Shea butter is my new best friend. I love you, Shea butter.
Shea butter is my new best friend. I love you, Shea butter.
Three pages this week.
Signal Boost of the Week goes to Jen Manley Lee's Dicebox, which is still taking pre-orders for its very first printing of Wander: Book 1. If you haven't checked out Dicebox yet, you're missing out on one of the most gorgeous webcomics being created today -- but don't worry! You can read the whole thing starting from the very beginning.
Extra Signal Boost goes to Rising Phoenix Fund, a charity begun by Ay-Leen the Peacemaker to raise funds for Japanese Earthquake victims -- but which is now being extended to help those affected by tornadoes here in the US. You can donate at the fundraiser page, or donate directly to Shelterbox (which has a three-star rating on Charity Navigator, so you know they're pretty good. For reference, Heifer International also has three stars). So far, TRFF has raised over a thousand dollars, but has set a new goal of $3,000. If you can help out, please consider donating -- you can get some really beautiful buttons in return!
Hey, so I'm not dead yet. (Sure, I've been posting weekly comic updates, but none of these pages are new, and WordPress has a "Schedule" feature, so you never know...)
While not actually dead, I've been sick in one form or another pretty much since I got home from WisCon, which explains why I haven't posted a con report, and probably won't get around to one. Suffice it to say: Had a blast. Nisi's GoH speech was outstanding, and was centered around the idea that "Genius is not a zero-sum game," which has instantly become one of my favorite phrases. Nisi likened Genius to Amalthea The Last Unicorn, who, rather than absorbing all the magic from an area where she stood, instead amplified everyone else's magic around her. Nisi wants to be like that, to use her Genius to amplify everyone else's Genius, so that no one has to feel like they can't be awesome because someone else is. I love that idea so much.
I had some really outstanding conversations last weekend, too many and some too private to mention, but oh, they did my heart so good. I miss all of you guys so much already. I don't think I'm going next year, so please don't forget me until I can come back again.
So, a quick recap of illness, because it's good for laughs: as is usually the case with me, I can't do anything in half measures. This week involved a torqued shoulder, a gnarly chest cold I'm still fighting off, and to top it off, after I got the shoulder fixed by my extremely generous physical therapist, I was too stupid to listen to his advice (not to mention the instructions on the cold packs [okay, well, not the frozen peas, their instructions only involved a stove or microwave]) and gave myself a really nasty cold burn from the ice packs. Listen, guys? When the nice therapist warns you to ice your pain ten minutes on and ten minutes off, and to wrap the pack in a towel, do what he says. Otherwise you will be like me, nursing frostbite in June. It is not fun. Nor was trying to sleep this week, between the Snotapalooza festival my head was throwing and the blisters and the deep-tissue pain. So yeah, little behind on the blogging this week.
But! The good news is that I'm on the mend, and up late making comics. Life is good. How're all of you guys?
Five pages this week.
Signal Boost of the Week goes to WisCon Chronicles 5, in which I have both an essay and an excerpt from Clockwork Game! I picked my copy up at WisCon this weekend and I am flattered, humbled, and amazed to have my work included alongside the other essays and stories in the collection, especially the Guest of Honor speeches by Mary Anne Mohanraj and Nnedi Okorafor, both of which moved me to tears when I heard them delivered live. Maurice Broaddus and Jaymee Goh both contributed really amazing essays as well. The whole thing is really well put-together, as it must be when it is edited by none other than this year's WisCon Guest of Honor, Nisi Shawl. Pick one up! You won't be disappointed.
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.
Big update this week: Six pages!
Signal Boost of the Week goes to Kenjji Jumanne-Marshall, one of the most talented artists I know, and creator/artist of the Xeric Grant-winning comic Witchdoctor. If you're in the Kalamazoo area, and have kids (or are yourself!) in grades 5-12, you can sign up to take a cartooning class with Kenjji at one of several branches of the Kalamazoo public library.
Four pages this week.
Signal Boost of the Week goes to Tracy J. Butler over at Lackadaisy Cats, who's just posted a wonking huge update to both the comic and her website, not to mention her recent Eisner nomination for best webcomic! If you're not reading Lackadaisy yet, really, you should.
Four pages this week.
The Signal Boost of the Week goes to The Erika Moen Show! This may seem a bit odd, because the last new episode is over a year old, but this is mostly because it took me this long to finally get around to watching the archives. The episodes are very much worth watching, especially the Freelance Roundtables, which have a bunch of really good advice and input on everything from convention tips to the etiquette of hiring a freelancer. This interview with Katie Lane of the also-wonderful Work Made for Hire blog is especially worth watching if you're new to freelancing and unsure how to price your work and time, or how to negotiate with a client. Good advice all 'round. Thanks, Erika, for putting those together, and keeping them online!
