Wondercon was WONDERful. Melaina and I had the prettiest table in the world. Stormtroopers were everywhere, and I bought three Doctor Who action figures. What a great weekend.
–Meeting new people. Molly Hahn, Miriam Libicki and Mike, Josh Ellingson, Kraig Rasmussen, and a bunch of others, but those are the ones that stand out.
–Meeting Terry Moore for like, the fifth time. I KNOWW it’s cheesy but I can hardly even talk about how much I love that guy’s work. Strangers in Paradise made me realize that I had a place in comics.
I’ve been giving him my comics since I started making them. I still just glow inside when I remember showing him my first one—he looked through it, then looked delighted and said “this has a very readable quality!” Sighh. I will never forget that. This time, I gave him my newest book, in which I veered pretty directly into my personal life and some dark stuff. He asked me to sign it and draw him a picture of World War II. I drew a little POW symbol and wrote “WWI! Yeow!” He seemed to like that.
–Trina Robbins loved my outfit so much that she pointed it out to the whole room when I walked into her Lil’ Abner panel. “Now look at that cute dress, and the shoes! I just love it.” Everyone turned to look. I was completely thrown. It took me a couple of beats to get my words moving and stammer a thank you. She kept going. “That’s one of the things I love about these conventions, getting to see what the young women are wearing.” Her co-speaker asked “Do you color-coordinate your outfits with your tattoos?” Everyone is still staring, mind you. I said something like “uh, no, they’re too many different colors..” Then sat down and had my mind blown by Robbins’ talk on Wolf Gal, Hawk Girl, Pig Girl, and the other feral women of Lil Abner. I want to eat people like Wolf Gal.
–No more we. No more us. That’s a sad highlight.
Is it a sign of how new I am to the comics industry that I **love** conventions? I have so much fun at them. For me, conventions are a time to meet new people, meet new people in freaky costumes, get your picture taken with those people, secretly laugh at those people for the rest of the day, buy new books, and “meet” Terry Moore—I have met him about 15 times now, but every time I get all nervous and just hope I can keep from weeping. Same with Dame Darcy. But I don’t think she’ll be at this one.
This weekend, I’ll be in Artists’ Alley at Wondercon in San Francisco. Stop by and get a copy of the new books. It’ll be at Moscone Center, 4th and Howard, Friday-Saturday-Sunday.
Thien, if you’re reading this, I will stop loving Strangers in Paradise when you pry it from my cold, dead hands.
–It’s official: I have a new book! I know because I just stapled two of them together, and they are sitting right beside me here on the couch*. Remember Florrid? Meet Florridian.
In this issue, you get some more thrilling glimpses into my private life and deep-seated traumas, AND you meet the two happeninest gals in Jelly City: Parrot Cake and her friend, Peach Janet. Lots of fun and boob jokes to follow. Finally.. we wrap it all up with a visit to the ranch.
–Also, my comics workshop group is putting out an anthology. I’ll get more info up about that once it’s back from the printer. But I can tell you that it features comics by the following awesome people:
Scanning is now a reality. The future is here.
I’ll be posting out of my sketchbook in the next couple days. Enjoy this early sketch of Peach Janet to get you started.
Guess what. I’ll be at Zine Fest this weekend! http://www.sfzinefest.com We’ll be selling comics, and I have a new print of a brand-new one page comic I did. Yahoo!
Zine Fest is at the Women’s Building, at 18th and Valencia. This, by the way, is an awesome place. I spent a lot of time there, getting my head sorted out by this terrific lady, Y., during the first year I lived in California. It was not an easy year, but then, are they ever?
Friday, October 5, 2-8pm
Saturday, October 6, 1-7pm
Lettering is making me crazy. Or more precisely lettering made me crazy on Tuesday. I just could not. get. it. right. Matt told me it was fine but it just looked like a big misshapen badly placed blob to me. That, combined with a somewhat frightening health concern combined with a current lack of health insurance, combined with the crazy feeling I get from hours spent trying to interpret health insurance forms so that I might one day (the sooner the better) obtain it, sent me to bed in frustrated tears.
Yesterday, I did not look at it.
Today, I looked with fresher eyes and re-positioned the text and I feel a bit better.
