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It’s a Chanukah miracle!

8 Dec

Happy Chanukah, everybody! I hope you’re all having a good holiday. While I don’t have any gelt for you, my Chanukah celebrations will include updating this blog every day! That’s right: every single day of Chanukah. It’ll be difficult to simultaneously draw content and stuff my face with latkes, but I suppose I shall have to learn.

Speaking of latkes, are you guys going to the Latke Festival this year? I want to go with pretty much every fiber of my being (um, hi, endless tables of latkes!), but the estimable Mr. Mike O’Malley has a show that night that absolutely takes precedence. He’ll be rockin’ The Way Station‘s open mic night on Monday, so those of you in the NYC area that are not eating mounds of delicious latkes should come hang out, have a drink, and listen to his musical stylings with us.

In other news, I don’t know what’s gotten into me, but I’ve been on a super-girly kick lately. I can’t stop painting my nails! (I blame blogs like The Beauty Department and their insane collection of how-to posts.) So, I figured, what better way to kick off my Chanukah celebrations than with a ridiculous manicure? Check this bad boy out:

Chanukah Hands

(Please excuse the messy bits around the edges–I’m pretty unskilled at painting with my left hand.) Overall, I think it came out kind of cool, though. Want one of your very own? Here are some instructions.

It's not a man-icure. It's a mensch-icure.

I don’t have any particular brand loyalty when it comes to polishes, but in case you were wondering, here are the ones I used:

*OPI Alpine Snow

*NYC Matte Me Crazy

*NYC Taxi Yellow Creme

*Sally Hansen Nail Art Pen in Bright Blue

If you try this out, please send me a picture! I’m nosy I’d like to see how it looks in other people’s capable hands (and brushes).

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It’s raining, it’s pouring…

30 Oct

Just a quick post today, due to a little storm called Hurricane Sandy. While lots of people we know are experiencing crazy weather, Paul and I are pretty lucky in that we still have electricity and water (inside our pipes, not inside our house). All the storm has really meant for us today is that we don’t have to go to work and that occasionally the internet stops working for a few minutes.

Also, this happened:

Is there a "no wind" option? No....?

In all seriousness, though, I hope y’all are holding up okay. My thoughts are with you guys.

1001 uses for a trenchcoat!

29 Oct

Well, okay, only four. But still!

Trenchcoat CostumesI ended up going with “private eye”–at least for the Halloween party at work today. I lost my voice, though, which unfortunately made my investigations a little bit difficult. I’m hoping I’ll have better luck on Monday!

Something’s a little sketchy here.

20 Oct

Lately, it always seem to rain the most on days when I have to run a bunch of errands. I’ve had some umbrella-related technical difficulties lately, though, and I had to upgrade to a newer model–namely, one that works.

Old Umbrella, New Umbrella

I know, I know: I live a glamorous life.

While scouring the archives of Natasha Allegri’s blog, I found a link to Stumpy Pencil, which is a fantastic resource for Photoshop brushes. I’ve been fooling around with their pencil brushes, and it’s been really fun! I used it for just about everything in the above drawing.

I also tried a little life drawing. Here’s Paul during one of our late-night drawing sessions/Home Movies marathons:

PaulIt’s funny, but I find it way easier to draw on a tablet with a brush that mimics pencil texture like this. Something about the way it handles makes sketching feels much more natural, and I’m able to relax and focus on the actual drawing instead of the brush. I’m probably going to use it a lot in the future. If you have some spare time, I’d definitely recommend downloading the brush and giving it a try!

As far as the color scheme goes, I was inspired by Julie Delporte‘s work. She’s one of the CCS fellows this year, and I met her for the first time at ICAF earlier in the month. She does some fantastic color work–mostly in crayon, I think. I used a more muted palette in the above drawing, but it was a fun aesthetic to keep in mind. Maybe I’ll try something a little brighter for the next update…

24 must be my lucky number!

10 Oct

‘Cause today I (a) turned 24 and (b) got a bunch of great news! If you’ll allow me some birthday narcissism, let me tell you all about it!

