turtlesoup: a nude girl appears to be swimming up from dark depths (surfacing - immersion)
three panels; Ash eats near the mirror where a nun is reflected, looks up shocked at her own reflection, and turns back to her food, troubled

Just a little update today. I'm on the home stretch with my thesis project (and only beginning the journey of this book, which has a title now: Asylum, as in seeking) ... and probably I'll wait to share more peeks at it until things are handed in.

However! Today we hung an art show of CCS student work at the Hotel Coolidge in downtown White River Junction (if you're in the area for some reason, come check it out!), and for that I needed to finish a two-page spread from the second chapter a little head of schedule. I can't resist posting this thing.

Welcome to the marketplace. )

Also, while most of my life plans are severely up in the air at present (CCS commencement is on May 18: after that ... we'll see), I'm starting to compile a 2013 convention schedule! Keeping it relatively light this year, given all the upheaval I'm expecting, but still quite excited about it. I'll be tabling with the indomitable Betsey Swardlick at MECAF in Portland, Maine on May 19! A super fun show, right on gorgeous Casco Bay, with some amazing guests lined up this year ... and I'll be debuting minicomic versions of the first two chapters of Asylum. :)

I'm hoping to attend CAKE in Chicago on June 15 & 16, but things are a little up in the air, so I'll update on that later. And I've just submitted my application to MICE (September 28-29, Cambridge, Mass), so we'll see about that as well! However, I will be tabling at SPX in Bethesda on September 14 & 15, with my deeply talented classmate Joyana McDiarmid and the Queerotica Anthology! By which point I hope to be debuting at least the third chapter of Asylum, although we'll see.

It's an exciting year any way you cut it! I must get back to my pencils, but here are a couple of miscellaneous little strips I've doodled of late! )

I hope you're enjoying spring (if you're in this hemisphere)! It's a beautiful sunny day in Vermont today (which, contrary to the opinions of some of my colleagues, is what I would call perfect cartooning weather). And hey, maybe keep my former city in your thoughts, as well as the other places in the world that are experiencing such trauma and destruction this week ... I remain shaken by the bombing at the Boston Marathon, grateful that my own friends are safe and sound, and sad and angry on behalf of a place I love and the people who are suffering there.
turtlesoup: turtle (a bespecacled, short-haired cartoonist) clutches her head in dismay (oh my head - wtf)
a girl with her hair half-short and half-long looks sidelong, with a quirky smile and a pigeon on her head

The other day I got an email from an awesome CCS alum friend of mine that opened with "HI KLEEBS! DON'T DIE OF THESIS!" (And if you know her you can probably guess who would call me that. ♥) It's a pretty serious condition to be in, I can't lie. I'm surviving ... I've basically become a comics hermit (or maybe an anchorite, for that extra devotional feel), but if that makes me a bit strange, well. I'm writing about fairly strange circumstances?

So hey, have a couple sample pages! )

Hourly comics and a few doodles )

More previews and doodles soonish, no doubt! And maybe even the beginnings of a convention schedule!
turtlesoup: A girl leans forward to speak past a curtain, looking friendly but kind of intense. (greetings and salutations!)
a black girl in a tank top and underpants and a white angel in a robe both fall out of the sky on opposite sides of 'Tumbling Down: a patchwork thesis project featuring two gravitationally challenged young ladies'


Talk about inconsistent posting, I know! But, today, I am giving my thesis presentation, which in my mind really kicks off the senior thesis portion of my grad school career. I don't much like public speaking, but I can't say how much I'm looking forward to that opportunity to focus. (Although, to prevent myself from focusing too hard and getting stuck, I'll be attempting to alternate between the two rather different flavors of storytelling referenced above - from eerie dream-inspired exploration into the unknown to goofy interpersonal antics with a Heavenly twist, and back.)

Some more thesis talk and a few goofy illustrations from the slide show. )

I'm incredibly excited to sink my teeth into all this now that I have a proper plan, and I'm intending to leave here with two major stories well underway ... carrying me out into post-school life with a good store of momentum. I hope!

