Website Updated!

So, a year went by (over a year, honestly) without me paying one bit of attention to my poor old website. It was high time I applied a new coat of paint and got back to semi-regular posts. So here I am, finally joining this decade’s web aesthetic and generally cleaning things up.

2018 sees many fun bits of news for me, including a book deal for my next graphic novel, Little Monarchs. It now has a home at Margaret Ferguson Books, an imprint of children’s publisher Holiday House. I couldn’t be happier, or better supported!

Chere Creature

Dear Creature recently saw a French edition release, while The New Deal garnered a nomination for the Oregon Book Award (soon to be determined). Go old books!

Alongside my work on Little Monarchs, this year I’m writing BOOM’s Over the Garden Wall graphic novels, with series’ storyboard artist Jim Campbell doing a stellar job on art duties. Alongside THAT, I keep extra busy with watercolor covers for The Thrilling Adventure Hour, the odd McMenamins painting, illustrations for TEDx, murals, and a bunch of storyboard/illustration work. I’m sure I’m forgetting something… Oh, yes: Two incredible little girls, ages 6 and not-quite-9-months.

It’s a beautiful handful, and somehow the work’s all moving forward under deadline (editors, that’s for you).

I’ll go into more detail on all these projects soon, but for now it just feels good to dust off the site’s cobwebs. I almost said website cobwebs, but that’s too many webs.

Later!

 

Original Art for Survivors

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sarc

Today begins a new partnership with some people I really admire. Here’s the plan:

Every month, I’m donating a portion of my original art sales to SARC (The Sexual Assault Resource Center), my favorite local nonprofit serving survivors of sexual exploitation and violence. This month, I’ve already contributed $535 out of a possible $1,000. For December, I’ll do the same, up to $1,000. Whether it’s a couple pages of Batman, a color cover, whatever, the first $1,000 goes to SARC. Pretty simple. I’ll start with this model and see how it goes. My intent is to raise funds and awareness for their work throughout next year.

Browse my Original Art section here.

(UPDATE: In less than 24 hrs, I’ve met my goal of $1,000 raised for SARC. Thank you!!!)

SARC’s been around since 1977 (they’re featured in this year’s Willamette Week Give! Guide). Begun by two assault survivors, its staff works in the Portland metro area with a current caseload of almost 300 kids at risk for sex trafficking. It’s the same population the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children talks about when they quote stats like this:

Every year in America, there are between 100,000 and 300,000 children at risk of being sold on the sex-slave market. The average age of the victims is between 12 and 14.

Globally, human trafficking is the #2 most profitable illegal business; just ahead of weapons and just behind drugs. It’s really difficult to let that sink in. I’ll leave it to you to follow the sources below if you want detailed information; suffice to say, I can’t think of an issue that needs more support, and has less. Nationally, there are fewer than 100 beds in treatment facilities equipped to help heal and care for these kids. One of the social workers at SARC said that for every girl they take on, that girl can name six or seven others being actively prostituted. It’s staggering. Nonprofits like SARC are on the front lines providing care, services, and protection, but they’re hugely under-supported, especially from your average American guy (hello).

I’ve supported SARC financially for a few years through the Epik Project, and I want to do more. Because of who I am and what I do (an artsy guy with limited real-world skills), my options for helpful involvement are limited. This also just isn’t a topic that comes up naturally in any social setting. Believe me. I’ve tried. Taking stock of my options to do more, I landed on art sales. Original art income is totally unpredictable; I can’t depend on it to pay bills, but I can use it strategically. It’s a natural fit for donation.

If this all seems a little bizarre and non sequitur coming from a comics creator, have a look at this: other cartoonists like Lora Innes and Crystal Yates are already at work on this issue. Their organization, Comics Creators for Freedom, has already raised over $20,000 to assist survivors. They’ve set their latest fundraiser for December 2013- it’s inspiring stuff.

If you want more info on human trafficking, check these out:

Government info pages/resources

Nonprofits on the front lines (some local to me)

Donate directly to SARC here: