Newly Printed Mini-Comics!

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Comics and prints are now for sale in my new ONLINE SUPERMARKET!

Catharsis Comics is a collection of humorous and heartfelt comics relating to love, sex, and being single — including a chapter from my now defunked graphic novel!

BIRTH/DEATH poses the question: What if your strongest desire at the time of death determined your next life? Take a spin through time and space in this multi-life karmic adventure.

You can get both these nicely-printed comics for only $9, plus shipping.

There’s also my popular “Be the Love You Want to Find” print for only $3.

Not only are these enjoyable to look at, but they make nice gifts. Thank you for supporting my art!

Dallion’s First Comic Convention

IMG_0110By the frequency of these blog updates it must look like I’ve given up on art, or at least scaled back my ambitions. But I assure you, dear reader, things are moving slowly yet surely towards some inevitable conclusion.

As you know, Life is a delicate balancing act involving dream chasing, money making, responsibility maintaining, friendship sustaining, family visiting, relaxing, grooming, and dating. That’s right, lonely ‘ol Dallion ain’t been so lonely since May, when he started seeing a lovely lady who’s been very patient and understanding with this goof. Turns out this summer has been one of growth, more often in areas less-related to art, but important nonetheless.

Yet even artistically, things move forward.

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I’m excited to announce that I’ve snatched a table at Alternative Press Expo in San Francisco on October 4th & 5th! It’s a comics convention put on by the same people as the San Diego Comic Con and will be my first experience displaying and selling my work publicly. It has lit a fire under my ass to make merchandise, and lately I’ve been collating and binding my two comic books as well as creating prints and hand painted greeting/thank you cards.

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Having no idea how many copies of my books will sell at APE, I’ve decided to horde my limited stash until after the event, but soon afterward, you’ll have a chance to purchase goodies when I open my online store. Start saving your pennies!

Projects at the Print Shop

Progress on my new graphic novel has been coming along, but before I totally depart into that fertile land, I’ve been diligently transforming past projects into tangible tokens. I’d like to announce the forthcoming release of two mini-comics — one, a collection of romantically themed break-up comics, and the other a self-contained, short, experimental story. I’ll release more info on these soon, but in the meantime, here’s the covers:

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I’m really happy with how these came out, particularly the cover for Catharsis Comics. If I saw it at a convention or comics shop, I would be be intrigued and want a closer look.

These mini-comics represent my first foray into self-publishing, and I’ve definitely learned a lot — namely, how time consuming it is! Just formatting the files for the printer was a huge task requiring making little prototype books using scissors and glue sticks, then dismantling it to see what page each piece gets printed on (it’s not a linear process like you might think). Not including time spent creating the content, it probably took an additional 40 hours to create the covers, layout the books, and prepare the files for the print shop.

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When these are printed I’ll be collating and staple-binding them myself — another time consuming task. All told, from this printing, I’ll have 60 copies of BIRTH/DEATH and 70 copies of Catharsis Comics. With the $260 spent on paper, printing, and supplies, if I sell these for $5 each, I’ll be lucky to make $1/hr for the time I’ve spent producing these comics. Clearly, I’m not in it for the money. I see these books as a sort of business card; you lose money having business cards printed, but hopefully, they go out into the world and bring back the goodness.

Dallion Goes Viral — Off To Stumptown Comics!

Tumblr is a great site for artists to find and show art. I created one a little while back, and have posted a few doodles there that haven’t made the Blog. Anyhow, when I posted the “Renewal” strip I did a little while back, I was pleasantly surprised to see it get over 100 likes and re-blogs from complete strangers! It’s not 3 million hits on YouTube or anything, but was my first piece of art to “go viral”, as the kids say, and it was super encouraging and a good omen for my next adventure…

STUMPTOWN COMICS! I should actually be packing right now instead of blogging, but I just wanted to share a little bit of my excitement about this coming action packed weekend. In addition to Stumptown being my first comics convention, I’ll also be CouchSurfing the first time, and my hosts sound really awesome. I’ll be meeting them tonight at a Food Not Bombs dinner in a city park. I really can’t imagine a better (re)introduction to Portland. I’ll be bringing my bike with me and will use it as my primary mode of transportation in this bicycle friendly city. I’m sure I’ll get my ass lost about 836 times, but it will be a blast nonetheless. In addition to the convention itself, there will be great panels and workshops, comic art gallery tours of the city, pre and post parties, and even an avant garde comics performance. It’s going to be nuts.

I’ll be bringing a few samples of my art, but really my main goal is to meet a lot of great people and learn more about The Biz. Wish me luck!

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Girl Power! Part Two

A few months ago I blogged about my new favorite artists, all girls (possibly women). Well the trend has continued. I SWEAR TO GOD it has nothing to do with the fact they (presumably) have boobs. I don’t know why, but to me, the most exciting comic art out there is done by ladies. Maybe by the end of this post, you’ll agree.

