Buttons in the Emporium!

I know, I know. I said this was going to be done long ago, but the wait is finally over! You can now purchase Baggywrinkles-related buttons to confirm your place at the head of the seafaring cartoonists’ community.

Choose three buttons from the image below and they will miraculously appear on your doorstep in short order.

Want the entire range? Go for The Whole Shebang and get yourself a free doodle with your purchase.

Single Button Pack (3 buttons)…$2.00 + Shipping

[There’ll be a field where you can specify which buttons you’d like before you complete checkout!]

The Whole Shebang (9 buttons and a doodle)…$5.00 + Shipping

Baggywrinkles 1 & 2 Now Available Online! (Fo’ free)

If you’ve been out there itching to show your friends the magic of Baggywrinkles without having to buy tangible copies of the comic, then boy howdy is this the post for you! I’ve just made both issues available online in their entirety because I love you all and really, it’s about time.

Furthermore, the amazing Joe Follansbee (author of the Fyddeye Guide to America’s Maritime History) recently put up an interview with yours truly on his site! To learn more about how I got involved in all this sailing and comics stuff in the first place, check it out over here.

I had a wonderful (but brief) trip out to see the Lady Washington and Hawaiian Chieftain this past weekend in Oxnard, CA. We had a lovely breeze for our three-hour sail, and it was a huge treat to be aloft and out on the water after so much time away.

Finally, I’ll be returning to Portland this weekend to reprint both issues of Baggywrinkles and make a bundle of new buttons. If you’d like to buy buttons on their own to distribute to nautical friends or decorate your own peacoat/ditty bag/fisherman’s hat, they’ll be available in the store next week in packs of three for two bucks (plus shipping).

That’s it from me. I’ll see you all in a week!


Before I pass out and forget everything, I need to throw this information somewhere for posterity.

I arrived on campus with a bagel and some coffee (rare for me) this morning at 9am. I just got home 10 minutes ago. In the intervening 15.5 hours I…

– Read 120 pages of Rousseau’s political writings

– Attended a lecture on the social contract

– Checked out 5 more books for my thesis

– Wrote a 3-page response essay

– Shipped comics to California, Pennsylvania, and Louisiana

– Read the entirety of Art & Fear and Claire Siepser’s comics-based thesis (~100 pages combined)

– Requested 10 books on inter-library loan

– Cut out and assembled 257 Baggywrinkles buttons

– Read 150 pages of McCloud’s Making Comics

– Wrote critiques of 12 classmates’ comics

– Researched, scripted, and thumbnailed a 4-page comic about the Crimean War

– Revised my thesis proposal


I’m really, really hoping this gives me enough of a reason to slack off for the rest of the week. Goddamn. I don’t know why I do this sometimes.


Stay Baggy, Stay Wrinkly

It’s been a long haul, folks, but here we are:


I don’t want to contemplate how much time I’ve spent folding and punching and sewing this week, but the net result is 100 copies of my very first minicomic ready to be flung into your waiting arms — and I have to say, it looks pretty awesome. 3 bucks gets you 8 pages of nautically-themed goodness on attractive paper with a handsome cover and hand-stitched binding.



The next mountain? VOLUME TWOOOOOOO!

(…and a crazy letterpress edition of a friend’s poetry, several smaller comics about mythology and my colossal clumsiness, and a proposed project dealing with displacement and the dual citizen experience.)


Lighting the Fire

In the little town of White River Junction, Vermont, far away from the bustle of the big city, there’s this school. It’s not your usual school. It’s pretty small. Pretty new. But it’s a marvel — a straight up phenomenon among graduate programs, among schools, among communities of any kind, so maybe you’ve heard of…

CCS was founded in 2005 with a commitment to delivering excellent education in the field of comics, cartooning, and graphic novels. They offer certificate and MFA programs as well as summer workshops for youth and adults alike, one of which I attended during the first week of this month. The 5-day course is designed for students who have personal projects they’d like to workshop and push to completion with the support and guidance of professionals.

The experience, alas, doesn’t really fit well into words, but the basic breakdown went like this:

I arrived is a messy haze of uncertainty, unsure of what my project was going to be, worried that my choice to major in studio art was going to turn out to be just one more failure-bound attempt to find my tribe of like-minded people. That my dedication to my own creativity was waning. That I wasn’t any good, or worse, that I was a poser. That I’d be “found out.”

In short, I was a mess. Somewhere, vaguely in the back of my mind, I had thoughts about doing some sort of mythological adaptation series, or a one-off about traveling alone in Europe, but nothing had even been doodled about, let alone planned to the point of being serviceable. But on day one, confronted with the stirring words of our first lecturer, the frighteningly prolific Jason Lutes, in a room full of 36 other aspiring cartoonists of all ages and backgrounds, I found myself thinking about sailing as a potential topic. It’s something I’m passionate about, it would be a blast to draw (if I didn’t go mad from all the rigging), and I doubt there’s very much else on the market at the moment that deals with it from a 21st century sailor’s perspective. Suddenly, my brain seemed to open up to the possibilities of creation again, and thus Baggywrinkles was born.

Of course, I didn’t know it was going to be called Baggywrinkles right then. There’s a whole messy cloud of potential nautical titles on my first page of sketchbook notes, all crawling over one another like ants, the occasional hopeful circled in darker lines. But as soon as I jotted it down, I realized it was perfect. It’s one of those profoundly bizarre sailing terms that makes no sense at all while managing to be vaguely charming and curiosity-piquing. “What’re those fuzzy things?” is also the most frequently-asked question any sailor will come into contact with when people visit the boat — understandably. I mean, look at this thing:

If that’s hanging five feet above my head, I damn well want to know what the blazes it’s doing up there and whether it’s hungry for lunch. (It’s also interesting and vaguely alarming to note that when I Google image searched “baggywrinkle,” the only listed related search was for “weiner mobile.” At least we know I’ll be attracting a classy audience.)

So, with this dubious and titillating title in hand, I dove in. And I mean really dove in. There was nothing in my life aside from comics for every one of those 5 days. No updates for friends and family, no journal writing to take the edge off, no supplemental reading, no sightseeing in the Northeast, nothing. Just me, the drawing table, a mugful of pens, and a superstar lineup of comics professionals telling me to keep pushing pen to paper. There were rabble-rousing pep talks from Alec Longstreth, inking demos with kick-ass comics veteran Steve Bissette, whirlwind screenprinting technique seminars with the effervescent Jon Chad, and kaleidoscopic spreads of minicomics from Robyn Chapman. And what’s more, their enthusiasm was contagious. I caught the bug, or it caught me. However that works.

The upshot was utter, electric dedication. I came out the other end brandishing a fully-inked, 8-page comic — with plans for a second issue already boiling over in the back of my mind. Of course, there were a couple days there where I didn’t really sleep, and definitely a couple meals that I sort of forgot to eat, but it was more than worth it. The satisfaction and astonishment of seeing what I’d managed to create in such a short period of time were enough to have me dancing with glee all the way back to California.

Because really, if you can create something like that in 5 days, there are no more excuses. All the daunting specters of creative work vanish when you’ve pushed yourself to just charge through them at full speed without stopping because you can’t get an angle or a pose or a word balloon right. It’s like the sensation runners call “hitting the wall.” The ones who know what they’re about generally reach that point and just punch their way through it. When I used to hit that spot, I’d back down and find something else to do, but now? I go at is with my fists. Because I know that whatever’s on the other side is worth fighting for.

Why else would they have stuck it back there in first place?