1.25.2012

Life goes on

Brain Frame went great! Thanks for coming out y'all!! And for those who didn't make it, don't worry, there will be internet video sometime soon! I'll let you know.







And my buddy Sally Carson came out for the show and it was GREAT paling around with her. Miss you Sal Pal, thanks for coming!!


(this is her and her buddy at the Shedd)

In other news, SCHOOL STARTS TOMORROW, HOORAY!! I'm super pumped to see some of my dudes again and meet new dudes, and mostly talk about and make comics ALL DAY! I hope these folks are ready for a rigorous semester, cause boy howdy, will we be busy.

Kyle and I created a little mock-up of our cover, and had a really great brain storm last night getting there.









Right now, the ENTIRE script is completed and read through. I have finished penciling NINTY-FOUR PAGES and finished inking EIGHTY-EIGHT PAGES! I've been burning through pages at a mean rate of 5 pencils and 3 inks a day! (that's 21 completed pages a week...MATH) And there's no letting up now.

I think next week I'll show you all some pages you haven't seen. You've been very good at waiting patiently friends. Woo!

It's getting exciting here as my convention schedule starts to fill up, so far I'm confirmed for Chicago ZineFest, Portland Stumptown and Toronto TCAF... waiting to hear from CAKE (chicago) before things get solidified for the season... but yowza that's a lot!

See ya next week friend!

1.18.2012

Damn, gurl, Damn, gurl, Damn, gurl, Damn!

Just in time for the Internet strike, how about a blog update!

While keeping up with my busy, busy schedule, I'm getting excited for a few things.

1. THIS THURSDAY, at 8pm, if you're in Chicago you can come see me and my friends wear funny costumes and re-enact my comics... IN REAL LIFE! It's a part of Brain Frame which is a performance comics reading run by Lyra Hill (a totally rad SAIC graduate). It'll be at 1542 N. Milwaukee the 2nd floor. Here is a little teaser from our Final Dress Rehearsal...


Kelly Pfeifer as Alison, Me as Mom, Anna Gorman as Beth, and Cleo Ngiam as Rachel
(all photos courtesy of Ryan McDaniel)
















Also with this show my buddy Sally Carson is coming to see it and pal around for a few days!

2. CYCLES!! Oh my dear friends have Kyle and I been working hard! We are back on the productivity wheel, and just cracked page 70 of completed comics! Kyle has written us to page 101, and is working on wrapping up the ending pretty quick. I've been on a rigorous schedule of 5 pencils and 3 inks A DAY! And keeping up with it! Finally, the challenge I longed for. Plus, they FINALLY started robbing some banks. YES!

3. Drawn Out Storytelling!! If you're in the New York area this weekend, be sure to go to the Tank Theater (151 W. 46th) at 9:30pm to see an amazing show with artwork by YOURS TRULY! My dudes, Lena Chandhok and Paul Swartz, are head honcho's for this cool OTHER performance-y comics type thing and I have to admit, I'm very honored they asked me to be a part of it.

4. School is starting soon and I've been hard at work collecting assignments, lectures and handouts for this next batch of cartoonists. Very excited for what the semester might bring us! And I just finished teaching a little workshop for SAIC and it was AWESOME! My students for the day were very excited and made some fantastic comics!

Penciling, Inking, Copying, Folding, Cutting and TRADING!


Hard work pays off!


Here's my comic that I made, inspired by the newest section of writing from Kyle...










And then you open it up and you see...


Well that's about it for me now! If you're in Chicago or New York, I hope you have a BLAST checking out these cool comic events... If not, don't worry they'll be recorded and on the web soon enough...

1.12.2012

Mercy!

No, internet, I will NOT apologize to you for my absence. Why? Because this is going to be a VERY long post, and I expect it will live up to your standards of entertainment.

Where to begin...Let's start at the workshop I taught for Rome Corner's Intermediate school (aka my mom's school). I was invited and able to talk to six art classes and lead two workshops! The art classes were good, but a lot of talking, this was my first time having to teach marathon style. Meaning give the same lecture over and over and over again on the same day. Usually in my classes I get one chance and then wait a year before I do it again. Where as for this type of an event, it was all day non-stop. The workshops were in the middle of the day and were a good break to the routine. We did the Aaron Renier activity "Connect the Plots." He brought this to CCS summer workshops and it was a smash hit. The group writes a story together and then is in charge of drawing one page, at the end of the day everyone lines up in order and you have a book! The way I approached it is, I arrived with a main character


(Doug the Diver inspired by Ed Emberley) and a title of a story "Doug the Diver and the Sunken Secret." (And of course, because I wanted these kids to have something special, I screen printed two-color covers for them).



Next up, I've been working on getting ready for the very exciting event Brain Frame 4 next week. It's a performance comics reading thinger... So if you're in Chicago on Thursday the 19th at 8pm, come to the Happy Dog (1542 N Milwaukee Ave 2nd Floor) and bring 5bucks to support cartoonists doing this again!

Anyway, I've been working on formatting everything and making sure my audio works, and of course... rehearsing with my ACTORS!! These are some early, early shots of what they might look like soon. I'll do a match up with official costumes next to characters next week.





