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2014 work review

Monday, December 29th, 2014

Taking a cue from Rachel Dukes (@mixtapecomics), I am going to do a synopsis of my year, as far as work is concerned.  I think it is essential to keep track of my output, and I find it interesting to see how other artists categorize the work that they do and the rate that they do it at.  Rachel broke it down month by month, which I’m going to avoid, because I know for a fact that the majority of my comics output took place in January/February of this year, due to the fact that Tomboy was due in March.  Below you will find the numbers,  and below that you will find my lengthy explanation of said numbers.  Feel free to skip the explanations, because I am very verbose.

 

290 (approx.) pages of comics drawn.

160 (approx.) illustrations drawn.

10 conventions/zine fests tabled at.

2 books released in 2014; Alone Forever: The Singles Collection (February 2014, Top Shelf Productions) and Tomboy: A Graphic Memoir (September 2014, Zest Books).

13 workshops/readings/book presentations logged.

 

In 2014 I drew a total of (approximately) 290 pages of comics.  250 of that was Tomboy, which I had thumbnailed/written in 2013, but I  then penciled, inked, and photoshopped the book in its entirety during the first 2 months of 2014.  I drew 5 comics for Razorcake, it should have been 6, but I needed to miss one early in the year due to Tomboy’s deadline.  I drew a 4 page obituary for my first cat Tokyo, which is going to be in the next issue of Not My Small Diary sometime next year.  I drew 2 comics for a dating website, but mysteriously only one of them got published (but I got paid for both), and I drew a 4 page comic for issue 30 of Adventure Time, the first time I’ve ever drawn a comic that I didn’t also write.  I am in the coloring stage of a Regular Show short comic, that will be out sometime next year, and I’m writing some comics for other CN properties, which is also a new experience for me (being a writer but not also an illustrator on a project).  I did a 3 page comic for an upcoming issue of The Devastator, and I had a 4 page comic published in the Subcultures anthology  by 9th Art Press.  There have also been some comics that I’ve drawn in my sketchbook that I haven’t published anywhere, and may never do anything with.

 

On the illustration front I did some assorted punk fliers/album covers, merch design.  I did several commissions for wedding invites, and a few birthday drawings.  I did illustrations for an article on the aforementioned dating website, and I’m kind of bummed that for whatever reason I haven’t done anything else with them, because they were fun, lucrative projects.  The biggest illustration job I did was updating 130 spot illustrations for a math textbook; it was a really fun project because I mostly got to draw in front of the TV for 2 weeks, which was a lot of hours logged with the Gilmore Girls. I also did character designs for an animated TV show pitch that we are still waiting to hear back about, and I was asked to take a storyboard test for a popular CN show, but I didn’t “get the job” (although, I’m not sure that I would have taken the job if I had been offered, because I’m finally gaining traction as a comic artist, and switching gears would be really weird, regardless, it was a really fun experience). An approximate illustration count for 2014 is 160.

 

The obvious milestone of 2014 is Tomboy, and I’m sure you all wish I could stop talking about it now, but the book is still very young (it only came out 4 months ago), and has been getting more attention than any of my previous books combined (hey, remember when it was in People magazine? weird, I know).  I did my first ever book tour for Tomboy, going from Boston to Atlanta to Santa Fe to Los Angeles to Seattle to Portland to Bethesda for the Small Press Expo.  Public speaking is really not my favorite thing, but all of my now numerous experiences presenting my book(s) have helped me somewhat overcome that fear; I still feel like I’m going to puke up butterflies in the hours leading up to an event, but so far nothing disastrous has happened (knock on wood).  I also tabled at 3 Zine Fests and 7 comic cons this year.

 

This is the first time in my career as a full time artist that I have been paid for the majority of my work, I’d estimate that about 90% of my projects this year were paid: the rates of which fluctuated quite a bit; some jobs I was paid very, very well, and some jobs I was paid a pittance, but they were things I wanted to contribute to, so those things even out in my mind.  I also made money at 7 of the 10 shows that I tabled at, but 2 of them I was tabling with Top Shelf and not selling books myself, and 1 of them was San Diego Comic Con which was the biggest tabling mistake of my life, so live and learn.

