Catching up on Comics!

Hello fellow comic lovers. 

It’s been awhile, but we have been busy busting out the beats y’all! Ok, so we aren’t making music per-say but doesn’t a real good story have some great beats. Pacing that is, and comic pacing is all about those panels. It’s the dirty work but it’s also the backbone. So I have been plugging away at making the panels that someday (real soon) will hold the beauty of Beth’s drawings. Beth has been kicking out the thumbnails for those new books you all are waiting on and let me tell you… this is a secret… its gonna be worth the wait!!! I have been throwing some side eye glances over to her workstation and she is killing it!  So you better start prepping yourself and your favorite comics reading chair for some new stuff, go ahead fluff the pillows, sit down, wiggle a bit. Comfy? Ready? Good!

Until then have you read Half Asleep Volume 1 and 2? You might wanna catch yourself up! 

Half Asleep Volume 1 and 2

Alright confession… I, Beth’s trusty intern, hadn’t read them til about a week ago, but man was I kickin’ myself in the pants for waiting so long and I just don’t want you to have to suffer the same pain! So, I suggest you get your hands on a copy real soon, curl up in that comfy chair and get to readin’! 

You can click that nifty little button to the right that says STORE and you'll find um! 

Well now you have a mission, and we have ours! Drawings for us, and reading for you! 

Look at that to-do list!

Look out for some new blawgs coming down the pike.

Til next time,

The ever-enthusiastic intern,



Hi Readers! 

Intern Corianne here reporting on CAKE 2014! It was my first time attending CAKE, yes I am a comic noooob! No worries though, after surviving the initial shock of over-stimulation I fared alright. Of course there was the occasional, "Hi!... I follow you on twitter... YOU'RE GREAT!!!...*nervous sweats*... K BYYYYEE!!!" Luckily, the comics community seems to be very forgiving of the awkward and I improved my social skills by round 3 of walking around. Sorry, to those who experienced that pain. 

"Person is cooler than she appears." - gonna put it on my side mirrors. 

So when the social stress got to be too much I retreated to the panels. They are totally safe, I learn something, they talk to me and I can't put my foot in my mouth! WIN WIN! 

I attended "Seduction of the Innocent." That is something to write home about. "HEY MoM! I am learning to seduce the innocent. Thanks, send money. K kool, TTYL" Too late I already have my degree. Muhahahahaha! Awesome, awesome panel! The panel focused on making comics for kids and young adults and the stand out thought, DONT DUMB IT DOWN! Speak for yourself then cut the booze, sex and swearing and there you go... kids comic! #boom. Ok, there is a little more than that, but it was encouraging for someone like me who likes dark humor, comedic grotesque shit but also an aspiring kids comic artist to be reminded that "kids have a dark side too." Whoo hoo there is hope for me yet! Shout out to Liz Prince who spoke in the panel! Tomboy, her new book comes out September 2nd.

Still not ready for more people?.... yeah... OK.. PANEL #2... "24 Panels a Second"

Perfect! I studied animation and am now transitioning to comics! Great please, PLEASE make me feel better about "wasting" so much time in animation classes when I could have been making comics! Guess what they did! The answer? They go hand in hand and it's not crazy to be in love with both! Awesome thanks! Honestly, a great panel but I didn't take as many notes because I was too busy sketching. The panel had some awesome facial features that needed to be drawn. All in all, left with some confidence in my career path.

Some of the panel doodles.

Now ready to meet some awesome artists? AWE HELL YEAH!

Special shout out to Pranas T. Naujokaitis for his rocking kids book, Dinosaurs in Space now with a place on my bookshelf, and Bernie McGovern who gave me an awesome list of Chicago Artists to stalk-I mean check out! 
Don't know who I'm talking about? Check em out! 

Walked away with some great books and even more I want to own soon! All together it was a very successful CAKE!

Thank you to everybody who made it out and stopped by Beth’s table to say 'hi' and thank you to everyone who made my first real Chicago Comics weekend so awesome!

Til next time, 

The ever enthusiastic intern, 


CAKE and Corianne!

Hello my fellow comic enthusiasts! This is coming to you from the newest voice in the sky, (interwebs, invisible cords think about it, its weird) ahhh....hemmm. drumroll please! Corianne Wells!
Please picture me rolling in balancing on one leg, on a bears head, on a ball

I will be Beth's faithful intern for the coming summer months and look forward to keeping record of the many shenanigans that are bound to occur!

But I already suspect you are suspicious! So I shall tell you a bit about myself to ease your worries. Once a student of the great Beth Hetland I graduated with the shiny BFA, from SAIC (emphasis in illustration and animation). Now a full fledged adult (so they say) I work at T.S. Shure, a toy company in Chicago as a Marketing Illustrator, while pursuing my love of art, comics, characters and a really good story. Also, I'm gonna give it a go at being a radical intern. So check in on my adventures at Hetland HQ.

put your hands together....


