Monday, July 23, 2012
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Attention, Pacific Northwest-area boosters! I’ll be at Portland’s Stumptown Comics Fest this weekend, the 28th & 29th of April. I hope I won’t be like a tourist in New York who won’t stop gushing over Sex in the City locations when I can’t contain the Portlandia references. Come over and visit, why not? See if I ask you about the new brunch tapas place that opened in the neighborhood.
I’ll be sharing a table with Chicagoan Beth Hetland, Seattlite Ben Horak and Local Hero Kevin Uehlein. We’ll also have some material from the Center for Cartoon Studies, so if you’re interested in that, wull then check! us! OUT! [ map mod by Beth ]
Thursday, September 22, 2011
Back in June, Caitlin and I made this birthday card for our dear Devon. Cait collaged some old screen prints, some rock rabbits (cute, right?) from Wild Life the World Over (1950), and money. Then I drew the Queen Rock Rabbit. Fun in different media, you guys! That’s the theme. Now hold on tight because I’m about to gush.
Remember how I said this was gonna be the Summer of Collaboration? Well, I did. And well, it has been, and actually still is. Just as I started to feel like I’d taken on too many projects, some started to finished, and I’ve realized that this was exactly how I wanted to follow up two years of intensive cartooning study and practice. I got what I wished for! At times, I felt anxious, or like I wasn’t doing any of my own work, but with some distance–and some time spent with family and with old friends–I realized that it’s worked out perfectly, and in many ways better than I could have hoped.
For one, I’ve been a color assistant for Joe Lambert, whose work (posted on Drawn!) got me to take CCS seriously in the first place. Last year, after some discussion that included my offering to be the Center for Cartoon Studies’ indentured servant, James Sturm offered me the gig. Oh, what? Work with my friend, a cartoonist whose work I continue to whole-heartedly admire and aspire to? Yes, please.
Joe’s written and drawn the latest in the Cartoon Studies Presents series of biographies published by Hyperion. It’s about Helen Keller and her mentor Annie Sullivan, but it’s a whole lot more than The Miracle Worker. I’ve tried to treat this project like any other work, which means striving to do it as fast and as well as I can (productivity! America!). So, my read so far has been only cursory, and has focused on finding clues to help my coloring. Even still, it made me cry twice. I can’t wait to sit down and read the finished book.
Doing the first pass of colors (Joe has been revising them, and our pal Dakota has co-assisted on the last leg of the project), I felt like a cinematographer, trying to help establish mood or location with lighting and set colors. For the swelter and hazy humidity of a Southern summer, I pushed up the atmospheric perspective. For certain scenes, I aimed at romanticism, or grim drudgery, or shock. I don’t know how much of this Joe has chosen to use, but he’s the director, you know? He doesn’t have to take every suggestion I throw at him.
Speaking of movies, this summer the Nymphonomenauts have been taking our little collaboration about a gender-bending space rock opera in new, exciting directions. More on that later.
In the meantime, I’ve mostly taken a break from drawing comics. I think I needed it. I’ve been doodling idly in my sketchbook, making new oddities, and thinking vaguely about character designs. I’ve been building Legos and coloring/printing some of my comics from the past year. I’ve been reading comics like crazy, and devouring anything I can find about comics online and in the Schulz Library. And now, I miss drawing them! I can’t wait! Sure, I’ve still been making a new Farmy strip every three weeks (and I think this running collaboration is going to better and better places), but I’m truly excited to make some new little comedies, and I’m starting to think that maybe I won’t give up on Petrified Girlfriend, even.
—- ++++ —-
As things turned out, we became close friends, and he and his wife Becca are one no-foolin aspect of what makes a prolonged stay in White River Junction appealing. Did I mention that Caitlin and I are sticking it out in Vermont for another year? Well, we are. [BACK]
If you didn’t go to art school, that means making things grayer/lighter/bluer as they recede into the distance. Aren’tcha glad you know now?? [BACK]
Sunday, July 17, 2011
‘Bout time I posted something you hafta look away from, isn’t it?
In conversation with Joe Lambert, I realized I may have been unconsciously inspired by his Too Far story [bottom-left page in the preview]. It’s in his new(ish) I Will Bite You! book, and also in a digest-sized anthology he put together with One Percent Press.
We’re just barreling through the summer, aren’t we? I can’t remember the last summer I’ve been so busy. I’m passing up $75-an-hour work for comes-out-to-minimum-wage work because I love it. I’m thinking big thoughts about the future, and saying goodbye to close friends on an almost weekly basis. Still, Caitlin and I are wallowing in rivers, pounding cold ones by the grill, going to movies, and just plain having a gay old time. It could be much worse, friends.
Wednesday, June 1, 2011
Here’s one I’ve been sitting on for a while. For, like a year. This was when my ex-roommate, my ex-ex!-EX!-rooommate Todd was updating a blog every once in a while. Which was before Dan McCool and I (he hatching ideas from his six heads like Scylla, and I sucking wayfaring cartoonists into a depthless cavity of deadlines and despair as Charybdis) pulled him into the spiraling vortex of Farmy Acres. Now Todd McArthur’s after-work creative time is mine! ALL MINE!*
As I was saying, Todd drew that on the subway in his Moleskine. I said I’d love to see it in color, he said, “So why don’tcha color it?? Neener-nyaaa-nya!!” So I did. I limited myself to the colors (if not the style) of classic comics. This is something I keep doing to myself.
The image is apropos, readers, it’s apropos. And yes, I’ve been looking for an excuse to write “apropos.” Isn’t it so weird that it ends with an “s”? It’s apropos because this is the summer of collaboration. Right now I’m in the process of assisting the acclaimed Joe Lambert as a colorist on an up-coming book. I’m also on a top secret mission with the Nymphonomena crew, as well as some…other stuff…which we’ll get to. Because, I’m trying to get my blog posts back down to a reasonable length. I figure they will as I get back into the habit of writing em.
Speaking of which, the Party Time I alluded to when last we spoke, well, it ended pretty quick. I’ve been running back and forth between Vermont and New York, working long days, fretting, taking meetings, all of it. Real life started again. Just like that! Again I’m starting to see what things I can live without. I want to simplify. I wanna get rid of some stuff. I’m having my lump looked at before I turn 26 and rejoin the legions of uninsured Americans.
Look forward to more regular updates this summer, precious reader. There is much to talk about, and I’ve scanned a buncha sketchbook pages, too.
Thursday, May 5, 2011
I turned in my CCS thesis material this Monday, the morning after news of that video game-worthy event in Pakistan broke during a Mets/Phillies game that the Metropolitans won in the 14th. On this very same same Monday I paid off the rest of my tuition (that wasn’t covered by loans), which turned out to be less than I expected, sooooo this week started on a good groove. I’m afraid I don’t have any pictures of the thesis book yet, but I promise to post some later this month.
Now that I hit the major deadline, I’m coming back, bit by bit, to the little pleasures I didn’t allow myself in the past three or four months. One was Mario Galaxy 2, another was The Sopranos, I turned on my Google Chat again, checked out some old comics from the Schulz Library (and bought a new one, too), I look forward to reading The New Yorker again, and I keep coming across new time suckers I forgot I used to do all the time. And NOWwww, I’m blogging! I really do have fun writing these, and I hope I’m not the only one being entertained.
There have been a million developments since I went into seclusion. For one, Hicough & Belch the imps are on Top Shelf 2.0, in living color! For another, I found out that hiccough is spelled with two “c”s. What else? Thanks to Brett Warnock at Top Shelf, James Kochalka at American Elf and Tom Spurgeon at The Comics Reporter for linking to the Cartoonist Laureate post! Thanks, too, for new folks that I’ve met at MoCCA Fest and elsewhere for visiting here; I’m sorry if it has looked like a barren wasteblog. There was also some exciting news yesterday, when Rob Clough at The Comics Journal named Nymphonomena one of the Top 25 Mini Comics of 2010 (it’s at #14)! Lots of my Cartoon Studies cohorts are listed as well, and it’s a true honor to be named alongside folks like Kevin Huizenga, Jim Rugg and Damien Jay.
I know that may have been a lot of self-congratulating to swallow, so I thank you all for being such considerate lovers and readers. As I’ve mentioned previously, I’ve got a backlog of doodles, outta-left-field opinions, and new comics to show you, as well as some exciting summer projects coming, many of which are collaborative. This’ll be a pleasant contrast to the past few months of solitary activity and trying (and often failing) to not distract myself with social engagement. I’ll be happy if I/we can pull off only half of our fun activities.
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Lately I’ve been watching my mega-pal Kevin finishing up what will surely prove to be the sickest comics anthology of 2011. I mentioned it once before, and seeing more work coming in for it, I’m increasingly giddy for its springtime release. Its called Visions of the Aporkalypse, and it features plenty of Swineclopses like that guy up there. Kevin’s been dropping previews on his blog, including two pages from mine own entry. I’m so excited!
Here’s some more piggies. Pot bellies have the most personality and babirusas are even grosser than warthogs (sometimes those upper tusks grow into their heads!!). That’s what I learned.
