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!

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.

so much to do so little time to do it!

this is the finished version of the hey diddle diddle picture i was working on. again–i need to get better at photographing my art. i experimented with accent color on this one. i also drew a better version of my lincoln tree doodle from my journal. here it is in black & white, but i am going to add color…maybe tonight?

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i love this picture.

last drawing class we went to a colloquium where visiting artist roger ricco talked about “outsider artists” and the genius of their work. i feel like an outsider artist. even though i am in school now–i am mostly self-taught. ricco talked about mental illness in artists. i feel like i started doing art & writing to keep from going insane. so far so good.

after the colloquium, my professor talked to us about how 90% of art graduates fail to become professional artists because without the support system of the university, they don’t know how to succeed. since i have already spent most of my life in the cruel non-university world, i am used to creating art without a support system. so i think i am all set.

i am going to get started on the epic version of moses jones this weekend. i am thinking i would like to create a lot of panels of mojo that would stand own their own and be able to be hung on a wall for the casual viewer…. we’ll see where that goes. plus–i need to get the front & back cover done for my next zine as well as getting fidgit busy drawing a comic for it. i need to get to a print shop! i need more hours in a day!

page 38–end of episode 2

i need to get better at photographing my art. i still haven’t read the instructions with my new camera…& i don’t have a tripod, but! here is page 38. the last page of episode 2. hopefully, i need to get a zine together because i will be at madison zine fest!

yay!

(but scary!)

i have been getting so much wonderful support & feedback & ideas for where to go with my art & how to sell my art…from readers & people in my life…it feels great! validation is an amazing thing. i am optimistic and motivated. i’m still struggling with adobe illustrator in my digital media class…but i am a bit of a luddite and my brain is hardwired to work with my hands…so there’s that. but i keep trying! i just can’t compare myself to the others in my class who create amazing things…or i need to find out how they create those amazing things. it is a class after all.

i think episode 3 will start with the epic drawing i will be working on next–that i mentioned last post. i am thinking i will tape the roll of paper to the wall and work on it like that.

thank you so much everyone for your support & love. this wouldn’t be nearly as much fun without you!

new directions

just two weeks into school and i am ready to try some new things. something i was thinking of doing anyway which was also suggested by one of my professors, going bigger with my originals. back way back when i first started doing comics, i was a purist and used story boards. i penciled. i inked. i used a printer service to reduce and produce my final sheets…. then when i started moses jones, i started doing it the way i wanted to–not the way the bossy male “friend” comic artists told me i had to do it. i worked smaller & used just ink! ink! ink! but now i am ready to compromise. i even bought one of those blue pencils and am entertaining the idea of using pencils again. maybe….

i used a blue pencil here to try to make a slightly cleaner picture....
i used a blue pencil here to try to make a slightly cleaner picture….

so the last page of episode two will be larger & i will photograph it instead of scanning it. with the help of student loans (i am hoping our education system will be socialized soon & all these loans will be forgiven!) i am getting a new & better camera for art. i also have to get a new laptop. this one has at least four nonworking keys, overheats constantly, moves at the speed of snot, and has no battery life. i have to use adobe illustrator for one of my classes & i was afraid to install it into a dying computer…. so my buy nothing new is a bit conflicted right now because in order to get the drop & spill protection (four kids!!) i had to buy new….

so lots of stuff going on here.

the last page should be done soon! then i will make a second zine & start episode three!

zine fest 2015

remember these guys? well, i’m hoping they will have a new sibling soon. there are just a few more pages until episode two is complete…just a month or more before zine fest 2015 happens here in madison.

so i have to somehow get my shit together–finish episode two of moses jones–make another zine–and get my pretty little butt to zine fest.

also. i am back in classes at UW madison. i went to my intermediate drawing class yesterday &–good news–i can do whatever i want. i can work on mojo…or another graphic novel for my class. yay. considering i get grants to go to school, it’s almost like i’m getting paid to make graphic novels.

my other class is an introduction to digital media.

meanwhile, my life sucks & i’m trying to dig myself out of the funk i’m in.  i will post page 37 tomorrow.

ps. i found this camera while looking for a good camera to use for art…. canon camera …hmm…maybe with my student loans?

slowly i creep…

i paneled two pages. inked the first layer of ink onto one. i did that two nights ago, while watching dexter. i didn’t get to work more on it yesterday as i was struggling to fight off a crippling case of zombie-ism. or flu season is starting early this year…. but i pumped my body full of immune boosting foods and slept a lot. so i can comic on!

physically i feel much better today. though i’ve been in a bit of a funk, feeling like a failure at most of life–relationships, parenting, being an artist & writer…so it came as a very pleasant surprise to find out that moses jones had received her first donation!! sarah over at problems with infinity–who has been very supportive of moses jones since our comics first crossed paths, donated to my efforts to continue! yay! it feels so awesome to accept that people like my comic enough to help me. it feels good. i feel good.

money brings to mind what i need to invest in to make a better comic & better art and to bring that comic and art to its audience. a new camera. i did a little research. in order to make prints of my work, i need either a better digital camera, a really kick-ass scanner/printer, and-or a good relationship with a print shop. money. also! i am just a few pages away from the end of episode two of moses jones, which means i will be making a second zine. plus, for zine fest, i will need to make more copies of episode one. money money.

i am hoping to get financial aid. i was late applying for it this year & even though school starts in less than 2 weeks, i still don’t know if i will be able to supplement rent & zines, much less pay for classes. i asked for a loan from one of my sisters. i’m using a credit card (i avoid using credit cards…but….)

money.

i wish we lived in a society of trade. i have so many homemade things to trade. kimchi, chocolate chip cookies, life advice, hugs, drawings, an ear for listening, mead, elixer, entertaining stories, bread, blanket forts…. as it is, i am just giving these things away. stop by if you need any!

alas. money. stupid money.

so i have to either figure out a way to topple the monetary system (i am jack’s smirking revenge) or find a way to make my art into money….

either way, new pages soon! pages 36 & 37 are becoming ink on paper.

upcoming pages of moses jones or the end of the world as we know it

yesterday i did some layout of my text to decide what would go in which panels. today i did some thumbnail sketches. hopefully i will get a chance to paint in panels later today. i also read through my journal. i have some good ideas & cool art in there. i need to use that more often–read it–inspire myself.

so, anyone who’s been reading this is aware that i am between homes, turns out i forgot to pack the rapidograph ink i use to refill my pens, and both of my pens ran dry today. all i have is my sumi ink that i use for painting in ink shadows & shades. throwing caution to the wind, i filled my high maintenance pens with an ink they aren’t used to.

so far so good. no riots. no protests. no refusals to draw.

i guess time will tell.

all in all i am feeling more settled in this home of mine–for two more weeks–this home with its good vibe & comfortable fit. i dread going back to the house of ex-in-laws. mostly for how it causes dusty’s bad behavior to amplify. but after that week with dusty’s kin, i will be in a home that will be my home for at least a year.

although the neurotic part of me believes something awful will happen in the next three weeks that will prevent our new home from ever becoming a reality. my somewhat psychic abilities are unable to see past the next three weeks & that is freaking me out. i know i sound crazy when i say that…but that doesn’t make it any less unsettling for me.

don’t tell anyone that!

yikes.

maybe society as we know it is about to crash & send us into a dystopian society full of zombies & cannibals…and me with only a baseball bat.

or i will get more pages done. move into a new place. make a second zine. attend zine fest. be discovered. and somehow save the world from certain doom.