Greetings, East Coasters! I’m heading to your fine shores this weekend (June 6th & 7th) for Special Edition: New York, a comics-centric show from the folks who bring you New York Comic Con. I’ll be in Artist Alley at Table H3. There’s a great line-up of creators attending, and I’m really excited to do my first-ever show in New York (and stick around for a few days to explore the city). I even designed one of the show badges!
Our pieces needed to include a New York landmark, so of course I chose the South Street Seaport Museum, home of the tall ship Peking. I can’t wait to visit and see her in person—did you know she’s featured on one of my super fancy nautical postcards? She’s also the subject of Irving Johnson’s incredible film “Around Cape Horn”, which is a must-see for anyone interested in tall ship culture.
I’ll be bringing loads of great comics, including the first six issues of Cartozia Tales! These award-winning all-ages adventure comics are generally only available by mail subscription, so be sure to stop by and pick up some signed copies in person—I’ll even have sticker sheets and paper dolls. Here’s a selection of pages I’ve been drawing for the series:
If you want to learn more about Cartozia, there’s some really fun behind-the-scenes stuff happening on our Tumblr this week. Take a peek!
I’ll also be running an iteration of the ever-popular Freelance Like a Rockstar panel on Saturday from 3:45 to 4:45pm in Theater 2. Come learn about freelance career secrets from me, Ron Chan, Cat Farris, Molly Ostertag, and Katie Lane. I’m really thrilled with this line-up—lots of experienced folks who can share valuable advice and answer your burning questions. More details here.
I think that’s it from me—hope to see you in the Big Apple!
I was beyond stoked when I found out that our “fun bonus” feature for Cartozia Tales Issue 4 was going to be STICKER SHEETS. I go nuts for stickers — who doesn’t? So I spent all day Tuesday drawing this sheet of some of my favorite characters: a Philosopher Bird, a Mask Bear mask, Master Cyrus, Wick the Wind-up Man, Lila the Sprigster, a Tickle Crab, and Minnaig the Otter-girl, star of my most recent story for the series. They’re gonna be printed in little 5”x7” sheets and paired with a second batch of characters illustrated by my co-contributor Lupi McGinty.
I cannot wait to stick these all over everything I own.
Also: have a preview panel! This last weekend in Portland was all snow and chaos, so I took the opportunity to hunker down at home and churn out my story for Issue 4: The Rite Choice.
Welcome, friends, to my brand new site! After realizing that my former blog theme was no longer supported on WordPress and therefore failing to load images properly, I upgraded to a new theme and have spent the afternoon putting together a more robust and well organized homepage for you all to enjoy.
There are some sections that are still under construction and some kinks that are still getting worked out, so do bear with me as I bumble though, but hopefully the overall experience is much improved.
Since this wouldn’t be a proper blog post without some art, here’s a smattering of doodles from the past week. I’ve been out sick for four days with a killer cold, so this has basically been my M.O. of late:
Then there’s the first wave of backer birds for those of you who were kind enough to support the Cartozia Tales Kickstarter. Thank you!
And a couple portraits from the past month to round things out:
In honor of completing my story for Cartozia #3 last week, I decided to do a little warm-up sketch of my two protagonists on Sunday. Meet Grumley and Bumley, cantankerous fishermen at large.
I’ve also been trying to get back into the habit of doing warm-up sketches on a more regular basis, so here are some heads, hands, and hounds.
And then just a few assorted figures I’ve been noodling around with. You might recognize John Elliott (one of my favorite folk musicians at the moment) and Dan Weber (only one B, ignore that note), who played a great gig at Al’s Den a few months ago in Portland. There’s also a dress from the fantastic OMG That Dress tumblr. And me as a pretentious art critic, for reasons unknown.
Just finished a mad dash to finish line on my latest story for Cartozia Tales. Did I mention WE MET OUR KICKSTARTER GOAL? Holy cow, Internet. You really pulled through on that one and I’m so incredibly grateful. Thanks to all of you who helped spread the word and raise us over our massive goal. You’re all great.
Of course this means that I get to work on this series for an entire year! I can’t wait to see where it goes. Anyway, this is a small smattering of panels from Kevin’s Catch, which will appear in Cartozia #3. Want to be the first to get your hands on a copy? You can subscribe right now! Otherwise I’ll be posting a link when the issue goes live.
What ho, faithful followers! I’m finally back in the land of civilization after 21 days of hiking, climbing, rowing, and getting dunked repeatedly in very cold water-ing. I don’t have adequate words to explain what an extraordinary time I had, but here’s a picture from Day 5.
I know. It’s ridiculous.
Despite my near-constant sogginess, I did manage to draw a page(ish) of diary comics every day during the trip as a sort of personal experiment. They’re a little grubby in places since my sketchbook was subjected to many indignities (most of them involving water, sand, or some silty combination of the two), but I hope they capture a small slice of what things were like. I’ll be putting that up for download tomorrow once I get within reach of a scanner.
