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I’m a veritable whirlwind of activity!

28 Dec

…Unfortunately, none of that activity is for art-related stuff right now. I’m about to run off to Charlotte to visit Paul (and, with any luck, see Bailey as well), and anytime I travel somewhere I pretty much spend the night before running around in a tizzy. I have packing to do, errands to run, walks to take with the family, cats to keep off the keyboard and out of my suitcase, and an impressive headache, but no brand-new art tonight. What I do have for you is the last of the first set of visiting artist sketches from the senior class presentations. There’s only one today since I haven’t had a chance to scan the second round yet (I’m still figuring out my parents’ scanner), but once I’m back I’ll begin posting the next set. So, without further ado…

Em SauterEm Sauter will be completing a third volume of M. Sauter’s Guide to Douchebaggery and continuing work on her two beer-related webcomics, Pints and Panels (featuring four-panel beer review comics) and Vicki Stowe: Brewmaster (the fictional life story of Vicki Stowe, the next female brewmaster).

Sorry for the short update–I’ll have something new for you guys on Wednesday, I promise!

Dear Mayans: thank you for inventing hot chocolate.

10 Dec

Seriously. It’s gotten so cold here that I’m practically living off the stuff! If there was a way I could get this stuff intravenously, I would absolutely not do it because I am terrified of needles but metaphorically I would be in total favor of it.

…I just reread that last paragraph and am thinking that maybe I should cut down on my intake a little bit.

Chocolate beverage addictions aside, here’s the next set of sketches of the CCS class of 2011:

Ben Horak

Ben Horak will be completing a new issue of Grumptoast, his one-man anthology, as well as redesigning the cover of the first issue. He’s also designed some sweet merchandise featuring some of his recurring characters.

CJ JoughinCJ Joughin is continuing work on City of Cards, her story set in an extremely capitalist, corporation-run future. So far, transparent scrum halves have only made an appearance on her fantastic shirts from Japan and Korea, but I can only hope they show up in her comic as well.

Paul SwartzPaul Swartz is continuing work on The Magnificent Mockingbird Presents: A Vanishing Act (the first chapter of which was his mini-thesis last year) as well as compiling a monster alphabet book and beginning work on an as-yet-unnamed project about a young man trying to revitalize his tiny hometown’s economy by faking a UFO landing.

That’s all for this week! If I haven’t sunk into a sugar-induced coma by Monday, I’ll post more work then. :)

I guess winter’s really here.

6 Dec

I woke up this morning to big fat snowflakes pouring out of the sky.


The flakes were big enough to look fake (although maybe that’s the California girl in me talking), like maybe someone was shooting a Christmas special outside. “Welcome to the land of freezing your important bits off,” they seemed to say to me. Wintertime in Vermont is a harsh mistress…but I have to admit that she’s quite the looker.

Anyway, enough waxing poetic–Bad Poetry Day isn’t for another several months! I wanted to thank you guys for all of the feedback you gave me on the update-schedule front. It’s really interesting for me to see what you guys prefer when it comes to updates and content, so please feel free to let me know what you’re thinking even if I don’t have a poll or anything.

On that note, though, I suppose I should get to the actual content of this post! Here are some more 10-minute doodles of the members of the class of 2011:

Lawrence Lee Derks III

Lawrence Derks is working on several new installments of The Grim Bard, his mini-thesis from last year about a bard who is given some of the Grim Reaper’s power to take souls. (He did, in fact, present in rhyme.)

Jon FineJon Fine is reworking and continuing Studio Lafitte, his mini-thesis from last year that focuses on the life and work of a French painter in the 1920s.

Max MoseMax Mose‘s thesis is comprised of several parts, including an animal encyclopedia, a maritime horror story, and several one-shot humor pieces.

Okay, that’s all for this week. Check back on Wednesday for the next three portraits! :)

Rapid-fire portraits, an apology, and a poll!

3 Dec

It’s like a grab bag of fun! Or of things that can pass for content. Your pick!

Anyway, sorry about missing Wednesday’s update. Things were a little hectic here while I was getting ready for my presentation. I didn’t sleep very much, but the bright side is that I’m pretty happy with how my poster turned out (as mentioned in my previous post), and I think that my presentation also went well. I don’t have a lot of occasion to dress up in a suit jacket and look fancy, so I went all out for this. (Please note: “all out” for me = business jacket, button-up shirt, nice jeans, heels, and makeup. Nothing too intense.) I also did little visiting artist sketches of everyone during their talks. It was difficult, since presentations were only six to eight minutes long, but I feel like I did pretty well. I think that doing visiting artist sketches every week has been really beneficial–if I hadn’t been doing them for a semester, I don’t think I’d be able to get a good likeness at all (especially not in under ten minutes). So, without further ado, three members of the CCS class of 2011:

Nomi KaneNomi Kane‘s thesis project is a book called Sugarbaby, a series of vignettes about her family tied together by discussions of her childhood diagnosis with diabetes.

