This is the best part.

May 16th, 2014

This is the best part. The end of the year. I like being around K-12 schools in the spring, more than colleges. Spring means freedom.

I love my kids, a lot. I’m proud of them. The musical is this weekend, and they are so self-assured. The best part of being a teacher is when you aren’t needed anymore. I still come dedicatedly to all the performances, because my kids like to look over and see me there, an anchor. But they don’t need me. I sit and I laugh and I grin with all my teeth showing.

I love them, and I want to draw them, and capture these moments. And I remember I’m working on this big project, and every kid I want to draw already has a fictional character representing them. I’m happy to be working on this project that feels like a real translation of experience, or at least, my observation of their experience. They work so hard.

I went out with the other teachers last night. I made a promise to A. that I’ll be with him until graduation. That’s two more years. I hope I can fulfill that. I need to talk to a lot of people.

I love the parties and the dancing and the gossip, I love the focus on me and my creativity, but I’m glad I’m also a teacher. I’m glad I get to be here with these kids. I’m glad I’m not only an artist. This really is the best part.

I’m glad I’m here

April 3rd, 2014


I organized and participated in this reading last night. It was a really good time. I had good conversations with people about my work. I mostly read work that hasn’t been printed yet, like when bands play songs that they just wrote in front of an audience, to “test them out.” Everything I read will be printed in various anthologies sometime this year. I read a few pages from my larger work, the pages still didn’t have word balloons on them. It was exciting.

The show was less thunderous than the one I saw in NYC, but then again, this is Providence. This reading was fun and conversational. The audience laughed and talked with the artists while they read. There was an after-party at John and Andrew’s house and we drank the beer that didn’t sell. It was casual and fun. That’s why I like making art here, it’s casual and fun. But not to the detriment of quality.

I told a 2nd grade girl today that she should start a diary to work out her feelings. I hate that the strongest, most interesting personalities of kids, are the ones who need to be “talked to” a lot. Loud and wild and full of ideas. I told her we would make a diary together, and in the diary she should write all of the things that happened that day, and how she felt about them. Thinking about and analyzing lesson plans for kids is how my mind has been growing lately. It’s weird strategizing possibilities outside of art, when art was always the lens I saw the world. I like doing stuff for other people and seeing how they take it and grow, though. I guess that’s also why I like art in a lot of ways.

The above poster is available for sale at my store.

Three Drawings

April 3rd, 2014





February 16th, 2014

I’m bad at goodbyes. That usually means a person can’t say goodbye, and leaves unceremoniously without it, but in my case what I mean is letting go is difficult. When it’s time to leave I get immensely sad. I’ll be so happy, but when goodbyes come, I quickly sink into deep sadness. Sadness that this situation isn’t going on anymore, that it is now ending, that it has to end. I get anxious. I don’t want it to end. I feel so happy, so there, so in the moment, that when the moment comes to end, it’s heartbreak. But once it’s over, and I’m on the other side of the goodbye, it quickly becomes a bittersweet memory, and then I glide over into the new scenario, and I revel in its new happiness. I can’t transition. I can’t say goodbye. It can’t change. But the whole thing feels like the reaction I am destined for because I’m romantic. It seems appropriate to experience heartbreak at goodbyes, my romance with time. I’m in love with moments, and when they are over, I feel sadness for the clock, sadness that the moment will never happen again, in the same way that it had happened. The moment will be in the past forever on. So sad. Goodbyes are so sad. I’m surprised I fall so deeply in love.

The one transitionary period I’m good at is late at night, a little bit tipsy, with a clear sky. If the stars are above me it feels too sublime to be sad, moving from one moment to the next.

January 30, 2014

January 30th, 2014

We text in the mornings now, which is nice because it feels like it isn’t scheduled. Things without schedules feel more real, but I know that’s not true.

I’ve been emailing and texting people I care about more. It makes me feel thoughtful and connected. I started a new job which also makes me feel thoughtful and connected. Liz asked me “What other kinds of things do you want to do in the future?” This is it, for now. I like teaching children and I like making art. It makes me feel part of multiple communities, and it makes me feel like a part of the future, however intangibly that can be measured. It leaves room for growth, room for input, room for my heart to keep expanding.