Here are a mishmash of conceptual sketches for Ash's (still untitled) story, to give a taste of what a lot of future posts are likely to consist of ...

a girl wanders through a room of huge pillars of what appear to be drawers, stretching away out of the frame


Another setting & preliminary character brainstorming ... )
turtlesoup: a murkey silhouetted figure rising out of the swamp (beware the swamp bride)
Ah, so much for a promised "return" to regular posting. Apologies, friends. The last several weeks have been a mishmash of smaller assignments and various distractions from my larger comic projects; I'm looking forward to soon being able to settle into a more regular schedule with those and provide regular sneak peeks and updates.

Here's some catching up in the meantime, though.

One of my last real homework assignments for grad school was to create a four-page comic based on a dream. I selected a relatively simple one (as opposed to one of the hectic and deeply surreal mashups my brain regularly serves) in order to spend time experimenting with media and atmosphere. We were required to start from a splash page/cover containing a central image from the dream, and the first word that came to mind in relation to it.

splash page: a stream of bluebirds rise up from a monochromatic post-apocalyptic landscape. titled 'release.'


Here there be zombies, but no gore. )

Also, it's been more than a month, but I'd like to share a little of my Halloween art as well! There IS some gore under here. )

That's all for now; apologies for being light on the words & news. There should be more very soon, I think! In the meantime, I do post to my tumblr fairly regularly, but be warned: I post suggestive, and even downright pornographic, material there regularly.

a curvy girl in an enormous ballgown asks what you're trying to protect yourself from
turtlesoup: a green-haired girl in a collared shirt & vest holds her fingers up to her head like devil horns (Default)
tattooed angel illustrations for a business card and letterhead
Illustrations from (the front of) a business card, and personalized letterhead!


Ah, so, hello there! I know I dropped off the radar for awhile, but I promise, I'm still alive. I had a bit of internal struggle this summer, to tell the truth; these things happen, but I got through it and I'm back. And let me tell you, I have been working on plenty of projects in the meantime.

I'm now in my second and final year as an MFA student at the Center for Cartoon Studies ... my thesis year, if you can believe it (I can't always). A pretty intense time, but to balance that I've been trying to dial back my approach a bit and experiment a bit. Also, I've been attending a bunch of conventions! You might have seen me at SPX in Bethesda (shilling away at the CCS table), MICE in Cambridge, Mass, or most recently, Paint & Pixel in my own hometown of Northampton! These days I am tabling with Quintuple Ruffle, an awesome collective of classmates comprised of myself, April Malig, Sasha Steinberg, Laurel Lynn Leake, and Joyana McDiarmid.

Check out this photo to see Laurel, Joyana and myself at the very first official Quintuple Ruffle table at MICE! Thanks to the always lovely crew at We Got Comic Issues for sharing their pics.

Anyway, to start off the thesis year on a productive note, the esteemed faculty here at CCS tasked us with producing sixteen finished pages of comics by this week; it didn't matter what they were, so long as they were comics. I decided to combine an experiment of my own with an assignment from my advisor and artistic idol, the esteemed Carla Speed McNeil. As per Carla's instructions, I attempted to complete each of these pages in one day (and for the most part, I succeeded); as per my own, I didn't do a whole lot of advance planning. The settings and events in what follows were loosely inspired by dreams I've had, but I wrote them on the fly. Now that I've made my deadline, I'm planning to sit down and see if a larger story will emerge, because the bits and pieces that have come to me so far are very intriguing! But at this point, it's a mystery to me ... and I find that oddly inspiring.



Continued under here! )

Now that I've completed that wild ride, I'll be making some important decisions about which projects to focus on for the rest of the year! I think my thesis will take the form of an anthology, so there will be several ongoing stories (and probably some shorts), most likely including Goodness Knows (stay tuned for that first chapter that I promised way back in May). But will I continue to mess around with dystopian cities and refugee societies of young people living in abandoned buildings? I had some plans to develop something involving this pair of characters as well ... we'll see.

Mysterious rockstar characters?


I'll be back next week with some spooky material to share, and soon after that with a rather salacious announcement. Speaking of which, I can now be found on tumblr as well, but please be warned: there there be adult material. Not safe for work, and probably not for family members!
turtlesoup: a green-haired girl in a collared shirt & vest holds her fingers up to her head like devil horns (sigh - whatever do I do with you)
a photo of 24 spread-out pages of comics, some inked and some just penciled


Whew, hello there. It has been a long month (as you can see).

