Sun 4/29/2018

Hello, hello! Well, three months after my last post, our family has now grown by one member. My daughter Wendy was born on March 9th. She waited until well after Claire's due date, into the 41st week (just like her big sister Suzanne did) but then, on the night of her birth, she was ready! It was a dramatic, lightning-quick 20-minute labor. Our midwife had warned us that second births could be a bit faster, and with Suzanne's birth taking 8 hours, we were thinking like maybe 2 hours? Nope! 20 minutes from Claire's water breaking to holding the baby in her arms!

Wendy is thriving and Claire made a speedy recovery - she's already back on her bike zipping around town and this week she started to get back to work. Suzanne has been great with Wendy so far. The only way Wendy's arrival seems to be disrupting Suzanne's routine is that she hasn't been sleeping as well since Wendy was born. We're all pretty tired these days, and trying to just make it through this first rough stretch. Hopefully things will be a bit more calm in the fall.

The Spring semester at the Center for Cartoon Studies wraps up this week. I have been thesis advising two MFA-canidates, so now that they are done I am shifting gears to begin preparing for my Beginning Animation workshop which runs from July 9-13. I am really excited to teach that class again! If you have ever wanted to try your hand at traditional 2D animation, come join me in Vermont! It will be a lot of fun.

Other than that, it's just trying to put in an hour a day at the drawing table to keep up with my comics projects, get a little sleep when I can, and spending a lot of time with all my girls. Onwards!

Pre-Birth Project Roundup!

Sat 2/3/2018

We're only about a week away from the beginning of the month-long "window" where Claire will most likely deliver our baby, so I have been frantically trying to finish off projects and attempting to get my ducks in a row. My goal is to have as few obligations as possible on my plate during the first few difficult weeks of raising a newborn.

I have been working on so many various things, and have not been doing a great job of posting updates about them, so I thought I'd group them all here, in one final post before I lay low for a while.

So without further ado, here is all the stuff I've been working on:

1) I finally finished my 2017 Blog Archive image, which you can see here. I had a whopping 12 posts last year - the fewest I've ever written since this blog's inception in 2004. We'll see if 2018 is any better!

2) The Drop Target Omnibus is now publicly available for ordering! Jon and I finished up all our Kickstarter obligations, so the book is now available for any other pinball enthusiasts who are looking for a copy.

3) All of my Phase Seven Comics eBooks are now $0+ pay what you want! If you would like to check out any of my books, you can now do so (digitally) for free. If you like what you read, consider chipping in a few bucks, or just tell your friends about it.

4) Speaking of eBooks, I finally posted an eBook of Gabby Schulz's A Process of Drastically Reducing One's Expectations which is also $0+ pay what you want. 50+ pages of the book are presented in full color, which was not possible in the print edition.

5) I created a paperback second edition of Basewood! The hardback first edition of the book is out of print, so I created this new edition which reincorporates all of the old Phase 7 covers, introductions, letters columns and 16 pages of Basewood fan art by a bunch of rad cartoonists. If you are interested in checking this out, but don't want to buy yet another version of Basewood, you can get the eBook for free (see how handy that is?).

6) I also released the latest Phase 7 collection: The Ballads and Beards of Basewood which brings together issues #020 and #021. This book is the same format (8.5" x 11") and has the same color palette as the new Basewood paperback, so they make a nice little pair together.

7) I finished up the second chapter of Isle of Elsi (a 9-page short story) and have begun unlocking one Patreon Backer Blog post per month, so that people can see what kind of content is going on in there.

8) Speaking of the Isle of Elsi Patreon, I started recording a podcast for my Patrons, which has been a lot of fun. I've been interviewing friends and family members, talking about the creative process, favorite books, and brainstorming various ideas for the webcomic.

9) I have been doing a lot of free internet video class visits in colleges around the country as part of my day job as Director of Academic Outreach for the Center for Cartoon Studies.

10) I have also been busy around the house, working on various little "nesting" projects to try and eliminate chaos and to make things brighter and safer and homier. Claire's dad has very generously been doing a ton of work for us too. I have been posting photos of these projects in my Instagram (most of which then repost into my Flickr).

11) Lastly, I joined the Santa Fe Concert Band???!? Playing my trumpet again has provided a lot of much-needed stress relief. I'm obviously going to have to take some time off when "Claire Jr." arrives, but hopefully I can stick with this moving forward! I find that I am a happier, more productive person when I am regularly making music.

There are other projects developing in the background, but I'm going to wait until they are closer to completion before I start talking about them. Everything is going to slow wayyy down when the baby arrives, and it's hard to even comprehend what my schedule is going to look like after things settle down again... IF they ever settle down again!

Anyway, wish us luck....

Star Wars: Episode VIII

Thu 12/14/2017

Two years ago, my best friends from college all came to Santa Fe to watch Star Wars: Episode VII. We had watched all the Star Wars prequels together and wanted to keep the tradition alive. Claire was very pregnant at the time, so Santa Fe was naturally chosen as the place to meet for The Force Awakens. The plan was then to meet up in Madison, Wisconsin for the next movie.

Well, circle wipe to two years later and Claire is once again quite pregnant! My incredibly generous, dedicated friends are once again joining us in Santa Fe to see Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi. I tried to protest, but they insisted that it was so much fun last time, we had to do it again.

But here's the catch: They can't get here until the night of December 20th. (!!?!)

So even though the movie comes out tomorrow night at midnight, I AM GOING TO (somehow) WAIT UNTIL THE FOLLOWING THURSDAY TO SEE THE MOVIE.

It will be absolutely worth it, because as far as I'm concerned, it's not the movie, but the people you see it with. Also at this point, I don't have anything left to prove in the Star Wars arena.

But! This does mean that I am going to be hardcore avoiding ANY AND ALL spoilers by any means necessary! At midday tomorrow I'm going to turn off all my social media stuff for a week (honestly, that will be a relief) and I will be avoiding any magazine/radio/TV/web reviews. Friends! Please do not email/call/text me about the movie until after the 21st!!!

Thanks, and I hope everyone has fun watching the movie! May the Force Be With You.

Archives for 2018






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