Tag Archives: book

The Coolest Ent I’ve Ever Drawn

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The real reason trees don’t walk is because they’d trip over their own roots. 

Although I spent Tuesday night at the Fox’s house writing 3 weeks’ worth of comic scripts, most of the this week has been dedicated to the big project, which is now maybe sort of close to halfway. It’s hard to tell. Hopefully halfway, because it needs to be done in a couple months, and I have sort of verbally agreed to another paying project for the end of summer.

As mentioned, in this comic, “Close Encounters of the ∞ Kind,” different layers of reality will be illustrated in different media. The protagonist’s ever-changing imaginary friends are these whimsical crayon drawings, reproduced at 50% opacity. The main friends are an elephant, an octopus, a bird, and a walking tree, although by the end of the comic, there are many more imaginary friends. And for some reason I decided each friend would look totally different in each frame. So I have to draw like 37 different imaginary elephants. It’s all good.

Last night I drew a super-cool elephant, which originally I thought I’d post here, but this ent is even cooler. This ent is like Fonzie cool. Now I just have to draw about 27 more elephants and 22 octopodes, and 19 birds, &c. &c. And then I can start on the 5th dimension special effects. The Fox and I are going on retreat in 2 weeks, and with any luck (more like determination and forcing myself) all the imaginary friends will be drawn by then, and I can start integrating them into the reality layers. While I’m also finishing editing a novel. And a few other projects.

Anyway, I will publish more Dragon Comics. Next week. We decided we can’t work all the time, so we’ve also been preparing the house for the party we’re having Friday night.

My Book Is Not about Dead Trees

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DON’T CLICK ON THAT LINK! IT’S NOT A REAL LINK! IT’S JUST A SCREEN SHOT!

Someone thought I wrote a book about dead trees. But it’s not about dead trees. It’s printed on dead trees! Big difference.

That’s right, The Hermit is a paperback now. I certainly hope that the legions of people who told me they really, really, really wanted to read my book but they really, really, really couldn’t read it digitally will buy it. The ebook is $5 and the dead tree version is $15 but my margin is about the same on either one.

Do you want my dead tree book? You can buy it by clicking on this sentence.

I’m terrible at marketing, but, with much difficulty, I did manage to send out an email blast. The Man will do some more specific marketing of the book when we get back from Thanksgiving, but for now, I sent out this broader email, which sort of outlines all the ways a person could help my career simply by clicking links on the internet. It’s great if people buy things, but they can help out even without spending money. This is what I sent:

Let’s face it: I am hilarious. And talented. And deserving.

If you disagree, go ahead and click on something more stimulating.

If you believe that my work does not suck and that the world would be a better/prettier/more exciting place with more Monica, then I hope you don’t mind taking 5 minutes out of your life to give me a little boost, keeping in mind that I’m a person who rarely asks for help and who has never sent a mass email blast, and this probably makes me more uncomfortable than it makes you.

How can you help Monica? The possibilities are myriad and varied.

For example, you could purchase my contemporary fantasy novel, The Hermit, in electronic or in its long-awaited paperback format.

Have you checked out either of my QWERTYvsDvorak sites?

On QWERTYvsDvorak.com you can enjoy out a visual history of my artwork, including the increasing popular Dragon Comics, which are apparently pretty funny, and even funnier if you already know me.

On my RedBubble site, you can buy T-shirts, pillows, tote bags, travel mugs, art prints, cell phone cases, stickers, and numerous other useful and attractive household items featuring my original design.

Click around and you might see something that appeals to you. If you do, all I’m asking is that you share it with your social networks. Like a page on Facebook, or Tweet it on Twitter, add a heart on RedBubble, hurl it into the void on Ello or Google+ or Livejournal, or email it to your grandmother.  Of course, if you want to buy a hoodie, notebook, or coffee mug from my shop, I’ll be eternally grateful, but if I’m not selling anything you want or can afford, you can still help. Please take 5 minutes out of your life to help shove my work out into the universe and convince Google that my life has relevance. Every click, upvote, and repost counts.

Of course, if you don’t believe my life has relevance, feel free to delete this email.

Not sure where to start? Here are some of my more popular pages:

Comics (I’ve drawn hundreds!)

Funny: https://qwertyvsdvorak.com/2016/08/17/superkids/

Controversial: https://qwertyvsdvorak.com/2015/12/15/the-problem-with-symbols/

Political: https://qwertyvsdvorak.com/2016/02/02/2-ways-of-looking-at-socialism/

Sad: https://qwertyvsdvorak.com/2016/02/03/the-things-you-carry-a-comic-from-my-subconscious/

Designs  (I’ve got dozens! And most designs are available on most products!)

