Invincible Summer

by NJG

Tuesday, January 27, 2015


Greetings, all. I will be traveling all over the place this Winter & Spring. If you are near, please come and see me. MORE UPDATES TO COME!!!
xoxo, n.g.

p.s. If you would like to solicit me to do a reading in Minneapolis, Chicago, New York, or Melbourne this year, I’m all ears! Email me up.

2/7 PORTLAND Zinesters Talking:
From Zines to Publishing at Central Library, 2-4 p.m.

*Courtesy of the Regional Arts & Culture Council.

2/18 University of New Hampshire, Artist Talk

2/19 New Hampshire Institute of Art, Artist Talk

2/24 College of William & Mary w/ A.k. Summers

March: Melbourne, Australia  TBA

3/24 Northeastern Illinois University panel w/ Phoebe Gloeckner & A.k. Summers

3/28 Lesley University in Cambridge, MA 

4/9 AWP Conference in Minneapolis, Panel w/ Mimi Pond

4/11-12 MOCCA in NYC with Liz Prince!!!

4/18  Linework NW

4/30-Reading with Sister Spit: The Next Generation at Independent Publishing Resource Center
*Courtesy of the Regional Arts & Culture Council

5/7-9 Queers and Comics Conference at
CLAGS: Center for LGBTQ Studies in NYC

5/29- Vida Vegan Con in Austin, TX!!! Touring Workshop

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

A Trip to the Sea, Ponyo and Me


I have just returned from the Washington coast, where I took myself on a week-long artist residency at the Sou'Wester Lodge.

The day before I left, I angered some hardcore Beyonce fans by suggesting on Twitter that she had a surrogate. After getting personally trolled by some dudes with a B google alert, I decided not to blog about the retreat while I was out there, for fear of someone crow-barring their way into my trailer and asserting Beyonce's childbearing in person. No thank you! 

I've been visiting the Sou'Wester for the past 15 years. It is a lodge and vintage trailer park located in SeaView, on the Long Beach Peninsula.
The first time I went, I was 19 and driving to the ocean for the first time, accompanied by my fellow IPRC volunteer Fred the Punk Rock Barber. I believe he slept on the floor or the couch of the trailer, but I can't remember which. Fred would later be immortalized in the comic "Clutch", drawn as "a potato with a gumdrop head, and toothpick arms and legs holding a donut" (his choice).  It was so long ago that a quest for bagels on the peninsula seemed obscene. People didn't even register the sounds my mouth was making as I asked "Bagel?". 

 The Sou'Wester was owned, at the time, by a geriatric couple from South Africa, Len and Miriam Atkins.
When they were both in their 80s, they sold the lodge and trailer park (called "TCH! TCH!") to some plucky Portlanders who have since revived the enterprise and introduced it to a group of young artists and sea-seekers.
They have shows, sell records, and offer artist residencies. This is my dream come true!
Staying in a vintage travel trailer within walking distance of a dark and gloomy beach is my idea of a good time. The best time. The best working conditions, aside from those offered by the RADAR Lab in Mexico.
So I trundled myself and Ponyo out there and worked on finishing my 2015 Invincible Summer Calendar. I also worked on thumbnails for my book, Fetch (out with Houghton Mifflin in 2017), and created a portrait of the trailer I stayed within.

If you are in the Pacific Northwest, check them out! Go for a visit!
Walk to the beach, spend money at the local senior citizen thrift shop, and try to stomach the sheer volume of curly fries you are served at the place by Marsh's Free Museum.


For everyone else (cartoonists and writers especially),
Can I recommend going on an artist retreat to you? Yes.
Do you need to have an organization's approval and lodgings to go on one?
Find someone with a cabin or some land, or a room or a trailer and ask if you can stay there for a week.
Hole up and work!
That's all there is to it.
It doesn't need to be expensive, and you do not need to be part of a "colony" (which sounds very leper or ant-like if you ask me, but of course I would still thrill to be part of one).
You be you. Bring a dog. Be out of touch. Just write and read and listen to books on tape.
If your initials are "CJ", stay off of Facebook.



Best Foods to Eat on Retreat:
-Salad Rolls
(rice paper wrappers, red peppers from CSA, avocado, lettuce, arugula, soy curls, green onion)
-Peanut Sauce (pb, tamari, sriracha, ketchup b/c I forgot Hoisin and was playing "Chopped) with myself)
-Homemade Frozen Pizza
(cornmeal crust, pizza sauce, daiya, red peppers, eggplant, garlic, tempeh)
- Ashmead's Kernel apples w/ almond butter
- Lagusta's Luscious chocolate bars


Sou'Wester Retreat Playlist (from the iPod Beth gave me after she saw that I was riding my bike around with a discman):
Elliott Smith- Jealous Guy
Another One Bites the Dust- Queen
Elliott Smith- Miss Misery
Kaia- 16
Twelve Thirty- Mamas & the Papas
Night Air- Erik Satie
Feeling Good- Nina Simone
After the Rain- Erik Satie
I Put A Spell on You- Nina Simone
I Wish I Knew How It would Feel..- Nina Simone
Mesopotamia- B52s
I Want To Break Free- Queen
California Earthquake- Mamas & the Papas
Four Women- Nina Simone
They Say I'm Different- Betty Davis
Make Your Own Kind of Music- Mama Cass
Mississippi Goddamn- Nina Simone
Zombie Jamboree- Harry Belafonte
Tough Mary- Etta James
Monday, Monday- Mamas & the Papas
Supa Dupa Fly- Missy Elliott

Records from the Sou'Wester:
Staple Singers
Assiyo Bellema (Mississippi Records)
Hasabe (Mississippi Records)
Ali Birra- Ammalele (Mississippi Records)

If your name is Ponyo, best thing to do:
Ignore the ocean and only focus on the small-sized Chuckit ball that is skittering off the hard sand.


