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Paper Pencil Life #5 is here!

July 31, 2017

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The 5th issue of my ongoing collection of autobiographical comic stories Paper Pencil Life is HERE and READY TO GO! I know I said September, but I got it in early and so WHY wait? It looks SO GREAT and I cannot wait for all of you to have it!

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$8.00 for 52 pages of black and white (even some gray!) comics spanning the last year. Comics about old sitcoms, mixed tapes, lost uncles, found photos, freaky birds, jazz tunes and SO MUCH MORE!  Several comics appearing for the very first time!

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I am extremely proud of this issue and I hope you will like it. Get it now while supplies last!

Just What I Needed

July 30, 2017
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At the Madonna Inn, San Luis Obispo, CA

It’s vacation time on my little neck of the woods. I just got back last night from a week away and have a few days before we leave again for another shorter jaunt. My family traveled to California to both visit other family and for my husband Graham and I to get a rare few days to ourselves to celebrate our 10th anniversary. Before we left I had been so mired in work that I was in denial about leaving. I kind of DIDN’T want to go. I have never made a long-form comic story and underestimated just how much time it takes to make something so intricate.  I had hoped to be done by the time we left, but it has kept growing as I’ve gone and there was no way I was going to get it done in time. I have never missed a deadline (I love and need them so!), so I was stressed about not meeting this one. Luckily, the publisher I am working with is used to working with cartoonists, where such things are common and was not concerned in the least. After months of lockdown at the desk writing and working at a white hot speed, going through intense loads of emotional work through it all, it was a tremendous relief to get permission to give it the time it needed.  After I got the reassuring e-mail. I closed the laptop and the studio and ran to the west coast on vacation.  It was one of the best trips we’ve had together in a long long time. I read 2 books, explored the midcoast of California, ate so much food,  did a little drawing, and just relaxed.

On the plane yesterday I got a huge lightbulb for an edit I needed to do for the section of the book I’ve been struggling with working on and just felt this surge of excitement at what I am making. As usual, what I am resistant to is actually what I most need.

Hope you all are having a good summer.  Announcement coming tomorrow–stay tuned!

 

If You Lived Here You’d Be Home By Now

July 3, 2017

houseIn comics news:

Rob Clough reviewed some of the spring line up for Kilgore books, including The Kilgore Quarterly #7, where my story “Dappled Light” is first appearing. He gives the story a wonderful review: “To be drawn with any more naturalism would be unbearable.” Go read the review!

The Comics Alternative podcast also included the first 4 issues of Paper Pencil Life in their review of recent self-published works and had LOTS of great things to say about it. Among their comments they said that PPL was one of the more “positive” autobiographical reads they’ve read recently.  I had mixed feelings about this comment because “positive” usually means “uncool” in the art world–but I also know that any “positivity” I express is hard won and comes from years of being in bleaker places. I am insanely grateful for everything I’ve lived and I am glad that my work can remain honest and also make people feel good or connected or hopeful (whatever “positive” means in this context). So there!

And finally: Paper Pencil Life #5 is officially at the printers! Woohoo! This house is in it. Does anybody recognize it? It’s a place many of us visited as kids.

Every time I get a copy of the proof for the new issue of PPL it feels like Christmas. There is something so magical about getting your work in a real and tangible package. Since each issue is about a year’s worth of work, it feel like the culmination of a cycle. Another year of work is put to bed. So it’s also a good time to take stock and see where you’ve been and where you would like to go next. Every single issue of Paper Pencil Life has been filled with places I’ve gone after feeling an inward arrow that said, “Go here!” The results have sometimes been crooked, misspelled, and scratchy, but I’ve never regretted any of it. I have always felt good about what I have made. 4.5 years in, I can say this has been among the most satisfying years of work I’ve ever had.

Here’s to more!

Summer Plans (get it?)

May 30, 2017

PPL 5 Cover

I’m feeling very guilty for not posting anything here in awhile other than news items and pleas to help various kickstarter campaigns.  I know I have only posted comics sporadically in the last year, but that’s because I am BUSY with new work coming down the pike and all will become clear in the next 6 months!

