“Though she be but little, she is fierce!”
“Though she be but little, she is fierce!”
I had my Inktober schedule thrown off by: giant mushroom, family, dance practice, family, wedding, and sickness, in that order. But I was still getting the drawings done anyway; I just didn’t have time to post them. But you probably won’t notice that anyway since I’m going to backdate the posts. So I guess I’m just confessing to posting six Inktobers all on the same night. Most, including this one, are way more rushed than I’d like. Lately my art and other projects are just crammed in the corners of my life. I hope to grant them more space over the winter, but for now, they’re just kinda wedged in there.
Been a long time since I drew this guy. He’s impervious to electricity for some reason, so in this image he’s just yanked apart a few big hunks of a power station.
Good news! You can now buy both Vögelein books at Comixology. These have been in the works for about a year now, and I’m really excied to have them available. If you’ve never tried Comixology’s “assisted view” reading format, I encourage you to give it a try. It’s pretty neat, and adds a subtle dynamism to digital reading. Thanks, Comixology!
I’ll have Clockwork Game trade paperbacks, both Vögelein books, and a bunch of clockwork jewelry — probably my very last batch, too, as I’m running out of gears.
My schedule is pretty simple: I’ll be at the table pretty much all day every day, except for a panel that I’ll be moderating on Friday:
This panel is an incredibly fun, off the cuff discussion about creativity within various mediums such as art, writing, music, design, and more. As an artist, writer, actor, musician or creator, there is nothing more challenging than the development of the creative process. Is art birthed from the spontaneous or is it a result of a carefully crafted rhythm and structure? In this panel, esteemed creators will describe how to overcome creative obstacles and share their keys to unleashing creativity.
If you’re in town, stop by and say hello. Hope to see you there!
Earlier this year, a fan of mine emailed me to ask if she could cosplay Vögelein at an upcoming comic convention. Of course I said yes, and yesterday I received a bunch of pictures from her that absolutely stunned me. Have a look at the amazing work of art Rebekah W. brought to the 2014 Denver Comic Con:
I mean, look at the detail! A friend of mine said, “A lot of love went into that costume,” and it’s really true. She made the wings, the dress, the prosthetic ears, got a (really good-looking) wig, and even built both keys from scratch.
Seriously, look at all the detail she put into the wings. They’re amazing, and must have taken weeks to build.
This one’s my favorite, though. It really looks like she’s flying!
And then some jerks went and put her in a cage. I’m not worried, though. She can totally break out of there.
I’m so impressed at the job that Rebekah did translating my character into real life. This is only the second time anybody’s cosplayed one of my characters (a friend of mine here in Kalamazoo was the first, a few years ago on Halloween) and I’m just so honored by her work. How lucky am I, as an artist? How many people get to create something, release it into the world, and then find out it affected someone so deeply?
One last note: It turns out an old college buddy of mine, who’s well-familiar with my books, was working at the convention and actually glimpsed the elusive Vögelein on the wing — but she was busy checking in artists and couldn’t stop to chase her down, then lost sight of her forever in the crowd. “At first I wasn’t sure what I saw; just that I recognised it,” she said. “Then it hit me after I had time to let it sink in but I hadn’t any proof.” Fitting, wouldn’t you say?
I took the plunge this week and made PDF copies of the Vögelein books available on Scribd. To get the ball rolling, from now through the new year you can get them for only $7.99 each — so if you’ve ever wanted eBook versions, now’s your chance!
An awesome librarian let me know I got an early Christmas present this year: I got a mention in The School Library Journal‘s Best Books of 2010 issue as part of their “Steampunk: Full Steam Ahead” list! I’m so excited — thanks so much for the heads-up, TKM!
Man, it’s hard for me to get my brain around the fact that the first Vögelein issue came out almost ten years ago, and was begun nearly fifteen years ago. Who’d have thunk it’d still be relevant? I’m really honored.
A few years ago, a domain name speculator bought the FieryStudios.com sitename and — if I recall correctly — tried to get me to buy it from them for an inflated price. I waited them out, and a couple weeks back it became available again, so I snapped it up for the next ten years. Take that, jerks.
To celebrate, I finally took some time to spruce up the old thing, and good heavens, what an embarrassment. Tables, bad code, quirks-mode-inducing DTD declarations, and some code snippets that I swear go back as far as 1998. Yes, I’ve had a website for going on twelve years. You kids get off of my lawn.
Anyway, it’s up now, and should be reasonably bug-free. Shout if you see anything wonky.
Home from SPX and soooo tired… but if I don’t do the con report tonight, I’ll never get to it, so here goes:
Had an absolutely fantastic time, as always. SPX has always been my hands-down favorite show, and this year was no exception. I got the chance to hang out with old friends and new, sell a metric butt-ton of steampunk jewelry (and even a few books, too!) and talk shop with a bunch of creators. I’m ashamed to say that I didn’t vote in this year’s Ignatz awards because I hadn’t read enough of the participants (bad artist!), so I’m hoping to do better next year. This was also one of the best shows I can remember for sheer quality of available books — I was blown away by the offerings, of both traditionally-published graphic novels and gorgeous, innovative, risk-taking minicomics, and I bought more stuff this year than I can ever remember buying before.
There was one other fun thing that happened — Paul and I marked our 5th anniversary on Saturday. What better way to celebrate than by selling comics and surrounding ourselves with fans and friends alike? Thanks to everyone who stopped by to wish us well.
I didn’t take a lot of photos, but here’re a baker’s dozen to look through. The captions will have to suffice for the remainder of my con report, as I am mighty tired.
As a White writer who tries to create a diverse cast of characters in her books, I fail a lot. I have deep misgivings about initial portrayals of some of my characters. I tried to rectify those portrayals in my second book, but wound up failing in other, more metatextual ways in my haste to prove I was a more mature, nuanced, well-intentioned writer at thirty than I was at twenty-five. My enthusiasm often outstrips my knowledge and self-perception, and I often fall short of the mark due to lack of perspective, research and experience.
That’s where today’s post comes in. This afternoon, thanks to Layla, a fellow traveler on the same path of well-meaning-failure-but-still-trying-hard, I stumbled across what I think is one of the most important discussions I’ve seen on the internet in years. If you’re a writer — a writer of any sort, from comics to poetry — please take the time to read through these posts. I find them incredibly valuable.
Start here, with Elizabeth Bear’s original essay on being a white writer who tries hard to accurately and fairly portray characters of Color in her books.
And then go read this open letter to Elizabeth Bear, written by a reader of Color who had some deep misgivings about one of Bear’s books.
And then go read what I think is the most important, clear, nuanced, thoughtful, educational essays I’ve read in a long, long time, I Didn’t Dream of Dragons, by Deepa D.
And then, if you’re White, Deepa also wrote an important followup essay just for us. It’s also very, very good.
And then finally She Who Has Hope also writes an excellent take on the situation, and includes many links to other helpful essays.
Writers, all: bravo and brava. Please keep talking; know that we are listening.
This is what the internet was meant for. Conversations like these are tremendously humbling and force open my eyes to see how much I still need to learn about Racism 101. There’s much food for thought here, and I will probably spend many more hours going over these essays. My thought-trenches are deeply dug; often it’s only a good swift kick-in-the-ass that can lift my head above the walls. This series of essays is just such an asskicking.
From all of this, I resolve to go back to Elizabeth Bear’s motto: Try harder. Fail better. Cowboy up.
I think I’m going to tack that above my desk, now.