Page from Losers Weepers #3

Usually I pencil all of the pages of a story before inking & coloring, but for some reason I went ahead and finished page 8 of the upcoming 'Losers Weepers #3'. It's just an establishing shot of where the following scene will take place, but I had a good time drawing all the little details.

I'm just about half-way done with the pencils. It's going very slowly due to little Lulu (our baby), but I'm chugging along. Hopefully I'll have it finished in time for MoCCA Fest in April.


Snoop shirts are here!

Order today to make sure it gets there by xmas!

You can find all the available shirts & info here.


A buncha reviews

Read Justin Giampaoli's review of 'It's Dream Time Snoop Doggy Dogg!' on Poopsheet Foundation here.

Read Joe Babinsack's review of 'It's Dream Time..." on Pop Damage here.

Read Andrea Speed's review of both 'Tales of Good Ol' Snoop Doggy Dogg' and 'It's Dream Time, Snoop Doggy Dogg!' on CX Pulp here.

Read Xavier Xerexes reviews of 'It's Dream Time...' and the first two issues of 'Losers Weepers' on ComixTALK here.

...and as a "bonus", there's a one-question interview with Martin Steenton from Avoid The Future! about my pet portraits here.


Creating Independent Comics

Rabid Rabbit's C.M. Butzer asked me to do a lecture for his 'Creating Independent Comics' course at SVA the other night. I was worried about being able to fill the hour he'd requested, but I somehow ended up flappin' my gums for about two and a half hours (the class is three hours long, and they had a critique at the end).

I don't know that I was in any way inspiring, but I tried to cover all the boring but important stuff they didn't teach me in college. Promotion, distribution, production, all that jazz. I hope the students took at least a few helpful pieces of information away from it. Seems like "the kids" are much more prepared than I was at their age. The fact that there's a cartooning/comics program at all kind of blows my mind. I majored in illustration because it was the closest I could get, but the illustration field kinda dried up in the mid-nineties. Or, at least they stopped paying as well as they used to.

Each student will have a finished comic at the end of Butzer's course, and from what I saw at the critique they're gonna be fantastic. I hope they all apply for the Xeric grant, because that was such a helpful learning tool for me in learning about publishing & distribution.

Now I'm thinking about trying to get a teaching gig at SVA. The catch is that the course couldn't overlap too much with either Butzer's class or Choi's (which focuses on storytelling in comics). I'll have to think on it. I suppose I could seek out another college that doesn't have a course in creating comics, but I've always admired the quality of both the teachers and students at SVA.

P.S. Pick up a copy of the new Rabid Rabbit. It's awesome.


King Con II

Been a while since I rapped at ya.
King Con 2010 has come and gone. Sales weren't too great for me this year (they were the first year of King Con, though), but I met some more great folks so I can't complain. The NY Art Book Fair and the NY Marathon were both on the same weekend (I played human Frogger to get to the venue, barely avoiding being crushed by throngs of runners), so I think that put a little damper on attendance. I heard that a lot of small press comic publishers had tables at the Art Book Fair, and the Marathon caused a lot of disruption in bus/subway service.

I'd be lying if I said that sales aren't a part of why I do these comic conventions. So far (knock on wood) I've always made back what I paid for the table, sometimes even making a bit of profit. That's not easy to do selling comics that average about $3 or $4 each. This year I tried adding a "high dollar" item...$20 silk-screened t-shirts. Unfortunately, only one sold at the convention (although I've almost sold out of the first run using Etsy).

That said, the most important aspect of these shows for me is meeting other cartoonists, reviewers and the people that read my comics. As always it was a pleasure to share a table with Sophia Wiedeman. I was dismayed that L. Nichols wasn't in attendance, as she's been a welcome friendly face at every con I've tabled so far. Jonathan Baylis (So Buttons) and Jamie Tanner (The Aviary) are two talented dudes I had the pleasure to meet. For me, the true highlight of the whole con was running into Danny Hellman at a pizza place across the street after the first night. I recognized him from his self-portraits and we ended up flappin' our gums for quite a while as Danny's pizza grew colder and colder. I've followed his work since I moved to New York in 2001 (although he's been active since the late '80s). You can tell how much effort he puts into every illustration he does. The man never skimps, never takes a shortcut. It's always great when an artist you admire turns out to be a nice person as well.

Anyhow, that's my take on this year's King Con. See you at the next one!


New Snoop design for shirts

At the (always correct) suggestion of my wife, I redrew the Snoop shirt design again. She suggested making him more "Peanuts-y" like I did on the cover of It's Dream Time, Snoop Doggy Dogg. I prefer this new one. Brown & Pink ringer shirts have been ordered. The screen has been burned. Hopefully I'll have these done by King Con.


Audio interview on Teenage Wasteland

Alec Berry of Teenage Wasteland podcast was kind enough to do an interview with me for his show. Then I went and ruined it by being mono-tone and saying "um" and "ya know" a lot. At least I got to give a few shout-outs to some fantastic folks (Michael Lassiter, Supertalk Industries, et.al.)

If you're a glutton for punishment, you can listen here:
(note: there are reviews of two superhero comics before my interview)


Review of Supertalk on The Comics Journal

Here's a review of Supertalk #1 & #2 by Rob Clough on The Comics Journal blog that we just recently stumbled upon. Read it here, if you dare.

Reviews n' Such

I'm a little behind in posting reviews and whatnot, so here goes...

I don't think I've ever actively flagged someone down at a comic con to demand they check out my comics, but the two dudes at SPX wearing shirts that screamed "VEGAN" and "TOFU" were just too much to pass up. Turns out one of 'em (Richard De Angelis) writes a blog called Comic Book Justice, and he ended up buying a copy of Old Man Winter (which contains several animal welfare based stories). He wrote a bit about it here.

Carrie Try Harder's (those hyphenated last names just get weirder and weirder) review of Losers Weepers #1 and #2 on Inkstuds can be read here.

Nick Rennis & Eric Murphy wrote a short review of Old Man Winter on the Indie Street Radio blog. Just click right here to read it.

Justin Giampaoli airs some grievances about both issues of Supertalk on Poopsheet Foundation, but ultimately gives them a passing grade. Read the review of issue #1 here, and #2 here.

Snoop shirt coming soon!

I've just finished the design for the upcoming Snoop t-shirts. I'd like to print them on ringer tees for a nice vintage feel, so if anyone knows of an inexpensive place to get quality bulk t-shirts please holler at me. I'm hoping to have them done in time for the upcoming King Con comic fest in Brooklyn (Nov. 6 & 7).


Reviews on Indie Street Radio

Nick Rennis & Eric Murphy of Indie Street Radio (a podcast) gave short reviews of both Old Man Winter & OST (click here to read) and Tales of Good Ol' Snoop Doggy Dogg (click here to read).

Speaking of, I am down to the last 8 copies of Tales of Good Ol' Snoop. I'm going to reprint a 2nd edition of 250 copies, though, so no worries. Since that particular mini seems to cause the most stir, I'm thinking of redrawing the cover image and silk-screening it onto t-shirts, totes, thongs, etc.


Reviews out the Wazoos

A few reviews have trickled in during the last week (sorry for the misleading use of "wazoos" in the posting title there):

Martin Steenton of Avoid The Future practically drools on the first two issues of the Supertalk anthology. I mean that in the best possible way! Read it here.

Richard Krauss reviews "Tales of Good Ol' Snoop Doggy Dogg" on Midnight Fiction. Actually, it's more of a summary, but with some kind words thrown in the mix. Read it here.

Xavier Xerexes (or, rather, the man who goes by that moniker) stopped by Sophia and my table at SPX to pick up some new comics. He ended up filming an impromptu segment of us (and three other artists) attempting to describe our latest comics. It's posted on Comixtalk (and The Comics List). Watching this I'm reminded of how weird I look when I speak. For some reason I talk from the side of my mouth (maybe it has something to do with my one deaf ear?). People rarely point this eccentricity out to me, so I forget that I do it. My friend Sanjay's mom used to implore me to "talk straight...no Pop-eye-eye-eye". Anyhow, you can watch the video here if you're so inclined.


SPX 2010

The somewhat bitter-sweet SPX was last weekend, and having a little distance from it now I think it went pretty damn well!

I say "bitter-sweet" because although I love almost every aspect of the Small Press Expo, I felt like people weren't buying many of our comics. Apparently it was an optical illusion, 'cause when I went home and tallied up the sales they were pretty much in line with previous cons. That is to say, we made back what we paid for the table, but lost money once you figure in gas, tolls, parking and food.

Luckily, comics aren't about money. If they were, these conventions would look like the Texas hill-country. I can't stress enough how nice it is to be in a room full of like-minded people. I spend the majority of my (working) time isolated, hunched over a drawing table. When I emerge from my dingy cavern squinting and shielding my pale face from the sun, I have to explain to people that, no, I don't draw comic strips like Garfield or Family Circus. Mine are generally populated by degenerates and addicts (who may or may not hate Mondays). There's no need to explain at SPX. Everyone gets it.

I got to catch up with a lot of old friends. I shared a table with Sophia Wiedeman again. Frienemy Ulises Farinas was to my left and L. Nichols was directly behind me. A surprising number of folks from my past (mostly Richmond era) stopped by the actual convention: A.Thomas Crawley, 'Becca & Jon, Webb and Vinnie Panizo. Even Lulu stopped by to help sell comics.

We stayed with our good buddy Sara Markese, and she showered the whole family with presents (I got a sweet pigeon shirt and a "#1 Pop Pop" hat). I had dinner with my old roommate Patrick Cavanagh and his new lady-friend Crystal, good buddy from Austin Paul Petersan & his lady-friend Kamber (chef extraordinaire at Sticky Fingers vegan bakery) and another VCU alumni Anna West.

All in all, it was a great success. My new comic (available here) didn't sell as well as I'd hoped, but you can't win 'em all.


SPX & New Comic!!

Oh man, it's been a while since I've written anything here. But that's for good reason. I've been working sun up to sun down to finish a new mini comic in time for SPX this weekend. I just now handed it over to the printer, so hopefully I'll be able to get them assembled, stapled and trimmed in time before we leave for Maryland tomorrow.

I'll be sharing a table (B13 - see map) with Sophia Wiedeman again. Unfortunately she hasn't had time to complete the next chapter of her "Lettuce Girl" story, which I was really looking forward to reading. That said, if you don't have the first chapter (or her other comics), c'mon by and pick it up!

My new one is sort of, but not really, a sequel to the "Tales of Good Ol' Snoop Doggy Dogg" mini. It is another collection of dreams (one of which features Snoop...again!), but this time there all sorts of celebrities (Arnold Schwarzenegger, Dick Cheney, Roseanne Barr, Henry Rollins and Snoop) and the stories are longer and more developed. It's 20 pages and only a piddling four dollars. Oh, and it's called "It's Dream Time, Snoop Doggy Dogg". I know he goes by the abbridged "Snoop Dogg" these days, but "Snoop Doggy Dogg" sounds better in this context, I think.

Major thanks are due to Karen. The last few days she's done the lion's share of watching Lulu, and I suppose she'll do a little more of that while I'm selling at SPX. We're staying with our old pal Dr. Sara Markese, so Karen gets to hang out with her BFF while I'm at the convention.


Review of Losers Weepers #1 on Comics Should Be Good!

Brian Cronin of Comics Should Be Good! gave a fantastic review to the first issue of Losers Weepers. To summarize, he says that the comic works as a story even if you remove the 'gimmick' of it being based on found letters & journals. I went into the project knowing that it could easily turn out poorly if the story linking these various unrelated writings wasn't strong enough to stand on its own, so it's rewarding to hear that I was successful in pulling it off (at least according to a handful of reviewers!). I hope he enjoys issue #2 and the forthcoming issues as well.

Speaking of, I'm nearing completion of another dream comic (this one featuring Dick Cheney). I don't know if I'll be able to finish the other two comics to complete the collection in time for SPX (September 11th & 12th), but I'm trying my damndest. So far, I've completed the dreams featuring Snoop Dogg and Arnold Schwarzenegger. That leaves Roseanne Barr and Henry Rollins. I may not have time to complete both, so please weigh in on which you'd rather see, and I'll start on that first.


Review of Losers Weepers on Comics...And Other Imaginary Tales

Lee Dunchak gave a very positive review of Losers Weepers (issues #1 and #2) on the Comics...And Other Imaginary Tales review blog. He's recently moved to France, so be sure to check out his blog detailing the daily trials and tribulations of defecating in France (among other things).


