Poetry and big blotchy illustrations. Heavy on the Stuart Davis influence(via Bill Boichel)

Here’s a link to my most recent work: a poetry chap book. I’d written some poems, so I thought that I would put them together. Of course, to keep it as viscerally entertaining as anything else, and to make it a little more obtuse, I illustrated the work. Nothing spectacular, but it was a great exercise in using Adobe Indesign. I’d never used it, but thanks to youtube video tutorials, Adobe’s help online, patience and persistence, it was finished. I can now proudly say that If I need to print anything comics wise I don’t need to figure it out all on paper and then transfer it to Photoshop. As old fashioned as that might be, no one had taught me anything else. Hell, no one taught me how to paginate. So, as all things in the world of one, trial and error and then some happy accidents (like the portrait I did on the third page of my beloved Lena’s dear poodle, Einstein.)

After reading some of Bill Boichel’s posts on the Copacetic Comics Company site, I was very intrigued by the work and ideas of the modernist painter Stuart Davis. Anyway, check out the Daily Davis archive. It’s some mighty cool stuff if you like hand drawing. He also wrote an introductory essay on the Daily Davis if you’re interested in coming to these drawings in a non-visceral way. 

If you like image making of any sort, every nook and cranny of the public facing web is worth your time. The Daily Davis and Lynda Barry’s Picture This, have been a great help in getting my drawing to be completely unshackled. It’s great.  Over the past couple of months, by letting my hands just move on their own, and by simply watching them and allowing them to do whatever they please, I’ve learned a good bit about myself. It’s been very reaffirming to know that I have the subconscious ability to absorb and transform the images that are around me. This knowledge has been instrumental in making me more conscientious of the images and stories that I surround myself with. Osmosis and practice do actually work…

On to the present: Spain’s approaching and I’m finishing this project. Will I finish the boxes and the hardcover in time? Stay tuned…

Bü’s Mansion – Lionel and the Punks

Here you go, as promised. My most recent comic, Bü’s Mansion – Lionel and the Punks. This is the longest continuous narrative that I’ve done since last year’s Rinfon and it feels really good to have done and to have it look as nice and crisp as it does. I’m printing this mini on a creamy off white and it’s looking fantastic. I’m currently trying to figure out how to package it. I still don’t know how to silk screen so that’s not an option. Nevertheless, I’m thinking of hand cut decorations on coverstock that is off a heavier grade. I’d love to sell these for a dollar, because I know that people will actually buy them. Nevertheless, $2 for a mini comic of this hand crafted flavor doesn’t seem too steep. Any more, though and it seems unreasonable. Hell, I’d have a hard time paying $3 for this.

The pricing issue is a weird one, isn’t it? I feel excited to cough over $2 and feel like I’m making out with a great deal, while for $3 I feel like I’m missing something. And yet for $1 I feel like what I’m getting isn’t worth anything. Maybe I just don’t know how to quantify money in qualitative terms well enough…

NOTA BENE: Below are the spreads, therefore read horizontally until the middle of the spread and then move downwards.

The Next Three Months: Spain and then some

This is what I’ll be living out of for the next two months in Spain: I have the incredible fortune of traveling for the next two months in Spain with my girlfriend, Lena. Lena will get to fully experience a true Spain with me, completely in Spanish, we’ll both get to work with cheese-making and meat curing and I will get to research a comic that I have planned.

The plan will be to arrive in Madrid to visit two family friends and then to hop on El Ave to get to Zaragoza to spend a week with my grandparents. Afterwards, Lena and I will travel onwards to Catalunya to hover around Barcelona. I’ll be trying to get my hands on some old copies of the anthology El Vibora, which has been greatly recommended. This will be my third time in Barcelona. The first time was with my grandparents and my parents and the second was with my family, although I spent the majority of the time with my father. In our wanderings around the city I became giddy whenever we passed the many comics shops. Hell, I was getting excited by the comics selection at FNAC alone. This time, I’ll be keeping my eyes out for any and all comics shops and will try to scrounge up as many unique works I can from the area. In the end I’ll have to have some discretion because not only will I be traveling on the cheap, but because while the bag I’m taking with me is quite a tanker, it’s got its limits.

After Barcelona, Lena and I will be headed for Huelva where we’ll stay for a month working at the Monte Robledos Queseria. We’re working on Maria Jesus’ farm through WWOOF. It’ll be great to be part of the cheesemaking process in my motherland. Rest assured, notes will be heavily taken and some cheese-making comics will surface sometime around August. All in all, we’ll be working and savoring the southern Sierra for a month after which we’ll set out on the road.

The last two weeks of the trip will be dedicated to hopping from town to town in the South via bus or train. We’ll make our way in from the Atlantic into the Mediterranean.

On this trip I plan to devote myself to three things, taking care of Lena (and teaching her Spanish), learning how a farm is run and documenting my life in ink.

After I return, I’ll spend a week in Cleveland with my parents and then will be hopping on a bus to Buckland Farm. Some more farming, but in a climate that I’m much more accustomed to. I’ll be there by myself working and learning cultivation techniques and and animal husbandry from Dan and Carrie, the owners of Buckland Farm.

Seeing as how the frequency of my future internet connectivity is unforeseen, I can’t promise any posts with comments, stories or comics. Nevertheless, I can assure you that around the end of the summer, as I’m hustling to put all the pieces together for my CCS application, you’ll get loads of scans of my sketchbooks.

To those of you that have supported me in my endeavors in comics, whether taking the time to look over my work, giving me tips, letting me borrow your comics or simply smiling when I got excited about images and words on paper, I owe you so much. Since I committed myself to drawing and recording through comics, I’ve never been happier in my life. Everyday I’m learning something new and exceeding my own expectations. I never expected this.

I’m constantly surprised by my good fortune, a loving family, an incredible best friend and girlfriend that I can travel with, a durable and rugged backpack, paper galore. To those of you that are helping me hone my craft and helping make this storytelling dream come true, thank you.

I have 10 days left until I leave. Hot damn, there’s a lot to do to get ready! I have to finish my final term papers and projects (Including two clamshell boxes and a hardbound comic), move out of my current apartment, and then pack. Will I get it all done it time? Stay tuned.

From the Sketchbook

And now, some recent sketches and doodles. The grid was inspired by Ivan Brunetti’s Cartooning: Philosophy and Practice. It’s a combination of “The Eyebrow Transition” and the “forced grid practice”. I got bored with the “Eyebrow transition so mixed it up while still focusing and honing the control of emotion via the eyehrows.

And the music most of this was drawn to?