Chicago's Alternative Comics Expo


Surprise, surprise! No it isn't on Beth's convention list (at least not the one on this blog) but you can't think she would have missed it!? 

Ladies and gentleman, grab your coattails, hats and umbrellas! Its gonna be a whirlwind of a weekend! 

BUT have no fear here's your treasure map!

51 B = BETH HETLAND + CARTOON PICYUNE (http://www.cartoonpicayune.com/)
51 A = PENINA GAL (http://peninacomix.wordpress.com/)
50 A = TUGBOAT PRESS (http://www.tugboatpress.com/)
50 B = ALEC LONGSTRETH(http://www.alec-longstreth.com/)
52 B = DAKOTA MCFADZEAN + MEAGS FITZGERALD = CONUNDRUM PRESS (http://www.conundrumpress.com)
52 A = LUKE HOWARD (http://www.andsothen.com/)


"epic hangout extreme" - Beth Hetland

You can find the full list of awesome exhibitors here:

So don't miss out! This is gonna be my first CAKE but I've always loved sweet things so I am pumped!

 May 31st - June 1st 
@ the Center on Halsted
3656 N. Halsted

See ya there! Signing off, the ever enthusiastic intern,


Writing Process Blog Tour

Greetings faithful readers! I've been tagged in a blog tour by the one and only Cara Bean who I met during several fantastic summers in Vermont at the Center for Cartoon Studies.

1) What am I working on?

At this very moment I'm working on several different things (as I tend to do), but let's start with the biggest and go to the smallest. I'm working on all the thumbnails for what is going to be an eight part comic series that I'm collaborating with my best friend, Kyle O'Connell, on called Half Asleep. I just finished drawing, printing and assembling volume 2 which debuted last weekend in Toronto at TCAF and have made my way half way through the thumbnails for volume 3 which I hope to have completed for the fall. Kyle is writing and I'm drawing but we edit and spend a lot of time going back and forth to workshop each others part of the process.
I'm also currently working on a few freelance projects including wedding invites, tattoo design, and anthology contributions. In addition to the freelance, this Sunday I'm going to be on a podcast that is all about telling stories, so I'm writing a story right now!

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Primarily, when I'm creating solo work, I'm making autobiographical work. Something I'm the most interested in with autobio work is how much of the story is fact and how much is creative license. When I read autobio work, I tend to get bored easily with the day to day things or more regurgitative responses to life. What I do that I think, and hope, is different is to approach my experiences in reality with the narrative control of a fiction writer. I nudge and rearrange stories as you might with an anecdote that someone is telling you. Throwing in hyperbole, metaphor and a dab of magical realism to balance out my internal fantasies. I think a lot about a quote from Alfred Hitchcock that a good story "is life with all the boring parts cut out." I also find that some my work tends to lean toward more artist book concept that the content will reflect. Book form and design is very important to why printed material still exists, so why not use it? I'm influences and swipe from scrap booking techniques, traditional binding techniques and origami forms. Finding a form that can be as mailable as a narrative is very exciting for me and I think is something really different that a lot of cartoonists don't do.

3) Why do I write what I do?

I think this is such a good question! I write the stories I do partially because that's what I'm interested in reading and enjoying. The other part of why I make the things I make is that something is boiling deep inside of me and the only way for me to process my thoughts, feelings, or actions is to write and draw until it is removed or better understood. Sometimes I think about the information I struggle to absorb as bowling balls. They're heavy and awkward and there really isn't a good way to store them. They just sort of take up space and you only ever need one, maybe, but how do you keep or get rid of the others? Until they become something usable, they're just bowling balls sitting around my mental space. But slowly and surely I clean up that space and am able to move these cumbersome objects out and replace them with stories and comics.

4) How does your writing process work?

This is something I'm still figuring out. I'm gonna let you in on a secret. I have a REALLY hard time writing. Whether it's autobio or fiction, I'm still figuring out my process with it. It starts with sketches, images, ideas, or making some kind of object or marks that I think are strange. These marks often will reoccur or I'll make the shape several times to see if it's still interesting to me. Let it bounce around in my head and if I'm still thinking about it and I still think it's weird or exciting, I'll try to build from it a bit more to see what happens before and after. For me image and text come at the same time after the initial interest in the project. I really value a well paced comic and I think to do that you need to constantly be asking yourself "Is this the best way to tell this?" and "What's the most important thing about this scene?" Without these two guiding questions I feel like my writing and storytelling really tend to wander off track. BUT once my story is mapped out, I have my thumbs and text at the same time, I can start penciling, inking and doing corrections. The other major part of my process is in the editing stage. I often seek out other cartoonists or readers to not only check the story for clarity but spelling mistakes (of which there are MANY quite often) and for enjoyment! I am from a heavy art background and critique is very important to me. I'll even change things from one print-run to the next if I think someone has a good idea of how to improve.

