Self-Publishing: Accounting

This is the best account I've seen of  of the costs related to self-publishing I've seen.   I had a similar experience when I was working with my publisher to do the "Best of Your Square Life" and again when I was doing my runs of t-shirts a few years back.  I thought maybe my problem with small profit margins was scale, only printing a few hundred books and around around a hundred t-shirts at a time, but I think I was doing fairly well all considered.  If you get bored with large blocks of numbers, take a look at the "Combined Sales Scenarios" for the breakdown of percentage of books needed to sell before the break even point for an independent artist.  

Mastering Comics: coming soon

Jessica Able and Matt Madden just posted up that their follow up to "Drawing Words and Writing Comics" is set to come out soon.  Its one of few 'how-to' books that has been constantly useful and was a gigantic help when I started developing my comics classes.  Check their website as they have made it a constantly updated adjunct to their first book, with expanded sections and teaching resources.  

The Library approved poster

Here's the library approved poster with all the logos and an amended description of the class.  I'm busy working on the activities, which I think will be immensely fun for whom ever strolls in. 

"Life as Comics" class at the Anchorage Libraries

I've been asked again to do a round of classes at the Anchorage Library.  This time I'll be doing the same class at three branches for FREE so they'll be plenty of opportunities for any kid age 12 to 18 to catch it if their at all interested.  We'll be talking about autobiographical and non-fiction comics, with the focus on the library's reading selection "Persepolis", with lots of opportunities for the kids to try their hand at drawing their own comics about their lives, hence the title "Life as Comics".  

The classes are offered on two different in-service days, February 17 and March 9th at 3 to 5 p.m., and a weekend, March 3rd at 2-4 p.m., to make it even more convenient.  If you have any questions email me at yoursquarelife at and I'll be happy to talk to you.  

I've been Slow to Update, but more updates soon.

I'm giving a new purpose to the Illustration Alaska Blog since I've been doing a lot more comics education classes.  Keep your eyes here for updates classes in the Anchorage area next month and an update about the classes I did for 49 writers in December.

For more information about my personal artwork and commissions, go to

Pop! (a call for artists)

The MTS gallery is hosting a show Pop! in April recreating all of the majesty and wonder of your youth. Skateboards, posters, records, comics and mix-tapes! It will all be there. This is your opportunity to create (or recreate) everything that was and is awesome! I\'m co-curating the show at the MTS gallery with Carolynn Kinneen and Clark Yerrington. We\'re looking for artist\'s proposals for the show by March 1st. The great thing is that we will be looking for a huge variety of work, as noted below, so the sky\'s the limit. What are we looking for? Anything really. 

For example: A imaginary punk flyer from 1982. That gate fold prog-rock album with the sweet dragon and narwhal you had a dream about once. A better version of that Kiss poster you stared at as a kid. The cover for that mix-tape you meant to make in college with the collage cover and all the songs that started with the letter \"Q\".

The call for artists is below and you can submit proposals for more than one category. Please forward this along if you know of anyone who would be interested. The submissions are not limited to just Alaskan Artists. Feel free me to contact me or Carolyn with any questions.

*****Call for Artists*****

Pop! Art exhibit at MTS Gallery Anchorage, AK
Inspired by the pop art movement & everything that mattered from your teenage years – whenever they took, place. Use whatever medium you desire that fits the format & theme. 
Formats we are accepting:
  • Snowboard deck (no longer than 160 cm long, 257mm wide)
  • Skateboard deck (no larger than 8.25 width x 31.25 long)
  • Cassette Mixed Tape (w/liner notes) (average cassette tape)
  • Album cover 12.5 inches x 12.5 inches
  • Zine or comic book cover (11x17 sheet back & front, with half-inch side borders and one-inch borders top/bottom)
  • Posters (no larger than 24x36)
  • Concert Flyer (need 30 black & white Xerox copies) no larger than 8.5 x 11 
Deadline for email proposal: March 1st 
We will reply to all submissions by March 9th
Finished Artwork needs to be completed & turned in by April 11th 
Email submission proposal or jpg of prior work or questions to

Life Drawing Classes in Anchorage

The Anchorage Museum is sponsoring life drawing classes each week, Thursdays at 6:30 p.m., through Mid-March.  The classes are $20 per class with two 10 and two 20 minutes poses with professional models and hosted by the esteemed Don Decker.  Its the best deal in town.

Your Handwriting is Awful.

Hey, Your Font  lets you upload your handwriting to be turned into a font pack.  A useful resource for comics artists and lazy handwritten breakup letters.

Inking with Michael Cho

Michael Cho is one of my favorite artists, in part due to his strong 3-color illustrations.  He's posted a set of comics illustrating the basic principals of inking , which are top notch. 
You'd also do well to check out his blog, especially his series of alley sketches .  His posts are especially noteworthy because he takes the time to explain his process deceptively simply.  

Copyright and Artists, Friends?

I was able to sit in John McKay's presentation at the Arts and Cultural Convention, " Fundamentals of Copyright, Trademark, and Intellectual Property Rights."  He spoke eliquently on many facets of U.S. copywright law as it relates to artists, which I'm very clearly not qualified to pass on, however I ran across a number of articles the next day which carry on his points.

Cornell Information Center has a wealth of information on the nuts and bolts of the copyright law and ways your work is and is not covered.
The Blog Photo Attorney has an illuminating discussion about the legality of the use of the photograph that the now famous illustration of Obama was based upon.
TechDirt continues the discussion with "Yes, Artists Build On The Works Of Others... So Why Is It Sometimes Infringement?"
Finally, the Wall Street Journal has the definitive word in the comprehensive article on art and copyright:  "Color the Law in this Area Gray".