While working on that, I decided to undergo some much needed organization in my life. I realized that I had been accumulating hundreds of mini-comics. My fellow cartoonists, you all have struggled with this, I know... How in the HECK do you keep them somewhere? And on top of that, how do you keep them accessible for, oh say, teaching?! Alec Longstreth of course came up with a brilliant handmade solution for this... but unfortunately, I'm not that carpenterly...A few of my friends were at IKEA a while back and thought they saw something that might work. On the way back to Chicago from Wisconsin, my dad and I swung by that big blue store and grabbed this puppy, who slowly began to change my life.


This is what I had to work with, all those boxes are empty, and the shelf is too. So I started sorting all my comics into piles of where they came from. The piles on the ground from left to right are: CCS, CCS, SAIC, Misc (conventions or other) and my own work, and that blue bin is what they were all crammed in. That's right CCSers... just two years there and you DOUBLED what I got in five years at SAIC. GOOD JOB!

CCS vs. SAIC... CCS WINS!


Within each pile they got sorted by size. Tiny, mini, digest-y, standard-y and letter-y and the very few way-too-big-y.


From there they were put in their proper sized boxes.




Then, based on their location in the shelf, we know where they're from!
Left column, bottom to top: green= CCS big, black= CCS medium, white= Alec, Jonch and Colleen, orange= All mini, Beth and empty orange box
Second column, bottom to top: green= SAIC big, black= SAIC medium, white= XCB, orange= All tiny, empty white.
Third column, bottom to top: white= misc big, orange= misc medium, green= student work, green= nerf guns
Forth column, bottom to top: convention Ready-2-Go packs, white= extra pieces for reprints, cheezits= donate to quimby's


And then I transferred all my books over to this bad boy, lovingly names the White Whale. Whole bottom three rows are all comics/graphic novels/minis top row is chapter books and nerf guns. hahaha.


The only sad thing about this, is it's almost full already... UGH.

Kyle and I had to take a short break on Cycles but now we're back into full blown LET'S DO THIS mode. I just finished drawing page 61, and he just finished writing about 4 more scenes he's handing over in the morning. We're racing pretty quickly toward the Xeric deadline along with just about everyone else in the comics world. Either way, my awesome buddy Josh Kramer is letting me be his table mate at TCAF in May, and this book will be there! INTERNATIONAL!

Speaking of comics, I did a whole first draft of FUGUE part 3... unfortunately it was just that, a first draft. And after some tough love and real truth with my guru and wise sage of the comics-wood, I've decided to scrap just about all of it and start over. A grueling process that I hate, but it must be done. I had hoped that, too, would be ready to go for the Xeric, but now we'll see what happens. Who knows... maybe a miracle!

Next up in my world, is this Sunday I'm teaching a workshop at SAIC's Studio Preview Day. Which is a day where prospective students get to test drive a class to see what SAIC is like. There are a bunch of teachers participating, and I'm very excited to give these guys some schoolin'! I finished my lecture which is pretty fun and we're all going to make small 8-page mini's or "one sheets" to exchange with each other. Pretty neat huh?

Two more things, and then I'll let you go.

1. I'm also working on drawing for Paul and Lena's NYC event Drawn Out Storytelling I'm super honored they asked me to do it, and WOOF is that deadline coming up!

2. My little sister got me the new Zelda game for Wii (Legend of Zelda Skyward Sword) and it's the most amazing game ever...I wish I had more time to play it.

One more thing... I finally joined the iPhone revolution, blah blah blah, but the most exciting thing is now I can track down all the pinball locations in Chicago super easily.

Two, count 'em, TWO Revenge From Mars within walking distance of my HOUSE!

Roommate, Amanda Albrent at the Bad Apple


Ryan McDaniel at Waveland Bowl

and I found a cool one I think Jon Chad would really like called JunkYard (at the Gingerman)

I got the multiball high score, and 3 replays

Thanks for reading friends, I hope to be back on my regularly schedule programming next week.

1.04.2012

POOOOF

Blows the dust of her blog... Oh THERE you are Peter!!! Boy it's been a while huh? And what, you might ask, have I even been doing with all this time that I can't sit down and blog? Well, friends, relaxing... and working... work-laxing... I'll be staggering some information as we truck along in this terrible month. But first, the most exciting news, my class filled up so fast that they decided to offer a second section of it!!! This is the poster I made to advertise for it! Hooray for comics!


Tomorrow I'm teaching two workshops at Rome Corners Intermediate School (aka my mom's school) and giving six presentations! Yikes!! Saturday I'm back in Chicago giving portfolio reviews along side my buddy Kyle O'Connell at SAIC's Stop, Drop and (En)Roll! Saturday night I'll be visiting with some good friends who are in town (Andy and Darci I'm talkin' about you!). BUT THE FUN DOESN'T END YET! More to come on that topic soon!

I thumbed an entire version of FUGUE Part 3, but it was headed in the wrong direction so I'm back to square one (boo). BUT Kyle and I broke page 60 in Cycles. We're really pushing to finish this puppy up!!

In other exciting news, I joined twitter... so if you do that sort of thing, come find me... @bethhetland Have a good week!