Tag Archives: comics
Wrong on the Internet
This is a little comic I scribbled on an envelope last summer, but I was too busy with volume 4 of Bonnie Jo Campbell Comics and the pandemic and a bunch of other life changes to clean it up and post it. I’ve thought about it a lot, though, and have, in fact, gotten much better about arguing with strangers online. For the most part, I can walk away from a clearly pointless discussion with an obvious troll or someone who lacks the intellectual capacity to understand the subject at hand or isn’t going to change their mind despite an abundance of evidence disproving their belief. It’s made my life better.
But that doesn’t mean that I don’t get caught up in those stupid arguments from time to time, especially on Reddit, which isn’t so bad because it’s obviously all strangers, but sometimes on Facebook, which really isn’t great, because there’s a good chance that I’m fighting with someone I know and possibly like, or at least someone that knows the people I know and like.
So it happened again this week: a person I know, with whom I spent WAY TOO MUCH TIME last summer trying to explain systemic racism and Black Lives Matter at their request (not that the amount of time I spent was excessive in light of the subject matter and its importance, but it was too much time to spend trying to explain things to someone who didn’t want to learn, but rather to have his opinion validated), posted some incredibly ignorant and hateful things about rights for transgendered people and I started to get into it. Eventually I remembered this comic and my promise to myself, for my own mental health, to stop getting into these arguments. I walked away. The information he needed is widely available online, for those who care about human rights. There was no point in wasting my time explaining.
Today that same person posted some very horrifying remarks about reproductive rights, and I opted not to get involved.
I comfort myself with constant reminders that conservatives are het up because they don’t want enlightenment. They’ve been taught that progress is the work of the devil and that thinking about equality could actually damn their mortal souls, that progressives are in thrall of Satan and that true education is a tool of evil. It’s weird to think that people have been trying to make this world better for hundreds of years, and a bunch of very powerful and stubborn institutions are out there actively working to stymie any action that could lead to people being happier in this world. Obviously, people don’t need the promise of the next world if things are nicer here.
I also comfort myself with constant reminders that enlightenment is happening anyway, that Black lives do matter, that trans people are valid, and that even if some nutjobs make it harder for women to control their reproductive capacities, the world has come too far. We’re never going back. No matter how many hateful laws get passed, we’re not going back.
But I still need to add: if you have a lot of negative beliefs about, say, Black people or trans people, and you don’t really know any Black people or trans people, you might consider educating yourself before you draw (and post) any conclusions based on your nonexistent knowledge. And you might also consider that if people are willing to do vast amounts of emotional labor on your behalf to help you understand a subject, they might have reasons for their point of view that you have yet to understand.
Trifecta! The Bonnie Jo Campbell Comics Collection
May seems to happen so fast, I completely forgot to post this little gem to my blog: Bonnie Jo Campbell Comics: Volume 3 (Women and Other Animals) exists! We distributed some at the Society for the Study of Midwestern Literature’s symposium earlier in the month, and then most of them are being held back until WW Norton reprints Women and Other Animals in 2020. However, if you’re a follower of this blog, you can totally order one (or more) direct from me. Just contact me through this blog (email address is on the About page) and we can exchange details. I also have copies of the back issues for sale.
Prices as follows: 1 comic=$4, 2 comics=$7, 3 comics=$10 + $3 postage.
I’m going to post my presentation from the SSML symposium this week, too. It was a really great experience for me. The organizers want my work for an anthology they’re putting together, and, even better, the comics themselves are going to be added to the comic book archive at MSU. It is the academic comic book collection. The definitive scholarly repository with over 300,000 titles. It’s the place to be if your research requires comic books. It’s a good honor.
Crimes against a Tow Truck Driver
Bonnie Jo wrote this script and provided the pictures of the junkyard. She also wrote the following text:
Why Write Fiction?
Most of the stories in AS were all inspired by real life, but I ventured far from actual characters and events.
Sometimes we fictionalize a story in order to make more sense out of it
As Mark Twain’s Pudd’nhead Wilson said, “Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn’t.”
