I had a ton of fun wrapping up these watercolor paintings for my top-tier backers on the Baggywrinkles Kickstarter last week. Here’s a look at the final lineup of paintings:
Clockwise from upper left, we’ve got El Galeon (hiding behind PDX YAR’s First Mate), L’Hermione, Brig Niagara, and Kalmar Nyckel (in disguise under a different paint job, for reasons outlined in this Tumblr post).
In the process of getting all of these done, I learned a bunch about making time-lapse videos, which you can check out below:
I put up an informative essay each month about some aspect of my creative process, along with a load of other content for folks to read/watch/listen to/generally enjoy. I serious adore Patreon as a platform for making more of this work possible, so if you haven’t already checked it out, go take a peek! (There’s a lot of free stuff there, too, if you don’t want to commit to chucking some money my way each month.)
Fittingly, I’m writing this blog post from the deck of the Oliver Hazard Perry, a new tall ship in Rhode Island that I’m currently working aboard as a visiting artist. But that’s secondary to the following exciting news of the day: I’ve got a new comic up on The Nib!
For the last few months I’ve been researching and illustrating this brief introduction to the modern world of sail cargo—a movement driven by environmentalism, optimism, and countless volunteer hours. There are a surprising number of operations around the world working to convert tall ships into viable cargo-carrying vessels—or build new ones from the ground up.
It’s a trend I find deeply fascinating, and my only regret was not being able to fit more of my research into this introduction. The sailors working on these vessels are the embodiment of enthusiasm and dedication, and I really enjoyed talking with them during my research.
Of particular interest right now: Sailcargo Inc. are launching their Kickstarter to build a dedicated cargo vessel (Ceiba) from scratch in Costa Rica! Keep an eye on their website for details on the launch.
Fairtransport are also making great strides in building a coalition of sail cargo vessels around the world. Their website has a wealth of information, including vessel tracking and more. View all the ships in their network here.
Of course there are also efforts being made to implement modern sailing technology on existing container ships at a grander scale. To learn more about the DynaRig technology behind parts of that movement, check out this article. There’s some fascinating stuff afoot, and even though it’s moving slowly, progress is being made.
I’ll have more news after my week aboard the Perry, but until then, enjoy the comic!
There is a fabled holiday in the East, my friends. A weekend celebration of comics and friendship SO GREAT, SO VAST it has been known to BLOT OUT THE SUN. Under a single roof one may find the grandest collection of independent comics practitioners in the Western Hemisphere. There is where friendships are forged in the fires of community bonding, where children frolic in the aisles and parents stagger forth laden with armfuls of glorious sequential material.
Yes, that’s right: it’s TCAF TIME!
It’s no secret that TCAF is pretty much my favorite show ever. The audience, the venue, the exhibitors, the panels—everything there is just the greatest, and I’m so proud to announce that Baggywrinkles: a Lubber’s Guide to Life at Sea will be making its debut at this year’s festival!
Here’s a sneak peek at the lovely advance run of books that we had printed just in time:
In addition to tabling at Table 279, you can also find me at the following events (during which time I will, obviously, not be at my table—plan accordingly!):
Saturday, 1:30 – 2:30 — Comics 101: How to Start Publishing Your Comics (Marriott: Summerhill Room)
Reading comics is not enough and your passion for the medium has manifested into the next form — making them! Self-publishing your own comics will be a snap with the helpful expert advice of indie comics pubs and creators Raighne Hogan (2dcloud), Hazel Newlevant (Chainmail Bikini), Lucy Bellwood (Baggywrinkles), Kevin Czap (Czap Books). Moderated by Rachel Kahn.
Sure we all love comics, but what’s the other thing that makes you light up like an incandescent bulb? Specialization isn’t just key to evolution—it can help bring new focus to your work and encourage readers to learn from (and share!) your enthusiasm. Join Kate Beaton (history), Erika Moen (sex and sexuality), Lisa Hanawalt (horses), and Lucy Bellwood (boats) for a discussion of how niche interests can lead to diverse, vibrant careers.
Bring out the inner artistry of your little ones at the Draw-Along Kids Room! All day, we are cycling in the best of childrens’ comics artists to draw alongside our youngest attendees. Come by and let your imaginations run wild with real, live cartoonists!
Some big, big, BIG news for you this week, friends:
The Animation Workshop in Viborg, Denmark has invited me to come teach a two-week class on webcomics, the Internet, and modern career options for independent cartoonists. I am beside myself with excitement. I fly in just ten days and there’s a lot to get done before I go, but I just can’t wait to meet this batch of dedicated students. I mean, seriously, go look at the work they’ve been doing here (comics-specific work can be found on this Tumblr). SO COOL.
I’ve also never been to Scandinavia before, so I’m extra thrilled to be exploring a new part of Europe. Apparently there’s nifty cathedral in Viborg, but you all know what I’m really holding out for.
Perhaps. We shall see.
I’m looking into options for capturing and broadcasting bits of the class while I’m there, so if this is a subject that interests you be sure to follow along on Twitter—I’ll do my best to share work in progress and notes from the trip on there!
Ahoy, friends! I am so, so excited to announce that Baggywrinkles: A Lubber’s Guide to Life at Sea will be hitting Kickstarter July 20th.
