Tuesday, December 16, 2008

First Edition Finished! (yay)

In late September I began work on an intense autobiographical comic, I didn't know it then but that comic would consume my life until November. Right before Thanksgiving I managed toLink finish it at a whopping 42 pages (a personal record).

Only 8 pages in Richard Gere told me that if I continued the comic I'd be successful. And then again a couple weeks ago Liz Chaflin told me the same thing. Friends, artists and professors have all told me that I must get it published, which is exactly what I intend to do.

First things first is getting it copywritten. So it goes...

Monday, November 10, 2008

Work for the FCC

I've always found it horribly frustrating the idea that mental abuse in marriage is good material for a comic strip.

Friday, November 7, 2008

The World of Printing

Free Cake Comics has met its very first dilemma: printing.

Part of the thousands of dollars that go into tuition is to pay for paper. Each student has a printing quota of roughly 400 pages, which they can utilize at any time for free. If you run out you can refresh that quota. But as I learned yesterday it only gives you 100 more sheets.

Needless to say using this service for the printing of the FCC's first issue was a mistake. Not a huge mistake, but a mistake never the less.

The question now is over funding. Soon we will hopefully be a full recognized SA organization, which means we'll possibly be getting funding. With funding we'll be able to use outsider printers from http://comixpress.com/

As president all these responsibilities fall roughly on my hands. And with tests, finals, art projects etc etc it's proving a daunting task.
Nothing I can't handle of course.
I happen to be a warrior when it comes to these things.

Lunch time.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Great War's Beginnings

This is the very first comic in "The Great War" series. This is what basically got me fired from my first job washing dishes in a pub. They were drawn in ball point pen on the backs of various schedules and print outs that I found in the trash. Apparently working on graphic novels on the job is frowned upon in the restaurant business. I don't see the problem, I was only pages in...

Because of the poor quality of the scans, I have written you a transcript. How nice!


King: "Bazil! What news from the Western front?"

Bazil: "It bodes ill sire. ...The troops are stricken with doubt and mutinous thoughts, and every day the enemy grows stronger with reinforcements from the South! The Queen's confidence in the General may have been misguided, I suspect they are lovers! ...My Lord...we must retreat from this war..."

King: "NEVER! ...No Bazil. We can not retire, without dishonor. I will not succumb to my brother. We must merely adopt a new stratagem. ...In the meantime have my spies keep watch on the Queen, I will not suffer her betrayal."

Bazil: *sigh* "Yes my Lord."

I'll have the second comic up sooner or later. It's harder now that my personal computer is being repaired. Relying on the school's programs has proven somewhat problematic.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Well, Halloween was brilliant as always. Though my favorite holiday is Christmas, there is no holiday that matches the creativity of All Hallow's Eve.

Today I got my Halloween package from my parents. Chocolate balls, a book and a card. The card situation is problematic. Every card I receive is a Far Side comic. The problem with this is that I literally own every comic Gary Larson ever made in The Far Side. I've read every single one, several times. I'm being a brat, I know. But there really is no logical reason why I should continue getting Gary Larson cards on every occasion that involves card giving.

I'm going to request that my father make the cards himself from now on. I always make mine, as they insist. I shall do the same.
They're more personal that way.

The book was my dad's: Morgan Howell's "A Woman Worth Ten Coppers." The first of his new trilogy.

Before I shamelessly plug my own father's writing I want you to know that I don't do fantasy novels. I suppose my reason for this may be that I don't want to subconsciously imitate another 's work. But the real reason is that every fantasy novel I had picked up previously bored me to tears. Except Beowulf, but that's really in a category of its own.

The characters, stories and adventures are either too cliche, too drawn out, or too irrelevant. By that I mean that there is no appeal to my own emotional/human experience.

So when I began to read "The Queen of the Orcs," I was the biggest of the skeptics. Especially since I am an avid orc fan.

But instead of praising him, I will merely offer up the chance for you to do your own investigation.


There are plenty of reviews on Amazon, all of them a lot more articulate than what mine might be.

You should buy a lot of them. They're putting me through college.

I will scan some stuff soon, I think. I'm feverishly working on an autobiographical comic that is now over 30 pages long. Woo wee.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Today marked the first meeting of Free Cake Comics, a club I started here in SUNY New Paltz. All of us met at a workshop with Jessica Abel (http://www.jessicaabel.com/) on making comics.

The most I got out of it really was seeing everyone involved and being able to communicate with them. From there we started the FCC and will very soon be putting out our very own zine! How nice!

Though no work is up yet, we do have a myspace so feel free at any time to check out our stuff!

Though it was only our first meeting I'm already getting a positive vibe from everyone who came. I feel it will be the most fun organization I'll ever be a part of on campus.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Great War and Sheep's Pond

"The Great War," is an interesting project that came to me working as a dishwasher. Before then all my graphic novel attempts were complex stories that puckered out due to the lack of good characters. "The Great War" revolves around character and very little plot. It is a war fought by eccentrics, and the story of the war is told in fragmented moments from brothel girl to emperor. Eventually I'm going to scan the very first comics to the series which I cherish, grease stains and all. Before then all my serious graphic novel attempts were all hyper-realistic, but in "The Great War" I allowed myself a much more liberal framing.


There is more than one Sheep Pond dotting Nantucket, but only one Sheep's Pond. It was with a dismissive revulsion that I heard it referred to as Miami Beach, but that name is a falsehood.

Every year my family and I stay in Cape Cod for two weeks. As a child this trip would include my grandparents, aunts and uncles, and my six cousins. We all stayed in "The Ranch" which my grandparents would rent out. After a long day in the sun on Coastguard Beach, we would walk to Sheep's Pond. The pond is one of many kettle holes left behind the Ice Age. Gigantic chunks of ice were broken off as the ice scraped across over North America. Slowly they melted and left behind freshwater ponds that are still scattered across Massachusetts to this day.