 

The shortcoming of this year has been that, after completing Tomboy, I wanted to immediately have another pitch ready, for my next book, but promoting Tomboy was a lot more work than I anticipated (the time spent answering email interviews and doing phone/skype interviews and posting links to said interviews or reviews of the book and managing my emails with the publisher/readers accounted for a lot daytime hours).  It is now December and I still don’t have that pitch together, but I didn’t anticipate how much I would be burnt out after really marathoning at the beginning of the year.  Drawing an average of 10 pages a day for 2 months and not really leaving your house at all does take its toll (although I was able to take my work on the road for 2 weeks in February to table at LA zine fest and visit with friends in Oakland/do 2 bookstore events to promote Alone Forever, but I was inking an average of 4 pages a day while on that “vacation”).

 

2015 will start off with a bang, as I am being flown to France for the annual comics festival in Angouleme, then I am visiting a very gracious comic shop in London for an instore event.  I will hopefully get that pitch for a new book off in the early part of the year, so this definitely will not be the last you’ll hear from me, although after how much I talked in this write-up, that might not be a good thing!

Thanks for reading my books; you made all of this possible!

Holiday signed book sale!

Monday, December 1st, 2014

Hello everybody!

I know I said it would never happen, but just in time for the holidays, I am selling personalized copies of Tomboy, Alone Forever, and Will You Still Love Me If I Wet the Bed? in my web store!  Tomboy and Alone Forever come with personalized bookplates, limited to only a few hundred copies each (left over from previous special editions, so supplies are very limited); Will You Still Love Me has no bookplate, but is still special just the same.

Click this link to purchase a copies of these books as gifts for your favorite friends, family members, or even just yourself.

 

The Devastator Funny Book Bundle

Monday, November 24th, 2014

Good day to you, my friends!

I’m excited to announce that my near-classic comic strip collection about relationships, Will You Still Love Me If I Wet the Bed?, is included in The Devastator’s Funny Book Bundle on StoryBundle!

How it works is you pay what you want to download the books in the bundle, and you will get DRM FREE e-books that you can read on any device, and share how you wish.  BUT, that’s not all!  If you pay $12 or more you will get 3 bonus books, including one written by legendary alumni of MTV’s The State: Jo Lo Truglio, David Wain and Michael Showalter.  WHAT KIND OF WORLD DO WE LIVE IN?!!!  An awesome one, that’s what.

Check out the bundle here!  

goodreads Choice Awards 2014

Wednesday, November 12th, 2014

 

Tomboy is in the semifinal round of voting for the goodreads Choice Awards, up against 19 other very worthy contenders for the title of best graphic novel of 2014.  It would be a big deal for Tomboy to win this award, but it will be difficult, as a book with a small publisher and much more limited publicity and distribution reach.  But you can help, in fact, you can make all the difference by simply voting for Tomboy.  Your vote can help bring greater awareness to this memoir about gender stereotypes and bullying, a book that subversively handles a very serious social issue.

 

Please take the time to vote on goodreads, and if you don’t have a goodreads account, you can easily make one (and honestly, goodreads is a really fun website for readers to rate and review books).  While you’re there, please consider rating and/or reviewing Tomboy if you haven’t already: if you add your voice, the book can be carried further.  I’m also taking taking questions about any of my books on my author page.  Check it out!

 

 

Short Run 2014!

Monday, November 10th, 2014

Hello Seattle!

I’ll be back in your fair city this weekend for the Short Run Comix & Arts Festival, November 15th from 11-6 at Washington Hall! If you missed me at Elliott Bay Books, you can come get a copy of Tomboy, Alone Forever, and a myriad of other books straight from the source; if you saw me at Elliott Bay Books, please stop by and say hello again!

 

I’ll be at table F-30, with the always radiant Nicole J. Georges, Alec Longstreth adjacent. Come find us on the 2nd floor in the main hall!

 

Boston Zine Fest

Friday, October 10th, 2014

Oh dear, it’s the day before Boston Zine Fest starts and I failed to post about it until now?   For shame!  I will be participating in Boston Zine Fest this weekend!

