2017 Summer Workshops at CCS!

Fri 5/12/2017

I recently finished up a big freelance project, the school year wrapped up and both of the MFA students I was advising this year (Sandy Bartholomew and Steve Thueson) both passed their thesis reviews!

I am now looking forward to the next few months and starting some new projects. In the mornings I am working on the illustrations for a picture book that my sister Galen wrote and the last 24 pages of the current Isle of Elsi storyline. I'm taking a break from Phase 7 until Galen's book is done, because the next issue kicks off a massive (10? 20? issue) arc that I'm going to be working on for the foreseeable future.

The rest of my work hours these days are being used to prepare for the CCS Summer Workshops that I will be teaching in Vermont this summer.

From June 19-23 my old pal Jon Chad and I will be teaching the Create Comics Workshop. This is our heavily-structuded comics course for beginners. If you've ever wanted to spend a week learning a whole ton of stuff about comics, join us!

Then from June 26-30 I will be teaching an all-new workshop, Beginning Animation. My teaching assistant Mary Shyne and I will be exploring the intersection of animation and comics all week, while drawing short experimental flip books and a few larger hand drawn 2D projects (with pencils! on paper!). It is going to be fun.

There's about a month to still sign up for these, so if you're interested, hop to it! If any CCS alumni are out there, you get 50% off!

Using Art to Resist Trump!

Wed 3/22/2017

The night that Trump's first Muslim ban went into effect, many of my fellow cartoonists sent out offers over Twitter to make original drawings for people that donated a certain amount (usually around $50) to the ACLU.

This was so cool and inspiring, but I didn't join in because I knew that I wouldn't be able to create a bunch of new art for folks. I am barely keeping up with my current drawing obligations (and actually falling behind on many projects) because of my new parenting duties.

Then, the other day, one of my favorite cartoonists, Eleanor Davis, auctioned off the original art for an amazing poster she drew for this year's TCAF:

Again, I was inspired, but this time I realized that I also have some original art that I could sell! Namely, the remaining original watercolor paintings from my 100 Watercolors project.

So! Starting today, 50% of every watercolor sold will be donated to one of the organizations listed below:

The watercolors cost between $50 and $100. When someone purchases a painting, I will confirm the order via email and then in their reply they can select from one of the organizations listed above. I will lump donations together and donate them at the end of each month!

Since that might be out of many people's price range, I will also donate 100% of the profits made from sales of the 100 Watercolors eBook to the ACLU. It starts at $0.99, but you can pay anything you want above that!

This deal will last for the rest of the Trump presidency, so keep it in mind for later, if you are trying to think of birthday or holiday gifts for friends and family members, etc.

Claire and I are already making monthly donations to the ACLU, NAACP and Planned Parenthood, but hopefully this will allow me to support these important organizations even more, beyond what our limited budget allows. Thanks in advance for anyone who chips in!

Phase 7 #023... FINALLY!

Mon 3/20/2017

Phase 7 #023 is available for online ordering! This issue follows the same format as issue #022, collecting many of my old anthology comics, as well as a new 12-page comic about my love of Harry Potter. You can read an excerpt from that story over on the Phase Seven Comics website.

Originally my goal was to get this issue done back in December, but I am learning that everything takes about 2-3 times longer now that I am providing nine hours a day of childcare for Suzanne. For instance, I can usually mail out an issue of Phase 7 to the subscribers in a week - this time it took me three weeks. I'm fine with the tradeoff - I love spending time with my daughter - but it is a learning process, recalibrating my project estimates.

My trip to Wisconsin was a success! I used my time during the 24-Hour Comic challenge to script out another picture book. It ended up being 52 pages, which I fully wrote out and roughly drew, but I only finished eight pages of inks. It still needs some work...

As with last year's 24-Hour Comic, I don't really know if that "counts" as a 24-Hour Comic, but I'm also at a point where I don't really care. To be perfectly honest, I sat down for this one - my seventeenth! - and had the thought: "I'm getting to old for this." Maybe I will do 24 of them and then call it quits? Or 20? I am placing a higher premium on sleep these days...

Anyway, there was a pretty good turnout at the CCS event as well (thanks to everyone who came out!) and I even got to briefly hang out with my old pals Frunch and Gwyn earlier in the day. I also managed to get out of town before that huge snowstorm slammed the east coast, canceling hundreds of flights! Phew.

Next week I'm heading out to the northeast for a couple of events. First I will be a visiting artist at The Center for Cartoon Studies on March 30th and then on March 31st from Noon to 1pm I'll be giving a talk at the New Hampshire Institute of Art about the creation of my book Basewood. That one is free and open to the public, so if you're in the area, please swing on by!

I'll be home for just a few days after that and then I'm off to the Denver Independent Comic and Art Expo (DiNK) to exhibit the weekend of April 8th and 9th.

Things are getting busy...I guess Spring has sprung!

 
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