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 a regular at live comic readings and zinefests in the Bay Area.
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.
In Portland, I found new and delightful folks to collaborate with, from co-creating graphic novels with Jim Kettner to crafting kids' curriculum with Ary Giantrat, Winnie Craw, Julie Kagawa, and teaching teens to toon with Sarah Shay Mirk.
Scripting a graphic novel on top of Mt. Tabor in Portland in 2020
Sample art from First Steps.
Today, I've returned to California's Central Coast, where I'm hard at work on my middle grade graphic novel First Steps for Scholastic Graphix, as well as continuing to teach and mentor artists of all ages.
See you in the funny papers!*
Sarah Shay Mirk and I, teaching at Alder Commons in PDX!