Final projects for CCS first-years are due tomorrow morning! I'm just gathering my energy to print my books off and assemble them. Not entirely to my surprise ... the version of the chapter I'm handing in won't be fully complete in every respect: only seven of the twenty-four pages have been inked. I'm still really pleased with the book, mind, and I think this is worth it: I've refused to cut corners on the quality of the art (or the writing, to the best of my ability), and the versions I put up for sale online and at upcoming conventions will truly be my best work. Plus my pencils are, as people frequently tell me, kind of exhaustive (and readable).

Comics take a really long time to make, particularly considering how quick they can be to read. I may have mentioned before!

Have a preview page from early in the book )

That said, I will be debuting a minicomic at MoCCA this weekend! (I'm excited; this qualifies as my first big convention!) It's a mini-anthology of my work: "The Swamp Bride," "A.I.♥.U.," a couple of my best Turtle Soup strips from last semester, and a seven-page preview of "Goodness Knows: Chapter One." The cover might look a bit familiar:

a rueful angel in a tank top, skirt and striped tights is falling downwards, with a word balloon of the title 'So That Happened: A Comic Sampler


If there's any chance you're going to be at MoCCA Fest, please drop by and say hello! I'll have my books at Table M8, the Center for Cartoon Studies table, and I'll be on duty there myself Saturday from 11-1 and Sunday from 5-6. I'll probably be around more than that, too. There's so much amazing material coming out of my school right now; you definitely won't be sorry you stopped by.

This is a slightly rambly, content-light sort of post, so let me leave you with a random comic strip starring Luce and Mickey: my puzzle's missing a piece. )

More Goodness Knows talk & pages when I'm back, done inking, and have rested a bit! Mwah.
turtlesoup: falling angel, not too pleased (so uncalled for - taking a tumble)
Luce dancing in stripey arm warmers & a vest
Hey kids! So I wanted to post a quick little update over here, even though I haven't really been creating a whole lot of finished art of late. Everything I have is currently being thrown into my first semester final project. As I mentioned last post, it's going to be the introductory chapter of Goodness Knows, a graphic novel I've been messing around with conceptually for awhile now. Essentially, it's a coming-of-age story about a slightly wayward angel who is assigned to do community service on earth, and the young (human) woman she befriends there.

Getting the vague set of ideas and half-developed characters that I've been kicking around for years nailed down into workable concepts and a concrete script was a challenge, as I expected; I haven't really sunk my teeth into writing longer fiction since I graduated from college (and decided I needed to spend some time on learning to work with comics as a medium, without taking so much time on research, character development or worldbuilding). I freaked out a little and plagued people with a lot of questions and conceptual rambling. But! I'm well on track with a full script, thumbnails, and several penciled pages ... the finished chapter will be twenty-four (plus covers), and I'm hoping to debut it at MoCCA, the last weekend of April.

So for the timebeing I'm deep into a lot of stuff that isn't ready to show, but I have a couple of sneak peeks I can share! A model sheet, a page preview, and FANART OMG. )

I should get back to the grindstone (less than five weeks to go, yikes), but I'll leave you with one more little preview of a short piece starring the Goodness Knows characters ... drawn for an anthology I'm waiting to hear back about! I'd feel bad about leaving Mickey out of this post entirely, honestly, and besides - I finished this thing in February, and I'm kind of dying to show it to people. Thanks for reading, darlings, it's always appreciated!

two comic strip panels: in one Luce leans in to ask a cranky Mickey 'What's wrong?' and in the second, Mickey gestures and explains that her puzzle is missing a piece.
turtlesoup: a green-haired girl in a collared shirt & vest holds her fingers up to her head like devil horns (guardin' angelically)
Gosh, is it March already? Postable art is a bit fewer and farther between these days, as our second semester is a little more spread out and long-term-based. I may start finishing up some of my quickie in-class assignments eventually (I'd like to), but in the meantime, we did complete one project recently, more or less ...

Emily 'meets' the dragon princess


We were assigned to create a dummy for a children's picture book (mostly just rough, sketched-out pages with a handful containing "finished" artwork, like the ones above). I have a deep and abiding love of the format from my childhood, and spent a good deal of time revisiting various treasured favorites to get myself in the mood! Honestly, in the end, I don't think this is my kind of storytelling, but it was an interesting experience, to be sure.

A few more glimpses. )
Now that's over and done with, we've moved on to what I've been waiting for all year ... the final project, which basically tasks us with drawing the best comic we possibly can over a course of about nine weeks. As the assignment sheet itself says, no pressure there or anything.

