Entries in in the sounds and seas (5)


New Cover Mock-Up


Happy 4th of July! I'm spending the balmy holiday going through draft after draft of re-design for the Sounds & Seas cover. The new run will not have hand-printed covers (workhorse though I consider myself, hand-printing +1,000 two-color two-sided covers on a proof press just isn't going to happen), so I get the genuinely fun task of reconceptualizing the jacket design. I started doing this partly because the Xeric folk needed a thumbnail of the cover for promotions, partly because it's fun, and partly because what I'd planned to do today--write and assemble the Diamond proposal--is a little overwhelming. 

I went through other drafts with more nautical colors, but I so love the warm off-white paper that the body pages are printed on that I went with this warmer palette. For the final version I might do a new drawing for the cover so it's big enough to wrap-around (this illustration is pulled from Vol 1), and some things might shift as I think about the spine, but I think it's pretty ok otherwise.

Anyway: thoughts?


Chicago Alternative Comics Expo

I'm still reeling from the highs of the past two days: CAKE, the Chicago Alternative Comics Expo 2012, my last small press comic show of the season, is done. And what a way to end the season!

One thing that never fails to surprise me is how overwhelmingly friendly and open and generous everyone is at these shows. I met artists whose work I have admired for years, which is always a stomach-churning delight, but almost more exciting is seeing new work that makes me spark and light up while meeting the folks who put that in to the world. I've said it before and I'll say it again, if I could do a show like this every weekend, I would in a heart beat.

Also exciting: I almost sold out of In the Sounds and Seas: Volume I! I have only 2 copies left in the world. The Xeric grant will allow me to reprint Vol I & II in the next month or two, but it feels like a momentous occasion to have 173 copies of my first little book out in the world. Thank you to everyone who stopped by, to my talented neighbors at the show and to all the organizers. CAKE was huge. 

See y'all again at SPX!


Thanks, Xeric Foundation!

 I'm so excited I can barely bring myself to write about this! "In the Sounds and Seas" was selected to join the final group of self-published comic projects to win the 2012 Xeric Foundation Grant. 

Applying to this grant was a huge Hail Mary pass. I had planned to apply for the Xeric in a few grant cycles, once the full project was complete, to propose to print a single, unified, fancy book edition of the story that contains the tale from beginning to end. A friend casually mentioned in January that the Xeric is shifting its focus away from support to individual artists and towards larger charitable organizations, and the final deadline was fast approaching (at the end of February, when I was deep in the heart of crazy illustration). I decided to throw a long pass and try, assuming that a) a lot of other people would submit fractured projects since it's the last grant, and b) judging by the intimidatingly high quality of previous winners' projects, mine would be passed over, or at best appreciated by one of the judges who might send me a personal, supportive rejection letter. It will be a good exercise in grant writing, I told myself. 

But no! ISS got a grant! This means that Volumes 1 & 2, in their current incarnations with hand-printed covers, will be joined into one larger edition for high-volume printing (fewer precious hand-made pieces, so cheaper ticket price!) and significantly broader (/national) distribution, assuming everything goes to plan. This is huge! It also shifts the planned production for the remaining books, but that is a problem to worry about another day. For now, since I've finished doing tiny dances of celebration, and after next weekend's comic expo here in Chicago (more on that soon!), I'll work in illustrating a new cover and working with Salsedo Press on a new mega-edition.

High fives all around!


Printing the Cover: In the Sounds and Seas Vol 2

One step closer to a finished Volume 2: a generous edition of 200 covers are printed! I had hoped to fit both pattern blocks onto the press bed for the work and turn, but the fit was too tight to print well. So much for saving time! The dark patterns on the inside and outside of the cover are printed in a mix of black & metalic silver ink, and the title is metalic silver. Next step: taking the cover paper and the digital files for the book to the offset studio for printing and finishing. Color me one happy but exhausted print maker.


Volume 2: So close!

Printing the cover of Volume 2 this weekend and sending the files to press next week. Not ready for a victory lap yet, but it is exciting to see the finish line!