11.30.2011

I DID IT?

Well kind of! Dear readers, today is November 30th, the last day for NaGraNoWriMo... and if we recall, I should have about a 100 page completed graphic novel right now...

Long story short... I do not have 100 pages. Nor a completed book. BUT THAT'S OKAY Y'ALL. Kyle and I have been working really hard and just the way that we worked it out, our lives got in the way a bit more than expected! I'd like to give props and take all my hats off for Colleen Frakes who not only started NaGraNoWriMo, but completed and obtained her goal two years in a row!

Tonight just after midnight I'll give an update and a special sneak peak of what we do have completed. We're planning on still traveling through this book at lightning speed and hope to complete it before the new year. What a ride! We both feel very proud about what we've got so far, and I can't wait for everyone to see it.

We decided on the title, Cycles... and here's the opening image of the book! Stay tuned for more tonight.

11.23.2011

What goes around comes back around

Ooofda! Things are heatin' up! Well not weatherwise, but project wise!!!

Last week on Thursday I had an awesome opportunity to go see Craig Thompson give a little talk at Quimby's and do some book signings. I was super-duper jealous that CCS got to have Craig and that I was gonna miss him. BUT my luck would have it that he'd pass through Chicago on his book tour! His talk was good, there was a great turn out.


I went with my friend Ian McDuffie, but we also ran into Neil Brideau, Sam Sharpe, Nate Beaty, Laura Park, Jeremy Tinder, Jeremy Sorkin, Aaron Renier, and a few of my students!

And of course he signed my books.


He was very sweet, and it was great to meet someone who's work I've always found very impressive. Especially Goodbye, Chunky-Rice. There is just something about that book that kills me every time.


With Habibi, I'm still not sure I have fully unwrapped everything's he's put into it. Also check out that debosser of the Magic Square!!!!


In his talk, he talked a lot about how comics and music are very similar and related. Both very intimate art forms, but you have to be able to read the notes. It made me feel so excited about comics, cartooning, teaching, creating, everything. Woof. What a great night. AND on top of that, the next day I got to go spend my morning drawing with Neil Brideau and Sam Sharpe. A few VERY cool dudes.

Later that day, it was another jet-set evening off to Columbus, OH for an SAIC Portfolio Day. As usual, traveling with BFF Kyle is a hoot, we had some great gluten-free pizza and talked about our book. (YES this is STILL happening) We're quite behind for the NaGraNoWriMo, but we're committed to the project and will be seeing it through to the end. We're gonna see how far we can get traveling at full speed by the end of November. After that we'll be shooting for an early December completion.

Here are some more sneaky-peaks at what is to come of this project!

Check out that fat stack!


Hot Air Balloons, dynamite, reverse reading direction...Oh MY!!

I also have a few mini's up my sleeves that I'll be drawing and producing in the coming weeks. Once this semester is over, I'll be diving head-first in to the final act of FUGUE. Thumbnailing, editing, penciling, inking and re-drawing all kind of stuff. 2011 is proving to be the most productive year yet!!

Signing off from the rolling hills of Wisconsin, comforted by the sounds of family and the cat, I hope you all have a great Thanksgiving, Expozine, and week. :)

11.16.2011

Quick! Shoot the Castle!!

I can tell by you clawing at the internet that you are all anxious to know about my progress for NaWriGraNoMo! Right now I'm a little behind, but steadily trucking along. The story is moving smoothly and Kyle and I are having a lot of fun going back and forth. He's working on the story out of order so I have a bunch of scenes drawn but they don't quite fit together yet. Hahaha. What an adventure! But I have to say, it feels great to be drawing this much again. Here's a little sneak peak of an uncleaned page and a panel...





Now you can stop begging me for an update! JEEZ!

In other news, I just got back from a quick little trip to White River Junction, and boy was it just what the doctor ordered! It was so great to see a bunch of cartoonists and work in the studio and yes, even go to Than Wheeler's (the only bar we ever go to)! Celebrate a bro's b-day, view a movie night, see ALL of my professors, and bask in the glow of that magical little place. Thanks for an excellent trip, my friends.

Here's some highlights:


White Chocolate Mocha from the Tuckerbox... it was even my FREE drink I had earned and saved up but forgot about!! hahaa!


