"In the Sounds and Seas: Volume II" is here! It is as thrilling as it is surreal to have the book in front of me. Volume I was originally produced as two minis; illustrating the first half took 6 months (while I was also working 4 part-time jobs), and the second half took a speedy 5 months (I had reduced my labor to "only" 3 part-time jobs). Volume II, in contrast, took two and a half months of 12-hour, no-weekends, no-distraction work. Because of that, I feel like I have gotten so much less time to sit with the the story than I did with the first book. Turning the pages are familiar, but I don't sing along with the rhythm of the turns like I can with the first volume. It feels new and surprising, which is a completely new experience.
Volume II continues the story of the first book; the three ship-builders turn sailors as they head out in search of the Singers. Volume III (2015) will conclude the story.
Volume II debuts THIS WEEKEND in Bethesda Maryland at the Small Press Expo. Come find me at table N12! I will also be selling my books and minis in person in St Louis at the end of the month (Sept 27) at the inaugural STL Small Press Expo. That is my last show of a busy traveling year, but my books will also be available for sale on my Etsy store, via Radiator Comics online store, or at your local small-press-friendly comic shop via my distributors Radiator Comics and So What? Press Distro.
One of the joys of making a pile of bound paper is getting to write a dedication. I feel so lucky to come from a family of makers. My mom knits & weaves & spins & quilts, writes & sings & plays instruments; she is out there eating up the whole world, voraciously learning and spinning it around into something new. My dad is less conspicuous maker of things. The things he builds take time. His career is in construction; we'd drive around his job sites and he'd point to the buildings he built, and tell me stories about various near-catastrophes he averted. He plans his elaborate edible gardens for peaches and pecans he'll be able to eat in 3 or 4 years, assuming hogs or deer don't kill the trees first. He makes amazing dry rub barbecue that takes all weekend to cook. He hangs out sausages to dry for a few days on the back porch, the porch that he designed and built by hand, and sends them to me in a box with butcher paper. He has Big Plans for inventions that need a lot of tinkering; one of these years, he'll figure out how to perfect the fishing cannon and we'll eat like kings at the gulf. But there's no rush. My dad taught me how to draw not through lessons but in play; he taught me that sometimes the most beautiful things are slow to grow, and are best appreciated in silence. Here's to you, dad.