Well, another Portland summer has come and gone. A few East Coast-esque crisp fall days have given way to rain and clouds. I don’t mind, though. Cold weather ahoy!
The Wordstock festival happened here a few months ago–a celebration of reading, the indoor activity Portlanders will be doing lots more of soon. A variety of printers, bookstores, and publishers exhibited at the Convention Center while authors and others involved in the literary arts spoke at lectures and on panels. Tranquility Base tabled there for the first time ever, selling our collective wares and talking up our studio.
We even had a drafting desk set up, so that we could do drawing and inking demos for the crowds:
The show wasn’t quite comics-centered, but it was fun to hang with the studiomates, and as this was a family-friendly event I talked to lots of adorable children about comics.
I’ve also just wrapped up a project I’m really excited about: a five-page story for the inaugural issue of The Strumpet, which will be released in mid-November. The Strumpet grew out of the comics series/collective Whores of Mensa, but this time around it will feature artists from the US as well as the UK. I met editor Ellen Lindner at Stumptown Comics Fest 2011, and when she asked me in August if I’d like to be a Strumpet I jumped at the chance.
All the stories in the collection share the theme of “dressing up.” Mine is about a little monster who seems quite ordinary, and who loves his cats, and…well, why don’t you just watch this video Ellen put together, wherein I explain my story, give a quick tour of Tranquility Base, and say “um” a lot:
Here’s the first page:
…and one of my favorite parts of the whole thing–a Persian cat doing the Charleston:
If all this has got you ready to pre-order your copy RIGHT NOW, you are in luck! You can do so over at The Strumpet’s Kickstarter page.
Oh yeah, and you should read this neat interview over at Pikaland, where a few of us Strumpets discuss our comics, self-publishing/DIY stuff, and being a lady cartoonist, among other things.
Before I had really started working on the story, back in September, I got word that Dylan Williams had died. He was someone who I considered a friend and mentor. When I look back on my time in Portland so far, and reflect on the supportive comics community I found here, he was at the forefront of that for me. He was incredibly positive and encouraging. He made me feel like my comics and work had something to offer. And he gave me some opportunities I’m very thankful for–carrying my work through Sparkplug Comics, and inviting me to be a part of the Free Comic Book Day comic that he co-published. And I know that I had the kind of relationship to Dylan that so many others in comics did–I’m one of many cartoonists that he cheered on, empowered, got psyched up to draw! And I’m proud of that.
Dylan was, among many other things, a lover of cats. Working on this story, which is chock-full of goofy cat characters, I often thought to myself how much I wished I could show it to him. For that, and for everything, I dedicated this story to him. Thank you so much Dylan. I miss you.