Chapter Two — Over the Waves

First Root's disdain for her brother's choice, then Bone's Jo's sneering, and now even Cook? What is wrong with farming?

Page 72 — First Root’s disdain for her brother’s choice, then Bone’s Jo’s sneering, and now even Cook? What is wrong with farming?

Hi everyone, welcome to the new posting schedule! Now you can face Monday morning with a brief break for a breath of bracing salt sea air aboard the Mermaid!

Chapter Two — Over the Waves

Page 34 — more Mysterious Shadowy Figures! Oh, it's only Cook *whew*!

Page 70 — more Mysterious Shadowy Figures! Oh, it’s only Cook *whew*!

While I’m working on comics, I sometimes listen to podcasts (not while I’m doing the lettering!). This week I’ve been listening a lot to a guy named Will Terry, whose you tube channel has a lot of really good information for illustrators and comics artists. If you are one of those, you might want to check him out!

Chapter Two — Over the Waves

Page 69 — Bones-Jo is a touchy sort! Someone should just teach her to say "thank you" to a compliment!

Page 69 — Bones-Jo is a touchy sort! Someone should just teach her to say “thank you” to a compliment!

It’s been a busy week and a half — hanging a show of kitty art, off to Saskatoon Expo and back, and immediately into the home stretch of the children’s book project! I’m really looking forward to a quiet autumn (Happy Autumn, by the way — or Happy Spring if you happen to be on the south half of the planet!) with lots developing in the world of Mermaid Music.

Mer-cats Takeover!

We now interrupt our regularly scheduled programming to bring you —Mer-cats! Also known as Felis Marinus, these denizens of the briny deep are the purrfect companions for mer-folk like Whelk and Gull . As Maggie delights in a bit of mischief above the waves, so do these below.

I’m at Saskatoon Comic and Entertainment Expo this weekend, so the Mer-cats have agreed to take over the comic for this week. Would you like to see more of these guys integrated into the story? Should Maggie meet them sometime? Should they have their own comic? Let me know! As a special bonus, there are black-and-white versions of these drawings after the colour ones that you can download and colour yourself.

"Well, if you didn't want me to play with it, why did you throw it to me?" Silkfin — ("Purple Prankster")

“Well, if you didn’t want me to play with it, why did you throw it to me?”
Silkfin — (“Purple Prankster”)

"I'm very fancy, but very tiny, so you might miss me, unless you are very still and look very closely into my home next low tide!" — Dappletail ("Tidepool Sculpin")

“I’m very fancy, but very tiny, so you might miss me, unless you are very still and look very closely into my home next low tide!” — Dappletail (“Tidepool Sculpin”)

"Sometimes you just go around in circles trying to get dinner!" — Frills ("Fishy Frolic")

“Sometimes you just go around in circles trying to get dinner!” — Frills (“Fishy Frolic”)

"We are the companions of both Fins and Hands, but we are kind of shy of strangers. But look for us at the mer-folk's city — they stir up a lot of bite-sized fish to eat!" — Sun-on-Wave and Grey-Shadow ("Flirting with the Sun")

“We are the companions of both Fins and Hands, but we are kind of shy of strangers. But look for us at the mer-folk’s city — they stir up a lot of bite-sized fish to eat!” — Sun-on-Wave and Grey-Shadow (“Flirting with the Sun”)

felis-marinus-2 felis-marinus-1 felis-marinus-4 felis-marinus-3

Chapter Two — Over the Waves

Page 68 — Maggie arrives back aboard with a prize!

Page 68 — Maggie arrives back aboard with a prize!

It’s good to be back aboard The Mermaid! I’ve been working on two book projects for publication over the last couple of months, and while one takes place at the seashore (and under the waves) it’s no substitute for my own beloved comic. I’ve really enjoyed drawing Maggie’s little excursion (if you follow my other work, you’ll know drawing cats is one of my favourite things), and she will certainly have more adventures in upcoming chapters.

In other news, I’ll be at the Saskatoon Comic and Entertainment Expo next weekend, September 17 and 18. If you’re coming to the event, look for me in Artist’s Alley! I’ll be right next to my friend k.d. prosser, of ThinkInk Comics!

Summer Seas

Hello readers! I’m surfacing from the ocean of work I’ve dived into, inhaling a few deep breaths to let you know I’m OK and so is our story. Mermaid Music will resume posting on September 9. Fear not, Maggie is having a good time on that life ring, so just consider it a summer vacation for her!

I mentioned in my last post that I was working on a book about the sea — I’m hoping to be able to reveal some of the artwork for this soon. I’m also working on a solo show to be hung in August that will be only cats — including a few catfish, so I’ll post those soon. In the meantime, here’s a scratchboard piece I did while working on the first drawings for the book, inspired by the paintings I was doing at the time:

scratchoboard sea.jpg

Scratchboard is a specially coated board from which you scratch the black surface, revealing the white underneath. It’s kind of like drawing in reverse, and often ends up looking a lot like a linocut or woodcut.

I spent much of July sorting, packing, and moving out of my long-time studio at Xchanges, an arts cooperative. After 23 years, I have all my art supplies under one roof! My little home studio won’t hold it all, so I’ve been playing Santa with all my artist friends. It’s fun, and kind of liberating, to be honing my artistic possessions down to just what I need for illustration and comics. No more large painting, no more big canvases to store… except the ones I’ve already done.

IMG_3266.JPG

My ex-studio, with stuff I gave away laid out on the tables before the move. I had a crew of wonderful friends who helped my schlepp what was left down the two flights of stairs!

IMG_3279.jpg

Much of what I kept is now stowed on the back porch (we won’t mention the chaotic pile in the music room). I think I’m going to have to have another giving-away party! My little studio upstairs where I do illustration and make comics is pretty much full and functions well already, so I’ve got my work cut out for me in organizing all this.

I treated myself to a vacation at a beach resort at Qualicum Bay for a few days after the move — oh boy, did I need that! My friends and I stayed in a camping cabin, quite a new experience for me, as I’m usually a tenter. We explored the local beaches, lakes and rivers for a few days; a lovely watery break (it rained, with thunder and lightning, so we even got sky water!) Here’s an adorable little crab from Parksville Beach:

P1040193

This little guy was one of a myriad of tiny crabs exposed at low tide on the broad sandy beach, their shells only about an inch across. The beach is also home to millions of sand dollars — a very rich place!

See you in a month, aboard The Mermaid once again!