Saturday, April 24, 2010

MoCCA Post!

Well MoCCA has come and gone and I think I just got through what my friend J.T. refers to as the post convention blues. Well I am not sure if he calls them that exactly, but he was the first to describe accurately how and why this happens. You work and work at an almost dizzying pace, building yourself up into a state of near panic to get your book ready (and the postcards and the t-shirts) and then it all happens so fast! And it's thrilling and weird and you talk too much and sleep too little and try and do everything and inevitably miss out on connecting with the people you wanted to see or the panel you were interested and then ... it's over! And after a couple days of heavy napping there is a big void which was once taken up by the idea of MoCCA, and you fall inside the void, missing desperately the final stages of your last project and having no idea when or how you could possibly start the new one. Thus I have been wandering around all week wondering why I am so sad until I realized why. And knowing why made me happier.

O.K. so, "HOW WAS MoCCA?" I know everyone and their mother has now posted and blogged on the fair, so anything I say may have been said ad infinitum, but here's my verdict: It was good, but still flawed. I was really hoping that this year I would come around to The Armory, but I still yearn for the Puck Building. There were some amazing improvements this year, but the fact of the matter is that I am not sure the cost of the tables is entirely justified. It really squeezes out little people like me and apparently resulted in the remarkable absence of AdHouse Books and a Vertigo table. That being said, the place looked really great, the temperature was oh so comfortable, and they gave us popcorn.

At the end of the day it is a balancing act for the organizers and one they are clearly trying hard to get right. Despite any complaints it remains the best comics event of the year. It had the smartest panels, the coolest people and the best vibe.

Above is our table with it's cool "Lucy" frame designed and crafted by Anna Raff who has revealed herself to be something of a technical genius.

I find it difficult to sum up my personal experience at these things which is why I usually say "It was great! Everyone was great!". It was great though, but really intense. My new book The Lettuce Girl sold well and I only have a few copies left so I already am back to the presses! I got to sit next to some awesome neighbors who's work I really dig. If you have never read Chuck Forsman's creepy and strange Snake Oil books, I highly recommend them. Check them out. He was sharing with the talented Melissa Mendes whose comics will charm your pants off. You've been warned. I also got to meet their table mate Alex Kim whose books are beautiful. It was great catching up with Box Brown and J.T. Yost, Rachel Allison the venerable Josh Bayer, Brendan Leach, Nate Bulmer, You Byun and Matt Rota, most of whom had new books out. I happily ran into all sorts of people actually and the more I try to mention them all, the more I realize I cannot list the experience of being surrounded by interesting and interested cartoonists and afficianados for two busy and wonderful days. It's just the best and I can't wait for next year.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Comics Page Process

I find that when I get into a chat about comics, more often than not, I end up describing how I approach a page. So while I was working on "The Lettuce Girl" I took some photos along the way to at least partially capture my process.

After I have determined my story, the sequence of events, and the layout of ALL the pages, I draw out all the pages on regular cover stock with a mechanical pencil. Above is an example of a page. I draw close to the size I print at, and the above page measures 8.5x5.5".

Then when I have pencilled every page I photocopy them around 150-160% of the original size. As you can see the results are nice and dark.

Then I tape some very good paper (Strathmore Bristol board) on top of the photo copied page and turn on the light box! Thus illuminated i can see my original line work and then ink away.

After my hand does that spazy-clenchy-numbness thing I decide that I am sick of inking that the page is finished!

Then I scan it, futz with it, correct it, develop acrimonious feeling towards it, and then BAM!; It's ready for print.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

New Comic: The Lettuce Girl Pt. 1

This post is to officially announce that my new book The Lettuce Girl Pt.1 will be available to purchase at MoCCA Art Fest this weekend. If you are in New York or any where near New York, or if you love comics or even just enjoy comics from time to time this is the place for you to be this weekend. It will be amazing; the best exhibitors, best art and best panels on the east coast no doubt about it. MoCCA is my favorite convention, and if you've ever been you know why and if you are a first timer this weekend you are about to find out why.

Other than my new book I will also have a two page comic in Rabid Rabbit's new issue (Rabid Rabbit's Tall Tales and Magnanimous Myths). I was lucky to get a copy at the release party a couple weeks ago and it is beautiful and jammed packed with stellar work, so be sure to check that out too.

I will be sharing a table with a couple of my former table mates and two of my favorite friends/cartoonists Dunja Jankovic and Anna Raff. We all have new books and new stuff and are excited to share. So come by G13 which as far as I can tell runs along the back wall so we shouldn't be too hard to miss. Poster below with all the details. See you there!

Friday, April 2, 2010

A lot.

Ok the funny thing about blogging about ones professional (mis)adventures is that the busier I get, the more I have to report on, but consequently I also have less and less time to do said "reporting". Nonetheless here's a quick run down on whats been up with me.

First of all pick up a Time Out New York! Not only is it the awesome "Free" issue but on page four is a Photo Finish piece by me. I really loved this one because it allowed me to both vent my frustration with hipsters as well as bad busking. Read it here.

The biggest Fish I have had to fry lately though is preparing my new comic for MoCCA. Other than my slight collection of short comics from last Fall, My Terrible Tearable Heart, I have yet to come out with a new comic since my thesis, The Deformitory in May 2008. Whereas I am still proud of my debut effort I am really excited to push a new book. It's a take on Rapunzel and its called the "The Lettuce Girl". Its the first installment of what I currently foresee as a four part story. I have been writing and rewriting it since around Christmas time and just finished inking last week. The guts are printed and I am working on the cover now. You can see a page in progress on my drawing table above. Do you like my beautifully organized work space?

Stay tuned, enjoy the weather and Happy Easter and Passover!