2015-09-14-bm

Perfect Social Justice

I feel weird about this one, but life is too short to worry that much about what one is doing!

It was also pretty inevitable that I was going to bring Mona back in–I think I just needed to get away from her for a couple of strips? But it’s just like everything clicks well when this specific Friend Relationship is around, so like, why ditch it for the sake of Ideological Purity? Where you are is where you ought to be.

I’ve been going back and filling in the inks on some of the strips that have existed in pencils only for like, a year now (and which the members of the Abjuration Club have seen some months back), trying to reconnect to the larger story. It still feels weird, but I’m trying to at least keep drawing, staying sort of spontaneous, not taking things too seriously, trying to function, and I guess it is sort of working enough that comics are appearing, so!

bm_uterusclub

Uterus Club No Longer In Session

This is my comic about why I haven’t worked on Bad Mother in a while. It turns out that if you are trans and feel conflicted about your body and reproductive destiny in the ways alluded to here, writing and drawing a webcomic about a cis lesbian and the cis daughter she can relatively uncomplicatedly produce and raise (relative to you), in a way that also forces you to think very carefully and in a detailed way about the childhood and life arc of said cis daughter, is not a good “mental health” decision possibly. So it seemed wise maybe to address this directly.

There are other Bad Mother comix that I may or may not finish and I may or may not come back to it, but I have a couple of Cathy strip ideas (some featuring Mona and Betty, sure) and I want to do those for a while. It’s Frustrating To Write Mostly Cis Characters These Days isn’t the only factor involved in comix production slowdown, and if I had more time to uncomplicatedly spend on comics or less fear of the process of making comics itself, I could probably like “power through” my existing Bad Mother outline? But I don’t have that much time, so I want to spend what time I do spend on comics on articulating stuff from this point of view now. Sorry, if that bugs you! This may result in more comics for you though! Or it may not!

Maybe I will recenter Bad Mother on Cathy (as Allison Parrish once told me I ought to do) so that the same characters you have come to know and love will still be there, but now they will be explicitly viewed through the cruel, jaundiced eye of our heroine! Maybe I will just bring back Boat Girl forever! Who knows what I will do! I don’t!

UPDATE: I don’t even know! I’m still in New Orleans! I am really actively looking for freelance work, if you are seeking someone to design books or edit copy! Please inquire! I am still writing. Instar Books released two new titles since last update, and a third is coming ASAP. We are planning a sweet Fall tour, about which more info soon. Today’s Tarot draw was the Three of Swords, although it’s 11:15pm where I am, so it’s probably too late to act on that information.

<3

2014-07-21-bm

Eyes on the Prize

ha ha ha this is based on a TRUE STORY! The true story of Xmas shopping today, December 13, 2014, at a series of suburban malls in Kenner and Metairie, Louisiana; the true story of everything sucks and Mona is wrong because there is actually no way ever to stop this game. So it was at least helpful to keep score for once, to quantify everything sucking for once

Other news that I may not have posted here yet:

  • I started a Patreon called ABJURATION CLUB NEWSLETTER. Once a month I basically dump all that I’ve worked on in the past month into a fun zine format. So it’s a mix of excerpts from my novel-in-progress, Summer Fun, Bad Mother strips in progress (sometimes, not lately, because I suck), sketchbook drawings, and miscellany. Please enjoy if this is your kind of thing! (There is a sample issue to determine whether this is your kind of thing.)
  • Torrey Peters reviewed The Black Emerald for Topside Press’s Spotlight section! It is a pretty rad review!
  • Instar Books has released a new title, Sharing by Miracle Jones! It’s one of my favorite novels basically ever, really indescribably wonderful and weird, and I’m so so so excited that we’re doing a new updated edition of the original Smashwords publication. Please check it out (there’s a preview PDF of the first chapter on the book page), and if you happen to buy it and read it, do us a “solid” and leave a fun Goodreads review?\
  • Miracle Jones and I are gonna do a Reddit AMA on Tuesday, December 16, 2014 at 11 AM Eastern in support of Instar Books generally. Come ask us questions and stuff! It’ll be somewhere on this page.
  • One of the stories from The Black Emerald got all published and stuff in CURA! If you like this strip and others in its vein maybe you will dig it! It is about trading sex for dessert because Nietzsche said so.
2014-07-15-bm

Old Scratch

Yet another comic drawn during the bulk of this year where I could not for the life of me get anything done. The joke I guess is that Mona is frustrating to talk to about basically any subject.