First of all, the Minneapolis Indie Xpo (or MIX, as we affectionately call it) announced its programming schedule! I’m going to be part of Salon Saloon: The Comic Show, and I was totally psyched to find out that my co-panelists are Danno Klonowski, Corinne Mucha, and John Porcellino! MIX will take place on November 5-6 this year, and my panel is at 3:30 on the 5th. I’ll also be hanging out at the CCS table with Andrew James, Max Mose, and (of course) Paul Swartz. (Rumor has it that one Miss Beth Hetland might drop by, too!) Hope to see you there!

Secondly, I’ve been working my butt off lately doing a Very Special Project for a wonderful show called Story Collider. For those unfamiliar with it: shame on you! This podcast (and live show) is so good that you should be listening to it as we speak (er, write. Or read. In fact, nevermind). Story Collider features 10- to 15-minute stories about people’s experiences with science, both mad and otherwise. Erin Barker, Ben Lillie, and Brian Wecht (the show’s creators/sustainers) are awesome, and we’ve had the pleasure of working with Erin and Ben a few times in our Drawn Out Storytelling shows. They pay for Story Collider out of their own pockets, which is a sizable expense, so they’ve started a fundraiser to not only keep Story Collider going but to improve it as well. They have a lot of great incentives for donating money, aside from the standard warm fuzzy feeling of doing a nice thing. If you donate $50 or more, you’ll get an exclusive book featuring four comic adaptations of Story Collider’s greatest hits! It’s totally worth it, if I do say so myself. It has stories by David Dickerson, John Rennie, Erik Hofer, and Margot Leitman, with art by Joe Wierenga, Maki Naro, Paul Swartz, and myself, respectively. Here’s a sample of my piece:

The AIDS Cookie (adapted from Margot Leitman's story) Page 1

There are four more pages where that came from, but you can only find them in the exclusive Story Collider: Science in Comics book. Any donations you make are also tax-deductible, so why not give a little?

Speaking of comics work, I also have a piece in another anthology! I have a four-page story in Lies Grown-ups Told Me, edited by Nomi Kane, Caitlin McGurk, and Jen Vaughn. It’s called Earth Girls Are Easy, and here’s a sample page:

Earth Girls Are Easy Page 1If you’d like a copy, come see me at MIX or contact one of those fine ladies!

From California to the New York islands!

20 Aug

Phew! The past couple weeks have been a little crazy. There’s been a lot of packing, mailing, frantic box-buying, saying farewell, and driving to do. But it’s all been worth it, because for the past week and a half, I’ve been waking up in the city that never sleeps.

That’s right…Paul and I moved to Brooklyn!

Things are still kind of hectic, of course. (When are they not?) We’ve both got a lot of unpacking and job-hunting to do, but overall it just feels great to finally have completed the move we’ve been talking about all summer. It’s also fun to start really settling into our place–I’m notoriously bad at unpacking my stuff, and somehow I never quite get around to hanging all of the posters and prints I’ve accumulated for decoration. The fact that we won’t necessarily be moving out soon and the fact that there are two of us doing the unpacking/decorating has helped a lot, though. Here’s a little comic I drew about that:

Our new home.This is the first all-digital comic I’ve done in a loooong time! I do a fair amount of digital coloring, but I usually at least start with a physical pencil sketch or something. I’ve been reading a lot of Cucumber Quest lately, though, and that inspired me to give it a shot. It took me way longer than I expected it to, but I like the results and want to keep practicing. I want to try drawing a lot of new things, so if you guys want to see anything in particular, please let me know in the comments!

Promise, consider yourself kept!

13 Jul

What’s this? An update appearing on the day for which it was originally scheduled? Be still, my heart~! ♥

I think that being on a regular, slightly-less-hectic-than-average schedule has been good for me, guys. Look at me, all wakin’ up during daylight hours and organizin’ my stuff and updatin’ on time! (I’ve also been rereading quite a bit of the Achewood archives, in case you couldn’t tell.) I’ve even been trying to exercise a little, although the results on that end have been…shall we say…uneven. I think this comic explains it best:

The Ab Slider!

I’ve gotten slightly better at it lately, I think, but the only tangible result so far is that my stomach hurts a little more than usual. I’m gonna try to keep at it, though. Should hilarity ensue, you folks’ll be the first to know!

Another peek into my glamorous life (last year)!

