Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Monday, April 25, 2011

New Gulf

New Gulf:

Another from Circulating Drafts

Well, Andrea pointed out to me that my “About” section and links had disappeared. So… they’re back. And here is the revised version of “Gulf” from the new, printed book.

Gulf page 1

Gulf page 2

Gulf page 3

Gulf page 4

Gulf page 5



(with apologies to Jim Jarmusch) I spent a lot of MOCCA doodling this guy:

GHOST DOG! He’ll be making more appearances on this site.

Batman Unicorn

Batman Unicorn:

The product of a Twitter conversation. This should probably be posted at Centaur a Day, but it's more of an of the moment doodle.


Research: "


Above are some of the pencils (in progress) for the current page I’m pencilling. Working on this comic, I’ve had to research many things I never would have been interested in otherwise. Whether or not it’s actually useful information, I’m not so sure... for example, belt loops didn’t exist during this time period. Neither did cowboy hats, for that matter. And people would buy bacon in slab form. All three of those factoids are visible in the panel above, even if it’s not totally legible in uninked form yet.

Also, people had awesome facial hair.

Okay, I’m taking that character’s advice and getting on home now. Be here next week for the publication of the first pages of this Western comic, tentatively titled Freed Man’s Song.

Monday, April 18, 2011

MoCCA Roundup

MoCCA Roundup: "

Riches and Wonders

It’s now been a week since MoCCA Festival 2011, and I finally feel somewhat back to normal. As in previous years, the weekend went by in a flash—or maybe more accurately in some sort of demented fever dream, fueled by a week of little-or-no sleep, InDesign-cursing, and severe onset of Stapler’s Wrist. That said, this year felt a lot less stressful at the Tapir Tooth table, which I think speaks to how far we’ve all come since we started doing this.

I was selling my new mini/chapbook, Circulating Drafts, which is available through Etsy (note the new link in the sidebar). I’ll post more material from it soon, but some will remain exclusive to the print edition.

I walked away from the weekend with a light wallet and a small treasure trove of comics. There were way too many great finds to list everything, but here are some highlights.

First and foremost, there were exciting new offerings from my Tapir Tooth compatriots—a gorgeous set of postcards from Andrea Tsurumi, a preview of a Reconstruction-era western by Peter Quach, a collection of Centaur-a-Day postings by Miriam Gibson, and a Pokemon-based collaboration between Miriam and BlÅ«jay.

detail from "taking a violin on the nyc subway"

Art by Meredith Leich

We were lucky to have two sets of talented and friendly neighbors: Meredith Leich and Liana Finck on the one side, the folks at Nerd Comics on the other. (That’s a detail from Leich here. I was struck by how lyrical her work was, and I’m excited to check out more.) A few tables down was Kenan Rubenstein, our neighbor from last year. All awesome cartoonists and well worth checking out.

detail from "vita"

Art by Anthony Cudahy

I was kind of blown away by Anthony Cudahy’s brushwork (here’s a partial detail, which does not do justice to the work), and totally delighted by Caitlin McGurk’s flash cards to sort out members of the Wu Tang clan—including, of course, our generation’s William Blake, one Ol’ Dirty Bastard.

NEONI splurged on this giant, pink, weird anthology of Finnish comics, which I’m still working my way through. Neat stuff.

There was new work (mostly minis) from a number of my friends and mentors, including Tom Hart, Tom Motley, Jason Little, Jon Lewis, Karen Sneider, Josh Bayer, and Che. I finally caught a panel, featuring young New Yorker cartoonists that included my old schoolmate Zach Kanin.

I’m mooching off Andrea’s copy of Kate Beaton’s new book. The NBM table fed my addiction to Dungeon, the satirical French fantasy series.

And reaching a crescendo, if I had to pick two clear highlights from the convention, they’d be Joseph Lambert’s I Will Bite You and Galit & Gilad Seliktar’s Farm 54. The former is kind of indescribable, and you should go pick it up right now. (I’ll just say that “TURTLE, KEEP IT STEADY!” has immediately entered our daily usage.) The latter (cover pictured here) is a fictionalized memoir of growing up in Israel, told in dreamy, exquisitely rendered vignettes.

Whew! That’s it for now. Keep an eye out for more revisions, and perhaps an eventual move away from the blog format, toward something a little more focused on finalized content.


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Sunday, April 17, 2011

Post-MoCCA 2011

Post-MoCCA 2011: "


MoCCA 2011 has come and gone, and just like every year I’m completely exhausted. Thanks to everyone who stopped by the table and picked up some comics or stopped to talk. I’ve spent most of the past week recuperating by reading copious amounts of comics. Next week I get back to drawing pages of Freed Man’s Song, and hopefully in two weeks I’ll start posting pages here regularly. Until then, enjoy this picture of me at MoCCA, along with my fellow Tapir Alex Rothman. There’s a PG-13 version of this photo somewhere, but sadly I think it may have been deleted due to shame possessed by one of the parties involved. (Not me, of course.)