Reviews on Razorcake

Those dirty dirty punks over at Razorcake Magazine reviewed Losers Weepers as well as Supertalk #2. You can read their short l'il blurbs by clicking on the appropriate links. Or, better yet, buy the print magazine. Thanks Razorcake!


PAWS for Charity 2010 Art Book Project

Little ol' me is featured on the Paws For Charity blog this week. If you haven't ordered your copy of this fantastic book yet, then...we just can't be friends anymore.


Losers Weepers review on Midnight Fiction

This is the kind of review I hope for when I send out review copies. Richard Krauss of Midnight Fiction takes the time to really read and respond to both issues of Losers Weepers. Drawing these comics is excruciatingly slow (at least for me), so I truly do appreciate when a reader seemingly lingers a bit while taking in the story.

While I agree with Richard that the first issue is a bit more fleshed out, character wise, I want to point out that these issues are interconnected and the characters will all become more developed over the next few issues. I want each issue to work independently, but there is an overall story arc that will become more apparent as the story progresses.

Anyhow, Richard enjoyed the first issue enough to award it with a Midnight Fiction Favorite listing. So...thanks!


Reviews on Pop Damage & Book Loons

Joe Babinsack gave another stellar in-depth review of Losers Weepers issues #1 and #2 (not that he'd reviewed them before...he reviewed some of my other comics) on Pop Damage.

Also, there's a short not-so-in-depth (but positive, nonetheless) review of Old Man Winter by Ricki Marking-Camuto for Book Loons.

Still hard at work on my celebrity dream comics...finished inking Arnold Schwartzenegger, and I've inked three pages of a new Snoop dream.

Lulu Mae can now wave hello/goodbye, but she does it like she's holding a gun. Must be the influence of living in Brooklyn. It's like, "hey, I acknowledge you, but keep your distance please". She also takes literal baby steps if we hold on to her hands.


Reviews & News

A couple more reviews have trickled in. Joe Babinsack from Pop Damage wrote a short review of Tales of Good Ol' Snoop Doggy Dogg here, and Rob Clough wrote one for Losers Weepers #2 on The Comics Journal blog.

I'm hard at work on a new collection of dream comics. I've finished inking one featuring Arnold Schwarzenegger, and I've started in on another one with Snoop Dogg. I've attached photographic proof for you naysayers.


Old Man Winter review on Pop Damage

As if to prove the subjective nature of art, Joe Babinsack provides a review of Old Man Winter & Other Sordid Tales that is nearly polar opposite of an earlier review by Andrew Wright on the same blog (Pop Damage).

To paraphrase, Joe loved it, Andrew hated it! However, Joe is an incredibly eloquent writer AND he penned a book of essays titled "Professional Wrestling Intellectual". I may be biased, but I'm going with the guy who could probably execute a pretty decent sleeper hold on me.

You can read Joe's review here.


Interview on Comic Book Brain

Erik Weems interviewed me for the Comic Book Brain blog in reference to the "Losers Weepers" series. It's a really nicely designed blog entry with lots of image links providing extra commentary. If you have any interest in the impetus for the series or what the future may hold, take a gander! Plus you can enjoy my thoroughly creepy author photos (which I desperately need to update).


Let Live Foundation animal rights conference 2010

Portland, OR is where it's at if you're a vegan and/or animal welfare activist. To prove this point, there's an ALL VEGAN mini-mall there (including Herbivore Clothing & Publishing, Sweet Pea Bakery, Food Fight Grocery and Scapegoat Tattoo)! What?!

Anyhow, it's also home to the Let Live Foundation's annual animal rights conference. Besides being chock full of fantastic guest speakers, this year there's an after-conference party/art-auction fundraiser/stuff your face with deliciousness event. I've contributed seven pieces of original art, all with starting bids of just $20. There are other talented (vegan) artists' works as well, like Kurt Halsey Frederiksen, Tom Neely (!!!), Nicole Georges and Aron Nels Steinke.

So, if you're in or near Portland, there's really no excuse not to support such a great event.


