Lost at Sea

This semester I'm taking the comics class with Shanth Enjeti, who Sophia might have mentioned once upon a time. Expect a lot of little 2 or 3 page one-shots in the near future.



I did these a couple weeks ago and I've been waivering back and forth between posting them but I figure I may as well. I generally tend to avoid drawing in Photoshop because when I do, I use it for silly things. This is no exception, these are all pretty cheesecakey and pin-up-tastic, but I had fun with them. If you don't do the Shakespeare thing, ignore the rest of the text, I tend to blather about things no one should care about.

Mercutio! If you can identify what all of his tattoos refer to you win bonus points.

Robin Goodfellow says Puck You!

One day when I have run out of serious things to do I will make a comic about these two and their antics.
Not gonna lie, I've always thought Emelia was kind of a stupid nag, but after re-reading Othello again (ssshhh, it was for class, ok? really...) I'm kind of entranced by her independent, no-nonsense bad-assery

I love Iago but I also love that she doesn't really put up with any of his bullshit.
But that said, I think they've got a very strange relationship that will be fun to play with.



A Conversation has a snazzy new cover, now with 200% more people and 50% less KJ failing at a screen printing in the living room. Most of these are going to friends and family I promised copies to back before I ran out of the first batch, but I made extras so if you want one email me and I will hook you up. Or you could just be sneaky and read it online. It's ok. I won't tell.


Gutenberg Press Documentary

I personally would watch a documentary on weevils or the sanitation department so long as it was narrated by Stephen Fry, so it was a lovely treat to find this 6-part BBC presentation on youtube about the Gutenberg press. Stephen Fry travels throughout Europe interviewing historians and exploring relevant locales. He also assists a master craftsman in making an approximation of Gutenberg's press using authentic techniques. Also - 15th-century papermaking!

There's also a page dedicated to the documentary on the BBC website, along with some tasty educational links. This particular program is part of a larger series on Medieval history. There is an option to play the video, but it looks like it's region-restricted.

Hooray printmaking! Hooray Stephen Fry!


Ben Jones Interview

A chat with one of my more favorite peoples ever, courtesy of the good folks over at Fecal Face. Enjoy.



Done in a 5" x 8.5" earthbound sketchbook with either .5mm 2B mechanical pencil lead or a .05mm Staedtler pigment liner!

I, like many artists, wish I could make a living off of drawing naked ladies.

Ben challenged me to draw 3 of my friends from memory, so from the top we have KJ, Jose, and Gwendolyn. Done without reference, so who knows if I got Jose's lobe piercing on the right ear?

Sketches for a character design digital painting that I will eventually post (not here, though).

To go off on a vaguely relevant tangent: I've always been really interested in materials that artists use in their work (hence the blurb at the top of this post), and I try to experience new tools as much as possible in the hopes that I'll find the ones that fit me perfectly. I have a solid preference as far as sketchbooks (I don't usually use earthbound, my favorites are the cachet wirebound - they look like this) and mechanical pencils as well (though I've felt pressure recently to try out lead holders instead).

However, I've never been happy with pens. I used microns throughout high school, but I now ink either with a brush or with nibs and Higgins india ink. But I still like drawing with pens in my sketchbook, when a dip pen would be inconvenient. I use Staedtler pigment liners at the moment, but they have the same problems I've always found - ink is not black enough, ink opacity is inconsistent, the nib gets pushed back into the pen or becomes bent, the line width is inconsistent... I shy away from rapidographs because of nightmare stories about how they clog and are impossible to clean.

When I get some free money, I intend to buy up some pens that I have noticed other artists using around the internet - specifically the pilot g-tec-c / hi-tec-c gel pens used by Veronique Meignaud (see?) to draw her super intricate lines.

Other pens of interest: Pentel pocket brush pens used by Angie Wang (they have refill cartridges, which seems handy), Pentel Slicci gel pens, and Copic multiliners (the sp line is also refillable).



Last week I had my first experience at San Diego Comic-Con International, generally understood to be the hulking unwieldy behemoth of comic conventions. Many of my friends have already been and view it as an experience one ought to have once and then perhaps never again.

I'll keep myself from passing personal judgments on the whole deal, but here's the relevant info I picked up while I was there! This is weeded extensively from my epic report on my personal journal, with the idea of keeping things pertinent to comics, cartooning, and printmaking!

In brief:

On Friday, I attended the Bongo comics panel, starring (among others) Sammy Harkham and Sergio Aragon├ęs. Ben Jones, though listed on the schedule, was sadly not there. Sammy Harkham was there presenting Treehouse of Horror #15, which he is guest editing.

Treehouse of Horror is an annual horror-themed Simpsons comic anthology that has been going since 1995. As you can see from the link to Sammy's blog, the contributors are all pretty amazing and embody styles and genres that haven't been represented in this anthology before. I snagged a photo, showing Sammy second from the right and a page by Ben Jones up on the screen.

