Category: My better half (page 1 of 2)

Inktober Day Twenty: Squeeze

And here’s a hurried and disproportionate ink sketch of my main squeeze.

Big News at

Over the Holiday break, I took some time and helped Paul overhaul from the creaky old custom site I’d built him nearly a decade ago. WordPress has really upped their game since those days, and with the help of a theme and some custom CSS, the site is both functional and pretty darn good-looking, just in time for some big design news.

We had an absolutely wonderful week kicking off both projects: We were generously invited to the soft opening of Zazio’s to be one of the first taste-testers of the new menu, and last night we got invited to the Kalamazoo Wings home game where they launched Paul’s mark as part of their new “Futuristic” design. The game, second in a series against the Toledo Walleye, was chippy right from the faceoff, with several fights throughout the night. Goalie Joel Martin was the star of the show, handling over forty shots on goal and only letting two in. The excitement lasted right till the final two minutes, when the Walleye pulled their goalie in an effort to catch up, but the Wings scored with a long empty-net goal from behind their defensive line. Three K-Wings goals in the third period, crowd on its feet — you really couldn’t ask for a better debut of a new jersey.

Plus, as a sweet bonus from the owners, Paul also got a customized authentic jersey of his own. It’s the same one the players wear, with the fight strap and everything. We may just make a sports fan of him, yet.

Paul's custom jersey

Art weekend

Every year for the last 20 years, Paul’s boss has led a weekend workshop for her Design Center students, where they go to the Lake Michigan shore, far out of reach of the internet and cellphones, and study the world around them, bringing what they observe into the art they create. This year, Trish decided to get some of her graduates together for a similar retreat, and Paul and I were lucky enough to be invited along.

We went to the beach near South Haven and drew textures made by the lake, melted graphite sticks with mineral spirits to create a viscous, creamy slurry that could swirl or tear, used palette knives to coat glass with thick paint so we could pull prints. We dabbled with spraypaint and blue photosensitive paper, read art books, made communal meals. The focus was on experimentation and observation, of play and practice without pressure. It was wonderful.

My favorite project was when one of the art professors brought out a dozen cigar-box pinhole cameras and turned us loose at a local antique shop. The light was iffy at times, so we tried exposures of varying length, and returned a second time for more images. The professor had stuffed a towel under the bathroom door and turned it into a darkroom, where we learned to load the cameras and develop the photos. This was a really great experience for me, as I’d never had the chance to take photography in college, and I was very pleased with the results I got. Watching the images appear in the developer was magical for me — I’m pretty sure I exclaimed aloud each time I saw one darken into something recognizable.

I’m very fortunate that I got the chance to try so many new techniques and play with so many new tools this weekend. I didn’t realize how much I needed that chance to experiment and explore — It shocked me how much I missed that feeling of pressureless creation.

Anyway, here are the photos, original first, then developed — I like seeing them side by side. Enjoy! I know I do.

Test photo of me, taken in bright light to test focal length


My first photo — a pair of old rollerskates on a table next to a small outbuilding. Bright light, 30 second exposure.


My second try — old doors for sale. Weak light, 3-minute exposure, very quick dip in the developer to keep it from overexposing.


Whoops, got the camera too close while checking focal length. Still kind of neat.


Two portraits taken of me — long exposures just before sunset.


Such a long exposure that my breathing blurred my form.



Closeups of my favorites



That thing where both you and your husband get invited to speak at a function, and despite your very similar careers in comics, you get subtly different levels of interest. See if you can spot the differences:

Dear Mr. Sizer,

I’m a student intern with the [Organization Redacted], an organization dedicated to promoting literature and writers in [Location Redacted].

On Saturday, June 13th, we’re running a comic book writing and mini comic making workshop. Given your expertise, we were wondering if you would be our guest speaker.

Payment will be provided. We’d require you to do a half hour presentation plus critique the finished minicomics our participants will make in the workshop.

Given that we’d like to start advertising this week, with Free Comic Book Day just around the corner, I’d appreciate hearing back from you today or tomorrow. I look forward to hearing from you.

[Name Redacted]

Dear Ms. Irwin,

My name is [Name Redacted] and I’m a student-intern with the [Organization Redacted], an organization for supporting authors in [Location Redacted].

On June 13th, we’re hosting a comics writing and minicomics making workshop. We were wondering if you’d be willing to come and be our guest speaker and judge the resulting minicomics.

Payment can be provided. Given that we need to start advertising soon and with FCBD just around the corner, we’d appreciate you responding today if possible.

I look forward to hearing from you.

[Name Redacted]

Paul’s at it again…

So hey, I know I spend an awful lot of time on this blog talking up all the awesome stuff Paul gets up to, but he’s a pretty legitimately amazing guy who’s always pushing his design abilities and making incredible art. I’m not just saying that because I’m married to him — that’s empirical data, and you can test that stuff in a lab.

