The Official Bio...
The full story...
Cats and comics for life!
I grew up in San Luis Obispo, CA and I've been making comics nonstop since I was 9 years old!
In middle school, I was hand-selling comics and zines with my best friend Roscoe, and managed to talk a local video store into carrying a VHS of a movie adaptation of my comic.
By high school, I was published in books by Plan 9 Publishing and Keenspot, had strips in CRACKED Magazine, and made a memorably mortifying appearance on public access TV. One of my comics was even, bizarrely, written about in an Argentine newspaper. Things were looking up!
But by my mid-teens, I became convinced that I "couldn't draw." It didn't stop me, exactly—I started another graphic novel my freshman year of college—but that inferiority complex pushed me away from my dream of becoming a comic artist.
Today, I'm passionate about teaching comics because I want to help other artists, young and old, avoid that same roadblock.
Instead, I studied Film & Digital Media at UC Santa Cruz. I made movies that combined my love of comics, experimental animation, and early cinema.
I also cut my journalism teeth as a reporter for Banana Slug News, balancing journalism and satire in a way that would later inform my comics for The Nib.
After graduating, I moved to the Bay Area and started my first "grown up" graphic novel, The Relics.
I also started working for Standard Deviants, an educational video series where me and my co-workers got to be seriously weird.
I was hired to be a video editor, ended up doing triple duty as a cartoonist and actor!
I also became part of the Bay Area comics scene, a regular at live comic readings and zinefests.
In 2014, I was approached by the crowdfunding journalism website Beacon to run a serialized graphic novel.
The resulting project, Delicate Lies, set a funding record for Beacon. I had an enthusiastic audience and I was making money with my art! I felt like I was finally a "real" cartoonist!
While I was becoming more successful, I felt like my work still wasn't where I wanted it to be. As I developed more ambitious and narratively focused projects, I felt like I needed better cartooning fundamentals.
I decided to enroll in the MFA program at the Center for Cartoon Studies, and hoofed it across the country to Vermont.
At CCS, I continued to develop Delicate Lies, and I also started thinking seriously about working with young artists.
I started helping out with the school's Cartoon Club kids' classes, and by the end of my time there I was leading the program and designing its curriculum. My students were about the age I was when I became a cartoonist, and we learned a lot from one another.
My CCS graduating class in 2016.
I also started tutoring students of all ages and teaching adults—a different kind of fun!
Filming a cartooning instructional video with P-nut the cat! Made for the Brookwood Library in Hillsboro, OR.
In 2017, I moved from Vermont to Portland, OR, where I continue to draw graphic novels, teach kids' classes, tutor adults and kids, and sometimes even make videos.
Scripting a graphic novel on top of Mt. Tabor in Portland in 2020
Sample art from First Steps.
Sarah Mirk and I, teaching at Alder Commons in PDX!