Tag Archives: canto

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! :)

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! :)

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. :)

Happy Día de los Muertos!

1 Nov

I hope you all had a fun Halloween! I had a pretty good one, even though this was, sadly, the first year in a looooong time that I didn’t dress up. The Comic Boom! event was super awesome. The store itself is great–lots of selection, including a really fantastic 50-cent bin–and everyone was really friendly and fun to talk to. Corey, the owner, opened up part of the back room for us so that we could table during their normal business/Magic tournament time. Paul, Max, Canto, Bryan Stone, Denis St. John, Steve Bissette, and I were all there selling our work, and Ben came along for moral support. I finished the Día de los Muertos print I was talking about in the last post–it took me until 6:30 in the morning, but goldurnit, I finished it! I’ll post that (along with that visiting artist sketch I keep promising) on Wednesday.

On the subject of skeletons, though, I did some Día de los Muertos portraits of people on demand at the event as well. (Gee, can you tell I think it’s a really cool holiday?) They looked something like this:

Dia de los Muertos portrait

That’s skele-me in my dapper red hat, trying to convince people to spend a dollar on those portraits. I’m not sure if it came through in the scan, but the markings on the face were done in gold gel pen. Clearly, no expense was spared.

Steve and I drew each other as skeletons at the beginning of the event while things were slow, which was fun! You can see my portrait of him here, and his portrait of me just below:

Steve's Portrait

D’awww….lookit that face.

Welp, I’m about to pass out from lack of sleep and I’ve got to wake up at 5:30 in order to help teach a workshop tomorrow, so that’s it for me tonight. I’ll be back on Wednesday with lots more sketches and an exciting update on the calendar situation!

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

[Insert your own Baby 2.0 joke here.]

4 Oct

Just a warning: the next few updates are probably gonna be a little atypical, content-wise. My first big deadline for my thesis seminar is a week from today, and my schedule’s going to be nothing but art, food, and perhaps a little sleep until then. A few days after that, I get to hear a talk by Aaron Renier (my thesis advisor), and that night Canto, Max Mose, Paul Swartz, and I will be heading down to Pittsburgh for the Pittsburgh Indy Comics Expo (PIX for short)! Things will be back to normal(ish) in two weeks, and I’ll still be posting art in the meantime, but it’s gonna be crazy for a while so updates might only have one picture/be filled with sleep-mad gibberish. SUCH IS MY BURDEN, I SUPPOSE. :P

Anyway, here is a peek at one of the characters in the comic I have been slaving over lately:

and her robot babyHer name is Carla, and she’s holding her robot son. She looks slightly different here than she does in the comic–normally she wears her hair loose, but you can see the kid is going for it anyway, so it’s probably best that it’s pulled back. I shaded this with brush pen, which is why the grays are kind of streaky, but in general I really like the lighting in this image. I also like how Carla’s hands turned out. I know she should be supporting the baby’s head, but she’s in the middle of switching positions, and it’s made out of a resilient plastic and is probably easier for the baby to lift than a normal baby head.

Erm. Not that the baby does a lot of lifting of human heads, baby or otherwise. It’s pretty benign as far as robot overlords go.

More art (and maybe more of a sneak-peek into this story, depending on how far along I am) on Wednesday!

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