Josh KramerJosh Kramer is doing several journalistic comics about apples and ski jumping, for starters, and is starting his own comics-reporting journal called The Cartoon Picayune.

Carl AntonowiczCanto is continuing his western, The Tentacle Kid, and a comic about capitalism called The Yoke and Crown.

I have a lot more of these, but I don’t want to post too many pictures at once here. I’ve got about eight more from this week (and will have the rest of them tomorrow), and I could use some reader feedback on how to post them. I could either continue with my normal update schedule and post two or three drawings every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday…OR I could change things up and post one drawing a day, every day, until I run out (at which point I would resume my normal MWF schedule again). What do you guys think?

Thanks in advance for your help, guys! :)

It’s getting too cold here.

19 Nov

I know it’s November, and I know that that means Vermont winter is imminent. BUT THAT DOES NOT MEAN I HAVE TO LIKE IT.

Anyway, here’s my most recent visiting artist sketch:

Carol Tyler

Our speaker this week was Carol Tyler, creator of Late Bloomer and You’ll Never Know (the second book of which came out just a month ago). She was a fantastic presenter, full of energy and humor and sarcasm. (She doesn’t usually wear the hat she’s wearing in my sketch–it’s her Lois Lane hat, which according to her is only suitable for presentations and the like.) I have to admit that I wasn’t familiar with her work before this presentation, but I really enjoyed it! I love the way she stylizes the figure and her use of color. I don’t know if our library has a copy of Late Bloomer, but I can’t wait to find out. :)

In other news, here’s something else that’s cute and stylized:

we are totally freaking adorable

These are some little souvenirs of New York from this week’s trip. They’re part of Amanda Visell’s “Tic Toc Apocalypse” blind box toy series, and we found them in My Plastic Heart. As my dad, Paul, and I were walking toward the restaurant for dinner, Paul realized that he recognized the area we were in. Somewhere nearby, he assured us, there was a toy store that had recently had a gallery show of Scott C.‘s art. He led us around the corner, and–sure enough–there it was! There was such a ridiculous collection of fun stuff that it was hard to pick anything out, but we’d recently seen some of these figures in a book of designer toys and really loved them, so that’s what we ended up getting. (Thanks, Dad!)

I think that’s it for me tonight! CJ Joughin and I have an excellent night of sketching and so-bad-it’s-good shoujo anime planned, so I’d best get to it. See you on Monday!

P.S. Have you guys watched Out of Sight? If not, you need to. It’s adorable, beautifully animated, and has wonderful music–what’s not to like?

Why can’t I stop listening to the Monsters, Inc. theme?

12 Nov

Seriously, I’d like to know.

But while you’re pondering that, here’s a visiting artist sketch:

John Brodowski

This week’s speaker was John Brodowski, creator of Curio Cabinet and elementary school teacher. John kindly invited Kevin Uehlein, Jesse Mead, Max Mose, and myself into his classroom last week, where we spent a super-fun few hours talking about CCS and doing jam comics with his 5th grade classes. John is a really nice guy, and he gave a fun lecture. His comics focus heavily on communicating a story through mood and gesture, so they feel kind of dreamy as a result–not in the “idle fantasy” way, but more in an “is this real?” way, since they often have a creepy or weird element as well. As an added bonus, he showed us several clips of amazingly bad horror films that inspired him as a kid and talked for a while about Jason Voorhees. Good times, my friend. Good times.

Speaking of good times, do you know a surefire way to have a great 2011? The only method I’ve stumbled upon so far is to pick up a Beefsteak calendar, the CCS guys’ answer to our Peep Show calendar. Beefsteak was edited by Josh Kramer and includes work by (*takes deep breath*) Rio TaylorCantoPat Barrett, Jesse Mead, Kevin Uehlein, Ben HorakCasey Bohn, Tom Casteel, Jai Granofsky, Monty MontgomeryNick Patten, Carl MefferdAndy Warner, BillageRandall Drew, Dakota McFadzeanCat Garza, Jon FineJosh Kramer, Jan Burger, Max Mose, Paul Swartz, Katie Moody, and Melanie Gillman. That’s 24 contributors in all, so you actually get 2 cartoonists per month! It’s the same deal as Peep Show: each calendar is $7 (including s&h) and contains 12 hilarious (and sassy) drawings. You can order your very own copy from just about any of the dudes listed above–I know for sure that Canto and Paul have a few to spare. If you don’t feel like you can choose between the two, you can order both calendars for a total of $10. I’ll be receiving another 1o copies of Peep Show 2011 in just a few weeks, so those will be available again soon.

