Summer Travels: The 38th Voyage

38th-Voyage

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:

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Charles-W.-Morgan2-640x423Originally 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:

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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.

 

Grand Adventure — Part 2

More comics! For you! Here’s the second installment of pages from my Grand Canyon trip last month, covering the Adventure with the Flash Flood and our run through Lava Falls. The last batch of pages will go up on Wednesday due to a Leaving My Sketchbook at Home Like an Idiot error.

For the many of you who have asked about a print edition, never fear. Your wild cries have been heard and I’ll be putting one together before the end of October. Thanks for convincing me to make ’em!

Grand Adventure – Part 1

As promised, here’s the first half of my diary strips from my trip through the Grand Canyon! I had so much fun drawing these. It’s been far too long since I had the space and time to just draw for myself every day. Part two should be up sometime next week, so keep an eye out.

Enjoy!

CAKE Recap

In accordance with the Universal Law of My Rubbish Immune System, I’ve come down with a nasty post-CAKE illness, but at least I made it through the first leg of convention season with my health intact!

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The trip to Chicago was an absolute blast. Not only was the show full of lovely comics and new friends, I got to go out dancing twice* and catch so much sweet live blues. There were also rooftop BBQ parties and thunderstorms and it was splendid.

*There are rumors I won a booty-shaking competition, but I can neither confirm nor deny the fact.

Here’s a big ol’ photodump of images from the trip — including a pilgrimage to Myopic Books, the ACTUAL CAKE they provided for exhibitors, Mr. Sam Alden, my lovely table mate, Ms. Rachel Foss, my new partner in cross-country comics crime, getting a peek at the new issue of Symbolia, selling out of True Believer, various doodles, and the fabulous kale and pulled pork I had for lunch on the last day. More news as soon as I stop feeling like someone shoved a couple golf balls down my throat!

Erika Moen (New Comic!)

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Let me tell you guys about Erika Moen.

I started reading Erika’s autobio series DAR long before I’d ever considered drawing comics for a living. Her hilarious, honest snapshots of life encompassed the struggles of being a creative person, the joy and humor of sex, and the complexities of personal identity. The comics were brave and open and unlike anything else I’d read on the web or in print. They inspired me. I remember attending the Portland Zine Symposium in 2009 and being too embarrassed to go up and talk to her. Other shows followed, and eventually I managed to say hi a few times. She started to recognize me vaguely from show to show. I bought a lot of books. One year I unthinkingly set a punnet of strawberries down on her display and felt so mortified when she asked me to move them that I fled the convention, convinced I would live in infamy as That Horrible Strawberry Lady. Anyway, point being, I thought Erika was the best, but I was pretty sure we’d never be friends.

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Fast forward six years. Since finding out about Periscope through Erika getting a position there, I’d finally worked up the courage to apply for their internship. After working at the Studio for several months, I was asked to stay on as an assistant. During that time, I found myself working alongside one of my original inspirations for getting into making comics in the first place. I was starstruck and terrified at times, but everyone was so welcoming and helpful that soon I began to feel like I belonged.

Erika recently launched a new project called Oh Joy, Sex Toy, a weekly webcomic reviewing — you guessed it — instruments of pleasure. I’ve always been impressed by her openness when it comes to talking about sex, and the comic has been a delight so far. (It is, of course, very not safe for work, so click that link at your own risk.)

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When we were flying back from the Toronto Comic Arts Festival a few weeks ago, Erika mentioned that she was swamped with work this month and concerned about finding time to draw enough. Screwing up my courage, I dared to volunteer my services as a guest artist. “Oh my gosh, would you?”

UH, YES. YES I WOULD.

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So here we are, ten days later. I managed to tie my boat-loving tendencies into a beginner’s guide to rope bondage (again, obviously NSFW). I crammed in extra hours of inking in cars and on bar counters during VanCAF this weekend. I scrambled for reference materials and resources to create the best comic I possibly could. I panicked about putting something out with my name on it that departed from my usual, family-friendly fare.