The tiniest apple I've ever seen at the Apple Co-Op. I went there a few times once to gather errands and those delicious Red Hot Blues chips Dakota and I love so much and the other time with Jon Chad to obtain ingredients for an amazing Vegan Chili!


And of course, last but not least, it was the first and last thing I did in WRJ... spend some quality time with Foggy and JP. (NOT THE PEOPLE, THE PINBALL MACHINES!!!) Oh yeah, Pat and Dakota were there too. hahaha.

Hopefully I'll be able to go back for one of the biggest moments ever! Alec Longstreth finishing his book and CUTTING HIS HAIR! We'll see how the cards get played but you can bet I'm gonna stack the deck.

Side note, dear readers, check out the bio of me at the Nomad Press website! It's real!

Stay tuned for more updates on the book, photos of things I find, and the excitement building for an event I'll be a part of...

11.09.2011

Get on a bus and move to Vermont...

Greetings from VERMONT! I'm currently having a miniature vacation catching up with my Grad School buddies, drawing comics, playing pinball, watching movies, and HUGGING! But here's a short little update from last weekend at MIX:


My roommate for the weekend, Randolph.


Killed time at the airport on Pirates of the Caribbean and Wheel of Fortune, unfortunately Indiana was out of order.


Andy and Darci at our table.


Super delicious and spicy Food Truck at the show! I had the tofu tacos!!


A fun game that a little girl played with Ben Bertin called 'That Guy!'


THAT. GUY!


Some familiar Chicago faces. Ben, Ian and Lale!

I don't know how it happened but I totally spaced and forgot to take a picture of my awesome CCS dudes there, Lena, Paul, Max and Robyn! They were right next to me! It was so good being close to them again.

Have a good week!

11.02.2011

You can't always get what you want

Greetings true believers! Welcome to November! That means a few things.

Number one: Yesterday began NaGraNoWriMo which I am participating in this year! We'll see how I do.
Number two: This weekend I'll be tabling at MIX with Mr. Andrew Christensen, right next to my friends from CCS, and behind my friends from SAIC. We're at table 24, RIGHT HERE

So if you're in the area, stop on by!
Number three: If you haven't heard about it yet, these guys, my friends from SAIC are trying to put up this Kickstarter, they've come SO far and they are almost there! Help them out and get some slick goodies. In their final countdown, go pledge 5 dollars for a dream!
Number four: Who wants to hear about how Bloomington was?! Oooohhh me!
Bloomington was great! It was a nice little break from the big city life. Rode the bus down and who met me at the station? None other than Betsey Swardlick, Penina Gal, and Denis St. John! What a sight for sore eyes! We went home and promptly ate pumpkin pancakes which were delicious. On Tuesday, we went to faboo Thai place for lunch and hit up the comics shop where I spotted this hanging out on the shelf:

Then Denis took me on a tour of his old stomping grounds on the IU campus. We went to their Rare Book Library which was AWESOME and I saw some amazing pieces from their collection, INCLUDING issue number one of X-Men!! We also went to their arcade, in.. some building I can't remember the name, and they had...PINBALL OF COURSE!

Left to Right: Monopoly (out of order), Iron Man (Which thankfully Denis stopped me from playing... BOYCOTT MARVEL!), Family Guy and CSI.

He and I couldn't resist playing a few rounds of Big Buck Hunter.


Guess who won...heh.


That night, Betsey enlisted my help in their preparations for a party... They needed some crafting STAT! So the two of us papier mache-d our brains out building... what?


A pinata of DEATH STAR PROPORTIONS!


Some other notable things about Bloomington:

Ghostbusters live there.


Jon Chad's favorite apples live there.


Footprints of cartoonists who've passed through are everywhere!


Penina took me out to some much needed diner therapy, and we filled out the placemat!


Denis gave me some cool stickers of his work, and I got around to stickin' 'em on stuff. I think it's a pretty funny mash-up of our personalities. Hahahaha.


Long story short, I had a blast. Thanks to y'all for showing me around, and a big, big, BIG special thanks to the girls for letting me crash, in all meanings of the word.

Next week, maybe some comics updates from... WHITE RIVER JUNCTION!

11.01.2011

It BEGINS!

National Graphic Novel Writing Month HAS BEGUN! Since we just watched The Lost Boys this weekend I was feeling the strength and power of the Frog Brothers... especially Corey Feldman... Also a little Rambo...









Check back for updates!!