Wednesday, March 30, 2011

10 Days Until MoCCA Fest 2011!

Quatro Monstro!

The MoCCA Art Festival is sneaking up fast, April 9th and 10th! Our table will have a new $1 anthology, like the one we had at SPX, this time with four stories about monsters from Jon Chad, Katherine Roy, and Laura Terry. Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Thursday, March 24, 2011

McNeil Island Comic Cover Sketches

This thing is very close to being done! Probably not in time for MoCCA, but soon after!

Scratch that, the comic will probably be done in time for MoCCA, but it probably won't be back from the printers in time.

I've been doing some cover doodles now, to save myself the anxiety (covers stress me out). Here's a couple of ideas:



Feedback appreciated. So far the best comment I've gotten from showing these around is "that green water makes me feel crazy". Puget Sound always looked green to me?

Monday, March 21, 2011

Unicorn Distraction

I've been drawing SO MANY comics lately. The McNeil Island book is at 60 pages (!?), and I'm working on a couple of anthology submissions, but there's nothing that I can post online yet.

So instead, here are some unicorns:

Unicorn Distraction

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St Patrick's Day!

Sorry, nothing new. But here's a St. Patrick's Day comic I did for Bash! Magazine a couple of years ago, back when that still existed.

Monday, March 14, 2011

McNeil Island Book Update

Fundraiser final report

Just an update for anyone following the fundraiser- after books and commissions, the final tally was $190, just $10 shy of the $200 goal to cover plane tickets, but so close I'm not complaining.

Attending the closing ceremonies and driving around my abandoned hometown was a very weird experience, but the comic is coming along well. Took the first 28 pages to critique group yesterday, and I'm feeling pretty good about the whole thing.


Thanks to everyone for your help!

Friday, March 11, 2011

CCS Appreciate/Awareness Week!

It's Center for Cartoon Studies Appreciation Week or Awareness Week, depending on who you ask, so I thought I'd post a few photos from my time as a student there, way back in the dark ages of 2005-2007.
Mini comics from the class of 2007

The real drive behind this appreciation week is to try and drum up applicants. With all the promoting that CCS does with mailers, press releases, workshops and conventions, most of the new students still hear about the school first through student/alumni blogs.

Final Critiques
Critique Day, 2005

And since the goal here is to attract applicants, I thought I'd do my part by answering some of the questions I get most often from people who are considering the school. In the first couple years after I graduated, I use to get tons of e-mails of total strangers, wanting to know if CCS was for them. A couple of them (Denis St. John leaps first to mind) went on to become students and friends.

A familiar sight
Sam Gaskin, asleep in the lab after an all-nighter, 2005

First question I usually get "Should I go to CCS"?

Maybe? Probably? Depends on what you're looking to do with your comics.

I guess that's the thing, if you're not really interested in drawing comics, then this probably isn't the program for you. While the skills you learn (writing, design, professional practices) are applicable to a lot of fields- I used them in my day-job, working at a library- you're going to be expected to draw comics. A lot of comics. Every day.
If you're comics-obsessed, love drawing and writing, and still aren't sure if this is the program for you, try a summer workshop first. That'll give you a good idea of what the program is like. If you can't make the workshops, attend a portfolio day, or write the school and ask about sitting in on an class or and internship or something. Whatever you do, I don't think it's a good idea to commit to the program sight-unseen. I mean, I did, but I learn everything the hard way. At least visit the town first, pictures don't do it justice.

End of semester party
Andrew Arnold, a Sturm child, and Josie Whitmore at a CCS party, 2005

2nd question I hear all the time- "I really want to attend, but don't know how I'm going to pay for it!"

Oof, that's a hard one. I didn't know this answer to this myself when I applied. It's a lot of money, but...not REALLY. Compared with other art school MFA programs, it's quite a deal. But, a lot of them offer financial aid. I don't know what CCS currently offers (there have been a lot of changes over the years), but when I went, there was a payment plan through the school that worked out well for me, coupled with a loan from my parents, and I am forever indebted to them, both literally and figuratively.

Some of my classmates took out personal loans, sold their cars, found grants or other funding through the state of Vermont, put everything on a credit card...there are options. And I think that it's worth it, if you finish the program. Of course not everyone from my class is making a living from comics (though a few are!), but those that I've stayed in touch with have found better jobs thanks to their MFA, and all seem to be doing pretty well right now.

Grad class of 2007
CCS Pioneer Class of 2007, graduation photo

Of course, the REAL reason to attend CCS is the people and the community. Feel like I spend a lot of time on here talking about how awesome everyone is. So instead, here's links to a bunch of the other CCS Awareness Week posts:

Happy reading!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Trials of Sir Christopher book now available for purchase!

The Trials of Sir Christopher book is back from the printers and looking sharp! I am ready to exchange copies of this fine publication for legal tender. You can purchase a copy online here! It's 6x9", 204 pages, b+w interiors with a color cover.

Sir Chris book 
There are many boxes of this book taking up space in my little apartment, and it would be nice if they went away quickly.

Sir Chris book

Sir Chris book

Well, I'm excited.

Monday, March 7, 2011

McNeil Island Visit

I'm back! Spent half a week on the west coast, visiting with my parents and friends, but mostly visiting McNeil Island. My parents live a couple of hours away in Monroe, but we drove down to Steilacoom (where the ferry to the island docks) every day of my trip, and were lucky enough to get to spend two days on the island.

McNeil Island

Here's my dad walking around the old neighborhood of Center Hill. This part wasn't sad, it was just weird. Half the houses were boarded up, but a lot looked like people could still be living in them. It was less like visiting home, and more like wandering around the set of a horror movie.

McNeil Island

View of Still Harbor from Lt.'s Row.

McNeil Island

And this is why we lived on the island, despite everything- that's my little sister Liz and her fiance Erin, standing feet away from a freakin' bald eagle! Driving around we saw herds of deer, otters, harbor seals, coyotes, feral cats, and all kinds of birds. The parts of the island that aren't leased by the prison are owned by the Department of Natural Resources, it's an untouched nature preserve.

The rest of the photos are here. And the comic is coming along (relatively) soon!