Dry dock

We took the ship to a temporary land home:

 
And while I pull 66 h work weeks re-caulking the maindeck, evenings are spent in the nav station practicing my zen while trying to print the comic on the slowest, slowest computes known to mankind. As I write this I’ve been struggling with one (1) page for over an hour. A more tech-savvy individual could probably advise me on what to do to the computer that is more constructive than the abusive acts I conjure up on my head, but alas, it’s a ship’s computer and not my own, so not much I can do but hope for it to change its mind. It will print a few pages, then just plainly die on me. Ah well, oh well. If the universe is willing maybe I’ll have the first copy of my comic in a few days if the computer doesn’t decide to completely die on me before that.

 
Look at this magnificent mix of comic drawing and tall ship sailing life, though! The essence of my life! 

More editing…

Dear people!

I’m spending my last days at home Editing  before returning to work on the ship. This tiresome, time-consuming part of editing that demands me sitting in front of a computer. Oh, computers. They kill my back despite my best efforts to re-enact an ergonomically correct workspace (and failing miserably at doing so). 

This is what work looks like:

 
SO BORING.

Anyhows. My friend Dennis came by today and kept me company and supplied me with some new music, The Kossoy Sisters, damn amazing. Thank you Dennis. 

Editing!

Things are happening now that I finally finished the last panel! God, that went on forever, but yes, here we are. Yesterday I ravaged through all the originals and sorted them all, to my delight they were all there, safely stored in a big pile in what used to be my bedroom at my parent’s place that is now my mom’s office. She is kind enough to support me in my paranoid ways and let me store the material there; I’m too protective to want to have them onboard a boat. I sorted out about 15 pages that were on my ongoing fix-this-list, that included paragraphs such as “make me not look fucking stupid in this panel” etc. It is neat, because my skill at drawing people, faces and hands in particular, has noticeably improved since the start of this project. In the beginning it was kind of hit or miss with faces, some turned out well, some not very much so. But I’m good enough now to be able to look at them and see what is wrong and then be able to fix it.

Here is an example:

  
  
Also doing this, less fun, editong of text in the (very) early pages where I had yet to discover the huge benefits of writing on paper instead of directly on the scratchboard:

  

Part one, part one

I did it, finished part one, finally.

Here is a silly interview I did with myself for this occasion:

  

Stockholm today is cold and rainy and I wish I could be more excited about this, but it passed me like something insignificant, probably because it’s been dragged out for so long and because I just turned around and started editing earlier pages after it was done. I feel the comic itself deserves more from me. I’m hoping to be able to print some versions in English before I join the ship again in two weeks.

Take care, stay loving

Last panel of Part One!

Dear digital outside world!

I have barricaded myself on the torpedo boat to finish part one, while ignoring my hand injury (yes I KNOW. But really, I have this under control. Kind of.) and working hard at cranking out this last page. A lot of prestige in it, I can’t settle for good enough here…

 

Here is the beginning of the center piece, a panoramic view in which it becomes painfully obvious that I must have slept through perspective drawing class in art school. Or to be more fair to myself, I actually know rudimentary perspective drawing pretty well, but I always knowingly mess around with it. It looks too extreme to me, the center-perespective, so I always make two center points instead. 

(Also, check out those twin panels in the lower section! I’d love to post more details, but I don’t want to spoil the last page by publishing it all… But, yeah, twin panels are fun. I draw them simultaneously, detail for detail. Like, here’s a tree with the branch going like this, here is the same tree again in the next panel.)

KARIN’S GUIDE TO A COMPLETELY INCORRECT USE OF PESPECTIVE DRAWING:

 
   

 
Stand by for a late-night update when I finish my comic with nobody else to celebrate with than anonymus blog readers! 

4 pages left!

Wohoo people! Four pages to go before finishing part one! I am going slightly manic about just drawing them, pushing myself as hard as I can before pushing myself too hard. Eveything in excess, nothing in moration. I wish I could sit and draw during all my waking hours, without physical or mental limitations. But, you know, in thhe end those limitations are probably for the best.

So, one month before returning to the ship for summer maintenance period which is pulling insane 66 h work weeks and keeping up with the drinking and (lack of) sleeping habits of 19-year-olds, which leaves little time and energy for drawing. 

They are doing this to my hand:

  

Weird but fascinating, and seems to be working, actually. I am starting to use the rig hand again, and it doesn’t seem to be hurting it. 

Here is the last panel containing one of my favourite things to draw for many pages to come, boats reflected in water:

  

Current page count: 111 of 114 

Syster Förlag Publisher!

Big news: Of Love and Tall Ships officially has a publisher!

The superb small publisher Syster Förlag (Sister Publishing, kind of) run by Swedish comic artists Åsa Grennvall and Sofia Olsson will publish Of Love and Tall Ships in the spring of 2016. I am so excited about this! They are both great people and we share the artistic vision for what this book should look like. I couldn’t have ended up anywhere better.

 
Yesterday they sent me this bag on which Åsa has hand-embroirered four anchors! I was happy beyond words! So great.

This version of the comic will be translated to Swedish, but I am planning on self-publishing the English version at some point too. 

Last 7 pages

Dear people! A weekly update:

Stockholm is cold and rainy, but beautiful. I have returned from a short trip to the west coast for preparation work for future illustration projects. This trip involved, among other things, backyard bronze casting with a small hellfire to go with it. I was quite excited about this.

Yes, life is pretty good:

 
(This is me being optimistic).

THE RIGHT HAND is still fucked, but I’m learning to deal with it, I use it and occasionally draw with it (ok, I draw as much as I feel I can get away with) and I take breaks when it starts to feel bad. This is good, too, because it allows for me to meet with Stockholm friends without being stressed out about not working when doing so. I will meet with a physiotherapist Tuesday, so maybe that will open some new doors! 

So, still reduced in hand-capacity and limited by the time I can draw each sitting, I keep pushing forward. I feel like a woman I listened to on some podcast who vividly described doing her first triathlon and how she wasn’t propely prepared but stubborn as hell and ended up crawling over the finish line a total mess. Only 7 pages left! This is how pages are counted nowdays!

 
My kitchen/dining room/work desk/office/studio space! Pages usually end up in this window until it gets full and I bike over with them to my parent’s place for scanning and storage. The observant observer will notice the procrastinated panel on the second page. This is not advisable, but I’m breaking all rules now. Break them! Break them!

More to follow, friends.

Stockholm International Comic Festival 2015

Darling people!

This past weekend was the Comic Festival weekend! Way exciting! I sold three fanzines – two of them to a friend, did the annual catching-up with the folks I only run into there (oddly enough a lot of them are former classmates) which was nice as always.

It always makes me so happy and inspired to see all of these fanzines that people create. There were a ton of them! As well as posters, art, albums etc. Go make stuff, people! Go go go!!!

Anyways, Of Love and Tall Ships did great despite the low sales of fanzines. Meetings with publishers (more on this later!) and I won first prize for Best Fanzine of 2014! Can you imagine?! There were 360 fanzines competing, and Of Love and Tall Ships won! I am still slightly in shock, as well as super psyched. It is so extremely rewarding to get a confirmation from completely unbiased people that what you’re doing actually has quality to it. Especially when it comes from experts/connosieurs/nerds on the subject, who will never sugar-coat their opinions. Winning this prize was the most perfect culmination of all the hours of occasional doubt I’ve spent wondering if what I’m doing is any good at all, because when you live with a project of this size you lose all perspective of it from a bigger viewpoint. I feel very lucky and humbled.

 
The compulsory posing-with-the-prize photo!

So, apart from that whole excitement, I am pushing forward in slow motion, trying to finish the last 8 pages without hurting my hands. I’m also trying hard to figure out a Swedish name for the comic, but thus far I have fallen short of any good ideas. (Should you have any, feel free to brainstorm!) I’m thinking of a radio interview with author Elizabeth Gilbert I once heard where she spoke of searching for a name for her novel Eat Pray Love, and she was speaking to her demon of inspiration, saying something like “Hey Book, I am doing my part here, showing up every day to write you, but you have to do your part two. Now please, tell me what your goddamned name is!” And before the end of that day she knew what to name her book. I haven’t gone as far as feeling like I need to put my book to an ultimatum, because it is so nice and cooperative so I don’t want to yell at it, so for the time being I’m just waiting in the back of my head for it to appear, while coaxing it a little, too.

Progress in early May

Dear people!

Some news: Despite being put on a three-week treatment with anti-inflammatory pills, I have gotten a nasty inflammation in my LEFT thumb. What about that! Not in the tendons, thank God, but right at the fingertip. This makes holding and working the scratching tool very painful. So, with my right hand incapactitated by around 90%, and my left hand currently by 70%, this makes my over all hand capacity at… (oh god, really, math?! hold on) …20% in total. (Please correct me if I’m wrong. I spent most math classes of my life dreaming about horses and sharks.)

The good news is that the left hand onflammation should be gone in a few days, and that I’ve gotten a lot of useful advice about my right hand lately, so I’m hopeful that it will get well at some point in a not too distant future.

  
This is the latest panel, which has taken me half an eternity to draw, since I seem to be becoming exceedingly more crippled for each day that passes. People in Stockholm will recognize the location!

This weekend is the Swedish International Comic Fair, SIS, which is the time of the year when the Swdish comic scene peaks! Last year I was just a hangaround, running around with the 40 pages I had drawn then printed out, showing it to publishers in the hope of snaring one. This year I will be selling the fanzine and showing my presence at the table of Dotterbolaget, a Swedish feminist comic collective of which I’m some sort of member. A proud some sort of member, nontheless! If you are from here, or living here, or just happen to be around here this weekend, come say hi! I’ll be crippingly scratching away while attempting to sell my misprinted fanzines at a discount (and, of course, the not-misprinted ones). 

Some pther exciting things will be happening at the comic fair: my fanzine will be competing for the Best Fanzine of 2014 award, but unfortunately I submitted a misprinted copy, ha, so we’ll see how that goes! It’s mostly for fun, anyways. There are also some other a lot more exciting things happening, but I won’t talk about them yet in fear of jinxing it. I’ll let you know as soon as it (if it) materializes!

Much love, enjoy spring!