I’m moving at the end of the month, and everything is moving too fast or two slow and it’s all working together to make me stressed and anxious, but ultimately I’m thrilled and excited to be jumping into a new chapter in my life.

A year ago I moved from White River Junction, Vermont, to Chicago.  I loved living in Vermont, which is where I got my MFA in Cartoon Studies, but it was time to try out a bigger city and move somewhere where there would be more opportunities to try new things and figure out how to be a cartoonist in the world outside the safe haven of cartoonist Hogwarts the Center for Cartoon Studies community.

I spent the first six months in Chicago finishing Wit’s End and kickstarting a print run.  I sent out my portfolio, pitched to anthologies, studied for the GRE, wrote a paper about diversity in media and decided I definitely wanted to go back to school for my PhD in Communication and Media Studies.  I researched programs, filled out spreadsheets with pros and cons, and narrowed it down to three schools, and applied.  I started making dinosaur tote bags, tabled at two fall conventions, and saw my convention sales start picking up.

In February I flew to Albuquerque to present a paper at the Southwest Pop Culture/American Culture Association conference.  I arrived on Tuesday, feeling like death and barely able to get out of bed thanks to some lovely unidentified respiratory ailment, but by Thursday I was well enough to present.  The paper went over well, and I was able to attend a variety of other panels and confirm for myself that no matter how practical or impractical an additional degree might be, it’s something I want and will enjoy pursuing. Before I flew home I had word from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute–they had accepted my application to their PhD program and were offering me a fellowship.  I visited in March, had a fantastic trip, and accepted.

The rest of my year in Chicago has been spent wrapping up the Wit’s End Kickstarter fulfillment (If you haven’t gotten your reward yet, either I’m still waiting on your survey or I’ve sent you an email explaining the delay with certain rewards–feel free to email me if you have any questions!), trying to wrap my mind around the fact that I’m going back to school, and figuring out how to make this move work and take advantage of the month and a half between ending my lease in Chicago and orientation at RPI.

I am so pleased to be going back to school and studying something that I’m passionate about, but I’m not sure how it’s going to impact my comics making.  For this year I’m adjusting my goal for pages drawn from 100+ down to ~50, and I’d like to at very least keep that rate up throughout this program, though of course I won’t know until I get there how much time and energy I’ll have for outside work.  I’m also seeking out illustration jobs for spot illustrations or single pieces and pitching short comics to anthologies–I may not be able to embark on another 180 page book right now, but I can commit to four page comics or single illustrations and keep developing new skills and staying engaged in the comics community.  I hope to share more writing and research in the coming years as well, and hopefully those of you who enjoy my comics will also enjoy my writing about comics.

But things are changing, and how I hope to use this site is changing.  I always envisioned it as a place to share short work as well as longer pieces, as a hub for my art, writing and comics, and hopefully that central function will be preserved as I work through a major overhaul, which will hopefully go live sometime this winter.

Thank you all for sticking with me so far.  I’m looking forward to seeing what the next chapter brings.