Comics Corner #1

This activity originally appeared on, a source for simple living and creative, frugal activities. 

Time to settle in and make some comics! This should take a little over an hour and a half, so give yourself some time to be present!

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To start, here’s a thought: Comics is the visual language of encoding and decoding realities. Nibble on that for a little while you work on this week’s excercise.

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Grab a pencil and make four square boxes. These will be your panels. However big you want. I typically make mine 3” by 3”.

If you’d like, grab 4 post it notes and use each note as a panel.

It’s time for some music. Put your audio player (mp3 player, computer, what have you) on shuffle. We’re looking for songs with lyrics. Take a moment and listen for a while. You’re encouraged to doodle on a separate sheet of paper or in a notebook while you listen.
Write a lyric in pencil that catches your interest in the first box. One sentence long, at the most. Single words are OK.

Press next.

Repeat in 2nd box.

Press next.

repeat in 3rd box.

Press next.
repeat in last box.

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It’s time to draw and get our brains to start writing in pictures. I’d like you to make a 10 by 10 grid of 1/2” by 1/2” boxes and doodle out 100 things.  One drawing in each box. 30 seconds on each box max. If you think telephone, draw how you represent the idea of “telephone”. Fill up all those boxes. Don’t stop drawing! If you’re lucky you can get to a point where you no longer think in words.(Credit goes to Ivan Brunetti for this activity.)

Your warm up is complete. Look at how many things you’ve drawn!

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It’s time to make the comics magic happen. Give yourself a half hour here. Now go back to your 4 boxes with lyrics.  What could you draw in each box to connect these seemingly unconnected lyrics? Draw!

Do you want to rewrite your words? Would editing these words make things click together. How will you write these words? Will they appear captions? Will some character say them? You are welcome to not use the words in one panel.

This is the puzzle. This is where your heart and your wits come in. This is the challenge that only you can master.

It is my belief that if you make the goal of your comics the communication of funny, beautiful and or interesting ideas, you can make comics with any level of drawing ability. If you do them for long enough and think about them long and hard enough each time, you’ll make comics that you love to make.

Feel free to email your comics to if you’d like me to see them! Photos or scans are great.

See you next week!

I Can See The Birds – 2015

This one is my Yo La Tengo comic on the shoulders of the poetry giant, Mary Oliver. The words are excerpted from her poem, Wild Geese.

Process post on this one to come soon. Lots of details to comment on this one! For now though, I’d like to simply share the comic.

If you’d like to support my work and have a special book, order a copy for yourself or a friend.

I Can See the Birds
(Juan Fernandez) – 5.5″x8.5″ – Color & Risograph – $6 postpaid
(International Shipping)








I Can See the Birds (Juan Fernandez) – 5.5″x8.5″ – Color & Risograph – $6 postpaid
(International Shipping)



GIF-Comics – Explorations

I’ve been exploring animating comics. I’m above all in making comics that encourage the viewer to “read” animations. GIFs in comics tend to be a novelty, a background texture. These thoughts are rough. I’d love to hear what any one reading this has to say about the intersection of animation and comics.

Instead of seeing animations in that way in comics, I want people to see the arrranging of animations as a practice where the animation is an essential part how meaning arises from the sequence. As comics makers we get to be architects of time and space. I’m trying to figure out how this kind of sequencing fits into that architecture.

For example: Reading these sequences feel SIGNIFICANTLY different to me. (Click to enlarge for best experience).


My big concern is that I want people to be reading animations as “words”. (I hope to find a better way of describing this). The animations that I put together occupy a physical space on the screen and their physical relationship to each other affects the way that those “words” are read. In video there is an ever forward moving timeline. By juxtaposing looping video sequences you can embed those timelines into a larger timeline.

Embedding these animations in the grid frameworks conventionally used in comics, that larger timeline can be interacted with by a viewer along the conventionalized reading hierarchies of a given culture. That seems really cool and novel. It’s exciting to me and is the reason why I’ve been making these sequences.

I hope that these comics can expand the 1-dimensional timeline into a 2-dimensional plane where there are co-existing timelines.

(The idea of having gifs sitting side by side with unequal numbers of frames is an interesting idea to me when mixed with the idea of percieved timelines.)

These are my recent animation collage experiments. This is how I’ve been playing around with this. Some are way more successful than others at playing around with this time-space idea!
(my suggested reading practice for these comics is to move through them slowly.)

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let me know what’s on your mind.

Building Visual Language – a lexicon of mark making!

I’m having a blast working on this everyday.
lo estoy pasando estupendamente dibujando en este librito todos los dias.*photo (1)

At the moment I’m trying to build a visual language out of repeating really simple marks. Nothing fancy here, it’s just important for me to note that I’m being intentional about it and that I’m trying to create newer and larger structures of communication with very simple lines. Many people know that I tend to draw intuitively. This is me trying to build on that intuition.
De momento estoy intentando de crear series de imagenes que crean su propio idioma visual.

photo*spanish for my grandma

Comics Cloud Burst

I’ve put together some little booklets that collect my comics. The first four issues of Crinkled Comics.

Would you like a free copy of one of these colorful pocket collections?
Send a message to!

Don’t worry Mom and Dad, you’re getting the whole suite, beautiful box and all!

Cuttin’ the rug


My hands are zippin’ here and there as I finish my year of cartooning here in Vermont at the Center for Cartoon Studies. Can you picture the kinds of comics that these little bits and bobs will create?

Me neither, that’s why I’ve got to make them!

Flux and Meter


Behold, the poster for my thesis at the Center for Cartoon Studies. Hope you dig it.

In the coming months I’ll be posting loads of new 4 panel comics. For the moment, though I’m keeping to myself a little bit.

I’m trying to create a buffer between the work and the public eye.

The internet is weird and though I’m tempted to publish my comics immediately, I’m going to be spending more time with these dailies before you get to see them. It’s for the best.

I think you’re going to like the comics that I have up my sleeve.