I decided to keep this diary going as long as I can. It’s mainly for my family’s record, but I thought I’d post it as long as it makes sense (and my health allows). Yesterday was the first full day of COVID-19 in the house–and it’s catching! Or is it??
We live in the weirdest and uncertain times, but I’m gad you’re here. Sending you the warmest of wishes from my little corner of the world to yours. Let’s do this 2022!
This week’s sketchbook spread is on the mystery writers “Queens of Crime.”
I’m so burned out on podcasts and tire of anyone who starts a sentence with “Have you heard the podcast…,” but the one podcast I am utterly devoted to is Backlisted, which is a total delight and has completely revitalized my reading life and love of books and writers. My friend Chris has been talking about this podcast forever and I finally listened to it and was so hooked at their humor, their intelligence, and just the joy they bring to some of the most obscure books. It seems to me so utterly anti American in that it is for the love of art and literature and yet there is absolutely no slime or put downs in it. It has made me believe in intelligence and joy co-existing–something I had forgotten that could exist in discussions of art and literature. As a result, it seems to me so far seeing–a real rarity these days. I don’t always agree with the opinions of the hosts, but I adore listening to anything and everything they have to say. It deepens my curiosity and just makes me want to do and think in deeper ways.
Their episode of Josephine Tey’s novel Miss Pym Deposes is one of my favorites and completely opened me up to the world pf mystery writers–which I had no idea about. I knew about Agatha Christie of course, but not that she was part of a large “Golden Age” of detective fiction, nor that she was considered only ONE of six women who were considered the “Queens of Crime.” I’ve read Agatha Christie and seen almost every Poirot episode (perfect for coloring comics to!), but had never heard of any of these women–who seem all quite astounding in their own way. I just finished Tey’s novel and I’m listening to Ngaio Marsh book right now as I color pages in my memoir. In addition to being a jaunty beret wearer, and a prolific mystery writer, was from New Zealand, and I guess was a fantastic painter and theater director?? I swear there is not enough time in this world to learn and read all there is to discover! I’ll just keep drawing as much as I can!
I don’t think I’ve watched this televised event for 30 years, but if I had a time machine would watch the parades from the 20’s and 30’s in a heartbeat! In the meantime, I’ll just keep drawing them.
It’s official: All the Sad Songs is out in Spanish from the wonderful Libros Walden as TODAS LAS CANCIONES TRISTES!!
They’ve even created a playlist on Spotify especially for the book–it’s chronological and yet as moody as the cover!
So excited for new readers to discover this book! Thanks to Manuel and to all in Spain for making this happen! I am so happy it is making its way around the world!
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
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!