Lately I’ve been really enjoying doing pet portraits for friends as presents and commissions. There’s something fun about trying to find a way to capture the way the pet looks in my simple, cartoony style. If you’d like a pet portrait for you or a friend, I’ve added them as an item in my online store! Click through to go to my storenvy.

Lately I’ve been really enjoying doing pet portraits for friends as presents and commissions. There’s something fun about trying to find a way to capture the way the pet looks in my simple, cartoony style. If you’d like a pet portrait for you or a friend, I’ve added them as an item in my online store! Click through to go to my storenvy.

My buddy/CCS classmate Luke Howard invited me to take part in the writing blog tour! Luke’s always got a ton of cool projects in various anthologies, including Maple Key, which I’m a part of, too!

Here are the writing-related questions:


1) What am I working on?
I just finished a 200-something page manuscript of a young adult graphic novel for a book proposal contest that CCS is holding this summer. The contest required a thumbnailed draft of the entire book, so that ruled my life for a few solid months. I’m sitting on that for a while now that it’s completed. I’m also working on the final half of The Face in the Cloud, my serialized story appearing in Maple Key Comics. The first 3 chapters out of 6 are completed! The rest are outlined, so I’ll be working on scripting and drawing those soon.

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?
It’s always hard to look at your work objectively in comparison to others! But one word that gets used a lot to describe my work is “whimsical,” which is fair. I like to add a little dash of magic.

3) Why do I write what I do?
Whatever I write is a way of working out some sort of experience or emotion that I’ve had in the past. Sometimes the connection between that experience and the story is not apparent to me until much later.

4) How does your writing process work?
I start with a written outline of the story that I break down into scenes. Then each scene is broken down into pages and thumbnailed. This phase involes a lot of aimless staring into space. I don’t do a lot of scene description in the writing because I like to leave the staging for the thumbnailing process; I think it adds spontaneity to the page.

Above, I’ve included one of my favorite sequences from the manuscript I turned in for the contest. The dialogue is tweaked every time I revisit a scene; I’m sure it’ll change again when I draw the pages for real. I’ve tagged cartoonists April Malig and Romey Bensen to continue the tour! April writes everything from magical girl soap operas to what could be described as visual poems. I loved seeing her stories come together in the CCS studio. Romey is my partner in crime and wrote Spiderella, which we are working on together! Stay tuned for their posts next week.

Luke’s blog: http://www.andsothen.com/

April’s blog: http://aprilmalig.com/

Romey’s blog: http://mybiblicaldaydreams.tumblr.com/

Adaptive Studios asked me to read their new book, “Coin Heist” and come up with a little illustration to celebrate its publication! I love YA novels and a good caper, so this challenge was right up my alley.

If you’d like to read it, too, you can order COIN HEIST below!
Amazon: http://amzn.to/1i5j72c
iBooks: http://bit.ly/1jtG2s0

1 person is eligible to win a $50 giftcard to a bookstore of his/her choice if he/she reblogs or posts a comment. The giveaway lasts for 1 week. Check your Tumblr inbox on the 17th to see if you’ve won!

Here’s some more info about the book:

COIN HEIST
Elisa Ludwig

The last place you’d expect to find a team of criminals is at a prestigious Philadelphia prep school. But on a class trip to the U.S. Mint—which prints a million new coins every 30 minutes—an overlooked security flaw becomes far too tempting for a small group of students to ignore. United by dire circumstances, these unlikely allies—the slacker, the nerd, the athlete, and the “perfect” student—band together to attempt the impossible: rob the U.S. Mint. The diverse crew is forced to confront their true beliefs about each other and themselves as they do the wrong thing for the right reasons. Told from the revolving perspectives of four teens, each with their own motive for committing a crime that could change all of their lives for the better—that is, if they can pull it off.

thulsadude

thulsadude:

mixtapecomics:

maplekeycomics:

Fresh new Maple Key Comics in the shop!

I might be preaching to the choir here, but let me tell you folks a little bit about Maple Key Comics via the official press release. (Bold emphasis: mine.)

We are thrilled to announce the arrival of Maple Key Comics issue twoMaple Key Comics is a bimonthly comics anthology featuring the work of indie comics notables, combining the eclectic appeal of manga monthlies like Shonen Jump with the edgy aesthetics of minicomics.