A T-shirt for kids who love My Little Pony and seahorses

Blue morpho butterfly notecards

Dress with a Rainbird design

Golden Barrel Cactus Flower duvet cover

Quick links for the technologically timid:

Click here to buy an electronic version of The Hermit on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Hermit-Monica-Friedman-ebook/dp/B01HAN68L4

Click here to buy a paperback copy of The Hermit: https://www.createspace.com/6729470

Click here to browse my RedBubble design portfolio: https://www.redbubble.com/people/QWERTYvsDVORAK/portfolio

Click here to read my blog:

https://qwertyvsdvorak.com/

If you don’t want any stuff, but do want to financially support a working artist, you can donate directly through my Patreon. Patreon is a site where patrons can directly support artists by making small monthly donations. Even as little as a dollar a month is welcome. Donate $15 more and you can receive a small token of my esteem.

Click here to donate directly to my Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/QWERTYvsDvorak

All the sites mentioned here are trusted, secure sites through which you can safely make payments.

If you would like to purchase a copy of my Bonnie Jo Campbell Mothers, Tell Your Daughters you can send $5 and your mailing address to my littledragonblue@gmail.com PayPal account.

Perhaps it’s just my biased opinion, but I happen to think that both the real-paper version of my novel, or any of the charming products in my RedBubble shop, would make spectacular Christmas, Hanukkah, birthday, unbirthday, or just because presents for all of your loved ones. Other people buying my work would certainly make a spectacular present for me.

In any case, I wish you a delightful, happy, and whimsical holiday season.

Rawr,

Monica

(Dragon)

Children of Transylvania, 1983

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Poor children in Communist Romania were crazy for Bazooka Joe. Who knew?

“Children of Transylvania, 1983” is one of the richest stories in this book. So many strange and beautiful images had to be excised to fit the format, and so much of the plot. Admittedly, when I first read this story, I was kind of impatient with the protagonist’s unfortunate decision-making skills, but taking the piece apart to do this comic, I fell in love with her journey on a more complex level.

But I had to leave so much out! All the details about her encounters with the various Romanians she meets. The part where all the girls ask her for birth control. The food, the water, the milk. Every reference to Count Dracula. Still, it came out much better than I thought it would.

You know what’s hard to find? A source image for a Communist era statue of Nicolae Ceausescu. Right away, I realized why: unlike the rest of the Communist revolutions that happened in 1989, Romania’s was violent and bloody. People died, they gave Ceausescu a 1-hour trial in a kangaroo court, and then they took him out back and shot him. And then they went and smashed the ever loving essence out of all the Communist statues. Both tourism and cameras were limited in Romania at the time, ergo: people have not made a priority of uploading photos of Ceausescu statues to the internet. Almost every picture is of his statue planted face first on the ground, after the people toppled it over.

That’s a pretty cool skull and crossbones spray painted over a sports bra bursting with ripe plums in panel 5, I must say.

Playhouse

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All things considered, the results are pretty pleasing.

This being one of my favorite stories in the book, I wanted to really do it justice. Unfortunately, today was the day that all my equipment decides to rebel: both the computer and the Wacon tablet failed over and over again, in a variety of new and enraging ways. I must have unplugged and replugged the tablet a hundred times, and closed and opened Photoshop fifty times, and rebooted the box twenty-five times. Hundreds of times I had to go back because the tablet either did something I didn’t tell it to do, or didn’t do something I did tell it to do, or just didn’t do anything at all because the power cable is frayed and sometimes disconnects. It was the perfect storm of resistentialism. At least I’ve learned my lesson about saving everything all the time. If only I didn’t require so much technological assistance.

At this point, I’m leaning strongly toward using my savings to invest in entirely new machinery.

Despite all that, the comic seems right. Not sure if there will be a comic tomorrow. Gotta work out these gremlins before I spend another 8 hours cussing at a hunk of metal and plastic.

Special thanks to the Bear, who didn’t mind me freaking out on him and invading his home for tech support just before midnight.

ETA: I went back and fixed the 2 typos pointed out to me oh so gently and lovingly by the trolls at Reddit. I also gave Pinky some eyelashes in panel 6.

My Bliss

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I get wanting to be married once, but I don’t understand how anyone could do it 25 times.