What is Baggywrinkles, you ask? Why, it’s my educational, autobiographical comic series about living aboard an 18th century tall ship! You can read the first five issues online for free, and check out new content from the series every week on Patreon. I’ve been working on these short stories intermittently since 2010, and I’m finally ready to bring the whole bundle together under one cover.
So next Monday (July 20th) I’m launching a campaign to fund the printing of a 100-page, 6×9″ softcover collection featuring Issues 1-5, the never-before-seen-in-print Issue 6 (all about the history of scurvy), and a host of other exclusive goodies. Take a look at the finished cover design!
I’ve been hard at work with a team of stellar professionals to make this collection something you’ll all be proud to own—we’re talking French Flaps, patterned endpapers, high-quality matte paper stock, and deliciously thick covers.
I’ve also got some really neat extra rewards. Like remember this giant guide to sailors’ tattoos I drew for the Vancouver Maritime Museum?
Well, I’m gonna turn it into a super fancy two-color, limited edition letterpress print in collaboration with the fine folks at Twin Ravens Press in Eugene, OR! And there’s more extra rewards to come.
This post is your official warning to watch this space (or follow me on Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, and Instagram) for the campaign launch next week, and to keep your eyes peeled because I’ve got a very special stretch goal that I’ll be announcing once the book goes live.
Another week, another new comic over on The Nib! I decided to settle the matter of people always asking me about these perfectly innocent nautical terms. Seriously you guys, there’s nothing dirty about a Lubber’s Hole at all. Read the comic and all will be revealed.
After many long weeks of toil, I’m thrilled to announce that Down to the Seas Again, my travelogue comic from this summer’s trip aboard the Charles W. Morgan, is officially at the press and available for pre-order and PDF download! Pre-ordered print editions will begin shipping September 22nd. They’re 20 pages, full color, and (if I do say so myself) totally gorgeous. Colorhaus did a fantastic job on the printing and I can’t wait to start getting them into your hands.
If you’re attending the Small Press Expo in Bethesda, MD this weekend, you can catch the official print debut and pick one up in person at Table C14, or you can find me at Rose City Comic Con next week with additional copies!
You can also get more of a behind-the-scenes experience by pledging as little as $1 a month over on my Patreon page, where I’ve been posting a lot of process stuff and background info with each page.
Finally, thanks to all of you who came out to the Sequential Art Gallery show opening last week. I had a great time chatting with you all about boats and process and upcoming plans. The pages will be up all month if you missed the party and would like to go take a look! Here’s the gallery’s page with more details.
Hope to see many of you in the next few weeks at SPX and RCCC!
A quick post today to let you all know I’ve got two new audio interviews up for your listening pleasure!
I had a great time guesting on KBOO’s Words and Pictures show a couple weeks ago, where I talked to host S. W. Conser about my recent projects, including my upcoming show at Portland’s Sequential Art Gallery (more on that tomorrow!). You can give that a listen right here.
I also had the immense pleasure of talking with fellow boat-savvy cartoonist Chris Schweizer as part of his new conversational podcast. We delve into all sorts of stuff including (but not limited to) boats, comics, theater, higher education, and French comics. Chris is not only a stellar cartoonist and history buff (have you read Crogan’s Vengeance? YOU SHOULD. IT HAS GOT BOATS IN), but also an eloquent, fascinating guy. This was a blast! You can expect more of these recordings from him in the future, so keep an eye out.
I’ll be back tomorrow with more details about next week’s show at the Sequential Art Gallery. Hooray!
I’m departing for Boston this evening for a week of historical research and sailing aboard the Charles W. Morgan, an original 1840s wooden whaling ship. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, feel free to refresh your memory with this post. I’ve got some fun stuff scheduled for the blog while I’m away, so stay tuned for news and thrilling events that will autopost in my absence. I’ll also do my best to update from the road — or water, as it were.
In addition: I would also love to see any and all of you in the Boston area at Trident Booksellers and Cafe, where I’ll be doing a reading/signing on July 14th at 7pm. This is my first solo signing event, and I’m really excited to meet all my East Coast boat comics people. Here’s a link to Trident’s site with some more info, plus a Facebook event where you can invite your friends.
Big news, friends! I’ve been selected to participate in a fellowship program through the Mystic Seaport Maritime Museum this summer, sailing aboard the last wooden whaling ship in the world — the Charles W. Morgan. This is a huge thrill, and promises to be the catalyst for a new installment of adventurous nautical comics. Just look at this beauty:
Originally launched in the 1840s, the Morgan has been fully restored and will be sailing around the Eastern Seaboard for three months this summer, taking on 80 fellowship participants who will each capture an aspect of the voyage according to their own disciplines. Needless to say I’ll be drawing some comics and sharing them all with you when I return! Here’s the itinerary:
While the stint aboard is brief (a mere 24 hours), I hope to use my time in the area to visit a few other vessels as well as Mystic Seaport itself to gather more info for the comic. I’ll very likely be based in Boston during the trip, and am looking into the possibility of doing a reading while I’m there, so stay tuned for more details as July draws near!
You can learn more about the various voyagers and their many specialties here. I’ll be sailing on the second day sail from Provincetown on or around July 10th. For more information about the voyage, the ship’s restoration, and local events you can attend, visit Mystic Seaport’s homepage for the 38th Voyage.
Do you live in Boston and have a recommendation for a good reading venue? Let me know! Otherwise keep your eyes peeled for reading details, further updates and sketches from the road once I set out.