Being the sort of student who has a pile of half-baked story ideas sitting around waiting for me, my choice of subject matter isn't very surprising. )

So yes! I am very busy ... not sure if I'm more likely to be quiet, or randomly rambly, in the weeks to come, but there's a very good chance of substantial comics by early/mid-May, at any rate!

I'll leave you with more fanart of my friend Dea's exorcist characters, Autumn and Kara, who are deeply fun to draw. They are badass. Also, it was so great to just let go and indulge in fiddly tiny lines to my heart's content. (I am incorrigible.)
ghost-battling badass
turtlesoup: turtle (a bespecacled, short-haired cartoonist) clutches her head in dismay (oh my head - wtf)
Oh hey! Sorry, I know I disappeared off the face of the earth for awhile there ... I was really pretty burnt out after last semester. Needed some time to recuperate with the family and such. Now I'm back at CCS, where they believe in starting off your second semester with a bang, by dumping we poor first-years right into the infamous SILVER AGE PROJECT!

Why am I speaking in histrionics and all-caps? I guess I must still be a little bit in this mode:
um yeah haven't cleaned my working area in awhile

Cover designs by various of my classmates, including Cole Closser, Sasha Steinberg/Sophie Goldstein, and Joyana McDiarmid/Romey Bensen/Vinnie Ferris/Adam Whittier.

Essentially: my class was divided into three small groups, each with a faculty "editor" (overlord might be more like it) and assigned a genre to work in. We then had two weeks to create a full-color 32-page (plus covers) comic book that remained true to the styles and conventions of mid-60s American comics. My group, headed up by the rather incredible Jason Lutes, created a superhero team which is a fairly obvious homage to the Fantastic Four, and attempted to emulate the classic stylings of Jack Kirby. (Not the least bit ambitious, us.)

I've never done anything like that before: the anthology project was a thoroughly solo endeavor by comparison. We worked around the clock, spread out over classroom tables passing pages back and forth so that different people could accomplish their various individual tasks (Penciling characters, or backgrounds, or technology! Inking along similar lines! Organizing the computer files! Designing ads! Coloring alotted excerpts!) It was in many ways a strange experience--I've never inked another person's pencils before, or worked within the traditional four-color palette), and exhausting, but it's kind of amazing to have the finished book in my hands. Several of the faculty have commented that it's designed to make us feel as though we can accomplish everything. It also makes me relieved to live in the era I do, I must confess; I would not want to live by that working model.

A one-page excerpt, an ad, and a preliminary character design. )

Now that we're through that particular gauntlet, the rest of the semester is looking very bright, with many more opportunities to really play with my own ideas, outside the confines of strict assignments. (At least, in part.) I can't wait to get started. In the meantime, have a little more art! )

I leave you with some silly doodles I drew yesterday at a local cafe ... I've discovered that the best way to get me to sketch spontaneously is to hand me a bunch of colored pencils and some scrap paper. Note to self for future conventions. (The octopus is my quick re-creation of the splash page of Agents of A.T.O.M., as it happens ...)

one sizable cephalopod


Excelsior!
turtlesoup: a confused robot holds a scarf and asks "?" (confused robot - winter wasteland)
Yesterday, my small group of classmates handed in forty copies of a screenprinted, die-cut, assembled and bound comics anthology entitled Future Inc: six stories about a deceptively cheerful and optimistic future society, informed by the science fiction of the 1950s (and the 30s, a little bit). Now that I've had some sleep, I'm excited to share my story with you! It's the longest piece I've done this semester (or in years, if it comes down to it), and while it's fairly melodramatic and silly, I had a great deal of fun putting it together!

In the book, each of our stories was preceded by a 50s-inspired advertisement related in some way to the story. This one was designed and penciled by me, and inked & greytoned by the incredibly talented Sophie Goldstein:
companion-bot advertisement


This comic contains an android, lesbians, and ridiculous outfits. )

Here are a few photos of the finished book )

Also, here's my diary comic for this week:
diary comic says zzzzz


I think that says it all at this point, really. :) We have another week or so of class, but apart from crit (which I look forward to, a little anxiously), this semester's pretty much done. I'm definitely ready to rest, and draw ... whatever I feel like, for a bit.
turtlesoup: a confused robot holds a scarf and asks "?" (confused robot - winter wasteland)
So one of these days, I'm going to use this blog to talk a little, as well as share images. I'm writing this at kind of an ungodly hour, however, so ... well, this isn't the time. Just had the kind of evening you go to comics grad school for: sitting up to the wee hours in the classroom with a few friends, working feverishly on final projects while loudly singing along to musical soundtracks you loved in your high school days. (There was a break to climb up on tables during "La Vie Boheme." Hi, it's essentially finals week.)

