Doubling Down!

It’s two weeks* into my full-time art making adventure, and I thought it would be a good time to check in and let everyone know how it’s going.

After some mulling around at the beginning, I’ve decided that I am going to double down on storytelling and narrative opportunities and put the illustration work on the back burner. I feel like I’m twice the storyteller than I am illustrator, and it’s what I’m really good at, and in a perfect world, it’s what I would love to be doing. Not that there won’t be time down the road to focus a little more on illustration, but for right now, it’s trying to organize and crank out some ideas I’ve had floating around in my head for comics and books. The real focus the last couple of weeks of which has been trying to get the writing wrapped up for what I would like to be my next graphic novel, The Searchers.

I’ve managed to write out two more chapters, leaving only the last two and the epilogue to write. After which I’ll thumbnail it all out and do a bit of editing and rewriting in the process. to break it up a little bit, I’ve done a little drawing of some characters and environments. Here’s some images of what I’ve come up with.

Some of the proportions are off, specifically in the camping scene where the character to the right’s head is super, super big [it’s supposed to be big, but not that big] and then the house in the final image is too small. That being said, the purpose of the drawings were to start to give myself a feel for the way things will look visually so I don’t have to come up with them on the fly when I start drawing.

So that’s where I’m at. I’ve had a bit of a hard time following the schedule that I had set up where I would be diversifying what I would be doing everyday, which I still think would be beneficial for me to be doing. Maybe once I get the writing done I will focus on that a little more. Stay tuned!

* this time frame of two weeks doesn’t count the week I took off for Jen’s birthday and then the last week I took off for camping for my birthday.

Americus wins the Carla Cohen Free Speech Award!

Looks like I’m going to have to update this shelf-talker with the good news!

We actually heard about this awhile ago, but it slipped my mind to post it until this week. Anyhow, here’s information on the award from the NAIBA website:

The idea for this award came from a desire to not only honor an amazing bookseller and past president of NAIBA, but to honor Carla as would be most fitting.

The NCCFSA will be awarded to a children’s book, as awareness of constitutional rights needs to begin at the beginning of true consciousness. Educating children about their rights by putting the books into their hands that will allow them to question, imagine, and dream is essential to the survival of independent bookstores and dare we say, humanity.

Independent bookstores are the places where freedom of speech and anti-censorship are integrated into everything we do. We are spaces where difference-of ideas, sexuality, spirit, politics, and philosophy-is embraced and not feared. Politics and Prose has been exactly this kind of place for the past 27 years. Independent bookstores are essential to their communities and hence to a truly democratic nation. The survival of our bookstores relies on children becoming informed and engaged in our midsts. Only through the nurturing of this future community will we ensure having a customer base on which to rely.

You can read about it straight from the source here. Yay!

48 Minute Comic

This is late, but last week I was asked by the Willamette Week to collaborate with one of their writers and participate in a 48 minute comic as part of a promotion for the 48 Hour Film Festival that was in town. The premise of the festival is that filmmakers have 48 hours to create a film that includes certain elements that are randomly generated.

The 48 minute comic was pretty much the same premise, but I only had 48 minutes to complete the comic. The elements I had where 1.] Genre: Film de Femme, 2.] Character: Janine Lawless, 3.] Profession: Exterminator, 4.] Prop: Bowling Ball, and 5.] Quote: “You can’t get there from here.”

Here’s the final product:

The headed over to the WW office to work on the page and they recorded the whole process and time-lapsed it for their website. Check it out:

It’s pretty cool to see my process like this, even if it was for a page that was so rough and under such a time constraint. I might try to do it again for myself in the future.

Summer Comics Workshop for Teens at OCAC

With everything that’s been going on the last month, I’ve forgotten to mention that this July I’m teaching a week-long summer workshop for teens at OCAC. It will be a modified version of my Crafting Comics: Narrative and Technique that has been tweaked a little bit to accomodate the compressed schedule.

Class will be from July 9-13, 9:00am-4:00pm with an hour break for lunch in the middle.

Here’s the link to the OCAC website to sign up.

If you have any questions, please e-mail me, or leave a comment.

Spread the word!

Free Comic Book Day 2012!

Tomorrow is FREE COMIC BOOK DAY! Head on down to you local comic book stores and pick up the freebies that they have to offer. If you’re around Portland, might I recommend picking up the publication that the always awesome Tugboat Press put out for the occassion, Runner Runner. Below is a one-page comic that I contributed:

And also amongst pretty amazing company: MK Reed, Jesse Reklaw, Aron Nels Steinke, Aaron Renier, Alec Longstreth, Galen Longstreth, and Drew Weing just to name a few.

Don’t delay! Go camp out in front of your local comic book store today!


Stumptown 2012

The Stumptown Comics Fest was last weekend, and to sum it up: I had a super-rad time. I was table-buddies again with the most awesome Breena Wiederhoeft and I think we could both safely say that Stumptown was much more our kind of show compared to Emerald City. We weren’t flanked by print sellers of Babylonian demigods or cheesecake pictures of super hero women, the crowd was more interested in comics and zines, and there was a lot more space and the room didn’t feel as crowded or claustrophobic.

The short recap: I got to talk to a lot of great people that I haven’t seen in a long time or got to meet for the first time, sales were good and people responded well to Americus [I sold all but one copy!] and I was even able to sell some of the original pages, Breena and I got to hang out and shoot some ideas around for a potential collaborative project, and I got another jolt of inspiration to keep chugging away at The Searchers.

I don’t want to throw a wall of text up on the front page of my site, but keep reading for expanded coverage of this cartoonists experience at STCF 2012…

Continue reading

Crafting Comics Recap

So this is a little late, but I wanted to write a post about how my Crafting Comics class went at OCAC this last term.

A short recap: The class went well. I got a little overambitious with a small amount of time and I should have assigned a little more work to implement the ideas we were discussing in class. The plus side is that I learned a lot and it will help me prepare for the next time I teach the class. My students were great and had a lot of really good ideas, I just forgot how long it can take to do things, and a lot of people didn’t get enough time to finish things.

For a more detailed overview, keep reading.

Continue reading

Diary of A Space Marine 1

So I’ve been dying to draw some comics, and since my next big project is still in the writing/thumbnails stage and will be for awhile, I thought that I would do a side project. It’s called Diary of A Space Marine. Here’s the first one:

I know, I know. It’s pretty dumb. I felt a little crazy working on because the whole time I was thinking to myself, ‘You should be working on something important! Promotional stuff! Looking for an agent! Writing and thumbnailing! Etc!’. Then I figured it’s better to be drawing something dumb than not drawing anything at all.

I’m hoping to get one of these done every week, so don’t forget to check back!