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.
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….
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.
here it is. i’m afraid my scanner sucks. and i am kind of distracted so my work looks sloppier than usual. but here is page 37. i hope it is readable. also enjoyable. if you feel like you have forgotten the plot line due to how long it has been since i last posted…go over to moses jones on tapastic where you can read the entire story from start to end.
recap of my roadblocks to page 36:
moving (like four times over the summer??)
and, of course, the ever present & delightfully distracting minions….
but it is here now…& that is what matters. right?
so today i go back to art school at uw. i am taking an introduction to digital media & intermediate drawing. so watch out, people. i’m only getting better from here.
we are slowly recovering from our zombie infection. but now poppy is teething–which means, he spends as much time attached to my nipple as i can endure…and then some. which means i don’t get much sleep. if you have ever tried to sleep while someone incessantly sucks at your nipple…. i can’t do it. eventually i get tired enough to fall asleep while he comforts his teething by nursing off my tender nipples, but i have to be pretty damn exhausted to do so. if i don’t nurse him, he screams and gives me the stinkeye until i give in and nurse him again. motherhood is so much like being captured, imprisoned, and tortured by the enemy camp. yay motherhood.
i’m pretty damn exhausted…maybe a bit bitter.
i did manage to do thumbnail sketches of the next two pages. i was going to go straight into the woods with moses & the gang, but then i got to thinking about the others who were watching her march off into zombie-infested woods with her kids in tow. then i started writing that. so that will be the next two pages. plus! i practiced my katana drawings a bit. however, fidgit told me they still don’t look right and would not stop criticizing them. so dusty told him how the japanese used to test out new katanas. yikes. poor fidgit is going to have nightmares for a week. though he traumatized fidgit in the doing, it was kind of sweet of dusty to defend my katana sketches. he suggested i should do a story about how she got her katana. i replied, “well, dusty gave it to her, of course.”
one night, just before passing out around ten pm, i did manage to do some layout for my pages. i am hoping that later today i will get a chance to ink in my first draft of at least one of the pages. i usually update my tapastic page on sunday or monday. i am all caught up so that i cannot update it until page 30 is done. it might take a miracle to get a new page up by monday. new page on monday…is that a duran duran song?
here is the inked-up final of page 28. fidgit, moses jones’s oldest child gets to start displaying some of that lovely attitude inspired by the real life attitude of a certain first born son i happen to know. i want to start developing the characters of the children more. also, the other squatters. especially ones we haven’t even met yet. and very soon there will be some zombie action.
i can’t get too gory because if number one son sees me working on anything he denotes as “violent,” “scary,” or–god forbid–anything with zombies, i get lectured about it. (even though it is apparently okay for him to be “violent” & “scary” with his little sister who enjoys provoking him??) fortunately, i have invested in some stocks for his future. he should be able to afford therapy.
i started this comic over a year ago. my kids–my model minions, however, keep growing and changing. like poppy–not yet walking in moses jones. still promising that he will be the good one. in real life, however, he is walking and has developed into a little psychopath like his siblings. more so, in fact, because he is watching & learning at a quicker rate due to having three role models teaching him everything they know. i joked that we should find some well-behaved children for poppy to live with until he is a bit older & less impressionable. anyhoo, my models keep growing, but only a few days have passed in the comic, so i have to continue drawing them as younger than the children they are based on. however, i do want they to grow & change in the comic, to develop their growth at a natural rate–not leave them perpetually little like some dytopian family circus.
and what will happen with dusty? if the dusty in my life & i start getting along–does that mean dusty pantaloons will waltz back into mojo’s life and stay for longer? hmmm.
obviously this page needs waaaay more ink, but i wanted to prove that i am in the process of another page. plus it is kinda cool to compare the first with the finished.
i have been reading these comic collections published for kids called flight, edited by the very talented kazu kibuishi. i get them for my boy fidgit who is an artist and is reluctant to read. he loves them. i read them too and enjoy them as well. i was looking up the websites of the artists i like the best and realized that i still have a profile & blogs set up at blogger. my profile picture is a bit sexier there. i decided to leave it as is instead of updating it to the steampunk photo i use for most of my profiles.
so now i am officially smeared all over the place–though not facebook nor anything that twitters.
wordpress, tumblr, blogger, tapastic, deviant art, ello, and tsu. wait, is that all? surely my talent scout will find me now!
see, when i was a kid, i would imagine my talent scout was secretly following me around waiting for just the right moment to discover me. when i told this story as a “grown-up,” one cynical friend of mine asked me, “what’s your talent?”
here’s a snap of my work space & my two newest (used!) toys. the scanner came from amazon–the paper cutter thingy came from st. vinny’s (a catholic thrift shop i frequent.) i like to pretend that the blade is my katana and that i am fighting zombies when i trim my water color sheets. see, i need water color paper to handle the water from painting with ink; however, water color paper comes in 9X12 and scanners take sheets at eight and a half by eleven. before finding my new “katana” at st. vinny’s, i had been inking in a border to keep my pages the right size because it took too much time to measure & cut with scissors…and i think i have established that i don’t like extra steps in my process. but now i can just slap a sheet of water color paper onto the paper cutter which measures & cuts all in one.
i love little miracles.
speaking of little miracles. the man in my life whom dusty knickers is based on is back “on” in our on again off again relationship. but do not fret, dear reader, i am not going to let this effect my productivity–this time. i am determined to find a somewhat healthy balance in my life. moses jones is an important part of that balancing act.
now, just for fun & because she is so adorable, here is a snap of my inspiration for the character of misha.
i need better lighting in my place. or a studio to work in. of course, i need an income before i can rent studio space….
here is page 24. mj comforting/being comforted by her minions. the shading is wacky. i don’t pay attention to where the light is coming from…or background from panel to panel. it’s probably going to bite me in the ass someday. somebody is going to notice & draw attention to it. however, with a limited readership of mostly people who know how tired i am—everyone has been forgiving?
i have trouble with my profiles of mj. and since i skip penciling & go straight to ink—i have to cover my errors with more ink!
i am really happy with the middle panel of misha dancing in front of her mama and pantomiming to ask if her mama is crying. i think i kinda got it—which is better than i expected to do.
i’m not totally happy with the wording. or the shading.
here is my latest page of moses jones. i’ve still got mj on my mind…even though i have been preoccupied with trials of the moonfish. but here it is nearing the end of the semester, so i am probably going to have to put all my time into my watercolor final (moonfish) and have to wait to do more of moses jones. maybe i can do some over winter break? i was going to quit school and become a full-time starving artist…but now i am thinking of becoming a full-time art student. will i have time to comic then? one of the classes i am registered for is figure drawing. maybe i can work some moses jones into my assignments for that class…hmm.
anyhoo, moses jones is a bit depressed. angry. bad relationship woes. no reflection on my own life, of course…merely coincidence…. up coming pages will have more interactions with the minions.
it’s true. i am afraid of zombies. is moses jones afraid of zombies? we are, of course, not the same person, but we influence each other.
here are my doodles to figure out how to draw the zombies of moses jones’s world. they look a bit more like the morlocks of H.G. Wells. i couldn’t decide about hair. or clothes. they ended up with neither. some hair, which didn’t end up looking like hair. they may evolve from here. drawings tend to do that. we’ll see.
so i didn’t get any pages done last night. i was super tired & decided to have a fight with the ex who was messing up my zen. i need my zen to create. maybe i should get a charm or sumptin to protect me from bad ex chi.