Here's a preview of my main contribution to the project:
anthology preview

I finished it tonight, but I'm going to wait to post the whole thing until I have the entire printed, bound retrofuturistic comics anthology sitting in my hand (and photographable for your viewing pleasure). I'll leave the explanation 'til then as well.

In the meantime, I've also decided to post, belatedly, my first longer comic assignment for class ... drawn back in mid-October. A combination of difficult circumstances (foremost being a sudden and severe case of art-block) led to me scrapping and rewriting this piece two-thirds of the way through the two weeks we had to work on it, pulling a really horrible all-nighter, and generally not getting the result I wanted. It was my biggest struggle of the semester.

That said, I might rework it sometime, because simple as it is, I did rather like the concept. (I'm starting to see a lot of my projects here as first drafts, since we don't actually have time for much revision.) We were asked to retell one of several of Aesop's fables. I chose The Birds, The Beasts and the Bat (Jacobs' translation), mostly because I hated the moral and wanted to challenge it.

cam page 1

Cam, continued )

Before I go, one last little tidbit! Following a heavily nostalgia-inducing field trip to the adorable toy museum in Quechee, we were assigned to create toy designs and pitch them to the class. There were some really brilliant parodic examples and seriously original ideas, but I basically went right back to the things I loved as a child: fantasy, cartoons, kickass female leads, and dress-up/roleplay. You might recognize Dionne from "The Swamp Bride" - I figure that, as with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, her cartoon show is a bit more kid-friendly than the ongoing comic adventures that have clearly inspired it:
toy design!

Okay, time to crash and hit "post" in a few hours - goodnight (good morning)!
turtlesoup: a green-haired girl in a collared shirt & vest holds her fingers up to her head like devil horns (magic is shiny - collaborative)
Good morning! It's snowing here in Vermont (already. again.) ... and finally, I have a longer comic to share! A fantasy comic at that, which I've been wanting to do for ages.

The following was my answer to our "bibliomancy" assignment: we had to put our fingers down at random in three places in a reference book (loosely defined), and use what we found (words, phrases, even images) at predetermined points in a four(ish) page comic to move the story along. I'll list mine for you after the comic!

I don't have a proper cover for this at present (I'll make one later, for the print version), but this is called "The Swamp Bride."

swamp bride page one


Comic continues under the cut! )

If any generous commentors have a minute and wouldn't mind leaving me their take on what's happening in the above pages, I'd be deeply appreciative! ♥

Apart from the above, I'm mostly wrapped up in finishing a twelve-page story and helping to design and edit the anthology it'll be a part of, but here are a couple of odds and ends.

A defensive little diary comic )

And finally, I actually drew some of my ongoing characters for a change:
spying from a railing


Luce and Mickey, patiently waiting their turn (it'll come, I swear). Drawn for a postcard exchange with my amazing friend Dea (you can see us walking & talking in the background).

That'll do for the moment, I hope ... back, quite literally, to the drawing board with me. If you're in the U.S., have a lovely Thanksgiving; if not, just have a great week!
turtlesoup: a confused robot holds a scarf and asks "?" (confused robot - winter wasteland)
Halloween costumes!


So this was kind of the weirdest Halloween ever. Growing up, I remember getting a dusting of snow around this time of year once or twice, but nothing like ... stepping outside the American Legion building in White River Junction for a breather during the Dust Ball and watching the world filling with white. We were really fortunate up here; back home in Western Massachusetts, some of my friends are still without heat or electricity (my parents just got theirs back today) ... courtesy of huge amounts of unseasonable wet snow being dumped on leaf-laden branches. Which was clearly entirely awful. :( Here in Vermont, the few inches we got just made things a little extra weird.

Actually, it was pretty fabulous time; toonies know how to do the holiday right, and the costumes were all amazing. I was pretty proud of mine. )

Here are a few more odds and ends for you! We're working on some longer comic projects at the moment, so content here's probably going to slow down again while I'm focused on producing all that. However.