The inaugural issue of Maple Key Comics debuted at MoCCA 2014 and included indie cartoonists: Jon Chad (Leo Geo), Sasha Steinberg (StonewallQueerotica), Sophie Goldstein (Best American Comics 2013), and Rachel Dukes (Adventure TimeGarfield), among many other up-and-coming indie cartoonists.

The June/July installment of Maple Key Comics is  a packed 268-pages, available in print ($15) and digital ($6) formats via the Maple Key Comics website. This second issue includes stories by indie comics vetrans: Jon ChadSophie GoldsteinSasha SteinbergNicole GeorgesCenter for Cartoon Studies graduates: Bill “Billage” BedardLaurel HoldenLuke HowardJosh LeesJoyana McDiarmidDan RinyloIris YanLaurel Lynn LeakeCarl AntonowiczAdam Whittier; and many more.

Maple Key Comics is independently produced, printed, and distributed by Center for Cartoon Studies alum and 2014 Expozine winner Joyana McDiarmid. The first two issues of Maple Key Comics were funded by a successful Kickstarter campaign in February 2014. For full solicitation and ordering information, visit www.maplekeycomics.com

Maple Key is one of my favourite ongoing anthologies out there. I recently went up to MeCAF to help promote it and was completely honest in my pitch, saying ”[Maple Key] has tomorrows cartoonists superstars, today!”

The first two issues were funded by Kickstarter but, starting now, the book will need to be self-sustaining, with the sales of issues one and two to pay for three, then three for four and so on. If you want to get in on the ground floor of something wonderful, or if you simply want to read nearly 300 pages of some wonderful freaking comics, you should totally go check out Maple Key Comics #2. You won’t regret it!

YEAH YEAH YEAH

I am so excited to read issue two and very proud my comic is sharing a home with so many talented cartoonists!

mybiblicaldaydreams
mybiblicaldaydreams:

Spiderella is back! Updates Tuesdays and Thursdays at the stroke of midnight!

Romey and I took a longer hiatus from Spiderella than we originally planned! But we were very busy in the meantime. Romey finished an amazing short story and I did my first chapter of a six part story for Maple Key Comics. Both of those debuted at MoCCA where Romey and I tabled together. We’re feeling refreshed and ready to work on our book again! Stay tuned!

mybiblicaldaydreams:

Spiderella is back! Updates Tuesdays and Thursdays at the stroke of midnight!

Romey and I took a longer hiatus from Spiderella than we originally planned! But we were very busy in the meantime. Romey finished an amazing short story and I did my first chapter of a six part story for Maple Key Comics. Both of those debuted at MoCCA where Romey and I tabled together. We’re feeling refreshed and ready to work on our book again! Stay tuned!

maplekeycomics
maplekeycomics:

damnopedia:

Maple Key Comics #1
Editor/Publisher Joyana McDiarmid  says in her intro that she put this collection together - and the issues that will follow - as an attempt to replicate on the page the creative cartooning community she found at the Center for Cartoon Studies. She gets a lively, entertaining result with the mix of creators she’s invited, and with over 300 pages in it, there’s a lot of community between the covers, all of it energetic.
Of course, as with any anthology, I have my favorites, and I’ll cover those here.
The book opens with Jon Chad’s inventive eco-science fiction story The Surena Giant, which chronicles a small team of researchers investigating problems in an animal population just outside of a domed city and beginning to face similar issues ot the creatures they study. 
Sophie Goldstein’s The Oven continues the science fiction vibe. About a couple leaving their futuristic city for a smaller home that offers some bigger hopes as well as some uneasy feelings. It’s the first part of three, well-wrought, and Goldstein’s cartooning is charming, particularly the futuristic technology.
Billage’s Sailing Bird is a good nautical slice of life, about one girl’s attempt to get a job on the sailing boat - this is definitely the first part of a continuation. I won’t give anything away, but a good drama has been set up and Billage has a good style for depicting movement and personality, so it promises to be interesting.
Luke Howard’s impressive Talk Dirty To Me kicks off with an intricate, impressive splash page and unfolds into a deadpan delight about awkwardness and repression that takes place at least partially at a phone sex business, but also covers a stilted relationship. More will undoubtably unfold in the next five chapters.
Neil Brideau’s A Dragon At The Gatehouse is a personable encounter between a traveller and a hermit, chatting before dining and comparing the differences of their lives. This is a conversatoin in cartoon form, continually lively, and Brideau brings good depth to the two characters. This is the first part of six, so I’m interested in what direction it takes.
Laurel Holden’s The Face In the Cloud offers some intrigue amidst some touching humor and an interesting concept, with a bereaved woman gaining a second chance  with some experimental technology. Again, the first part of six, and this is a great beginning.
Joyana McDiarmid’s Hale is a family drama that reads like Wes Anderson doing science fiction, except I like it much better than I like Anderson. It’s another multi-parter, emotionally intricate, and McDiarmid’s cliffhanger is a good and sudden one.
Rachel Lindsay’s Rachel Lives Here Now is an amusing journal of the culture clash that ensues from her attendence at CCS coming from New York City. I live right on the Massachusetts/Vermont border, so I can sympathize. She’s not afraid to lob a few well-humored hard ones at the culture of her new home while still exhibiting an amusing self-deprecation in her energetic cartooning style
Will Payne’s fantasy pantomime Heartless is an engaging romance and adventure involving revenge, demons, and a banjo. It moves along with such ease, I really look forward to seeing what else comes out of Payne.
The book comes in two forms - print for $15 and digital for $6, along with some good subscription deals. It’s a bargain in either format, a lot of great comics by talented folks at the beginning of their careers. You can pick up a copy at the website.

