Public Reading, June 21

On June 21 from 6pm-8pm, The Writers’ Room of Boston will be holding its anual reading at the Bill Bordy theater at Emerson College. I’ll be taking part this year, presenting my latest prose fiction, “The Fathers of Dead Children.” You are welcome to come! Fair warning: my story is every bit the downer it sounds like.

The event is open to the public, but Emerson security has asked that attendees RSVP–it’s not absolutely required, but you’ll get in faster if you let me know if you’re definitely coming, so that I can put your name on the list.

It’s been a long time since I’ve read my writing publicly, so I hope to see some familiar faces in the audience!

New Story: Civil Disobedience OR George Enjoys Billiards, Apparently

I just posted a story that I haven’t previously published online: Civil Disobedience OR George Enjoys Billiards, Apparently, illustrated by Dan Mazur. We did the story a couple of years ago for the anthology Show and Tell: A Collection of Comics About Teaching and Learning, which was sold at the New England Comic Arts in the Classroom Conference. It’s the only openly autobio comic I’ve ever published, based on events from my first year of teaching.

Go read!

Creative Directions

It’s been a long time since I was actively producing webcomics, and I don’t expect I’ll ever be the sort to post on a routine schedule on a constant basis. But I do want to get back to producing webcomics on an at least occasional basis.

I have a couple of small pieces that have appeared in print, but have never been online. Those will be going onto the site this week. I may also go back to creating the occasional piece for my old Simpleton sketchbook, though I won’t be aiming for a consistent schedule there. Most of what I made there originally was junk, which is fine, since that’s part of the process of experimentation. The few that I thought were more successful have been “graduated” to more prominent placement among my other stories. Maybe there will be more of these.

A potentially more interesting project, I’m also working on a modest experimental series with Tym Godek, based on formal ideas proposed by Neil Cohn. More on that soon.

A more dramatic difference will be a focus on new forms. I’ve been writing significantly more fiction lately, and I hope to use this site to promote that work a bit more. I won’t be posting many full stories here, as I’m trying to place them with paying markets (with some small successes), but I will be sharing some excerpts from pieces in progress, both here and on my Facebook/Twitter feeds.

I also hope to keep the blog itself better updated with information and essays inspired by my creative experiences. But I’ve said that before, so we’ll see what happens.

Renewed Site/New Feed

Update your feeds! TwentySevenLetters has been fully redesigned, including bringing all my comics from both and all on the one site. I’ve removed a couple of older stories.

Two of my old favorites (The Discovery of Spoons and Five Ways to Love a Cockroach) aren’t up yet, as won’t let me upload Flash files, but I’m working on a solution.

The RSS feed has changed, so please make sure to update your feed readers.

Machine of Death Limerick Contest

Boing Boing has one of the very handsome leatherbound Machine of Death volumes to award to a lucky reader, and they’re setting up with a limerick contest! So scribble down some rhymes and go turn in your entry in the comments section of the original post! Personally, I’d like to see more entries that would double as suitable entries for the anthology itself, so that’s just what I did myself:

A young woman who loved the ballet
quit the Machine with a cheery brisé.
“Pirouette,” was the prose
that had lightened her toes;
She had feared it would be the plié.

Also, I guess I know more ballet terminology than I thought? (I’ll cop to using a ballet glossary to come up with brisé, though I recognized the move when I saw it, which is also unexpected.)

Anyway, go make your own entries! Writing limericks is fun!

Gingerbread Houses Concludes

I’m delighted to announce the conclusion of Gingerbread Houses, the graphic novel that Grug and I have been working on for the past two years. Full release below, and of course, you can go read the whole thing on right now!

How do you live happily ever after with parents who abandoned you in the woods to die?

Gingerbread Houses, by Alexander Danner and Edward J. Grug III reached the end of its two-year serialization on Thursday, with the publication of the series’ final installment.

