Read “From The Beyond” Online!

For those of you seeking holiday-themed reading, I have posted my comic “From The Beyond” online in its entirety. This story focuses on a strange experiment conducted by 1920s Spiritualist Thomas Lynn Bradford, who committed suicide in an attempt prove the existence of an afterlife by contacting the living from beyond the grave. You can also see a video of my 2014 artist’s talk about this piece at the University of Pennsylvania’s Kelly Writers’ House.

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This comic was originally created for Then It Was Darkan anthology of true ghost stories and brushes with the paranormal. The book is full of spooky stories by some seriously talented artists, and I heartily recommend you check it out.

Happy Halloween!

Baseline Blvd Now Online

My newest comic is now online! Baseline Blvd is an autobiographical story about grief, and the feelings of anger, guilt, and isolation that come wrapped up with it. It depicts the drive between my home in southeastern Kansas to a small cemetery outside of Carthage, MO. This comic, as you may have guessed, is a bit more personal than the rest of my work, and it’s kind of heavy.

You can read the whole thing right here.

BB_w001_bSome background for those interested: In 2007, during my last year of college, my boyfriend at the time committed suicide. Seven years later I moved across the country to Kansas for a job and discovered that my new home was only 43 miles from the place where he is buried. The cemetery is off a major country road that I find myself driving down semi-frequently. It’s an emotionally difficult drive that has become slightly less emotionally difficult over time. Sometimes I feel guilty about that, as though not stopping to mark the occasion every time I pass the cemetery is somehow lessening its significance, and by proxy, his significance. So I’ve been thinking a lot about him lately, and about what it means that he’s been woven back into the fabric of my day-to-day life in this way.

If you’ve been following my work for a long time you might remember that I’ve touched on this subject matter before, in Owlex, my short-lived webcomic. While that story involved keg parties in hell, Magic: The Gathering drinking games, and a band called Ritalin Reggie and the Short Attention Spans, it was at its heart, despite all the wacky hijinks, a story about feeling haunted by the ghost of a person who left the world in a violent and senseless way. Owlex took a tongue-in-cheek approach to some difficult issues that were still very fresh at the time I was making it. In many ways I guess Baseline Blvd is also about feeling haunted, though there aren’t any wacky hijinks in this one.

If you enjoy Baseline Blvd and would like a print copy, you can grab one when my Etsy shop reopens in July, or from the Birdcage Bottom Books online store.

Urine Therapy Comics

In case you missed it, earlier this month The Nib published my comic “Urine: The Miracle Cure,” an investigation into the curious practice of urine therapy. Did you know that people all over the world drink their own urine for it’s supposed health benefits? Well, they do. There are entire Youtube channels about it. And countless books. It’s wild.

While researching this topic I spoke with practitioners of urine therapy, who told me of urine’s curative powers: It can cure cancer! It can restore eyesight! I’ll help you lose weight! The Illuminati are keeping this a secret from the public! Etc. For this piece I also drank my own urine because really it would be irresponsible of me as a journalist not to, right? And I mean, who would want to pass up an opportunity like this to drink urine? Most people, I guess. The comic details my experience drinking urine, as well as some things I learned talking to “experts” in the field. Go read it.

My Cat Won’t Stop Bleeding

As many of you know, I lost a dear furry friend on Saturday. He was diagnosed a while ago so I knew our time was limited, but his swift deterioration last weekend still took me a bit by surprise. In January, we had a scary couple of days where I thought I might lose him, during which time I made the comic below. He recouped from this episode, thankfully, and we got to spend another three weeks together.

 

Karl will be deeply and severely missed. Rest in peace, little dude.

Hourly Comic Day 2015

I think Hourly Comic Day might be my favorite holiday. As many of you know, on February 1st every year cartoonists document their day by creating a quick panel or strip for each hour they are awake. I really enjoy making hourly comics and reading everyone else’s as they post them throughout the day. This is my sixth year participating in Hourly Comic Day, during which time I have moved from Chicago to Savannah, GA, attended and graduated from an MFA program, moved to Portland, OR, and accepted my job at Pittsburg State University and moved to Kansas. It’s interesting to see how things have changed in my life over the years, and how many of my day-to-day routines have remained the same. You can read all of my previous hourly comics here (or jump to a specific year: 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, and 2010).

