Life Drawing

So I've been doing some life drawing lately. 

A friend of mine hosts several really great life drawing sessions at various locations around town. The models are really good, and, at least at the one I attend, there are cookies at the break. I don't know if you're aware of me feelings on cookies, but I can tell you: they are strong and extremely positive.

I'm also really enjoying the drawing aspect. I can't remember the last time I did any sort of life drawing, but I was probably in my twenties. Getting back into it for the first time in maybe twenty years I was super rusty. But, sure enough, over time, my skills have begun to return. And that's been very rewarding.

In addition to my pencil, I always bring a brush pen and fountain pen and try to at least ink one or two of the better drawings as time permits.

What I forgot about was how much I just love drawing. It's so much fun, and it's great to have a time and place to do it in a focused, concentrated place with like-minded people and a terrific host.

It's a Book! It's a Book! I Made a Book!

Um... Yeah, so I made a book. And I'm really excited about it.

This is a project I've been working on for several months, but it's also been a long-term goal of mine for many years. So I'm really happy to have, in my sweaty little mitts, actual hard copies of my first book, Apartness.

The Cover of  Apartness  (Hard Cover)

The Cover of Apartness (Hard Cover)

I'm also really happy to report that you too can now get your own copy. Just head on over to Blurb and fork over some hard earned dough. They'll print you up a copy and in a couple weeks you'll get it in the mail. Simple as that.

Full-Color Sunday Strip

Full-Color Sunday Strip

The book comes in two flavors. The hardcover version, shown here, is beautiful. The image is printed full-bleed directly onto the semi-gloss, hard cover. There is also a glossy softcover option which is nearly as nice and a bit cheaper. Both versions feature premium luster-finish paper inside and look surprisingly professional. If you've ever seen a collection of newspaper comics you'll have a good idea of the quality of this book. That's what I was going for and that's pretty much what I got.

Black and White Dalies

Black and White Dalies

I used an online print-on-demand service, with a focus on photobooks, called Blurb to make these books. I've been quite pleased with them. They provide two different applications for laying out and uploading your book, and they're both powerful but easy to use. They also have tools that integrate with InDesign and other third-party applications, as well as additional tools you can use to create your book. I used their application called BookWright, which is also geared towards making photobooks, and is simple but effective. Blurb's print quality, to my eye, is very nice. I didn't use the absolute highest quality paper option, but I'm very happy with the quality nevertheless. Their prices are affordable, the product ships reasonably quickly and sales and distribution are handled directly on Blurb's website. I'm a little shocked at how easy it turned out to be, and how happy I am with the results.

Hardcover Wraparound

Hardcover Wraparound

This whole process has been incredibly fun and rewarding. And I've learned a ton! But there's plenty more to do, and I'm already onto the next projects. While those cook, please check out — and if you're so inclined, buy a copy of — my book. I really hope you like it.

More Syndication News: The Fate of The Malcontents

So not long ago I received another rejection from a syndicate, this time from the Washington Post. Once again, I was given notes, and this time I was even encouraged to resubmit at a later date, since they were not taking on any new work at the time of my initial submission. Considering this is a rejection letter, I find it extremely heartening to get a letter like this. So I'm currently developing a new idea that I hope to submit down the road. While I work on that I thought I would share the strips I made for last submission.

That strip is a more family-friendly version of Malcontent that features our main Malcontent character, his awesome girlfriend, his crazy dog, and his best friend, who just happens to be a bear who can talk and who hates fish. It's called The Malcontents.

I will be posting full-color versions of the strips on Malcontent every week for a while. I hope you like them.