Next up I am supposed to tag three people to answer the same questions for next week. So here are mine: Tyrell Cannon (who also has an awesome Kickstarter up right now!), Andy Warner, and Laura Terry! Enjoy the rest of the tour!


Something in the wind

Hi readers! It's Friday and here's an update on some of the things I've been doing.
Last week, Kyle and I performed in Brain Frame Lit at SAIC. Our performance was a live meeting in which we collaborated on our work in front of a room of on-lookers. It was a blast and totally weird. I was very nervous as you may be able to tell from some of these images. But after we were done, we passed out a new mini comic that will be available from me at conventions while supplies last. These books are really awesome and made through a scrapbooking technique I was playing around with called a Circle book. So each "page" is a full circle and when you close the book it forms sort of a pizza piece. With this mini, you can read the "Kyle Section" or the "Beth Section" all the way through the book, and then it directs you to turn the object and read the other part of it. It is a really neat object that talks about our process of collaboration.
One of my students, Tori Kwon, made this awesome comic version of her experience of us.

As the semester is coming to a close for me, I'm able to find more time to put in on inking Half Asleep Volume 2 (hopefully coming out for TCAF in early May). But here's a sneak peak of one of the pages where Ivy is day-dreaming about her obnoxious and lecture-y mom.

I've finished listening to the second book of the King Killer Chronicle, as well as finish both books 1 and 2 of the Divergent series. Book 3 here I come! And then... who knows what will be next to listen to while I finish inking this. As of last night, I cleared page 21 of completed inks which means there are only 27 more to go! I'm nearly at the tipping point from the uphill climb to half way, to the downhill launch into completion.

I am also very happy to say that I just printed a fresh batch of the FUGUE Omnibus which is available at MY STORE along with volume 1 of Half Asleep purchases and newly added International shipping prices!

Thanks so much and see ya next time!


Beware the Ides!

My faithful readers!! Happy Friday.  I'm pleased to officially announce a few things and remind you of a a couple as well!

First and foremost, I will be tabling at the Chicago ZineFest at Columbia College Chicago's 1104 S. Wabash Building from 11am until 6pm on Saturday the 15th! (THE IDES OF MARCH!) Come find me at table 48, here's that handy map again.

Second, not only will I have copies of Half Asleep Vol. 1 and Cycles but I will have a few minis that you can't get online and are only sold IN PERSON by me. If you can't make it to ZineFest, I hope you will take advantage of my electronic store front and order some of my books!

Saving the best for last. I am EXTREMELY pleased to announce OFFICIALLY that FUGUE: a Family in Three Parts has now been collected into an omnibus edition and will be debuting at ZineFest! I was very hesitant to announce its completion as there were a few moments back there when I didn't think it would happen. However, I have a wonderfully supportive community that encouraged me to give it the 'old Beth Hetland magic' and low and behold, dear readers, a book has been born. Here I am with the very first copy lovingly and proudly gazing at it.

Each book has cream interior pages, color chapter breaks, digital colored covers and is handbound by yours truly. They are a STEAL clocking in at 136pages and for the low, low cost of $12.00 (plus shipping). If you stop by at Zinefest for one of these, you'll save on shipping! Hooray! They will also be at all of the other shows I'm attending this year (listed to the right) while supplies last.

Thanks for reading and hope to see you soon!


Burning both ends of the Candle

Just when you think things couldn't POSSIBLY become any busier, they always, always do dear reader. If you don't make time for the important people, projects or appointments then you never will. There will always be something boiling on the back-burner that in the time it took you to stir one of your many pots, it has over flowed or exploded meat all over your kitchen (mom). Regardless, this is where I find myself as I'm typing this to all of you. If I don't make time now--when I know I have an appointment to meet, papers to grade, comics to draw, minis to fold--I will find a way, ANY way, to put off what I know in my heart needs to happen. For the good of the Beth.

That being said, exciting stuff is coming down the pipeline EXTREMELY quickly! Conventions! The first of which is happening NEXT WEEKEND! Saturday, March 15th is the Chicago Zine Fest and naturally I'm busy printing minis, assembling funny books and sorting sequential pages. There will be one NEW item at my table but I'm not ready to announce it yet. You'll be able to find me on the First Floor of the 1104 S. Wabash Building at Columbia College Chicago. Here's the inside map!

You can all start marking your calendars now though for Kyle and I to give a one time only performance of a LIVE ACTION COLLABORATION on April 2nd at the Neiman Center in Chicago, IL at 4pm. I hope you can make it! It's going to be very unpredictable and totally weird.
Other news is that on the right hand side of the website, you can see my Convention appearances list! I'll be at all of those place this year and that's pretty much it. I'm slowing down a smidge on the Convention end of things in an effort to focus and direct my attention to projects and personal growth.

