Archive | Conventions RSS feed for this section

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!

Advertisements

MoCCA Report!

12 Apr

Hello again, guys! Sorry for not updating much last week–I was caught up in a whirlwind of MoCCA prep, which involved a lot of frantic printing and assembling of books. It was totally worth it, though! I got to hang out with a bunch of my favorite people. For example, here’s a drawing of Nisse Greenberg, who let us crash on his couch:

Nisse Greenberg

Nisse is one of Paul’s good friends and a pretty great storyteller. We’ll be doing a show with him later this summer called Drawn Out Storytelling that involves live collaboration between cartoonists and storytellers. It’s gonna be awesome, and I’ll let you guys know more details as soon as they’re available!

I also met a lot of new people at the con, including Matt Madden, Yuko Ota, and Ananth Panagariya. I got to reconnect with KJ Martinet and Josh Weisbrod (two of my old CSSSA classmates), and I saw Scott C., Megan Baehr, and Maggie Siegal-Berele again! Seeing Maggie was totally unexpected, since she and I didn’t recognize each other at first but then realized that we had totally traded comics last year.

Meeting (or re-meeting) people is absolutely my favorite part about cons–aside from the bit where people give me money to do what I love. I get really excited about talking to people who come to my table, even if they don’t buy anything. We met some pretty great characters this year–my favorites were the little Russian kid with blue Lego glasses who were totally entranced by Paul‘s stickers and the middle-aged woman who told us that temporary tattoos used to be called “cockamamies” and about all the celebrities she’d run into on the street as a kid. I got to have some pretty fun conversations, too! A high school girl who was a member of her school’s comic club asked me if I had any comic-making advice, which was super flattering, and an Indian girl at the end of the day totally recognized that I had an Indian name, too. Her name was Sumana, which is a pretty rad name that reminded me a lot of my sister Mana. I wonder why? :P

I spent most of my time behind the table, but I did get a chance to run around and check out the other tables a little bit. These are all the minicomics I’d accumulated by the end of the show:

Lookit all these great comics!

Not pictured are my copy of the Johnny Wander book and my super-rad Russian Scrabble piece ring. :D I can’t wait to read everything! Maybe I’ll do some reviews of my favorites. Is that something you guys’d be interested in reading, or would that just be super boring?

Okay, I’m off to do some rapid-fire pencilling before I go to bed! I’ve gotta be in tip-top shape for Lynda Barry‘s workshop tomorrow! I am so crazy excited, you guys…I don’t know if I’ll be able to sleep!

…Aww, who am I kidding. Yeah, I will. MoCCA wore me out! :)

Are you delighted? Because I’m CHARMed!

5 Apr

GUESS WHAT CAME IN THE MAIL TODAY, GUYS.

That’s right…we finally got our charms!

OMG CHARMS

This picture comes nowhere close to adequately portraying my excitement. I am so psyched! The four charms pictured are the four designs that you guys helped me pick, so thank you! (Please note that the hanging yetis will not actually be made into earrings; I need to buy bigger jump rings in order to put them on the keychains, so for the purposes of the photo shoot I hung him on my hoop earring.)

Coming soon to a convention near you!

I can’t wait to bring these to MoCCA, you guys! These charms look utterly fantastic and are super sturdy–Printsess did an amazing job! I can’t recommend them more. Their website was super easy to order from, and they were really helpful in answering our questions (even when they were questions like, “oh my god when are they gonna get here when when when???”). They even expedited the shipping for us to make sure we’d get it in time for MoCCA! If you guys need some awesome merch, definitely use Printsess.

Speaking of MoCCA, I’ve seen a lot of people posting little maps to help attendees find them at the con. Well, here’s mine! (Just click to enlarge it if you’re having trouble reading it.)

MoCCA 2011 Floor Plan

I’ll be there with Paul Swartz, Bailey Sharp, Ben Juers, Max Mose, and a ton of awesome comics and merchandise! There’ll even be some brand-new stuff, such as Leftovers Are Good Luck (a collection of my short comics) and…wait, have I mentioned the charms yet? :P If you guys’ll be at the convention, please come and say hi! I’d love to see you. :)

Also, before I run off to do a bunch of printing, check this out! Barry Matthews and Leon Avelino of Secret Acres came to visit CCS as part of our annual Industry Day, and they posted my visiting artist drawings of them on the Secret Acres blog! I’m blushin’, you guys.

This is your brain. This is your brain on no sleep.

30 Mar

Ugh…I need to stop pulling all-nighters on blog update nights, you guys. I forgot to update because I spent all of Monday and Tuesday feeling like this:

guhhhhhhhh

CCS Industry Day is tomorrow, and I was determined to go all-out. I spent most of Monday making Leftovers Are Good Luck, a collection of my short comics that’ll be replacing Eat Up, Cat in my MoCCA debut lineup, and most of Tuesday fighting to stay awake and failing.

