12.30.2013

The Rest of Our Lives

Hope you all had a wonderful holiday season! I know I did.
Just really quickly, HAPPY 160th POST TO ME!!!

Something I saw my buddy Colleen Frakes  do was a holiday pile up drawing of all the goodies she made away with like a bandit.  So my dear friends, here is my drawing of holiday joy manifested in consumerism!

 However, it's difficult to talk about my holiday experience without the mentioning the fact that on Christmas Eve my family received an EXCELLENT early gift. Her name is Eleanor Jane Dasho and she is the newest member of the extended Hetland-Janssen-Dasho clan!

Since I've only just returned to Chicago, not too much to update about. Though, this is the last blog post of 2013 which is a cause for reflection. My resolution last year was to update my blog more and on time, make more comics, read more comics and be more generous with my time for others. I think I've only done well on two of those.  I think these are some pretty good resolutions and are a good idea to keep. Definitely things I'll be working on for the next forever. But instead of making resolutions this year, I would like to think about things I'm excited for in 2014.

1. TRAVEL! I'm excited to be going more places and have the ability to do so within budget. From Vancouver, to LA, to Wisconsin, to Toronto and Seattle next year will bring even more destinations to my tippy-toes.

2. COMICS! I'm so thrilled to be looking at the progress I've made so far and to see where this is going and to be happy to see even more comics come off my desk in 2014 than in 2013. Especially exciting is that since I'm almost 100% sold out of Fugue single issues, I'm already in the process of combining Fugue into one solid book! Not to mention of course, new issues of Half Asleep. PS- did you know, that you can purchase Half Asleep Vol. 1 from my online store.

3. TEACHING! Can't wait to see how this semester will go. I'm teaching the most classes I've ever taught, not to mention that I will be teaching two classes that are brand new to this world. Straight from my mind to the classroom.  AND on top of all of this, I have agreed to be teaching 1 class in the Fall of 2014, and 3 in the Spring of 2015.  It has been such a thrill to watch my students learn and grow.  A few of them have been with me since the beginning and many of those will be graduating this spring.  Talk about exciting!

4. FRIENDS! New and old. Every year is full of them and ever moment I am with them I feel like I'm going to explode with excitement. So 2014, keep 'em coming!

Everyone, I hope you have a wonderful New Year's Eve and start to 2014.

12.23.2013

Happy Holidays to you

Well here we are at December and we're almost at the end. December has been full of more studio work and more relaxation. Plus a little internet fame.
Before we jump right into December, something HUGE I neglected to mention in November's post was I got to visit my sister and brother-in-law while I was in Seattle. The reason this is HUGE is because my sister was 8months pregnant at the time and in fact as I type this she could be giving birth at ANY MOMENT! I'm about to be an aunt which is very exciting.
As December began, the semester wound down and a lot of my time was spent in meetings, grading papers and critiquing work. Between that though, I was able to put in a lot of hours in the studio and finish all the pencils for Half Asleep Vol. 2!!
Don't forget Volume 1 can be purchased ONLINE in my store! (link on the right--->)
This is really great because it keeps me on schedule for when I expect to complete Volume 2 and lights a fire under Kyle's ass to finish writing Volume 3 so I can start drawing it! Inking for Volume 2 will begin with the New Year and then we'll be about half way done with that whole issue. I think one of my favorite things about this book is that it's a huge series and I can feel the excitement for sharing each new part with people.
In between working on Half Asleep, I also made a little mini for my students called "The Ruiner" which is a collection of anecdotal stories of how I, or people near me, have ruined important moments.
I also am happy to be a participant in a neat little group who make an album of music about the last year called Diary Tunes and send them through the mail. I'm not so great at getting it done on time every year so I still had not done an album for 2012. Whoops. That being said, I finally finished mine up and since it was SO LATE, I made my album for 2013 at the same time and sent out a DOUBLE ALBUM!! I'm not gonna post the song list cause I know some of the members read this blog, but they'll get a little sneak peek of what the covers look like.
Being the crafty lady I am, I had to give into my crafting needs and what perfect timing to feel the familiar itch of crafts than Christmas time. I made my sister some ADORABLE onesies for my new niece and since they'll be receiving the box asap, it's alright that I share a few of these pictures with you all, but this isn't all of them.
I suppose now is a good time to discuss the internet fame I eluded to earlier in the post. Last year for a certain someone's birthday, I thought it would be funny to wrap their present as BMO from Adventure Time. So this year, I went a little over board and made almost the entire cast of Adventure Time for the same certain someone.
I made those probably a good two weeks before we were even going to exchange gifts so it was killing me that I couldn't share them yet. However, my roommate and I decided to do presents a little early since the gift I was giving her was going to help with our cookie date that we had planned. In a last minute decision I wrapped her gift as Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes.
This made Amanda VERY happy, so she took some photos and posted them to her tumblr.
Which then became popular almost over night through reblogs, likes and shares. The count as of Sunday (after posting it on Monday) was 2,675 people shared or liked this. It also then prompted people to ask for a tutorial. Amanda and I obliged with this post which earned about 313 shares. Of course this made me hungry for fame, fortune and followers so I followed up with the post of my Adventure Time characters.
But fame was just a flash in the pan. Ah well.
To wrap up (heh heh heh) this post, I'll share these Christmas-y photos.
Till next time friends! Happy Holidays!

