Wednesday, July 29, 2009

pencils down

Tonight I finished primary penciling on Alpha City Comics Issue Two. There are tons of spaces left in the pages that need more detail, but those will be filled in as I ink, which I will start doing tomorrow morning. I'm very excited about this book, the pages are screaming for ink, or maybe it's my brush that's dying to make marks over my pencil lines. Regardless, I'm really excited to get started.

I feel like Kevin and I are learning to make comics together. He and I discussed changes to the scripts as he wrote them, and I sought responses from him over character and style designs. One day I drew a panel with perspective that I'm pretty proud of:Then I drew a whole page that just made my brain hurt:The perspective is off, the and the characters are small and, I think, awkward in their anatomy. Kevin's script calls for a second page of panels from the same point of view, so I decided to nip it in the bud. I caught Kevin on Gmail, and asked him for help. After a brief conversation, I went back to the drawing board (literally), and produced this:

So that's team work for ya.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

i have books

I wasn't sure how to follow up my previous post, as it was so serious. It seemed like anything I could possibly write would seem shallow compared to it.


I started an etsy account, it's a more public means of selling my books, over my website's store. I have my four comic books for sale, The Trugglemat, Spitting Pennies, What is This? and Alpha City Comics Issue One.

I've also changed how I am producing my books, i used to sew the interior pages together, and then use rice paste to glue the covers to the pages. Every time I would glue my books, I would get nervous, thinking my recipe was somehow wrong, and the books would fall apart. They never seemed to fall apart, so I kept on making my books that way. Then finally, at MoCCA this year, I put a BUNCH of copies of What is This? together, to give away, and show off. Sure enough, some of the covers started to fall off, and I was super embarrassed handing them out to people. One woman ran up to me at one point waving the book, telling me how much she liked it and as she opened the book...crack! I could hear the brittle dried glue breaking.

While I was in New York, I decided to stop using glue on my books. And as if the Universe wanted to make sure I meant what I said, it drove the point home: My favorite pastime on the way back from a convention is to sit on the Amtrak train, and read read read all the comics I got at the show. So, I sat down in my seat at Penn Station, and opened up my first read of my trip, Kazimir Strzepek's The Mourning Star, Vol. 1 (which, by the way, is AWESOME). As I read the book, the glue gave, and chunks of the book dropped one by one into my lap. I pulled out my needle and thread, and went to work sewing it back together, which took me until Albany.

So short story long, I'm sewing all of my books together now, and I think they look and feel better than ever. Alpha City Comics now has a shiny foil tape spine. And Spitting Pennies will eventually get a black tape spine, if I can find some good black tape. I'm also making a more conscious decision about what color thread I'm using for each book. I'm far more satisfied with the finished product.

Friday, July 17, 2009

in loving memory of oscar patriarco

My friend Oscar died last night. I've known a lot of cats, I mean a LOT, and Oscar was one of the best (perhaps second only to his adopted brother, Skitch). He was wicked smart, really patient with younger or more bossy cats, and quite a handsome gent. He also had to overcome a lot of obstacles in his life. He was declawed long before I knew him (Dear everyone on the face of the earth, DO NOT DECLAW CATS!), which led to litter box issues. It's believed he was abused in an earlier home, sometimes when he wasn't paying attention, the sudden sight of me with a broom would scare him. He also had issues with peeing on furniture (sofas and beds). Taking all of that into account, he was still one of the best cats I've ever known, and I loved him a whole lot. He was lucky to have some really caring human friends for the better part of his life, though, particularly Leah and Laura, who were very loving and patient with him, and allowed him to grow out of a more difficult past.
Oscar, from one skinny red head to another, you were awesome, and will be missed.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


I spent the day yesterday drawing at my friend Ryan's temporary digs. I say temporary, because he got into town late June, and he's leaving Chicago for New York City tonight. Bon voyage, sir! Drawing with Ryan a couple times while he was in town made me remember how much I love being social while drawing. In college, I constantly had folks I could bounce off ideas with, or at least pass the hours of creating with. Alone in my room, I get antsy quickly, which often makes it difficult to get anything done. Alpha City #2's original release was supposed to be just after Stumptown in APRIL, the delay has primarily been my inability to sit still -or say no to other projects.

Speaking of other projects! I'm planning on entering Oni Press' Talent Search competition (by mail), and I've started formulating a script full of safe cracking and corsages for an anthology Jeff Zwirek is putting together for SPX.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

drawing again!

Woo hoo! I'm drawing a fair amount of stuff these days. Above are some panels from a comic I drew for the Windy City Comicon, the program for which will be a full color comic book, with each guest getting a page to show off their skillz. When you come to the show (you are coming to the show, it was awesome last year), you will get to read the whole thing.

This weekend, I also drew the first installment of Bot Bakery Comics (see above sketch). Over two years ago, I heard about this crazy new vegan, gluten-free food company starting up, that was going to sell baked goods, packaged with comics about robots that made vegan baked goods. WHAT?! Who crawled into my brain and mapped out my dream job for me? I scammed my way into the start up before they even started producing food with promises of hard work and a competent drawing hand. Heh heh heh, SUCKERS! I'm love my job, and soon you'll be able to walk into select Chicago stores and buy delicious, organic, vegan, gluten-free baked goods with a cute comic by me hiding inside (the packaging, not the baked good).

And finally (both in this post, and for the anticipation felt by me and Kevin Sciretta for too long), I'm penciling issue two of Alpha City Comics! I'm having a lot of fun, and I hope you will too.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

minimal site updates

I've updated the front ages of From the Well, and Sock-Monster, to let folks know I have a blog. Hopefully, this will allow me to make announcements easier, keep people's interest in my work. I'll also be posting Sock-Monster comics here, so everyone's who's been bugging me about an RSS feed ('cause, you know, I'm a little inconsistent with my publishing) can finally get one, though they'll have to also receive other news updates. Hope folks enjoy this stuff.

Friday, July 3, 2009

summer reading recap

Last night was the zine reading/fair at the Fun House, and it was AWESOME! All the readings were super super sweet, and I ended up going last, which made me really nervous. I enlarged copies of pages from What is This? and read it out loud with sound effects, and a funny voice for Lucy, the alien. Everyone seemed to enjoy it. Then I traded for a bunch of zines, and a couple of folks insisted on giving me money for my comics, so I made back about half of the printing costs, which was an added bonus I wasn't planning for.

I'll add it to my "I Just Wanna Draw Comics Fund" savings account I'm gonna try to reopen today.

I've got the day off from work, so I'm running some errands, and then heading down to Hyde Park to have a drawing date with Ryan Alexander-Tanner. I'm drawing my page for the Windy City Comicon program, which is a full-sized comic book, with each creator getting a page. I'm also working on Alpha City Comics #2, I'm 10% done with penciling the book.