A 97-page self-contained graphic novel, Gingerbread Houses retells the classic fairy tale of Hansel and Gretel, looking beyond the story’s original end to examine how the children’s ordeal changed them, as well as their relationship to their parents. The story can be read in its entirety online. In addition, three issues of Gingerbread Houses are now available as print minis, and can be purchased via The fourth and final mini will be released in the coming weeks.

Gingerbread Houses is written by Alexander Danner (“The Discovery of Spoons,” “Five Ways to Love a Cockroach,” “Panel One”) and illustrated by Edward J. Grug III (“Love Puppets,” “Glorious Bounty,” “The Bizarre Life of Charlie Red Eye”).

Gingerbread Houses can be found at:

Contact Info

Alexander Danner

Edward J. Grug III


Time for my annual birthday stocktaking, admittedly a week or so late.  It seems I neglected to review my goals and progress last year, so I’m look back two years for my most recent review.  Here’s a look at the goals I posted then, and how I’ve measured up in the intervening time:

  • I still need more income.
    Update: Didn’t really happen.  In fact, I’m probably making less income now, as I’ve cut back my teaching to spend more time home with the baby.  Not a bad trade-off there, since I very much like being home with the baby.  It does look like I have some paid writing work on the horizon, though (see below).
  • I’m going to have a lot of promotional work to do once Trouble Is hits print.
    Update: Trouble Is is still a long way off from hitting print.  It’s fully scripted, and I’m very proud of the final product.  But it’s still awaiting illustration and Shelli has understandably needed to prioritize more immediately lucrative opportunities.  I’m still confident that the book will happen, but the timing is out of my hands.
  • I want to get Gingerbread Houses into print.
    Update: Well, three out of four minis are in print now, and the fourth will follow closely on the completion of the online version—just a couple of weeks off now!  And really, just getting the series completed is the big achievement here—my largest single completed work to date.  I do plan to assemble a collected edition at some point in the future as well, but I need to have a conversation with Grug about how we want to approach that.
  • I want a wider variety of things to sell at cons, particularly books with spines.
    Update: I’ve done some of this.  Most cons still aren’t profitable for me, but I’m also still shorter on books with spines than I think I need to be.  However, I’m finding that the smaller the con, the more profitable it tends to be for me.
  • I want to script not one, but *two* new graphic novels in the coming year.
    Update: Trouble Is was one of these, and that one is finished.  I never got around to starting the second, though.  Nothing in the works at the moment, sadly.  That needs to change.
  • I need to get my website cleaned up, redesigned, and profitable.
    Update: The website is done.  Twice, in fact.  Still not exactly profitable, but I bring a few bucks in from Project Wonderful.  I’d bring in more if I had anything actually updating here.

So, some good things accomplished, some other plans gone awry.  Considering my son was born in the intervening time, I can’t feel too badly about it.

Now, looking forward:

  • I’m in talks at the moment for a new textbook.  Nothing is signed yet, so I can’t go into details, but negotiations are proceeding well, and I’m confident that my co-author and I will be hard at work soon.
  • I’m working on helping to edit Show and Tell, the comics anthology of the New England Comic Arts in the Classroom conference.  Not a paid gig, but a worthwhile one, and I’m very excited to see how it turns out.
  • I just completed the first draft of an adaptation of one of my plays into a graphic novel. No artist committed to illustrating it yet, and honestly I think it will be a long while before I reach that point, so this one’s on hold.
  • I need to find a new creative project to work on.  I’m not settled on anything, but I have a few ideas I’m considering.  Of course, the new textbook will require the majority of my attention, but I’m reluctant to let my creative work languish entirely.

The Best Webcomics You’re Not Reading

For anyone who was interested in the panel on The Best Webcomics You’re Not Reading, but who couldn’t make it to Arisia, Kelly Cooper has an amazing summary of all the recommendations.  The panel included Shaenon Garrity, Dirk Tiede, Everett Soares, and Steve Popkes.  Oh, and me, of course.

And for those of you who would like just a “cream of the crop” synopsis, Shaenon posted her ten favorite suggestions from the panel in her most recent Comixology column: Ten Webcomics You’re Not Reading.