STAPLE this weekend!

Helllloooo from the depths of the winter tundra in which I currently reside!

I'm planning on burrowing out of here early tomorrow morn and heading on down to the fantastically mild Austin climate for some Staple! action this weekend. If you're in the nearby to Austin area, come on out and see me! I'll have a selection of things, including these things:

OHHH I'll also have a preview copy of my NEW BOOK but no actual copies yet .... ;)

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Staple Stuff

As always, I had a FABULOSO time in Austin at Staple last weekend, even though I think I made the mistake of staying at my hotel too much (what can I say, I'm one of them introverted types) and therefore, the hotel workers were getting a little TOO familiar with me. "Ms. Gallagher, would you like another bottle of wine this evening?" Um ... I could be all "You don't know me!" but clearly, he did.

I had a blast chatting about comics, meeting new people, and even being included on a Webcomics Marketing Panel! Even though sometimes I get a little stage frighty, I LOVE being on panels and getting to chat about comics to a larger audience. This one was moderated by Mr. Boundless Energy Richard Whittaker, I got to chat with Jeremy The Artist, Jason Poland, and Kennon James.

It seemed like most of the questions from the audience were in regards to HOW to start a webcomic - i.e. what platform to use, what tools, how much web design do you need to know, etc. One thing we all seemed to agree on was to just start DOING. Start creating, and whether you post stuff via your phone camera and uploading to a newly created Tumblr page, or scanning and posting stuff on your own website/blog, the important thing was to just get started. No matter what, it won't be perfect and it will continue to evolve, no matter how much you plan and think you've thought of everything from the start. That's why I figure it's best to just do, go, draw, write! Nothing will be perfection, and everything will change, so you might as well kick it into gear and start!

As always, Chris "Mr. Staple" Nicholas put on a really fun show that I feel like highlights some of my favorite things about Austin - friendly people, oodles of creativity, and endless things to see. I sat next to super talented ladies Diana Steig and Anissa Bryant, who were kind enough to share their food supply with me and take me out on the town. And I even got to catch some of the Oscars and snark about them with Chip Zdarsky!

Here are the fun sketches that lovely people asked me to do:

Now I get to gear up for the next show . . . Emerald City Comic Con at the end of this month!

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Ready, Set . . . CONVENTION

Here we go, here we go, on our way to Shangri-La! (Yes, that is a Clutch reference. Shout out to all the Marylanders out there.). I'm just all excited because it's about to be convention season all up in here!

Normally I kick off the season in March with Staple, but sadly I won't be at that beloved convention this year. Instead I'm flying out to the rainy, greeny Seattle for Emerald City Comicon. I've been DYING to go to Seattle since I realized I have a penchant for rainy weather and I first saw an episode of Frasier. I can't wait to see what this convention is all about. Going to a new convention is like getting to know a new friend - at first you're not quite sure how things will go. Will they be fun to be around? Comfortable? Respect your personal space? Full of energy? Smelly? All of these things are important going in. True, I've never had a really BAD con experience (although some have involved peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, stage fright, and one cartoonist being forced to sing the opening score to Star Trek) and I always enjoy the chance to get to know a new one, but you neeeever know if they'll fit in to your lexicon of Cons You're In Love With.

But for now, it's prep time! First, I've finally gotten around to publishing my next two Bonnie N. Collide books - that's #5 and #6!

Now complete with tiny recaps in the beginning, so you'll have a hankering on what's happened so far. Or, you could just get the 2nd Bonnie N. Collide Triple Pack, compiling books #4 - #6 and read for yourself!

Speaking of triple packs, I've combined three of my autobiographical comics into this cute little number:

This cute little pack combines my books Middle School, When I Was A Mall Model, and Go For the Eyes in one sweet little set. I don't know what it is about streamlined packaging that really gets me, but I LOVE it. Therefore, I keep repackaging my books over and over. It's a thing with me.

For Emerald City I've also got some new prints lined up, and as per usual I'll be doing pencil and inked sketches at the show. I'll be at table E-11 in Artist Alley, as well as at the Oni Booth at some point signing some Glitter Kiss's. Come on out and say hello! And if you're a Rat City rollergirl, come on out and get a free sketch with purchase! :)

OH and this will all be available in my Store and Etsy Shop post-convention!

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What I Read When I Was Supposed to be Drawing

I mentioned that when I was at Staple! I was honored to be part of the Women in Webcomics panel with MariNaomi and Liz Prince. Ironically, we didn't talk about much about webcomics at all, but we did get swap a few tales of our experiences being comickers AND female at the same time (or as Mike Dawson/Alex Robinson put it - Ladytoonists!). I might write more about that topic later.

Most importantly, though, I also got to swipe a few of their comics.

First, I checked out Liz Prince's adorable Will You Still Love Me If I Wet The Bed. It reminded me a little of similar relationship/comic strip style comics, but with one important distinction: it was positive. Not just positive, but unabashedly sweet and cute and reminded you of what it's like to be smitten in a totally weirdo way with someone.

After that smooshiness, I turned to Liz's Alone Forever, which I have to admit liking an eensy bit more. This one was fun, witty, sad, mean, and awesome, and a lot more relatable. You get the perfect sense of what it's like to bop around in Liz's world for a while, and her search for love is as familiar as it is fun. Again, a "relationship" type comic that's full of snark and fun, not depresso-ness. Yay!

Next up, I turned to MariNaomi's mondo memoir Kiss & Tell .

I wasn't exactly sure what to expect from diving into someone's massive, personal, detailed relationship history in comic form. The book details all of Mari's private, fleeting, detailed, and thorough relationships with lovers, friends, and more over the years. I loved how surprisingly honest it was, but also how matter of fact. Even though she relates very private specifics, she does so in such a way that makes the reader feel comfortable relating to it without feeling creepy for spying. My favorite part was how she shared her experiences. This isn't an aggressive recounting, or one tinged with regret. It's a fun, voyeuristic ride that's peppered with deeper messages that catch you buy surprise. Lovely depth, I'll call it.

Awesome stuff. Guess I'll slink back to work now ...

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30-for-30: Day 22

Confession time! Even though it's Feb. 23rd, I spent all yesterday in my PJ's and workout clothes. Whoops. So now ... I guess I will be getting to 30 days a day late? Or do I need to do two outfits in one day? 30 for 30-ers out there, help me out! I'm new to this, I don't know all the rules ...

So I took my saggy butt jeans to the tailor tonight, which I'm now horrified to realize means ... that I won't have jeans for a week. I will not be able to wear jeans for A WEEK. Ohhhh noooo ... but I guess it's a small price to pay to have some bangin', non-saggy butt jeans in time for my trip down to Austin next weekend for Staple!, a superfun indie comics show. If you're in the area, you'll have to stop by my table and say "OMG Monica those jeans have really ... improved". Okay? Deal?

Oxford - H&M, dress - Target, belt - American Apparel, pants & necklace - Express