Coming Monday: Two for No

Some years ago Neil Cohn posted an essay exploring the idea of visual poetry: rules-based comics built on formalized structures. It’s an idea very suited to  my way of thinking, and a creative exercise I’ve wanted to dabble in ever since.

For at least as long, I’ve been hoping for the opportunity to collaborate with Tymothi Godek, whose formalist works have long delighted me, especially his Xeric-award-winning !.

Starting Monday, both will be happening! Look for Two for No at, beginning in just three days.

Don’t worry, I’ll remind you again later.


Things are Happening

Okay, I know it’s been a very long time since I last posted to this blog, and even longer since I last posted new comics. But good news! That’s all about to change!

For the past couple of years, I’ve been wrapped up in a book project, a comics history textbook co-authored with Dan Mazur. Along with teaching and parenting, my time has been pretty well spoken for. But just today, I turned in the last major chunk of text to the publisher; aside from a few loose ends, the textbook is done! Hooray! It should be out from Thames & Hudson sometime next year. I’ll let you know when that happens.

And I am thrilled to now be turning my attention back to creative work! There’s even a series already to start up. Over the past year, I’ve been noodling on some ideas with Tym Godek, an artist I’ve been wanting to work with for years. And guess what: it’s happening! We have 9 pages done and ready to go already, so you can expect to see it soon. I’ll tell you more about it next week, but for now, keep an eye out for “Two for No.”

I have several other projects in early stages as well, and would love to say more about them, but it’s definitely too soon. But the rest of my summer is going to be dedicated to making creative work happen, and I couldn’t be happier about it.

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.

Simpleton: A Writer’s Sketchbook

I launched a brand new project today! It’s a little something I’m calling Simpleton: A Writer’s Sketchbook. As the subtitle implies, this won’t be a full-fledged narrative undertaking. Rather, it will be a place for me to try out little bits and pieces, experimental ideas, single panel thoughts, and a whole bunch of bad ideas.

Since, as you know, I’m not artist, I’ll be trying a variety of alternative illustration techniques. Photography will play a big part, as in today’s installment, despite my being no better a photographer than I am an artist. I’ll also be playing with some minimalist Illustrator work (fans of Panel One may eventually see some familiar boxes), and I’ll also be playing around with bastardizing some existing art by whoever gives me the okay to tear their stuff apart. (Neal Von Flue is on board, and you’ll get to see how I’ve brutalized one of his old strips next week).

Anyway, I’m aiming for weekly, mostly Mondays, with the occasional bonus strip on Wednesdays. The first installment is up now–a single panel photo-comic titled “Waiting for Astronauts to Come Home.” Check it out!