Friday, September 19, 2014

Advice, Dates, Teaching, Etc.


1. New advice is up at Bitch Media, featuring sloths.

2. I just did a lovely talk, Q&A, and interview at Pacific University in Forest Grove, OR. Thank you, Pacific U!

3. I will be starting comics and zine-publishing residencies with local grade schools this month!

4. I am teaching at California College of the Arts, in the low-residency Comics MFA program.

5. Working on a new calendar.

6. Working on "Fetch: How A Bad Dog Brought Me Home" for Houghton Mifflin.

7. I'll see you at Short Run Comix & Art Festival November 15th.

8. In 2015, I'll be doing talks at The College of William & Mary, New Hampshire Institute of Art, University of New Hampshire, North Eastern Illinois University, and more!!!

9. May 29th I'll be a guest speaker at Vegan Vida Con in Austin Texas.

10. There is a Queers & Comics Conference, May 7–8, 2015 in New York!


SPX Roundup

Hello from beautiful Portland, Oregon!

SPX this year was one of the best shows I've been to.

I was able to attend the Small Press Expo through a generous Professional Development Grant from the Regional Arts & Culture Council.

They helped me pack my suitcase, fly across the country, sell my wares, meet new readers, attend lectures, and meet some of my favorite artists and writers. Thank you, RACC!

All of my non-cartoonist friends kept saying "Where are you going, again?" and I had to explain, "Beautiful Bethesday, Maryland!" where I stayed in the confines of a Marriott and its surrounding Vietnamese restaurant for a solid 60 hours, mere spitting distance of Liz Prince the whole time.

Liz Prince, noted Tomboy, sold out of books on the first day!

The person jumping out of frame created a book of lady cartoonist trading cards!

My dear from and fellow CCS instructor, Jon Chad, author of "The Bad-ventures of Bobo Backslack".

Monday, August 25, 2014

Igor, tumblr, & Web Woes

My website is down right now. 
As we are fixing it, or trying to figure out how to reach my Moldova-based web-host, I am putting things up on tumblr. 
Check it out!
In the meantime, here is a drawing of me as Igor, and an illustration I did of someone's Young Frankenstein review for Vermont's weekly paper, 7 Days. 

Friday, June 20, 2014

We won a Lambda!!!

Shown with my corgi god-daughter, Lu.
Hello friends,
Good news! "Calling Dr. Laura" won a Lambda Literary Award!!!
I am over the moon about it, and also full of gratitude.

In other news, I will be doing a reading on August 8th here in Portland with A.K. Summers of "Pregnant Butch" fame. If you have not read her book, I highly recommend you do.
We will be reading at the Independent Publishing Resource Center.

Take care,

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Leaving Vermont, Busy Summer!

Is Ponyo sad or distracted here? We are both sad!
1. Oh geez, everybody. It is the end of the school-year in Vermont, which means I am leaving the Center for Cartoon Studies, and headed back West. It also means that I am leaving the Vice President of NJG Inc, beloved intern and sometimes-blogger Mathew New!
Mathew was my head of Millennial Services, including Tumblr maintenance, zine construction, post-production, Ponyo-rearing, order packing and mailing list mastery. It was a true pleasure working with him, AND if you are ever looking to hire someone as a story-boarder, cartoonist, all-around great human being or most subtle jokester, I do recommend you hire him for your cartoon or organization! 
(c) Mathew New, 2014
Find the real Ponyo in this picture
 2. In other news, I just finished this giant sign for Townshend's Tea. They will be opening a new spot on Mississippi Street for your kombucha and bubble tea needs.
Photo by Pablo de O Campo
3. Calling Dr. Laura was spotted in the Detroit Airport! If you are in Detroit and need something to make the flight a little heavier, may I suggest this 2.5 lb masterpiece?

4. Calling Dr. Laura won Best Graphic Novel at the Bookbuilders of Boston Book Show! 

5. I will be in Portland this week for Portland Community College's Art Beat Festival. I am the featured 2014 artist, and will be giving talks at their Sylvania, Rock Creek, and Cascadia campuses. See the side bar for dates.

6. I debuted a new mini-comic at MoCCA, but it was a limited run, short and unedited edition, so there are not more! BUT! I'll try to debut it again, in a true (more than 20 copies available) run at CAKE this June. ALSO at CAKE, I have a 21 page comic that will debut in an anthology called Maple Key.

7. I just gave a talk at Dartmouth College for their Comics Club. There was pie, and it was lovely.

7. SAD NEWS: Clutch McBastard and I are taking the year off from doing a May diary comic. It's the first time in 12 years, I believe. Apologies!!!

8. There are SO MANY DATES listed on the side-bar. Please make a note of them!