Tuesday, September 3, 2013


Hey! Long time no...write. So I took a break for summer, and since the stores have already started all their "Back to School" nonsense and sunscreen is on 70% off clearance, summer must be over. Even if it is still a million degrees outside.

So here's some things that happened while I was away:

  • I moved the website over to tumblr, for easy updating. It does mean the webcomic archives are gone, but nobody read that nonsense anyway.
  • Rob Clough reviewed a bunch of my comics, and Sundays 5 (I've got a short comic in that anthology).
  • The Comics Reporter was nice enough to link to the afformentioned tumblr site. And they wished me a happy birthday! 
  • I survived Tablegeddon 2013 and will be exhibiting at the Small Press Expo in a few weeks. 10 days, according to the countdown on their site.
  • Speaking of SPX, they were nice enough to write up an SPX Spotlight of my comics on their blog.
  • The Graphic Canon vol. 3 ended up on the New York Times Bestseller list!
And...I think that's everything. Besides the million comic projects I had to complete. And turning 31. That was a thing.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

To Draw

Hey. It's been a couple weeks since I updated this blog. And it'll probably be a couple more until I update it again. Been looking at the website and blog lately and it feels a little...old. Stale. Posting is going to take a back seat to the site re-design for a little bit!

On top of all this other stuff.
This is my current to do/to draw list. There are too many things on it. Some of them don't even make sense ('Calendar'? What does that mean, why did I write it? Did I promise to draw something for a calendar?) 
Here's a photo of my desk right now, with the four comics I'm working on sorted into separate piles. There's also two other comics I'm supposed to finish before the end of the summer, that I haven't started yet FOR OBVIOUS REASONS.

Another round of "Island Brat" stories will be finished soon. Would people prefer to see another mini comic (Island Brat 3?) or a collection of all the stories with an additional 30 pages of material? I can't make up my mind on which to do. 

Tragic Relief 14, the "Washaway" story that's been running over on the comics site, will be ready for VanCaf. Probably. I mean, it's all done except the cover, I just hate drawing covers and have been dragging my feet on finishing this.
And it's easy to drag your feet when you have a really exciting project to work on.
Next week- Probably nothing. Unless the website stuff goes quicker than I thought.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Convention Schedule and New Minis 2013


Here's the conventions I'm attending this year, and the brand new comics I'll have there:

Vancouver Canada- VanCaf, May 25th and 25th with Nomi Kane and Jen Vaughn
*New mini comic- Tragic Relief #14 "Washaway", see the story so far online.

*New mini comic- "I Should Have Dumped You When..." a collection of gags based on my unintentionally funny life (sample page above)

And...that's it.
I have a couple more comics in the works (haven't decided yet if I should do Island Brat 3 or just try to publish a collection), just need shows to debut them.

Here's some other conventions that I have applied to and/or would REALLY LIKE to apply to when their applications are available:

Stumptown April 27th and 28th (been waitlisted again, fingers crossed)
SPX, Sept 14th and 15th (may the odds be ever in your favor!)
Rose City Comicon, Sept 21st and 22nd (application in the mail!)

APE, Oct 12th and 13th (haven't been in years)
Geek Girl Con, October 19th and 20th (because I could walk there)

 Short Run, Nov 30th (I have a good feeling about this one)

So much for the plan to cut back this year...any others I should be shooting for? 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Diary Tunes 2012

Diary Tunes time again! Robyn Chapman organizes this cd exchange every year, I think this is the 6th time I've gotten to participate? I kinda look forward to this all year.
Since I felt like I spent most of 2012 just spinning my wheels and filling up sketchbooks without making a lot of comics, I called this mix the "Never-Ending Sketch Party" and did a bunch of themed doodles for the track list. And yes, I already know I have weird taste in music. Excited to see what everyone else sends!

Monday, March 18, 2013

March Modok Madness!

Since it's March Modok Madness time, thought I'd repost this commission from 2005-


And the inspiration-


Sunday, March 3, 2013


sloth1 sloth2 sloth3 sloth4 

 Sloths make me happy.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Valentine's Card

Did you know that Nomi Kane, Jen Vaughn and I mailed out 203 Valentine's cards this year?


Well really, they did most of the work. I drew my part of the card and then helped fold for like an hour, then it turns out I'd folded all of mine wrong Nomi had to redo them. Then I went to Texas and left the ladies to finish up all the work. Don't know why they put up with me.


Here's a video Jen made of putting the final card together.

Isn't that neat? Use it as a cat toy! Hang it from your review mirror! Decorate your Valentine's Day tree (that's a thing, right?)!

Did you get a card? If not, send me an email [colleenfrakes at gmail dot com] and I'll add you to future mailing lists. Getting real mail is much more fun than emails.

