New Years Update!

A year ago I set out with the goal of drawing 50 pages of comics in 2017 (significantly lower than my previous un-hit goals of 100 or more, made back when I wasn’t also a fulltime PhD student) and having at least two pieces published.  I drew exactly 50 pages start to finish, inked 7 additional pages (3 of which I penciled in 2016 and 4 of where were penciled by my friend Ben), and penciled 3 more comics which I have not yet inked.  Another 9 pages I wrote for other cartoonists to draw.  I placed two comics with anthologies and one paper with a journal.

The comics work was divided into four main categories.  First are the two short stories I did for anthologies due spring 2018; Cindermecha (script and inks by me, pencils and designs by Ben Evens and colors by Tom O’Brien, 4 pages) for Ever Afterward, and Date Night (script by me, art by Ronnie Ritchie, 5 pages) for Wayward Sisters.  I love self-published comics, but having work in collections with wider distribution alongside other fantastic creators is something I’m very proud of and hope to do more of this year.

Second is Ghost Room, in a category of its own.  I’ve been working on this comic for years, wrote it back when I still lived in Vermont, started pencils in Chicago, and I finally finished it summer 2017.  Ghost Room is a self-published mini, and one of my favorite things I’ve ever made.  You can read Rob Clough’s review here, and pay what you want to get the comic from my store here!

The third category is art books.  This was a new exploration.  Under the guidance and support of one of the professors in my PhD program I made two art books, one about the two years I spent working as a barista in Vermont and one a dark fairy tale.  They aren’t strictly comics–the first contains journal segments, illustrations, short prose, collected photographs, newspaper articles, artifacts from the coffee shop, comics and sound clips, while the second contains poetry, comics, and related objects.  These were both amazing projects for me to work on, and I’m still working through how best to present them online, since they are very tactile, interactive works.  One of my 2018 goals is to share some of this work at a conference or art show.

The final group are journal comics or dailies.  I set out to do a 4-panel comic every day in October, and I got through about a dozen before the demands of my school work hit me like a ton of bricks and kept me running full tilt for the rest of the semester.  I’ll be picking those back up in February.

Aside from comics I wrote a 10-page short story about a young woman on Jupiter, and 95 pages of academic papers, one of which was published in September.  You can read it here.

I did a lot.  I hadn’t really realized how much I had accomplished until I sat down to write this, started with “I wasn’t able to do as many comics this year as I had hoped” and then realized that that wasn’t true.

My first goal for 2018 is to share more work more places.  I want to be more visible, present, and engaged in my field, both as a creator and a scholar.  This means applying for conferences, tabling at comics shows, submitting work for publication, and looking for new ways to share and exhibit my work.

The second is to collaborate more.  I loved working with Ben, Tom, Ronnie, the Wayward Sisters editors and Who is the Silhouette? contributors on comics this year, and I hope to make positive collaboration a larger part of my creative and academic life in the future.

Third, I’d like to draw 50+ pages of comics again in 2018.  I want to keep producing, keep my hand moving and my practice strong.

Here’s to 2018!