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About

who is Jessica Abel? Jessica Abel is a cartoonist and writer. Born and raised in Chicagoland, she moved in 2000 to Brooklyn, New York, after a two-year pit stop in Mexico City. Since 2012, she’s lived in Angoulême, France, with her husband, Matt Madden, and two children. (more: see bio) Photo by Gert Jan Pos

September 26th 2011

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.

November 5th 2008

Visual Scripting: video training – FREE template download

Visual Scripting is a method for natively writing comics and other visual narrative media in physical space, envisioning layout, and better utilizing physical elements of books (such as page turns)…without drawing.

July 25th 2015

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.

July 13th 2015

Download your Comics Window

If you’re here, you’ve found an email in your inbox and you’ve to confirmed your subscription to my newsletter. I really look forward to talking with you about building narrative and building a life as an artist (in which term I include cartoonists, screenwriters, film makers, radio producers, prose writers…) regularly. When you get a newsletter […]

July 10th 2015

Does writing feel like wading through molasses? What you need is a new point of view.

Sometimes a thing I want to write feels fully formed in my mind, until just the moment I sit down to write it. And then suddenly it seems to collapse into a black box. Writing it feels like wading through hip-deep molasses. Nothing is clear, nothing comes easy. Maybe you’ve felt this too: you get […]

July 10th 2015

Hey artist, how do you make it work?

Like most artists I’ve met, I’m kind-of-secretly obsessed with how other artists make their lives work (financially, structurally). So I was pretty interested to read this article, The Death of the Artist—and the Birth of the Creative Entrepreneur, from earlier this year in the Atlantic. Despite the scare-tactic headline (“What if the latest model to […]

July 1st 2015

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. I took photos of my piles every few days while I was in the studio (i.e. not in August, when […]

April 1st 2015

an eater’s guide to Angoulême

Last year I helped Abby Denson put together a guide to eating at and generally getting through the Angoulême festival (which is actually called le Festival International de la Bande Dessinée, aka FIBD). Abby’s list of tips is still pretty current, and really covers most of what you need to know to survive in style, so for this year’s festival I thought […]

January 21st 2015

a few of my favorite podcasts

Since I’ve spent the last three years doing a deep dive on audio storytelling (narrative nonfiction radio and podcasts), the last two and a half of which I’ve been in France (where practically no one has heard of this stuff, not even This American Life) this moment of vast cultural freakout about how awesome podcasts are (hello, […]

January 3rd 2015