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 have been super bad at updating this website. Mostly because every spare second is being spent on either teaching or getting my book done. You can catch me on Instagram if you miss me. Flowers, dogs and bits of my work in progress.
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…
Ugh. I am not doing much besides class prep + working on my book… But sometimes I post these little drawings on Medium; it’s a series I’m calling “Creature of love.” Then I wonder if I should be doing Instagram instead. Then I think about that and research it for a while and then I don’t draw and then I do self-recrimination. But in between I draw these little guys.
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.
This week I got my copies of the Korean translation of Tangles. I’d seen a PDF of the cover and I knew it was aesthetically pleasing, but I didn’t expect to start crying when I held the book in my hands. Partly I was touched by how much time and care had been put into the book. But there’s also something very intense about watching someone take Tangles and make it into something new. It’s a certain kind of honouring of the story and of my art.
Like here’s the cover. Look how the designer searched through the English Tangles and picked out little bits of the drawings and put them all together into something new.
[I just realized I need to email the publisher and get the designer’s name so I can credit him/her here!] Designers are Jihye A and Joonoh Jang of Sparksedition. Tangles is published in Korea by Woorinabi Publishing.
That sideways cat is my favourite. It looks so bratty. How did they think to turn it sideways? Awesome.
Then on the inside pages they just kept going…
I am so excited about how they found this tiny flower from one of the panels and made it into this crazy beautiful pattern.
This is where it originally appeared:
These plants on the first inside page are all from different chapters: willow from walking along the river in Fredericton, bird of paradise from my parents’ apartment in Oaxaca, and some other plant behind my mom that I don’t even recognize, really. And look at that tiny deer, for God’s sake!
The experience of looking at characters that I can’t read is very interesting — the writing becomes another element of the artwork for me. (How does this relate to Eisner, McCloud, et al’s discussions of how text and image combine? What happens if you cannot read the text as text but only as pleasing marks?)
There is something so odd about looking at pictures of yourself and your family speaking a language that you don’t speak. This was true of the German and French Tangles but I find it even more strange and thrilling here… My sister and I talk on the phone in Korean. Though oddly my dad’s letter to me is not translated.
Even the cat speaks Korean:
I really want to know how they decided what to translate and what not to translate. Like my dad’s letter above and here, when my sister and I are banished to the treehouse because we can’t stop saying bad words…
In part two, my mother writes in Korean…
I’m so excited to tell you: My second book will be published by Freehand Books (fantastic Canadian publisher of Tangles) in fall 2017. It’s called (at least for now) Agnes, Murderess, and you can read a little bit more about it here. I plan to post some snippets of drawings and share a little bit about my process over the next 24 months. It’s been a crazy learning curve for me: fiction, dip pen and ink, drawings a bit more detailed… yikes. But so much fun!