Gods & Undergrads Book 2 - Back in Stock!

That's right, Gods & Undergrads Book 2 is now back in stock!

Want to find out what happens when Lelaina really falls for Linden? Or what rage in a college undergrad whose parents happen to be Greek gods looks like? Or who the next God to arrive at Troy University is?

Here's the book in my shop - and order ANY Gods & Undergrads books now and get a sketch of the Greek God of your choice on the inside! (just don't forget to tell me which one)

Oh yeah, and I managed to get it reprinted in full color without sacrificing one of my cats. Hooray!

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Bmore Into Comics #3

Saturday, May 17th 12:00 - 4:00

It's time for our next installment of Bmore Into Comics!

Created last year, Bmore Into Comics is a series of small, one-day shows stocked with local comics creators and set in bars in/around Baltimore. If you're a localite, come out this Saturday from 12 - 4:00 to Hampden's new Belgian Beer Bar De Kleine Duivel. We'll have comics creators, books for sale, banter, and oh yeah - a TON of specialty beers! I'll be there with all my books and prints in tow!

Here's the list of creators on tap (GET IT? TAP? Because there'll be beer?? Ok, I'll slink away now):

(and of course, me!)

Click on the event page and join us!

Can't wait to see you guys and toast to comics!

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Last of the Colorful Gods & Undergrads Books

EEK! My 2nd volume of Gods & Undergrads (i.e. the book where SHIT REALLY GETS REAL) is almost sold out! Now, I'll be reprinting this volume, so too much panicking isn't really necessary, BUT not in color. Not again, not for a little while. Until, y'know, the massive omnibus of all things Gods & Undergrads happens and I finally do a KickStarter about it or somethin' somethin' (which will probably totally happen at some point).

So if you want Book 2 in color ... act now! It's $8, and I've got four left. Tick ... tick ...

Here are some fuzzy pictures I took with my phone of this endangered beast in the wild ...

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Fun Things This Week!


When I Was A Mall Model

When I Was A Mall Model
Written by: Monica Gallagher Art by: Monica Gallagher Price: $2.99

An autobiographical tale about trying to build a career as a model when I was a late teen. Full of awkward antidotes and outfits galore! Definitely read it before you think about buying a bunch of shoes and walking down a mall runway.

When I Was A Mall Model is on Comixology! For those of you not familiar with Comixology, it's a place where you can read tons and tons of comics on your tablet/e-reader/iPad thingamajigee. And while I fully support local comic shops and am kind of obsessed with print in general, Comixology is yet another great vehicle for gettin' comics out to more people, aww yeah.

(BTW my publisher Oni Press is having a mad crazy graphic novel sale there right now you can check out!)



Bmore Into Comics #2 is this Saturday, hooray! That's right, after we had a really great #1 back in August at Bad Decisions, now it's time for #2. We've got a bunch of amazing people lined up to be there (check out the website for all the deets)

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Local Holiday Market - This Friday!

Hey local folkses!

I will be appearing at Howard County Arts Council's Open House and Holiday Sale this Friday from 5:30 - 8:30 at the Center for the Arts in Ellicott City! Wanna get some nifty comics or hanging prints or stickers for that special someone this holiday season? I'll be there and it'll be Friday, so come on out, say hi, and join in the merriment of some local artists.

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Cyber Funday

It's that crazy wacky time for Cyber Monday Sales!

Which means it's the last day to get 20% off everything I've got AND a free sticker, to boot! Can't be beat! Check out the stuff in the store here - I added a whole buncha originals yesterday.

Also, I watched Catching Fire this weekend.

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Wonder Woman Movie Time

In light of the success of Hunger Games, there's all these amazing comics screaming WHY ISN'T THERE A WONDER WOMAN MOVIE OUT (here for Kate Leth's and here for Kate Beaton's). I couldn't resist adding my amazon outrage to the pile :)

And yes, those X's are for the boobs they cut off to shoot better. Y'know, like Amazons do!

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Inking the New Hotness: Part 3

One of the hardest things I find about inking is knowing when to put in fills. You know what I'm talking about - those big, dramatic shadowy areas.

Doing straight up black-and-white is not one of my strong suits - I have always been reliant on grays. On shading. Shading with black always seems SO DRAMATIC HEY GUYS LOOK THIS IS DRAMA HERE but yet other people seem to do it so effortlessly.

My first foray into solo black-and-white was with my comic Lipstick & Malice (also my first time using a brush pen, so there was a lot of I Don't Know What I'm Doing happening). But here I stayed pretty timid.

