Monday, February 28, 2011

Meet Ollie!

Meet Ollie!

What a lovely weekend!

I met Meghan's new puppy (currently without a name). We've been calling him Ollie, or Ollivander or Ollie Ollie Oxenfree so I think you get the idea of what direction his name is heading.

Here then is a picture deluge (WARNING: you may die from cuteness overload. Consider yourselves warned):

From this morning, sleeping under Chloe's sweatshirt

Meg's man thighs are really becoming a problem.

He's a back sleeper. It's just about the cutest thing ever

Me and the little man taking a cat nap. (back sleepers)


He's just so TINY!!

The proud momma

Trying to climb up Meg's legs...

Then giving up and falling asleep right there. Oh, YES he did.

This week is wrap-up the Greece Comic week. I have to do my least favorite part which is the line-editing and lettering part of the story. All the pages are drawn and inked and scanned, now it's just a matter of filling in the words. Sounds easier than it is.


Off to it.

Friday, February 25, 2011

TGIF and page 33

With the addition of the bathroom scene the actual page numeration will change but let's just call this one page 33.

Not much to report today. It's raining, which is actually good news since that means it's too warm to snow! I am so sick of this damn winter (shudder).

See you turkeys on Monday!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Squat Toilets, SMO Prep

Today's page comes at you out of continuity, intrepid fans!

And it involves Poop humor!

(Meghan will NOT approve)

I realized once the major outline work had been done that I had completely forgotten to include the SHOCK I experienced when I first set eyes on the modern marvel (sarcasm) known as the Squat Toilet!

Being a spoiled American traveler, I was unused to the hardships ancient cities have in the departments of waste removal and sanitation.

Consider my ass educated. (Or, well, exposed to the truth, at any rate.)


As many of you know, we are gearing up for this year's SMO race!

I designed our team logo (natch)

SMO stands for Slow Motion to the Ocean.

I don't care how excellent or accomplished you are as a runner, after 24 hours of being awake, and running three legs of a 200 mile race you are going to feel pretty freaking slow.

Kelly, Lizbian, Me and Regan-the-Vicious

Part of our training this year includes Hell Sessions with a personal trainer and friend of the team, named Regan. She looks as sweet as apple pie but trust me, she relishes in other people's pain.

Don't let the unassuming, girl-next-door looks fool you! She's a sadist.

I say this with the utmost respect (albeit tinged with fear). This woman is amazing and unrelenting. No amount of pain-streaked-pitiful cries will sway her. No amount of shaking like a leaf when your muscles turn to jelly, either.

It's amazing.

I am starting to get seriously stoked for the race. Not the running part of course, that part sucks. But everything else is great. Being in the van, hanging out, cheering on your fellow runners. It's all just dreamy.

Here is a video of us dance-cheering at 7:30ish am, after being up since 4:30 in the morning. What you should know about this clip is that we were waiting for Meghan to come in on the longest run of the entire race, after a night of not-sleeping. We promised to meet her at the 4 mile marker but instead stopped at like, mile 2.5. We also neglected to give her ANY water instead opting to cheer her on with a high-five tunnel.

(Yeah, we're kind of jerks.)

But exhaustion and delirium do funny things to people.

Last night Meg and I had dinner (I have been craving Thai food so hard lately. Marshfield has NO GOOD places left!) and she mentioned the follow totally-staged picture of me "running." I was getting ready for my 2nd leg, the night time stretch that would take me over the Sagamore Bridge and just hammed it up for the camera.

For some reason she thought perhaps it was real.

I mean... really?!

Who runs like that? I am even making my doofy "Oo! Lookit me run!" face.

Ah well.

It's still freezing here (damn you February!) but at least I've got lots of work to do. Final page count for the Greece comic appears to be 45 magnificent, black and white pages. Stay tuned for the big debut at this year's C2E2 conference!


Friday, February 18, 2011

Regan's Hell Session, Page 32

Page 32.

Welp, tonight I have to go get my ass kicked in Regan Hell Kitchen, which means training for the SMO 2011 Race has officially begun!

I mean, I personally started doing steroids about a month ago (untrue) so I'm pretty much riptacular and I'll probably spend the entire Hell Session bench-pressing my fellow teammates. Then, we shall drink beer.

I am working on the final page of the Greece comic today!

I should have everything inked and scanned by early next week which means we're almost done! Hooray! I swear to god I am going to do a SHORT project of some kind, sometime in my life. I know I get carried away with things but doesn't an 8-page solo comic sound amazing? Quick and to the point?

Projects for the future include a retrospective (can I call it that?) on my years and observations of going to Ptown for Memorial Day. I have been going almost every year since I was 19 (I was such a gay little peanut then!) and I've got some things to say about it. If you are a lesbian in the Boston (in the New England area, actually!) traveling to Ptown for Memorial Day weekend is a tradition. Love it or hate it.

I thought I'd include this cute little snapshot of me trying to get fancy with Anne since it encapsulates everything I love about PTown; dancing and laughter and friends and beer and older lesbians in the background rocking their PTOWN hoodies.

It's going to be a marvelous spring, you guys.


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Greece Movies and Page 31

Page 31

It's been about two months since Meg and I got back from Greece but it feels like a lifetime. Was I ever really trapped on an island? Did I really trek all over the hills and streets of downtown Athens?

Indeed I did!

Here's some proof(!!):

Meghan thinks she's SO funny keeping that camera lens zoomed on me. But I knew better. I can always smell a trickster!

There really was graffiti EVERYWHERE.

It was sort of ... disturbing. On the one hand you have the ancient temples of antiquity and on every path and street leading up to these great marvels are tags, red and black and white garish names and designs and messiness.


Today I am drawing the page where we joke about Meg's girlfriend Chloe flying in to save us when we were stranded on Paros. There's also a page on bathroom etiquette and squat toilets that I've finished and now have to find a place for in the story. I'll probably try to tuck it in somewhere near the beginning.

And, as always, you can read the whole Greece Comic (in process!) over at my DeviantArt Account HERE!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Page 30

Who is getting nervous about going to Chicago? I am! I am!

page 30

But, wisely, I have counseled myself to focus on finishing my work and worry about the 15% accommodations tax and plethora of things to do and plan and make reservations for later.

One thing at a time.

Plus I hear they have GREAT restaurants -Polish food and West African food and Irish bars and it will be St. Patty's day after all...

Did you see this list of 15 things Vonnegut said better than anyone else? I am afraid I'm no Vonnegut expert but I do like a bit of what he says. Namely:

"There's only one rule that I know of, babies—God damn it, you've got to be kind."

(Amen, brother) and

"That is my principal objection to life, I think: It's too easy, when alive, to make perfectly horrible mistakes."

and especially this one:

"We must be careful about what we pretend to be."

That last one is my advice to myself for the day.

Now, back to the old drawing board (where I will avidly avoid looking up anything that has anything to do with Chicago.)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Page 29, a V-Day sign and Emo Boy Music

Finally, another page!

This making a whole comic all by yourself business is demanding.

Write and draw and ink and scan and letter and edit -oh my!

I think the liquor store has the right idea with this whole Valentine's Day business.

I got mom and dad pizza and beers for their anniversary dinner last night (How fancy!), which translated into cold pizza this morning for breakfast - which was amazing.

And my iTunes surprised me this morning by playing Dashboard Confessionals Saints and Sailors - a song I had forgotten!

I was instantly transported back to that cold winter of my first heartbreak. Ah, sad boy punk music, how I love thee!

"This is where I say I've had enough. No one should ever feel the way that I feel now."


Anyway, C2E2 is a month away and I need to get cracking on finishing up this Greece comic so I can plan my ROAD TRIP!! Any fans or friends out in Chicago who know where I should stay or what I should see or where I should go for all things drinking or dance related SEND ME THAT INFO!

Peace Out Cub Scouts.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Dr Sketchy's!


And Happy Valentine's day to all of you.

My very first Dr. Sketchy's (Click the link and scroll down to the info block in yellow for details) was something I would call an enjoyable success!

I arrived a little early (as was my plan) for two reasons. One, because according to the website it fills up quick and if you want a good seat you've got to get there early and two, I hadn't eaten yet and luckily, there was a Bagel Rising across the street.

Once properly fed I walked into the bar called Great Scott armed with my new large sketchbook and new soft pencils and took a seat. Great Scott is a bar. And even though it was only two in the afternoon I found myself in great need of a beer.

there were two models and they were great. First about 20 one-minute poses to get us warmed up, then two-minute poses. A little break, we all pay our $8 -and the place was packed! It was (apparently) the 4th anniversary of the Boston's Dr. Sketchy and something like 72 people showed up, which was cool. Then come the 5 minute poses, then 10, then the 20 minute finale.

It's super cheap and super funny. There was running commentary from what I assume were two older lesbians (think: Statler and Waldorf from the Muppets) behind me who were constantly
remarking on poses, encouraging the models and generally just talking through the whole session. Maybe some people found it annoying, but I found it amusing.

For those of you who don't remember

We had a nice little dinner at Pat and Jessie's last night. Johnny D and The Bear were there. Jessie made homemade chicken pot pie, which was exquisite and even though Patrick didn't have any whiskey (even though he told me he did!) we made do with Captain and Ginger.

And to brighten my own day, here is little Sekiah Verity in her fancy 'Balen-times' Day Dress!

Break my little heart you babies.

And speaking of broken hearts, here is some more fantastic poetry!
They both feature some of the best last lines I have ever read:

The Primer
~Christina Davis

She said, I love you.

He said, Nothing.

(As if there were just one
of each word and the one
who used it, used it up).

In the history of language
the first obscenity was silence.

(Isn't that awesome?!)

And this one you have to read quickly.

It goes by fast and ends with the best line ever:

Chaos is The New Calm
~Wyn Cooper

Chaos is the new calm
violence the new balm
to be spread on lips
unused to a kiss.

Left is the new right
as I brace for a fight
with a man who stands
on his remaining hand.

Fetid harbor harbor me
until someone is free
to drive me away
from what happened today.

Don't strand me standing here.
If you leave, leave beer.

Or Jameson.
Jameson works better.

Happy Valentine's Day y'all!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Cat Food, and C2E2?!

In today's installment of "Wildlife in Tana's Life" I present:

The first cardinal of the season!

This fire engine red tweeter was attempting to hide in the branches just beside my recently banged up Jeep twittering away.

My camera phone does suck, I know, and it has failed to capture the OH MY GOD YOU LOOK LIKE CAT FOOD! shock of seeing this feathered lunch box sitting there apparently oblivious to the fact he was in the territory of our indoor/outdoor bird-destroying cat Miss Kenzie.

(Her actual name is Mackenzie but the twins' pronunciation of her name as 'Miss Kenzie' has effectively renamed her.)


It is looking very good that I am going to be tagging along with the PRISM folks to C2E2 this year!


To the Windy City! A place I have never been (except to drive through on my way to Minnesota once and by "drive through" I mean "get trapped in traffic for one million hours")!

This means all my hard work must now ratchet up another gear to ensure that the Greece comic will be out in time for Chi-town.

Also, if any of you Chicoguns have the low-down on the club scene this little artist is still as single as they come. It's time to take these Tana-shenanigans to all new cities!

For now though, back to the drawing board.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Jeep Weep, Intermission

As most of you may know, back in September of '08 I painted my Jeep.

I bought it as this sort of blurple color (blue and purple, obviously) and I decided to keep that base color and do some sort of organic-y design on top of it. It was my first (and so far, only) large scale custom painting project and I am happy to report that the finish and the flames have all held up exceptionally well.

Until this past weekend.

This has been the winter from hell, and well, I wasn't about to go fight my way into the perpetually overcrowded Harvard Square where 7 foot drifts of snow have buried every parking meter. So I decided to pay for parking in a parking garage.

It's a bit tight in those places but I found a little spot and Matthew and I went and had dinner and played trivia (we were flawless in the first round and they even had a Star Trek TNG question that no one answered correctly but me!*). Everything was going smoothly until, only looking over the passenger seat and not remember I had parked beside a pole that hid deceptively in my blind spot, I mashed my car door into said pole and ear-splittingly scraped my paint job.


With the level of cold and the salt and snow on the ground these are less than ideal conditions in which to be doing any repairs. But. Necessity (and the desire not to have a rusted off driver's side door) dictates that I do something about that. So I did.

But it isn't pretty.

Today I brought the Jeep indoors where it is only slightly warmer and cleaned and sanded the rapidly rusting exposed metal.

I taped off the section I wanted to prime,

I scrubbed everything with Wax and Grease remover, then I carefully laid layer upon layer of the darkest primer I had allowing several minutes in between coats.

It's ugly and it's goopy and my door is still dented (as is my heart) but at least this way it won't rust off entirely. Tomorrow I will paint blurple over the bits (who knows, perhaps I will even make an attempt to match the magnificent paint job I heart-wrenchingly scraped off) and with a little bit of clear coat this patch job will last me until spring, when I can give my vehicle a proper mending.

And who knows, maybe I'll paint a big mural on the hood or something.

Happy Hump Day.
Tana who-is-no-good-in-small-spaces.

*There is no way for me to prove this is factually accurate.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Page 28 and Con Season

I am all registered for Boston Comic Con!

See you guys at Hynes Convention Center April 30th - May 1st!

page 28

I am also going to try and get in to C2E2 which happens next month March 18th - 20th but since it is only a month away it's rather unlikely that I'll get in.

The wonderful folks over at PRISM comics are going to be there so at least I'll have some familiar faces to
look forward to!

(I am such a newbie that this whole convention season experience is totally foreign to me. I find the whole thing rather frightening, overall.)

Anyway, keep your fingers crossed.

In the mean time it's back to the drawing board.

Deadlines are looming!

But if I do make it out to Chicago for C2E2 I am most looking forward to seeing this guy:

Zan Christensen & me!

Zan is the head of Northwest Press and the founder of PRISM Comics. He's also an all-around fantastic guy; totally sweet, easy going and genuine.

He's also mega-talented.

A great combination!

Anyway, back at it. Wish me luck figuring out this convention business.


Monday, February 7, 2011

Go Pack! Also, Hot Chili

Go Pack!

Did you hear that Tom Brady was named the unanimous MVP for the NFL this year? Go TFB! Sort of throws salt on the wound of not having won a playoff game in several years but, as we used to say for the Red Sox, better luck next year!

Not having a horse in this race (as they say) I didn't really care who won the Superbowl until I saw this fascinating history in a nutshell from miss Rachel Maddow:

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

After falling in love with the story of the Packers (and knowing that my piano teach is a Cheesehead) I rooted for them, too. I am glad that they won.

We celebrated by doing some food shopping then cooking all day. I burned my tongue on my homemade chili beacuse I was too excited to try it (it smelled delicious!) and this morning that tongue burn is making it hard for me to drink my coffee (ow! oo!). I am proud to report that the chili came out amazing, as did the buffalo chicken dip (I am becoming a pro at that dish!) and I combined them with nachos and cheese and baked it all in the oven for a combination appetizer that was divine!

Weekend of goodness success!

We went over to my mom's friend's house to watch most of the game. There was cake and brownies and beers. All of my favorite things. And Ethan and Sekiah demonstrated their skills as a marching band:


Sekiah made herself useful in the kitchen (though she kept knocking over the stove)

And Ethan flexed his muscles for me wearing the cool shades he found in the toy box. Very muscle-y!


And finally we have Bailey, the moment he saw me take the leash from the back of my Jeep, when he realized YES! We are going for a walk.


The moment immediately following this one he freaked the eff out.


We tried out a new waterfront bar called The Bailey (Such a lovely name, don't you agree?) which is of course an Irish Pub. Marshfield was voted the most Irish-Catholic town in all of Massachusetts last year beating out Southie, can you believe it?

Well if you don't believe it I don't blame you. I got that information from my brother and Patrick (like all Irishmen) tends to embroider the truth donchaknow?

We teased Corinne about bringing her baby to a bar. You can't tell that TJ and I have the same hair because she's got her hat on in this photo, but trust me. Spitting image.

Deb was being a baby-hog. Per usual.

But I finally got my turn with the kid. There had been a moment where I nearly sat on her (yes, sat on her) but you can't blame me beacuse well... that kid shouldn't steal my seat!

Here's woodsman Pat freshly back from Vermont with the longest "beard" he's ever had. (You can't make out how splotchy it is, but it's splotchy.)

I apologize for the dark quality of the images but a) my camera phone sucks and b) I'm not going to lighten these up in photoshop beacuse I need to do some actual work in photoshop! Speaking of which - a new GREECE page drops tomorrow! We'll be back on track in no time!

Happy Superbowl Monday folks!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

New Specs!

Oh snap!

Guess who got her new glasses!
Aw yiss!

"Spectacles, testicles, wallet and watch."

I learned that little jingle from my Uncle Roger a few Christmases ago. He said it was something the boys he grew up with used to chant as a way of remembering the correct way to bless yourself in church. I happen to think it's hilarious.

Without further ado I give you MY NEW SPECTACLES!

The top pair are what I'm calling my "work" specs. They are bigger than my last glasses and make drawing these comics so much funner!~

Mm-hm yes. Go on.

The bottom are what my mom is calling my CFM glasses. I will not translate that here for you, sweet audience, since it is a statement I had hoped never to hear my mother utter. (Also it's inaccurate since I am more of a go getter [go get her?] than a come get me kind of girl). I am calling them my 'Rita Skeeter' pair.

Where's my Kwik Quotes Quill?!

Oh Haaaay!

And here's a snippet from the gchat Katie and I had about the specs earlier today (it involves a new secret handshake).

Katie: lookin good!
me: like my rita skeeter pair?

Katie: They're great
me: thanks bucko.
couldn't have done it without the Deb
"spectacles testicles wallet and watch"
you ever hear that?
as a way to remember how to bless yourself in church

Katie: Yes, I have heard that
Course that would do nothing for me
since my specs are always at home, there are no testicles, the wallet is in the purse and the watch is on the wrist
me: likewise, minus the purse, and forgotten glasses.

Katie: So you're Bridge-of-nose; nothing, back-pocket, right wrist
The Tana sign of the cross

me: Head, ass, left wrist, high five.
that is how i would prefer it.
Katie: that's you
that's our secret handshake!

And finally, if you are wondering where our constant updates have gone, they are here. All over my desk in various stages of undone, all of them on the artistic chopping block gearing up for the last big push.

So many pages

Does that metaphor even make sense? On the chopping block... big push... well, whatever.

I've got drawing to do!
Breaking in her new glasses as we speak,