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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.

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In which I reveal poll results and complain about the weather.

8 Mar

I promised myself that I wasn’t going to whine about the weather after my month-long stint of only talking about snow and posting a silly drawing, but I find myself unable to keep that promise. Today we had a bunch of freezing rain and snow, and when I ventured outside for sustenance I found that there was nearly an inch of ice on my car and that three of its four doors had iced shut! Our ice scraper made the ultimate sacrifice tonight–it lost all but three of its tines and has thus been honorably discharged from service. I am rather disheartened, both by the loss of my faithful ice scraper and by the fact that I thought that we were done with icy horribleness for a while. Blech. I love Vermont and all, but sometimes it makes it very difficult to like living here!

Things aren’t all that bad, of course. I had a great talk with my thesis advisor, Aaron Renier, today, and that left me feeling pretty good about the (increasingly little) time I have left to work on my thesis. It also helps that I finally sat down yesterday (or, rather, this very early morning) and wrote out a complete and final outline for my mermaid story. It’s tentatively called I Saw You, but that’s just a placeholder until any other name occurs to me. I changed the ending halfway through scripting it  the first time and also realized that the pacing was way too fast, so it feels great to finally know for sure where the story is going and to have made my peace with how long it’ll take me to get there. It’s still going to be a lot of work–I want to redesign some characters and settings, so I’ll have to redraw the seven pages I started at the beginning of this year, and it’s going to be over fifty pages when it’s done–but it’s such a relief to have this first step completed. I’ve been sketching the main characters from this story lately when I’m bored, trying to get a feel for how I want to draw them. Here’s an example:

simple Vivian sketch

This is Vivian, spreading out her towel at the beach. I realized too late that I forgot to shade the sand, so now it looks like the poor gal’s hell-bent on catching hypothermia. I like the simple style of this image–I think I had just discovered Natasha Allegri’s blog when I drew this–but unfortunately I don’t think it’s the right look for this story. It’s gonna be horror-flavored (albeit only lightly, on account of me being a huge wimp), and right now I feel like this is a little too cutesy.

Speaking of cutesy, here’s the final lineup for the charms!

Final Charm Designs

In a last-minute upset, there was a three-way tie for fourth between Sleepy Yeti, Happy Yeti, and iNterruption. I decided to go with iNterruption because there were already two yeti charms in this batch, but rest assured–if these sell well at MoCCA, I’ll definitely make more! I like the idea of having an all-yeti set (like the “Yeti-motion” stickers that I’d been giving out at cons last year), so that’ll probably happen sometime soon.

Thank you SO MUCH for all of your input! I was so, so excited to receive so much feedback from y’all about which ones you’d like to buy. I appreciate you guys so much. :) If you feel like giving more, you should definitely head over to Paul’s blog and sneak in a last vote before he closes his poll tonight. (You should vote for the axolotl–it’s tied for fourth right now, and holy hell do I want an adorable little salamander on my keys!)

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

Necesito verte un día más.

6 Nov

Sorry this update is late, you guys. I’ve had a week of crazy ups and downs–good art days, bad art days, great portfolio reviews, frustration with current projects, fun with friends, sad news from family, etc.–and I’ve been finding myself a little distracted. I’ll be back on the ball by Monday, I think, but right now I think I’m gonna stick with a quiet sort of update.

Anyway, here’s the Día de los Muertos print that I’ve been promising:

una ofrendita para tiThis was another experiment with the G-nib, with the added challenge of using gouache. I feel like it turned out pretty well but not exactly right. In my portfolio review, Scott C. pointed out that by watering down the gouache I’m basically just using it like regular watercolors, so he recommended that I try using watercolors so that I’m not fighting against the medium. That makes a lot of sense, so I think I’ll give it a shot sometime soon.

In other news, I’ve been loving Boardwalk Empire like crazy lately (at least, when it hasn’t been really gruesome). I really want to do something 1920s-inspired, but I don’t know what yet. “I want to draw flappers and dapper hats” isn’t much of a story premise, but I feel like a period piece with really simple character design and a nice muted watercolor palette would be really relaxing and fun to do. I picked up a copy of Sin in the Second City a little while ago, so maybe I’ll call that this week’s research. IDEAS AHOY

All right…I’ll see you guys on Monday, hopefully in slightly better spirits. Have a good weekend! :)

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!

Nurse! I need 100 ccs of whimsy, STAT!

8 Oct

As we get into the final days before our deadline (what we in the biz call “siege conditions”), my studio-mates and I have been daydreaming about the other jobs we could potentially hold.

Max: I wish I could just be a nightclub promoter…or maybe an avant-garde jazz musician.

Lawrence: Sometimes I think I could own a little bookshop on a boardwalk. But then I’m like, how impractical is that? Your books would be horribly damaged!

Ben: …Convict.

As for me, I’m ready to embrace any career that lets me take a break from InDesign for a while. I’ve spent the last few weeks working on this:

This is Peep Show 2011, a calendar edited by Nomi Kane and myself. It features 12 of the talented female cartoonists at CCS drawing pin-ups of each other in all our nerdy, artsy glory. They’re full-color, $7 including shipping, and tons of fun (if I do say so myself)! Email me if you’d like to reserve a copy (or copies, if you’re feeling decadent!), or come pick one up in person if you’re coming to PIX! We all worked really hard on this (my contributions included drawing the lovely Colleen Frakes and the front cover, plus designing and laying out the interior), so I highly recommend checking it out. :)

All right…it’s back to work for me, so I’ll catch you guys on Monday!

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