I would use it mainly for lighting effects.

Or to block out the pieces of action sequences happening.

I've been trying to branch out more and dip my toe into incorporating more dramatic blacks, but for me it can get a little screwy. Like here, it might be fine - no big, just some shadows.

But then this is as bold as I get

And here ... eehhh I don't know what happened. (you can see by my white-out that this is even my SECOND attempt at this sleeve.)

One thing I've found helpful to get over my fear (besides ogling the work of other creators) is to shade in an area with pencil first - it gives me a mini-preview of what it will look like shaded without much sacrifice. Or I'll just wait to fill in the blacks on the computer, where I have endless undo's available. But then the originals look kind of sad, which is something I've been trying to avoid.

Do you guys have any tips/tricks/mantras for getting over your fear of luscious black fills? Or are you more gung ho, this is easy peasy than I am?

Other posts about inking: Inking the New Hotness Part 2 Inking the New Hotness Part 1

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Bonnie Stickers

Ohhh I had so much fun creating these!

These sweet babies are vinyl, waterproof, and just a wee bit under 4" x 4". Perfect for affixing to your phone (like I did over my scratched up case), your derby helmet, or your car!


Get a set of all three or buy them individually at my shop! (I know some of the images seem to be missing there today - Storenvy says they're working on it!)

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Pieces in Progress

Just in case you guys don't already know this, since I'm working on a book for Oni in the background and I can't give you guys comics EVERY day (just Tue-Thu for Bonnie and Wed for my travel journal comic, which ain't too shabby!), I post a lot of my work in progress on my Instagrammers and Tumblrrrs pages. I'm always down for comments and questions on my process, tools, plans, whatevs! So feel free to chat.

Like this kinda stuff:

Come join the party!

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Inking the New Hotness: Part 2

More talk about inking! Yes!

So, as I mentioned last time, for inking I use a size 6 Silver Ultra Mini brush and a pot of Bombay India Ink. Because I discovered I'd randomly bought them one day. One of the new challenges I've encountered with using a real brush is the ink usage. How much to put on your brush? When to blot? When to wash your brushes?



When I started using this brush, I quickly realized I'd need a blotter and a way to test out the line I was brushing before I got to the page. For me, using paper towels and a sheet of scrap paper was the easiest. Not the prettiest setup, but whatchagonnado.



Oh and I keep a roll of tape around my ink bottle for security, since this guy is always waiting for his opening.



Every time I dip my brush in the ink, I need to make sure the excess doesn't clumsily ruin all the nice lines I plan on doing. This works for the most part - I'm still working through when I'm allowed to make certain brushstrokes during the space between dipping my brush again. Swoopy lines tend to happen for me right after I dip and blot, but thin, controlled lines have to wait until after a lot of the ink has left the brush.



Purposefully scratchy lines are something I'm still working on - for me I haven't quite found the right balance of ink and control to get them just right. I love the inbetween, gray texture of them though.



Mostly I tend to probably OVER dip, or put too much ink on my brush. That's pretty much how I solve every inking problem - it's like a reset button for me. Line getting too weak? RESET, GIMME MORE INK. Brush seeming to diverge into uncontrollable side lines? RESET.

This here is one of my biggest pet peeves:



The dreaded brush off-shoot. You know, where suddenly one or two hairs on your brush decide they're NOT all in it together and decide to go their separate ways. Then, just when you think you're inking one solid, has-it-together line - BAM - a tiny twin line appears, just to mock you.

I used to think this meant I needed a new brush, or needed to wash it out more frequently. I'm still not exactly sure what the cause is, but naturally my solution is RESET. MORE INK STAT.

Then I feel more comfortable ignoring the problem, because it's slathered down with more ink, less likely to cause trouble if I keep weighing it down.



This can get a little messy. And because of my tendency to over-ink, I've taken to washing my brush out after each page  just to start fresh once again. Or if my line starts getting really out of hand and acting out on me, I'll wash my brush to see if it helps.



Now, since I am a novice at inking technique, and a super novice at using a brush, I'd love to hear how YOU guys are going about it. Are you washing your brushes all the time? Replacing them all the time? Using different sizes, or one size like me? I'm especially curious to hear whether or not you plop your brushes in soapy water during your inking - I've been wondering if that would solve my split personality brush hair problem.

All these inking samples are taken from my webcomic Gods & Undergrads, and the book I'm currently working on for Oni. :)

Other posts about inking: Inking the New Hotness Part 3 Inking the New Hotness Part 1

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Inking the New Hotness: Part 1

I've been doing a LOT of inking lately and I think I'm in love with it. A couple of months ago, I  switched over from only using my beloved Pentel Brush Pen to using a tiny brush and a pot of India Ink.