In the meantime, here’s some exciting stuff that’s worthy of note:
1. I’ll be tabling at Rose City Comic Con THIS WEEKEND! Come by Table G-03 to marvel at my fabulous sunburn and get your hands on some thrilling new comics. The show takes place at the Oregon Convention Center and runs 10am-7pm on Saturday and 10am-5pm on Sunday. I’ll have several standard titles on the table, including Baggywrinkles 1-4, True Believer, and the last, rare copies of Tales from the Fragment, but I will ALSO be debuting the following new n’ shiny books:
WATERLOGGED: TALES FROM THE SEVENTH SEA features 200+ pages of two-color nautical comics in a gorgeous hardcover package. I’ll be seeing the book in person for the first time on Saturday, so if you come by for a copy don’t be surprised if I’m clutching one to my breast and weeping tears of joy. Inside you’ll find stories by many fantastic Canadian creators, as well as my piece with Shannon Campbell: Navy Ink. By all reports this thing is gorgeous. It’ll be going for $25.
Meanwhile, CARTOZIA TALES is now on its second issue and I absolutely cannot wait to show both of them to everyone who stops by. I’ll even have the paper doll postcards I designed on hand, so you can take a couple and create your own Cartozian Battle Contingient. Or Peaceful Hunter-Gatherer Tribe. Whatever floats your boat.
Each Issue is $6 and includes 40-pages of all-ages fantasy and adventure. (You can find the wardrobes I designed for our two paper figures in Issue 2.) If you really like what you see, I’ll have flyers with rewards and a QR code for our very-close-to-finished Kickstarter Campaign, so you can be sure to sign up for a full subscription and guarantee an issue in your mailbox every five weeks!
2. Speaking of the Cartozia Kickstarter, the campaign is roaring forward and we’re entering the final 5-day push. We have about $14k left to raise, so it’s down to the wire! If you haven’t yet pledged some bucks, now’s the time. Remember: any pledge gets you access to PDFs of Issues 1 and 2, so you can get a sense of what we’re about before you subscribe.
We’ve added some stellar new rewards over the past weeks, including a special package for retailers. If you’re affiliated with a local comic shop, or would like to see Cartozia at a store near you, do check out the $122 Retailer Special tier.
Additionally, one of my absolute favorite creators, Kevin Cannon, has been hard at work on his story for Cartozia Issue 3. The previews he’s posting are making me weep with envy and excitement (THE LETTERING! THE HATCHING! THE PIRATES!), and you can purchase the entire set of original pages through the Kickstarter. The reward even includes a full subscription! Just be careful I don’t save up enough to pledge for it first. I’m sorely tempted.
Thanks to all of you who were patient with orders and emails while I’ve been gone. I promise I’ll be catching up on all that in the next few days. For those of you in Portland area, I hope to see you this weekend at Rose City!
Greetings, dear readers! I write to you from somewhere in the mountainous Utah desert, surrounded by the chaos of packing and provisioning for an important voyage. This will be my last online appearance before a 21-day rafting trip down all 287 miles of the Grand Canyon. I’ve been planning this adventure in one form or another for the past 15 years with my best friend and partner in crime (pictured below) and now our hard work is finally coming to fruition.
Of course since this is primarily a work blog, it bears mentioning that this trip will represent my longest hiatus from the Internet since, well, since the Internet became a thing. This is pretty staggering for me to think about, especially considering how much of my livelihood depends on this beast now. However, I have to admit that I’m really excited. It can be so hard to truly switch off and disconnect when you’re constantly tethered to your work via digital communication. So despite my anxieties about missing out on online excitements, I’m ready.
Before I go, though, there are a couple things I wanted to make sure you all got wind of.
First! The Cartozia Tales Kickstarter is still going strong, and we’ve added some really excellent rewards that I think you’ll all appreciate. We now have prints of our incredible cover art and, more importantly, DIGITAL SUBSCRIPTIONS! This is a great, affordable option for those of you who live abroad and can’t commit to the hefty shipping bill (I know, it’s a pain), or folks who just don’t own that many physical comics.
More importantly, Isaac has just released a complete PDF of Issue 1 to ALL BACKERS, regardless of pledge level. Furthermore, he’ll be adding a complete PDF of Issue 2 sometime in the next couple weeks! This means that if you back the project at any level, even for just a dollar, you get access to the content we’ve produced so far. I think this is a great move since it allows you all to see what we’re really about, and if you like what you see, you can up your pledge to a digital or physical half or whole subscription and help us produce a year’s worth of really excellent comics.