POW! romance.


We were assigned to draw a romance comic cover in the style of various decades; mine was the 1970s. I wanted to do something a little ... different, while still fitting the rather skewed sort of style employed by the genre at the time.

Here's a little process talk about that. )

Also, one more quick oddity: last week we put together some composite creatures )

Well, that's all she drew for now! Practically a drive-by sort of post. I need to go play with androids, fifties hairstyles, swords and swamp creatures ... it's an odd balance of stress and sheer fun around these parts.
turtlesoup: a green-haired girl in a collared shirt & vest holds her fingers up to her head like devil horns (Default)
with apologies to Winsor McCay


Diary comic for this week! I'm going to try and keep these pretty simple for awhile, as we've just been assigned our big end-of-semester project, which is a doozy. Anyway, bizarre dream I had a few nights ago! The title (suggested by my friend Joyana) and final panel reference Winsor McCay's brilliant, classic, often-disturbing early 20th century comic strip, Dream of the Rarebit Fiend. The people teaching the class are my friend Dave (one of our seniors), and Mrs. Patmore, the cook from Downton Abbey (a British period drama I've watched a lot of recently).

I have a couple more homework assignments to share, in the interests of keeping these posts smaller (and more frequent)!

We've been doing a number of design-oriented projects lately, including a concert flyer. )

Inspired by one of Tezuka's techniques, we were also challenged to express a moment of intense emotion visually, using abstracts, patterns, and emanata (those little symbols cartoonists use as visual shorthand for various things, like surprise lines emanating out from a person's head, or bubbles for a drunk, speed lines, and so forth). I tend to be a pretty direct, representational artist, so this was a challenge, but I had fun with it. Please note: some of this imagery is rather visceral. )

On a somewhat different note, it's Halloween week! My favorite holiday, and a big damn deal around these parts, as you might imagine. I have a rather simple but eminently cartoony costume planned, which I look forward to sharing later! The town of White River Junction hosts a huge seasonal shindig this Saturday, with a festival (including such things as a haunted house, bellydancing and a monster petting zoo), followed by a parade and a dance at the American Legion hall.

CCS is providing decorations for said dance!

classmates painting monsters


We had an awesome evening drawing various monsters and ghoulies, using the projector to blow them up and trace them on huge pieces of paper, and painting over those outlines. Here are a couple examples of first designs and finished paintings. )

I should probably try to catch up on some sleep while I have a chance. Coming up soon: a 1970s romance comic cover with some, ah, punch, composite creatures, and more ... I love this school.
turtlesoup: a green-haired girl in a collared shirt & vest holds her fingers up to her head like devil horns (anathema - abstract thought)
They don't call the first year "CCS bootcamp" for no reason! What follows is quite a sizeable art dump, for which I apologize. The last few weeks have really gotten away from me - I haven't even managed to cook for myself, for the most part! But the faculty seem to have taken pity this week, and hopefully it'll be a bit easier to get a handle on things ... ride the wave instead of getting crashed around by it.

I climbed a mountain and fell off a small rock.

Last week, my class took a trip up Mt. Ascutney (the mountain we'd previously been sketching from a poet's back yard), so this diary comic is a sequel to the previous one. It's a little less ... deep, but I like the way it kind of inverts the first one: from the sublime to the ridiculous. (I remain amused that I sat that close to a precipice--though there were a few big ledges just below me, I couldn't have fallen far--and then managed to fall off a small rock.)

You might recall that, some weeks back, I mentioned the facebook project my class was working on together. Each student had to screenprint a portrait of some kind, and draw a bio for the facing page. Behold, my first attempt at screenprinting. )

During the very end of September, CCS played host to the International Comic Arts Forum, an international academic conference, which was a pretty fascinating experience. (There's a write-up over at the Schulz Library Blog.) I discovered that I'm definitely still, in some sense, an academic; still inclined to analyze as well as enjoy (and create) stories, and ... somewhat frustrated when a presentation doesn't draw a conclusion from its material. There were some really fascinating talks; the panel on Race and Class was perhaps my favorite, although CCS senior Kate Moody's talk on the so-called "death of print" was particularly scintillating as well.

