It’s been a little while since I’ve posted anything, the main reason being that I’ve been preparing for the Olympia Comics Festival! The exhibition is this Saturday from 1:30-6:30. If you’re in the area, I would love to see you there! Check out the other events, too!
Preparing for my very first festival has been a huge learning experience for me. Trying to figure out which of my materials make for good “stand-alones,” how/where to print (my god who knew what a trick pagination was!), pricing (thank you M.K.!), etc. etc. But I feel excited (though nervous) about the event now that it is here. Getting my work out there is one thing—but I’m especially excited to meet other comics people in the area. The festival feels like a big step on this new path I’m on (though I am trying also not to get my expectations high—big steps, but slow steps; slow but determined steps).
One of the biggest issues that I’ve encountered over the last couple weeks has revolved around a small comic that I made specifically for the event. The story went through a number of iterations (at one point, it was about a robot!). What I realized was that I was making the comic to be sold rather than allowing it to come out of me because it was something that I needed to put on paper and needed to process. I decided not to make it (to stick with the two I already had) and, as often is the case, once I turned my mind away from it, a new story appeared. One that I believe in strongly.
I’m still not sure about how the story maps out. I was convinced that I was going to sit on it, reconsider, and not bring it with me tomorrow. But after talking it through yesterday evening with good friend Mandolin over chocolate-battered peanut butter cups, I’ve decided otherwise. Yes, they were delicious! Here it is:
More comics coming soon. <3
I originally made a version of this set of pages back in October. As I’m thinking about printing a few of my strips (possibly for a regional comics festival/expo in June!), I returned to this one since it works well on its own. What do you think? The printed version will be small … pages measuring probably 4 x 5 inches or so. I did a pretty crappy/haphazard scan job here (there should be more shading in some of the drawings, for instance). Sorry! :-)
Also … this drawing emerged while I was revising the strip. A little self-portrait that I kind of like.
Part II of this:
I had a great deal of fun hooking into my geeky sci-fi side for this one. Affectionately naming this alien race “The Splats” (though I suppose the form that my affection takes is suspect …).
Thanks to Sarah L. for making me doodle.
This memory (based on an experience that happened just a few days before my mom died) is a very tender one for me—tender in terms of endearing, yes, but more in terms of very very soft … painful to the touch . I still tear up when I see people, strangers, especially strangers, taking small steps.
My mom was a force—incredibly strong-willed, independent, stubborn—and depicting her this vulnerable became a challenge. Initially, the images looked very different from the way they look now (I completely scrapped the initial set). Even after I became comfortable with the direction in which I was taking them, I revised several of the words and images (some over and over again). I’m still not sure if it’s clear; maybe it needs a little more context?
Too, I remain uncomfortable with the limited perspective I’m giving. I was not my mother’s only (or primary) caregiver, for instance, and do no want to give any false impressions (or piss people off). But I also do believe that this story is not about comfort—not for me and not for what it has to say about death. So …
Okay. I am going outside now to enjoy this rare sunny day in Seattle. :-)
Actually, continuing from a couple of earlier strips …
This strip was hard for me … partly because I was sick during much of its making (a stomach bug that wiped me out), but also because I’m getting into “the story.” I’m having a hard time getting my bearings with the narrative—shaping the experience so that it reads clearly, as well as compressing emotions and events. It’s not something that’s entirely comfortable, is it? But I suppose that’s one of the issues I’m taking on here. I didn’t compose that version of myself out of changing newsprint without reason. It’s strange … becoming text. Writing yourself into story but then letting that story take on a life of its own.
It’s funny, too: I don’t think of “her” as “me” once she’s on the page. In fact, I’m very aware of the things that I’m putting her through … and it gets to feel just a little sick and twisted. I feel a little like I’m punishing her for what I went through—making her go through a grief that is so concentrated and intense. I do want to be careful not to end every segment with her on the ground immobilized! Good storytelling is hard. Being honest with your experience plus good storytelling—very very very hard.
Sill, I am enjoying it all immensely (though I realized I prefer cutting to drawing!—at least this week I do …).
Three pages. A different narrative thread from the last … but I have an idea of how they will connect. I think the only “word” too small to read is on the first page. It says “MZZZZ” (but you can click on “permalink” from within the gallery to make the image bigger if you’d like). For maximum effect, say all UFO sound effects out loud!
Found it very difficult to provide a bird’s eye view of the trees. Any suggestions? I think maybe if I had drawn and then traced and then cut them out, I could have anticipated the “look” a little better. Still, hoping I can get away with a lot for setting the story in “magic-land.” Also, at some point I will stop writing elaborate prefaces.
Thanks for looking. :-)
Here are four pages that I’ve been working on—in some ways. a translation of the introductory post (click on the first image to open up the gallery). I’m trying to see if it will work to have my more “real” memories portrayed through drawings and then do the more magical/escapist/fictional/metaphoric/current narrative in cut-outs (and sort of have the two interweave).
I’m making the cut-outs from the morning paper. I have never before been so attuned to the ridiculous amount of space devoted to the lamest ads—though am super tickled to be able to re-purpose the rich and varying shades of grey in them. Really fun, too, to cut up photos of urban landscapes, politicians’ suits, and cloudy skies. I’m taking my own photos of the process along the way. Maybe will post some of them later?
I’ve had a couple of dreams about my mom in the last couple of weeks—the first I’ve had since she died in which she wasn’t sick and that weren’t nightmarish. Do I think that this creative process has something to do with the shift? Yes—there seems to be something to taking the traumatic images and memories that have been hiding in my head and putting them “out there” for others to do what they will with them. So here you are!