But hey, speaking of MoCCA, we finally received our table number! Bailey Sharp, Ben Juers, Max Mose, Paul Swartz, and I will be at table M10. We’ll have Em Sauter, Ryland Ianelli, and Jesse Mead on one side, and Beth Hetland, Ben Horak, Pat Barrett, and Josh Kramer on the other. (What an awesome sandwich!) We’ll also be in the same row as many other lovely CCSers, such as CJ Joughin, Canto, Billage, Andy Warner, Melanie Gillman, Nate Wooters, Dakota McFadzean, Holly Foltz, Denis St. John, Nomi Kane, and many more! If you’re going to be there, please come say hello!

I also mentioned in my previous entry that I’ll be teaching two comics workshops in Springfield, VT this summer. Some of the details have changed since the last time I mentioned it, so here are the final details:Let's Draw Comics with Lena!

Making Comics with Lena!

Come learn all the basics of making comics! We’ll pencil, ink, and letter our own comics starring our very own characters, and at the end of the week we’ll put it all together into a finished book. No experience necessary– if you like to draw, we’d love to have you!

The first session is for students 10-12 years old and will take place July 11-15 from 9:00-11:30 am. I’m going to be covering the basic terms, materials, and methods of making your own comics, including character design, backgrounds, and lettering. Plus, we’ll doing some really fun drawing activities, and at the end of the camp I’ll put the students’ work together into anthologies for everyone to take home. I’m so excited about teaching this!

The second session is for teens and older students and will take place July 25-29 from 9:00-11:30 am. I’ll cover the same basics as in the first session, since they can be beneficial for students of all ages, but I’ll be going into more detail and doing some extra activities. I’ll also put the students’ work from this camp into its own anthology for students to take home.

If you or someone you know is interested in either camp, you can find out more on the Vault Gallery’s website or at the gallery itself at 68 Main St., Springfield, VT. :)

All right, I figure I’ve talked your ears off enough for now. I’m off to Dr. Sketchy’s to draw some clowns in corsets! It’s gonna be tons of fun, so if you’re in the WRJ area, you should definitely stop by! :)

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?)

A ‘charm’-ing post.

5 Mar

Get it? Eh?

…Oh man, I am on a roll with these puns this week. You know what else I’ve been on a roll with? Making some merchandise, AWW YEAH. Check it out:

Charm Designs

These are a bunch of potential designs for charms that I’m going to sell at MoCCA next month. I am the kind of person whose keys become inordinately heavy due to an ever-growing collection of keychains, and I love collecting little trinkets with my favorite characters on them, so I figured I may as well combine the two! All of the characters you see above are from books that I’ll have for sale at the show, too. Edie and her yeti friend are from Abominable and its sequel, Monsters; the purple flour-sack-like figures are from iNterruption; the obese cat is from my children’s book, Eat Up, Cat, which will be available for the first time at MoCCA. (If you simply can’t wait to get your hands on Abominable or iNterruption, you can purchase them in the store on my main site.)

Each of these charms will be 1 1/2 inches tall–perfect for keychains or cell phone charms!–and will be printed on black waterproof acrylic. I’m ordering them from a small-run print shop called Printsess. I’ve never used them before, but with customers like Threadless and Yuko Ota and Ananth Panagariya (the creators of Johnny Wander) in their repertoire I’m sure they do a good job.

With all that in mind, I’d really like to know what you guys think of these designs! If you have a minute to cast a vote, please help me choose the most appealing ones! I’d like to do an order of up to four designs, so please choose your top four and vote for them.

 

Thanks for your help! I’d like to make the order by Tuesday, so I’ll close the poll on Monday night after my update. If you’re still in a voting mood, why don’t you head on over to Paul’s blog and check out his poll? He’s also getting some charms made and has some excellent monster designs. Personally, I’m voting for the axolotl, the bat, the lounge lizard, and Quetzalcoatl. NOT THAT I AM TRYING TO SWAY YOUR VOTES OR ANYTHING

Pittsburgh? More like PIXburgh!

20 Oct

Oh, PIX, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways…

1) You give me the excuse to go an an excellent road trip with Paul, Max, and Canto! All in all, we spent a total of 24 hours driving to and from Pittsburgh. Canto and I split up the driving, but it was still quite a ways! Driving late at night is generally super-stressful for me, but I have to admit that I loved taking the early-morning shifts and getting to watch the sun rise as I drove. Also, back episodes of This American Life are totally my new favorite thing to listen to as we drive.

and that's trust

2) You let me visit my friends and family while gettin’ my comics on! My excellent grandparents have been crazy supportive of me and my comics endeavors this year, having let me live with them over the summer while I interned at the Pittsburgh ToonSeum, and on top of that they let all four of us descend upon their household this weekend. We also got to meet up with my longtime friend and partner in crime Lauren Chapman. We’re of an eerily similar breed both geographically (we were both born ‘n’ raised near Pittsburgh, went to the same high school in California, and then returned to the East Coast for grad school) and artistically (although she does graphic design and creative writing while I do comics), and it was fantastic to see her again!

