Leaning Into My Jewishness (I thought I'd Never See the Day)

I have  complicated feelings about being Jewish. I was raised Jewish, though my father was a WASP. I went to whatever the Jewish equivalent of Sunday school is and HATED IT. It was, in my opinion, a waste of time. I still believe that for the most part. I then went to an all Jewish middle school. Like everyone else, I hated middle school. Unlike everyone else, because of my very Jewish surroundings I started turning the hatred I had for my life and into a hatred for all things Jewish.

I have never believed in God (even though I wish I did, I think having faith would be comforting), so I describe myself as a cultural Jew. I’m not religious, but American Jewish culture is a fundamental part of who I am. There are things that make me feel connected to my people (I’m pushy, Jewish foods, the fact cartooning has a lot of Jewish roots) and then there are things that make feel like a total stranger in my community (the way we try to use the Holocaust as an excuse for the horrendous shit we do in Israel to Palestinians, or the outrage that Captain America being turned into a Hydra Agent is a form of anti-Semitism which is such a dumb fucking argument to have but that’s a rant for another day).

So I read the following comic and had really mixed feelings.

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 Comic by Lily Hoyda from their  Tumblr  for the  Cartoon Punk Zine.

Comic by Lily Hoyda from their Tumblr for the Cartoon Punk Zine.



I remember getting into a conversation with a buddy of mine (who is also Jewish) about how pre Trump, Jews feeling oppressed as a minority in this country seemed ridiculous. The only anti-Semitism I had only really experienced were from “progressives” that conflated me along with all other Jews with Israel’s anti-Palestinian policies, but I have fundamentally the same belief system as progressives so I could shut down that shit REALLY quick (“Hey dude, I am a Jew who disagrees with a lot Israel’s policies, just like an I’m an American that is critical of our government policies. What’s that? YOU’RE ALSO AN AMERICAN THAT DISAGREES WITH A BUNCH OF THINGS OUR GOVERNMENT DOES AND WOULD LIKE TO NOT BE JUDGED AS A PERSON BASED ON THOSE ACTIONS??? WOAH, WHAT AN IDEA! DO YOU SEE ANYT PARRALEL IN OUR SITUATIONS???”). But overall, me and my friend both agreed, pre the 2016 Presidential race, being a Jew that was claiming to be oppressed in this country seemed stupid.

Now I read that comic and agree with it’s message. But part of me is still like, “Oh my God what whiny social justice warrior shit is this?” (side note, I am a progressive but am not or will ever be a social justice warrior and I will explain that to you if you ask in person because my negative feelings about them are guaranteed to be misconstrued if I put them on the internet).

When I notice myself feeling this way, I have to ask myself, “How bad do things need to get before you start taking this shit a little more seriously?”

I have really started leaning into my Jewish identity lately. My boyfriend is from the Midwest, and knew almost nothing about Judaism before meeting me, so it’s been really fun teaching him about my culture. If I can acknowledge the good things about being Jewish, I need to start acknowledging the struggles that we as a people are up against too.

I Got My Dirty Diamonds Copies!

The anthology I am a part of, Dirty Diamonds Volume 9: Beingraised over $17,000 and debuted at SPX in September. I picked up my copies at the convention along with extra copies of Dirty Diamonds Volume 6: Beauty and will be selling them both at future cons. I am VERY excited about this! It was a hard fought campaign but it was an exceptionally well run.

 Dirty Diamonds books plus pencils of my current project.

Dirty Diamonds books plus pencils of my current project.

If you can’t see me at a con, consider buying copies online here. And if you want a peek at what is in these books, check out my submission to Dirty Diamonds Volume 6 here, which I did in collaboration with my bestie Stephanie Zuppo.

I am in the Newest Issue of Magic Bullet

Hello!

I am in the new issue of Magic Bullet (Issue 17), a free comics newspaper put out by the Washington DC based comic organization The DC Conspiracy. I first learned about this group when I was invited to be part of the not too high not too low gallery exhibition, which also featured one of the heads of Andrew Cohen, one of the heads of DC Conspiracy.

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My contribution for this comic was about the first (and only) time I tried meditation. It’s something that therapists have told me to try for years, and I’m sure it would be very helpful, but I found it to be insanely stressful. Hopefully I can find the discipline to make it a habit.

 99% of my comics are done in a very tight three-tier grid. Since this comic was done in such a large format (it’s a newspaper, so 11”x17” also known as “tabloid”) I played with my layout a little. I can think of only 4 other instances where that has happened (three Everything’s Fine pages and one assignment for the Center For Cartoon Studies that I want to redraw at some point and put out as a zine).

Magic Bullet is distributed by it’s contributors, so it’s hard to say where you can pick one up. So far I have given them out to Creative Labs in Baltimore and Words & Pictures in Burlington, Vermont. I’m planning to distribute them in a few more places in Baltimore and
DC, so keep a look out.

I Represented Delaware in Oni Press' Draw Out The Vote Campaign

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Hello! I want to get the word out about a cool project I am a part of. 52 cartoonists (one for each state plus a cartoonist representing DC and one representing Puerto Rico) have each done comics about voting in their state. Some have done them about political activism, some have done them about their experiences with voting, and some have done them about their state’s upcoming elections. I did a comic about calling my representatives while living in DE. The best part of this is that when you select your state you get to read a cool comic and get all the info you need on how to register to vote. 

