this is my memoir comic on growing up white. it isn’t very thorough. maybe i will work on doing a more thorough memoir that will touch on this more in depth…but for now, it is a big step for me to write about this and to try to do a memoir comic at all. i prefer fiction because it is like hiding in plain sight. a memoir is when someone pulls back the curtain on my fiction and says, “look! here she is! and she is not a wizard at all. just a plain old human being.”
hence my hesitancy to write memoirs.
but here is the first of four pages. i was going to wait & put them all up at once…but i really don’t want my audience to wander off. plus y’all are probably used to my being serial with my presentation.
i’m not sure how i feel about this page. it fits better with the rest, i guess. alone, not so much.
i worked on this with my kids running about which is how i am doing art these days even though dusty criticized me for it (but fuck it’s not like he’s volunteering to take the kids for an adventure to give me time to work on my art because then who would play killing floor 2 for him? [snark]) i gamble that i won’t get bumped and that if i do i will be able to work the resulting smudge in as part of the whole. misha watched as i was doing shadows. every time i brushed in a shadow, she would ask, “pee?” so maybe my shadows look like pee. everyone’s a critic.
a million years later….
i finished inking the first ink on the pages of my short comic about my experiences as a white member of our society. after i put up klu klux kraken i realized that that comic leaves us hanging. we need to do something…but what? my first “what” is this comic i was born in a white town. i just want to identify that racism is prevalent and start a conversation about it. so i’m sharing my–not that exciting–but hopefully relevant first thoughts about race and how i have interacted with it in my own life.
or something like that.
at least my self-portraits are convincing. here is misha saying, “two mommies!!” as she points to some of my self-portrait work in this comic.
i have been doing a lot of my comicking as my children run about. i can’t survive their bedtimes to do art later…so i am learning to do art as they interact with me. it’s rough. my train of thought is often derailed. and i get bumped and get grumpy about getting bumped…but at least i’m still going!
though i do not have a room of my own…maybe i am a new breed of writer. one who can function amidst chaos….
though i still wouldn’t mind a room of my own….
maybe one day…and then i will get bored and wander out of it to see where all the excitement is.
i would make a poor current events comic stripper.
however, unfortunately racism isn’t going anywhere anytime soon (unless my fantasy of donald trump as the pied piper leading all of the racists out of town comes true.)
i did start working on my second racism-themed comic, my racism/kraken comic. i started it in my head this morning as poppy lay screaming at me. i am trying to wean him from nighttime nursing. i am losing the battle. he is a very tenacious baby. and i feel like a bully for trying to wean him…but my boobs!
i started writing my kraken comic in my head this morning & then somehow snuck some time during the day to draw it out. i wish i were more eloquent. i wish i was more artful. but this is what i got.
as far as the memoir/personal insight into racism comic goes. i am still working on it. but as stated in the previous paragraph, i am suffering a lack of creative confidence.
but i am working on it. wondering if i really do have anything to say…but determined to at least whisper it…if not scream.
i am so bothered by the news of racism i see every morning in my facebook feed (which is my news source–i follow several news groups, etc.) my heart hurts with every report. i see that trump is stirring up even more of it. and i am deeply worried. it is such a destructive direction in which our country is headed.
so i keep trying to work on this comic. kind of more of a memoir/thought comic than my usual. so i am struggling with it. i am not sure of what kind of illustrations to use. if there will be dialogue. things like that. i have been playing around with lighter illustrations to offset the heavier subject matter. also, doing stories close to my actual experience (aka memoirs) is difficult for me. i thought maybe more cartoon-y would relieve that a bit.
i did start to ink a page. i went with this format. i think it will work. with the amount of text i have, i think it will be four…maybe five, pages.
so i’ve started! even though my minions work against me…(aren’t they supposed to work for me?) i keep giving them lectures on how i need me-time to get things done. maybe one day…. instead they are always on top of me–fighting for attention. and my comics are the ones who suffer for it.
one day…one day.
