Oh, hey, time for a new comic, don’t you think?
Waaaaay back in the early days of the pandemic, Melanie Gillman organized and edited a digital zine of recipe comics called Parsley Sage Rosemary and Quarantine. You can still snag a copy of the whole zine on a pay-what-you-want basis, but since the rights have reverted I figured I’d share my recipe here:
If you want that whole “recipe with life story” thing, hit up the Patreon link. If you want the recipe and NOTHING ELSE, stick with Studio NDR.
Other Goings On
So yes, it’s been quite awhile since I’ve updated here. Honestly, like a great many other artists, the bruising ordeal that has been 2020 has pretty much done in my creative drive. I have been struggling to make anything more complicated than a sticker of a bear drinking bubble tea (it is a very cute bear, though).
So right now I’m mostly focused on trying to take some down time, in hopes that actually officially chilling for a bit will help recharge the ol’ batteries.
I do have the next chapter of Valley of the Silk Sky thumbnailed, though I have not yet commenced penciling (that’s what I’m hoping to get the energy to undertake).
I do have a VotSS short story that has not previously been published online that I intend to start running in January, so there will be comics come the new year, even as I hide in my hidey hole.
The new anthology of LGBTQIA+ comics from The Nib and IDW publishing is officially out, and has already snagged some honors!
Read the starred review in Kirkus
BGDC wins Ignatz Award for Outstanding Anthology
Be Gay, Do Comics is filled with dozens of comics about LGBTQIA experiences, ranging from personal stories to queer history to cutting satire about pronoun panic and brands desperate to co-opt pride. Brimming with resilience, inspiration, and humor, an incredible lineup of top indie cartoonists takes you from the American Revolution through Stonewall to today’s fights for equality and representation.
Featuring more than 30 cartoonists, including yours truly!
How can you acquire this fine comics volume? Simply buy it from your preferred bookseller, or snag a copy from The Nib’s online store!
The final installment of my Japanese metal show diary comic is here:
That Patreon post includes a discussion of souvenir towels, so hit that link if you yearn to know more.
If you yearn to read the whole comic in one fell swoop, this is the link for you.
Also, don’t forget to check out my soundtrack playlist for this comic, which is on the YouTubes here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLYvv_X5qp4EyrOtVkosEwxlxh1e4cVnhZ
Now that this comic has wrapped, perhaps you’re wondering what comes next. Well, I’ll tell you.
I’m about halfway through coloring the next chapter of Valley of the Silk Sky, so that’s getting extremely close to done. I’ve been avoiding setting a specific date for when I’ll start running the chapter as my workflow has been painfully slow (sometimes due to literal pain, mostly due to Anxiety About the World We Live In).
BUT. Know that progress is happening, and new pages shall emerge very soon.
The latest installment of my Japanese metal show diary comic is here:
Like a lot of gothic metal bands, Mejibray’s style leans heavily on BDSM themes, so it’s not too surprising the crowd would be exuberant about being spat upon.
Also, I would have expected a mosh pit if it had been an American show, and would have avoided front and center accordingly. But no such scrum developed here. I don’t know if moshing just isn’t a thing in Japan, or if it does happen but sticks to other genres. Clearly one of these days I will need to do further research on the matter.
The show goes on! Read page 3 here:
If you check out the Patreon post, you can read some of my musings about concerts past and present, should such a thing be of interest to you.
I will add this one translation note here, though:
The actual rendering of “encore” in Japanese is アンコール (ankouru), where the final “ru” would only be partially voiced. But the crowd was definitely saying a fully-voiced “re” at the end of the word, giving each syllable equal weight as basically a three-beat chant. JUST in case you were wondering.
Tune in next week for page 4 excitement!
The second installment of my diary comic about going to see a metal show in Japan is here! Specifically, it is here:
Since this is a short comic, I’ll wait until all the pages are up to post it over on Tumblr (for the five of you who still use Tumblr).
To answer my own question from the first panel, this is not a thing specific to Mejibray shows. I’ve since gone back and watched music videos by other Japanese rock bands, and have noticed the crowds acting in unison there as well. I suppose to the extent I noticed it before I’d just assumed it was a staged coordination for the sake of the video. And, well, it IS a staged coordination, but being filmed has little to do with it.
Tune in next week for more lessons in Japanese rock show etiquette!
Perhaps you read this comic when it ran on The Comics Journal last fall, but in the event you missed it, I’m gonna run it here now that the rights have reverted back to me!
You can now read page 1 here. A new page will go up each week!
To refresh your memory, this is my diary comic about going to see a visual kei heavy metal show in Japan a few years ago. Because I’m a nerd for making playlists, I put together a soundtrack for this comic. It’s on YouTube because a lot of the featured bands never had their music licensed for U.S. release, so many of them (Mejibray included) are not to be found on Spotify or iTunes here. (Several of the bands on my playlist make cameos in this comic as t-shirts – this page features Dog in the PWO, a.k.a. Dog in the Parallel World Orchestra.)
True fact: in order to buy Mejibray’s albums, I had to purchase them on CD (!!) which I was only able to find at a Tower Records (!!!) in Shibuya. It was like traveling backwards in time.
The exciting tale of my journey to a trans bar is Tokyo is now complete! Page 6 is to be found here on Studio NDR and here on Patreon.
If you’re looking to read the whole thing in one swell foop, here is the link for you.
I’ll also be posting the whole story to Tumblr soon, but not right at this second. Once it’s up, I’ll post a link here.
As for what’s next on the comics docket, Valley of the Silk Sky: The Long Run Chapter 11 is finished and ready to go. I’ll start posting pages for public consumption on January 16, 2020. Patrons who pledge $1 or more per month will, as is the custom, get early access to pages, so for those folks it’ll start on January 13.
See you then!
The penultimate page of our parable may now be peeped! Peruse here on Studio NDR, or here on Patreon.
Tune in next week for the EXCITING CONCLUSION.
Speaking of exciting conclusions, the Kickstarter for The Nib’s Be Gay Do Comics anthology has wrapped! The project has funded quite handily, so soon you’ll be able to get your mitts on this fine book. As a reminder, I’ll have 8 pages of comics in there, alongside a great many other excellent cartoonists. If you missed out on the Kickstarter, I’m sure The Nib will have extra copies to sell retail, so keep an eye on their announcements.
Finally, I’ve finished coloring Valley of the Silk Sky: The Long Run chapter 11, and am in the final stages of cleaning up the scans and lettering the pages. So I’m on track to commence publishing the next installment on January 16, 2020. Brace yourselves!
The second installment of my autobio comic detailing my adventure to a trans bar in Tokyo has arrived, and you can read it here on Studio NDR or here on Patreon.
There was a small restaurant on the same floor as Two’s Cabin (the カレー店, a.k.a. Curry Shop), which had a few people waiting in line outside the door. I think when he first showed up, Masaki (owner and founder of Two’s Cabin) assumed I was waiting to be seated at the restaurant and not for Two’s Cabin to open, because he was a little surprised when I poked my head in the door.
I was glad I’d followed his Instagram prior to my journey, since I at least knew from the photos that I was in the right place.
See you next week for … PAGE THREE.