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!
My publisher sent this from Le Nouvel Observateur (L’Obs) — I guess it’s more of a mention than a review, but extremely nice and exciting for me! According to Wikipedia, it’s the “most prominent French general information magazine in terms of audience and circulation.”
On adore le témoignage de Sarah Leavitt (…), ce journal magistral intègre au passage l’histoire des liens familiaux, ceux auxquelq on ne pense pas toujours.
There are a few more mentioned on the Steinkis website.
Fun! This book just came out from Annick Press: To This Day by Shane Koyczan. I was thrilled to be asked to illustrate one of the stanzas.
Very excited that Tangles will be published this month in France by Steinkis Editions! It will also be distributed in Quebec by Flammarion.
Steinkis changed the cover design and I like it a lot.
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.
I am so impressed with what my students did last fall! Most of them were creating comics for the very first time.
Check it out! http://comicsbycrwr408-570.blogspot.ca/
In 2011 I made a zine called From Diary to Graphic Narrative, which is about just that. I’ve just posted the pages on Tumblr: diarytonarrative.tumblr.com