turtlesoup: a confused robot holds a scarf and asks "?" (confused robot - winter wasteland)
[personal profile] turtlesoup
a black-haired woman with a braid stands transfixed on a cathedral dome, looking down at the city far below Well, hello there. I live!

I didn't mean to leave this blog languishing for such a long time. The past four months have been a time of creative recuperation and quiet planning, of stepping away from the pressures of trying to always garner attention and put work on display. Also, I moved, found a temp job, became unemployed, and dealt with various other personal ups and downs. Trying to settle into life outside of grad school is tricky, and so too is trying to navigate a creative life and build your own definition of success (and pertaining goals). I realize I'm rambling without making much sense! But yeah. I've had to make some decisions about how and where to direct my creative energy.

The next post I make will be about exciting plans for the year and previews and the like! But here is a round-up of a few things I've made while I've been quiet. (As always, for up-to-the-minute doodlings and such, feel free to check out my tumblr. I've also started another one for reblogging awesome comics and other fun things ... and the occasional rant about social justice & representation. Well, okay, more than occasional. But comics!)

character designs for a black femme mad scientist and a scrappy genderqueer superhero

I spent the middle part of the fall planning short stories to pitch to a couple of professional anthologies; while ultimately I didn't wind up in either (one rejection, and one decision to focus on other, longer-term projects), I'm really pleased with the character designs for both. I'm not quite sure how I'll use my amphibious aliens yet, but I have some ideas ... and as for the silly erotic comic about the mad scientist and the superhero, I'll probably draw that one sooner rather than later! It's all scripted and ready to go. ;)

I am, in fact, considering starting a small site for posting short pieces of erotica at some point ... but later, once other things are in motion!

character designs for a vaguely amphibious, humanoid alien

a cast shot of Anathema characters

Spoiler: I've been thinking a whole lot about writing graphic novels and long-form webcomics lately! Which, naturally, got me reminiscing a bit about my first-ever attempt at a project like that ... a very poorly-planned thing begun midway through high school, using characters cannibalized from half a dozen other (and sometimes VERY unrelated) story ideas. I had a lot of daydreams about characters and relationships and Important Themes, but no concept whatsoever of story structure (seriously, for someone who was about to go on to an English major, I wouldn't have recognized plot points, conflicts or character arcs if they popped up and smacked me in the face). Anathema, as the story was eventually titled, featured a transparently self-inspired main character, Lucifer masquerading as a small-town priest, the (potential) Second Coming of Christ, and ... Morgan Le Fay and Guinevere as vampires with issues. (Well, all the characters had issues. And messy love triangles between all genders. Also, all the men were pretty and evil.)

Hah. High school. (Although the project dragged on through college, its sensibilities were very centered around my sixteen-year-old interests.) It's really entertaining to look back on! Also, while the story meandered through beat-less coffee shop scenes and high school hallway conversations, I did produce more than forty pages of sustained narrative (such as it was), which I haven't done since. (Yet.) So, it was necessarily pretty important to my creative growth in many ways.

panel comparison: 2005 and 2014

I tried redrawing a panel from an old page (the one on the left is circa 2005, one of the last pages I ever drew) as an exercise, and ... while it shows growth, it's also revealing when it comes to bad habits I've developed in more recent days. My work used to be a lot less cluttered; I could take some lessons from myself back in the day!

The only old Anathema art I currently have at hand is circa 2006/7, when I was still revisiting the characters and pondering whether I could workshop the thing into a more coherent story, but there. For comparison, if you like. Embarrassing old captions and all.

I may have ventured into the world of online dating a bit over the last few months ... I started drawing a comic about it, but it didn't really go anywhere. There are some things that pop up in peoples' profiles that I find frustrating, it's true. On the other hand, it's a weird and non-intuitive sort of process, so really, who am I to judge? (I actually feel as though the setup lends itself that way, and that this is fairly unfortunate.)

a four panel comic in which Turtle goes back in time to punch her past self, but it doesn't make her feel better

This one needs little explanation, I think. Beating yourself up is really never the answer, even though some of us are super great at it.

Anyway, enough rambling about last year. I'll post again soon (no seriously) about what's coming up!

I won't share the illustration I did for holiday cards this year, because while I failed miserably at mailing them out, well ... I have a plan ...
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