 

 

“What Is A Juggalo?”

As some of you may remember, last year for Symbolia‘s “True Crime” issue, I investigated fans of the rap duo Insane Clown Posse (known as Juggalos). In 2011, the FBI included Juggalos in their National Gang Threat Assessment, classifying them as a “loosely organized hybrid gang.” ICP members Joseph “Violent J” Bruce and Joseph “Shaggy 2 Dope” Utsler, along with the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan, filed a lawsuit against the FBI and the U.S. Justice Department earlier this year. Their suit, which called the gang classification “unwarranted and unlawful,” included among the plaintiffs four Juggalos who claimed to have been unfairly targeted due to the 2011 report. As of July 2014, Detroit federal Judge Robert Cleland has dismissed the case, saying that the government isn’t responsible for the actions of local law enforcement. Because of this recent ruling, Symbolia has posted my comic in full on their website for free! You can read other stories in Symbolia by subscribing.

Trepanation on The Nib!

If you’ve been following me on social media over the past few months, you know I’ve developed something of an obsession with trepanation. I’ve been researching and interviewing members of the International Trepanation Advocacy Group, as well as others, to put together a 15-page comic all about this small but enthusiastic faction of people who believe drilling a hole in your skull is the path to enlightenment.

You can now read the finished piece, “Trepanation: Elective Surgery You Need Like A Hole In The Head,” on The Nib!

Go on, read the comic now!

New Comic on Oh Joy Sex Toy!

I’m very excited to share with all of you a guest strip that I created for Erika Moen‘s phenomenal series Oh Joy Sex ToyFor anyone unfamiliar, Erika is a rockstar cartoonist with two very successful webcomics under her belt (if you haven’t already, go check out DAR and Bucko immediately), but I think Oh Joy Sex Toy is her crowning achievement so far. It’s fun, it’s sexy, it’s educational – it’s got everything, and I am thrilled to be able to contribute!

My guest comic outlines the hysterical history of vibrators: their journey from the doctor’s office to the nightstand drawers of today! Did you know?? The first vibrators were quack medical devices used to treat a nonexistent disease in women. Fun fact! In 1869, an American physician patented a coal-fired, steam-powered vibrator called “The Manipulator.” All this and more when you go read my new comic at ohjoysextoy.com (NSFW, obviously).

If you finish reading my comic and would still like to learn more about the history vibrators, I highly recommend Dr. Rachel P. Maines’ book, The Technology of Orgasm: “Hysteria,” the Vibrator, and Women’s Sexual Satisfaction which was an incredibly valuable resource when I was doing research for this piece. I also recommend that those of you in the Bay Area check out Antique Vibrator Museum, located at the Good Vibrations Polk Street store in San Francisco.

If you’d like to learn more about present-day vibrators, check out the archives of Oh Joy Sex Toy. Erika and her other contributors are quite knowledgable, and give excellent advice.

Download Symbolia’s New Issue, “True Crime,” TODAY!!

The newest issue of Symbolia Magazine is finally here! This issue, themed “True Crime,” features my piece on ICP’s legal battle with the FBI over the status of their fans as gang members. This is an interactive comic, that includes links and audio to enhance the story. It’s pretty sweet, you guys.

Here’s how you can get your hands on it:

Subscribe/purchase via PDF: www.symboliamag.com/pdf

Subscribe/purchase via iPad: www.symboliamag.com/ipad

And here’s what you’ll find inside:

  • A report on the FBI’s investigation into the Insane Clown Posse’s most fervent fans, by Yours Truly.
  • Jeff Severns Guntzel and Andy Warner’s moving piece on how veterans struggle to cope with the consequences of combat.
  • Channing Kennedy’s autobiographical essay about his life as a thief and as a bad role model, beautifully illustrated by Robert Dynamite and James Harvey.
  • What happened to Jane Doe 401UFFL? Deborah Halber and Eleri Harris uncover a cold case that took 30 years to crack.

This promises to be an excellent issue, so go download it now!!