A Scissor-Tailed Flycatcher in New York

Last night my mind was blown when I got a RARE sighting of a bird normally found no farther than Texas in a cow pasture 30 minutes from my house in New York! And what a bird! The scissor-tailed flycatcher is probably as glorious a bird as there is. I only saw it fly a couple of times, but with that tail it was hard to miss! 

Flycatchers are my new favorite bird (don’t tell woodpeckers) and I had put the scissor-tail on a dream list. I never thought I’d see it so soon! It was surreal and oh so magical. Only the cows were not impressed!

Rainy Day Music

Yesterday totally spontaneously, I made a twitter thread about one of my favorite things to study–rain in comics. Growing up in California, rain was my only association with “weather” and I learned to draw it by studying Tintin comics. Ever since then I’ve had a fascination with how cartoonists and illustrators draw and evoke this atmospheric weather pattern. It was a strangely fun thing to do and people shared some of their favorite depictions of rain in comics. Rarely, is Twitter that pleasurable! I finished the thread last night with this comic I made two years ago when I was experimenting with pen lines, so I thought I’d share it here in case you aren’t on twitter–and who wants to be these days?

4 page comic on Daphne Du Maurier on Patreon and All the Sad Songs Featured on Backlisted!

It’s Friday which means there is a new comic on my Patreon! This week it’s a 4 page comic on the British writer Daphne Du Maurier’s obsession with the estate Menabilly. Menabilly was the inspiration for Manderley in her world famous novel, Rebecca. You can access it now along with many other comics and posts for a modest rate!

New comics are still coming every Friday along with occasional posts about my memoir in progress and thoughts about comics as a creative practice. I have really been enjoying having a space to share what’s been happening in my world–come on in! It’s colorful there!

BUT THAT’S NOT ALL!

On Monday I had the delight and shock of my life when I discovered that ALL THE SAD SONGS was featured on my favorite podcast Backlisted! Some of you might remember me gushing writing about Backlisted in December when I shared my sketchbook spread of Queens of Crime. Imagine my shock to hear Andy Miller, writer and editor and co-host of Backlisted sharing ALL THE SAD SONGS as his pick of what he had been reading and loving this week! WHAT?? IS THIS REAL??

It’s hard to adequately say what this means to me. That podcast has done more for refueling my inner life in the last year than anything else has in years. In some ways it has recommitted me to a life of reading and writing in a way that I had forgotten was possible. Andy and John Mitchinson, and their array of guests, are so smart, funny, generous, and engaging that it’s truly infectious. To be included in that show and to be read (and praised) by Andy Miller is just…mind blowing (to say the least), and (dare I say it?) deeply affirming. Not all attention helps refuel, but I have to admit, this puts some strength in the heart for me. In the words of Tom Waits, I’m going to take it with me when I go.

It’s perfect timing because ALL THE SAD SONGS just went into a second printing! After a brief period of it possibly going out of print in the US, Retrofit decided to do a modest second print run, and I just got the first shipment of new copies. The price will be going up once my current supplies go out, so if you have been sitting on it–now is the time to get it!

Limited Edition of CARRINGTON’S WORLD

I have a super duper limited run of a mini comic I made about the artist Dora Carrington in my shop! (SOLD OUT!!) This comic on the life and art of Carrington and the influence her illustrated letters had on me was published in print form only at New City out of Chicago last year. I had a fantasy of making a Carrington mini to go along with it, so that’s exactly what I did! Then I decided, let’s go whole hog: end papers and a cover–all inspired by this beautiful artist!

I made these when I thought I was tabling for MoCCA two weeks ago, but when I didn’t I gave most of them to my generous top tier patrons over at Patreon. I have around 10 left and once they are gone they will be gone forever–so get them while you can!

7 pages of full color comics, with a 6 page mini insert inside. In my Etsy shop now! $5!! Get them while they are hot! (SOLD OUT!!)

THANK YOU, but they are SOLD OUT!

New Comics Every Week at Patreon

Hi Friends!

After years of thinking about it, I finally decided to to launch a Patreon for my diary and sketchbook comics.

My daughter Poppy was diagnosed with Long COVID and is home for the foreseeable future, which is making work slow and intermittent. I am still working on the book about my mother, but the needs of my Homelife (trademark pending) have caused me to rethink work in general and I’m unable to take on any large projects outside of the book right now.

I’ve resisted the Patreon idea for a long time. The vulnerability around it is huge–what if no one comes? And who needs another reason to be on the screen? Yet, I have a backlog of unpublished work and I can’t afford to print it in a new issue of Paper Pencil Life for the time being. Also, so much of what I make is about knowing how and what I am living and thinking. Sharing it helps me feel connected to what others are living and thinking too, something I need more than ever now. I’d love to be able to share it with you.

Subscribers will get comics weekly, with occasional posts about my memoir process and missives about comics and life. Come on over! It’ll be good!

Still here in COVID Land

Here we are still in the trenches of COVID! There have been new developments even since these entries–so Poppy is still home for the time being. Some of us are getting more sick of it than others!

Cough Cough

Again, I want to say: we understand that home testing kits have a margin of error. We continue to remain vigilant and isolated. Stay safe everybody!!