We also held a sort of miniature, all-CCS convention during the conference, where my classmates and visiting alums set up tables to sell our work to each other and attendees. I tabled with four of my classmates. )I was thrilled to finally have the chance to check out what the second-years have been doing (we have precious little chance to bug them about it these days!), and it makes me wish I could fit minicomic reviews into my schedule, because seriously, my school is full of amazing people and you should read their stuff. Maybe I'll do some in celebration of winter break; I can't promise.

Also, this happened:

do I not look like me?

Conventions do always involve rather interesting conversations and feedback! It got me thinking a bit about the nature of autobiographical comics ... how if you do them for long enough (even when you're taking distinctly non-serious, episodic approach, as I generally do), the "you" on paper becomes a character just slightly distinct from the person you are in real life. (It also made me think that I need to start taking more care not to draw myself in t-shirts all the time. I'm given to wearing a lot of collared shirts and neckties, and that fedora is becoming sort of a signature accessory.)

Exhausting as ICAF was (as a CCS staff member, I worked for much of those three days, when I wasn't tabling), I was grateful for the homework assignment we had that weekend. My artwork is ... a little intricate? While I've certainly grown faster even in the short time I've been here, my process is time-consuming and meticulous, and often results in very very late nights (which I enjoy, but pay for later). That week, however, we were assigned a short comic on a "journey" theme, using Ed Emberley's Make A World.

In which I play with stick figures. )

More recently, I managed to more or less drive myself into the ground with our latest project, all due to my still absurdly slow process, a bad stretch of art block (school does not allow for this!), and a little bit of life outside of school (I do kind of want to have one). That project deserves its own post, once I've reworked the cover, but I do have a little bit of non-schoolwork to share as well ...

This past weekend, a very dear friend of mine got married back home in Western Massachusetts, and I was lucky enough to attend. I wanted to make a personal gift for the couple, which isn't something I've ever really done before. Fortunately, we had recently learned a little bookbinding, and they happen to have a highly comickable inside joke! My friend is a devoted fan of The Wrath of Khan; her wife, on the other hand, is not quite a Star Trek fan. My friend's wife has famously given many hilariously incorrect recitations of the plot of this movie, which she's sat through numerous times. I drew four comics based on these retellings and bound them into a book; this one is probably my favorite. )

It was a beautiful outdoor wedding in the height of New England fall, and everything turned out about as close to perfect as I can really imagine. There was, however, a tense moment; the day before was very rainy, and the area of the lawn where the ceremony was supposed to be held was briefly flooded. (The spot they used instead was gorgeous!) My friend posted some very picturesque images of her feet immersed in water, and I was hit with this nagging inspiration to draw a fantastical bride standing in a pool of water.

It's nice to have a little artistic energy back! (Last week was kind of terrible.) This wound up becoming much more creepy than ethereal in execution, which I blame on the season:

she does.

It looks like the cover for something, doesn't it? Hmmm. (Clearly this image has absolutely nothing to do with any real-life events or people, although I do find myself working marriage into various project ideas right now; it was an inspiring celebration.) I don't have a story right now, but you never know.

I'd better stop bombarding you now, but I'll be back soon with a thoroughly un-fantastical adaptation of one of Aesop's fables, because apparently I'm contrary like that. COMICS.
turtlesoup: a green-haired girl in a collared shirt & vest holds her fingers up to her head like devil horns (Default)
For once, my desire to blog is drastically outstripping my time to do it in. I have any number of things I'd like to put up here (some musings on conventions and conferences, including thoughts on academics vs. non-academic creative folk and also the panel on collaboration I attended at MICE ... and plenty of homework), but gah, I'm buried. So I'll start off by condensing four Turtle Soup strips (two for school, two extracurricular) into one post. I don't know if I should be saying "sorry" or "you're welcome."

a breath of fresh air


I'm pretty thrilled with how this came out, I won't lie. Some background rambling! )

Anyway, enough explanatory blather! Have a few more comics.

This one has an owl. )

One consequence of wearing neckties. )

And some simple reassurance. )

And now, I need to go research Aesop's fables, and browse some early 20th Century newspaper strips. And maybe get some sleep?
turtlesoup: a green-haired girl in a collared shirt & vest holds her fingers up to her head like devil horns (Default)
So, first things first: I received my first ever solo review from Chad Parenteau over at we got comic issues last week! He discusses both of my minis, and I must say, I'm extremely flattered and grateful. :)

medieval saint portrait


At CCS this week, we're working on the first of our major group projects: a hand-bound facebook full of screenprinted portraits and "bios" for each student in the first-year class. The above will actually be printed in red and blue on yellow paper (and probably not nearly so well aligned), but I've overlaid the color separation files to give an idea. Going back to my older (and perhaps favorite) influences a bit. I'll take a picture of the finished project.

