thunderdome!

the world is a mess
we don’t have much to look forward to
with the november elections here in the u.s.
every day brings fresh
horror stories…

so i am standing at my desk, staring at the cornfields, listening to tina turner sing about thunderdome over and over and over and over. seriously. it’s like the only thing that keeps me from crying. and gives me hope. and makes me want to put a big frickin’ plow on the front of the big diesel truck in the garage. and makes me want to wear war paint. and makes me want to scream “we don’t need another hero!” at the top of my lungs.
i already have the wild children.
i do not have a chain-link dress. but it is on my to-do list.
i am ready to fight.
and i paint.
and i draw.
and maybe i need to play this song on a loop every day when i want to do art.

maybe tina turner is my muse.

stark raving whimsy: hilda’s dilemma

i finished my second wall piece of whimsy. i am also going to use these wall pieces for my digital media class.

i am making an “alter ego website” for that class. i am creating bluejean’s website, should she have one. which made me realize the best way to present these large pieces–video. reading rainbow style narrated videos of the story. the trickiest part so far is the background noise every time i try to record…screaming minions. also! getting the picture flat and easily recorded. i might have to do it at my drawing class, after class. i have my critique tomorrow. so i could leave it hanging, wait for everyone to leave, and then video my piece, talking to myself (aka narrating) as i do it.

also! i need to scan in a bunch of art, using the university’s big scanners. speaking of art. i did put prices for a zine package on my “STORE: prints & zines” page. i am hoping my friend is still willing to do some website work for me. then i will have a better store for anyone so dedicated that they want to buy my stuff. i did mail zines off to a couple of fans/friends….

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they will arrive wrapped in plain brown wrapper–just like porn. if anyone else wants any–go to my store site. i will be notified of your paypal purchase & will promptly mail them off. just message addresses to me? my email is: emconnell@live.com…. see, i need to figure this out so it’s easier. soon…hopefully…soon.

meanwhile, the semester is almost over & everything…life, the universe, and me, are set to change–for the better!

as always, stay tuned!

so much done…so much more to do

this is what i worked on last night while my children slept and gotham played on my laptop. i may have missed a few plot turns in gotham…but i got more of this project developed.

this project?
a large panel of stark raving whimsy. here is a few shots of my progress:

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these large pieces take a whole lot of time! i am used to just getting a page done in one or two sittings. i have spent several hours on this already. i hope to get a second one of these done before the end of the semester. plus! i really want to do a paper mache of my face & arm & upper chest to turn into a 3D bluejean casting that i can then make to look like bluejean but also draw a story onto.

progress depends on the sleep schedules of my children.

sleep. sleep, my little lovelies….

stark raving whimsy II

here is the next panel of stark raving whimsy. i think i am going to do three of these square panels and then do a larger piece like the big one of moses jones. these ones are kind of setting up the larger piece.

i am working towards creating a different kind of website. i guess with a blog. an art gallery. and a store. i am wondering about selling original pieces–postcards & cards mostly? and also doing prints, cards, and postcards of original works–more mass produced. i am wondering if i should use this domain name or my other alter ego “quixotic mama.” i want to be more aggressive about putting my stuff out there. maybe even create an actual book instead of just zines?

i am reading barbara winter’s book making a living without a job. i totally fit the profile of the joyfully jobless. i completely agree with making a life–not just a living. now i just need to make it manifest.

for further experimentation for my art class and in the interest of evolving my art, i think i will stop by the habitat for humanity re-store and find some random materials to try to put ink onto. that should be interesting.

biggest mojo ever

here is the large piece i was working on.

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i have two more sheets of paper that i am hoping to put stark raving whimsy stories onto.

i forgot to take pictures at the zine fest. i was having a really bad day. dusty vanished the night before & i became neurotic and wasn’t able to sleep. then i became angry & depressed. then the print shop didn’t have my postcards ready and i yelled at them. then it was raining & cold.

sigh.

but people seemed to like my stuff. being halloween, the crowd was thin. being cold & rainy, the crowd was thin. plus there were so many amazing tables of zines & prints & art & political dissent…i think people were really picking & choosing where they spent their money.

i did sell a few zines. i hand made some postcards to sell before the man from the print shop showed up to apologize and give me a donation of my postcards that i had ordered printed up. i sold some of the hand made ones. several, in fact. it was kind of cool. and sitting there painting pictures took my mind off of being on display.

fortunately, the nice lady sitting at the table next to me was an extrovert & became a big fan of my work. she hawked my stuff to passersby–especially touting my writing skills. so that was nice.

onward. i am hoping to set up a website, produce more pieces for prints & postcards to sell. while continuing to work with mojo & whimsy.

plus, i am finally leaving dusty.

for real this time.

i had a dream…

1998….

i met this redneck in a bar and married him a few weeks later because he said he loved me. then he changed his mind, and i moved out of his  house and into this cute, little apartment in lexington, kentucky. i lived there with my dog norman. he was a melon-collie. he barely tolerated my company. i would have to lock him in the bedroom with me to get him to sleep in my bed….

but i digress.

it was at this time, late 1998, that i decided i would write a zine. (i could take this narrative even further back to 1992 when i was dating an industrial goth guy who put out a fanzine–thereby introducing me to the world of zines…but, maybe i’ll stay in 1998.)

i decided i would write this awesome zine with articles and interviews and comics. i would call it “twat” and it would have a water color of a trout on the front cover.

so i got busy writing the comic for my zine…and never got around to doing anything else. that is how my first comic, confusion perfume was born. it was a narrative about a neurotic girl and her aloof dog. it might have been autobiographical…or not.