Originally, I thought this would be the hardest story to adapt to comic format. Even though it’s a very short flash fiction–that’s literally the complete text in the comic–it leans toward what I would call “experimental” and doesn’t lend itself to summary. Like, what would the yellow box say? “A woman claims to have married a variety of inanimate objects and non-human animals”? That’s not a story.

Admittedly, when I first read the book, it was my least favorite piece. I thought it was too precious, too blithe. Drawing this comic helped me see it in a different perspective, though. The narrator is much like many other characters in Bonnie Jo’s books: clueless about relationships. Once my brain delved into the layers of the story, the way to adapt it seemed obvious.

My first stylistic idea was to use the full text as a background and draw everything on top of the words, but that makes it even more experimental. If you can’t figure out what’s going on with the entire story, you’re not going to get much out of the entire story with half of it covered up. But as I started writing out the actual words, the idea of putting all the pieces, words and images, together with only one sentence of commentary from me seemed like the way to go.

It’s entirely possible that I have it wrong, and this is not what the author intended.

Then again, I know people like this. The next thing is always the thing. Whatever catches their eye, that’s the thing that’s going to save them. And they drop what they have and run after something new. A lover, a job, a hobby, a car. It’s not really the lover, job, hobby, car that they’re chasing. The reward is hope, because it’s easier to maintain hope about something new and totally unknown than it is to focus on all the problems and obstacles in your current situation.

There are always obstacles, though.

5 Tomatoes Mandala

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And then those are olives on the outside, I guess? And some kind of columbine flowers. 

Per usual, my weekend consisted of me compiling long lists of imperative tasks and then not doing them while I messed around on the internet, hung out in other people’s houses, went swimming, and played Pokemon Go. Also spent most of Friday night sitting in a bean bag with Misses Kitty, playing the ukulele and singing.

I’m also reading the Owl’s book, which was just released last week, although I probably read 4 complete and 12 partial drafts of the manuscript before its publication. It wasn’t fresh enough in my mind to write a book review. Soon I hope to write that review, and then there may be a little news regarding where that review will be published, but I’m not supposed to talk about it just yet, and I don’t have all the details anyway.

This mandala is nice and cheerful and juicy, probably hailing from a time in my life where I didn’t neglect my plants for days at a time and instead took good care of them so they remained healthy and bore fruit. Not this year. This year I murdered two tomato plants and sorely abused a couple of peppers.

Should try and take another stab at that logo design. My first was rejected for being too cute. But I thought the original design was too ugly. So we’re shooting for something in between.

The Hermit and the Coyote, a Cell Phone Case, and Marketing

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Keep your phone warm and fuzzy.

Some people fail. Some people fail spectacularly. Kaija failed mythically, and now she’s trapped in the part of the fairy tale when the monster appears.

When Kaija couldn’t find contentment in the human world, she checked out, turned in the key, and went off the grid. For fifteen years, she’s lived between worlds, hiding in the desert, holding herself apart from nature just as she has from civilization, but when disaster strikes, she finds that no woman is an island. She is dragged, kicking and screaming, to the realization that no woman is an island.

The Hermit is a novel for adults who still love fairy tales, people searching for transformation and magic, readers open to contemporary fantasies with elements of horror and romance, grown-ups who still wish they could talk to the animals.

Not that Kaija wants to talk to the animals–she’s a hermit, after all, and hermits don’t want to talk to anyone–but she can’t make them stop talking her. She can’t force them to quit sharing their fears about the legendary monster stalking the Sonoran Desert. She can’t run away anymore; she’s run as far as anyone can go. If she wants to maintain her sliver of solitude, she’ll have to shrug off the hermit’s mantle, gather allies from both worlds, and go on the offensive to defeat the true monster.

The paperback version of The Hermit will be available this Thanksgiving, but if you want to read it now, it’s already available in the Kindle store ($4.99 for 426 pages of delicious mythopoetic rampage) for your reading pleasure.

If you just love the cover, you can purchase the image of Kaija and her coyote companion on this cell phone case (and pretty much anything else on which you can emblazon images) in my RedBubble shop.

Confidential to all the people who, according to my stats page, woke up this morning, visited QvD in search of a new comic, and got nothing at all: better 15 hours late without a comic than no update, right? If people love my comics as much as they say they do, I hope they’ll consider laying out $4.99 for my book. It’s like reading my comics, but you create the pictures with your brain, so they’re much better drawn, and the word part lasts a lot longer.