News & Such

Summer and Fall 2014

Happy August, everyone!

It has been a long time since I have written here, but not from want of projects. Here is a short update on upcoming events and recent goings-on:

September 13 & 14: First and most urgently, barring unforeseen disaster, "In the Sounds and Seas: Volume II" is going to debut at this year's Small Press Expo in Bethesda Maryland! I have been playing this one close to the chest (save teaser pictures on Instagram and Tumblr) in case I didn't have enough time to finish for the show. I'm down to the wire finishing up the book now, but I'm confident that I'll have fresh, inky-smelling boxes from my reliable and lovely printers at Salsedo Press in time to jet down to DC. Find me tabling with generous-hearted and super-talented pals Beth Hetland and Josh Kramer--floor map coming soon.

September 27: I will be in St Louis for the inaugural STL Small Press Expo at Firecracker Press's new space in Old North St Louis. New books and all my minis and prints will be available at that show--so excited that STL is getting the independent publishing expo it deserves. Come out and say hi, St Louis friends & family!

For Chicago Artist Month, CAKE is sponsoring a show at Werkspace (a gallery/workshop space run by the wonderful book artist/printmaker/arts educator Jen Thomas) that highlights the great work done by women comic artists in the city. The opening is on Saturday Sept 27, and a closing reading is happening the afternoon of Saturday October 25. Mark yer calendars, details about the exhibition forthcoming!

October 6 - 24: Ragdale! I'm so grateful to my letter writers and to the jury who reviewed my application for the opportunity to attend my first residency. I have a work plan for my three weeks there, but I have a feeling that this is an opportunity best embraced with an open, experimental attitude. I can't wait to fail and fall on my face a whole hell of a lot this October. Chicago friends, if you want to come visit, let me know! Ragdale is just a metro ride away in Lake Forest.

October 30: If you know any students attending Harper College in Paletine IL, encourage them to enroll in Brian Cremins' entry-level English class--"In the Sounds and Seas: Volume I" is part of a syllabus that equally favors comics and classic literature. (My 10-year-old self just fainted from excitement!) As an extension of the class, there is a show at the Harper College gallery featuring the work of three comic artists whose work will be read and studied by the students: John Porcellino, Edie Fake, and myself. (My 29-year-old self just fainted from excitement!) There will be a Q&A discussion open to the public on the afternoon of Thursday October 30th, and the show will be up from mid-October until November 14th.

Other News:

August 9, this Saturday, is the Brain Frame finale! Chicago friends, if you have any time at all, please come out and help cheer on Lyra Hill and the community of experimentation and weirdness and joy that she has orchestrated the last three years. All good things must come to an end, alas.

I shared this on social media, but I'm thrilled to announce here that my books and minicomics are now distributed by Radiator Comics. If you know a friendly comic shop in your area that doesn't have enough independent comics in stock, point them towards Radiator; the growing catalog is already an excellent representation of some of my favorite self-published comics. 

This fall, a slew of comics and illustration projects I worked on in spring and early summer will be published and in-hand. Keep an eye out for the next 826CHI compendium, a book of student writing (kindergarten through high school) that I was privileged and delighted to illustrate, and a whole bunch of projects for magazines in the Cricket Magazine group, including hybrid halloween costume ideas in Cricket; cookie-baking science in Ask; dead author trading cards in Cicada; and a four-page myth comic in Muse. 

Bookmark this and come back frequently: Festival Season! Like Athena emerging fully formed from Zeus's head, this website populated by book reviews, show reports and comics community news is so well conceived, designed and written that it feels like an establishment that has been around for years. Three cheers, Kenan!

Cupcake Award! This is the last month you can apply to the Cupcake Award, a self-publishing microgrant of $250 that comes with email mentorship from Annie Koyama and a free table at next year's CAKE. Apply, apply!

TCAF 2014 Debut: Self-Dual Process

My new mini-comic, Self-Dual, is set to debut at TCAF this weekend, May 10 - 11 at the Toronto Reference Library. From outlining the project to editioning 40 copies, this little trifold-cover book consumed an intense week of hand-cramping production. I will post this for sale in the Monkey-Rope Press etsy shop when I get back from Toronto, and drop off copies at comics shops around the city; until then, I look forward to getting feedback from friends and attendees at the show!

Cover image, light loose pencils to ink

Cover image, light loose pencils to ink

Filling in the heaviest blacks first with a brush pen, to give my hand a rest from micro-movements

Filling in the heaviest blacks first with a brush pen, to give my hand a rest from micro-movements

Trimming and folding the body pages, folding the tri-fold cover, and saddle stitching the book, plus tea and audiobooks

Trimming and folding the body pages, folding the tri-fold cover, and saddle stitching the book, plus tea and audiobooks

The first 20 books I assembled have a ribbon bound in to the middle staple to tie the cover closed...and then I ran out of ribbon.

The first 20 books I assembled have a ribbon bound in to the middle staple to tie the cover closed...and then I ran out of ribbon.

Done!

Done!