or something like 'em

3) You put on a hell of a show! The inaugural Pittsburgh Indy Comics Expo was an amazing experience. The show took place on the top floor of the Guardian Storage Facility, which turned out to be a beautiful space with tons of windows, wood floors, and beautiful brick walls. There was tons of space, but we were still close enough to other artists’ tables to be able to talk with them. It was on the smaller side, what with it being the first year and all, but everyone who came was so enthusiastic and interested in seeing (and, y’know, buying!) our work. Also, Bill Boichel (of Copacetic Comics fame, who ran this con) is a stand-up guy. Our table reservation somehow got lost, but Bill was really nice about it. He was super polite, apologized several times to us, and set us up with a new table right across from Canto and Max. The con overall ran really smoothly, but his handling of the situation was so professional and nice that it made me certain I want to come back next year. (It was especially comforting in comparison to how HeroesCon treated us when the exact same thing happened to us earlier this summer–hint: not as well.)

4) You let me meet such a wide variety of awesome people! A ton of talented artists came to exhibit at the con this past weekend. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to meet all of them because I was behind a table of my own most of the time, but I did get to meet a fair amount. Here’s who we did get to see:

Dan and Kerry Tallarico found a way to combine two of my favorite things: cupcakes and comics! Dan has also inadvertently given me the excellent nickname of ChandROCK! I traded with them for their entire run of Captain Cupcake, and I am a better person for it. So far only one baby has ever thrown up in front of their booth, and that was probably because it couldn’t handle the sheer amount of awesomeness.

Kevin Czapiewski was at the table next to us with his comic Puppyteeth and promoting his webcomic Spoilers. He continually offered us helpful items–scissors, water bottles, excellent comics–throughout the con. I am worried we did not offer him enough in return. Kevin, if you’re reading this, I feel I owe you some snacks or a quest item or something!

I first met Juan Fernandez during my time at the ToonSeum this summer. He was the first person to ever recognize me based on my comics. He is always really positive and enthusiastic about comics, so it’s great to talk to him! I traded with him for his new mini, Une Petite Histoire, which I am excited about reading even though I cannot read any French. He also makes amazing cardboard displays for his work–check them out if you ever get a chance!

I don’t just like Pat Lewis because he has also drawn a yeti comic (called Abominable as well!), but it certainly helps! He was at the table behind ours and had some really excellent books for sale. I picked up a set of buttons (one of which had his yeti on it) and his Girls Gone Mild mini. Pocket-sized comics featuring pretty girls–how could I pass it up?

Joe Medwid and David Rhodenbaugh are two stand-up gentlemen who make a comic called Apartment 4-H. Joe was another of the ToonSeum’s volunteers this summer and befriended me despite my tendency to respond to Facebook messages horribly late. This weekend I traded them for their lovingly-toned Apartment 4-H: The Classics book, which promises to be highly entertaining.

Ed Piskor showed up on the first day of the con with some of the most amazing bling I’ve ever seen. I first met him during my summer at the ToonSeum, and he was crazy friendly and welcoming to me! His current comic project is Wizzywig, the first three volumes of which are available in print and the first two or three chapters of which are available for download (with new pages being added every day).

Alex Ilitchev wasn’t tabling at the con, but he came by and talked shop with us a bit. (Some of it was even in Russian–Paul always seems to find someone to speak Russian with wherever we go, and this time Alex was it! :P) He’s drawn several webcomics, the most recent of which is called Owl House and is pretty fun. (The pixel-art owl in the URL bar is pretty much the cutest thing ever.)

Wayne Wise runs Phantom of the Attic, which is an awesome comics store in Oakland. My dad used to take my sister and me there as a special treat back in the day, and now they stock some of our comics! How cool is that? Wayne himself is also an awesome guy–he co-received the very first Xeric Grant and is still making comics today.

In short, how do I love thee, PIX? A whole hell of a lot. :)

c'mere, you

Where’s my Terrible Tahl?

16 Oct

Holy missed updates, Batman! Sorry for the craziness here, you guys. I know I mentioned a while back that this next week was gonna be busy, but I definitely underestimated how busy I’d actually be. I’ve spent this week making copies, assembling books, and driving, driving, driving. “Sleep” and “blog posting”, unfortunately, were both at the bottom of the to-do list. But it feels like it’s all worth it, because today is the first day of PIX!  The show takes place on the top floor of the Guardian Storage Facility at 2839 Liberty Ave., so swing on by if you’re near the Steel City! Admission is totes free, and there will be tons of cool people there. I will be there tabling with the esteemed Paul Swartz, and our equally esteemed friends Canto and Max Mose will be at a nearby table as well. I’ll be bringing this:

who's the dork in this picture?

and also these:

ripe for the pickin'

so stop by and see me! I don’t know my table number yet, but I’ll post tomorrow and let you guys know.

All right, we’re off to the con…hope to see you guys there!

%d bloggers like this: