Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Placeholder Post

So much has been going on.

I currently have 2 open blog posts I am trying to assemble, one about this year's AMAZING Boston Con and one about the Dragon Sculpture installation which was the culmination of two plus years' hard work and amounts to my first ever large scale art installation.

But today I want to talk a little bit about the exhausting, amazing, first-ever visit that my now 7-and-a-half-year-olds made this past week to my Florida house!


I had plans.

Oh, I had such grand plans.

We were going to go to Lion Country Safari, we were going to go to the Loggerhead Marinelife Center (what I have been calling the "Turtle Rescue") and learn about leatherback turtles (Sekiah even brought down her hot pink turtle stuffed animal named "Tuga" just in case), and if there was time, we would go to our Crossfit Gym which has a full gymnastics gymnasium where Sekiah and Ethan could learn to do some tumbling and some balance bar routines and even a little ribbon dancing.

This was all wildly optimistic for a 5 day trip.

As it was we did none of it.

We didn't even go to my local beach to snorkel around the reef and see all the brightly colored fish swimming all around and underneath you.


Every morning they swam like little fishes in my swimming pool while we waited for Kirsten to get home from work. We'd pause for lunch and maybe watch a few shows on Netflix while they'd relax and rehydrate (their latest favorite show "Zig and Sharko" is only the most recent horror in a long line of cartoony punishments they've been inflicting on me since they could toddle).

Once Kir came home we'd eat dinner, wait the allotted half hour or so for the sake of digestion and they'd go right back to swimming in the pool again until nightfall.

Ethan got extremely grouchy at night but I attribute that to utter exhaustion. Our flight home was delayed by a couple of hours and so we touched down closer to 1am than the 11pm landing we had planned for and there was never enough time to get on to a good routine.

While they were here we finally did the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Ethan did it once with me and once with Sekiah, proving that he does, in fact, love to get covered in ice water.


video



 Here are a bunch of snapshots of pool time:








Noodle doods.

They also met our sandhill cranes:







Like I said , it was a whirlwind trip.

It went by too fast and left me more than a little sad and worn out.

Kir left on Saturday afternoon for Northern California which meant I was a single Auntie for the day. I drove the kids clear across the state on Sunday afternoon to meet up with Caity who was going to chaperone them on their flight home. We had dinner at a tiki place, went to a drum circle at night on the beach with glow in the dark hula hoops and people dancing and stomping in bathing suits and sunburns, and swam in the lukewarm Florida ocean under a blisteringly hot sun yesterday, which was the day that the kiddos flew back home.

I'm exhausted but already I miss them so much.



Here is my E-man displaying his love for maraschino cherries: 



And here we all are as I dropped them off at the airport last night:




After dropping them all off at the Sarasota airport I made the long drive home. I have just about lost my voice from all the talking I did at Boston ComicCon but what little voice I do have makes me sound like a throaty Lauren Bacall (or a froggy  lounge singer maybe).  It is probably a good thing I won't have any human company to talk to for a few more days given the gravelly-ness of my voice.

I got home late last night and the lazy dogs were very happy to see me. They were happier still to see their food dishes and fresh cold water bowls.

Mila thanked me for coming home by pooping in the living room.

Naturally.




So it's business as usual back at the homestead. Lots to do and plenty of work to catch up on. I stayed up well past 3am writing last night, which isn't something I am used to doing. When Kir is home we are usually in bed early and I love our routine, but change is good too. It's time to get back to work.

Don't mind me if I get a little weepy over here at my desk.







Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Boston Con!

BOSTON COMIC CON 2014!



This year I will be at table D427 beside the inimitable Sean Murphy! 

We will be pimping some Cafe Racer stuff, doing a handful of commissions and talking about all things comics -- including my AMAZING news that I have become an official MARVEL comics artist! 

Look for my inaugural run on New Warriors #9, written by Christopher Yost and edited by the superpower that is Sana Amanat.

Perhaps you've heard of her?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o9lev9739zQ


See you crazy cats in Boston! 


Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Duck! Second Chances now Available Online!

Me and the mighty Zan

Hello friends!

Today is a momentous day for me as it officially marks, for the first time in my life that my work is available to be downloaded by anyone, anywhere on the globe via the verld vide veb!

How vonderful!

It is all thanks to the marvelous man himself --co-founder of PRISM comics and mastermind behind NorthWest Press mister Zan Christensen!

I met Zan back in 2010, the year "Duck: An Original Graphic Novel" won the PRISM Comics Queer Press Grant. I suppose this makes my Duck books an AWARD WINNING SERIES, doesn't it?

So, just scoot on over to the site, pluck down your $5.99 and read all of the panels that I made with love, love, big gay love!

http://northwestpress.com/shop/duck-second-chances/

And don't forget to come on by and see me at Boston Comic Con this August.

I should have copies of Cafe Racer by then --- we are currently in post-production on that.

And just wait until you see the work that the ever-incredible Sean Murphy has done for the inside of that book.
WOO boy.
Amazeballs.

The LAMBDAs are in two short weeks!

Will Duck! Second Chances be awarded the first-ever LAMBDA Literary Award for Graphic Novels?

Tune in and find out!

But first, go download my comic!

(Here's that link again in case you missed it:)

http://northwestpress.com/shop/duck-second-chances/

xxx~Tana

Monday, April 21, 2014

Marathon Monday

This was my view. 

It isn't alongside Beacon St at mile 23 as it usually is for me on this Monday. In fact this is my first Marathon Monday since forever that I have not been there -right there!- for this race. 

But this is also good. 

Emotions are running high. 



They just played the American National Anthem because, for the first time in 30 years, an American won (WON!) the Boston Marathon.

Oh, Meb. Marvelous amazing Meb. 

Well done sir.

I was overwhelmed. 

AM overwhelmed.

You can see the framed medal and race number (and blanket, patch and ribbon) from Kirsten's race last year up there above the TV. 

Here is a drawing I made this morning while watching and Facetiming with Katie C and generally just trying not to be too emotional.



It's a low quality phone pic but it is from this weekend's run.

We were supposed to do a long run but I am not in long-run shape yet and so we were on a walk break just past the Tiger Sanctuary and this Hillbilly guy came rumbling up on his ATV with an infant in his arms and, as he passes us he says "It's the only thing that puts her t'sleep. Her momma needs a break."

And sure enough that kid was fast asleep.

It's good to have something to do with my hands when I'm nervous.

Whew. 

What a day.

Onward to do some paying work.

Happy Marathon Monday y'all!

(UPDATE: Here is the final version of WISOMRT)


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Boston Marathon - One Year Later (Now With Tattoos!)

It has been a year.

This time last year Kirsten had just finished running the marathon.

I wrote about it here.

And, from a thousand miles away, down in the south of Florida we have managed to miss out on all the Boston Strong news coverage and hub-bub surrounding the anniversary of the horror. I think this is a blessing. I prefer to feel my feelings on my terms, in my own way.

In any case, we wanted to commemorate the occasion somehow and so we decided that now was the perfect moment finally get that tattoo.

Kirsten has a tattoo on her right foot for every marathon she has ever run.
(There are many!)
The position for the NYC star is lightly outlined on the far left

But she had not yet gotten her tat for Boston or for the NYC marathon back in November.

So off we went to HellCat Tattoo in West Palm where the owner himself did the work.



Kirsten has been saying from the beginning that she did not want something flashy. She has been trying to express the gravity this experience has had on her, how it changed her relationship with running, how, somehow, this bombing and the real fear we felt that afternoon had cut into the heart of her and did real damage to her safe space.

Running was where Kirsten went to feel safe.
To become more herself.
Running centers her.

And this awfulness changed that.



Prepping the needles and the ink

I don't think the changes will be permanent.
Or rather, I think they will be permanent but they do not have to be negative.
A scar (which is essentially what a tattoo is --just an artsy colorful scar) can serve as a reminder for how things were. It can be a marker in the road of life. 

I saw this. 
I had this experience.
I want to remember it on my terms in my way. 

My cousin has a tattoo for every child she has. 
My mom has a tattoo of a cross that is an expression of her faith.

Why not tattoo stars on the feet that carried you through pain and hardship and training hundreds and hundreds of miles? 

And I suppose it is a good thing to be reminded that the things that we love, the things that we think define us are fluid. Changeable. Though Kirsten did not have control over what happened to her at the marathon last year she can allow it to affect her, without having the ugliness of it break her spirit. This horrible act of cruelty does not have to destroy her love of this sport but it can change her relationship to it. She (and we) can discover what it means to be a runner again. 

Not because of the tragedy, but in spite of it.
Despite it.

We can be better.
We can keep running. 
Scarred but still moving. 

She decided to go with one lone star on her right foot. Slightly larger than the rest and outlined in yellow and blue. We put "117" in the center of the star representing last year's 117th running of the Boston Marathon.

I think it is absolutely perfect.



Confession: I have never witnessed in real life a person being tattooed. I do not have any tattoos. I asked my brother John once how it felt to be tattooed and he described it to me this way.

"Imagine getting a sunburn, a really bad sunburn in exactly one spot on your body. But that spot moves. You can feel that spot burning and moving." he said. "Then add blood."

Sounds awesome. 


She was a champ. 


It looked like it hurt.
A lot.

Afterwards we went to dinner and walked around a bit because she is crazy and likes to walk on feet that have been freshly tattooed, I guess. Most of her other tats happened immediately after the marathon's she was running on her swollen, raw, tired legs.

So, yeah.
My girlfriend is a badass.
As usual.

If I ever do get a tattoo I think I will borrow this idea of commemoration, I think.
It would be after I run the Boston Marathon some day in my future.

But until then. Here's this.




Shoes and all.

And to those of you running this year's Boston Marathon, I will be watching you, and thinking of you, this coming Monday.

Keep running!



Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Monday, April 14, 2014

What I Saw On My Run Today (4)

I am trying a more watercolor-y approach today.

These drawings are becoming zen-medition-like experiences.

I get a chance to reflect, and rest my legs and try out new art styles.

There are LOTS of crazy birds down where I live

It's fun.

Know what isn't fun?

Seeing this: 






Which did actually happen on my run this weekend.

Photo cred to miss Kirsten who stopped laughing long enough to take the photographs.

Happy Monday everyone!

Go and be productive!