look at me go

i’m already working on page 43. it helps when i already have the dialogue ready to go, the storyline. then i can get to work faster.

plus i need to stay off of facebook because i’m starting trouble over there. or that’s what it feels like to introverted me when i speak out about something i feel strongly about. well, my brother hasn’t unfriended me yet….

i love the way the page looks when it is all just clean little lines like this. my next step…who can say it with me? ink & then more ink! yes. i do ink brush shading & tones next. then i finish by roughing up & darkening some of those clean little lines.

so that’s what i’m posting today. the clean page 43 before i ink the crap out of it.

photo blue pencil

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.

sylvia plath, lynda barry, and a sheep named tyler durden

i am going to get some pages of moses jones done. i really really am. i have been busy…a bit suicidal…depressed…and busy.

i would be lying if i said i had been working on this zine that i started by drawing the cover. although i have worked a bit on an essay about john irving and also lynda barry. but that is all. and i did this journal page thinking about doing some ink brush paintings of livestock:

journal-page-2

livestock!
so now i have ten chickens and four sheep. i have a tendency to just wing it in many areas of my life. like i never seem to get adequate directions, do not have a smart phone or gps, yet constantly set out on adventures saying, “we’ll find it.” so i got chickens before i had a coop built. i got dogs before making sure my chickens would not be harassed by them. and i got sheep before i had a fenced pasture. long story short. i have lost one rooster to an over-zealous herd dog and have poisoned one sheep by not researching very well and just thinking, “it’ll be fine.” strange that someone as neurotic as me would be so okay with winging it. but i am. another example of my oxymoronity.

we named our sheep after favorite characters from favorite movies. i got to name the ram. i really wanted to name him tyler durden…but decided on harold (from harold & maude) because i was afraid a sheep named tyler durden might be prone to fighting as well as challenging the status quo. but harold the ram got really sick after eating something (acorns? toxic lambsquarters? too much chicken food?) and was looking awful. so i re-re-named him tyler durden and “drenched” (which means to force liquids on–not to douse with a hose!) him with apple cider vinegar and began my journey towards being a holistic shepherd.

but it is my depression more than anything that has crippled my creative process. i read something recently that said that depression is “living in the past.” you know, with anxiety being “living in the future.” i can see that…but my problem is my depression is a current event. i am very unhappy–not with my homestead…but with my live-in ex-husband. aka dusty knickers. he is happy to live at my folks place, contributing only when he sees the whites of my eyes, and otherwise playing video games and being a pain in the ass. i don’t know how to get him to move on…move out…move! i have come to peace with some things–like that it is not my job to let him know he is an asshole…but i do not know how to find peace with him always here. always being dusty.

but i have not taken the sylvia plath route. mostly because of what it would do to my kids. i decided that suicide is something best done when you are young and childless. i passed my open window of opportunity in 1998 (the last time i seriously contemplated suicide but ended up marrying some guy i just met instead. marriage & suicide are on about the same level for me, i guess. ha!) now i have four kids and have to commit to being here no matter how painful it is.

yay.

so i’m putting together this zine. you can be in it if you want. right now it is in a very loose stage of development. but, you know, art–poetry–essays.
and i’m still working on all my other projects: moses jones, lizard brain, whimsy, one up on sylvia plath, space aliens & serial killers…. kids, homestead, survival, etc. you know the drill. and reading, always reading. i totally recommend david wong. but most recently i finally read lynda barry’s notes of an accidental professor. as you may or may not know, i attended uw where she teaches, but somehow i never made it into her class despite her being an early influence for my comics. self-sabotage? fear of my heroes? just plain goofy? we had a nodding acquaintance, mostly because i took my kids to her monthly drawing jams…but i never became soul sisters with her even though my inner geek dreamed of this.
it’s a regret i have.
so i’m sending her a postcard.
you know, a moses jones postcard.
(who knows, maybe she will be my best friend forever after all.) a postcard, and then i will close that chapter and open a new one.

page 3 of lizard brain

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.

also,
depression.
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.

poop.

just me and my lizard brain…page two

i think i am exorcising some demons with this comic.
which is good.
i’m not sure how long this comic will end up being…
if it will be just one story,
or a continuing story.
but right now it is strong in my head
so i figure i should go with it.