He just did an installation for 826 Michigan, and I did a writeup with all sorts of photos and stuff over at the Fiery Studios blog, so you should go check it out.

Paul has a new book out!

Good news: Paul’s newest book, a graphic novella, has just been accepted by Comixology, and you can now buy it digitally as a Guided View PDF! Here are the details:

“In 90 minutes, everything can change…”
It’s live and digital and ready to purchase! My latest graphic novella MIXTAPE: 1984 is NOW available to download via Comixology for your phone, tablet or laptop.

This is my first 100% digital release, and I’m excited to see how far it will go! If you have friends who love comics, 80’s music, awkward stories about first love or any combination therein, please share this as far and wide as you can. Your support and help with boosting my signal is appreciated, please and thank you!

We do have a few physical copies here at the house, so if you’d like one, please be sure to drop us a line and we’ll make sure one gets into your hands.

Congratulations, Paul! There’s no better feeling for a comics creator than to release a new book. Hooray!

Paul Sizer and Thomas Dolby

Paul will be sharing the stage with Thomas Dolby this weekend at The Magic Bag in Ferndale this Sunday. If you’ve got the time and are in the area, please consider coming out to see him! The show’s going to be amazing, and includes a live sound effects artist.

Check out the trailer for the North American Tour to get a taste of what the show will be like:

Exciting News: Paul Onstage with Thomas Dolby!

You guys, you guys, I have such amazing news to share! Paul has been invited to join Thomas Dolby up on stage at the Royal Oak Music Theatre! Mr. Dolby is currently on tour with his short film, The Invisible Lighthouse, and after the performance ends, Paul will join him on stage to talk about all the work they’ve done together!

It is my pleasure to announce that I will be joining Thomas Dolby on stage Sunday, November 3rd at the Royal Oak Music Theatre stop of his INVISIBLE LIGHTHOUSE tour for an after-film Q&A session, a la “Inside the Actor’s Studio”. We’ll be talking about the collaborative work we’ve done on his album designs, the Floating City trans-media game, and the Invisible Lighthouse project, with a slide show of my work and images.

If you are able to come, I would love to see you in the audience for what promises to be an interesting night. The Q&A session will be taped and available on YouTube after the event. Tickets are still available for the performance at the Royal Oak website.

Get your tickets here!

Clockwork Game Update: 6/6/13

The Signal Boost of the Week goes to this Friday’s Kalamazoo Art Hop, in which both Paul and I have pieces! Paul is part of a three-man show (with Kenjji Jumanne-Marshallat the Midtown Gallery , and I have four pages from Clockwork Game in my company’s show at Biggs-Gilmore. Both shows run from 5-8, so if you’re in town, come on down and see some art!

Clockwork Game Update: 4/18/13

The Signal Boost of the Week goes to Record Store Day! April 20th is a national holiday to celebrate independent music shops. Go on out and support your local record store — if you’re in Kalamazoo, you can swing by Green Light Music — they have a great selection, and Paul did their RSD poster for the second year in a row!

Clockwork Game Update: 3/28/13

This week’s Signal Boost is a big one, and something I’ve been itching to talk about for a good long while. Bruce Woolley, best known for co-writing the song Video Killed the Radio Star has helped start a new project called The Post War Orchestra:

From an original concept by artist Hilary Champion, we’ve been on a journey to create and play instruments that are recycled, deactivated weapons.

If this wasn’t cool enough on its own, a few months ago, Mr. Woolley contacted Paul to ask him to do all the graphics for the project — which is Kickstarting right now!

Paul was also lucky enough to design some of the premiums, so if you’re able to donate, you might get one of his tee-shirts or some digital wallpapers. What an amazing project, and what an amazing opportunity for Paul! Hooray for turning swords into plowshares. And music.

Clockwork Game Update: 9/6/12

The Signal boosts of the week go to two Kalamazoo artists —

First to my husband Paul Sizer, who’s got a show of his posters up at The Bureau during this Friday’s Art Hop. The Bureau is a co-working office on the Kalamazoo Mall, where entrepreneurs and freelancers can rent professional space. It’s a great asset to downtown Kalamazoo, and we’re really happy that they invited Paul to show his work. If you’re in the area this Friday, stop by and have a look!

The second signal boost goes to Judy Sarkozy of Sarkozy Bakery, who just announced that she’s re-opening after the tragic fire that wiped out her business earlier this year. The new space will be right downtown (hooray!) in the Columbia Plaza, just down the street from Bimbo’s Pizza, and only a couple blocks from her old location. This is such good news, and I’m so excited that we’ll have Judy and her staff of wonderful bakers back where they belong, with brand new ovens, and the same great recipes. I can’t wait to buy my first loaf of Brewer’s Bread — but in the meantime, if you want to help, you can attend one of their fundraisers — including visiting them at the Art Hop! — or, soon, you can buy your bread ahead!

