Tag Archives: thesis

Who’s got two thumbs and has finished her thesis?

4 May

That’s right: THIS GUY!


That’s a super-quick celebratory photo of me (in all my manic, sleep-deprived glory) and all 8 copies of my thesis project, just before I turned them in! As you can see, I chose to go with the purple and blue crest with “Fiat Comix” as the logo. I feel pretty good about how they turned out, but I think I’d like to try doing another round. I want to print it on bigger bags with the proper ink for printing on fabric so that I can have a better one for myself (right now, I have one of the messed-up versions!) and maybe some for sale, too!

I hope that the thesis evaluation committee thinks that everything looks good, too. I’m pretty nervous about going up in front of them next week, of course, but–fingers crossed–I think things may go okay. Aside from my nerves, I basically feel like this:

YESSSSSSSIt’s amazing what a few nights of good sleep and a few days of eating well can do! Now I’m all pumped up for Drawn Out Storytelling! Thank you very much to everyone who’s donated so far–we’re 43% funded! We’re not out of the woods yet, though. The way Kickstarter works, we don’t actually receive any money unless we meet (or–be still, my heart!–exceed) our goal; if we raise less than our proposed amount, all the money is refunded and we have to find a way to finance the show out of our own pockets. If you have the chance, would you check our Kickstarter out? You can donate as little as $1, and there are a lot of really great prizes if you donate. You can win keychains, free tickets, and lots and lots of original art, ranging from sketches to finished illustrations to custom comic books! I don’t mean to harp on about it, but I’m so excited about this show and really, really want to see it made. It’d really make my day if you could help us out by donating or spreading the word!

Speaking of things that are making my day, I’m also pretty pumped for Free Comic Book Day, which is this Saturday. I’ll be hanging out at Newbury Comics in West Lebanon, NH, sellin’ my wares and enjoying an awesome comics holiday. I’m hoping to make a new mini to give out that day, so I’ll keep you posted on how that goes. Come see me if you’re in the area–I’d love to say hi!

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!)

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! :)

I better start thinking of some names fast. (NSFW)

16 Feb

Seriously. Naming these thesis-related posts is going to be so much easier once I have real titles for the different parts of it! I guess the best I can do right now is to say, “Here are some sketches from that 1920s project.”

So…yeah. Y’know. That. This first one does include some almost-nudity (save for pasties), so you may not want to scroll down while you’re at work.

1920s sketch #1

This is the latest incarnation of the female lead in Perfectly Fitting. After reading American Rose I started thinking that maybe she started work as a stripper after the Everleigh Club was closed down. I’m still working on the plot for this, so I’m not sure if that’ll stick, but right now I like it. At the very least, her being in varying levels of nakedness gives me lots of opportunity to draw Keeley looking flustered, and of course I love doing that!

1920s sketch #2

Here’s our gal heading home from work early one morning. (I think she and I keep similar schedules.) I feel like I’m getting better and better at drawing her, especially when it comes to her haircut. I like how bouncy she looks in this as well as the expression on her face. The only thing I’m not as pleased with is the fur stole–it’s looking a little too much like a Lamb Chop puppet for my taste. Ah well. Perhaps I’ll include a scene in the comic in which it teaches us all a lesson about sharing, possibly through song.

Water, water everywhere…

23 Dec

So, hey, San Diego seems to be flooding. Don’t get me wrong: I love rain, and this is a nice change of pace from California’s habit of catching on fire every summer, but rain to the point of the roof leaking, hotels being evacuated, and the train tracks being flooded seems a tad excessive. Luckily, the worst of it seems to be over. The sun totally came out for, like, two hours today (which is about the same amount of sunlight we get in Vermont some days), so maybe things’ll start to dry off soon.

In the meantime, though, I’ve got another Keeley sketch for you:

Keeley ties his shoes.I tell ya what, this guy is way too much fun to draw. I love his freckles and lanky limbs! (His pants are always just a little too short because he’s so tall, which means I get to practice drawing bony ankles and cool socks, too.) I’m pretty pleased with how this sketch came out, unfinished hands aside. I think the folds in his clothes came out well, and I feel like I’m getting a better sense for how he moves. I still need to work on drawing shoes, though–the proportions on these are a little off. Does that mean I’ll have to spend the next few days looking up dapper 1920s outfits? OH WOE IS ME.