12.16.2013

Do you remember?

Well, it's time to cover that blustery month known as November my dear faithful readers! As November began, the travel season for me continued.  I got to catch up with some good friends and former students and travel to places I had never been before. My list of destinations was as follows: Des Moines, Minneapolis, Atlanta, Rochester, Columbus, Ann Arbor, Seattle, Denver and Oregon, Wisconsin.


Penina, David Yoder, some Art and myself in Columbus!


Sally Carson, CEO and myself in Ann Arbor before a storm!

img src="http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2869/11405580023_1cce4a322c_z.jpg"/>

Me, my older sister Alison and my VERY soon to be niece [insert name here] in Seattle!!!

Aside from traveling and starting to wrap up the end of the semester with my students, a lot of November was spent starting the pencils for Half Asleep Volume 2 and organizing my incredibly-messy-and-cluttered-from-traveling life.








This update was mostly images, but I think that's just fine and dandy! Check back next week for another post!

12.09.2013

Bloggin' the day away

Okay, how many of you checked back to see if I was gonna mess up and not remember to post? It's okay... raise your hands... I forgive you. I know it's going to take a while for me to earn back your love and trust. But until I do, here is the update about that busy month known as October!


October was a month that was so much fun while it was happening, that when it was over all I could think was 'holy crap, was that ONLY a month?!' As I said in my last post, October for me marked the beginning of the travel season for Admissions. And what that means is that every weekend from the start of October to Thanksgiving break, I was in a new city every Saturday and Sunday talking to high schoolers about their art portfolios and what they would be interested in if they came to SAIC. My list of locations for the month of October is: Cincinnati, Cleveland, Boston, Richmond, Milwaukee, Chicago, Kansas City and St. Louis.

This is how I travel...


When I wasn't traveling, I gave a few artist talks. One was at Northside College Prep, which is a Chicago High School in my neighborhood. I talked about my comics career, my process and some of my philosophies on making work.  I also did a short reading of the new book Half Asleep. And at the end of the month, on Halloween to be exact, I was a speaker for Laydeez Do Comics at Quimby's. It was a blast and THANK YOU to everyone who came out on that wacky night.  Yes, this drawing is accurate, I was dressed up as several different Pokemon as I evolved through my artistic career (wakka wakka). I also gave an interview for Lady Drawers Documentary. Basically I babbled about how I love comics and how I think they're a magical, wonderful universe. Totally useful, I'm sure...


Don't worry though, just because I'm doing a million things in other places, doesn't mean I wasn't putting in hours at the drawing desk. I had the wonderful pleasure of being asked to draw the cover of the newest issue of The Cartoon Picayune for Josh Kramer. Here's a cool gif he made of parts of my cover:


So keep your eyes peeled for that new issue!


And to top off my October update, I also began thumbnailing the second volume of Half Asleep!


I can't tell you too much about it yet, other than this volume will have more than DOUBLE the color "dream pages" and its total page count is 48pages of delicious content. Remember you can buy Vol. 1 from the website by visiting the store over on the right hand side of the page.


Thanks for stickin' with this, and come back next week for blog post update about November!



12.02.2013

Long time, no see!

My dear, dear readers! Thank you so much for sticking with me despite my internet silence.  Sometimes, you just need to get a handle on one thing at a time.  Until then, you can only introduce tasks back into your life little by little. I'm happy to say, that this blog is back.


In honor of my great return, I'm going to update you on what's been going on from month to month. Lots of pictures, lots of stories and lots of blog posts.


Since my last post was pre-SPX, I figure I had better start in September.


September was a whirlwind, having just finished my full time position in August, I was working hard to prep for my class this Fall (Engineering Comics) as well as trying to wrap up the convention season before my Admissions travel season began! SPX was FANTASTIC as usual. It is so great to be able to travel around and see friends even if it is so very, very brief.


The days went well, sales were a little lower than average for me but I was proudly able to display and sell many copies of Kyle and my newest book, Half Asleep (vol. 1). I know you all have been seeing these sneak peeks of this book, but probably you are wondering what the heck it is about! Well... Half Asleep is the story of a young girl named Ivy whose mother enrolls her in a college program in a reality where you can learn to manipulate dreams and they alter the real world.  Dr. Lassette, Ivy's mom, is a co-founder of this method of study as well as the head Professor in the field at this school. 


