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 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: 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 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)
Hmmm, so much for that plan - I announce that I'm going to start making regular weekly blog posts, and then completely disappear instead! My apologies, folks. I took on a number of deadlined projects for the next couple of weeks, and between those and the Thanksgiving holiday, I've had less time than ever.

I'm really starting to learn what it's like to do comics/art like a second job, at least in terms of production. (One day, perhaps I'll also get paid!) I need to learn to also space projects out a bit better. At this point, I think regular recommendation/link posts will commence beginning with the new year.

In the meantime, if you're local to or visiting the Boston area this holiday season, I encourage you to check out one of the many fantastic holiday fairs in our area. The Boston Comics Roundtable plans to attend three of them. I won't be there personally (except perhaps as a shopper), but if you stop by our table, we'll be selling Inbound 5: The Food Issue, holiday minicomics packets (including my very first effort, "Fruitless") and a variety of other treats. There may even be comic strip wrapping paper!

"Fruitless," which is the my robot/snowman CCS application comic, will also be available at local comic shops and online fairly soon; I'll post some information then. :)

I'm not sure about the status of the comic strip wrapping paper, but I thought I'd share my contribution to the project. It comes from an old, rejected holiday card idea of mine (it just wasn't quite inclusive enough for that), and features characters from what I hope will be my first long-form comic project, Goodness Knows.

Luce almost falls out of a Christmas tree

(Oddly enough, she is.)


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