i like the way the art turned out. i like using a different font. i developed the font i letter with in moses jones & other works in like..what..1998? 1999? so it is fun to use a different way of lettering with this comic. then, in a tribute to ralph steadman, i mess it up a bit. i like messy.
messy is fun.

also! i may have mentioned that i am putting my quixotic poetry together into a collection. well, i decided to put ALL of the poetry i can find that i have written over the years into that collection and to maybe try to find a publisher? maybe self publish? maybe enter it into a contest? but, fuck it, i am doing something. all that raw emotion & terrible verse just begs to be ridiculed by the public (haha!)

and i still want to be doing more ink brush painting. i think i need more paper. maybe that’s what my block is with that.
so i need to find an art store.
does anyone know any independent art stores in central illinois?

i’m here i’m here i’m here i’m here!

let’s recap.
last summer, a year ago this week, i was homeless for a month and a half while waiting for our new apartment to open up.
then at the new year, i packed up my four minions and moved two hours north of dusty to a different home.
then, this spring, my landlord/housemate asked me to leave so she could have the place to herself.
and i moved again.
this time to another state, to my childhood home, with dusty & the minions.
i wasn’t ready to live with dusty again.
but circumstances….
so now, though i think of moses jones & other projects every day, i have a new place to settle. land & house in serious need of care-taking. a yard & garden. a flock of chickens. two dogs who need training. four minions on hyper-drive as they try to adjust to the fourth move in a year….

i’m here though. never far away. treading water.

i am in the process of collecting all of my poetry from my other blog to put into a collection of sorts. then i will delete the bulk of that blog to convert it (once more) into a different blog. this time about the dysfunctional adventures of a homesteading family.

and i look at my barely started first page of just me and my lizard brain every day, sighing softly.

and i daydream about doing some fantastic & wildly popular chinese ink brush paintings of the central illinois landscape.

and mojo. i think about mojo. her humble beginnings, her journey thus far, and her future in the graphic novel world….

me & my lizard brain

well this went a bit darker than i imagined. i was thinking “quirky” and…well…day 5 without my minions…arguing with the narcissistic dusty about my not seeing them for another 2 days & how pissed off i am. i pick up a pen. and my lizard brain gets pretty dark. i like it though. nothing against quirky…but whenever i read a quirky novel i kind of want to throw it at the author. repeatedly.
don’t get me wrong.
i have written some quirky crap.
like here is a quirky short story i wrote for a writer’s workshop:
a severe lack of grace

my instructor, with her funky british-japanese heritage and goth name, assured me that i was “funny” and that i would have an audience accordingly. i’m pretty sure she meant it as an insult.
suck it, rowan.

anyhoo.
so i started working on my new comic, just me and my lizard brain. it could be disturbing…but i am going to try for dark & funny.

i just need my minions to come home. then i can be properly distracted and not wander to the darker realms of my brainstem.

on a lighter note! i played with more buttons.

buttons4

when the minions are away…

i have a week with no kids!!

no kids!!

i have not had a week with no kids since the invention of my kids in 2005. that’s going on eleven years, people.
so i have all this nervous energy that i usually use to herd children that i now am using to see how much i can get done in a week without kids.

i started this experiment of ink on canvas about–what–2 months ago? now i am actually working on it. i like it.
plus!
i have an idea for a comic starring me & my lizard brain.
plus!
i am going to start on a series of steampunk chinese brush paintings using my stark raving whimsy storyline.
plus!
i am working on script for new pages of mojo.
plus!
i am doing this with the buttons i have been obsessively collecting from thrift stores:

do let me know if you have any button jewelry needs. i am your quixotic mama.

 

born in a white town (page 2)

i like this page a lot. i hope y’all can read it. i have the main script and then a side panel of events as well. a scanner would obviously work better than my trying to stand there with my camera and get enough light while not creating a shadow while trying to frame it so it will crop evenly while trying not get bumped by a feral child running past.

if there are bits you cannot read, let me know, and i will either get a better picture or write out what is said in the comic here in the blog post.

hopefully you get the gist of it.

page two! a timeline of my whiteness. that i remember all my relationships with other races is telling of how little diversity i have had in my life. despite my being so fucking progressive and open-minded and choosing to live in “progressive” and “open-minded” college towns.

i was born in a white town (page one)

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.