There are some stories that can be told ONLY in fiction. In “The Inventor, 1972,” I write a guy trying to rescue a girl he’s hit with his car, and while she’s lying there in the road, he has a fleeting thought of molesting her. No man who hoped to survive the night could dare admit to such a thought.
Dragon Comics 169
Obviously, Dragon could flame broil The Man if Dragon wanted to, but Dragon’s patience and forbearance is legendary among legendary creatures. You have no idea, the things Dragon has to put up with a world that mostly does not embrace dragons. Dragon would fight The Man, but The Man is not big enough, so Dragon has learned tolerance.
I like that last panel with The Man hoisting Dragon over his head. In real life, he can’t quite do that. I’m sure he’d like to. More to the point, when I started drawing comics, it would have taken me 3 days to draw. I improve. Slowly.
Dragon Comics 166
“Extrovert” is the preferred spelling but I prefer “extravert” because it makes more sense to me. It is an accepted spelling. I don’t seem to have anything else to say tonight. I wrote this comic 3 weeks ago and I don’t really remember writing it. It’s kind of funny, in context.
Dragon Comics 165
In my original script, The Man’s line in panel 1 reads, “I didn’t even know you had the Horsehead Nebula in here,” but while lettering the comic I realized that The Man did know that Dragon had the Horsehead Nebula in there, because Dragon said as much in Dragon Comics 29, which I drew an astounding 2 1/2 years ago. And by golly my prediction was correct. I haven’t gotten any worse at it. And clearly The Man knew that they did have the Horsehead Nebula in there. It had just slipped his mind.
The Horsehead Nebula is definitely made out of cotton candy, right? The one is Dragon’s cave is, anyway.
My Book Is Not about Dead Trees
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!)
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
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:
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 email@example.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.
The Sound of Printing part ii
Page 2 of “The Hills Are Alive with the Sound of Printing.” Took a little extra time as I wasn’t 100% sure of what the client wanted in panels 1 and 3, partly because creative people in fits of inspiration tend to have atrocious handwriting, and partly because (as only realized much later) I only read 1/2 of the notes. Also, the panels got cluttered pretty quickly, so I had to figure out which graphic elements to ditch (mostly people’s feet; originally there were a number of cowboys boots in this comic). I also had to leave off the speaker on the sound booth in panel 2 because the sound booth is already tiny and I couldn’t make it look good. Just imagine that the technician’s voice is coming through a speaker. Still, after it seemed done and uploaded, I decided to go back and add some fringe on the singer’s shirt in panel 4. It didn’t seem flashy enough for cowboy couture.
I’m especially pleased with the little pop-out heart for the gospel singer. It was a perfect compromise when it became apparent that a box would take up too much space.
I learned several things in the course of drawing this comic. The first thing was what a steel guitar is. Apparently whatever I thought a steel guitar is was wrong, but luckily, I had The Man around to set me right. The second thing was that The Man knows way too much about music. I had to look up “Little GTO,” but when I asked him if he knew the song, he could just start singing it. That song is like 50 years old; it came out 10 years before he was born. Then he gave me a short lecture about GTOs. Because he also knows way too much about cars. Of course, I did look up the Hi-Lo’s and WMU’s Gold Company. This comic will be distributed in Portage, so its intended readers will already know that WMU is Kalamazoo’s Western Michigan University, where I earned my MFA, but did not hear of the Gold Company.
The Sound of Printing part i
Here’s something new: working for money. The printer who made my Bonnie Jo Campbell comics, Craig Vestal of Portage Printing, hired me to draw a promotional comic for his shop. He wrote the script and drew the thumbnails. This is the first page I’ve created from his notes.
I had just read a Smithsonian article about Wes Wilson, the designer who created the psychedelic-style concert posters in the 60s, and decided to draw the title in the same style as the original Sound of Music movie promotions, which has that groovy ’60s feel even though the movie is set during WWII. Craig sent me photos of all his classic stereo equipment and of the Brown Brothers.
This is page 1 of 3. I don’t know what number comic this is, but apparently Craig has hired a number of artists to create a quantity of comics detailing the history of his shop. Clever. Comics are the best.