I have very little to say about this one! It has been around for a while gathering dust. I actually didn’t realize, reading it over tonight to post it, that I’d never really questioned what an alder tree even is, because I do not have as wholesome a relationship with THE GREAT GAIA as I would like. It is kind of interesting! I’m excited that alder trees have the power to begin to reclaim ecologically destroyed land, that they have this kinda missionary role among the tree population.

2014-07-14-bm

Dear God Or Whoever Ya Are

This was originally drawn in February or March or something as a kind of totem against the fear of continuing to draw and update this webcomic I was then experiencing. I guess it DIDN’T TOTALLY WORK, since I haven’t finished inking and coloring it until now, but it was nice to see it looking at me from my drafting table from time to time, reminding me that comics are important in my life!

Geez. a whole lot has happened? I guess this video of me reading with other rad writers is an important component of that, as is this new thing I am doing with pals?

2014-03-03-bm

Eviction is the Ultimate Teacher

A word about the rainbow here. When I first started doing the “Year 2” strips, I knew I was going to be adding a second color and was really worried about this, since I had essentially no experience with doing color art generally (the “Year 1” strips are kinda cheats, since the hue, being monochromatic, is essentially just a value between black/white.) So I figured that it would be a good idea to make a rainbow be a central feature of one of the major locations of the Year 2 storyline–the classroom, with Betty separate from Mona/the family for really the first time in the strip–basically as a kind of in-world “test pattern.”

In retrospect, this was the worst idea, and I’m reminded of it every time I have to do a scene in that stupid classroom. Fortunately this is the last time probably!

(Uploaded February 29, 2016, LEAP DAY, for posterity)

2014-03-01-bm

Opposite of Trouble

This is one of two strips that was on my desk when Sybil Lamb and Casey Plett stayed at my house in October 2014 for their tour, and that Sybil read aloud to me making up voices for all of the characters, and I can not imagine this dialogue in any other voice than that of Sybil Lamb

So you should know that

This is part of the storyline that, at least for the time being, I am kind of imagining as “it” for Bad Mother, other than occasional “Year 3” style comics feat. Cathy and a mysterious and nebulous supporting cast. There was a lot more planned (specifically for the latter part of Year 2, which I will maybe allude to in the blog posts for the rest of these comics, because who does not love a good rambling comix blog post??), but for reasons previously stated, I am really detached from this overall world and project, and as bitter experience has taught me, once you start feeling detached from a project, you should generally let it go. I feel kind of bad about this–I do really like these characters and think that the art is sort of getting to a place where I don’t hate it–but okay real talk, writing a story about mostly cis people who have or are kids is very alienating and strange, esp once “writing outside of one’s experience” is no longer a decision one views as the default and only option. Once there is a choice in this matter. The choice to center Fun Cis Folks is the kind of decision I would make in 2011 when I was planning out Bad Mother and worried about alienating all of the trans lady friends who lived in my imagination and who I did not have, and not really the kind of decision I would make today, and exactly what do you become if you remain too attached to the past?

I think the only time I have seriously regretted letting a project go is Boat Girl. Maybe I’ll just only do Boat Girl now. Maybe I will do something different altogether. Maybe I will do nothing.

anyway enjoy these kids! what scrapes will they get into

2014-02-26-bm

Higgs Boson

I don’t draw often enough is the thing. This is a script I have had sitting around for a few months, hastily finished so I would have something for the most recent Rocksalt Magazine (vis.) I would like to be positive about comics, and I’m glad I can do something like the first panel background quickly these days–thinking about how long, painstaking, and ultimately ineffective the process of doing those was ten years ago. I just wish I had time, could make time, to do this more often.