Cheering Up Mom!

Here are a few images of me working on my weekly web comic, “Cheering  Up Mom!” . This photo series shows a bit of the process from start to finish of the comic “bitch” from last week. Feel free to subscribe to my weekly email updates here. (thanks to Barb Foss for the photos!)

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Harley Nightster with a touch of heart

A study for a road-trip comic I’m making with Wm. Kuskin of CU Boulder’s Literature program. He tells a heartfelt tale of taking his daughter cross-country to see New Orleans after the hurricane. Why? He’s antsy after doing childcare alone for 3 weeks while his wife pursued her academic career in Shakespeare in London. Not much of a scandal, but quite a tale follows. More to come! I’m glad to be working in this more realistic vein. Never thought I’d do a biker story (I ride a Kymco scooter myself), but it helps me feel aligned with my comics roots—falling in love with Fantagraphic’s edge in Seattle, years ago. May it serve me well. Enjoy.

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Beyond webcomics…

After finally finishing my MFA and thesis performance (trailer to be edited soon and posted), as a collaboration with a gifted professor of English Lit at CU Boulder, I created the art for his online course about comics. Playing with persona, the professor (pictured in page 1 below as a sillhouette) parks his motorcycle outside the GRUPPENTECH NETWORK AND ROBOTIC EDUCATION (G.E.N.R.E.) building and proceeds into the lab to be injected into the “grid” by the mad scientists of the university’s online education program. I had a blast creating this piece and have one more page to ink, but couldn’t wait to throw these online. Kuskin and I enjoyed collaborating so much, we’re about to work on a piece about his Harley trip down to New Orleans after Katrina hit. Hopefully we’ll see that soon! Enjoy!

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Super Grandparents!

Couldn’t resist drawing this picture of my parents with their grandchildren after they dressed as superhero grandparents for halloween. (Eli’s my little boy crawling on the ground).

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Dreams of sleep

Dreams of sleep, originalHere’s the original bristol board comic done with brush and ink about a night of sleep loss with my wife and newborn. I tried to capture the fragmented quality of the night, but really it was an exercise laying out a full size single page story. Click on the image to see it full size in Flickr.

Dreams of sleep, finalHere’s the final with the blacks added digitally. The piece as a whole feels like it owes a lot to Will Eisner, though the style of the characters are a little more indebted to Chris Ware and Dan Clowes. Those two are also well aware of the influence of Herge and Winsor McCay on their own art and I feel the same, though I hadn’t been aware of those artists until recently. Ah comics. Such a great time.

I’ve been teching a class in making comics and this was the project I did as a demonstration. I’m really glad for the motivation to make something that’s not my thesis work right now. Though my next mini-comic will definitely be tied into my thesis. Still, it will be  a nice piece to trade with the students. Glad to have the inspiration. The baby slept till 5 this morning! I can work! I got up right then and haven’t stopped since. Eli really wants to figure out the world.

I also need to upload my last animation/cartoon slide show piece I’d finished last semester. coming soon!

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Mother & Child with Water Stairs

momchild3Big breakthrough last night due to a couple of great bloggers out there. Dani Draws and Zen Textures along with the ever present bittbox who provided me with all the advice and even some of the tools to create this piece above (bittbox is giving away beautiful photoshop watercolor brushes). The drawing is really a pencil doodle I did in my sketchbook that I later inked to pass the time and scanned to see if I’d use it someday. It turned up here when I was experimenting with the textured backdrop I got from Zen Textures for free! Beautiful scans of photoshop textures that makes it look like you’ve been traveling through the outback and had to make a drawing of a dream on an old folded open cereal box left in your backpack from 1972. Then I drew in the stairs in a color layer below the line layer and texturized the color with an eraser tool texture on a really large scale to make it look as if it had been printed in 1972 as well and the ink has peeled away. All of that texture combined with the dreamy nostalgia of the mother and child sitting so peacefully on the water stairs looking toward some gentle place not too far away, but no longer nearby.

That segues nicely into making it well known that I have a two week old little boy living in my house with me and my wife now. Alas, it has been a beautiful experience sensing my heart breaking open to loving a little human animal so currently unaware of its future status aside from what we project onto him.

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He is living in a state of reflexes, nerves, accidental smiles, grunts, phlegm, boobs, and milk. We love him like it hurts. It’s a vague, but pulsating sense of needing to tell him, but feeling unable to communicate it. Right now that can be blamed on his inability to understand words, but I have my suspicions that I’ll be feeling it just as deep when he’s 12. Or 18. Or 50 if I live that long. Wow. It’s coming on slow too. Which means, I don’t have any idea when it will reach full capacity. Here’s a glimpse. Some drawings to come about babies and me. Meanwhile, meet Eli Jupiter Foss.

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