For everyone who’s been waiting patiently for an explanation of how the automaton works, the big reveal starts this week!
Signal Boost of the Week goes to Mark Crilley, with whom we had the pleasure of hanging out at the Thomas Dolby concert in Royal Oak. Mark’s first major work was Akiko, which still stands among my favorite comics of all time. Since then, he’s gone on to write illustrate the four-volume Miki Falls, a Mastering Manga, a how-to book and his newest series, Brody’s Ghost, has its third volume coming out next week from Dark Horse!
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.
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:
Signal Boost of the Week goes to Colleen Doran, whose new graphic novel Gone to Amerikay launches this week! It’s written by Derek McCulloch, illustrated by Colleen, and is already garnering great interest from all sorts of unusual places. Congrats, Colleen!
Signal Boost of the Week goes to old friend* Layla Lawlor, who’s
in the process of re-organizing and re-booting all her old projects, and getting ready for some new ones. Good on you, Layla!
* good heavens, twelve years?! where does the time go?
The murder of Trayvon Martin. Anyone who says that we’re a post-racial society needs to read these links. All of them. Pay special attention to the reporting by Farai Chideya and Ta-Nehisi Coates. Shveta Thakrar also linked to this heartbreaking article by Mikki Kendall . There’s also a protest march going on in NYC right now.
Teju Cole wrote a really important article for The Atlantic called “The White Savior Industrial Complex”, something that I really needed to read, especially since I’m a huge TED devotee.
John Scalzi hosts a guest post on his blog from a physician who wanted to speak out about mandatory transvaginal ultrasounds, but needed to remain anonymous.
Signal Boost of the Week goes to Keith Knight who is Kickstarting a new project, I Was A Teenage Michael Jackson Impersonator! Paul and I are big fans of Keith’s work, both K Chronicles and (Th)ink (and also his band, The Marginal Prophets) so it’s really exciting to see him try his hand at a longer format. If you can spare a few bucks, go help this amazing artist fund his first full-length graphic novel!
Signal Boost of the Week goes to Kate Beaton! It’s no surprise to readers of this blog that I’m an enormous fan of Kate’s, but in the last couple of weeks, she’s done some pretty super amazing stuff over on her tumblr, some of it worksafe, some of it not so much. The worksafe: A wonderful Q&A about webcomics, which she says is the first part in a series, which makes me happy! The not so much worksafe: Some horrible, horrible person sent Kate a nasty, spiteful drawing of herself, and she responded in the awesomest way possible. Seriously, I don’t think I could have managed any response to such a personal attack, let alone one so perfectly designed to shut down the jerk who started it. Kate, you’re totally my hero, on so many levels.
A long-overdue Signal Boost of the Week goes to Carol Burrell of SPQR Blues, who’s posting a whole lot of new sketches lately. Such beautiful work! It was a treat to share a table with her at MOCCA last year and watch patrons walk up to her originals as though mesmerized, running their fingers over the plastic-wrapped pages and saying “oooooOOooo.” Go cheer her on, so she’ll make many more lovely comics about Romans. And volcanoes.
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: