INKtober day six–hide & go seek

so
since i made a picture for fidgit, i had to make a picture for iggy. he asked for it yesterday, but i didn’t want to do two humpback whale pictures in a row. he asked for a humpback whale playing with a squid. i jokingly asked, “wrestling?” since whales & squid can be known to fight to the death (but that might be sperm whales?) he said yes to the wrestling picture, but after starting the picture, i thought hide & go seek would work better.

colorful, right? what’s up with me & all the color? i might be tapping into my more vibrant inner artist. i have this set of dr. ph. martin color inks that i have barely used after impulse buying them…and now i am getting some time to play with them.

i got the paper wet. dripped ink. let it dry. then i drew what i saw. then i added a little more ink. then one more inking just to be safe.

i like it. so vibrant. i keep thinking someone else did it.

oh, and here is misha’s inktober contribution. poppy’s contribution is all over the carpet. oops! supervision with the ink, mama. (at least it was my cheap ink & not my new ink)

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if i could change the world

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.

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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.

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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.

while my children scream at me

i sneak away to my scanner….
since my camera is sad these days, i will try scanning more. since i have a home again, i will try scanning more.

i finally have the right ink in my pens. though this page was done before it occurred to me that i could dump the wrong ink out of my pen and refill it with the right ink. i was just trying to run it out by using my pen. my pen was not digging that and no amount of shaking or tapping was getting it to draw. so this journal page is a bit rough. also, i was using styles that aren’t mine. just for fun.

iggy called the bikini top “weed boob sacks”–ha!

i’m still reading amanda palmer’s book. i am tempted to contact her. maybe i will. she touts her own accessibility quite a lot in her book, however, i am new to the fan base…and i think i just rub people the wrong way–so i dread contacting her & being ignored. as she says in her book, social rejection hurts as much as physical pain. it does. plus, i realize that i may never be good at asking. as a child, i was ignored by my parents. the fourth of six, they just kinda forgot about me. they were pretty lackluster parents to begin with, and i was lost in the shuffle. instead of making a ruckus–like poppy does (i admire his 4th child technique of constantly demanding he get at least equal consideration, even though said technique exhausts me!)–instead of demanding attention–i decided to disappear. my feeling, even as a young child, was that if they weren’t going to give me the attention i deserved, i would not stoop to ask for it.

and i didn’t.

and now the art of asking is an art that i cannot grasp.

though i need to.

so how do i start interacting on a better level with my fan base? how do i reach out to people? how do i become human? these are the puzzles i occupy myself with these days. i hope to figure it out. being a successful artist & writer is important to me, but it may never happen if i do not learn how to interact with my audience.

ay fuck.

as for moses jones…my living room is still full of the wrong furniture & unpacked boxes. my desk sits amidst the mess, calling to me. hopefully, i will get the excess furniture & boxes out of the living room tonight so i can set up my desk & feel like myself again. and get some pages of mojo out to y’all. soon!

zombie mama book reviews

so…getting a chance to work with wet, messy ink while being attacked on all sides by an invasion of creatures i created myself…getting a chance to make art while being cannibalized by toddlers (well, that’s what it feels like sometimes)…long story short–i haven’t been able to ink any pages because my kids are nuts.

however.

i did get to read this book, Sharp Teethby Toby Barlow.

sometimes while nursing incessantly needy babies, sometimes, i get to read. or sometimes i just hide away with a book and listen for the screams to hit that certain pitch that means i absolutely must return and take away any sharp or blunt objects.

i picked up Sharp Teeth at the library. i always check out the display tables–themed by bored librarians. this one was a table for an independence day celebration where they picked books that had red covers, white covers, and blue covers. nothing but the red cover put this book on a table where i had easy access to just grab it as i wrestled kids toward the check-out desk. i grabbed it, probably thinking something deep & stimulating like, “huh, i like dogs,” and shoved it in my bag where it hung out through a couple of relocations to temporary homes until i finally pulled it out and opened it a couple of days ago.

upon seeing that the text was all in verse form rather than prose, i almost put it right back in my bag.

for someone who dabbles in really bad poetry, i can be pretty biased and seem to have an aversion to verse.

maybe realizing this, i gave the words a chance to prove they weren’t going to be annoying. and they weren’t! they were a story, written like a poem, but still a story. and a really good story. this first book by Toby Barlow impressed the crap out of me. murder, intrigue, werewolves, some feel-good dysfunctional romance, and a somewhat complicated plot with a variety of characters that wasn’t too difficult for a mother of four to follow. i didn’t feel forced into liking or disliking any of the characters. i wanted characters to survive (i wasn’t rooting for their death like i was when i watched that god-awful film Blair Witch Project). at a certain point i was unable to put the book down & had to neglect my horde until i had finished the book.

oh! and it is a book with a werewolf theme that isn’t one of those annoying jump-on-the-bandwagon-and-write-a-book-about-werewolves-or-vampires books. it feels original. refreshing even.

in the “ps” of the book there is a conversation with the author. he comments that someone described the way his book was written as a graphic novel without pictures.

huh.

maybe that’s why i liked it so much.

also! i have thought about doing books with more text & less pictures (but still with pictures)…& my style of poetry is more like a story than a lyric…and i also like to dabble with mixing genres…. hmmm. maybe i can borrow some inspiration from this.

now…if my children would just let me create something other than more children!

history of the death of a pen

(current projects–doodling as i think about bluejean & trials of the moonfish. and i just started jonathan lethem’s the ecstacy of influence–i have never heard of him, though i gather from how he refers to himself that he is pretty famous. i am enjoying his writing style…but i have only read the preface.)

& back onto topic:

i use rapidograph pens. which i love, but i have heard them compared to keeping a pet in terms of upkeep required. if you don’t use them frequently, they dry up. then they are a bitch to clean.

but i love them. i love my high maintenance pens.

i got a full set of them back in the old century. when i lived in lexington, kentucky. i had just moved out of the house of my first husband. we had been married a month. i had known him for about two months. ha! another theory tested. another failed experiment in life. i decided to write a zine. i was going to call it “twat.” then i started working on the comic that would be featured in it. confusion perfume. a girl, her dog, and her neurotic dealings with life & relationships. the zine was forgotten, and i fell in love with writing & drawing comics.

backtrack to 1990. i decided i wanted to go into comics. i went to a local iowa city, iowa comic book store called “daydreams” to ask about comic writing and was directed to one of their employees, paul tobin. then a struggling comic writer. now a more successful comic writer. we became friends. but my comics were not taken seriously by me nor by him and were filed away. but i learned the comic process. pencilling , inking, lettering. & the tools. rapidograph pens & illustration board.

(as a side note, in 1992 i ended up dating a comic book artist named tim bradstreet, but he left me for this nasty girl who was apparently the love of his life. whatever. he also failed to take me seriously as a future comic powerhouse. however, i also was unimpressed with his comic art–though he was extremely impressed with himself.)

then, as mentioned, in 1998, i began my first real comic endeavor, confusion perfume. i used illustration board and a full set of rapidograph pens. my most used size–the red one–broke at one point when i lived in athens, georgia…what year was that? 2000? 2001? anyhoo. i bought a new red rapidograph with the birthday money from my grandma. and i sent her a gracious thank you note. i have continued to use that pen–reviving it when it dried up–up until yesterday when i said, “fuck it,” and put it in the pen holder with the rest of the set that i no longer use.

i had to buy new rapidographs as i started working on moses jones because i started working on smaller pages–watercolor paper instead of illustration board–therefore, in a smaller format. the smaller pens from my original set where too clogged & too tenacious in their death to be revived. so i bought new pens to work in my smaller format. my red pen just wasn’t getting the time. if i need bigger spaces inked now, i use my brush. a changing of the guards, perhaps.

rest in peace, red rapidograph.

ps. sometimes i wonder if i should revive…reissue? my comic confusion perfume. with packing to move, i still have all of those illustration boards. i’m thinking i should somehow mat & frame them & sell them. maybe i need to make a name for myself first? or i could just decorate my new place with them….

but! should i put them out there like on tapastic or something? maybe i’ll do that….who wants to read confusion perfume? speak now.

also, here’s a doodle from an idea that has just begun swimming around in my head.

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moron my process

moron my process

i thought it would be neat to put up what can be called my first draft before i draw my comic. i write out the story. figure out how i want the text broken up. then i put it on paper. this is what the writing out looks like. i also use this sheet to check the darkness of my ink. and for this page, i actually did a thumbnail sketch–which worked out nicely. i think i will keep that up. i doodled moses’s tattoo on here as well. mostly, my process is sitting & staring & waiting for inspiration. usually while watching the daily show or arrested development. things will appear in my head as i sits and as i thinks. inspiration, if you will.

failing that, i will lay down & nurse a baby–then inspiration is sure to strike.

as you can see. i don’t do much for a first draft. i prefer the raw look of my comic. if i draw the lines too neatly on the first inking, i go back after the second inking and scratch it up a bit.

i was going to post the previous page of writings & doodlings as well, but my toddler peed on it when i left it laying on the floor for too long.

moses jones–page seven

moses jones--page seven

i’m not sure why moses jones is smoking a cigar…but she’s drinking whiskey, so i gave her a cigar. then i realized she’s at the table with one of her housemates who is pregnant (lucy)…so now i feel guilty about her smoking. maybe in a world with zombies & cannibals, one doesn’t worry as much about the effects of second hand smoke…. she does, however, not smoke in front of her kids. if for no other reason, because she told them their dad was out looking for cigarettes for the past 13 months.

since i start & finish with ink (& paint with ink in the middle) i have to incorporate any accidents into my drawing. i like the challenge of this. my pages are never perfect, but they are a lot of fun to do. i really hope i get better at this at least by page 100. i guess we will see. i always thought it was fun to go back & see what the initial sketches & first pages looked like with other comics. someday i will be able to do that with my own.

leopard head

leopard head

i was totally going to do another page tonight, but then i fell asleep trying to get my toddler to bed…she was doing this awesome thing of screaming at me instead of laying down for bed. she is two & a half, but she refuses to talk. sometimes that happens with kids. i’m told i didn’t talk until my irish twin (born 13 months after me) started talking. so my toddler is a great communicator. she is a gifted mime & knows a lot of sign language, but when she is frustrated, angry, or very very tired–she resorts to this ear piercing scream. so lovely. but i actually fell asleep to her screaming at me. i guess i was just that tired. and i did not wake up to blow off my geography & draw page six of moses jones. instead, i am posting a picture i did for my drawing I class final–crosshatch–a series called “old people with animal parts.”

enjoy!