Some discussion has being going on over at the EAZB about the depressing lack of female cartoonists. If I were at home in Providence I'd pull out Kramers Ergot 5-7 to see which ladies have worked in those... at any rate, there's more detailed information about the creators and their stories over at Robot 6; it should be coming out around Halloween and I'm going to buy the hell out of it!

The Buenaventura Press booth had lots of great stuff -- minicomics and comics as well as their prints, which are very impressively done.

I grabbed a copy of Tom Gauld's The Gigantic Robot and the minicomic Stay Away From Other People by Lisa Hanawalt, who was also luckily signing when I came by. I introduced myself to her (since we both worked on the impending Electric Ant #2's Body Horror comic jam) and she was very nice!

I also coveted (but did not buy) the recently released Permagel, by Charles Burns. From what I gather the story is morbid horror inspired by Tintin; a fansite for the upcoming Tintin movie has a cover comparison. I have to say that it was excruciatingly well-printed (on 170gr off-white Rives, as it advertised). But it was also huge (16x12) and not hardcover so I didn't want to worry about transporting it. But I'm sure to snap it up eventually, as I'm a huge fan of both Tintin and Burns (though the combination would never have occurred to me).

Nearby was the Fantagraphics booth, pictured here, with lovely Jordan Crane prints. That reminds me - I have Uptight #1 and #3, but not #2, and I just hate it when I do that.

The next day I had the good luck to meet and speak with Angie Wang, a sublimely talented illustrator from Portland.

I had the bad luck of winding up in a panel about motion comics while waiting for the Rifftrax panel... I know motion comics don't actually interest anyone (at least not people who are legit in my book :|) but I gotta say, they really gross me out. My personal journal has a longer rant.

Since I have done some Flash marionette animation (and I learned it all from KJ!), I do genuinely believe that you can go the route of manipulating hand-drawn assets in the marionette style and have it be actually good, but you have to understand that certain drawing styles are appropriate to being animated in that way, and others will always look awkward and ridiculous. Marvel simply does not get it.

Tangentially related to cartooning we have cartoons! I went to the Venture Brothers panel on Saturday, and had the delight of seeing creators/voice actors Jackson Publick, Doc Hammer, James Urbaniak, and Mike Sinterniklaas. The season 4 preview was very exciting. There was also a reel of new and old Adult Swim titles, which served excellently to reinforce my perception that Venture Brothers is the best show on Adult Swim.

I went to the Drawn and Quarterly booth as well. They had the new and improved copies of Adrian Tomine's 32 Stories, which I'd seen him present at a joint lecture with Seth that he did in San Francisco a while back. I like the design, but I'm going to hang on to my beat-up old original copy (that apparently embarrasses Adrian to no end) because now I know it'll earn me hella cred one day. (not really)

I also picked up Sammy Harkham's Crickets while I was there.

I visited a few other booths - Top Shelf was showing off their fancy new edition of Lost Girls (oh god what is the technical term for the semi-box like thing you slide bunches of books into? I know there's one! Anyway, it's three volumes in one of those).

I also bought and read Nate Powell's Swallow Me Whole on the very day it won an Eisner! Hurrah!

I also bought and read Eddie Campbell's Black Diamond Detective Agency. I have been following his very informative, very refreshing blog for a month or so now, and am eagerly anticipating The Years Have Pants. Look at that praise! I love Eddie's autobio work (Fate of the Artist, After the Snoother), his less well-known collaborations with Alan Moore (A Disease of Language - so good, I've read it from the library but ought to buy my own copy), and of course his mega well known collaborations with Alan Moore (From Hell, currently clocking in as my 2nd favorite Alan Moore work).

I also bought a volume of Tiny Kitten Teeth. All of the panels are hand-painted in gouache. There are no words.

That about does it! I can't do as much reporting as I'd like, since I was basically focused on enjoying myself.

But I met many swell people and bought a lot of (but not too many) comics, so I consider it a success!


North by Northwest

It's a collaborative piece! Kind of. Back in December, Sophia made me this super awesome comic for my birthday. (If you're confused this might be helpful.) I've been meaning to reupholster my bag since I learned how to silkscreen and I finally got around to doing it this last week or so using Sophia's lovely image.


Here's a closeup of the printy bits as well, which reveals my horrible registration. For a first time on fabric I guess it's alright, or at least I can use it as motivation to improve o.o


Happy Wedding!

So two of my best friends from high school got married a little less than two weeks ago. The wedding was steampunk themed and their invitations had something to do with them fighting aliens so I made them this dorky print as gift. This photo is terrible and I might fix that, but I wouldn't hold your breath.

Oh, it's silkscreen if anyone was curious.