First things first: Paper Pencil Life #5 is shaping up nicely and will be out in SEPTEMBER! I just finished the cover last night (pictured above)–isn’t it pretty?? It’s been a weird year of growth work wise with a big dose of post election freak out/block/soul searching and the comics show that. I am excited to get a new issue out with previously unseen comics! Woohoo!

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My desk — 8 pages into a 40 page story.

Secondly, I am DEEP in the throws of working on a long story–about 40 pages right now (we will see when it is done). It’s going to be published by someone else (more on that later).  It’s one of the hardest, most exciting things I’ve ever worked on. I just finished the last of my illustration work for awhile to clear the deck for this project and I’ve been giving every second I can to it.  My hope is to have it done and in the publisher’s hands by mid July–which has a promise of a fall release. I’ll let you know when it hits! Stay tuned.

And just a reminder: I will be in Chicago the weekend of June 10 & 11th as part of CAKE.  I’ve been dying to get to Chicago for awhile and now I get to share a table with the great Midwestern cartoonist and editor, Rob Kirby!  There are so many cartoonist people I hope to see while I am there. If any of you are in the area, please come on by!

Sending you all love & gratitude.

New Comic in The Kilgore Quarterly

May 15, 2017
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from my comic ‘Dappled Light’ forthcoming from Kilgore Quarterly.

I am excited to announce that I have a new 5 page comic forthcoming in the next edition of Kilgore Quarterly due out next month. I cannot believe the company that I am in: Leslie Stein, Tim Lane, Sam Spina, and Jason??  Uh, thanks for letting me “hang out” with you!

The Quarterly is part of Kilgore Books & Comics’ Spring/Summer line, which includes new works by my pal Glynnis Fawkes, Noah Van Sciver, Lauren Barnett, and is due to be released in June at CAKE.  In order to cover print & royalties, Kilgore Books is running a Kickstarter.  Think of it as a pre-order! Pay now and you’ll get one in June! AND you’ll be supporting independent artists and publishing. Sweet!

I’ve already pledged by ordering Glynnis’ book (Hi Glynnis! I’m can’t wait to read this book!)–come on and get yours–and thank you!

A Couple of Art Monsters: Summer Pierre Talks to Lisa Brown

May 11, 2017

MUTHA Magazine asked me to interview the funny, SMART, and talented illustrator and author Lisa Brown.  

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Lisa in her gorgeous studio – photo by Kristen Sard

I have admired Lisa’s work for years and so was excited at the prospect. We had such a good time talking to each other that we kept on gabbing for a full hour and a half!  I would still be high from this talk if it weren’t for the utter…MORTIFICATION that I experienced transcribing the interview. I had never done an interview before and was unprepared for THE SOUND OF MY TERRIBLE LAUGHTER (of which there was plenty) AND NERVOUS, SLOBBERY VOICE (a totally impartial observation). Luckily, Lisa shined through for us both and made it all worth it.

I think you can tell we had fun talking to each other. Go on over and read the interview!

Headed to Toronto THIS Weekend

May 8, 2017

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Hey all, me and this postcard are HEADED TO TORONTO this weekend to be part of TCAF! I have half a table with Glynnis Fawkes AND I will be on a panel about comics and education on Sunday at 10:30am! If you are in town, please come on over! I will be selling comics & prints!

What: Toronto Comics Art Festival

When: Saturday, May 13 9:00am-5:00pm & Sunday, May 14 10:00am-5:00pm*

(*please note: I will be leaving early on Sunday to catch a plane–so get in there early!)

Where: Toronto Reference Library, 789 Yonge Street, Toronto (I’m on the 3rd floor)

Not in Toronto? I’ll be in Chicago & Boston area later this year:

June 10th & 11th I’ll be in Chicago for CAKE.

October 21 & 22 I’ll be in Cambridge, MA for MICE.

Hope to see some of you!