The book, as of now, has one completed volume of 44 pages, but is envisioned to have 6 to 10 issues of roughly the same page count. I'd tell you more about my progress but that will spoil the coming months blog posts! All I can say is, if you want to know more, feel free to read the wonderful review by Rob Clough or pick up a copy at the online store (available soon!) to judge for yourself.


SPX wasn't the only convention I did in September, my dear readers. I know I didn't let you know and I am truly sorry about that, but I was at MICE in Boston, MA. Another FANTASTIC show. 


This was its first year being a two day show and boy do I hope they keep it that way! One day shows are hard for me to justify but a two day show, is almost always worth the trek.  I got to see a lot of friends who I missed at SPX because it was so busy, and some friends I had not seen in years. Sales were up much higher than SPX for me personally, but I know that smaller shows have a bigger hit-or-miss range.


In between my convention travels in September, I journeyed home to Wisconsin to relax and see my very first ever Badger game. It was a GREAT trip and well needed since I knew I was going to be so busy, I wouldn't be home again until the holidays.


As September came to a close, Kyle and I sold out of our first editions of Half Asleep and began reprints for our 2nd print run (!!!), I settled into my teaching rhythm and packed my bags for a full travel season with SAIC's Admissions to review portfolios and talk to high schoolers about Art School.


Tune in next week for the update on what happened in October!

9.13.2013

SPX 2013!

Radio silence is officially OVER! Kyle and my newest book is complete and will be debuting at the Small Press Expo in Bethesda, Maryland this weekend.  I'll be tabling with my usual crew of Dakota McFadzean, Pat Barrett, and the one and only Josh Kramer at table L14! Right here!




I'll have all of Fugue, Cycles, three minis: Conversation, Breakfast with Beth and Six Sweet Binding Techniques, and the BRAND NEW Half Asleep Volume 1!!!

Check out these sneak peaks of Half Asleep Volume 1:







See you this weekend!

8.01.2013

Sneak Peeks

Oh, what's this? A little preview for the next series of collaborative work with Kyle O'Connell? It's called Half Asleep and the first volume will clock in at a whopping 44 pages! I only have 13 pages left to ink, but my oh my, some of these pages are GRAPHITE! That's right... read the mystery!

***EDITORS NOTE: Don't worry faithful readers, someone has already noted the spelling error on the page above and it has been corrected! ***



Also! Side note: I was the visual scribe for Laydeez Do Comics at the end of July click the link for some drawings!

7.11.2013

Summer Hiatus

For those of you without a calendar, it is currently the 2nd week of July! When in the world did that happen?! Things have been flying fast here at BH HQ. School's ended, convention season is winding down, and the days are flying by. In case you hadn't noticed, my faithful reader, I haven't been around much. This. Breaks. My. Heart. But the fact of the matter is that with everything else going on, there just hasn't been time to sit down and write the ol' blog post. Never fear, this will change.

For now, I will have to take a small hiatus (after I give you a lengthy update as to where I've been, where I'm going and when I'll be back) until the summer sun has pretty much finished its cycle. Until then, here's the low down.

The last time I was here was right before CAKE, which in all aspects of the world, was not that long ago, just a month.  But CAKE was fabulous! Thanks to all the folks who came out to the show, and thanks to all my buddies who stayed with me or played Pinball afterwards. I sold well, had fun, and got some REALLY amazing comics that I've almost made my way through.

After CAKE wrapped up and my teary farewells happened with my friends, I had to jump right back on the freelance horse. I finished up all my illustrations with Nomad Press on both of my books, Native Americans and Mapping and Navigation. This brings my grand total of books with them up to FOUR! And I can't announce anything yet, but it's not likely that the count will end there... Some other freelance work I was doing was for my old community theatre group The Oregon Straw Hat Players, they're doing the musical Oliver! this summer and asked me to do some drawings for them.  I don't wanna show both of these drawings yet, but here's an in process photo of one of the illustrations that will become a gobo (like a projection):

(It looks like that because it's on my lightbox still)

Outside of my freelance, I have been FINALLY able to clock in some hours on the new series Kyle and I are working on called "Half Asleep." If we recall, this project has sat on my desk for about 3 months (!!!) and I finished penciling about 3 weeks before Stumptown (THAT WAS IN APRIL). As of last night, I have inked through page 17 of 41. I'm not there yet, but I've made a lot of steady progress and I love how these pages are turning out. There's been a lot of architecture and a lot more detail than my older work. As I'm working on these pages I feel a great sense of growth in the work that's coming out in this book so far. And don't worry, there will be some sneak peaks soon. If this book goes according to plan, it will end up being a little more than 6 issues of 44 (or so) pages each. Which will be my longest work to date. I don't want to nail down any dates yet as far as when it's going to debut, but I will say that it's no longer going to sit stagnant and of the remaining shows this season that I'm going to, it WILL be on my table for at least ONE of them! (I SWEAR TO YOU!!!!)