My new graphic novel is for kids and is about kids because that’s who I am thinking about right now. I walk into elementary schools, and I see this wonderful cross-section of humanity, and something inside me cleans up a little bit. “Children are our future” is sort of a egotistical way of looking at kids; it’s more like, “Let’s work hard so we don’t fuck it up for them.” They make me want to work hard for them. I wanted to draw a story kids could see themselves in, that I could see myself in.

Responses I and II

January 27th, 2014



Comics Shelfie

January 22nd, 2014

Here’s a piece I wrote for the Comics & Cola blog about my comics collection. Special thanks to Zainab Akhtar for giving me the opportunity. (Here is a link to this piece on the Comics & Cola blog.)

The way I have my books shelved is chaotic. I’ve moved a lot, and by the time I got into the house I’m currently in, I was so tired I just shoveled books out of the boxes and into whatever crevice they fit. This means comics and theory and philosophy and poetry and art books and fiction are all bunged up against each other. However, I’ve been in this house a whole year now, so that excuse is flimsy. Now my excuse is that I’ve visually associated spines too much, and re-organization would mean utter confusion and I would never find anything again.

But I think that’s how comics should be! They should be next to poetry and novels and other books with and without pictures. I think partitioning books into whatever type we imagine them to be is stuffy, and juxtaposing them into interesting thought and idea categories is much more entertaining. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.


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What do I want? A review of a night of comics in New York

January 20th, 2014

“We need to forgive ourselves for how we felt in the past,” Rebecca tells me. Like holographic paintings belonging on the walls of an art museum, her presentation of Solid Sight flickers across the screen. The images are puzzle pieces, the passages borrowed phrases from various sources. Earlier in the day we had lunch and she showed me her studio; the unobtrusive set-up in her bedroom, her two desks relatively neat. Her room was mild and dark. I wasn’t ready for the evening.

Rebecca Mock is the second reader in the Bergen Street Comics event on the night of January 18, 2014, curated by Annie Mok. Unfortunately I missed Annie’s presentation, but I saw her curatorial hand behind the artists she had asked to join her. This was the first event where I finally felt comics belonged, to have the work presented by the artists themselves.

How would I feel if I were a dog and I were to die? Laura Knetzger reads the premiere of Comics For Dogs 3. Laura reads her work with a fiery spirit burning beneath her skin, her words numbing my heart like ice water. She started the evening with a few short comics, bright colors with words like poetry. But the whites and blacks and inky-grays of the longer Comics For Dogs work should have been a warning to me that this wasn’t going to be an easy art experience.

I start to cry as Laura continues. She speaks of a deep pain, but letting go. Forgiveness directed towards the universe. I want her to read it again. It was a night of appreciation. The artists have pinpoint intent. They stand with valor in this crowd; they are proud artists who present their work with the confidence of people who have sat alone and thought deeply.

I wipe my tears as Annie introduces Rebecca. The shimmering blue and red 3D images of Solid Sight have an evanescence that I missed in the paper form, and I become engulfed.

Earlier in the night Sam and I had dinner and talked about what we want out of a community. I like Sam. We talk about books and art and relationships. “What do I want?” is a question I ask myself a lot when I’m with Sam. What do I want?

O Horvath takes the stage. I have read their comic Spurt Of Blood before. But my experience of it holds nothing to the resonance of their presentation. They read the stage directions for their purposeful misinterpretation of Artaud; panel by panel the play unfolds on the screen behind them. The wrist of God is bitten and I start to cry again, in awe of my friend. I cry more during their second story, a short work for the lit and image anthology Witch Fingers, edited by Xander Marro. I watch our dream burn. I have to leave for air and miss Annie’s work.

Notes: Unquenched vigor. Truth. Quietness and chaos. Stories. Filter of art, speaking to truths, creating their own ebbed reality, bending around words and drawings. Untouchable and tangible.

During the questions after the readings Annie speaks of collaboration, and I see the room as it is, humid with intelligence and creativity.

We are a community and I’m not concerned with development. The support and love and validation are evident, self-evident. What do I want? The present is great and the future is great, our struggle is alone while simultaneously in our community, surrounded and intelligent. We are individuals with understanding for one another that puts hope and joy and inspiration into each other as we separate, until we see each other again, hopefully with more art to share and validate. This is a good place to be. A supportive group in admiration of one another and themselves, a petri dish of growth, the inspiration of seeing each other and telling our art.

“We are not alone.”