I know things are hard right now, and the system seems broken, but changing it from within and being active participants in our government is the most effective way we can get through this administration. Please share this, register to vote if you haven’t, and DEF vote in November (plus any primaries of your party before hand. Let’s get as many progressive members in power as possible)!

Here is the website.

Here is my comic specifically.

ALSO SPEAKING OF POLITICAL COMICS- I’m working on a sequel to Safe (my Trump response comic from when he was first elected). Look how much my art has improved since January 2017!

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VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE!!!!

I Will Be Part Of An Artist Talk This Weekend and A Recap Of My Latest Sketchbook. (NSFW)

I have been part of a gallery exhibition of cartoonists at the Tectonic Space in Baltimore MD. So far I have participated in the gallery show as well as the drink and draw and the convention associated with it. This Saturday, August 25th there will be an artist talk with some of the people in the show from 5pm-7pm. It will be the last event I participate in at the Tectonic Space. If you are local to the Baltimore area I hope you stop by to hear the discussion.

I finished a sketchbook for my friend Christine Entienne back in May, but only was able to paint the cover for it this in July. Below are some of my favorite pages from the book. I feel like my sketchbooks are declining in terms of art quality and I'm doing a lot more planning and writing in them. They are just as useful, but not nearly as much fun to give away. I will be posting the newest sketchbook I gave my boyfriend some point soon; I finished that one in July.

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 I have an entire narrative backstory for the girl in the center: She's a freshman going to her first high school party so she gets all dressed up but feels like a total outcast. So she sits outside on the curb defeated waiting for her ride and ends up making friends with some kids outside at the parking lot.

I have an entire narrative backstory for the girl in the center: She's a freshman going to her first high school party so she gets all dressed up but feels like a total outcast. So she sits outside on the curb defeated waiting for her ride and ends up making friends with some kids outside at the parking lot.

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 STRESSED OUT

STRESSED OUT

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I hope to see some of you on Saturday!

Upcoming Show and New Products In My Shop

Hello! 

This is super late notice but tomorrow, August 18th I am part of the BMore Into Comic's convention Issue 19. The event is from 12-6pm at the Tectonic Space. Both of those links will give you more details about the convention. I will be selling my comics as well as participating in a panel Pushing Past Creative Blocks. Also, I will be part of an artist talk next Saturday, August 25th at the same location from 5pm-7pm. You can find out more about that here.

I will be selling my comics as well as debuting my new 16 page full color zine Moments. This series was originally part of the not too high not too low gallery show I participated in at the Pyramid Atlantic back in April. Moments is comprised of a series of four panel silent comics showing moments of intimacy. It was inspired by my first romantic relationship where I really became intimate with someone for the first time. 

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This zine is available for sale in my store for $6.00 plus shipping. I have taken three of the pieces and turned them into prints. You can buy them for $10.00 a piece or all three for $25.00. 

My store is here.

You can also get the pdf version for pay as you on my Gumroad.

If you like my work please consider supporting it by buying something from my store. 

I Will Be Part of a Series of Comic Related Events at the Tectonic Space (and Other Life Stuff)

I have officially relocated to Baltimore! And just in time, because now I get to participate in all of the events (minus the closing reception) of The Comics In Progress show at the Tectonic Space.  You can find the entire schedule at that link or on the calendar section of my website.

Baltimore all in all is going ok. I technically live in Glynn Oaks MD, a Baltimore suburb. My new job is a mixed bag and may not be permanent (I'm in a probationary period atm) so I have a short lease. I have my first solo apartment and I like it so far. My boyfriend says I shouldn't make it too homey (I'm buying a lot of stuff for it) in case things don't work out, but he's also lived at his place for four years and doesn't own any furniture so he was excited just to spend time with me on (my) couch. 

I just finished a one page comic for a large project by Oni being released next month. I'll plug that when it's launched.

I am making a zine of all my pieces from the not too high not too low art show. I have prints of some of them as well.

The anthology I'm a part of is still running their Kickstarter. I really want this to succeed I need the money (also it's a cool project)!

I seem to be doing a lot of comic related things and a lot of social events but for some reason it NEVER feels like I do comics anymore. I'm not sure where that sensation comes from, but I've heard it discussed by other cartoonists. I do comic and art stuff all the time but it feels like I'm just coasting off old work and like I never make anything new. I think part of it is that I haven't produced any zines since 2016, I've mostly done anthologies and one off comics for various publications. I have some ideas for a few zines (not to mention my friggin Everything's Fine book I've been blabbing about FOREVER) but I don't seem to have time to do everything I want to do. And I'll need to get used to not spitting out zines all the time if I want to ever do long form work. I have various people in my life that favor different things in my work and it's hard not to be influenced by them or just feel shitty because I'm not doing enough fiction or enough autobio or enough political stuff or enough mental health comics or whatever the fuck they prefer. 

Hopefully once I'm settled I'll start doing comics like a mad woman again and this crap will go away. Making comics is easy, figuring out which comics to do is becoming more and more difficult.

AND I JUST REALIZED THIS POST GOT REALLY NEGATIVE BECAUSE I HAVEN'T TAKEN MY MEDS! 

 Here's one of the numerous Everything's Fine pages that I keep saving for a book I MIGHT ONE DAY MAKE.

Here's one of the numerous Everything's Fine pages that I keep saving for a book I MIGHT ONE DAY MAKE.

Alright, I'm going to take my meds! Come to the Baltimore show, I'm not gonna edit post or end it cleverly, gonna do some self care. 

BYE.