Yes, I’m a bundle of nerves about leaving the campaign for three weeks, but I trust you all to keep the momentum and enthusiasm going while I’m away. I’ll be back to cheer on the final 7 days at the end of September. A quick reminder of some easy things you can do to support us in the meantime:
If you’re having major Lucy Withdrawal while I’m away, here are a couple things to keep you occupied:
I was delighted to return to the Happy Go Lucky podcast a few weeks ago to discuss a topic near and dear to my heart: artistic insecurity! In Episode 26, otherwise known as “These Hands Look Weird“, Leia, Ben, Jesse and I all talk about our deepest fears and anxieties, spanning writing, graphic design, illustration, comics, and more. If you struggle with feeling like a fake, or constantly find yourself diffusing other’s compliments about your work, this is probably the podcast for you.
You can follow the Happy Go Lucky Podcast team on Twitter and subscribe to the podcast via iTunes if you’re looking for more.
In addition to Leia’s podcast, Alex Dueben was kind enough to post this lengthy interview with yours truly over on Comic Book Resources last week. We talk all about my work in the past year, including Baggywrinkles, Cartozia, my guest strip for Oh Joy, Sex Toy, working at Periscope, and what the future holds. It was a great opportunity to think about all the stuff that’s happened in the past year. So much drawing! So many new faces! So much excitement! I can’t wait to find out what happens next.
And I think that’s it for media news, which means it’s time to say goodbye. I’ll be back online at the end of September with lots of photos and stories to share (I’m trying to keep a daily diary comic going on the trip. We’ll find out how well that goes).
You’ve heard me shouting about it for months and end, and now the day is finally here! The Cartozia Kickstarter Campaign has launched with an incredible outpouring of support from fans all over the world. I’m so excited to share it with you.
In case you’ve missed it the last fifteen times I’ve gushed about Cartozia on the web, it’s an all-ages fantasy series set in a shared world and brought to life by a core team of eight indie cartoonists. With the guidance of our fearless editor Isaac Cates, we’ve published the first two issues on our own dime, and now we’re aiming to fund an entire year’s worth of 40-page issues. It’s an audacious campaign, but I have faith that we’re going to knock it out of the park.
From story to story and issue to issue, we swap characters and locations via a game of chance, building on one another’s ideas to create a dynamic narrative landscape. Two guest stars per issue help keep things fresh, and we’ve got some incredible names on the project (James Kochalka! Brittney Sabo! Evan Dahm! Eleanor Davis! Dylan Horrocks!).
I’m fairly certain this type of storytelling has never been done before on such a scale, and the results so far have been fantastic — immersive and playful for kids, engaging and complex for adults. We’re making Cartozia Tales because we think the world needs more comics that will attract young readers and let them celebrate adventure, curiosity, exploration, and fun, but we can’t make it happen without your help.
If you want to dive in and make this thing happen, here are some ideas to get you started:
I’ll be posting more news as I get it, but right now the biggest goal is setting this campaign off to a roaring start. I can’t wait to see where it goes. As an added incentive, here’s a full gallery of all the ridiculous dances I was giving away earlier this week to celebrate early subscribers to the series:
Joy of joys! My copies of Cartozia #1 arrived over the weekend and HOLY COW they are bee-yoo-tiful. Isaac did a stellar job with the print quality and paper stock, and the stories all look gorgeous. I just can’t stop touching them.
We’ll be running a Kickstarter for the full year’s worth of issues later this month, but I encourage all of you to order or subscribe NOW, as the price will go up to account for Kickstarter fees and other sundry costs. The more subscribers we get now, the lower our target goal will be and the higher our chances of succeeding. Plus, this is a beautiful and innovative comic, and I’m excited to get it into as many hands as possible.
If you’re allergic to ordering things on the Internet, I’ll also have these first issues for sale in person at Rose City Comic Con next month. No excuses!
So I just got word from our fearless editor Isaac Cates that Cartozia Tales #1 is hot off the press and headed out TODAY! Here’s a couple phone-quality photos of the first issue:
You can still snag a copy for the pre-order sale price ($5!) until Isaac starts shipping orders in earnest, so be sure to grab one THIS VERY SECOND! Seriously, initial support is crucial to the continuation of this series, which will run for a whole year (and possibly more), so the more the merrier at this point. Plus, I’m super proud of all the work that went into this and I think the contributors are all a buncha badasses, so, y’know. There’s that.
We’ll also be launching a Kickstarter later this month, but subscriptions and single issues are cheaper if you order straight through the store right now, so get to it!
And since we just can’t stop, here’s a couple panels from my story for the second issue, which I just wrapped up earlier this week:
Want to know more about Reshii and his quest? You can catch the first part of his story, illustrated by Sarah Becan, in Issue 1. My piece for Issue 2 explores the mysteries of the China Labyrinth, which was one of my absolute favorite places to design. I’m hoping to do a little “Learn More” featurette about its unique ecosystem somewhere in Issue 2. Keep your eyes peeled.