Happy new year, everyone!
Thought I'd start the year off with a quick update.
Issue 6 of Woodstalk is nearly complete! Which means #7 is on the way. 6 will debut in at my first show of the year: MSU Comics Forum in Lansing, MI on Saturday, February 27. My first show in Michigan! Oh, and Sergio Aragones from MAD Magazine will be there, so you should definitely come check it out!
Miss me there, though, you can find me at SPACE in Columbus, OH on April 9 & 10. And speaking of SPACE, Woodstalk #4 is a finalist for the 2015 SPACE Prize, as is my minicomic MROWR. Winners will be announced at (or shortly before, I think?) SPACE 2016. So keep your fingers crossed for me, eh? :)
Outside of comics-land, I've drawn a series of coloring pages for our local sustainable-commute organization getDowntown. I think they've only posted one so far, here. But follow them (or me!) on Twitter to see 'em as they post 'em.
I recently drew some maps for a great book that is available now about Michigan's involvement in the Civil War battle of Antietam. Profits from the book will go toward erecting a monument to MI soldiers there. Pretty cool.
Taught a five-week observational drawing course to a great class of middleschoolers this winter. Got a cool scientific illustration project coming up I can't talk about yet. And I'm pitching a mural idea to the bureaucratic quagmire that is the city. (Cross ALL your fingers for that one.)
OK, that's it. Keep reading! I'll see you out there!
Surprised and honored to have Woodstalk included as a finalist for the 2014 SPACE Prize, from the Small Press & Alternative Comics Expo in Columbus, OH, where I exhibited earlier this year. My congratulations go out to all the finalists, and I look forward to losing to one of you soon. :)
In the meantime, though, if you were an exhibitor this year, you can vote on your favorite finalist. Know what I mean, know what I mean? Wink, wink, say no more...
Unfortunately graphicly.com exists no more, so instead of giving you a link where you could read the comic in its entirety for free, I'll just put a few sample pages right here so you can get the gist of it. The whole Woodstalk series tells the story of the zombie outbreak during Woodstock in 1969. Volume 1, up for the prize, is an introduction to our main characters the British Invasion band The Zombies, our villain the Swami Satchidananda, and Woodstock's first performer of the weekend Richie Havens. Thanks for taking a look!
Yeesh! I haven't posted here since spring??
Well, it's because I've been busy, man! Busy with Woodstalk: 3 Days of Peace, Music, and Zombies. I had been hoping the series would feature a variety of illustrators working in different styles, but at this point it's clear the way to move forward is by distilling that vision down into my own style. And I have to thank everyone I met at the springtime comic conventions for bringing me around to that epiphany. So I spent the summer doing the artwork for Woodstalk issue #4, which is now... COMPLETE! It starts a new story arc, introduces some new characters, and I'll be premiering it at Genghis Con in Cleveland, the Sunday after Thanksgiving, 2–7pm. It's a quick show, so stop by before you miss it!
In other Woodstalk news, Graphicly – the site where you could read Woodstalk online for free – got bought out by Blurb, and shut down. I'm still committed to putting these issues online for free if I can, but I'm still looking for something with a good user experience. I'll keep you posted. I've submitted to ComiXology, but won't hear back for some time. And if it's accepted, it will be in a eBook format that will likely cost you a buck or so. So, it wouldn't be free anymore, but at least you could download it and take it wherever you take your little handheld screen.
A quick shout-out to Cincy Comicon, where I had a blast (and a booth) in September. And to Jim at WVXU for interviewing me and Will Grapes about it.
And, looking forward, I'm aiming to have issue #5 done by S.P.A.C.E. in April!.
OK, so, in summary, come see me at Genghis Con in Cleveland after Thanksgiving. Will trade for turkey leftovers!
While I was at the SPACE indy comic convention a couple weeks ago, James and Jason from the Womb Mates podcast came by and interviewed me about Woodstalk. They also talked to a bunch of other comic creators that day, most of whom are heads and shoulders above my level, so it's pretty humbling to be included alongside them. Anyway, the podcast is up, and you can listen to it here. (I highly recommend listening to the whole thing, but if you're only interested in zombies at Woodstock, I'm on at around 1:05:00.)
I'm at risk of rambling today, I'm so excited. Coming back home from my first two comic conventions, PIX in Pittsburgh and SPACE in Columbus, I'm feeling super inspired by everything I've seen and everyone I've met. Oh my glob, you guys, what a great community of artists and writers. I have to admit, I've never felt like much of a "joiner" before, and that's influenced my career decisions (for better or worse). But I really feel at home with – and welcomed by! – the indie comics crowd. And the path forward for Woodstalk has never been clearer. Things just feel... right.
