Earlier this year I had the pleasure of providing illustrations for a personal essay in Oregon Humanities Magazine, written by Dionisia Morales.
The article (“Picture Their Hearts”) discusses the author’s parents’ mixed-race marriage in 1950′s America, her experiences growing up biracial in a family that didn’t talk much on the subject of race and identity, and recounts adult conversations with her now elderly (but still reluctant) mother.
The story opens with descriptions of her parents’ honeymoon photo album.The challenges in this assignment involved making the images relatable without being too specific – the author didn’t want any of her actual family portraits to be referenced.
The art director thought that a comics-inflected set of illustrations would keep the material from feeling too clinical or academic (I also created several word balloons for pull quotes).
I ended up suggesting the presence of photos as much as possible while keeping faces not entirely in-view (with the exception of President Obama, whose public image I thought formed an interesting contrast to the “hidden” visual world of the family.)
I had a great time illustrating this really intimate and thought-provoking story. Many thanks to AD Jen Wick at Oregon Humanities!
My work has been popping up all over this month! In addition to maintaining my ongoing projects and client work, I’ve gotten some great press.
Alex Dueben interviewed me for Comic Book Resources!
We talked about my graphic novel Family Man, the origins of my nerdiness for historical settings, how I got my start in comic books, and what it’s like to work with Scott Kurtz as a writer on his landmark web strip PvP. If you have wondered what it’s like to bounce from moody period drama to screwloose gag humor on an hour-to-hour basis, this interview was my first opportunity to talk about it.
Next up, my Eisner-nominated short comic, Outfoxed, has also put in an appearance in the Best American Comics anthology’s 2013 “Notables” list, alongside some really wonderful work covering every genre and format. Thank you to editors Jessica Abel, Matt Madden, and Jeff Smith for their consideration!
Also related to Outfoxed, you Francophones can now read the story in your native language. Outfoxed (under the translated title À Renard et Demi) is included in the first volume of Papier, a new quarterly book-length black and white anthology captained by Lewis Trondheim. The book showcases established French-language talents as well as new and newly-translated works by international artists like me. It’s a dizzying honor to be in the inaugural volume. The book looks and feels splendid, so head to your local librairie or Amazon.fr to snap up a copy.
I’ll be at a hometown show this weekend – the Rose City Comic Con! This is my first time at the show and I’m looking forward to it greatly. Especially delightful since my compatriots from Periscope Studio will all be tabling with me! Local shows are the best, because I can bring just about everything I’ve ever printed or drawn and put it on the table.
This is my last official convention appearance for 2013, so I’ll see you all there.
I’ll be in Maryland this weekend, September 14 and 15, for the Small Press Expo! Come find me at Table I-7 with the excellent Carla Speed McNeil, where we will both have art, books, and smiles for all and sundry. See you there!
Here’s one of the most fun illustration gigs I’ve ever gotten! Ryan North, the Mad Genius of Canada, recently produced To Be Or Not To Be, his choosable-path-adventure version of Hamlet (now with dinosaurs!). Every possible ending is illustrated in full-color by one of several dozens of cartoonists. I love Hamlet in every possible way, so the mere existence of this project was a delight to me. Getting to participate made it 500% better.
I’ll let you order the book and figure out the exact ending my illustration accompanies, but suffice to say I got to design Hamlet’s bedroom. (I am particularly fond of the “Yay Fencing” poster and the 20-sided die.)