Okay, that’s enough blatant advertising for one day! I’m off to doodle some stuff and poke around with some watercolors. :)

In which I fangirl incessantly.

8 Nov

Another week, another visiting artist sketch:

Scott Campbell

This week, Scott C., the artist behind the ever-fabulous Double Fine Action Comics and Great Showdowns, came to talk to us! I’ve had an enormous artcrush on him since playing Psychonauts (which he art-directed), so of course I was kind of a gibbering mess. I was actually kind of proud of myself on that front, since I was less of a gibbering mess than I was when I met him at SPX or at MoCCA….although that’s not saying much. Imagine an adolescent boy going through three years of puberty in ten condensed minutes of pure awkwardness: that’s what I sounded like as I handed Scott C. my comics.

This time around was totally great, though. Scott gave us a great watercolor demo on Wednesday morning, using four of the upcoming Great Showdowns paintings as examples. I had no idea that the images on the site were essentially actual size–the original paintings are the size of Post-Its! As a life-long lover of little tiny things, I was in heaven. It was pretty fun to just observe his process and watch these little tiny paintings come to life. His lecture on Thursday was also fantastic–he’s a very casual, interesting speaker who brings the same laid-back humor he puts in his comics into his talks. (He also uses “dude”–or some variant thereof–approximately once every three sentences.) I love his work, so it was really exciting to see so many of his paintings and prints; plus, he also showed us some great Psychonauts and Brütal Legend concept art. It’d be wonderful to see the concept art for either of those games collected into an art book someday–of course, I’d prefer it to be Psychonauts, but I’m totes biased.

As awkward as I may have been feeling, I do feel like I managed to keep my composure pretty well. Jon Chad invited me along to dinner with him and Scott on Wednesday night, and I am very proud to say that I didn’t fall out of our pizza parlor booth with sheer nervousness/delight. It turns out that Scott is pretty much an awesome guy no matter where you meet him; he always treats you like you are buddies (or “dudes”, if I may) that are just hangin’ out. He also gave portfolio reviews and was very helpful and encouraging–he said he loved my work (!!!) and was really excited about all my yeti-related stuff  while giving me good advice on how to improve it (which is fun, because early versions of both Edie and the yeti’s character designs were heavily influenced by Scott’s style). So basically I was obnoxiously happy for much of last week.

If that wasn’t enough exciting news, I got mentioned on The Comics Journal again! Rob Clough spent all of October reading minicomics by CCS students and alumni, and he briefly talks about Monsters (one of my minis and the sequel to Abominable) in his last post on the subject. It’s a short review, but he says some insightful stuff. I have to admit to being a little sensitive about Monsters right now; it was originally created for an anthology that was never reprinted, so it’s at a somewhat irregular size. I’ve been selling it as its own mini, but the production has been getting more and more frustrating as time goes on. I’ve stopped offering it for sale until I can figure out how to reformat it in a way that makes it better-looking (since the grays get kind of muddled now and again) and easier to reproduce (since trimming it down often makes the margins too small), but hopefully I’ll have it ready to go soon.

Speaking of “things for sale,” I finally have a store set up! As I mentioned before, I couldn’t put it on this site due to WordPress’s php/form restrictions, but it’s over on my portfolio site now. You can check it out by clicking here and then clicking on the “store” button. I am pretty excited about this, partly because it was a long and frustrating process for not-so-technically-minded me, but also because now I don’t have to sound so sketchy when I run out of stuff at conventions. “You can find these in my PayPal store” sounds wayyyy more legit than “No, really, give me some money and your address and I will TOTES send you a comic,” don’t you think?

Holy crap, this post turned out to be long. I’m gonna shut up now and sit back and watch those COMICS DOLLAZ ROLL IN.


I am cartoonist; hear me grumble.

3 Nov

As promised, here’s my visiting artist sketch of Laura Park from last week:

Laura Park

Laura was a really great lecturer. She was engaging and interesting and managed to tell stories about living in a particular city while completely avoiding the “you’ll never be cool like this if you don’t live there” attitude that often seems to go with that kind of thing. She also did a really fantastic crosshatching/lettering/watercolor demo for us. It’s absolutely amazing to watch her letter–she has a knack for fabricating entire alphabets from a very small sample of lettering, which she can then use to write anything she wants absolutely beautifully. As you can see, I was very impressed by her presentation and by her fashion sense. She had this fantastic hot pink eyeshadow on every time I saw her that I unfortunately wasn’t able to capture in this sketch, plus the aforementioned golden shoes.