Snakepit 2009 review on Storming The Tower

Lauren Davis' review of Snakepit 2009 on Storming The Tower blog kind of made me crack up (or at least guffaw). She compares Snakepit to Garfield. You'd have to know my whole history and Ben's whole history for me to really explain why I think this is funny, but suffice it to say that it just is. Also, she mentions getting caught off guard by an "errant penis".


Losers Weepers #2 review on Poopsheet Foundation

Yet another kind review by Justin Giampaoli on Poopsheet Foundation, this time for Losers Weepers #2. Thanks again, Justin!

Although I have #3 written for the most part (and the general idea for #4), I'm taking a break from it to draw a collection of dreams I've had with celebrity cameos. I'm currently three pages into a dream featuring Arnold Schwarzenegger. Sometimes even I have to take a little break from all the doom and gloom.


Losers Weepers #1 review on Poopsheet Foundation

Thanks to Justin Giampaoli for a VERY kind review of the first issue of Losers Weepers on the Poopsheet Foundation blog. They have a focus on mini comics, so check out other reviews to find comics that often fly under the radar.


Snakepit 2009 review on Comixtreme

Here's a not-too-bad review of Snakepit 2009 by Andrea Speed on the Comixtreme blog. Actually, saying he "comes from the Jeffrey Brown school" elevates it to a great review in my book!

Snakepit 2009 review & interview on The Daily Cross Hatch

Here's a comprehensive look at the new Snakepit 2009 book in the form of both a review and an interview with America's favorite weed smoker (besides Cheech Marin, Tommy Chong, Willie Nelson, Snoop Dogg or Peter Tosh). Thanks to Brian Heater for making it happen!

Read the review here.

Read the interview here.

P.S. That fantastic nib-headed guy is The Daily Cross Hatch's logo drawn by Kevin Cannon. If you haven't read his "Far Arden" book yet there's something wrong with you.


Pigeon talk

I am mildly obsessed with pigeons, yet for all my years of close observation I'd never seen them mating...UNTIL TODAY!

Whenever I see a pigeon puff up his neck, I invariably stop to take a gander. The puffed up neck and quick rushes toward the female usually indicate he's ready to get it on. However, it seems to me that the puffed up neck can sometimes be used to show aggression - territorial, food guarding or otherwise. I can't begin to count how many times I've watched the puffy neck advances, but I have never ever seen it work out for the poor guy. Anyhow, I digress...

So, instead of the traditional puffed up neck, today I saw two pigeons seemingly kissing! Lulu, Pony and myself stopped in our tracks to watch. I couldn't tell if they were passing food between their beaks or just kind of locking beaks, but I was fascinated. As I watched, the female squatted down into a little brown bundle. The male hopped on her back, arched his back and flapped his wings. It was strangely adorable, and I realized that I'd just witnessed some pigeon copulation.

In related news, on a previous walk I saw three (3) different pigeons collecting twigs for their nests. I watched one of them fly onto a third story window ledge, hobble under an air-conditioning unit and present his twig to the mama pigeon lying in their nest. Then, later on that same walk, we watched a squirrel abscond from a garbage can with a taco shell. He kept a close eye on us from the safety of a tree while nibbling away. City critters!


What's Happening? Good TImes.

The aftermath of MoCCA has left me mostly doing boring stuff like updating my mailing list, sending out review copies of new books and sending out lots of orders.

I've moved my mailing list to MailChimp.com which will allow me to send hi-faluttin' fancy-pants email blasts that look like webpages. The only drawback is that they're not keen on my manually entering contact information (they want the recipients to do it themselves to avoid being accused of spamming), so help a guy out and sign up here, even if you were on my previous list: link to mailing list form
I'm also working on a new comic that will collect some of my dreams involving celebrity cameos (Roseanne Barr, Arnold Schwartzenegger, Henry Rollins, MC Hammer, Tom Waits, Dick Cheney, (sort of) Bill Cosby, Chris Ware, The Golden Girls, and yes, another appearance by Snoop Dogg!). If you liked "Tales of Good Ol' Snoop Doggy Dogg", you'll probably like this one, too.

Otherwise, we're just kickin' it with Lulu Mae-hem over here at the Yost household. She got her first kiss(es) last week, which was documented and is available for viewing on FaceBook. It's an understatement to say that she was into it. Here's a photo of her giving you the finger.