New Comic on PEN America Illustrated

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I am HUGELY excited to tell you about a comic I have featured today as part of the PEN America Illustrated series.  “Dear Friend” was the comic that first appeared in the Rumpus Letters to the Mail Program back in February.  Since it’s literally my favorite comic I’ve made so far, I am happy to see it have new life. It’s about road trips and memory and the longer road of time.  BIG thanks to Rob Kirby for asking to include it in this beautiful series.

Please go and read it–and think of it as a personal letter to you.

Road Tripping Through Time

Road Trips Through TimeJust got back from a “quick” trip to spend a couple of days with friends at a lake in Virginia.  It has been a LONG time since I took a serious road trip and it was like being hit with a visual radio station of memories.  Now I know why I wrote so many songs about the road back in the day of me making music–driving is a POWERFUL trigger for memories and sensations.  It was sort of fascinating AND overwhelming at the same time.  I want to do more, but I also need more time NOT on the road before I set out again.  Two full days driving for two full days somewhere is not enough anymore.  I need the down time!


neighborsMemory is odd. Can you draw a memory? I can put it somehow into words, but to put it down in a visual picture is harder. I’m not sure what happens when it is sifted through my mind and down into my hand, but it’s a different language.

The artist I speak of in this flyer has paintings all over her home based on domestic scenes she tried to create from memory. Some of them are impressive, considering the number of objects. She seemed to intimate that your memory isn’t that good, that in truth, when you go to paint it, put it down in a visual sense, it’s pretty flawed. I wouldn’t say that it is flawed, but that it is selective. I can draw from photographs, and often do, but drawing from memory is like making pencil rubbings. My subject emerges through a dark sive. The drawing I’ve done of Recee here isn’t her photograph, but an emotional imprint. It isn’t exactly as I remember her, but it’s an idea of what I remember.

This process of images is facinating to me. I never know what my mind will come up with next. Just when I thought I knew all my stories and all my old tricks about the world, I try to draw a picture of a girl I knew when I was 8, and I’m taken by surprise. The world is new again.

I will post again on Tuesday. Have a great weekend everyone.