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I love me some Jane Eyre —- and they seem to make a new movie out of it every 10 years or so. A friend pointed out this makes it easy to compare the “damaged Rochester” versions. They never show the burned-off hand!

I would pay real money to see this:


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MOCCA 2011

MOCCA 2011: "

Well, MOCCA’s over, and, as always, it was a lot of fun. It’s a great chance to see and hang out with really nice, really talented and funny people who you don’t see most of the year and to meet new folks. This year, Tapir Tooth lucked out with the placement fairy and tabled between the NERD comics table (Bree, Ami, Brian Lam) and Meredith Leich and Liana Finck‘s table. On Sunday, we were thrilled to share table space with the wonderful DARWIN CARMICHAEL IS GOING TO HELL webcomics people, Sophie and Jenn. Kenan was a few tables down – he’s got a lovely print of “cohabiting with a food blogger“.

After set up, Saturday morning:

Alexander Rothman & Peter Quach

Meredith & Liana

Ami, Bree & Brian (NERD comics)

Me, Peter, Sophie and a certain lovable manticore

Every year we try to draw comparisons with previous MOCCA’s, and this year everything ran smoothly — we might be wrong, but it felt like everything was less crowded together. Possibly there were less tables and therefore more aisle space? I’m glad they got rid of the circular tables from last year. Did anyone think the publishers had smaller tables than they used to? Registration was easy, setup was easy. Overall, a really pleasant experience.

Again, it’s striking how easy and nice it is to meet people at MOCCA. I think it’s even easier at SPX, but at various times this weekend, I talked with people as we stood in line (trying to get Kate Beaton’s book before it sold out). Kate Beaton is very nice – she drew little portraits in each of the books she sold and chatted with us. It’s a clear indication of how talented she is that she drew such a huge crowd. It’s an even clearer marker of how nice she is that everyone on line was absolutely thrilled and charmed to meet her.

Me: “Did you notice that the north side of the building smells like freshly showered person and the south side smells like lunch?” Peter: “well, we’re in the middle, so we must smell like freshly showered lunch.”

Some more pictures:

Miriam with her new Centaur-a-Day book. This shall be known as “Centaur-Face”

Alex and Jen (Run Lil Jared)

The high points of MOCCA – talking to everyone. The freakish low point was when an old woman in a blue shirt tried to steal some of Miriam’s Centaur books. Peter saw her sweep two books into her enormous bag. When Miriam pointedly asked her if she was interested in them, she put them back and left. Anyone else missing any comics?

Mornings at MOCCA are my favorite —- there’s enough space to walk around and see things before the crowds show up, you can chat with other tables, go on a coffee run, see a bit of the Armory – there’s a framed Regimental Tie (unless it’s been taken down), the floor looks like a roosevelt-era installation, there’s a plaque for “The Rainbowers” (WWII group of soldiers, I want to know the story behind that), a memorial for fallen soldiers from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars behind the exterior drape curtains. Surely lots of other people have commented on the wall to wall murals in the downstairs panel room with scenes of famous American battles. If you visited the ladies room, you probably stood on line next to that glass cabinet with artifacts from September 11th in it —- last year was the first year I saw it, and it was jarring. I haven’t seen those Missing posters since 2001, and it makes you think about the places these parts of our world occupy in the spaces around us. Or don’t.

This mister is the creator of this book:

which is freaking fantastic. Joseph Lambert is incredible.

There seemed to be more costumes this year than last year (although the overwhelming majority didn’t cosplay). One awesome kid came in full Naruto gear. There was someone with wings. There were lots of clever and interesting T-Shirts and tattoos. A whole bunch of wonderful children were there too. There were the Danish and Norwegian (?) cartoonists, on the north wall. There was an enormous, tall, extremely muscular bald man with an eye patch walking around (who was he???). Maggie Siegel-Berele stopped by and chatted – love her comics! We’d gotten her comic about a transitioning protagonist and loved it, and this year we got to meet her.

and this doesn’t even include Alexander’s pile, which is twice as big. A friend pointed out that our group’s business model seems to be a bunch of not-rich comics makers giving each other all their money. Ah, well. In our case it was spending more than the money we made. Same as every convention. But look at the comics!

Still going through everything, but so far, been absolutely loving AGNES QUILL, and sincerely hoping there are more stories to devour. Meredith Leich’s comic THE DISAPPOINTMENT OF KNOWING NEW YORK was subtle and beautiful. Tom Motley’s TRAGIC STRIPS are darkly hilarious, especially the part where the cartoonist as a spiderman reverts to regular cartoonist form, from inside a dog. On a wall. It’s hysterical. I loved ROM by Josh Bayer. I love the art in THE MAN OF GLASS. DEAR CREATURE(Tor), ANYA’S GHOST(:01), the new TRUE SWAMP book and ASTRONAUT ACADEMY aren’t available until the summer/fall, but I’m really looking forward to them.

The whole thing was big, happy, and exhausting and made us more eager than ever to make more comics.

We really can’t wait ’till SPX. Thanks so much everyone who came by the Tapir Tooth booth and kept us company! Thank you to everyone we chatted with for being so warm and receptive!


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