this is advice given in both writing & art. tell the story that is yours to tell. do not try to tell someone else’s story.
today, reading about the hate & racism that is being stirred to a fever pitch by donald trump’s fucked up campaign, i decided to take a short hiatus from moses jones to address my experiences as a white person in this country. my experiences with the racism i was born into. my experiences as a recovering racist who still has hope that we can overcome this horrible, horrible condition. (i don’t know if condition is the right word. “disease” makes it seem as if a racist is helpless to their state of racism. we are not helpless to overcome the racism that lurks.)
i am working on two comics.
one is my experiences as a recovering racist.
the other is about how i feel regarding the state of racism in my country today.
we need to stop. we need to heal. we need to grow.
confusion perfume was discontinued in 2002 due to relationship happiness, but at one point i drew a new one. it would have to have been after 2008 because i did not join the facebook community before 2009. i found it as i was digging for paper for misha to draw on. it just needed to be inked.
i also found this one which would have been done before 2008? maybe? but of a series that came after confusion perfume.
i call this series i don’t know what i’m doing. it is my series about being a mom. two of this series were actually published in hip mama zine back in 2007/2008.
other than inking these and doodling in my journal, i haven’t gotten anything new done. i am in the middle of packing & leaving dusty in the dust. hopefully, once i am settled, i will do more moses jones as well as more stark raving whimsy.
and i will take over the world.
probably in that order.
this is the finished version of the hey diddle diddle picture i was working on. again–i need to get better at photographing my art. i experimented with accent color on this one. i also drew a better version of my lincoln tree doodle from my journal. here it is in black & white, but i am going to add color…maybe tonight?
i love this picture.
last drawing class we went to a colloquium where visiting artist roger ricco talked about “outsider artists” and the genius of their work. i feel like an outsider artist. even though i am in school now–i am mostly self-taught. ricco talked about mental illness in artists. i feel like i started doing art & writing to keep from going insane. so far so good.
after the colloquium, my professor talked to us about how 90% of art graduates fail to become professional artists because without the support system of the university, they don’t know how to succeed. since i have already spent most of my life in the cruel non-university world, i am used to creating art without a support system. so i think i am all set.
i am going to get started on the epic version of moses jones this weekend. i am thinking i would like to create a lot of panels of mojo that would stand own their own and be able to be hung on a wall for the casual viewer…. we’ll see where that goes. plus–i need to get the front & back cover done for my next zine as well as getting fidgit busy drawing a comic for it. i need to get to a print shop! i need more hours in a day!
my desk is set up!!!!! i could not be more excited. which goes to prove i am a total comic booking geek. i love working on comics! i get so excited just thinking about them! but not just any comics. i cannot do the hero comics–as eddie campbell calls them. i love the alternatives. like most of life, i love the alternatives. i love being a woman graphic novelist.
i went through a lot of my stuff as i unpacked & organized. i did not (as i was tempted to do due to minimalism or fear of criticism) recycle all of the stories from my last writer’s workshop. i kept them. i want to be serious. i want to do re-writes & edit & fine tune. i want to do it all. and i want to draw pictures to go with my words.
i want to draw pictures.
i am 45 years old & i know this about me: i want to draw pictures.
i’m headed back to school after a semester off. maybe i will get my degree. maybe i will get my mother-fucking MFA. who knows? poppy will be weaned in the foreseeable future. misha is already crazy independent. i am only going to have more & more time to work on my comics. and i am going to work on my comics. this is who i am. this is what i do.
so, come hell or high water, there will be new pages of moses jones next week! and, you know what, just for shits & giggles, i might work on another comic as well.
here i am. here i stay.
sorry about the rerun, but my pen won’t ink; my toilet won’t flush; my love life has hit a wall.
seems i am clogged all around.
i need to clear my head. my heart. my thoughts. my feelings.
my pen & my toilet.
but i think things are turning around. i hope to have new pages soon. or at least a less violent doodle or two. an idea. an inspiration. something.
thank you to those of you who are still with me.