Inking used to be one part of the Comics Process Trinity that I liked okay (because at least the pencilling was over with), but I was always disappointed with the lack of control I felt. Lines that looked so cool in pencil were suddenly ruined by the shaky, fat line that completely surprised me when I drew it on the page.

The smaller brush seems to have made a huge difference in giving me more control in line weight and distribution of ink. It took some adjustment at first to get used to holding a thinner drawing instrument (welcome back, carpal tunnel!), but now I wouldn't have it any other way. I even tried to get slightly larger brushes of the same style - #8 and #10 - but #6 remains my jam.

I'm a total inking novice, so I wanted to do a couple posts on my newfound love of it and how I'm (hopefully) learning to improve upon my process. New exciting tools that make me excited to do it - CHECK!

Inspiration is also a huge kick in the pants of making we want to improve, too. Here are a few of the folks whose inking stylings I'm super crushing on:

Other posts about inking: Inking the New Hotness Part 3 Inking the New Hotness Part 2

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Small Boob Awards: Katina Choovanski

Like a lot of the ladies I give out the Small Boobs Award to, this one also doubles as a Kick-Ass Woman. Katina Marie Choovanski, aka Katchoo, is one of the main characters of Terry Moore's Strangers in Paradise - an epic, amazing series about ladies in love, assassins, intrigue, and best friends.

I first fell in love with Katchoo because she was petite, gorgeous, had HUGE bags under her eyes, chain smoked, and was always pissed off. It was the first time I'd seen a female character in a comic book allowed to be real - in all her good, bad, and awkward moments. Strangers In Paradise (and Terry Moore) is given a lot of credit for its depiction of real bodies, mainly because of the tall, realistically busty Francine. But since I am on the flat-chested side, I tended to relate more to Katchoo.

Plus you don't get too far along in the series before you find out she can hold her own in a fight, and used to work alongside a slew of assassins. That's pretty much everything I want in a story - realistic, relatable characters and secret organizations full of female assassins. With some scenes of junk food eating and TV watching thrown in, to boot.

Here's a blurry picture of a sketch I did of Katchoo back in 2009, when I finally got to meet Terry Moore in person:

There are very few characters who've influenced my comicking as much as Katchoo. I'm so lucky I got introduced to her when I did.

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4 States 2 Months


2 weekends of 2 back-to-back local comic conventions are over! They were SUCH a blast. Attending SPX this past weekend was a total whirlwind of emotions. SPX was the first show I ever attended (in 2001) and exhibited at (in 2002, back when I was just giving out free stickers and telling people to look at my website - webcomic marketing at its finest!). Since SPX was a regular trek for me every year and held conveniently close to my home, it's always held a squishy, warm place in my heart. Many of the connections and friends I've made over the years have been due to those close quarters in the old hotel conference rooms, the hotel bar, the hunt for restaurants that would take 20 people, the chocolate fountain.

However, the last couple of years I've missed out on tabling for various reasons, so I was starting to feel disconnected from this show that had really kicked off my involvement in comics. So THIS year, with table-aggedon (i.e. the enthusiasm with which all of us exhibitors broke the SPX online registration system) I was convinced I would yet again be relegated to showing up an hour before the end of the show and trying to worm my way into some friends' dinner plans. Luckily the wizards at SPX Headquarters managed to get me a table, and I had the joy of participating in a MUCH bigger, happier, and more packed SPX than I've seen . . . well, ever. I've read a bunch of other recap posts about how the enthusiasm and the attendees were the biggest attractions of the show and I agree - you guys all made me love and appreciate and get excited about comics all over again! I mean, I'm already obsessed with comics and stuff, but injections of inspiration are never ignored!

So anyway. Just a brief love letter to SPX 2013 and now I'm on to other THINGS! For one, you may have noticed that since Book 3 wrapped up, Gods & Undergrads hasn't been having many (any) updates. It'll be on a hiatus for a little bit, so's I can make actual progress on this Oni book and catch up on other things. But since I AM obsessed with comics, while I was on several road trips this summer I thought it might be fun to take down some notes and compile a little travel journal comic about my experiences (Lucy Knisley-style). So while Gods & Undergrads is taking a snoozer, I present to you 4 States, 2 Months, a webcomic updated Wednesdays starting October 2nd! Weee! Happy Fall, everyone. :)

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