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
You guys, I know. It’s been a while. And I was really starting to feel like I was being withholding, but then I noticed a slew of blogs that started out something like, “Oh, I know I’m always apologizing for not posting anything in a while, but anyway, sorry for not posting anything in the while! But, you know. Holidays!” So you won’t hear it here. That’s my sterling guarantee.
Above are some trees and a monster’s bird head that I doodled at an exhibit of Dürer prints at the Clark. It happened a long time ago. Okay, so I might have some blogger’s guilt about not posting these more in-the-moment. You imaginary internet people and your insistence on timeliness! As I was saying, Andy Warner, Kate LaRocca,* Jon Fine and I took a day trip down to Williamstown, Massachusetts back in, I don’t know, November. We saw this lovely, lively show of the Northern Renaissance master’s woodblocks, and a few etchings. We also drove through some spectacular New England scenery, with billowing clouds and shafts of light dappling the hillsides. Yeah, that’s right. I said it. Landscapes!!
I’ve got another page from our drawing adventure that I might or might not post. It also occurred to me that this might qualify as a Drawing Adventure.
*Does anybody have some up to date internet location for her? I’m only finding broken links. <3
Thursday, December 30, 2010
It’s “the holidays,” and it’s been lovely, but I wouldn’t want the internet to think I’d forgotten it. So here I am, with another short-term memory-drawing of the north country. It was funny passing by the same spot the next day and realizing how different the construction of the bridge is, and how there are bigger, uglier buildings just past it. But, isn’t that the great part about memory? The relevant parts stick out. I’m really enjoying doing these landscapes in this way. I think it has a lot to do with cartooning, and with only including the pertinent details. If I ever teach a class, I’ll probably make my students do some memory sketching. First I’ll show them Laura Park, who does a lot of it.
In other news, my whirlwind tour of the New York metro-area is drawing to a close, and it makes me sad. Caitlin and I extended our Christmas stay in Connecticut, due to that big snowstorm the entire Eastern Seaboard is talking about. One of my oldest and dearest friends was staying there, with my parents, and blended right in, an extra sibling, just like he used to when we were kids. That was lovely.
The other day a bunch of us took the commuter rail down to Grand Central. It was the day after the storm, and the train was packed. My dad had to go to his bank, my sister to the French Consulate, my Chad (that’s the friend I mentioned) to Brooklyn, along with a friend of his who joined us on the train. Caitlin and I took the subway over to Penn Station, and never emerged to the light of Manhattan. We just got straight onto a New Jersey Transit double decker train and took it to her grandmother’s, where we’ve been the last two days. Upon arriving in New York, neither Caitlin or I felt the Country Mouse sensation that I’ve had when emerging from a day’s travel on Amtrak directly from Vermont. There was none of that “gorsh, there sure are a lotta pretty people…an’ boy do they move fast!” kinda thing. I don’t know if it was the buffer of some days spent in the suburbs, or the familiarity of the commuter line, or what, but it just felt comfortable and right.
I’m looking forward to our approaching weekend stint in Brooklyn. I miss the old borough, and haven’t been back since August. I’m worried that I might never live there again. I can’t stop thinking about what I’ll do, and where I’ll be, after graduating (unless I fail) from CCS this coming May. I know I’ll stick around in Vermont for a while, but I don’t know for how long, or how I’ll be paying my loans. Ah, the future! There’s nothing like the New Year to make you obsess over your plans, is there? Welp, that’s my life. Sorry to get all reflective on yas.
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Poll time, blogheads! Would anybody be interested? in purchasing or gifting these two posters? They’d be digital inkjet prints on nice, archival, 11″×17″ cream colored paper. Probably with short descriptive text (hand lettered) in the black corners. Signed and numbered. The whole deal. For $8 for one or $12 for both (the second at half-off). Let me know, by comment or by email, and I’ll make em available on the shop or by direct order. If you’re not sure how you feel about my work, maybe you can allow some other people to tell you it’s not too bad, for some punk kid.
Now that you’ve slogged through my hucksterism (second week in a row), how about some good news of family, friends, and fun? I’m getting pumped to roam around all three of the NYC tristates! First at my family’s in Connecticut, see Better-Half Caitlin’s family in Jersey, then pal around with my dear ol’ college chums in Brooklyn.
And how better to kick off this whirlwind tour of the New York metropolitan area? A Wu-Tang concert in Burlington! It’s gonna be full of bros, but all the founding members but ODB and the RZA are gonna be there! (Although, the Razor dropped out only about a week ago, and after I bought a ticket. Supposedly he’s filming something in China. Whatever. Maybe they’ll each drop out, one by one. Still ready to love it.)