It's hard to say that anything won't ever happen again, but this is one of them! Here's the rest of the draft list, too. Allagash Bourbon Black 2011- 7.5% ABV - Belgian Strong Dark Ale Avery The Beast 2011 - 16.2% - Belgian Grand Cru Bear Republic Tartare Rouge - 6.0% - Wild Red Ale Bell's Sweet Potato Stout - 6.1% - Got marshmallows? Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout 2007 - 10.6% - The classic - aged 7 years at Barcade! Bruery Smoking Wood - 13.0% - Smoked wood? Yes! Captain Lawrence Xtra Gold 2010 - 9.0% - Belgian Tripel Cigar City Fight the Power - 5.5% - Sour Apple Cider Climax Barcade Anniversary Abbey - 8.0% - Abbey Dubbel brewed exlusively for Barcade's 10th anniversary! Coney Island Geektoberfest 2009 - 10.0% - Strong Ale Dogfish Head 120 Minute 2007 - 21.0% - A massive IPA Firestone Walker 15th Anniversary 2011 - 12.5% - Strong Ale aged in oak barrels Fisherman's Pepper II - 7.0% - Barcade exclusive Fisherman's Pumpkin Stout (cask) - 6.0% - Served IN A PUMPKIN!!! AGAIN!!!! Founders KBS 2012 - 11.2% - Breakfast stout aged in bourbon barrels Hair of the Dog Doggie Claws - 11.5% - American Barleywine Harpoon Baltic Porter 2009 - 9.5% - The blackest of black North Coast Old Rasputin 2004 - 8.9% - Russian Imperial Stout - aged 10 years (TEN YEARS!!!) at Barcade!! Rogue Old Crustacean 2009 - 11.3% - Classic Barleywine Sierra Nevada Jack and Ken Ale 2010 - 10.2% - Jack McAuliffe guest brewed Barleywine Sixpoint Bolshoi 2006 - 10.5% - Last keg from the original batch Sixpoint Bolshoi 2013 - 10.5% - New batch, re-brewed last year for YOURS TRULY only! Victory Harvest Session IPA (cask) - ?% - Only one in NYC