home is where you ink your comics

i sit in a borrowed house that is home until the end of july. peaceful chaos abounds. not quite a room of my own but also not staying in a guest room. not being forced to “helicopter parent” my children for fear they will break, damage or be damaged in another person’s living space. parenting in someone else’s space has to be one of the most stressful ways to parent. parenting with an audience–also extraordinarily stressful. add in stressed out minions who are amped up on uncertainty and lack of familiar routines…it is a perfect storm of a parenting nightmare.

in the nick of time, before i lost what was left of my mind, a friend of mine abandoned her house, leaving the door open for us to squat here for a few weeks.

i miss moses jones. i think this journal page shows how much i miss her.

yesterday, at an impromptu birthday party for me, a friend of a friend who is involved with the michigan womyn’s festival asked if she could use some mojo for the back cover of the zine for the festival. i agreed–though i do worry about some of the politics–i mean, i am a feminist, but i am a very inclusive feminist…a feminist who believes that all the infighting among women should stop and we should be a united front…and that one of our best hopes for the future is to raise feminist sons as well as feminist daughters….. anyhoo, one of my early early moses jones pictures (done for an art class) is about to be used as the back cover for this zine. it will be cool to get some exposure.

speaking of zines, i am hoping to get the final pages of this episode finished & have two zines for the madison zine fest this year. hopefully, now that i have a space almost of my own, i will be a bit more productive.

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so much on my mind

i have written scripts for what happens next with mojo.  i will actually get some ink out soon and make more pages.

i dropped off my ‘zine at a local bookstore cooperative.  i have given several copies away, but have sold two copies and gotten $15 in donations.  (yay!)  of course they were close friends and/or related to me, but….  and i’m going to go to a ‘zine fest on saturday and maybe see if anyone will swap ‘zines with me.

and i have been “researching” by reading lots and lots of super cool graphic novels.  Terry Moore’s Strangers in Paradise & Echo, Saga by Brian K. Vaughan (recommended by a very cute librarian), Derf’s Punkrock and Trailer Parks My Friend Dahmer….  When I am not getting comic tips from cute librarians, I am finding comics by reading the annual The Best American Comics series.  There are so many cool writers and artists out there.  My new goal is to be an honorable mention in the back of 2015 or 2016’s The Best American Comics.

meanwhile, in my watercolor class, my final assignment and a “narrative” assignment are being brainstormed.  of course i am graphic novelling these assignments.  but i think i am going to play around with other series ideas.  maybe a children’s graphic novel?  maybe i will finally do “scobie-dobie-doo”?  or this masked button lady i painted in class–she kinda begs for a comic of her own.  we will see.  i’m pretty excited about it.  mojo started as my drawing II final project.  and look how far she has come!

after sixteen years….

sixteen years ago, after having left my first husband one month into our brief marriage (short story: i barely knew him.  we eloped.  then he told me he wasn’t sure he loved me, and i moved out. ha!) so i was living in this quaint one bedroom apartment in lexington, ky with my dog, norman, & i can’t remember why, maybe i’d been drinking, but i decided that i must write a ‘zine.  i designed the cover.  decided to name it “truite” which is french for trout but pronounced “twat” (at least in the african dialect of french??)  next i started planning a comic to go in my ‘zine, and Confusion Perfume was born–the story of a neurotic single lady and her terrible relationships with everyone including her dog.  think Cathy, but drawn and written well…and funny.  after four fun years, Confusion Perfume died when i started dating my second husband and found myself so terrifically happy that i could not write.  on retrospect, i should have seen this as a bad sign.  but 12 years and a second divorce later, i find myself in love with graphic novelling once more, and moses jones: apocalyptic mama is born.  and, with less than a year of penning this story, i have made the first episode into a comic ‘zine!!

it’s taken forever but has happened so quickly!

i have started episode two…plus, i have three more short comics peculating in my head.  good ones, too, trust me.  they will surface–probably here.  i am thinking of quitting school and going full-time as a struggling artist.  then they might be ready sooner??

i ran off 25 copies at an enormous price as kinkos seems to have disappeared, and i decided to use a local (but pricey!) printer instead.  i really do not expect anyone to buy it–but i will see if a local bookstore (rainbow books) will carry it for me…maybe some other local spots? if you want to prove my inner naysayer wrong (the voice telling me that i should not have spent all that money on printing), you can send a suggested $5 donation, plus shipping (large envelope size?) to me at 1534 Jenifer Street, Madison, Wisconsin, 53703…or just stop by, have a cup of coffee & buy a ‘zine.

bonus comic

So I am still working on my ‘zine.  Well, not really working….  But thinking!  Lots and lots of thinking.  As I chase my minions around, go to classes, cook, clean, run errands…and think.

Here’s what I think.

I think I should put one of Thing One’s comics in the same ‘zine with Moses Jones.  It is one of his first books.  Whale vs. Squid.  It’s a good one.  One of my favorites.  Simple plot, good art, lots of expression.  So now I have to find a minute to put it together.  I splotched up the cover here using Mod Podge, but I’m just going to go with it.

Meanwhile, I’m in my watercolor class this semester with all these students who are fantastic already at watercolors, & I’m feeling like a failure three weeks into class.

And I know what happens next in Moses Jones...I just have to locate my notes on it & find a minute to draw it.

page 21

here is a new page.  this page has been sitting on my desk, half finished, for weeks.  i drew the top three & bottom three panels, but i could not decide what was happening in the middle panel.  then yesterday i was in the mood to draw and started drawing & kept on drawing, only to realize i had not left enough room for text.  hence the weirdness in the middle panel.  but i think it worked out okay.

summer is over.  i have only created–what–two new pages all summer?  and i have yet to actually print up my ‘zine.  yikes.  maybe i will be more productive now that i have more on my plate.  sometimes i work better the more i have to do.

i am taking a water color class this fall in hopes that it will improve my ink brush technique.  i am excited about it.  i also want to do figure drawing.  maybe that will be next.  then i will be invincible!

soon to be available on recycled paper

I decided that a back cover would be a good idea. 

I have dug a bag out of the closet–one of those bags designed for carrying official looking paperwork–a satchel?  I have re purposed a folder–aka, dumped it out–to put my pages into.  I have designed and finished a back cover.  I have lain the pages out to make sure there will not be any blank pages. 

Now all I have to do is walk to a print shop & turn this website into a zine.

Okay…go.

moses jones–page 20

moses jones--page 20I am still not sure why the layout has changed here at wordpress, so if anyone knows what I am doing wrong, please do let me know.  In case you are even more clueless than I am–click on the small picture to see it larger.

Malcolm is introduced into the plot at the beginning of Episode Two.  He is Lucy’s partner?  Husband?  Father of her unborn child?  And we are shown where the squatters get some of their food.  Plus, more backstory on Dusty, the capricious man in Moses’s life and father to all of her children.

I am so glad to have gotten another page out!  I feel like summer is zooming past and I have barely gotten anything done.  yikes.

In that vein, I did also go back & touch up previous pages last night in hopes that I can sneak away from my four children at some point soon and go to a copy shop and ‘zine my little heart out with Moses Jones.  Should you have a hankering for a physical copy of Episode One of this graphic novel, let me know and we will figure something out.