I’ve been working on my current project, Agnes Murderess, for many years. It can be hard to stay on track over the long term, especially given everything else I have to do every day besides make art. Jessica Abel’s fantastic teaching has been a big support for me, as have my friendships. It was great to talk about all this with Jessica and my dear friend and accountability partner Susan Olding. The Crowdcast format worked really well, too — our audience of about 100 stuck with us for the whole hour +, and made some great suggestions in the chat sidebar. It’s so important to have support around you when you’re pouring yourself into a creative project.
I haven’t updated this website in forever, but I have been posting some diary comics from time to time on Medium.
I’ve also created a publication on Medium, Dispatches from Comics Class, where students from my comics classes at UBC can post their work. I’ve also included a couple posts about my teaching. I hope to keep adding content here as I continue working with the wonderful students at UBC. This past year was my first as a full-time lecturer. This sounds super cheesy but it is totally true: the students blew my mind with their curiosity, enthusiasm and hard work. It was also exhausting! This summer I am finishing some new comics, mostly about having a partner with chronic pain and fatigue, as well as continuing work on my graphic novel, Agnes, Murderess. More work will be posted soon. Until then, back to my drawing board…
I just posted a new comic on Medium about how to keep making comics even when it feels too hard. It includes sloth pooping habits so please check it out.
I made it for the beautiful zine by residents at the 2016 Short Run Trailer Blaze Ladies’ Comics and Books Residency!
The cover is to die for and the rest is just as good. These ladies kick ass.
That’s where I’m at right now. Just me and my dog and a bunch of terrifyingly talented cartoonists in Seaview, Washington. We got here late afternoon in time for a run on Long Beach. Drawing starts early tomorrow AM. I hope to have something to show you afterwards.
This is an old one. But I like it. Click on the image to read the whole bloody thing on Medium.
The most recent comics I’ve done are three kitten-themed postcards for Morgan Brayton’s amazing kitten rescue fundraising campaign. My first foray into the land of cat comics.
In early April I was one of the featured writers at the University of North Dakota Writers Festival — the 45th year and one of the only free writers festivals left. Got to meet the fabulous Robert Pinsky and spend time with some of the most engaged and engaging writers festival participants I’ve ever met. Videos from the conference have just been posted.
I got interviewed for this great series of articles on Jewish women cartoonists.
Tangles continues to get reviews in Germany, where it was published last spring, and I will soon have details to share about the upcoming French publication.
Oh, here is a Japanese translation of two pages of Tangles done by a local Japanese community association, Tonari Gumi:
I have a comic all about menstruation in this book: MESS: The Hospital Anthology, and some more illustrations and comics in forthcoming publications.
Meanwhile I’m getting ready to teach two classes in the UBC Creative Writing Department in 2014/15.
I hope this is less like a boring holiday letter, and more like an inoffensive update. 😉
If you are patient, you might see a new book from me within three years.
The latest issue of Poetry Is Dead just came out — the queer issue. There is lots to love in here, and I’m really happy about my collaboration with Jen Currin — maybe just because I sweated so much over it. When the editor asked me to choose a poem of Jen’s to illustrate, I was quite intimidated but figured I should give it a try. Since to be honest I am inexpert at reading poetry and at illustrating, but would like to be better at both. Jen sent me a number of poems and I chose One Virtue because of the crows and the boys and the rhythm. I focused on trying to find a way of illustrating the poem that wasn’t too literal, reading the poem over and over, finding more and more layers as I did. I wanted to find my own interpretation and at the same time honour Jen’s intent. She was lovely and trusting and just let me do what I wanted. So here is what I did (they’re designed for a spread, so the bottom line on the first page continues onto the bottom of the second):
I kept wanting to tell everyone in the entire world, but I couldn’t, because the radio documentary hadn’t come out yet, but now it has. So guess what? This is Part 3 of 3 in the amazing series, How I Spent My Summer Vacation: I went to Torngat Mountains National Park! I had the extreme good fortune to be one of five writers chosen by radio icon and all-around awesome lady Shelagh Rogers to join her on this adventure.
You can hear all about it on the podcast at CBC’s The Next Chapter. And here is one of the drawings I did during that magical week: