Big Wheel

J and my dad are schem­ing on how to build a big wheel for Burn­ing Man.


Posted: April 8th, 2012
Categories: burning man, comics, making
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What’s the term in print­mak­ing where your coun­ters get filled in? I’m way out of practice.

Posted: April 1st, 2012
Categories: making
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Staedtler-Itoya-Micron-Rotovision (Comic Process)

I am work­ing on a new comic, but it’s tak­ing a while since I’ve been busy at work (for­tu­nately I’m play­ing with mark­ers there as well but in a much larger size).


My process is start­ing to get a lit­tle more delib­er­ate so I thought I might try to describe it here.

My kit of equip­ment is really really spe­cific. I use letter-sized paper specif­i­cally for draw­ing comics that I get at Meininger, because I have found that nor­mal printer paper (which is what I started with! so easy! so acces­si­ble!) has too much tooth and the ink is more bleedy. The kind I have is Can­son Fan­boy Manga & Comic sketch paper.

I have a deep love of mark­ers and my favoritest most awe­some won­der­ful kind are made by Staedtler: the Lumo­color per­ma­nent pens in black in B, M, F, and S sizes. I think they might actu­ally be for writ­ing on over­head pro­jec­tors so I am a lit­tle wor­ried they won’t make them for­ever. Dear Staedtler, if you are lis­ten­ing please make sure to keep man­u­fac­tur­ing your pens!

I have also found myself in need of smaller tips as I get bet­ter at draw­ing, so I have a set of the Itoya Fine­point Sys­tem pens in .5, .3. and .1 and I like them pretty well. I have never been a huge fan of Micron pens but I did need an even smaller size so I got one in 005 and I got a brush pen as well.

For my draw­ing sur­face I use a hard­cover book about brand­ing from when I was in school for design at RMCAD. :D It’s not even a good book but it’s the per­fect size to hold on my lap (I draw sit­ting on the floor with my back against the couch). I always put 5 or 6 sheets of copy paper under the sheet I’m draw­ing on, which gives the per­fect “squishi­ness” to the sur­face and helps man­age bleed-thru.

Other impor­tant parts of my kit are a big chisel sharpie (ter­ri­ble not-true blacks but some­times you need a really wide marker), a Sumo mechan­i­cal pen­cil, and a 16 inch metal ruler. Oh and my lap­top and or phone for image ref­er­ence. Fin­ished or in process stuff lives in a folder (upon exam­i­na­tion it appears to be a Mead Five Star folder labeled Psych from when J was undergrad).


I think one of the things I like best about draw­ing comics is that they aren’t hard to write since they are usu­ally based on some­thing real: a dream, a mem­ory, or an event.  Though I orig­i­nally just drew them in real time, mak­ing them up as I went, I have started actu­ally sto­ry­board­ing them out in pen­cil first on a sheet of copy paper. This way I can fig­ure out what the words are, how many cells I need to say what I am try­ing to say, and what images would go along to tell the story.

When I actu­ally start mak­ing the final comic I start by draw­ing the black­ened edges and mast­head area with my ruler and the B marker or the chisel Sharpie. I started doing this because my scan­ner can’t scan all the way to the edge, but I like the look of the heavy bor­der. I then let­ter the mast­head (is it called a mast­head in comics? I think that word might be a holdover from my news­pa­per class days).

Finally, I draw each row of cells (with the B Staedtler marker denot­ing the bor­ders), mov­ing from the top of the page to the bot­tom, let­ter­ing in the story as I go in the Itoya .5. For more com­plex visu­als I sketch lightly in pen­cil first and then erase the lines once I ink. Oh yeah! Part of my kit is a big white eraser. I would say about half of the pic­tures are drawn in pen­cil first, but I would pre­fer not to have to do this because it’s slower and I hate pencils. :)

I always have my com­puter nearby to look up pho­to­graphic ref­er­ences for what­ever I am draw­ing. Okay and now the secret part. For images with per­spec­tive I will some­times put my paper over the bright com­puter screen and trace some guid­ing out­lines in pen­cil! I cheat! It’s true! But I am get­ting bet­ter at per­spec­tive in gen­eral and who cares any­way, it’s how the whole thing comes together than really matters.

Well, that’s about it, tried and true at this point. I hope you enjoyed this glimpse into my process and look for a new comic soon.

Posted: March 29th, 2012
Categories: comics, making
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Butterfly head

The adventures of Monchichi

Exper­i­ments with draw­ing this morning’s adven­tures on my pie pad.


Posted: March 3rd, 2012
Categories: comics, Daily
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Why? Why? Why?

i dreamed this: alternative universe burning man #2

there were blurry photos

What it’s like to not understand sarcasm

It’s unfor­tu­nate, but I don’t have a sar­casm detec­tor and take the world very literally/at face value. I there­fore spend many of my days feel­ing like the humor­less fem­i­nist stereo­type. Be nice to peo­ple like me, please!

Posted: February 17th, 2012
Categories: comics, Daily
Tags: , , , , ,
Comments: 1 Comment.

in the absence of comics, i give you rainbows

In the absence of new comics, I give you rain­bows. I think this dress would be a good look on me. <3


Posted: January 17th, 2012
Categories: things i like
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The Night Before The Night Before Christmas


My mom is copy­ing old recipes and she found this on the back of some­thing for bran muffins. I was quite the polite child. And look at the hand­writ­ing! I can’t even write in cur­sive this well now…

Posted: December 26th, 2011
Categories: My Life 1979-2001
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Human-Centered Design Comics

I really can’t believe I:

  • did these in 2006
  • for­got
  • ever let myself get so dis­con­nected from the basic tools of being a designer (my brain, a pen, and paper. even tho these were actu­ally my brain, my wacom tablet, and illustrator.)


Posted: December 1st, 2011
Categories: comics, making
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The Many-Coated Man

The History of Reading, Volume One

super. ∞

I haven’t been dream­ing a lot, so instead I made a pic­ture of a camera:

Posted: November 15th, 2011
Categories: comics, dreams, making
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Um so even though I just turned 32 and am prob­a­bly tech­ni­cally too old, I totally love to read Tavi at style rookie and her new project, Rookie, a sort of Sassy-esque* online mag for teenagers.The Octo­ber issue had a DIY sec­tion on how to bitch­face, and I decided to try it out for myself. Here are my results.

The Una­mused

Note that I am not sure my glasses are com­pat­i­ble with bitch­face. Also I couldn’t stop laugh­ing on this pose. I appar­ently have trou­ble keep­ing a straight/bored face.

Lit­tle Miss Muriel Kitty gave it a try, too.

The Repulsed

I sort of just look angry. Also, I have trou­ble with inde­pen­dent con­trol over my eye­brows. This one was def­i­nitely the most chal­leng­ing. I’m also not sure I have mas­tered the smize.

The “Is Any­one Else Hear­ing This”

I pretty much rocked this one.

The “Really??”

Some Bitch­face With Hands Poses

I do think the hands add some believ­abil­ity for those of us who don’t have a lot of facial control.

This next oh-so-attractive photo was inspired by my first cre­ative direc­tor Kent, who used to make this face in meetings.

Welp, that’s about it! I rate myself a 6.4 at bitch­face. I’d bet­ter keep practicing.

*It should be noted that I was never a Sassy reader. I’m not sure why — maybe I was a wee bit young? I did read Sev­en­teen which was mostly deplorable but occa­sion­ally had arti­cles about Drew Bar­ry­more, who I was obsessed with.

Posted: November 10th, 2011
Categories: Daily
Tags: , ,
Comments: 2 Comments.

A found drawing of Mr. Kitty & a box

I found this draw­ing of Mr. Kitty on my pie pad tonight.


Posted: October 30th, 2011
Categories: comics, making, things i like
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3 things I spilled this week

Well, really it was last week that I had 3 spills…

This is my most per­sonal comic yet. It was this time last year when we lost Mr. Kitty to lym­phoma & kid­ney dis­ease. Octo­ber 17, I think. I don’t even care if half of this is drawn one way and half the other — we really miss him and it was super hard to draw about it but also very mean­ing­ful to try.


Posted: October 25th, 2011
Categories: comics, making, words to rest in
Tags: , , , , ,
Comments: 1 Comment.

Muriel, Keeper of the Feather Toy

Muriel has a pink toy with a bell that she car­ries around the house. Once it was long like a feather boa but now it is a fluffy stub.

Posted: October 17th, 2011
Categories: comics, Daily
Tags: , , , , , ,
Comments: 1 Comment.