Trick *and* Treat

Don’t Quit Your Day Job


Apologies for the low quality.  The last-minute gag seemed like a good idea.  Drawing a comic with the fancy pens and India ink seemed like a good idea.  Doing both at the same time… did not quite produce the desired results, but I didn’t really have time to start over before Halloween was over.  So here you go – a little window into my drawing process.

I may feel compelled to clean it up later in the week, if I have time.

Speaking of time, I guess now is as good a time as any to make this official:

The comic will be on a sort of hiatus for a while.  The holidays are always insane for me, and this year I’m even more behind on projects than usual, so the comic can’t have a monopoly on my precious evening hours.  I may do a low-tech, scan-in comic like this one when inspiration strikes.

More importantly, I have a large backlog of completed projects that I haven’t blogged about yet.  So there should be more non-comic posts coming in the next month or two!

I’ve also been wanting to step back for a while and work on the comic – I already have some upgrades in the works for Page and Karen, and I have some new characters I’ve been itching to add.  So look forward to that in the new year!


Summer Show FTW

So.  Um.  That show that I lit over the summer?  It won something.

Specifically, it won a Best of Austin Critic’s Pick.

The outside recognition is really gratifying, because it was such a wild ride from the inside that I have to wonder if it was really that good, or if the overwhelming sense of relief that we pulled it off at all has skewed my perception of the quality of the show.

The premise was kind of high-concept: The (improvised) show is supposed to be a rehearsal for a play (not a real one – the title is pulled from a hat full of audience suggestions), and the theater is in the round so the cast is all mixed in with the audience, and everyone contributes, and it’s supposed to be all about honesty and intimacy and… then eventually people get naked.  Maybe.  Probably.  If/when events in the show call for it.

What could possibly go wrong?

Honestly, there were about a thousand things that could have gone terribly wrong with this show.  The nudity alone had to walk a fine taste line.  Then the theater was rearranged, the audience participation was amped up, the storytelling method was open-ended and obscure, and – oh, right – everything was still unscripted.

But ultimately it worked.  It totally worked.  The director’s vision was sincere, and the cast was brilliant enough to make it happen.  They all worked really hard to build a foundation of trust that allowed them to take all the random crap that was thrown at them and sculpt a series of really earnest stories.  The audience was supportive and engaged, and became so enthralled that every show sold out – the last one a full two weeks beforehand.

For a few weeks this summer, I was privileged to participate in something really uniquely successful, because everyone involved – audience and performers alike – completely bought in.

And someone else thought it was great.

Really, not bad for my first tech gig.

Happy Mirth Day?

Mother’s Day and Birthday, rolled into one!  Get it?



So I was in the midst of the Great Moving Marathon for both Mother’s Day and my mom’s birthday, and used that as an excuse not was sadly unable to get her anything.  I mean, she’s impossible to shop for anyway, and doesn’t like just stuff, so in a way, I was giving her what she wanted.

(Yes, I am the worst daughter ever.)

Then she came to visit, and asked me – point blank, “Can you make me one of those purses?”

I was so thrilled, I nearly started work right away.  I asked what color she wanted, and pulled out the big box-o-nylon thread.  She pulled out this lovely red and peach variegated.

She noticed I had less than one full spool and expressed concern that I might not have enough to finish the purse, but I assured her that I could always buy more.  After all, who am I to pass up a good excuse for a trip to Hobby Lobby?

Funny story.  I couldn’t buy more.

That’s right.  That nylon thread I spent three months looking for?  Yeah, this was why I needed it.

I didn’t find it.

After a couple dozen unsuccessful trips to every store within 20 miles (and a few very generous expeditions by friends in other cities), I gave up and improvised a match, and I’m pretty sure I like it better:

The main body of the purse is a 4×4 basket weave texture, in a clever mix of two shades of red, off-white, and a ridiculously bright pink variegated I never thought I’d use for anything.  The color pattern actually got slightly complicated.  I had to switch colors every row to get the color variation I was aiming for.  Each row incorporates two threads, and I switched out one color at the end of each row:

Row 1:  Light Red/White
Row 2:  Light Red/Pink
Row 3:  Dark Red/Pink
Row 4:  Dark Red/White

At the end, I had a loose end on every single row that had to be tied off, trimmed, and fused.  Needless to say, finishing the bag was… time consuming.

But now, finally, I can show you a finished product!  Mom’s Red Purse:

This final picture is for Uncle Mike, in loving gratitude for his color commentary while I foolishly tried to finish anything while hanging out with my extended family.