I never thought much about lettering until Matt looked at our most recent comic and said “I’ve been thinking about lettering.” And then all these problems started to jump out at me. Too much space between words. Too much space between lines. Too much room around the sides, or not enough. Poor placement in the panel.
It’s frustrating but I know getting the lettering right is a super important step in making my work look professional. It just sucks right now trying to get it all right. I have lettered and re-lettered each panel like three times. And this weekend I decided to re-do all the lettering for the first 11 pages.
But, I mean, then I’ll get the hang of it, right?
I’m wearing all green today. It looks really stupid.
One thing I love about my new gigs—drawing and babysitting—is that I get to sing all day long. I know that makes me sound like a total kook. But singing really makes me feel good—I mean physically, mentally, everything. Something about the breath control. But also I grew up singing all the damn time, I was in choir all through school, and I sang at home too.
So now I sing to the babies I take care of, and they love it. It’s like there’s something magical about it to them—they just stop whatever they’re doing and watch you. One of them sometimes touches my mouth, like he’s trying to figure out how that sound is coming out. And in the studio, I like to listen to cd’s I can sing along to. It helps me focus and keeps me from getting restless.
Some of the albums I work to:
Frida Hyvonen, “Until Death Comes.” This one is lovely and there’s lots of harmony so it’s pretty to sing to. I listen to this one at least once a day.
Regina Spektor, “Begin to Hope.” I just love her.
Joanna Newsom, “The Milk-Eyed Mender.” This one really had to grow on me. Her voice is so weird and squeaky. I really think I heard the album about 20 times before I actually liked it.
Sleater-Kinney, “The Woods.” Now I have a lot of S-K albums and I think this is the BEST ONE. Seriously. They have a sound in here that is unprecedented. Corin Tucker sounds like she ripped off all her clothes and is bleeding in the street.
Lily Allen, “Alright Still.” This dame deserves a standing ovation!!
Guns N Roses. DUH.
It’s afternoon, and everyone’s asleep. Meehan’s on the punk rock chair, Wolfy’s on the couch, Tubby’s probably under the bed, and Lola is on the little orange rug under my studio chair. Why am I home to see all this? Well, this brings me to my great news! I lost my job!! It’s a long, gruesome story, but suffice it to say that in the two weeks since, I have cobbled together an income of babysitting, temping, and unemployment benefits, I’m doing quite well, and I now have oodles, literally oodles, of time to work on comics. And I’m going to keep it this way for a while.
It’s funny, this was actually my plan for “when we move somewhere cheaper,” but I guess it was time. And as it happens, I’m getting paid amounts for babysitting that would be unheard of in cheaper locales, just by virtue of living where I live.
It was a surprise, and a nasty shock to lose a job that I really did enjoy, but it is definitely better for everyone that I no longer work for the person I was working for. You’re not supposed to say this when you lose a job, because you sound like a bitter person who is covering up their own culpability, but all the experts agree, she was a bitch. Really, I have told people things about her that have made them swear—NICE people. So, you know I am not lying.
Anyway, back to drawing now—I’m laying things down fast.
Next up: photos of my new studio*!!
At the moment I am taking a teeny tiny (promise!) break from drawing to set up my new studio, and to put together this blog about comics and life and you know, the works. I love reading comic artists’ blogs—it’s so great to see what people are doing and working on day to day, not just when they have a book come out.
I’ll get more pictures up here soon, but for now, here’s a link to some of my finished comics:
I just got back from San Diego CA, where I went to ComiCon for the first time. It was the fourth comics convention I have ever been to and I just now feel like I am starting to get the hang of them. I had so goddamn much fun. I saw great panels, met awesome artists, embarrassed myself fawning over Dame Darcy/blushing in front of Terry Moore; ate packed sandwiches, soggy cookies, and $3 cokes; drank a lot of coffee; completed about 3/4 of my little bird needlepoint; drove through the mountains of southern California (and LOVED it), traded, bought, gave away, talked, read, watched, oh yes, and DRANK. I hardly ever drink these days so I love when I have a chance to get good and ripped. I have super vague memories of the Hyatt, making a new BFF (a gal in a motorcycle jacket with flames who said she did voices on WOW), and seeing some of the Sarah Silverman cast come in. That Steve Agee. One funny fucker.
I’ll write more and put up pictures soon. I did my pictures the old fashioned way so it will take me a little longer to get them up. But they will so be worth it.