so you can’t tell how much work i’ve gotten done because it is all done in photo blue pencil. ha! but i have drawn some. soon to be inked! hint: it is a new page of moses jones! yes.
that’s exciting, right?
a homesteading, unschooling mother of four makes a pretty unproductive graphic novelist, as it turns out, but the urge to create (in all forms!) is strong in me. i miss art when i am not doing it. it feels like part of me is missing when i am not doing art.
i need a partner who likes doing hard labor, housework, enjoys chaos and anarchy, and who can be utterly supportive to his (or her) artist/homesteading wife-ish person. so, if you know anyone. must like kids & sheep & dogs. and rural life.
like the photo blue pencil, you have to be able to see what might not be readily visible…to be with me. that is required.
so i started this page weeks ago.
then one of my dogs tore up the page. i adopted two sisters of a cattle dog persuasion. they are only half grown and are so naughty. between their shopping on my desk and my kids’s shopping on my desk, it’s a wonder i get any pages out at all.
even though i am doing a comic about the destructive voices in my head, it is still difficult to do said artwork when i am depressed. overwhelmed. generally ready to crawl in a hole and never come out.
i’m not sure what happens next. maybe i will get some moses jones done. i have been hankering to work on that comic for awhile.
also! i started playing with a story i started when my niece was like 4. that niece has now graduated from college. so maybe i should finish my story, at least.
i wrote it as a screenplay.
i am adapting it to be prose…with pictures. not a graphic novel. just, you know, an illustrated story.
strangely, the dynamics of the two main characters (written, like i said, 20 years ago?) are reflective of the dynamics between my ex & i. you know, dusty. the male lead even looks like him. i wrote it before i started doing more autobiographical fiction. he came out of my imagination. fuck, maybe i predicted him…or worse, maybe i wrote him into existence. yikes.
speaking of the topic of autobiographical fiction. i just finished reading john irving’s latest novel, the avenue of miracles. i love love love john irving. this novel, not so much. parts of it were amazing. other parts were half-hearted. but! he often discusses memoir fiction vs. fiction from the imagination. while reading it, i started writing an essay. i think i will eventually finish that essay that is not quite memoir…not quite pure imagination…but all me and how i feel while reading a john irving novel.
i think i had another point to make or story to share, but i had to stop typing to have a fight with my eight year old who seems to believe i am not allowed to live a life other than as his devoted and single-minded mother.
maybe this page looks rough because i feel rough.
another depressed & anxious day in the life
& i’m all like,
“since i feel like crap & a big dumb
failure…i should work on my comic about the destructive voices
that tell me i am crap
& a big dumb failure.”
so here is the very first page of
just me & my lizard brain
i am actually pretty excited about it, regardless of my depression & anxiety. what better way to deal with feeling like crap than to write a comic about feeling like crap?
i’m a genius.
it is yet to be determined. (though a quiz on facebook today told me i am a genius)
interesting side note. my main character is named after my very first therapist. maeve. what a cool name, right? it got vetoed as a baby name, so i’m naming this creation in her honor.
i hope you enjoy it. when i am feeling more centered & zen, i will try to do some chinese ink brush paintings of the cornfields i see all around me.
maybe some stark raving whimsy when i am–um–stark raving whimsical?
and when i am in the mood for fighting zombies, we will see more of moses jones!
page 41 with our waffling warrior.
(anxious to get the page out, i didn’t flatten it enough to easily photograph it–so it’s a little wonky…plus, minions kept pushing past me when i had my camera ready, as usual. whenever i need it to be perfectly still–minions start shoving. we are so zombie fodder.)
dusty emerges from the woods. smoldering looks & smoldering cigarette. what is a mother of four to do? she can’t just lop off his head in front of his children…though arguably it could be a good life lesson. “don’t fuck with a person’s heart if you want to keep your head, little ones.”
but with so much history, it is difficult for moses jones to forget the good times. especially when dusty is being all come-hither. especially when spring is in the air. especially when moses jones has been without a man for all these long months.
i like how this one turned out. i like the text mixed with pictures. some panels…some free space. i like mixing it up.
but i’m not sure what happens next? might be a jump shot to a different scene. either back to the house with the squatters…or to the past and some back story? hmmm. hmmm. i need to figure it out. i haven’t hung up pages in my new house in my new work space. i think i need to hang up some pages and stare at the wall a bit and figure out what happens next.
