This marks page #100 — and the last we’ll see of Babbage, sadly. Thanks for sticking with the story for so long, and hope you’re enjoying it. There’s lots more to come.
The Signal Boost of the Week goes to this trio of posts from Cat Valente:
You Are What You Love: A Numerical List of Loosely-Connected Thoughts on Writing (Part 1)
Between the Perfect and the Real: On Writing Part 2
Operating Narrative Machinery: Thoughts on Writing Pt 3
All of it’s good advice, all of it’s stuff I need to read over and over until it sticks.
The Signal Boost of the Week goes to Alberto Yáñez, for his first pro story, Recognizing Gabe: un cuento de hadas, which is now up at Strange Horizons. Alberto is a graduate of Clarion West and Viable Paradise, and is currently working up more short stories. Keep an eye on him — he’s going places.
Also, in a callback to a previous Signal Boost, Shveta Thakrar‘s story Lavanya and Deepika is now up on Podcastle! If you’ve been meaning to check out Shveta’s work but haven’t gotten the chance, do yourself a favor and have a listen!
I’ve been working on the pencils for a three-page Clockwork Game scene for about three straight weeks now. It’s a tight, dialog-driven narrative with no real action, and is absolutely critical to the progress of the story. I usually make myself bang through the equivalent of one page a week, but because I really need to stick the landing on this scene, I’ve given myself more slack to make sure I get it right (yay, buffer comics!). Last Sunday, I literally spent twelve hours pencilling, swearing, balling up paper, and redrawing until I was crosseyed. I think I got one single panel done that day that was worth keeping.
Today I lightboxed from five or six separate sheets — including odd doodles on scrap paper that just happened to get the facial expression right — and finally, finally got the last page organized into something I can live with. Then I did the same for the other two pages, so tomorrow I can hit the ground running for the big inkapalooza. It sure wasn’t a fun process, but dang, it feels really good to finally have a successful day at the table.
And here’s the next major cameo!
For way more Babbage — and done way better than my little effort — check out the Signal Boost of the Week which goes to Sidney Padua’s amazing webcomic, 2-D Goggles, or The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage! If you’ve not yet had the pleasure of reading this wonderfully goofy story, start here to read from the very beginning. I’ve got a crush on her version of Brunel that’s as big as his manly sideburns.
I will not lie. I really enjoyed drawing this page.
Signal Boost of the Week goes to the Killamazoo Derby Darlins, whose season opener is at Wings Stadium this Saturday. It’s a double-header, with the main event against Demolition City out of Indiana. Be there!
The Headspace Gallery HOT/COLD opening is tonight! Head on down to Green Brain Comics and see some art by Suzanne Baumann, Alice Meichi Li, Katie Cook, my old college buddy T. S. Lamb. Oh yeah, and me, too!
You can also check out the Facebook Page.
I have one of those colds that I like to think of as a Cú Chulainn flu.
Your body comes to you in the morning, with oracular prescience, and says to you: Listen, you’re sick. You can either stay home like a sensible person and rest up, whereupon you will live a long and happy life. Or, you can not only keep to your regular schedule, but take on a whole bunch of extra stuff that sounds like a good idea, and you’ll go out in a blaze of glory, and be unable to get out of bed for a week.
Guess I’m going skiing today, then.
Looks like everyone north of 45 is in for a light show tonight!
Oh, it’s such a treat to see Maelzel get some comeuppance, isn’t it? Seriously, sucking up to the guy you’ve spent the last four years slandering? That’s some chutzpah.
Signal Boost of the Week goes to the Anti-SOPA movement. I blacked out my sites today to help the protest. I think this is some pretty awful legislation, and if you agree, please take a moment and write your congresspeople.
We’re watching Downton Abbey, and Jim Carter, the guy they have playing Mr. Carson looks — and carries himself — so much like my interior image of Maelzel that I find myself rather taken aback:
Unfortunately, this is the last we’ll see of Beethoven. Don’t fret, though, history buffs — someone else famous is making a cameo very soon.
Signal Boost of the Week goes to Green Brain Comics, one of the best comic shops in the country. It’s run by Dan Merritt and his wife Katie, who was also a former president of the late Friends of Lulu. Starting this Saturday, Green Brain is hosting a show in their Headspace Gallery which will be featuring a bunch of local women artists, myself included! If you’re near Dearborn, head down and check out work by Suzanne Baumann, Alice Meichi Li, Katie Cook, my old college buddy T. S. Lamb — and many more!
Happy New Year! This is one of my favorite pages so far; hope you like it.
Signal Boost of the Week goes to Erstwhile, a series of comics based on the tales of the Brothers Grimm, and illustrated by Gina Biggs, Louisa Roy, and Elle Skinner, all of whom are members of the Strawberry Comics collective. I have a deep and abiding love for old fairy tales, and it’s a real treat to see such a beautiful spin on them, especially the more obscure ones that rarely see the light of day.
Michigan’s been just sitting around in her sweatpants for the last two months, so it seems extra special when she cleans up and puts on a party dress. Makes you want to go out and dance with her.
We just got the first substantial snow this winter, so I skiied to the office, and as I went past the bar with the mechanical bull, their loudspeakers started blasting Guns of The Magnificent Seven. Pretty good music for the opening credits of 2012.
Enjoy the last page of the year! Too bad Maelzel’s being such a cad.
Signal Boost of the Week goes to Shaenon Garrity, who’s just released her wonderful comic Narbonic as a perfect collection!
Other good news: The Wars of Other Men exceeded its Kickstarter goal in a little over a week. Congrats, guys!
Other other news: Tim O’Shea asked Paul and I to contribute to his wonderful Holiday recollections article. Thanks, Tim!
Signal Boost of the Week goes to Lea Ada Hernandez, who has just launched a brand-new webcomic, The Garlicks!
In Lea’s own words:
Garlicks updates M W F, the storyline is episodic, each story will be between 6-18 pages, all told from the POV of a monster girl named Pandora Garlick. Pandora has decided to be a graphic novelist because she (thinks she) lacks any monsterly skills, and the story of her lifetime starts when her baby sister turns into a fish.
In addition to her work for Marvel and DC, Lea’s also the original editor of Girlamatic.com, the creator, author and illustrator of Cathedral Child, Clockwork Angels, and more recently, Rumble Girls.
If you’re interested in picking up some of her original art, she has her own Etsy Shop, where you can use coupon code JANER for 20% off! It’s never too late for an additional holiday present!
In honor of two friends who once bought me groceries for Christmas when I was scared and broke, and wrapped each package by hand to make me feel special, I’m issuing a Winter Holiday Challenge: Do at least one Random Act of Kindness before the year’s end. It doesn’t have to be monetary: Give someone a ride. Shovel a sidewalk. If you do have money, though — consider doing something like this. It’s been a tough year all around, so share some love.
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.