Roger Fenton vs. The Crimean War

To whet everyone’s appetites, here’s the first page of a short comic I just finished about Roger Fenton’s photographic exploits during the Crimean War. The comic is partly a response to this piece in the NYT, which discusses In the Valley of the Shadow of Death, Fenton’s most famous shot. This was some wild speculation about where the image came from with a healthy dose of artistic experimentation thrown in. I’m getting more and more excited about watercolors these days, and wish I’d had more time to tackle painting this, but I may still go back and add some more detail. The inking was all done with a fountain pen in a sketchier style than I generally go for. Any thoughts on the difference greatly appreciated. I’ll post another page tomorrow. Enjoy!

The Year of Living Monogamously

This is a thorny one.

Our first assignment for the Graphic Novels and War course at Reed this semester asked us to explore a conflict. Specifically: “the largest conflict you’ve become aware of in the past year and how it has shaped you.” I tried to pick something a little more distant and less self-involved than my angsty issues about relationships, but if I’m honest, the questions outlined here have changed me drastically over the past 12 months.

It’s hard to post things of this nature out on the Internet for all to see. Partly because these characters are recognizable to the people who know them, partly because I move in a lot of circles that are heavily populated with poly and open folks. I should point out that I’ve talked with many of them in the course of this saga, trying to understand who’s making it work and how, where the nuances and challenges lie, and discussing whether I’m crazy to stick to my guns on this issue. Should I sacrifice my beliefs and emotional safety for the sake of staying with someone I love deeply? The answer seems easy on paper. But things like this are never simple.

Everyone is different. Everyone has preferences. Levels of trust and communication between individuals vary wildly, people’s emotional history is scattered all across the map. There is no simple answer. This was just an attempt to organize some sort of response to what’s been happening — even though I’m still far too caught up in it to feel like I have any real distance.

So with all that serious disclaimer stuff out of the way, here’s some art.

That’s all for now.

The Figure: Semester Recap (NSFWish)

Yes, yes, it’s another figure drawing post so, y’know, the occasional boob may have snuck in. Be warned.


Since it’ll be a few days before I get around to properly photographing the Wherefore container, I thought I’d entertain you all with some coursework. Here’s a selection of gesture drawings, anatomical/foreshortening studies, and a series of longer poses exploring midtone paper from this semester’s Figure class.

And, as a bonus: CANDLE FINGERS! This was our final project, which centered around modification of the body. I built the double-ended finger candle from casts of my own digits, recast the whole thing in beeswax, then lit it on fire during critique while giving a reading of Edna St. Vincent Millay’s “First Fig”. For whatever reason, horizontal candles burn much faster than vertical ones, so the final state of waxy carnage (pictured at right) probably only took about 15 minutes to fully achieve.

Stay tuned!

The Fragment is Here!

Wow. Apologies for all the photos in this post, but there didn’t seem to be a better way to convey all this. Thank goodness for WordPress slideshows.

So here, in its entirety, is Tales from the Fragment. The first part of the slideshow is a walkthrough of the final product. Each new image corresponds to a folding out of one of the tabs or panels, if that makes any sense. The rest of the shots are all production related because, let’s face it, there’s something mesmerizing about seeing your work duplicated. Also: black toner hands of DOOM. It took forever to scrub that shit off.

There are few things that needed tweaking, spacing-wise, which will be corrected when I print a second run to (shh) sell through the site. For now, though, those copies will be going to the other members of the class.


And as if that weren’t enough, I shirked academic duties today in order to stop being a wuss and finish laying out Baggywrinkles #1! The covers look amazing and I can’t wait to get it all assembled in the next few days. I’ll be sure to start squealing with glee as soon as it’s up for purchasing in the Emporium. Until then, no running with scissors!