Panel Borders

In the process of stumbling around the internet in attempt to find a way of hoisting myself over to the UK after graduation, I found this niffty British podcast devoted entirely to comics called Panel Borders. They've got a wide range of stuff from interviews with Rutu Modan and Shaun Tan to talks about zines and various themed months for the show including indie comics, classic heroes, and cross-cultural comics.

Subscribing to the podcast turned out to be slightly challenging since itunes insisted it wasn't available in my area, but I managed to get around it by copy/pasting the feed url into the 'subscribe to podcast' box under 'advanced.' (the url is http://feeds.feedburner.com/panelborders for anyone who's interested) I haven't had an opportunity to listen to all of the shows yet so I can't make any specific recommendations but there's plenty to keep you occupied so go check it out.



MoCCA was a whole lot of crazy and I'm still not entirely sure how this all worked out. Sophia and I applied for a half table back at the beginning of March but we were wait-listed. Until last Monday when I got an e-mail at 3 in the morning saying 'Hey, remember that table you applied for? Do yous still want it?...' Unfortunately Sophia was already in San Fransisco by this point but I had been planning to make some stuff to trade with people so I managed to make a few copies of some older stuff as well and grab a random assortments of prints to decorate the table with before we headed off for New York.


On the bus

Main Entrance to the Armory
Everything was little bit late in getting started on Saturday but ultimately it all went smoothly. I had traveled down to New York with Alexandra and Ali and we met up with our friend Jose before heading over to the Armory. Since there were four of us we were able to take shifts manning the table so we all got to walk around and see what was going on.

The Alexandras runnin' the booth

I managed to go to a couple of the lectures on Saturday. Making Good Comics in a New Era with a whole bunch of different folks (Alvin Buenaventura, Mats Jonsson, Tom Neely, Brett Warnock, Julia Wertz, and Dylan Williams) was all about comics and the economy and to sum up its basic conclusion: Comics are too small to fail. Most of the self-published pannelists said they hadn't really seen a significant decrease in people buying their stuff because of the economy and Brett Warnock, the guy from Top Shelf said while they'd had to push a lot of books back, they hadn't had to cancel anything yet, which is good, I suppose? I don't know but it gave me hope for being only normally screwed rather super extra screwed when I graduate next spring. The other pannel I went to was the final one of the day, Paul Karasik's The Twisted Genius of Fletcher Hanks which was also pretty awesome. I love Paul! He's the coolest dude! I had him as a professor for the past semester and he has been super encouraging and extremely hilarious and you should all go buy his books because their full of wacky shit. The first one won an eisner and the second one just premiered this past weekend and together they collect all the work of Fletcher Hanks who's this crazy cartoonist from the late thirties. Paul's done some other nifty stuff too so I will direct you to his website to check it out. Anyway, the lecture was mostly about how strange Fletcher Hanks and the story surrounding him are and it was quite entertaining.

Hamlet Regrets Not Being Sold

Jose went back to Jersey late Saturday night and Alexandra left for Denver early Sunday morning so Ali and I were left to man the table Sunday. We hadn't really done that well on Saturday but a lot more people bought comics on Sunday and a many of them were interested in the screenprints I'd brought with me which I was able to sell because of some paperwork issues. (damn New York tax laws!) (btw if you were one of those folks and you're looking at this e-mail me and we'll work something out) Sunday was also good because I ran into Paul first thing and he said 'Here take this' and gave me a giant stack of minis! Ali and I read through them while we were chilling at the table and picked up our own copies of our more favorite finds including Indestructable Universe Quarterly by Morgan Pielli and Freddy by Melissa Mendes.


The other thing I did on Sunday was go to the Gary Panter and Frank Santoro panel which was all about comics and fine art which is a topic close to my heart bein' a RISD kid and all. It ended up being a sort of crash course in 20th century art relevant to comics and I wish I could remember the names of half of the people they talked about but it an information overload. A lot of it was just the two of them talking to each other which was pretty entertaining in itself. I know the guy I was standing next to was filming it so I'm hoping it will end up on youtube so I can get the names of all of those artists...

I'd only been to MoCCA once before, as an attendee last year and even then I thought it was pretty mind blowingly awesome and it was even more fun as an exhibitor. I guess really my favorite thing is just that at least half of the people walking around in there are other comics creators and it's fun just to be able to see what everyone's doing and trade comics and meet new folks and all that jazz. It was a ton of fun and I'm planning to go back in 2010 and hopefully Sophia will be there as well this time. That's about all I've got. Let's make it a a year full of comics between now and then!

What's with this you being on the other side of the country thing...


More Comics

This is the other comic I had at MoCCA sans-cover since I think I'm going re-do it. Everyone seemed to be going for the Hamlet one despite it being older, shorter, and having crappier art. Anywho, enjoy.


The Art of the KJ

This is not my comic; it is KJ's! You can enjoy many more of her comics on her blog. She will post more here soon.


some comics

To jumpstart the blog, here are some comics from this past semester. Done for Shanth Enjeti's Comic Book Storytelling class.