stone soup


(from Mazzucchelli’s Rubber blankets #3)


I’ve been working with a therapist which has been difficult and great and long overdue. Being a human for 41 years will mess you up dawg. Here’s part of a comic I did that maybe got too personal to post in it’s entirety–


Even that page feels like maybe too much to share– The internet is not the place to have some conversations. And as much as I’ve prided myself as being open in the past I’ve been reassessing how to approach any kind of public life.

I found an old sketchbook of mine from 1997, (I was 21) There’s a page in there I wrote after going to a comic convention. In it I was really grossed out by it. 21-year-old-snob-me wrote-  how important it was to separate my work from the larger comic scene– I didn’t want to be part of it.

Maybe a better way to think of it now is not wanting to be closed off by it.  I’ve devoted my working life to telling stories in comics and there’s nothing I enjoy more– but sometimes I imagine being a new reader and walking into a comic shop to look for something new or even worse looking at the online comics scene–


That aside–

I finished a long overdue Inkstuds tour book from when me and Robin and Simon Roy and Shannon Lentz, travelled the globe interviewing cartoonists for the Inkstuds podcast. The book has sketches by me, Simon, Jesse Moynihan,  Bryan Lee O’Malley, Jamie Hernadez, Rebecca Sugar, Lamar Abrams, Steve Wolfhard, Katie Skelly, Gary Panter, JH Williams III, Ron Rege Jr, Jordan Crane, John Pham, Sean Christensen, — and drawing I did of most of those people and more. I hope people who ordered it one hundred years ago are happy with it. —

Here’s how the front and back cover look. (there’s only 200 numbered copies)


And along the same lines I’ve been finishing up my art/sketchbook Royalboiler.


Here’s a drawing of my apartment I’m inking tonight for it. The placement of where you put sunglasses on a pear really says a lot about what kind of cool pear it is.


I’ve also been working on my next comic, a 1920’s style flapper science fiction called Rain like hammers.

E2-09 10low

It isn’t on a release schedule yet, I’m just drawing issues until I have enough done for it to go to print without a worry of missed deadlines.

Also I did a bio picture for my GF Alejandra’s new book ROMPE CORAZON


Here’s the cover Alejandra did for herrrr book:


She’s selling it (with her limited to 50 copies run) at the Boise comics art festival, that my pal Simon did the poster for. ( I will be at home drawing more pages)

BCAF18 Poster Final - Image.jpg

Here’s a recent sketchbook page I did inbetween pages


the lady on the lower right was a redraw from a girl’s manga ad.


and here’s some other uncolored sketchbook pages


fashin the pan


The above drawing from a Jean Paul Gaultier fall 2001 oootfit


I finished the Nabokov book I was reading and started a PG Wodehouse


I liked Sebastian Knight, it’s a slow introspective thing about the half brother of a dead author looking to understand the years of his brother’s life. In it another writer has written a not so great and fairly false biography of the dead author– so it gives you the false rumours and then the real version he discovers through more research.  It’s funny how much the text on the back of the book oversells it as “His search proves to be as intriguing as any of his subject’s own novels” — I enjoyed how real and unspectacular it all was.

One of the best parts of the book is when Nabokov describes the fictional books the dead author has written. In one of them all of the characters are narrative devices and in another one an entire book’s tone is set along the slow death of a bedridden man- as his organs shut down. — The kind of stuff that feels easier and maybe more exciting to read about and harder or maybe less fun to actually read or make.

I also read the recently passed Jiro Taniguchi’s The walking man.


Some of the chapters are him carying home a shade on a hot day, or him getting caught in a heavy rain and then going home to take a bath. It seems strange how rare it seems in comics stories that reflect what real life is like are– without any fantastical element.

In this one he’s swimming naked in an outdoor pool and then walks home carying his shoes.


I often think about how showing someone in a story eating or going to the bathroom grounds the work, it shows the reader the fictional characters they’re being asked to relate to doing normal things that everyone does.

I feel like most stories could use a little Walking man– like it’s a pure comic element of normal city life.

I also read Frederik Peeters and Loo Hui Phang’s Smell of Starving boys.


Peeters is by far one of my favorite European cartoonists working today. His Aama and Pachyderme are both amazing. and when he’s not writing his own work he seems to pick his collaborators well– I liked Sandcastle — that he did with writer, Pierre Oscar Lévy.

I love the colors in this book– and the western mystery with a main being gay or bisexual or whatnot isn’t something I haven’t seen a lot of in a magical realism old westery comic book.



I also read this article about Seizō Watase’s Heart Cocktail (here) 


The animated shorts based off the manga were sponsored by Japan Tobacco and meant to each run the length it takes to smoke a cigarette

This one has the Moebius art book Starwatcher show up in it:

heart moeb

and the Moebius drawing it was based off of


Here’s one where a rabbit butler leads him through an upside down hotel.

Kind of reminiscent of this Nemo stuff:


I like the clear line style of  Watase’s work



Anyway, I hope to type on these more regularly as I work my life into something with less time spent on social media and more drawing and petting cats.

I’ll leave you with some pages from Macross fan comics (from here)




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5 Responses to stone soup

  1. Ian says:

    Thanks for the update Brandon, always cool to see what you’ve been sketching and where you’re drawing inspiration from. Rain like hammers sounds like it will be right up my alley and that cover looks amazing. Can’t wait for a release.

  2. Mike Greene says:

    All of the most important news comes from your blog. I cannot wait to see your new book when it comes out. I am also stoked that I will get a tour book and I pre-ordered the other sketchbook thing on Amazon.

  3. doublecdouble says:

    Thank you thank you for posts like these. So great to see what else you’re reading and getting inspo from. Best of luck with the therapy and can’t wait to see more of your work in the world!

  4. Jeremy Allen says:

    Always a pleasure to read about the “behind-the-scenes”, as it were. It’s similar to what you mentioned about mundane life activities grounding comic characters; hearing about your life and activities and thoughts helps us appreciate you as a Person, not just an artist, and gives us perspective. Plus, you always link amazing work (both yours and others) that I’ve not seen yet. Best of luck with therapy and mindfulness!

  5. Every time I read one of these it just makes me respect your dedication to being interested. How you find and analyse new old stuff you find, and relate it back into your work, it always makes me want to go down a rabbit hole and get more creative again.

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