Clockwork Game Update: 4/5/12

Signal Boost of the Week goes to Thomas Dolby, who is currently touring for his new album, A Map of the Floating City. Paul and I went to see him in Manhattan last week, and it was a really fantastic show, so if you’ve been hesitating on buying tickets, hesitate no longer. As a special bonus, Mr. Dolby is bringing along a custom-made trailer on his Time Capsule Tour that will allow you to record a special thirty-second message to the future. There’s already a YouTube channel that features some of the best messages, including those from Bill Nye and Reggie Watts. Oh yeah, and the Time Capsule itself was designed by somebody pretty awesome.

Back from NYC

Paul and I made a (very) quick trip to New York City last week. It was a whirlwind of cabs and subways and museums and amaaaaazing food, from barbecued duck soup in Chinatown to goat curry in Midtown. Highlights included sharing a knish at an upscale deli, getting to see the top of the Empire State Building at 1am (with only thirty other people!), talking to a protester in Union Square, having lunch with a good friend in Bryant Park, gaping at the main branch of the New York Public Library (I’ll be in my bunk) and buying a pair of beetle-wing earrings in Soho. We also saw some famous dude play some music.

I didn’t take too many photos, as I was concentrating on drinking in the sights, but here’re a few:

O Christmas Wreath, O Christmas Wreath…

Since Paul and I are gone so much during the holiday season, and neither of us are at home for the actual holiday, I feel guilty about killing a whole tree for Christmas decoration. Fake trees are just… not right. So this year we decided to go a more sustainable route and bought a wreath from a local charity. It really spruces up the living room. (Get it? Spruce? I kill me.)

If you look real close, you can see the Catbus and TIE fighter ornaments. Because we are gigantic nerds.

Clockwork Game update: 6/30/11

Another big update: five pages, and we’re quickly coming to the end of the original run. New pages start soon!

Signal Boost of the Week goes to my husband Paul, who has a couple of really amazing achievements this week that deserve some extra mention.

First, though I already mentioned it, Thomas Dolby’s Floating City game is up and running, and Paul did all the design for it. Every button, every map, every icon in that game is Paul’s. The Gazette layout, the boats, the continents (the continents, the continents), everything. If you have a few moments, please do go have a look, it’s really well put together. I’m not the only one who thinks so, either, because right now it’s featured on on the Blog. (Seriously, guys. Paul’s art is on!)

He’s also got a poster appearing in an exhibition at the Artoyz Gallery in Paris, as part of a movie poster challenge, and if you missed it, a couple of weeks ago one of his Remake/Remodel challenge pieces caused quite a stir on the intertubes. So much amazing stuff, and even more coming soon! I can’t wait to share it all with you.

The Floating City

As regular readers know, my husband Paul has been doing a whole lot of work with the amazing Thomas Dolby, and there’s a big new part of that work debuting right now: a game called The Floating City:

“Based on a crazy idea I have been nurturing since I began my new album nearly two years ago, it is the fruit of several months’ hard work by a dedicated all-star team of developers and writers, and it’s the prelude to my album ‘A Map of the Floating City,’ which will follow as the game reaches its climax,” Dolby said in an advance.

Here’s an exerpt from Paul’s own blog:

Concept-wise, this is a really cool idea from Thomas; have a game that people can play, meet other Dolby fans from around the Earth, learn about his previous music, and hear bits of his new music. It’s a little post-apocalyptic, a little steampunk, a little “Mad Max”, and 100% geek-tastic! As deep and complex as Thomas’ songs are, this game is exactly the same. And it’s a game that rewards you for being smart, inquisitive, and willing to solve problems and think ahead!

Now all of you! Go play the game! You get free stuff! And the prize for solving the game? Well, I can’t tell you what it is, but I know what it is, and what it is is AWESOME. So you should play, in hopes that you win it. And, you know, because Paul did all the artwork for it, which makes it even cooler than it would’ve been, otherwise.

Clockwork Game Update: 5/26/11

Four pages this week, a scene and a half.

Signal Boost of the Week goes to my husband Paul, who’s got a snazzy new site that he designed and I built. I spent so much time working on it that I think I even forgot to mention it here when he finally updated it. Paul also received a nice accolade this week: His Spider-Woman cover got listed as part of Comics Alliance’s Best Art Ever (This Week) alongside greats like Dick Giordano, Ryan Sook, Jill Thompson and Steve Rude! The web site itself got a nice mention on Webomator, too. If you haven’t checked it out yet, go on over and have a look.

Granted a peerage

After listening to the proceedings of the royal wedding this morning, Paul pronounced us the “Duke and Duchess of Dork.”

Thomas Dolby on WNYC

If you can’t wait for the new album, you can hear Thomas Dolby play some of his newest tracks on WNYC’s Soundcheck. And that Toadlickers iPhone game he mentions? Guess who did the interface for it? First two guesses don’t count!

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