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.