Until then, I'll just keep plugging away at Volume 2 of Half Asleep (Volume 1 can be purchased here) and leave these sneak peek images right here for all of y'all!
As well as a super weird one page comic for the CAKE book that I'll be in that debuts at CAKE Chicago at the end of May/beginning of June!
See you next time!


Whatever happens

Greetings dear readers!
Some exciting updates for you. Inking is in full swing! Most of my time not spent in the classroom or huddled under a blanket right now is being spent hunched over my drawing table, with world-cancelling headphones, listening intently to my audio book and making progress on my pages!
As you'll see from the sneak peeks, there is a new element going on here, white ink on black! I'm using a pro white guache mixed to my friend Ingrid's advice ("as if it's the consistency of half-and-half") and it's working MARVELOUSLY. I'm very pleased with how these pages, as few as they are, are turning out. It makes me excited to be able to put down my other work and log in some solid time at the desk. And HOPEFULLY by the end of all of this, I will have a new book to push down your throats!happily promote!
On top of comics-ing, I'm still working my way through the semester. A new set of Captains and our first guest lecturer!
One last thing, if you're in Chicago, make sure you pick up a copy of the most recent New City because my good friend Ian McDuffie has a comic in there!!
Till next time friends!


If you feel, like I feel, sugar...

Welcome back dear readers. As I continue to do my best with updating and pursuing the perpetual juggle, I appreciate your patience and loyalty in visiting!
As the weeks tick on, they seem to move even faster. Projects in school are reaching critiques (or finalization), lectures are starting to build themselves, handouts are assembled, and demos are demolished. These are all good things. The more my classes can "run themselves" so to speak, the more studio time I can squeeze out of my packed schedule.
This week I was finally able to start laying some ink down on my pages
It's not much, but it's a step. I've dove head first back into my audio book "The Name of the Wind" aka the first book of the King Killer Chronicles by Patrick Rothfuss (BIG SHOUT OUT to Surabhi for the rec!). I'm excited to keep putting hours in on these pages as chug ever steadily to the finish line!
This week I also had a wonderfully unexpected moment of mental relief when a good friend came into town and took me to lunch and the opera (Barber of Seville) between my two classes on Wednesday.
A wonderful opera, completely hilarious and with a HAPPY ending! Who knew!? I highly recommend going if you're in the Chicago area and have the time. It's not so long as a Ring Cycle but some spectacular talent and stunningly lit and designed sets!
Another unexpected moment this week was another friend got stranded in Chicago due to mass amounts of snow dumpage in the East, so I was able to catch up and chat with the one and only Joe Lambert as he was in the process of fighting jetlag from his European Extravaganza. Glad to see you Joe! Even if it is under crappy circumstances...
Last my dear readers, I'll leave with what I received on the train this morning. Happy Valentine's Day, I love you all. I should say it more often but I for one thank this "holiday" for reminding me to take time in my life to appreciate and show the ones around me how much they mean.
Lots of love,


Best laid plans...

Hello dear readers!
It seems I've fallen off that horse again, however here we are attempting to ride through the woods. Since I left you school has begun! All four of my classes are spectacular.
I love all these students and think they are making some pretty amazing work. Now don't get me wrong, I'm pretty tuckered out at the end of the day. I go home to create lectures, draw handouts, and organize. But Beth, I hear you cry, what about comics!?
I'll be 100% honest with you, my dear, it is going slow. Much slower than I had hoped. Issue 2 of Half Asleep is FULLY penciled though and I'm excited to say it passed the Kyle inspection.
This weekend, I've caught up a lot in my classroom prep and I'll get to spend TWO FULL DAYS in the studio slinging ink. This, above anything else, makes me incredibly happy.
Now don't you forget, you can order your VERY OWN COPY of Half Asleep Vol. 1 for only $5.00 (plus shipping) from the STORE.
I also, in the time I've written, aged a full year. That's right, I'm now older and wiser. For my birthday I had a wonderful time eating delicious food and playing pinball. I even found that my FAVORITE pinball place recently acquired an old friend... That's right, Headquarters Beercade now has Medieval Madness!
I do have to say I experienced a loss recently... my beloved desk chair has finally given up the ghost.
It had a good run but it will be GREATLY missed. I'm still on the search for the perfect new desk chair.
Over the weekend I pulled myself from my cove and saw my good friend Tyrell Cannon perform at Brain Frame! He did a really spectacular job. Make sure you keep your eyes on his and the Brain Frame website for a copy of the video. Here are some pics I took during.
Thanks for reading! See y'all soon!