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.

New Comic at on Virginia Woolf and Vita Sackville-West!

Absolutely gobsmacked to share the news that my latest comic at The New Yorker is about the fascinating relationship between the writers Virginia Woolf and Vita Sackville-West. Spoiler: it’s complicated!!

A shout out to my teachers at Goddard College, Bill Vander Clute, who taught a Virginia Woolf intensive class in the Fall of 1991, that changed my life, and to the poet Nora Mitchell who taught a class titled Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual Literature in the spring of 1992 where I first read ORLANDO. Both of those experiences were with me as I made my way through this comic.

Go on and read it here!

New Book In the Works for Fantagraphics!

The news is officially out! I am at work on a new book with FANTAGRAPHICS!! Working title is BABY HOLD ON TO ME and it’s a memoir about my mother, who was one of the first female stagehands of Rock n Roll. I couldn’t be more excited! It’s basically the project I have been dreaming of my whole life, but especially since her death in 2015. She lived an enormous complicated life and I can’t wait to share it with you. Stay tuned!

Paper Pencil Life #7 is HERE!

Dear friend,

I know life is weird right now and even downright hard and scary. I know that plans have been thwarted, people are sick and angry and afraid. It feels very weird to publish something during such a strained time of upheaval and uncertainty, but I also know what new work from other artists has meant to me at this time: It has been a lifeline. It has been a reminder that others are out there, in their world, alive and making things. It has been a comfort. This is what I hope this new issue of Paper Pencil Life will be like for you. It is the first ALL COLOR issue and I made every page count!

There are stories about dreams, destiny, starry nights, and grumpy postal workers! Stories about memory and monster movies and everything in between! There are friends and singing pets and hope. I hope you will like it and I hope it will make you happy. It will make me so happy to send you a copy.

Stay safe and thank you!



In today’s Sunday New York Times Kids Section!


I have TWO pieces in today’s gorgeous Sunday New York Times Kids section! This one about the superpowers of soap against the Corona Virus and a small comic detailing a 6th grader’s most embarrassing moment during remote schooling.

It doesn’t feel right to tell you to go out and get one, but if you are anywhere in proximity to one, please look at the whole fantastic section!

Self Care Ideas

Self Care IdeasMy sister-in-law is a middle school English teacher and like millions of other teachers across the world, she is implementing new ways to stay in touch with her students. She had the idea to do a self care chart and asked if it I would make it for her. Of course! It occurred to me yesterday that this chart has good advice for any age–self care has no age requirements!

I know many people who have been struggling with the idea of self care because they are  so busy trying to keep everything afloat: learning new ways of working, schooling and being at home alone or with family or partners (this goes DOUBLE for the people who are caring for the sick, struggling to pay the bills or keep food on the table!!). As I was talking to a dear friend last night: “You not only need self care, but you need it more than ever!”  Self-Care is not self indulgent, it’s First Aid. We are in a crisis and no matter what level of hardship or suffering you are currently experiencing, you need to take care of yourself. This isn’t a sprint–this is a long distance run. Staying in touch with yourself and making self-care a part of your routine is key to longterm emotional health.

Take good care! I am thinking of you and I am sending you love.

Student Poetry

Student PoetryNational Poetry Month (my favorite time of year) couldn’t come fast enough during this pandemic. We could all use a quiet anchoring gift at this time and poetry is that gift.

Split Rock Books normally displays poetry by the local elementary school in their storefront the whole month of April, but because of the current climate, decided to do a virtual window display instead. I helped by drawing it–which was a fun thing to do and a way to “visit” the bookstore I haven’t seen in nearly 3 weeks and dearly miss! Go see the poetry, which they will be rotating every week. There are some absolute gems–do yourself a favor and click through to read them.


Happy 70th Birthday, Tom Waits!


Apparently, I can’t stop drawing musicians. Even though Tom Waits has probably one of the hardest faces to capture, drawing him seemed necessary once I remembered that it was his 70th birthday.

Tom Waits is my favorite artist of all time–across any and all mediums. His thoughts on music had a HUGE impact on writing All The Sad Songs. I don’t feel fanatical about many things, but Tom Waits’ music is like church to me. Here’s to being original, deep, and surprising for 70 years. Here’s to more to come.

Tom, I am so glad you are in this weird and troubled world.