So let's get down to it. Issue #3 of Woodstalk EXISTS! And it's available in all the usual places. Many thanks to Dave Woodward for slinging the ink this time around. Goodnight Keith Moon found a new home in C'bus at a cool rock-n-roll shop called What The Rock?! Packrat Comics picked up a big stack of Woodstalk for their shop. Something about being in presence of so many original Calvin & Hobbes illustrations at the Billy Ireland Cartoon Museum & Library was kind of life-changing. And the Wombmates James and Jason Ford interviewed me for their podcast!
I'll be keeping the comic convention love rolling by visiting the Toronto Comic Arts Festival in May where I hope to meet THREE of my biggest cartooning influences all in one place(!!!!), then hopping a flight to Maine the very next week to table at the Maine Comic Arts Festival. I may be a bit too late to get in on any cons over the summer, but that just leaves more time (which seems sorely lacking right now) to work on Woodstalk. Then it's Cincy Comicon in the fall, and I'm looking into Genghis Con too! Whew!
And on top of it all, thanks to Joy Naylor at Distinct Designs, Inc., there will be a Homophones, Weakly exhibit at the Dexter Public Library in May. I'm not sure HW illustrations were ever really meant to be hung like "art," but I did already set that precedent by submitting one to the Visualizing Data show at Work: Detroit. This time, at least, it's in a library, the perfect location for a grammar exhibit wouldn't you say?
OK, I gotta go. Adrenaline: pumping! Ideas: forming!
You: keep reading!
It's been too long since my last update, I apologize. But that just means lots of new stuff to tell you about! So much new stuff.
First, a fistbump to the good folks at Adrian College, who have been kind enough to invite me to speak to their art classes about being a "working artist." (Well, I'm working at it, anyway.) And they're also including some of my work in a show at their gallery in February, with a reception on Feb 4 that I wholeheartedly invite you to.
The popular Tumblr I Love Charts featured my picto-blog Homophones, Weakly back in October, thanks to our old friend Venkat at ribbonfarm who was chartist-in-residence for a day.
On the comicbook front, issue #3 of Woodstalk is in the final stages of completion, thanks to the inking talents of Dave J. Woodward, cartoonist to the stars. Just in time, too, as I'll be boothing Woodstalk, Goodnight Keith Moon, and the rest of the Black Market Books at the Small Press and Alternative Comics Expo (SPACE) in Columbus, OH this April 12 & 13. And at the Maine Comic Arts Festival (MeCAF) on May 18 in Portland, ME. That's right, 2014 is the year we start getting the word out! The first three Woodstalks together make a pretty tight package of where the series is headed, and I can't wait to start shopping it around. (While I'm in Boulder, CO for the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators conference this summer, you know I'll be scoping out the comic shops there too!)
And, last, but not least, if you ever find yourself in Ann Arbor, I invite you to check out my illustrations gracing the stairwell of the Maynard Street parking structure. (Geez, that sounds shifty.) Really, though, they're pretty nice. See? Many thanks to Ann Arbor's DDA for providing the means to see that project through. Let's see more art downtown!
Hi again, everyone! Just a quick update, so you don't think I've forgotten about you. :)
It's all Woodstalk all the time around this place, you guys. For those who haven't seen it yet, I'm talking about our brand new comic book series about a zombie outbreak at Woodstock. And there's a lot going on behind the scenes at the moment. The good folks at Dr. Evil Management have taken it upon themselves to flood Chicago area shops with the premiere issue. I had the opportunities to talk toWVXU in Cincinnati and CJMQ in Quebec about it. And right now issues 2 AND 3 are both underway, aiming to be available by fall! Fingers crossed, anyway. Publishing them so close together has required some extra coordination, and a boost in budget which is pretty exciting. So I wanted to point out that each issue of Woodstalk will now have a Kickstarter page to help raise the artist fees for whomever is illustrating that particular issue – like, oh, Kam Reynolds for #2, and Louisa Bertman on #3. Don't worry, I won't be coming to you every few months asking for money. But I might mention it from time to time, and I wanted to make sure you knew about it so if you felt like supporting these great artists, or at least spreading the word, you could. Especially when you see some of the rewards we're offering contributors – for example, how would you like to be drawn into the comic itself? We can make that happen, and you can click HERE to find out how.
In other news, thanks to some website finagling, all of BMB's books, including Woodstalk, are finally available at Amazon. Also, if you're in the Ann Arbor area, there's still time to catch my animal species paintings up atWorkantile probably through April, though we haven't set an end date just yet. This summer I'll have a piece on display in the U-M art school alumni show (details to come). And there are a few other irons in the fire I was hoping to tell you about today, but they still have to be hammered into shape first. Next time, perhaps...
If you have any interest in hearing me and Jim Nolan at WVXU in Cincinnati chatting about Woodstalk, Tolliver Toad, Homophones Weakly, and/or more, you should probably click right here. Thanks so much, Jim. It was fun talking with you.
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