I was arrested while reporting on Occupy Oakland on Thursday at about 1 am, wearing my press pass. My arresting officer acknowledged that I was press, and his officer friend even recognized me and knew my work (if you’re reading this, sir I would sure like to interview you!). I had a meeting set with the OPD press information officer for 8 hours later to obtain my official OPD press credentials. When I told this to the cops, they replied, “Do you want us to call her and tell her you’ll be late?”
I was detained for 15 hours and ultimately charged with the same misdemeanor as other demonstrators and NLG legal observers: PC 409, failure to leave the scene of a riot. Our arraignment dates are a month from now, and we were explicitly warned against returning to the plaza in the meantime. As I told ABC7, I feel like the OPD does, I think: confused.
You know it’s bad when Occupy Veterans is sending you personal supportive messages. This is a crappy video that I took while trying to run to safety — instead I ran into the kettle.
This is one of the sketches I did of the Frank Ogawa/Oscar Grant camp pre-raid — actually just 12 or so hours pre-raid. I’m trying to put together a show of occupy art at the Oakland and SF camps with the generous support and aid of SomArts and other galleries in Oakland. Stay tuned for more details there, and if you or someone you know has been creating art around occupations here (best if it’s easily displayed — drawings, paintings, prints, photos, etc) please get in touch.
My Spot.Us piece now has full funding, thanks to all who contributed. At least now that things are a little calmer, I can return to drawing. I was originally planning to run the first part on Monday, but I need some time to restructure and rework this thing before it gets going. I appreciate your patience. And hey, you can still contribute to the fund if you’re interested in buying original art — there are art incentives at $20 (field sketch), $50 (small watercolor) and $100 (large watercolor) levels. Thanks!
I have a new long piece at Cartoon Movement about faith-based crisis pregnancy centers in the Bay Area. I visited a bunch of them over the last couple months pretending to be naive and knocked-up. A column detailing why and how I did it will be up later todayis right here.
I have a new piece up at Cartoon Movement about my trip with Cartooning for Peace to Corsica in June. And this weekend is Zine Fest! Where I will be selling comics per usual with the inimitable Joey Sayers. It’s the 10th annual Zine Fest, so if you’re in the Bay Area, I recommend stopping by — after all, it’s free.
In two weeks, I will have a big new piece up at Cartoon Movement culminating a lot of research and reporting over the last couple months. I’m pretty excited about this one.
I have some illustrations in the latest Longshot Magazine that hit the internet this weekend, but this piece didn’t make it. Kind of a bummer, but I was still happy to spend the afternoon with “Uncle Ralph.” Extras to come from this — I tried to squeeze it onto one print page, which wasn’t nearly enough.
Just a brief note to let y’all know there’s free shipping in my comics store from now until my closets are a bit less full. I’m moving to a new place in Oakland this weekend, and I’d prefer not to carry this all with me!
Of particular note may be that the new Census book is now available in the store — 44 black and white pages for $5. I’ll post a picture as soon as I can find the card reader for my camera…
Another month has passed! Holy crap! Here’s the first half of my latest 7×7 piece, about gay pride events in San Francisco; part two is here.
Stay tuned for all the comics I’ve been working on that I am contractually obligated not to show you yet, sorry — two upcoming pieces for Cartoon Movement, plus three other top-secret things are in the works…
I’m on deadline (four, actually) and coming down with a cold, but I wanted to point you to this column I wrote for Cartoon Movement today about how personally and politically rewarding and economically dreadful it is to draw local cartoons. (It is all of these things, a lot.)
(Apparently some people came away from this with the perception that the SF Appeal is struggling, because somehow that is a more obvious conclusion than that I am doing awesome. So let me say again: we’re both doing great, bringing the magic every day, and no one is going too hungry in the process.)
Though my schedule prevents me from contributing to the thriving, wonderful SF Appeal on the regular these days, I am looking forward to bigger one-offs for them in the not-distant future. Eve Batey at the Appeal believed in this kind of work when no one else did; it’s stunning to me to think about how much has changed for me and for, I think, the acceptance of comics journalism in media in such a short time. I will always be thankful to Eve for the opportunity and launchpad. <3 <3 <3
Okay, back to those deadlines! I’ll have something to show for them very soon!
I went into this weekend at the National Conference for Media Reform expecting a lot of hand-shaking and back-patting — and not necessarily a whole lot else, to be honest. I am forever the cynic, especially when it comes to events where preaching to the choir seems to be the main course (e.g. comics conventions). However, while I don’t want to give away the ending of my illustrated piece for Truthout, I came away from NCMR with quite a different feeling. I think preaching to the choir works when there’s a culture of collaboration instead of straight competition; self-made abundance as opposed to scarcity, that sort of thing. I’m drawing and painting the Truthout piece today and tomorrow, and I’ll be filing as soon as it’s dry.
Not to say there wasn’t hand-shaking and back-patting too. I met a ton of amazing people over the weekend, so many of whom were excited about the possibilities of comics journalism! It was appropriate timing that my piece for Campus Progress was blowing up via Consumerist and the Huffington Post the very same day we gave our (awesome! engaging! well-reviewed!) panel on graphic reportage. Editors, take note: if you want traffic, you want comics.
So along those lines of creating spaces for this kind of work while also fostering collaboration and abundance, I launched GraphicJournos.com this weekend. GraphicJournos had been in the pipeline for a while now, and this seemed like a great time to introduce it to the world. We are a small collective of reportage illustrators of various stripes and interests who are coming together to promote the concept of fact-based graphic storytelling. If you’re reading this blog, I probably don’t need to convince you, but please keep your eye on the site, and follow us on Twitter. We’ll be posting our own recent work, as well as the work of other creators we appreciate in comics, illustration and design, writing on topics like the ethics of drawn journalism, process and multimedia experiments, plus best practices and how-tos for editors interested in this stuff (which should be all of you!).