26 Mar

Ugh, I hate it when I close an entry with, “See you [very specific date of next update]!” and then completely miss that update. Sorry about that, guys! I promise I missed it for a good reason (that may or may not have included some epic fort-building). I had a super-long post about the evolution of one of my characters planned for tonight, but I spent too much time looking through old sketchbooks for images of her and then scanning them. Now it’s 5:30 in the morning and I’m pretty tired, so I’m going to continue working on that post for Monday and just give you guys a little comic to read right now:

A week of ups and downs

This is a diary comic I drew last year for our drawing class with Steve Bissette. It is also a completely true story! Not shown is how I then proceeded to lose the same copy card (as well as several other important cards, like my CCS student ID and passcard) whilst visiting friends in Santa Cruz, went to visit my old boss at Stevenson College, and found out that a stranger had found them all and–aided by the UCSC student ID amongst the lost items–turned them in to one of the school offices for me to pick up. I live a charmed life, y’all.

Given the images in my last update, you may recognize Paul Swartz as my partner in crime up there. He’s also going to be my tablemate at the Paint & Pixel Festival in Northampton, MA! The show is on April 16th, and it runs from 10 am to 5 pm. It has a fantastic exhibitor list and wonderfully low admission prices–just $4 for adults and $2 for children. CCS will also have its own table, staffed by a delightful assortment of our classmates. If you’re in the area, please come check it out! Either way, you should check out the cool site that they’ve got set up. They have bios and a small gallery of work for almost every exhibitor (including yours truly) that’s definitely worth a look!

Speaking of spaces I’m going to be invading soon, I have some more exciting news: I’m going to be teaching two week-long comics workshops this summer at the Vault Gallery in Springfield, VT! There’ll be one workshop for students 10 and up and another for students 13 or 14 and up. I am so overwhelmingly excited for this, you guys! I love comics, and I love teaching, and this is just turning out to be a beautiful Venn diagram of those two things. I’m working on the logo now, so I’ll post that (along with some more details) soon. Please spread the word, especially if you know someone who’d like to attend!

All right, I think I’m going to toddle off to bed now. I’ll see you the next time I update! (See how I learn from my past mistakes?)

Showin’ some skin. (NSFW)

2 Mar

Today’s post is kind of a fitting follow-up to Monday’s. As you guys know, I’ve been working with ideas for this 1920’s project (tentatively named Perfectly Fitting) for some time. I’ve been struggling to figure out exactly who my main characters are, since I don’t know much about them yet except for their appearances, names (well, sort of), and occupations. I recently decided that Yulia (the current working name of the female protagonist), who used to be a prostitute at the high-end Everleigh Club, is now working in the burlesque industry. Here’s a two-page series of sketches that I did in an attempt to (a) try to draw her consistently in a bunch of different poses and (b) to figure out the kind of poses she’d need to get into during a strip scene.

A Poetic Strip, part 1

A Poetic Strip, part 2

I’m pretty pleased with how this turned out. I’m liking the balance between realistic anatomy and stylization that these pages have, and I liked thinking up the different poses. Plus, I think I’m slowly getting better at drawing high heels. I always have a ton of trouble drawing decent-looking shoes, so this is a big deal to me. (And yes, I know that she probably would have her shoes off after taking off the stockings, but I wanted to get some more practice drawing them.)

Lest the “apologies to Dorothy Parker” at the bottom of page 2 not make it clear, that’s a Dorothy Parker poem Yulia is reciting as she works. I guess she’s either a pretty slow talker or a pretty fast stripper. (Also, those are pasties–the kind without tassels–and not very large nipples on the last page.)

I’ll be back on Friday with a poll for you guys, so be sure to come back then! :)

A peek into my fabulous lifestyle!

2 Feb

Did you know that yesterday was Hourly Comic Day? Neither did I, until Dakota mentioned it on Monday! Since I’ve enjoyed other people’s hourly comics and since I didn’t get a chance to do 24 Hour Comic Day this year, I vowed to myself that I would give this a shot. So, here’s what my day was like yesterday:

Hourly Comics Day!Don’t be jealous of my decadent, star-studded lifestyle. It just comes with the job. ;) If you like, you can read other people’s hourlies here.

See you guys on Friday! I’ll have a new visiting artist sketch (or two!) for ya then.

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