turtlesoup: a blushing girl plays keyboard while her lead singer leans over and sings to her (rock - pretty girls in love)
a pile of tiny dynamos, fresh off the presses!

Um, so hello! I apologize for once again disappearing for so long ... finishing school is always a very disorienting experience, and I've needed time to recuperate, reorient, and relocate. However, I've managed to keep up my art-making momentum, which is great. So I'm not empty-handed by any means, as you can see!

The above is a pile of my newest (and physically tiniest - it's CD booklet size!) minicomic, Tiny Dynamo: DEMOS, which will debut THIS WEEKEND at the Small Press Expo in Bethesda, MD. It collects a couple of short, fluffy stories about an all-queer rock band that I've been playing around with in the background for awhile. These are introductory tales: there are many more stories to tell about the TD queers (some of them rather more serious), and I think I'll bring them out intermittently as a break from my more concentrated projects.

Here are a couple preview pages and such! )

I'm excited for the convention weekend! It's a gigantic cartoonist convergence/family reunion sort of deal, with most of the people I know in the field all in one place ... including most of my former schoolmates (who I already miss dearly), several CCS faculty members, and even old friends like my much-beloved Elle Skinner. I'll be tabling with my talented former classmate Joyana McDiarmid!Come find us at table K4B if you're coming! )

This is especially exciting because I have ANOTHER fantastic debut to announce ... for the last year plus, several of my classmates and I have been working hard to organize, edit, and publish an anthology of smart, gorgeous, varied QUEER EROTIC COMICS, and it's finally time for us to share it with the world. I've mostly kept my Adult materials off this blog thus far, but guys, I am so proud of this thing: The Queerotica Anthology! Erotica, people: don't click if that's not your thing. ;) )

If you're local to the Boston area, you can also find me, and these books, at MICE in Cambridge in a couple weeks! (I'll try and post a reminder!) And that's it for conventions for me this year ... I'm ready to take a breath and get focused on my longer-term plans, which are mostly focused on turning Asylum into an ongoing, long-term online graphic novel ... so stay tuned.

I'll leave you with a few odds and ends that I drew this summer. Oof, I have to stop doing these giant round-up posts, right? For one thing, those of you who follow me elsewhere must find it very redundant.

A couple illustrations (one contains bare breasts) and a ... restaurant review? )
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 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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