Thanks John Seven!

Nice little maple key review!

maplekeycomics:

damnopedia:

Maple Key Comics #1

Editor/Publisher Joyana McDiarmid  says in her intro that she put this collection together - and the issues that will follow - as an attempt to replicate on the page the creative cartooning community she found at the Center for Cartoon Studies. She gets a lively, entertaining result with the mix of creators she’s invited, and with over 300 pages in it, there’s a lot of community between the covers, all of it energetic.

Of course, as with any anthology, I have my favorites, and I’ll cover those here.

The book opens with Jon Chad’s inventive eco-science fiction story The Surena Giant, which chronicles a small team of researchers investigating problems in an animal population just outside of a domed city and beginning to face similar issues ot the creatures they study. 

Sophie Goldstein’s The Oven continues the science fiction vibe. About a couple leaving their futuristic city for a smaller home that offers some bigger hopes as well as some uneasy feelings. It’s the first part of three, well-wrought, and Goldstein’s cartooning is charming, particularly the futuristic technology.

Billage’s Sailing Bird is a good nautical slice of life, about one girl’s attempt to get a job on the sailing boat - this is definitely the first part of a continuation. I won’t give anything away, but a good drama has been set up and Billage has a good style for depicting movement and personality, so it promises to be interesting.

Luke Howard’s impressive Talk Dirty To Me kicks off with an intricate, impressive splash page and unfolds into a deadpan delight about awkwardness and repression that takes place at least partially at a phone sex business, but also covers a stilted relationship. More will undoubtably unfold in the next five chapters.

Neil Brideau’s A Dragon At The Gatehouse is a personable encounter between a traveller and a hermit, chatting before dining and comparing the differences of their lives. This is a conversatoin in cartoon form, continually lively, and Brideau brings good depth to the two characters. This is the first part of six, so I’m interested in what direction it takes.

Laurel Holden’s The Face In the Cloud offers some intrigue amidst some touching humor and an interesting concept, with a bereaved woman gaining a second chance  with some experimental technology. Again, the first part of six, and this is a great beginning.

Joyana McDiarmid’s Hale is a family drama that reads like Wes Anderson doing science fiction, except I like it much better than I like Anderson. It’s another multi-parter, emotionally intricate, and McDiarmid’s cliffhanger is a good and sudden one.

Rachel Lindsay’s Rachel Lives Here Now is an amusing journal of the culture clash that ensues from her attendence at CCS coming from New York City. I live right on the Massachusetts/Vermont border, so I can sympathize. She’s not afraid to lob a few well-humored hard ones at the culture of her new home while still exhibiting an amusing self-deprecation in her energetic cartooning style

Will Payne’s fantasy pantomime Heartless is an engaging romance and adventure involving revenge, demons, and a banjo. It moves along with such ease, I really look forward to seeing what else comes out of Payne.

The book comes in two forms - print for $15 and digital for $6, along with some good subscription deals. It’s a bargain in either format, a lot of great comics by talented folks at the beginning of their careers. You can pick up a copy at the website.

Thanks John Seven!

Nice little maple key review!