Invincible Summer

by NJG

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!


Thursday, March 20, 2014

An Advice Comic Up on Bitch!

Greetings, Earth friends!

I wrote a lengthy comic response to a person inquiring about how to combat sexism at her service job. You can find it here.

A big thank you to friends Natalie and Matilda, who lent me their advice for this piece!


Friday, March 14, 2014

Ponyo & I visit the library with our book, "Tell It Like It Tiz"!

Shello! In January, my collaborator Marc Parker and I drove to Olympia, Washington, and told people at the Olympia Timberland Library about our senior citizen zine-turned-book, "Tell It Like It Tiz". I brought my dog, Ponyo, who is also a friend to the participants of our project. Here are some photos:

Would you like us to visit your school, club, or library?
We love to share the community art project wealth. 
Send me a cool email here

And lo! I am going to be featured in an art show that is happening RIGHT NOW in Chicago, Illinois! ChiCOLDgo! Anyway, if you go there, you can buy some cool xeroxed prints for the low low price of $10. And that is no lie. So check it out!

Have a nice weekend, and I'll see you at MoCCA!!!


Xerox Art Show! In Chicago!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Lambda Awards, Advice Column on Bitch, PCC Art Beat, and Convention Dates

Hey there readers! Nicole's intern here. Let me tell you, things are just a frenzy at NJG Inc.*

First up! Nicole's book Calling Dr. Laura has been nominated for a Lambda Award! Now in its 26th year, Labmda Literary honors excellence in LGBT literature. Nicole could not be more excited and honored to be nominated!

                                                                                                     Look at that seal! Prestige!

Second up! Nicole has joined the ranks of the Ms. Opinionated advice blog over at Bitch Magazine. Check it out! 

Oh, hey, while you're checking things out! If you hadn't already heard, Nicole has tapped into her inner-millennial and finally hopped on the Tumblr band-wagon! That's right, you can now follow Nicole from the comfort of your dashboard, it's never been easier.

And as if things weren't heating up enough already, Spring is on its way! The snow is melting, the grey clouds are floating away or whatever, and that means *convention season* is almost here!

Nicole will also be this year's Portland Community College Art Beat Featured Artist! Whoa! More info coming 

In honor of all this craziness, there's a sale going on at Nicole's Etsy! Calendars are only $5 and copies of Tell It Like It Tiz are only $10! Get on those deals, they'll only be around until next Wednesday!

* NJG Inc. consists of Nicole Georges and two unpaid interns, one of which is a dog.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Sad sad sad sad sad sad news

Dear friend, brilliant cartoonist, and beautiful human being Catherine Peach has passed away.

Catherine was a Homorobics regular, purveyor of Unicorn smut, most treasured clothing-exchange-party guest, and was working on a graphic memoir about having a rare brain tumor at the time of her passing.

She will be dearly missed.

Catherine Peach, Homorobics poster girl, shown here with Erin Wiser.

I Have A Tumblr. Hold for applause.

Hello friends.
I have more news for you.
I am stepping into 2007 and having a Tumblr.
You can access it here to see my 2014 Hourly Comics Day diaries.

Please do the things that you do with Tumblr,
liking or sharing or reblogging. You know.
I am not being purposely dense here (like people who call it "The interwebs"), or fake-techphobic,
I genuinely am just getting a hang of Tumblr.


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Return of Homorobics, 7 Days, and a Grunge Photo.

Hello out there!
2 things:
1. I am re-launching Homorobics, now titled Punk Aerobics to fit the scene here in happenin' White River Junction, Vermont! The details are forthcoming, and will be posted on my Homorobics blog as they appear. Come do leg lifts with me if you are in the area!

2. Vermont's independent weekly paper, 7 Days, did a feature on yours truly, which you can read here.
It features an author photo taken by Ally Picard , who also took this photo of me with Wishbone a few years ago, for a grunge-themed dance night:
Wishbone looks very grunge, no?
Put that in your pipe and smoke it!

Have a nice week. 


Friday, January 24, 2014

Sad Chicken News, KBOO, Townshends and more.

 Dear Readers,
Greetings from snowy White River Junction, Vermont!
I have good news and bad news.
Let's start with the good news first.

1. I painted my favorite sort of cow for Townshends Teahouse in Bozeman, Montana! Seen above, the cow mentioned is Highland Cattle, with some bubble tea, and some nice birds, and an upside-down blonde sloth overhead! If you are in Montana, swing by and see it.
In case you didn't know, I also painted signs for their Division Street Teahouse, Alberta, and Eugene!

2. Good news: Somebody really super nice person named Danielle (@bearofroses on twitter) sent me some hand-knitted chicken sweaters for the ladies while I was visiting them over the winter break.
Perla is shown above (pre-nail-trim) wearing some lovely warm apparel.

Now the bad news.
While I was in Portland, the chickens were murdered by a raccoon.
People online kept saying "What!? Why!?".
I would rather not dredge up the details.
My best answer to "Why", then,  is that life is sad and unfair sometimes, and chicken life is delicate and sometimes fleeting.

These were the first chickens I had (and got close to) in a long time, so it was very very sad.
I do believe they had a luxurious life, though. They lived a clean and uncluttered environment, with free access to a giant yard and garden, with no chicken drama since there were only two of them. Their only pain in life is that they had to be picked up and cradled and photographed more often than they would have liked.
So, I'm sorry to deliver this news.

3. The very morning I discovered the chickens had passed away, I was scheduled to go on KBOO to talk about Calling Dr. Laura on the show "Words and Pictures", with the lovely host Conch.
Regarding the time, or the ladies, I don't even know what to say. They are the third and fourth animals to pass from my life within one year, all coinciding with times I've had to make very public appearances in service to the book. It's hard and it's sad and it's weird, but I have to do both at the same time. Grieve my animals and go talk to people about my family. I enjoy talking to people about the book, about art, and about the story, so it is a nice distraction, but please don't imagine I have forgotten any of the kind creatures to pass through my life this year. In fact, a sad comic about Beija is forthcoming.

Anyway, I mentioned the girls on the radio, and brought Ponyo along to fulfill her duties as "emotional support".
Here is a link to the show:
4. Ponyo visited the senior citizens at The Marie Smith Center with me while we were there, and accompanied me to Olympia's Timberland Regional Public Library for a spirited reading from Tell It Like It Tiz with collaborator Marc Parker!
Tell It Like It Tiz, my zine anthology of comics and writing from my time spent volunteering with senior citizens, is still available through my Etsy shop. It is a pick-me-up, and a gift appropriate for all ages.

5. Speaking of Etsy, my 2014 Calendars are now $10 in my Etsy shop! AND the 2013 Invincible Summer/Clutch split comic is available there for $3! Run, don't walk to pick up these titles.
Phyllis "Non-Earl" Georges, modeling with the calendar in October

6. I gave a talk in Trevor Dodge's class at Clackamas Community College this month and had a lot of fun discussing Calling Dr. Laura and emotional honesty with his class.

7. I have news coming up regarding my advice column being syndicated, and/or written for specific entitities! Stay tuned.

8. I went on a twitter tear last night with Lucy Knisley, writing as "Freelance Cartoonist Hulk".
Go follow me on Twitter.