Let's see what else is going on, oh, yeah... I MARRIED TWO OF MY BEST FRIENDS!! That's right, I got ordained (online) and was able to be the first person to announce them as Mr. and Mrs. These two friends of mine are folks I've known since Middle School and High School. They live here in Chicago now, and boy what a fun wedding.

Photo by Tyler Core (more to come!)

Now I think it's only fair to tell you when I'll be leaving my hidy-hole. I'll be tabling at the following conventions coming up:

August 24th Grand Rapids Zine Fest, Grand Rapids Michigan
September 14th and 15th Small Press Expo (SPX), Bethesda Maryland
September 28th and 29th Massachusetts Independent Comics Expo (MICE), Boston Massachusetts

And even bigger news than that is I'll be moving (willingly) from full time to a part time "day-job" which makes me VERY happy. For those of you who have seen me in person, the rare moment that this is, I have been rather frazzled working 40 hours a week + teaching + freelance + travel for work/conventions + attempting to make any work of my own. This next academic year, I think things will go a little more smoothly and the blog posts will return. Now, I don't mean to say I'll have nothing to do, OH NO DEAR READERS, but I will be able to choose my hours quite a bit more as I'll be working an unconventional work week. Yes, I'll be more poor, but yes I'll be more sane.

With that being said, I will bid you a farewell for now. This blog will be updated with big news when/if it happens and convention announcements, but please friends, be ready for my big return to weekly blogging sometime at the end of August.
Take care and I love you.


6.12.2013

Have your C.A.K.E. and eat it too!

Friends!! This weekend is one of my FAVORITE comic conventions of the whole season, Chicago Alternative Comics Expo, or CAKE! And I'll be there tabling with friends from all over the continent (even one from Canada!). It will be Saturday and Sunday from 11am until 6pm at the Center on Halsted (3656 N Halsted ). It is FREE entry for anyone to come, stop by, say hello, look at comics or just chat for a bit. Here is where I'll be:



I'll in a row with Josh Kramer and the Cartoon Picayune
Tyrell Cannon
Dakota McFadzean
Penina Gal
Betsey Swarlick
And near by are so many other friends! Stop by, I'd love to see you, I'll have all three issues of FUGUE, copies of Cycles and a mini that is nearing the end of its run!

6.06.2013

This Weekend!

Greetings friends!  This weekend I will be selling and signing books at the CAKE table for ONE HOUR ONLY at the Printers Row Lit Fest! If you take the Redline to Harrison and wander on Dearborn from Polk to Congress. It'll be the place with THOUSANDS OF BOOKS. Did I mention it's totally free to go to? Here is the line up of who else will be at the CAKE table this weekend:
Sat, June 8
***10-11am, Beth Hetland***
12-1pm, Linework
2-3pm, Jo Dery
4-5pm, Corinne Mucha
5-6pm, Sam Sharpe

Sun, June 9
11am-12pm, Jeremy Tinder/Trubble Club
12-1pm, Marian Runk
2-3pm, Zak Sally & John Porcellino
3-4pm, Kevin Budnik

I will have copies of Cycles, and Fugue parts 1-3, I hope to see you there!

5.29.2013

Summer Zine Party!

Hello world! It's...Alex the Intern! Did you miss me? I got really sick, then got Beth sick, and then finals. Sorry dudes. But now I'm back, and I'm excited to tell you about some of the cool stuff I've been pulling from Beth's extensive zine collection!







Like this book of comics poetry by Ryan Cecil Smith!


This little book is full of sweet serenades to all our our favorite cartooning tools: the bone folder, the kinkos copy machine, the swingline high-capacity desk stapler...and many more.


I was also intrigued by this comic by Emma Wasielke.


This map box opens up to reveal a collection of comics and other art objects.


I love the collection of small moments combined to tell a story on these pages. 


I also laughed out loud as I read about the struggles of a poor blockheaded hero in This is the Worst by Ashley Elander



Literally the worst.


Mums by Kati Lacker contains the best bike accident I've ever seen portrayed in comics. 

No seriously. 

Aaaaah so beautiful!


I originally saw Gina Wynbrandt's comic at SAIC's BFA Show, and it is one of my favorites! Finally got to read the whole thing when I discovered it in one of Beth's comix boxes.

Those facial expressions. I. Flippin. Lost it.



I think one of the best things to come from cataloging Beth's comics collection was my discovery of the work of B. Ingrid Olson.

I'm seriously in love with her comics. Her strange collection and arrangement of objects and people to create an abstract narrative are really amazing.

wow.

Really. I'm such a fan.

I had such a great time discovering so many talented artists in Beth's zine collection. I'm totally jealous...I mean... inspired by the awesome comics they make! So please, be sure to check these guys out!