I talk about Love and Rockets on Studio 360

A short segment about the influence Love and Rockets had on my artistic development aired recently on the public radio program Studio 360. You can hear it “here”:http://studio360.org/episodes/2008/10/31.

Punk Rock Jess

be a poser

I’m just gonna come right out with it: I am a poser.

I’m a cartoonist who didn’t go to art school.
I teach, but I have no teaching credentials.
I wrote two books about how radio producers make stories, but I’ve never* made a radio story.
I write articles that have no basis in research whatsoever.
I’m not punk enough.
My French sucks.


How Jessica met Ira

This strip is responsible, in a roundabout way, for Out on the Wire. Ira Glass came across this strip when it ran in the NewCity in 1996, clipped it, and stuck it in his files. When he was looking for a cool idea for a pledge drive premium two years later, he thought of my strip, and called me…in Mexico City, where I’d moved six months earlier.


YOU ARE HERE: a “comics window” gives your writing grace and power

What you need is a new point of view. Reorganize, pare down, dramatize, and reassess your work. This activity is designed to tear away the layers and give you new clarity on what you’ve really written. You can use this method to streamline and make your work zoom, or you can use it to build a rock-solid skeleton on which to build layers of clear and specific description.


Hey artist, how do you make it work?

I don’t accept the notion that if I get out in front of developing an engaged audience and selling my work, and if I make a strategy for my creative life that acknowledges that one of my goals with my creative work is to pay for me and my family to be housed, clothed, and fed (and even occasionally entertained), then I have to change my basic affiliation. I now I have to call myself a “creative entrepreneur”? I’m a cartoonist and a writer. I do this work because I have something I want to communicate. Communicating that (and continuing to produce it) requires selling it, and so selling it is part of the job. Shakespeare had to sell theater tickets. DaVinci had to sell paintings. Dickens had to sell magazines. Being in the business of selling my work does not suddenly make me a “business person.” It makes me an artist.


Ça y est. Out On the Wire is in the can.

You won’t believe this, but it took exactly 39 work weeks to begin and complete the 176 pages of new artwork (and 24 revised pages) for Out on the Wire. It’s practically a baby, you guys.


Angoulême festival 2015! Trish Trash!

In addition to the usual festival craziness, this year’s event will be particularly exciting for me, as it will mark the first time I’ve originated a book in French, with a French publisher, thus achieving a goal I set for myself the very first time I went to FIBD, back in 1998 (although then I said I wanted to do it in 5 years). True fact. Ask Tom Devlin.


an eater’s guide to Angoulême

Whether you’re ordinarily a foodie or not, if you’re coming from abroad to France, you expect to eat well even if your primary purpose in coming is comics. But it’s all too easy to end up eating mediocre bistro food (i.e. chewy steak with ungreat frites) or kebabs the whole time. None of which really gives you the flavor of where you really are, which is, in this case, southwest France. So let’s start with the basics.