On an unrelated note, there's a new painting up in the Etsy shop. It's a bit more than I usually like to charge (I'm an advocate of cheap art) but it's also larger and more detailed than the usual sketches I post there. Also, I need money to go to CAKE.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Cartoonists at the Theater 4- The Buried Child

The Buried Child. Directed by Prof. Rosa Joshi, the play features students Samuel Asher ('15), Meme Garcia-Cosgrove ('14) Jacob Swanson ('15) Matthew Weingarten ('14), Lucas Kiehn-Thillman ('14), Emma Bjornson ('16), and Marshall Lewis ('14).

Hey! I got to see a play on Tuesday and do a bit of sketching in the dark. The performances were all great and everything was very professionally done. What I've been struggling with since seeing it is the tone of the play. The title (Hey, dead baby! Not a spoiler if it's in the title!), the music, the set, everything suggested to me that this was supposed to be a backwoods horror play. And in a lot of ways it fits the genre- isolated rural family, unexpected city visitors, suggestions of inbreeding. The whole thing felt very creepy, I kept expecting a hand or something to pop up from beneath the floorboards.

But from what I've heard and read since the performance, the play isn't supposed to be frightening but sad, about the death of the American family/American dream. I guess those things are scary, too.


"Tilden was right about the corn you know. I’ve never seen such corn."

"Open up wider."

"His face became his father’s face. Same bones. Same eyes. Same nose. Same breath. And his father’s face changed to his grandfather’s face."
"You sit here all day and night, festering away! Decomposing! Smelling up the house with your putrid body! Hacking your head off ‘til all hours of the morning! Thinking up mean, evil, stupid things to say about your own flesh and blood!"
"There’s nothing to be afraid of. These are all good people. All righteous souls."

The Buried Child runs from February 21 – March 3 at the Lee Center for the Arts. Tickets are $6 for students, $8 for SU faculty and staff, and $10 general admission. Go check it out!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Hourly Comics 2013

Friday was hourly comics day. I spent most of it being tired and grumpy, since I'd stayed out too late every other night that week. But I decided to inflict a comic on you anyway.



Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Wednesday sketch

"Cheerleading Tryouts"

Sometimes I draw a thing, and it turns out to be completely wrong for it's intended purpose.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Advice from the Pros

Yesterday (and bleeding over into today) the internet exploded with reactions to some professional advice offered on the First Second blog. I agreed with Callista's post. I also agreed with everyone's reactions/advice against it.

Thought today I'd offer a sampling of some of the advice/criticism I've gotten from pros over the years, good and bad. All of it's paraphrased (though I have an annoying talent for recalling conversations), and I've given credit when I could remember who said it (I have an annoying habit of forgetting names). Corrections welcome.

I can't not write. If you don't have to, then please don't, because I don't need the competition- Bill Ransom (a lot of people have said something similar to this, but he was the first I heard it from)

Your art is either too cartoony or too realistic. Pick one-James Sturm

I like the art, but the story is too thin-an editor

I like the story, but the art is too spare-a different editor, on the same book

Use the colors as they come out of the box. Stick to bright tones, don't mix your own colors- Color designer Jenny Hansen

Try to use subtle pastels as much as possible. Gray is a great color- Bill Griffiths

Colors looks best when you muddy them up a bit- Seth

Use the colors as they come out of the box. Stick to bright tones, don't mix your own colors- Color designer Jenny Hansen

You should always dress for work. We are professionals. -Seth

The best thing about being a cartoonist is you can wear pajamas to work- Everyone else

AND SO ON. Guess my point is, almost everything I've been told at one point in my career has been contradicted someone else further down the line. And they're both right! They're just telling you what has worked for them. So, do whatever makes you happy.

Drawing Prince as a superhero makes me happy.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Sketchbook Wednesday

I mean to update this thing every Friday. Not sure how it got to be Wednesday. Might need to invest in a calendar. Also feel like I don't write enough on this blog, just throw up a bunch of drawings and run away. So here's some random information along with random sketches.


Yesterday I was sick and walking home in the rain, and I thought about quitting comics, like you do. Then this morning I got a nice email from a cartoonist I admire, and a couple of shout-outs, and I'm over it. It's easy to feel like you're working in a void. And very easy to be pulled out of it.


Like all my artist friends, I was gifted at least three sketchbooks this holiday season- this is not a complaint, they will all go to good use. One was "642 Things to Draw". While the paper stock is crap, it's nice to have a prompt on those days where I Just Don't Want To Draw Anything.


Hey! Rob Clough was nice enough to review "Here at the End of All Things", written by Sean T. Collins and drawn by me, and also covers minis by a couple of CCS friends in the same post.


Washaway is still updating every Monday and Friday over at the website. Seems appropriate, as it is razor clam season.


Is it still a sketch if you use a needle and thread? Embroidery also helps on the days when I Just Don't Want to Draw Anything, at least it's still Making Something. There's been too many of these days, lately. Could blame seasonal depression, but in Seattle that's a year-round excuse. Until next week.

Might even be on time!