And then I showed it to Erika.

And she was thrilled.

This person I’ve admired for six years, this person who inspired me to start down the crazy life path I’m suddenly blazing along — this person thinks I’ve done something cool.

It’s been a wild year — from funding True Believer last May to starting at Periscope to publishing new comics to tabling at conventions far and wide — but this just about takes the cake. I’m so happy and proud to be doing the work I’m doing, I’m excited for all the projects I have coming up in the next few months, and I’m insanely grateful to all the people who have supported me thus far.

Of course, I’m also an absolute wreck from doing shows every other weekend for the past month, and from pushing myself on all these deadlines, but I’m very, very glad to be where I am. Which is in bed. Preparing to sleep for as long as I possibly can.

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(Thanks for reading my mush, you guys. I’ve got the warm fuzzies pretty hardcore right now.)

VanCAF This Weekend!

VanCAFGet ready, Canada. There’s a wave of fabulous Portlanders headed your way this weekend for the impeccable show that is VanCAF!

I had an incredible time at this show last year, so I’m really excited to be heading up again to celebrate with all my Canadian comics buddies. I hope you’ll join us! That this weekend (May 25-26) at the Roundhouse Community Center (181 Roundhouse Mews) in Vancouver. The show is totally freeeee and runs 10am-6pm on Saturday and 11am-5pm on Sunday.

I’ll have brand new copies of Baggywrinkles #4 as well as Issues 1 – 3, True Believer, and Tales from the Fragment. Not to mention buttons and other goodies. You can find me at Table B4 alongside many lovely Portland creators. I’ve even made you a handy map so you can find me, Sam Alden, Ezra ButtTerri Nelson, Dylan Meconis, Erika Moen, Amy Falcone, and Steve Lieber ALL IN ONE CONVENIENT LOCATION.

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(If you want the bigger picture, here’s the entire convention floor map. Click to enlarge!)

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In addition to tabling it up all weekend, I’m excited to be appearing on the Breaking Into Comics panel with Ed BrissonJesse Davidge, and Jason Turner! The conversation will be modered by Doug Savage, who will quiz us brutally on how we got started in the business of drawing funnybooks for a living. That goes down Sunday from 12 to 12:45.

ALSO: While you’re in Vancouver, be sure to check out the Maritime Museum’s exhibit on Tattoos and Scrimshaw, where you can find this ginormous poster I illustrated about common nautical tattoos! You can even buy copies of Baggywrinkles in the Museum’s gift store. Aw yis. I’ll probably be heading over there Monday to see the show in person, so if you want to tag along, come find me at the show!

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Okay, I think that’s enough convention promotion for now. Phew! See you in Canada, friends.

Periscope Portrait

I’m sad to report that my internship at Periscope Studio officially came to a close on February 27th. It was an amazing four and a half months, but I’m not going to write too much about what being there meant to me. Not only because I’ll get all mushy and start crying on you guys, but also because…

I’M NOT GOING ANYWHERE! That’s right. I know. I don’t believe it myself, but it’s true. I get to stay. At Periscope. For the foreseeable future. (I’m trying to use real words to talk about this rather than just replacing every letter in this sentence with an exclamation point, can you tell?)

Now, I’m only a lowly Studio Assistant, but it means I’ll continue to work alongside an incredible group of dedicated, powerhouse artists who inspire me to improve every day. If I have to run blogs and scan pages and help with shipping to make that happen, I’m more than happy to do so.

ANYWAY. That’s some of the big news I’ve been sitting on for a while. And boy howdy am I excited about it.

To thank everyone at the Studio for being so welcoming and helpful, I spent part of last week drawing up this group portrait of all the members. Ain’t they a studly bunch?

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I’ll be away in California for the next three weeks helping out with a family medical situation, but I hope to keep you all abreast of what’s on the drawing table during that time. (And I should note that any orders you place in the store while I’m gone won’t ship until I return on April 3rd! Thanks for being patient.)

So long for now!