Jukebox cover and excerpt

I’m very excited to share the cover reveal of Jukebox along with a short interview and excerpt (!!) over on Comics Beat.

Out June 2021 – much to look forward to!

woman’s best friend

I’ve added this print to the shop and today is the last day of my shop sale for cards or magnets for $2 (no coupon required).

Meanwhile, yesterday I finished coloring my next graphic novel, Jukebox.

I had the story idea in 2014. I pitched and sold it in 2017. I began inking in January 2019. It took 1.5 years to draw and color. It’s 210 pages in full color. Making a graphic novel is an intense and lonely process. I fell in love with my main characters, Shaheen and Tannaz. Two brown girls on a time traveling adventure. I felt their confusion, pain and joy. While working on Jukebox, it’s like living with them. And today, I feel relieved, tired, proud and honestly, sad. My sadness is tempered because I know I’ll meet them anew when readers discover their story next year.

For now, I am going to take a short break before diving back into more book making.

I hope you have a lovely week.

Jukebox process

Thumbnails

Inks

Base colors

Lighting + shading + magic ^_^

I’ve been making very slow progress on Jukebox over the past few weeks. I’ve lived with this story for over 2 years. I cannot wait to release it next year! While sharing some of my work with my graduate students at CCA, I realized it’s helpful to show the process of comics work. It’s very labor intensive but ultimately incredibly rewarding. Each panel is a chance to learn how to convey story with composition, expression, body language and pacing.

I wrote the story in a detailed outline, roughly 4 pages, in mid 2018. Then I worked on a thumbnail manuscript. I finished that in 5 months, in December 2018. Using that manuscript, I drew clean inked lines for the finished book. I completed inks in February of this year. Now along with Elizabeth Kramer and a team of flatters, we’re working on colors. I aim to finish the book by summer but with current events it may be longer.

For most of my life I was conflicted about my choice to pursue a path in the arts. Growing up I valued non-art careers far more. As our current mess unfolds, I realize that the arts are equally important and necessary. Books, movies, music are not only a lovely way to escape – they allow us to feel connected, and they’re important to our shared mental health. That’s one of my takeaways from this time – to value my own work.

I appreciate the opportunity to continue to make stories for that reason. Plus, work is where I find comfort and joy. I hope you are finding places of comfort and joy, as well.

Be safe and healthy, all.

 

slow progress

It’s comicon week and I’m happily at home – I can’t think of a better reason to miss SDCC than working on my next graphic novel.

I’ve been working on many projects I can’t share, so I’m happy to post this sneak of Jukebox panels. After drawing for my and Thrity Umrigar’s forthcoming picture book, Binny’s Diwali, I’m back on track, inking Jukebox pages. Writing characters provides one kind of insight and drawing is another layer of understanding. I love learning about Shahi and Naz as I draw them.

As I reopened the pages, I worried that after a break, I’d want to redraw everything. I hold very high standards for myself. However, I surprisingly felt the opposite. The past couple years I’ve grown as an artist and that makes me happy. There’s so much that makes me want to stop working – but I keep those moments of joy close and use them as fuel to fight and continue working.

I hope you all have a wonderful week!

 

P.S. Thank you to all the folks who bid on the auctions last week – we raised $700. I will continue to think of ways to raise more in August.

the jukebox journey

Jukebox idea, 2014

Jukebox pitch, 2016

I spent last fall thumbnailing my next graphic novel, Jukebox. It’s a story about two cousins, Tannaz and Shaheen, who find a jukebox that takes them back in time. The thumbnail manuscript is where a cartoonist lays out the story taking into account page layout, panels, page turns and flow. I wrote the book with my hubbahubba, Nick Giordano. Over the past few weeks we received early feedback and I’m wrapping up revisions. Next week I will start drawing final art for the book. It’s roughly 200 pages.

Each milestone in a long and arduous project deserves a celebration. I’m pretty terrible at taking the time to mark these moments because of my work demands. But… finishing the thumbnail manuscript was a feat. I approached it differently than Pashmina which began with a full script. I abandoned the full script for Jukebox and went straight to thumbnails, stopping to write when needed. This approach integrated the visuals and text concurrently and took five months, compared to Pashmina, which was over a year. In those five months I lived inside the story. I talked about the characters like friends I was trying to understand. It’s my absolute favorite part of the process.

Working on the final art is fun and labor intensive. I’m looking forward to using color to communicate pieces of the story visually, approaching the line work in a way that allows for focal points and nuance and drawing my favorite city, San Francisco.

I will continue to share sales, occasional art and events (I will be in LA, St Louis, New York, and PA this year) but mostly I will be quietly working on Jukebox. I will share snippets when I can and it will hit the shelves in 2021. Jukebox is very dear to my heart. Writing a book with the love of my life has been wonderful and challenging. I’m a pretty intense person to work with! The truth is that Nick contributes to all my projects but this book is our joint love letter to music, family and connection. The wait will be long but worthwhile.

For now I’m sharing these early images. Nick and I started talking about our idea in 2014 and I roughly sketched it. The next drawing was used to pitch the book immediately after finishing Pashmina in 2016. Neither will appear in the finished book but I love them both. Making a book is a looong journey and I’m in the middle. Finishing the manuscript is an important milestone. Based on my other committments and schedule, I should finish drawing  it by years end but it will leave little room for anything else. So, I will stop to celebrate this milestone… and then get back to work!

I hope you have a lovely weekend!