I think that’s it for me tonight…the cat had me up at 6:00 am, plus my body has no idea what time zone I’m in at this point, so I’m gonna get some sleep. See you guys on Friday!

Updating on time? It must be a Christmas miracle!

21 Dec

Or, y’know, a miracle of the winter holiday of your choice. I’m not picky. My mother has since pointed out that there’s been enough time between this update and my last for a Chanukah miracle and then some, so there you have it! :)

On the serious, though, I’m sorry to have been MIA for so long. Last week was a little tougher than I thought it’d be. I had to go to my last week of classes, present the comics workshop lessons I compiled for my Professional Practices class, check in with my advisor, join in some birthday festivities for one Mr. Paul Swartz, bid my cartoonists adieu, and head home to the West Coast, so my head was in a million different places. I’m all settled in now, though–the fam’s asleep, and I’m hanging out in bed listening to the rain pouring down outside–so it’s updatin’ time!

Today I’m posting some sketches from my 1920s project. I’m calling it Perfectly Fitting for now, but I don’t know if that’ll stick. I don’t know a lot about this one yet, to be honest. All I have is a time period, an artistic style, and two characters, but I’m feeling pretty strongly about the latter two so hopefully it’ll pan out. Here’s one of those characters now:

KeeleyI’d like you guys to meet Keeley. Like I said, I don’t know everything about him yet–I know he’s Irish, in his twenties, and is pretty skittish but good-hearted. There are definitely things I’m unsure about in this drawing; I don’t think he’s ever going to actually say this line (it’s pulled from a Boris Timanovsky story on a Moth podcast I was listening to at the time and really liked), and I was practicing my background work and am not totally pleased with the result. I really love drawing Keeley, though, because he’s so gangly and is in constant motion. He’s going to be fun to work with once I figure out what his story really is.

Perfectly Fitting isn’t all about him, though. It’s also about this girl:

Our Mystery WomanI’d love to introduce you to her, but I’m afraid I don’t quite know her name yet. I know she’s Eastern European and that she used to work for the Everleigh club in Chicago, but she and I are still getting to know each other. She’s a bit more reticent than Keeley, so she’s taking a bit more work but I have faith she’ll be worth the effort.

…I know, I know. Today’s post has an awful lot of that, but I’m afraid I’m always like this when I start a project. I take a fair amount of time to get a feel for my characters, what they look and sound like, before I start writing or drawing. I can tell when a comic is really working for me when the characters almost start writing themselves–when the dialogue starts feeling more like something I’m overhearing than something I’m dictating–but before that can happen I have to be able to visualize the characters doing whatever it is they’re meant to be having. Even though the overall shape of this project may be fuzzy right now, I’m working hard on that visualizing part. I hope you guys don’t mind being a little patient with me while I work out how to make things a little clearer–I promise I’ll share the results. :)

Okay, that’s quite enough for me for tonight. See you guys on Wednesday (for real this time)!

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 amazing what three hours’ sleep will do.

29 Nov

In this case, it gets me through 2 1/2 hours of TAing/standing in for the model, 3 hours of class, and dinner, with enough time to doze and fight with Photoshop about posting an update. Fun facts!

In any case, here’s what I’ve been losing sleep over for the past week or so:

The Game of Thesis-Land!

This is my poster for my thesis presentation later this week. Instead of one big long story, I’m doing several smaller projects that differ greatly from each other. I found it challenging at first to come up with a concept that allowed me to talk about the differences between these works without making it seem like, “oh, here’s a bunch of crap I threw together that I might work on,” but I think the game board theme does it well. At least, I hope it does–it’s the result of hours of brainstorming with lots of different people, plus a whole lot of inking and painting! Overall, I’m pretty proud of it–I especially like the drawing for Perfectly Fitting, although that may just be because that character is super fun to draw. You guys’ll be seeing more of him soon. I also like how the drawing of the sleeping me at the end of the path turned out…although maybe I’m just jealous that she seems to be sleeping so soundly.

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