i spent the next 4ish years working on it. then i fell in love and thought i had nothing else to write about.

but i never forgot my dream of putting together a zine.

and now i have two!! two episodes of moses jones: apocalyptic mama in zine form. i am so excited. i cannot wait for saturday. i know i should talk myself down and realize that my zine fest experience might just be lukewarm at best–but i am having these crazy-ass fantasies. keanu reeves will surely show up and decide to back my comic venture as well as taking me out on the town. plus, it is halloween so i will look awesome as a steampunk zombie. it will just be amazing.

or i will get hit by a bus tomorrow.

ps. i finally got my second zine printed up (hence this posting.) hopefully i will also have some postcards of my other art to sell/display as well.

so excited!

stark raving whimsy

here is the first installment/draft of stark raving whimsy, my newest graphic novel project. yay! i created the character of bluejean back when i was in a watercolor class. she was a side character in my story trials of the moonfish. however, i became more interested in her than i was in the lead character (gertrude buttons). so i have been playing with her image & story ever since. with my intermediate drawing class, i get the opportunity to work on her. when my professor suggested a more encompassing story to incorporate my images into, i knew it would have to revolve around bluejean.

the storyline is still peculating within my psyche & subconscious, but i have determined that she is a pirate. and a storyteller. and that her own world is dark & fanciful–as well as her stories. but that is as far as i have gotten. i like to give stories life & then follow them to see where they go. i am very excited to see where bluejean & her stark raving whimsy take me.

meanwhile…zine fest is on saturday & i still haven’t actually made my zines. okay, that sounds really bad…but! i have all the pages in my email. i just need to get to a printer. i loitered around in the uw computer lab…but then decided to go to my neighborhood cooperative press. so i will be going to class late today in order to stop & make zines on the way. i could go before class, but that would mean taking 3 or 4 of the minions with me. okay, my brain just exploded even thinking about that. so, i have to wait for dusty to get home–he comes home in time for me to go to class–then i will go make zines. then i will go to class.

and i am very excited about zinefest. it’s on halloween and i’m all like–would i be a geek to dress up for zinefest? then i’m all like…wait, it’s zinefest. i’m already a geek. and what’s one more nail in the coffin?

i’m so cool.

zinefest!

(ps. dusty came up with the name stark raving whimsyi was playing with calling it dark whimsy or the whimsical nightmare _________ …but fidgit & dusty vetoed both of those ideas…& when i googled them, they were already being used for other stuff by other people. then dusty suggested this when we were talking & the words were there, but not put together yet. so thank you again, dusty! the name feels perfect to me.)

front page!

here is the front page of zine #2. i am going to print the front & back page in color. the back page will be mojo banishes dusty which will also look better in color.

my goal is to break even at zine fest for my printing fees.i know zines are not about the money…but i really can’t afford to lose too much money on this. the dusty in my life suggested i buy a printer…but i don’t think i could afford a printer that does what i need plus i think it would take forever on a home printer to do two sided printing?? so i will go to a uw computer lab to do my printing. or some of it at least. dusty also suggested that i have cards to hand out (he said in lieu of zines, but i think in addition to zines.) so i am hand writing a bunch of cards. he also suggested i could draw a little picture on each one. sometimes dusty is good to have around. sometimes i don’t want to completely banish him.

so here is the cover.

tomorrow, hopefully, i will have a finished zine to show you!

title page for my zine

this was originally a picture in my journal…then i made it into a self-portrait. now it is the title page, inside cover, of my zine. or, it will be, as soon as i get to college library to enjoy my status as a uw student & make zines in the computer lab.

i am also working on the cover. i did one version in class & then realized how big mojo’s head was compared to her body.

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if you don’t see it, look at her neck compared to her shoulders. i will post the redone cover, which already looks much better–but maybe her legs are too short? ah well.

i’m am terrified about zine fest. but excited too.

please love me, ziners of the midwest!

so much to do!

so i am still working on the “epic” mojo. i think it will be a bit before it is done. a combination of finding the space & time and just the sheer size of it for inking, etc.

meanwhile! my critique was on wednesday. my professor kept citing me as an example (in a good way) to other students in their critiques. i felt a bit awkward about this…but it was flattering. for my critique he said, “this is great.” i thought he said, “this is gray,” and i was thinking, “but i added so much color!” he also told me i had a “good hand.” he seemed confused by the range of my subject matter–going from whimsical to grotesque. i think he suggested that i should sink into one style and steadfastly stay there–making it my own. so that when people were looking for that, they would come to me. he reinforced my belief that i should stick to my guns as a “luddite” graphic novelist. that my technique would eventually stand out among the digitized web-comics that dominate the scene. so it was all good. his one suggestion (other than not trending over into children’s art) was that i somehow combine it all. hey diddle diddle meets mama zombie slayer, so to speak. so i have been brainstorming that. then today, listening to the minions chatter, i heard the word “pirates” and had an “aha!” moment.

pirates! bluejean is a pirate. airships & monsters & pirates & zombie skeletons & color & chaos. i just have to think of a title…. but it is all there. mojo will stay mojo, & i will start a second graphic novel where it all comes together. wooly bear mammoths, squid, sea monsters, and lincoln trees….

i’m pretty excited about it.

and for mojo, i put the pages together, and all i need for my second zine is a cover.

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i will work on that in class this week if not before. then to the printers! for zine fest i will have episode one & two zines. plus! i will have prints of hey! diddle diddle, lincoln tree, bluejean, wooly bear mammoth, and moses jones banishes dusty. and i will find out how the public feels about my art. or not. either way, i am putting myself out there & taking a chance. and that is good.