Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Book Release Party This Saturday, July 19th!

This is just a quick post to announce/remind everyone that the book release party for Darwin Carmichael is Going to Hell is happening this Saturday at 7pm at Bergen Street Comics!

It's a co-release party with my buddy Jon Chad, whose really excellent book The Bad-Ventures of Bobo Backslack was recently published by Adhouse! There will be alcohol and live readings!

You can RSVP on Facebook here.

To whet your appetite you can read reviews of DCiGTH on Fleen.com and This is Infamous.

If you can't make the party you can still buy the book from our webstore!  Your support is deeply appreciated.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Writing Process Blog Tour

Hello Friends,
 
A few weeks ago my cartoonist-buddy Laura Terry invited me to take a leg of the Writing Process Blog Tour where we discuss things like writing and, well, process.  If you are interested in those sorts of things and, more specifically, how I approach them, then READ ON!  I also urge you to take a look at Laura’s post and her beautiful work.  

So, here we go:
 
1)     What am I working on? 
 
Currently I am finishing up part three of my six-part story The Oven, which is being serialized in Maple Key Comics.  It’s a sci-fi story about a couple that leave their bubble-city in order to escape strict procreation laws and start a family.  They find their new home, a community of outcasts and outlaws in the sun-baked desert, is not really what they were expecting.  
 
The whole story is already written and thumbnailed, thank God, so really the heavy lifting is over so far as that goes. (If you want to see some preview pages you can check them out here and here.) 
 
I’m also brainstorming and writing snatches of dialogue for the long-overdue House of Women, Part II and occasionally chatting with Jenn Jordan about our follow-up project to Darwin Carmichael is Going to Hell.  Unfortunately I have a hard time working on multiple projects at once so progress has been slow on most fronts.
 
2)     How does my work differ from others of its genre?  
 
Most of my work is science fiction so I’d say… well, it depends on where you’re standing.  I don’t tend to focus on the minutia of future technology (AKA: hard sci-fi), partially because I hate drawing machines.
 
I think I share an interest in gender and the female experience that’s been rich territory for SF authors like Ursula K. LeGuin and Margaret Atwood, but I also have an interest in corporatocracy and consumer culture like George Saunders, Don DeLillo and Neal Stephenson.  I feel a sense of genre-camaraderie with fellow cartoonists/idols Carla Speed McNeil, Eleanor Davis and Sophia Foster Dimino.
 
I’m less interested in thinking about what the future might actually be like and more interested in exploring human experiences and relationships through the lens of genre.  I’m a big fan of sci-fi films like Moon, The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Timer, Splice and The Robot and Frank. I also enjoy more fun, pulpy fare like Gattaca, The Hunger Games and The Fifth Element.
 
Basically I’m a sci-fi omnivore.
 
3)     Why do I write what I do?
 
When I shake the tree this is what comes out.  I’ve been reading and watching SF and fantasy since I was little—when I would read literally any book with a dragon on the cover.  I guess that must have shaped my imagination in some deep way.
 
Sometimes I can see in retrospect why I wrote a particular story or what it means in relationship to my own life, but I can never see it at the time.  I don’t think it helps the process to try and play critic and biographer to yourself.
 

4)     How does your writing process work?
 
I get an idea that feels intriguing and exciting and right in a way I find impossible to explain.  Then I look at a ton of visual inspiration. In the case of House of Women, Part I it was Aubrey Beardsley and Japanese Ukiyo-e prints, and with The Oven it was pictures of Slab City and its residents in Colorado.  
 
When I’ve procrastinated enough I’ll try to create a story outline and/or write down bits of dialogue and ideas for scenes as they come to me.  Eventually those will be knit into a narrative which I’ll thumbnail and (time providing) run past a couple of trusted readers for feedback before proceeding to pencils.
 
When things are going really well with writing I’ll get sudden ideas for scenes or dialogue or plot that’ll come to me while I’m doing something completely unrelated like taking a walk or driving or trying to go to sleep.  Not to get touchy-feely here but I do sometimes feel like it’s a deeper part of my mind that’s doing the hard work and I’m just trying to be patient and make room to let it happen.  
 
It’s not at all like drawing or inking which feel more rote to me.  I can listen to the radio or watch/listen to TV while I draw or ink but I need total silence for writing.
 
It can be very frustrating but also very rewarding.
 

 
For the next section of the blog tour I am handing the reins over to Carl Antonowicz, Joyana McDiarmid and Luke Howard!  Be sure to check their websites out next week for some excellent process/writing action.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Symbolia: Tall Tales!

It was my great pleasure to do a short story for Symbolia Magazine's first-ever fiction issue, as well as draw the cover:

http://symboliamag.tumblr.com/post/89878217778/symbolias-first-ever-fiction-issue-is-here-get

It was a great opportunity to work in color again (something I haven't done since finishing DCiGTH), even though I felt a bit rusty.  The cover image was inspired by the mythological homunculus and my ever-growing obsession with tiny houses, mobile homes, and other artificially compact environments. If you're interested, the issue is available for iPad and as a pdf.

Elsewhere in the internet, I did a couple illustrations for "Saying I Do, And Saying Farewell" by Niva Dorell, who lost her husband of eleven days to a brain tumor.  It's a sad, touching story, and I tried my best to honor it in the art.  Below is the cover image for the story, and there are a few more spot illustrations on the Narratively website.

http://narrative.ly/second-acts/saying-i-do-and-saying-farewell/

Between these projects and shipping out our Kickstarter rewards it's been a busy few weeks!  See you on the other side, friends.


Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Darwin Carmichael is Going to Hell: The Pre-Order!

Hey Readers!

My graphic novel "Darwin Carmichael is Going to Hell" is now available for pre-order:





If you have read and enjoyed some of my other comics you may enjoy this humorous tale of a man, his manticore, and the forces of the world that conspire to destroy him.  If you can't afford this hefty volume and it's many special features then you can still read the entire comic for free on our website.

Regards,
Sophie

Sunday, March 16, 2014

New Comic Up!

Hey Everyone!

Just a short note to let you know that there's a NEW COMIC up on my site:

http://www.redinkradio.com/p/blog-page_16.html

It's a 2-pager I was asked to do for the premier issue of The Pitchfork Review, the print offshoot of popular hipster digital rag Pitchfork.com.

So, go read it!  Also, I will be in Pittsburgh next weekend at the Pittsburgh Indy Comix Expo!  Come by and hang out with me.

Hugs,
Sophie

Monday, January 27, 2014

2014: Work Smarter Not Harder

Hey Guys,

It's been a busy time.  I've decided 2014 is going to be the "Work Smarter Not Harder" year and with that in mind I've been spending a lot of time organizing and figuring out the most productive and least stressful way to be an artist.  I'm happy to say that less then one month in, I've got the problem licked! NO MORE STRESS!  NO MORE MISSED DEADLINES!  FLY MY PRETTIES, FLY!

I kid, of course.  I'm a total mess.  Why did I decide to do this comics thing anyway?


Oh, right.  Fucking space hippies.  That's why.

This is a page from the first installment of the 76 page (!!!) story I'm doing for Maple Key, a sweet-ass 300+ page comics anthology being put together by my good friend and CCS classmate Joyana McDiarmid.  She's a peach.

If you want some comicky goodness then I recommend checking out the kickstarter for the project here:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1175422988/maple-key-comics

Saturday, November 23, 2013

I made a video!

Kind of:



Also if you haven't gotten a chance yet please check out my Kickstarter!  It's running until December 11th here:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1798486524/darwin-carmichael-is-going-to-hell-the-book