Comic-Con International 2014

Sun 7/20/2014

Well, after almost two full months at home, it is time to hit the road again to continue my year of promoting Basewood (and now Songs From the Basewood as well!). On Wednesday I am heading down to San Diego for the biggest comics convention in the USA, Comic-Con International!

I will be tabling for five days along with Greg Means, co-author of The Cute Girl Network and the mastermind behind Tugboat Press, the inimitable Liz Prince who will be giving away free sample chapters of her forthcoming memoir Tomboy, and my very talented wife, Claire Sanders who will have copies of her zine Terrible Movie Nights. We will all be at table K-06 in the small press pavilion. Observe these terrifyingly complex maps for our approximate location. If you are trying to find us at the show, all I can say is "Good luck!"

I've only been to Comic-Con once before, about ten years ago with Andy Hentz and Lisa Hanawalt. I mostly walked around and got completely overwhelmed. I've heard the show has only gotten crazier in the interim, so hopefully I will be able to keep it together. I think it will help that I will be behind the table this time.

My departure for Comic-Con coincides with the conclusion of an intense stretch of teaching for the California College of the Arts Comics MFA program. It was three-hour classes, five days a week for two weeks straight. June was very productive for me on the comics front, but these teaching duties really slowed me down in July. I'm hoping to get back on the horse this August and finally finish off Phase 7 #019 - Weezer Fan: Part Three. My goal is to get it done before the new Weezer album arrives on September 30th.

Okay, I think that's about it. I hope to see some of you in sunny San Diego!

Phase 7 #020 is now available!

Mon 7/14/2014

I'm pleased to announce that the 20th issue of Phase 7 is currently available for online ordering.

Yes, you read correctly, even though I have not finished drawing Phase 7 #019 I am releasing Phase #020! This is because issue #020 was put together as a special "push goal" for the Basewood Kickstarter.

Mark my words, this is no ordinary issue of Phase 7! This very special 20th issue serves as a companion volume to my graphic novel, Basewood. It includes a rock opera reinterpretation of Basewood by Andy Hentz and myself, called Songs From the Basewood. An audio CD that contains all eighteen tracks from SFTBW and four B-Sides is included, as well as a unique code which allows you to download the album digitally from for free. You can also stream the whole album on right now, if you want to check it out first!

The first 24 pages of this issue are the complete lyrics for Songs From the Basewood. The remaining 44 pages document "The Making of Basewood." This includes outlines, scripts, character sketches, building designs, reference photographs, inking tests, cover designs and many more materials from the creation of my first graphic novel. You can see a few sample pages over in the comics section.

It is my hope that this companion volume will enhance people's enjoyment of Basewood! All of the Kickstarter backer copies have already been mailed out. Claire and I are going to mail out the Phase 7 Subscriber copies today and tomorrow and then start fulfilling orders from the general public.

If you were a Kickstarter backer and you are a Phase 7 subscriber, P7 #020 does not count as one of your subscription issues. You will get an extra issue for that subscription.

If P7 #019 was supposed to be the last issue of your subscription, you will receive P7 #020 instead. It has a $10 cover price, which is $6 more than #019, so I am trying to save you some money! My goal is to have issue #019 done before September 30th, when the new Weezer album drops!

If anyone would like to "hack" the Phase Seven Comics system, I am still offering subscriptions for the outrageously low price of $16 for four issues (plus shipping and handling). You can order a subscription and then just ask for P7 #020 as your first issue, thus saving $6 on the cover price, and a bunch on shipping!

Okay, I think that's all the weird special cases...

I'm really excited about this issue. I feel like Songs From the Basewood is one of the coolest things I have ever been a part of. Andy and I spent five years putting together all these songs, and I hope that they will add a whole new layer to people's experience with Basewood. Please check it out and share it with your friends!

R.I.P. Selma Sanders (2007-2014)

Thu 6/12/2014

Our rabbit Selma passed away last night. She was doing fine on Tuesday, but yesterday she wasn't eating, and then started having some digestion problems in the afternoon. We took her to the vet, who gave her some fluids. We went home with a few different medications, but they weren't enough to keep her from slipping away.

Claire and I are both very sad, but especially for Patty, who now has to hop around all by herself. :(

Earlier this year I read the Jim Henson biography by Brian Jay Jones. I was very moved by the book, but especially by the letter that Jim Henson wrote to his children a few years before his untimely death. In it, he reassures them that he is not scared of death, and he reminds them that it is a very natural part of life. Just as everyone is born, everyone will die.

It seems like death is being openly discussed more and more these days, as the Baby Boomers start heading into their twilight years. I think it's a good thing. My parents sat down with my siblings and me about a year ago to discuss their end-of-life wishes. It was not an easy discussion, but I'm glad that we had it. I'd much rather prepare for the inevitable than pretend it will never happen, only to be blindsided when it does.

It's a strange thought that a few days ago Selma was a happy little bunny, hopping around munching her hay, and somehow overnight she was transformed into a cold, lifeless body. But I guess that's death. Anyway, I think she lived a good life. She was a bit of a grump, but that only made it that much more sweet when she would occasionally deign to be pet, or would nudge you with her chin, or snuggle up contentedly with Patty. She will be missed!

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