I wasn't too pleased with my contribution to our other main assignment of this past week; a series of original gag strips. It's not really my strength, but I'll share one: the classic desert island scenario )

Now I'm off to the Boston area for MICE, where I'll be hanging around at the CCS table at the start of the morning, and again mid-afternoon! More content (and hopefully more comics) soon!

I'll leave this quick little post with a view of how seriously we take our studies here at CCS:
larking about
turtlesoup: a green-haired girl in a collared shirt & vest holds her fingers up to her head like devil horns (goodness knows - life on a small scale)
Hello, my long-neglected blog! It's been something like forever since I wrote, and so many things have happened in that time. Most importantly: I've moved to Vermont and started classes at The Center For Cartoon Studies. Here's a picture of most of my classmates:

CCS Class of 2013 in front of the Colodny


There was a dinosaur approaching.

I am having a fabulous time, although things are already so busy that I can hardly breathe, or mess around on the internet. Homework! Conventions and conferences! Socializing with an entire community of other cartoonists! It's enough to keep your head spinning.

Speaking of conventions and conferences, I'm planning to attend MICE in Cambridge, Mass on September 24! I'll be hanging out at the CCS table at some point during the day (schedule update when I have it), so feel free to come by and say hello! Both Fruitless and the Turtle Soup minicomic will be available. (I'm sorry for the lack of etsy as of yet; the post office is a little hard to get to here, and I want to make sure I'm all set up to get things sent out before I start trying to do it!)

But hey, this blog is mostly for art, huh? Well, fortunately, I have plenty of that. Doodles and classwork, check it out.

my friend the interruption

Further doodles, ahoy! )

Turtle Soup Special Edition: Once and Future )

Silly character design exercise! )

Wow, all right, sorry for dumping so much material on you all at once! I should post more often so that I can space it out better.

There's an awful lot more I could say about the content of my classes, but I'll save that for next time. I should get some sleep; I did stay up ridiculously late working on that diary comic.
turtlesoup: a green-haired girl in a collared shirt & vest holds her fingers up to her head like devil horns (goodness knows - life on a small scale)
train tracks in White River Junction

So, six years after my internship, I'm getting ready to return to White River Junction at last. It's kind of funny, now that I'm a month and a half out from my first actual class as a CCS student ... I've had this plan for so long that the idea of actually doing it is weird! My friend Amelia and I drove up last weekend to check out my brand new apartment (which I'll be sharing with kickass new classmate April) and have lunch with a whole pack of fantastic cartoonists.

Every once in awhile I briefly wonder if I should be throwing all my money at a two-year stint of studying comic-making in the middle of Vermont. Briefly. But just having the opportunity to spend two years focusing on learning to tell visual stories better would be basically priceless in and of itself, and I also get to learn with a diverse and talented group who love the medium as much as I do. Among other things, I really should have cause to update this blog a whole lot more!

A few more Cartoonland photos )

So everything's coming together ... soon. Sadly I haven't really been producing much that I can post here in the interim, but! Here's something I'm pleased with:

sharing magic

My friend Andrea is writing a novel I'm ridiculously excited for, full of magic and underworldly demons and fascinating female characters. (A cast full of women, if you can believe in such a thing! Sigh.) The anticipation is such that I felt compelled to visualize the last tiny excerpt she teased me with, and this was the result. This is my favorite kind of subject matter to draw, and it has been a ridiculously long time since I did anything like it.

I believe I've mentioned, but: fun as it is drawing silly diary comics and the like, I want to get back to fiction; preferably long-form. And I'll never stop loving fantastical themes and settings, no matter how many insightful, unassuming slice-of-life graphic novels I read and admire.

Plus, I love Andrea's fiction, and I really can't wait until it's out there where I can recommend it to the rest of the world. I am awfully privileged to have such talented friends. (Also, I should note that the characters above are the same ones being referred to in this strip. ;))

As for my stint as graphic diarist, well, the Turtle Soup minicomics should have been ready by now, but I'm having some printer issues. I hope to finally have them in my hands within a week or two!

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