Okay, geez, if you thought my art crush on Kate Beaton was bad, you should’ve seen my slack-jawed, eye-popped expression when I first stumbled upon Kelly Bastow’s website. In addition to fantastic illustrations, she has a wonderful selection of tiny-yet-powerful comics. kelly_bastow_1But her website only contains a fraction of her work — most of it is on her Tumblr. And now I will spam a bunch of her art because I love it. kelly_bastow_5 kelly_bastow_6 kelly_bastow_2 kelly_bastow_4 kelly_bastow_3 And that’s why I love her. Not only is her art a visual feast, but it comes from a deeply personal place, feels as honest as a confession, and has incredible emotional impact. Maybe that’s why I’m drawn to the work of women. Not to discriminate against men or anything, but generally I think women are more emotionally sensitive. Emotion is what gets me off in comics. (she does the funny too)

Amazingly, Kelly is just a kid. All this talent has been self-developed, and only recently did she begin formal education (bet she’s the only kid in her art school with an agent). Tonight as I was drawing, I listened to Kelly doing her first podcast interview. She’s your stereotypical polite and demure Canadian, but during one part of the interview, she slipped and said something like, “… oh, one day when I’m rich and famous…”. To me, that’s all the more endearing. Magic people know they’re magic.

Next up we have the audacious Jess Fink. Jess is great because she’s proven you don’t have to be a boy to draw dirty pictures. And why hide those dirty drawings under your mattress when you can put them online and have a popular tale of “erotic robot romance”? Pro tip: don’t look at these unless you have some time on your hands.

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Jess also has a graphic novel coming out next month about time traveling to aid her younger self. Great concept, right?

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I follow her tumblr, and seeing her so excited to be holding a hard copy of her graphic novel, makes me tremendously happy and hopeful. Especially since she’s published by my publisher of choice. You can preview the first seven pages, and preorder here.

 Noelle Stevenson has a huge following, and recently won Slate magazine’s $1000 “best online comic” prize for her comic, Nimona. Another art school kid with an agent and a book deal. sigh.

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And finally (because it’s getting late, and even being a fanboy gets old), there’s Stephanie Pepper. Take a look at her comic strip about a fruit cup, and you’ll be a fan too. Plus this: 

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Girls be putting us out of business. Time to step up the game.

Still the Same Boy

As a kid, I loved drawing jet planes and spaceships, laser-beams and missiles; stuff that makes little boys feel powerful. Today, walking in the cold Oregon sunshine, I remembered sitting at my desk at twelve, again trying to conjure up power.

At the time, my mother and I had moved in with her boyfriend, Brent, the man who would become by brother’s father. He hated my dog, a little Dachshund named Megan, probably because she wasn’t very house-trained and I didn’t take good care of her. But I loved her dearly, so when he spoke of getting rid of her, for me, it was a declaration of war. I remember sitting in front of a blank page — angry, brooding — thinking of how to strike back using the only power I possessed: my pencil wielding hand.

So I made comics. I believe they were subtly named “The Terrible Brent”, and god were they mean. They portrayed the poor man as a malevolent, brutish oaf — constantly being outwitted by my little dog. I made fun of everything I could think of, from his big, bushy mustache to his parents. An uglier, stupider man has never been so ruthlessly portrayed by a child.

One evening, I remember walking up to the couch that he and my mother occupied, and proudly handing him my stack of angry comics. He read them one by one, pretending to laugh, but I could see the anger boiling. He threatened to rip them up, but to his great credit, he didn’t. Afterwards, I felt better, and we never did get rid of Megan.

Today this memory made me smile. The drawing. The expressing of feelings through comics. It’s been there since the beginning!

Girl Power!

Yeah, we all know chicks rule, especially the ones that don’t like being called chicks. And yes, women are gaining ground, earning more than half of all college degrees. But did you know they’re kicking ass in comics too? I’ve been discovering some awesome female talent lately, artists that are quickly becoming my favorites.

Chief among them is the amazing Kate Beaton. She is the indie-comics-world darling, and for good reason. Not only are her comics incredibly smart (often riffing on historical themes), but her drawings are totally superb. Her line is tops, harkening back to classic cartoon masters like Silverstein, Steinberg, Steig, and Quentin Blake. She is at the top of the game. Just look at how much expression she gets out of those simple faces!

Although she publishes her comics on her website, Hark! A Vagrant, she released them in book form and it looks like it’s doing great. Right now it has 51 Amazon reviews with a 4.5 star average. I bought it, and have been enjoying it each morning with tea.

Next up we have Jillian Tamaki with her online comic, SuperMutant Magic Academy. This gem is a dark parody of Harry Potter, but with its own unique cast characters. Jill really has a talent for social critique. I’ve started at the beginning and haven’t gotten through them all yet, but so far I especially like this one, this one, this one, this one, this one and this one.

Jillian Tamaki has also illustrated some graphic novels, which I hope to check out soon.

Next up, we have Kate Leth of Kate or Die! — a bisexual, feminist, generally badass comic creator. I like this one a lot.

Even though Hyperbole and a Half hasn’t been updated in over a year, it totally gets honorable mention. Using my investigative skillz, I uncovered the creator, Allie, did not in fact die. Turns out the pressures of success made her want to hide (see this facebook note). Guess that’s what happens when your Blogspot post gets over 4000 comments. She’s also writing a book. We’re rooting for you Allie!

Finally we have Vera Brosgol, creator of the fantastic graphic novel, Anya’s Ghost.

This year Vera won an Eisner Award for “Best Publication for Young Adults”. This is the award I’ll be gunning for with the book I’ll begin after I finish my current one. 2015 Eisner’s, here I come!!!

Anywho, cheers ladies! Thanks for brightening the world with your creativity. Comics make me so hot OMG.