Hello out there!
It’s the end of the year, and as the sun sets on 2022 (and perhaps on social media as we know it), I thought I’d use this inaugural post to touch base, and to reintroduce you to what I do, and why you might like to follow along in 2023.
No, seriously—follow along! It’s free.
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What is it you actually do here?
I’m a cartoonist, author, illustrator, and book designer in Toronto, Ontario, specializing in picture books, comics, and graphic novels. I’ve updated the About Page here, and on my site, with a more concise bio, but you’re already here, so let’s do a little show-and-tell. Here’s my recently-tidied studio, mere seconds away from instantly reverting to its default state of “Marie Kondo’s Worst Nightmare”:
Some of my books include A Cat Named Tim and Other Stories (shortlisted for an Eisner Award and the Governor General’s Literary Awards), Burt’s Way Home (shortlisted for an Eisner Award, and the Doug Wright Award for Best Book) and Evie and the Truth About Witches, all originally published by Koyama Press, and now published by Tundra Books:
You can read my dormant-but-not-dead-yet webcomic Machine Gum, as well as some of my earlier minicomics, including the Ignatz-winning Gold Star (Best Story, 2013), and its followup, the Ignatz-losing Be Good (Best Comic, 2016).
I was the Art Director at Tundra Books from 2018 until stepping down earlier this year to make more time for my own books and other creative projects. I continue to work at Tundra part-time, designing books with an amazing team of book lovers and with some of the world’s best illustrators. You can check out a sampling of some of the books I’ve designed over at my website.
I work with artists and cartoonists to turn their lettering into fonts for comics and graphic novels. Some of the artists I’ve worked with include Jillian Tamaki, Kate Beaton, Jules Feiffer, Emily Carroll, Scott C, Austin Kleon, James Sturm, Wendy MacNaughton, Jerry Craft, Vera Brosgol, Paul Karasik, David Ezra Stein, Ben Sears, and KC Green. If you’re looking to get your lettering turned into a font, maybe I can help.
Beyond “Notes from Beyond”
I’ll be using this newsletter to post updates about the work I do, and the books I make. I may also share process stuff and other thoughts on publishing, making books, drawing comics, and creating fonts. But I’ve started enough blogs in the past to know it’s better not to overpromise. This much I do know: I’m glad to have an outlet with which to share what I’m working on and an audience that chooses to be here instead of just shouting into an abyss.
Without a newsletter like this, I certainly can’t trust that you’ll hear about any of the things I do if I’m to trust the combination of a hostile social media algorithm and my own displeasure in posting about any of my accomplishments more than a total of one, single time.
Please don’t make me have to learn TiKTok dances just so I can share some sketchbook scans or a cool font I made.
THANK YOU, ABYSS, FOR LISTENING TO MY SHOUTING! I HOPE YOU HAVE A WARM AND RESTFUL HOLIDAY SEASON WITH YOUR LOVED ONES!
Ahhh, I love seeing artist studios. Thanks for sharing. Glad you're doing a newsletter!
Hello John! You're studio is so tidy. Is the tidy a lie? ;)
Dem some nice looking books!
I forgot you make fonts, I should totally talk you about that in the new year.