Just walking on the edge of these ponds you see damsel flies, dragon flies, frantic schools of minnows, the curious offspring of Striped Bass, and the varying stages of bullfrog. These speckled squirts were the focal point of my attention as a kid. My brother and I would catch them and hold them, peering into their yellow eyes until they leapt from our palms. I remember one year a group of other boys were doing the same thing, only they would throw the frogs as hard as they could against the water until they lay motionless. I still mourn the loss of them from the pond.

The beauty of Cape Cod is constantly mingled with its rugged nature. It is my favorite place to be.

Last summer we found ourselves back in the pond. I hadn't tried to catch a frog for years. I had the pleasure of showing my best friend for the first time what it was like, and found myself once again filled with child-like excitement. I was not particular over what I caught as long as I had something to show for my lunges.
You should have seen it!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Comics: an extensive history

Here is the story of my life relative to comics. My first comic was drawn in Kindergarden. It was called Justin Man.

I believe there were several issues of Justin Man, drawn in pencil and crayon and though I do not recall if they were saved they are vivid in my memory. A single issue was composed of maybe two or three pages of literary wonder. A single script was mainly composed

Justin Man fought a number of enemies but my personal favorite was always the Robot. I wouldn't draw multi-page comics again until the fourth grade. Until then I emulated my favorite cartoonists (Bill Waterson, Gary Larson, B Kliban), producing my own silly gags and one-liners.

It was in Freshwater Florida where I saw my very first episode of Ed, Edd and Eddy on the Cartoon Network. I was completely inspired, lord forgive me. I took an existing character of mine and then basically copied the world and characters of the cartoon show in my own vein. Though I am embarrassed by this period it served as a playground where I did everything you're not supposed to do. A panel was an entire page. Speech bubbles were out of proper sequence. The human hand was nothing but a ball attached at the wrist. Nearly every character looked exactly the same, no matter the gender. But as I said, I learned from all these faux pas. In the meantime the comics were actually quite popular in the classroom. At one point I learned that selling out can back you into a corner. Crazy, right? I have at least 30 issues of these comics. At best they are vaguely amusing, in my opinion. My dad still loves them though.

I was over "Meister Man" by the 7th grade, and quite embarrassed. I departed from comics almost entirely save for the occasional phase when I would return to the one-liners and odd illustrations. During this time people would look at my art (and always have) and would ask "Do you do comics?" I would always retort with an irritated "No." because I didn't like the idea of being type-cast, artistically.

Finally in the 10th grade I resurrected Justin Man. With a new slew of amusing enemies (Lobe Duck, Bubba the Pidgeon Man) and a considerable leap in vocabulary, Justin Man was in every sense a new phenomenon. This time the stalwart hero was transformed into a goofy, somewhat dim underdog in the scheme of things. Generally the villains were defeated in some freak accident.

In senior year I undertook what I consider now to be my first attempt at a graphic novel. The project consumed my life for a good three months in which I drew nothing outside the confines of the work.

In the future the UED (unite earth directorate) sends astronauts into space to seek out worlds that can be colonized. Those worlds are marked and then groups of people and families are paid to live there for four years. If these groups can survive for the alloted times then the planet will be colonized.

The novel was about one such group. The whole endeavor proved quite destructive for me mentally, and in the end I realized to my horror that it was essentially Steven King's "The Shining" set in the future. Balls. I decided from that point never to touch a graphic novel ever again.

Six months later I was at it again. This time making an epic fantasy based story. Nothing special, but damned fun to draw. I realized later that not every character should look like me, that's a bit of a stretch. There was another departure after that one, as some things require a touch more planning.

I suppose at this point I should explain that I almost never have a plan. While most people who draw comics make thumbnails, pencil everything in, and then ink it up. I just ink it up. When I discovered pen and ink I never went back. So generally I plow through comics one page at a time. People think I'm crazy but it's worked out okay so far.

Last summer marked my first job, working as a dishwasher in a pub. I would argue that it was a good experience but only in an argument. Otherwise I will start whining and wishing that I had my summer back. I learned there that I truly needed to do art as a career. I was eventually fired for tearing down fliers and drawing comics on them. Whoops.

Working in that sweaty, greasy dive inspired The Great War, which I worked on over the summer and into the next semester of my junior year in college. This semester, actually. It was in Cape Cod on our annual family vacation that my best friend Alexander the Great and I spoke on the future. I was frustrated and worried, not knowing what to do with my life. My mother still believes I should have a go at Hollywood. Suddenly Alex turned to me and said "...Why don't you just do comics?"

I stared blankly.

"Christ. Why don't I just do comics?" I had no answer.

I don't want to ever limit myself to one thing. But I know that my passion for comic making is very real. This realization has changed me in ways I never thought possible. It's funny, a year ago I would have slapped myself for saying so.

Funny how life works out, aye?

Oh. What the hell.

I'll post a comic anyway.

My very first blog entry.

At 4:53 PM Oct 22nd, 2008; my artwork was critiqued by Rich Gere from:


Though this was certainly not the first time my artwork has been critiqued, his words nevertheless inspired me to create this blog. Through it I hope to put my work out into the world and see what happens.

This will involve scanning and photography. Yes.

The one problem is graduating from college involved studying for tomorrow's midterms. Also yes.

So it is with a heavy heart that I must say it may be a while before I get to showing you my work, but know that it is inevitable.
I look forward to the reaction.

In the meantime you can watch this ridiculous video I made. Yes.