On Saturday October 11th I will be on a panel about personal narratives at the Washington Street Center at 3:30pm, then on Sunday October 12th I will be tabling at Zine Fest from 12-6, selling Tomboy, and lots of assorted zine stuff that I don’t normally bring to shows.  I’ll also have my friends Eleni Castro and Dave Barclay with me, who will have NEW zines that even I haven’t seen yet.  You can find us at the Aeronaut Brewing Company, in Union Sqaure Somerville, where the tabling is taking place.

I know it’s short notice, but hopefully I’ll see you this weekend!

Tomboy in San Francisco

Monday, September 29th, 2014

Hey Bay Area folks!

I’ll be in your neighborhood this weekend for the Alternative Press Expo, tabling with Alec Longstreth, Claire Sanders, and Greg Means of Tugboat Press.  I haven’t been to APE in 6 years, so please come out and show me what I’ve been missing!

On Friday October 3rd I will be doing my Tomboy presentation at Green Apple Books.  I’m very excited to have this event sponsored by Maximum Rocknroll, and as such my slideshow will be followed by a moderated discussion with Grace Ambrose, the new MRR coordinator.  I hope that you can join us!  More info can be found on the Green Apple Books website, and the Facebook event listing.

Tomboy on Goodreads!

Thursday, September 18th, 2014

Hi friends!

I’ve been overwhelmed by the flood of supportive tweets, comments, and reviews I’ve been receiving for Tomboy; it’s really touching that so many people have been enjoying and relating to the book.  A lot of folks have gotten in touch with me personally about it, to let me know that it meant something to them, and I am extremely grateful.  It would be really next-level helpful, if you have enjoyed Tomboy, and could rate and/or review it on our GOODREADS or AMAZON page.  In this modern internet age, reader ratings on those kinds of sites matter a lot to publishers and potential book purchasers; your reviews could help this book get into the hands of as many people as possible.  Add your voice: it really does matter!!

TOMBOY on Goodreads.

TOMBOY on Amazon.

Thanks, as always, for reading!

Book tour report

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014

Hi everyone!

 Brattle Theatre, August 27 

I got back home on Sunday night after being on my Tomboy book tour for the last 2 weeks!  A big huge thank you to all the stores and venues that hosted me, and to all the folks who came out, asked questions, and got involved.  I was very happy to have 30+ people in the audience at every stop; it made me feel way less alone in this crazy cartooning world!

 Skylight Books, September 8th, with Todd Taylor moderating

Elliott Bay Book Company, September 10th

I ended my tour at the Small Press Expo, which is my favorite comic convention IN THE WORLD, and the response to Tomboy was really awesome.  I sold all 72 copies that I brought of Tomboy in the first day (sorry to those of you who showed up on Sunday looking for the book; I definitely should have packed 2 more boxes)!  I almost broke my all-time sales record of 100 copies of a single book in a weekend, which was set by Will You Still Love Me If I Wet the Bed? when it came out at SPX 2005 and won the Ignatz for Outstanding Debut.  Speaking of which, SPX 2015 will mark the 10 year anniversary of WYSLM!  WHOA!

SPX 2014 (photo credit: Mike Maguire)

I’m back at home for a few days, taking lots of naps with my cats, before I head back out to Brooklyn for the Brooklyn Book Festival (Sunday 9/21 at 4pm) and a live author discussion with Ariel Schrag at WORD Bookstore (Tuesday 9/23 at 7pm).   I hope to see many familiar NYC faces at both of those events!

For more Tomboy updates please like the book’s Facebook page!  

Happy book birthday to TOMBOY

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

Today is the day that Tomboy gets born (if we forget about the fact that there was a shipping snafu with Diamond, that released the book a week early to comic shops)!  September 2nd is a date that has been etched in my mind since last fall, when it was determined by Zest Books and I that my book would come out today, and now it is finally here!  I hope that if you pre-ordered the book, it will find its way into your hands today, and if you are going to your local bookstore, that they’ll be well-stocked, and if you got the book in the last week from your favorite comic shop, that you have thoroughly enjoyed it.

Me?  I’m at my mom’s house in Santa Fe, NM, where a bulk of the book takes place, getting ready for my hometown book event at Warehouse 21 tomorrow night.  We have lots of copies of the book, so if you’re in the Santa Fe area, come on out and get a personalized copy!  Everyone else: you can find me darting up the west coast, and then back east on my Tomboy book tour! 

 

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