A commencement address given at Kenyon College, by the late David Foster Wallace.
After listening to the proceedings of the royal wedding this morning, Paul pronounced us the "Duke and Duchess of Dork."
Only two pages this week, to round out the scene. There'll be bigger releases in the coming weeks to make up for it, though.
Speaking of releases, apologies to everybody on the rss and LJ feeds who got a double dose of pages this week! For someone who works with websites all day, it amazes me how easily WordPress manages to confound me in new and different ways every week. Maybe I need to read The Tinkerer's Handbook to improve my skills -- or warn me off twiddling the knobs, one of the two.
Signal Boost of the Week goes to Ay-Leen the Peacemaker at Beyond Victoriana and Jha Goh at Silver Goggles, both of whom are writing really great essays and articles about multicultural and postcolonial steampunk. Check out their blogs, if you haven't already!
Five pages this time -- click the image to start from the beginning of the update.
I'm back from MoCCA, where I had a really nice time, and had a blast during my very first visit to New York. The Armory was a terrific venue and the quality of the art at the show was astonishing. I was really blown away by all the exhibitors, and came home feeling all inspired to hit the desk and make more comics. I only got to see about half the show, sadly, but I did manage to swap cards and minis with a bunch of new artists I'd never met before, so I'm looking forward to sitting down with my stack of postcards and minis to explore some new comics. I introduced myself to a bunch of artists whose work I admired: Sarah Becan, Evan Dahm, Yuko Ota and Ananth Panagariya, and Aaron Diaz, then hung out and ate fantastic curry with old friends Dirk Tiede, Rich Watson, and Carol Burrell and saw -- though way too briefly! -- Spike Trotman and Neil Kleid. I seriously wish I had a clone (and a million dollars) that I could've sent to walk the floor buying stuff and meeting people. But alas, I had neither. Which means I'll have to go back next year!
I also have to thank Jonathan Lung for pointing me to the best Pho I've ever eaten. Guys, you have no idea how much I miss living around the corner from Dalat in Ypsi, and the food I got at Pho Bang was so good I could hardly stand it. I also finally tried beef tendon, which I have to say is absolutely amazing (sorry vegetarians, but it is), and is now officially a staple in my pho bowls. Forever.
This week, I'm starting something I hope to continue as often as I can: The Signal Boost of the Week, my chance to let you know about awesome things that friends of mine are doing. Because I have a lot of awesome friends! And they do awesome stuff!
Case in point, the inaugural Boost goes to my buddy Sumana Harihareswara, who's trying her hand at Geeky Standup Comedy. I'm willing to bet that a few of my readers will find a standup routine on everything from Agile to Science Fiction completely awesome, and if any of you are in New York City -- like all of you wonderful folks I met at MoCCA this last weekend -- you can see her on Thursday, April 21st, at 7pm at Seaburn Bookstore, 33-18 Broadway, in Astoria, Queens. Having known Sumana for a couple of years now, I can vouch that she's really sharp and has a great sense of humor. I've seen her destroy convention panels with laughter using only a single spontaneous comment, so I can only imagine how funny a half-hour of her well-honed material will be. Wish I could be there, Sumana! Send video if you take it!
There are five pages in this week's update -- so you'll probably want to start with the first new page.
In other news, I'll be at the MoCCA Festival in New York City this week, so if you're in the area, please do stop by! I'll have some neat new steampunk jewelry, a full-color print of a painting I did of the elephant clock, and minicomics featuring the first 22 pages of the book. Hope to see you there!
And it's not an April Fool's joke, promise!
I'll be posting a few pages every Thursday until the first half is caught up to where it was when I placed the comic on hiatus, then going back to one page per week of new story for the remainder of the book. That way, readers who've been around since the beginning will get to see all the updates to the existing story, but won't have to wait too long for brand-new pages.
I'm also gong to be moving comments off the comic itself and over here to the JanerBlog for a couple of reasons, the first being that the comic's PG-13, and some of the comments I received during its initial run weren't. Having discussion in an area intended for mature readers will hopefully serve everyone better. I also think it's better to present the comic as though it were a book, without public comment directly tied to each page, while still giving interested readers a place they can talk about it as it evolves.
Tonight I ate tofu fried in the pork grease left over from last night's venison burger.
Detroit was like Cheers: Everyone knew your name (I hope he does write more about the impact the highways had on Black Bottom, which he alludes to in the comments, and about which I'm still woefully undereducated.)