On Passing is my first attempt at making a collage comic. I made it at my parent’s house in Idaho while visiting for the holidays. The comics here are from a comic book adaptation of the 1970s Battlestar Gallactica pilot episode that I found at The Arc in Corvallis. I’m very fond of the art style in 1970s comics, in particular the willingness to have expressive, loose line work, and the tendency to indulge in full-page abstractions in the middle of stories. It was this piece that I used to convince Anthony Heatherly to partner with me in creating That’s Not Math.
I took a history of science course recently, and at the beginning of the course, the professor had us do a get-to-know-you activity where everyone had to say an interesting fact about their hometown. Major themes among the answers were that most people thought that their hometowns were super boring. I picked out eight of my favorite answers to the questions and illustrated them. I’d love to hear interesting facts from your hometown!
P.S. I make no claim to accuracy in these portrayals.
I’ve been doing a lot of reading about Arctic climate change over the last four years. Much of that has been specific to my graduate school research on the atmospheric boundary layer in the Arctic and thus fairly technical, but recently I started reading two books that compile perspectives from North American Arctic communities: SIKU: Knowing Our Ice and The Earth is Faster Now. These books provide a lot of context that I think is missing in mainstream climate coverage. Elders and hunters in the far north have noticed changes in weather, animals, ice, and plants, and the particularities show a strong regional character. My hope is to eventually bring some of that to light through comics. Many books have been and continue to be written about this; I don’t aspire to make a complete portrayal of Arctic climate change, but I hope to be able to highlight perspectives that have gone unseen, as well as make some of the science clearer.
Sea ice graph from the National Snow and Ice Data Center.
I drew this on 11×14 illustration board using Micron, Pentel Pocket Brush, and a Pilot 62. I prepared the digital version using Pixelmator Pro.
This last September I drove north with my friend Ben Lewis to hike and camp in the North Cascades. It was my first time to visit North Cascades National Park, and as is essentially always the case when I visit a park, I couldn’t visit nearly as many locations as I wanted to. Guess I’ll have to go back at some point (sigh).
This comic also represents another first–my first full-page hand-drawn comic. I’ve been making collage comics as half of That’s Not Math since August 2017, and I’ve made various single-panel gag comics through the years. But I’ve been wanting to get started with narrative nonfiction comics for a long time now. I’ve been putting off making a comic with thoughts of needing to write a great script, needing to learn better drawing techniques, etc., but realized that what really needs to happen is to just make comics. So here we go into a brave new world of comics!