Ugh…I know I promised you guys an image of that Día de los Muertos print, but I think that’s it for me tonight. Sorry to cut this post short, but I am feeling crazy frustrated. I’ve been trying to set up a PayPal store so that I can get those calendars out to everyone that ordered them, but you can’t do that on a WordPress-hosted blog. This means that I have to get my portfolio site up and running again in order to get a storefront up. This is something I was planning to do anyway, but I’m really frustrated by this additional delay. I’ll try to make that happen ASAP, but in the meantime, stay tuned for more drawings…

Muévete! Muévete!

29 Oct

Busy, busy busy! We’re all back to full health over here, which is great, but now we’re scrambling to get ready for Halloween festivities. That means lots of costume planning (I had a last-minute change of heart) and also illustration work for this excellent event:pew pew pew

Comic Boom is graciously hosting several CCS students tomorrow in order to let us sell our work and watch horror movies with them. I’ll be there along with Paul, Ben, and Max…but I’m a huge scaredy-cat, as I’ve mentioned before, so I’m only participating in the former. I’d still like to have something new and seasonal to bring with me, though, so I’ve been working on some Día-de-los-Muertos-inspired prints to sell. Unfortunately, that means I’ve got a lot left to do, so this blog post is going to be on the short side. Don’t worry, though–I’ll post the finished products here. In the meantime, here’s a quick visiting artist doodle I did yesterday of Laura Park:

letterin' up a storm

I’ll post my usual picture with quotes (plus a little bit about her talk and watercolor demo) on Monday, but right now I have to get back to drawin’ skeletons!

Me? Awake on a Monday? What a novel idea!

25 Oct

Woof. What a weekend! Don’t get me wrong, it was nice to have a weekend that wasn’t spent (a) frantically trying to finish 16 pages to my satisfaction or (b) driving all night. On the other hand, though, it was kind of a bummer to spend the whole weekend in quarantine. I was feeling kind of sick–everyone at CCS has had the sniffles or worse these past few weeks–so I spent the weekend hanging out with Paul (who was feeling way worse than I was, poor guy), taking naps, and watching Boardwalk Empire. It’s a fun show (although, man, did some episodes get way grosser and more violent than I expected!), and it’s great costume porn. I love me some period pieces, especially if they involve pinstripes, cool dresses, and excellent hats. KIND OF LIKE THESE ONES:

Boardwalk Hats

These are actually sketches from a few weeks ago when we watched the first episode; I wasn’t up for much drawing this weekend. I still like how they turned out, though; I drew them in a simpler style that was kind of influenced by the Professor Layton games. (I’ve only just managed to kick a serious addiction to those games, but I doubt it’ll last for long since the third one just came out.) I’d like to do something with these guys (or with characters who look something like them), but I don’t have any specific story ideas for that era other than “draw hats”.

Speaking of dudes in hats, here’s my latest visiting artist sketch:

Jerry Craft

Jerry Craft, who draws the newspaper strip Mama’s Boyz, came to talk to us this week. He was funny, engaging, and generally a great speaker. He had some interesting things to say about his experience in the newspaper industry, self-publishing, and how having a multicultural cast has influenced the reception of his work. It’s ridiculous that some people will still look at a comic and say, “Oh, this comic has black characters? It’s just like [other comic also featuring black characters],” even if race is the only thing those characters have in common. That concept is just really strange to me. I feel like multiculturalism is an important part of comics–I want my worlds to reflect a variety of diverse characters, not just to feature Generic White Protagonist #8,502. That’s not to say that it’s wrong to have a white protagonist or that creators who have them should feel bad; it’s just that I want that to be a conscious decision that I make instead of what I default to without thinking, y’know? I guess it’s just strange to me–even though, sadly, it probably shouldn’t be–that some people are still weirded out by multiculturalism and willing to write it off as all being interchangeable.

*shrugs* Welp, that’s my two cents for this week. I’ll be back on Wednesday with some more arts. If you need somethin’ to read in the meantime, why not check out the Comics Journal’s review of Tales from San Papel, an anthology that I contributed to back in the day (by which I mean during winter break last year). Rob Clough referred to my contribution, It Never Snows in San Papel, as one of the standouts. I am super flattered! :)

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