Artist Talk In Poughkeepsie Saturday October 9th!

On Saturday I will be giving an artist talk IN PERSON at the Boardman Library in Poughkeepsie, NY about telling life stories in comics!

My inner 10 year old is doing backflips because I used to stare at this picture and imagine the lives of my cartooning heroes Wendy and Richard Pini, creators and authors of the Elfquest series, and wonder from my California home, where the heck Poughkeepsie was, and how you even pronounced it, and if there was a way I could possibly run away to live with them, or magically jump into the picture. Now I live 20 miles south of them and although my life doesn’t have elves in it, I have in a sense magically entered that picture through drawing my life in comic form–but wait! I’m spoiling my talk!

Register here and come hear me talk all about that portal between life and drawing and writing and living. It will be masked, social distanced, but it will be personal! Come on over!

Saturday, October 9, 1:00pm

Summer Pierre Artist Talk

Poughkeepsie Public Library, 141 Boardman Road, Poughkeepsie, NY


Favorite Birds of New York

The bird spreads just keep on coming! Here’s a selection of my favorite birds I’ve seen in New York. This doesn’t include a heap of others I’ve seen and love like the Red Wing Blackbirds, The American Bittern–or was it a Green Heron? (The jury is still out!).

The Great Blue Heron panel is maybe my favorite panel I’ve done in awhile. Secret back story: I suffered a running injury this winter and still have not recovered, so my morning exercise and nature observing habits have been completely sidelined–which has been a challenge to say the least. Last month I started driving out each morning to an estuary near by to do some birding and writing on the memoir I’m working on. It turned out to be the perfect anecdote for both my work and heart. I’ve had some amazing encounters with great blue herons there. One morning I drove in and there were three just standing along the road. As I slowly approached them, they each took off slowly one by one. It took my breath away to watch these loping and enormous creatures–looking part dinosaur, part old monk in sweeping gray robes– fly above the green reeds. In these times when so much is on the screen and self curated, nature feels like something open and refreshingly disarming. I need to get back to working on the memoir, but this playful “hobby” of drawing birding lists has been deeply nourishing!

Vacation Birding Spreads

We traveled to California to see family and I did some birding and drawing while there. The top spread was birds I actually saw, while the bottom spread was inspired by all the Acorn Woodpeckers that were teaming in the backyard of my in-laws’ house. Woodpeckers are among my favorite birds by far and it was astounding to sit on their back deck and see an entire community of these striking woodpeckers nesting, calling and flying from tree to tree. I lost count at 15 one evening!

The trip home was hellish with canceled flights and motel rooms and panic and stress galore. It was nice to half listen to a movie and finish the woodpecker spread on the final flight back to New York when I was too tired to read or do much else.

Lately, my diary comics have been filled with nature and bird sightings, which is making me wonder if a bird themed issue of Paper Pencil Life might be a good idea. As I write this down, I worry about how boring this sounds, but the great thing about having your own comic series is that you can do whatever the heck you want! As it is, this has been such a pleasure to do–a way to be and see as I make my way in this world.

Diary Comics as Practice Resources

Today, Saturday February 27th at 3:00 EST I will be talking & doing a demonstration about keeping a regular diary comics practice as part of Radiator Comics on-line series HANDS ON. In it I will be sharing a lot of my favorite resources and inspirations for keeping a diary comic that I thought I’d share here. You are welcome to join us on zoom–it’s free, but you have to sign up! If you don’t make it in time, don’t worry–the video will be available on YouTube later!

Diary comics

Jane Porter – UK Children’s author and cartoonist who has an inspiring practice of daily diary comics. Here’s a video about her diary comics & here’s her article she wrote about tips for keeping a comic diary.

American Elf by James Kochalka, the 4 panel diary that launched so much. His first volume is still my favorite.

My New York Diary & 365 Days by Julie Doucet (the legend!!)

King-Cat Comics by John Porcellino – any & all are great. Map of My Heart is my favorite collection.

Powdered Milk, Sunburning, and Chlorine Gardens – Keiler Roberts

Ellen O’Gradymy favorite daily stuff on the internet right now

Karl Krumpolzdaily posts here. Buy the books here.

Peter Arkle NewsSee Peter’s work here, Buy the latest copy of PAN here, and to see previous examples here.

Gabrielle Bell The Voyeurs, Inapproriate (she is the MASTER!!!)

Cartoonist Diary Series at The Comics Journal – my favorite occasional series from Here are some of my favorites–but check out the whole catalog: Noah Van Sciver, Kate Lacour, Melanie Gillman (who did it for an unusual TEN days–for good reason!), Glynnis Fawkes, Ellen Lindner, Karl Stevens (I could keep going, but those are just a few!!)

Hourly Comic Day – February 1st, every year–the bootcamp of diary comics & the best day on social media for sure! Here are some of my favorites I’ve seen: Lucy Knisely, Melanie Gillman

Prose Diaries

Theft By Finding: Diaries by David Sedaris

Day Book: A Journal of an Artist by Anne Truitt

Hundreds and Thousands: The Journals of Emily Carr by Emily Carr

Wheeling Year: A Poet’s Fieldbook by Ted Kooser

Henry & June – Anais Nin

A Moment’s Liberty – Virginia Woolf

Ideas for Diaries

The Collected Writings of Joe Brainard by Joe Brainard

The Essential Haiku, edited by Robert Haas

Bernadette Meyer’s List of Journal Ideas

Lynda Barry’s Daily Diary Exercise

Winter Morning Walks – Ted Kooser (poems)