so the feedback i did get was in favor of the white tones on page 39. and everyone seems okay with the text-heavy pages.
i like the looks of page 40. and, for good or for bad, my real life is going through enough crap right now to ignite some plot. will he or won’t he? will she or won’t she? what are y’all’s feelings on mojo taking a katana to an “innocent” person?
valentine’s day, a day i gave up on after about 25 years of having crappy valentine’s days….okay, so maybe birth through five years weren’t exactly crappy, but once my heart was able to be neglected and abandoned and broken…that pretty much guaranteed crappy v-days for me. but, forever an optimist and fatally romantic…i still loved the idea of romantic love (and a day celebrating it) until about my mid-twenties when i had endured enough fucked up shit to give up.
suffice to say that this valentine’s day went above and beyond the fucked up shit i am used to on valentine’s day.
fortunately, i have mojo to channel it all into.
page 39 begins episode three.
it is a very light page, compared to other pages, and text heavy. i have used text heavy pages in the past…but i think there will be a few more in a row. maybe. this whole episode might be text heavy.
i usually cover the page with ink. grey tones. but i left this one white. i am trying to decide if i like it or not.
i feel like lately mojo always has katana, ready & cocked.
usually aimed at zombies…but now dusty has her wary.
which brings me to real life where dusty is romancing me again…and i am wary. life is weird. which is why i make comics….
so yesterday, with a bad head cold and a four year old personal assistant, i decided to ink in my page.
(i always ask my minions, is that a good idea? or a bad idea?)
it was a bad idea. moses jones ended up looking like the love child of fonzie & gary shandling. and somehow….was it me or the four year old? somehow ink got smeared in mj’s hair & onto fidgit & misha. too much ink for me to turn it into an artsy shadow effect.
don’t sneeze & ink, people.
when one is sick. one should rest. not try to catch up on all the things one is behind on.
so today i re-drew my page. i think the second one is better. so far so good. i might wait until i am feeling even better…tomorrow?…to do the ink & brush. that seems to be where things went all higgly-piggly on my first attempt at what will be…page 39?
it has taken a couple of years.
but i have 39 pages.
just think what i could do if i didn’t have the constant “help” of a two year old & a four year old!
i think about it all the time.
i will rule the world!
until then…page 39 should be ready soon…soon….
i am not getting much work done. living alone with four kids, i fall asleep when they do. i did get two pages of text started. mostly text. more words than pictures. i hope to work more on it today. but times are tough.
no dusty…except on the weekends.
i am living in a new town. a small town. a northern(ish) wisconsin town where the liberal/conservative balance i was used to in madison has shifted to the conservative. just one more change for me to get used to.
i am feeling a bit isolated. i even lived without the internet for my first 26 days here. that almost killed me. not doing art is having its effect as well. so i need to get busy.
tomorrow i am sending off a package to a literary agent a friend of mine suggested. fingers crossed that this will go somewhere other than the recycle bin!
& more mojo soon!
might be she will be text heavy. i need to get some story established. it’s a slow process in the comic form. let me know what you think.
when i did the prototype pages for this comic, back in my drawing II class. way back when i was pregnant for poppy, spring of 2013, there was no dusty in the panels. the dusty in my life asked me, “how come i’m never in your comics?”
so when i started the actual comic pages, i wrote in a dusty. but he morphed into how i felt, deep down, about my own dusty–abandoned. his character has been forever absent from the story, only appearing in flashbacks.
then, briefly, i thought things were going to work out between dusty & me–so i started to bring his character into the present pages of my comic. while i was doing this, it came to light just how deceptive & damaging he was to me and my love for him.
episode two ends with dusty knickers coming back into the life of moses jones.
but now i have packed up everything that is mine, and i have left the dusty in my life. we have 4 kids together. we will always be connected, but i am starting a life without him. a life i have dreamed of starting all these years of feeling abandoned by him–lonely in his presence–but a life i never escaped to because i worried about him and couldn’t leave him for that worry.
i am in the middle of leaving. finishing up at our old place and packing the kids into a car for our new place. i have to get settled, but then i will continue my story, and we will find out how things work out between dusty & moses jones.
i’m not optimistic that their relationship will fare much better than mine with my dusty–my dusty who is no longer mine.
the ending is the beginning.