Wow, 2022 has been and gone. Such an intense year I can only just now sit down to write about it. There’s been a lot of powerful work this last year, and more powerful work to come.
Thank you wonderful Patrons for your ongoing support, especially as a tunnel inwards in slightly different ways.
In 2022 I published Ordinary Madness, a 60 page comic book about my experiences of psychosis. I drew this book in about a month, which meant working 40-60 hour weeks on the comic on top of a full time day job that can get pretty intense!
I’m really proud of that book. I’ve had mental health professionals with decades of experience tell me it’s taught them new stuff about psychosis. I’ve had people thank me for helping their own experiences feel more seen. It’s helped me be more open about my experiences, whether people have read the book or not, knowing the book exists helps me worry less. I own my experience more! Ordinary Madness is now
A collaborative comic book with David Lasky. David Lasky and I created a comic book together! I wrote a script for him to draw, he drew a script for me to draw and we printed a book with two covers that you can read in either direction. I’ve got maybe 20 copies left, if you want to snarf a copy. $4.99 plus shipping in the USA.
I’ve been trying not to berate myself for not creating more short form comics. “I’ve had longer comics to create!” But I just did a read through and I think I did over 60 webcomics this year. I guess that’s what’s handy about doing a year in review! There were definitely more in the first half of the year, while the second half was a little sparse.
More of my comics have been Little Liz comics, which haven’t been such a good fit for Thingswithout.com, but you can see them over on my Patreon. You can view the comics for free, though Patrons get more behind the scenes content and special extra stuff. Some of the comics I’m most proud of this year are.
I migrated the thingswithout.com website onto a new back end. It’s much more attractive and folks can scroll back and forth. I’m still working on migrating hundreds of pages of content into the new structure, so some content reads like a blog, while other content you can click next next next. There are many more days, weeks of time needed to migrate the content, though at least as I move the content I’m able to check that all images have alt text, all comics have transcripts etc.
A Sad Magnets
In addition to black & white or full color A Sad cards, you can now get A Sad fridge magnets. They sold out so first I had to almost immediately do a second print run! What a wonderful feeling. I have quite an addiction to buying stamps, I love all the different forever stamps and I prefer sending them to folks rather than saving them. When folks order stuff I have so much fun putting such magical stickers on parcels.
The next book!
Ordinary Madness was always the first step, I think the first step among many, as writing about mental illness and recovery is an ongoing process, not a simple unit of stuff. Over the last few months I’ve been working on a larger book. I’m quite excited about it. I’ve drawn about 160 new pages. I haven’t drawn a lot since I completed this new draft. But a few weeks off is ok sometimes. And now back to it!
Hi lovely humans, I hope everyone has managed to grab some nourishing moments in the last couple of months.
Me, I’ve been so wowed by the wonderful responses to my comic. It’s been so terrific to see Ordinary Madness and Jagged Edges so warmly received. I’d like to send an extra special thanks to the therapists and other caring folks who’ve purchased extra comics to give to folks or have floating around as a resource. I wasn’t expecting that, and I’m honored and humbled.
I’m really glad Ordinary Madness has been something joyful and mind opening for so many folks. When you’re an artist, I think being of service is one of the highest things you can achieve.
Since I published Ordinary Madness I’ve been exploring a few other concepts and building on what I learned in its creation. Some are longer works that aren’t ready for the world (although Patrons can get sneak previews), but I’ve published a few shorter works over on my Patreon. They’re free for anyone to read and anyone can subscribe to the public feed. New comics published on Patreon include:
Lost Time, it’s easy to get down on yourself and not see what you’ve achieved. A nice bit of perspective, that I was finally able to draw by collaborating with Midjourney. Midjourney is an AI that generates art based on prompts. It took me much longer to create a comic this way, but I’m very pleased with the result.
Reflections – what it’s like seeing a homeless person ranting to themselves, now that I know what it’s like to rant to yourself on the street
If you become an actual Patron you’ll get to see work before its published as well as special behind the scenes content (including pages I couldn’t fit into Ordinary Madness), access to a password protected experimental page and occasional special discounts in the store. For example, Patrons get free shipping on “A Sad” magnets for this month.
Speaking of which! You can now buy “A Sad” magnets in the store! A little bit of joy, feeling seen, and a reminder of stuff I still forget sometimes, for your fridge.
They’re $5 plus flat rate shipping (or free shipping if you get the discount code by becoming a Patron… in which case I ask you to pinky swear you’ll stick around for at least a few months!).
Sadly, I can only ship to the USA right now. I use a super secure commerce platform that is so secure it keeps thwarting me when I try to ship to other countries! If anyone is a WooCommerce in WordPress expert who wants to help a sister out, please drop me a line!
Thanks for stopping by, if you haven’t yet, I encourage you to order (or review) Ordinary Madness. Feedback from folks so far includes, wow, wow wow wow, insightful, extraordinary and terrific!… also, there are one or two typos that slipped through, thank you friends for pointing them out. All kinds of feedback is helpful and appreciated.
The previous comic talks about the playful madness of writers. How we can all call ourselves a bit mad sometimes, and I think that is no bad thing.
This second book engages with a slightly different kind of madness. It’s taken me a few years to feel like I can talk this openly about this experience. Two years of healing helps, not to mention many personal conversations where people have not treated me differently or lesser because of what I went through.
Available for pre-order at $9 for a week, and then it will go up to $10 in my store.
Between 2018-2020 I experienced three psychotic episodes. I was sucked into a world of delusion. An ever shifting mystery thriller that got me fired, had me talking to myself at bus stops and considering homelessness to protect those I loved from the conspiracy that hounded me.
Psychosis number two, my longest and most shattering episode, happened just before Covid-19 shut down the world. My plans for rebuilding a sense of normal gone, as “normal” disappeared for everyone.
Drawing comics gave me a mission and purpose. It provided an alchemical space for healing. It helped me feel less alone.
Psychosis isn’t something we talk about very much, outside of jokes, cliches and horror movies. We need to have better conversations about mental health.
I’m so excited to have contributed to these two 13th Age books, coming out from Pelgrane Press.
Drakkenhall is now available for pre-order. Where you can see how I added a little lawful evil Jane Austen inspired shenanigans to the city of monsters. It was a fun fun chapter to write, who doesn’t want the stats for a Fashionista Oooze? I get so much fun writing about urban environments in high fantasy settings. The bits of history you get to draw on twist and play with, delicious!
I’ll be on a panel about comics at the Nebula Conference on Fri, May 20, 2022 7:30 PM to 8:30 PM PST.
Comics and the Craft of Storytelling
When do you need a picture, and when do you need a thousand words—and when do you need both? How have comics shaped popular narrative themes and readers’ habits? Join us as artists and writers discuss how sequential art elevates storytelling.