He was blooming marvelous!
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!
Sketchbook Spread: Queens of Crime!
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!
New Comic at Newyorker.com 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.
“I wore my love like a red, wet stain on the breast of a velvet gown.”
Happy Birthday, Dorothy Parker!
Headed to Thurber Country
Tomorrow I am flying to Columbus, Ohio to be part of the fantastic Cross Roads Columbus Festival weekend. If you are anywhere near Columbus you should come on over–not just for me, but for SO MANY AMAZING comics events and artists and heaps of independent comics. I’ll be tabling in the main market place at the Downtown Library–but even I will be late to tabling on Sunday because I just HAVE to be in the audience when Seth and Ben Katchor are scheduled to talk comics! If you’re coming to see me on Sunday–come in the afternoon!
I was supposed to table with my usual mates Glynnis Fawkes and Jennifer Hayden, but they couldn’t make it (boo hoo you two!). So my friend Chris Duffy, editor extraordinaire of not only Sponge Bob Comics, but many glorious comics anthologies, including the Fairy Tale Comics and Fable Comics, is coming to fill their half of the table and sell those wares.
I’ll also be checking in at Wild Goose Creative where my comic When the Family Got Together is part of the Comics Vs. Art show and is FOR SALE (hint hint!).
See you soon!
Paper Pencil Life #4 is HERE!
Excuse me while I do a little dance! My latest collection of comics and diary comics, Paper Pencil Life #4, is at last available to purchase! 52 pages of comics in beautiful black and white! Stories about road trips, the artistic life, strange mothers, anxiety, and so much more! All for just $8.00!
I have to tell you that I am immensely proud of this work–I think it is my best issue yet. It has my favorite stories I’ve made in it–plus I just love how it looks!
Also–THIS JUST IN: I’ve also added a limited edition 4 pack of all 4 issues of Paper Pencil Life in my shop–4 issues for the price of 3! This way you can get the whole shebang and for a cheaper price!
I’m thinking about not reprinting Issue #1 after this conference season to make room for more stuff (although the jury is still out on this one). I’m growing away from those initial first attempts pretty quickly and it’s starting to embarrass me a little when people buy PPL #1 to get an introduction for what I do. It doesn’t feel current anymore! So if you’ve been considering buying one, this 4 pack might be a good way to go–
get the complete set while it lasts!
All of these will be available at CXC and MICE in October, but if you won’t be there or can’t wait–get ’em in the shop!
Become: On The Origin of Passion
It is with great pleasure that I announce that a big illustration job I had last year has finally made its way into the world: Become: On the Origin of Passion, edited and compiled by Nate Burgos
50 quotes of makers, scientists, actors, athletes, performers, you name it on the moment or the THING that made them become what they became. Each one is accompanied by an illustration.
I had so much fun drawing the memories and moments that made everyone from Filmmaker David Lynch to Oceanographer Sylvia Earle become what they eventually became. A great gift for graduates and other people in your life embarking on a new journey or endeavor. A great book for anyone at a crossroads or just curious.
“If You Want to Write” in Comic & Cartoon Annual!
I am thrilled to announce that my comic “If You Want to Write,” which was published on the Rumpus last June, will be in The Society of Illustrator’s 2016 Comic & Cartoon Annual Exhibit and Book! Thank you, jury of my peers!
Happy 60th Birthday Lynda Barry!
“We know that athletes, musicians, and actors all have to practice, rehearse, repeat things until it gets in the body, the ‘muscle memory’ but for some reason writers and visual artists think they have to be inspired before they make something, not suspecting the physical act of writing or drawing is what brings that inspiration about. Worrying about its worth and value to others before it exists can keep us immobilized forever. Any story we write or picture we make cannot demonstrate its worth until we write or draw it. The answer cannot come to us any other way.”
-Happy 60th to the glorious Lynda Barry!