Friday, March 23, 2007

Change of Address

I have been very remiss in updating this blog. I really do most of my blogging over here and feel kind of dumb re-posting things on this blog.

I'm keeping the blog up in case the random curious person clicks "Next Blog" and ends up here, but regular readers should redirect their links to the other blog.

Be sure to go to my comics page and check out all my projects!

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Pluri-readibility comics for sale!

I've printed up an official edition of my mouse pluri-readable mini-comic.

"mouse cheese cat" is a handmade accordian fold comic book that has mutiple ways to read it. It can be read as a standard book from cover to cover, or you can fold out sections to find even more adventures of the little mouse. More images avaiable at .

I've posted two up on my ebay account , but there's no need to drive the prices up. Just let me know if more people want one and I'll post up to nine of them.

Friday, January 05, 2007

More Good Press

Holy Moly! Two reviews in two days! I slave away for a year in obscurity with no recognition. Then I go on hiatus and then the reviews pour in.

This one comes from Webcomicker and confirms what I've been feeling about changes I need to make to the series.
"In classic 32 page serial comic books, the typical execution is to build each issue to a climax and end on some sort of cliffhanger up until the last issue in the current storyline. It keeps the reader coming back for more issues. In a graphic novel, on the other hand, the entire story is contained in a single volume, so it tends to be paced more like a typical novel with exposition, rising actions, climax and denouement. But in long form webcomics, you get a little bit from both camps, plus the expectation that each page of the story be able to stand alone, because typically the readers are reading the story one page at a time. So what you get is an author who wants to tell a novel-style plot but has to throw in occasional cliffhangers to keep the audience interested while at the same time writing each page so that it can stand alone. And that push and pull of dynamics is very evident in My Life in Records. . .

When you’re reading a webcomic you expect a somewhat disjointed feel, either because you’ve got to keep clicking to the next page and waiting for it to load, or because you’re actually waiting for the next update. But pick up that same webcomic in book form and you find that often it feels more like a collection of strips than one continuous story. That’s just one of the downsides of the medium, I suppose."
I've been working on a new model of presenting the comic and what I've decided to do is release each chapter in one block rather than one page at a time. I'm working on a non-My Life in Records comic right now that I'll release in one big 16 page chunk. You can check out a few pencil previews here.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Good Press

I just got nice little review from Size Matters: the Mini-Comics Blog about my Christmas Mini-Comic. (woot)

I especially appreciate this line:
"Thomas captures the story from a kid’s eye view, but doesn’t resort to cheap devices or an overly maudlin tone. It feels real."
Cool beans. Anybody wanna buy one now? :)

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Do Too List

Winter break started today and I spent most of it cleaning house and working in my 4-track studio. I am still recording the "best little record I ever made twice". I say this, because most of the material I am working on was on June Bug Mix Vol. 3. Immediately after putting that out I went up to Chicago and recorded it all again with my cousin Drew on drums. Drew and I were hoping to snag a few of his bandmates to help with things, but they were hard to get a hold of leaving me with the task of finishing the rest of the parts myself back in Champaign.

I am perfectly able to finish these other parts, but since I am working alone, it takes a loooong time. It doesn't help that I'm a perfectionist and 4-track is a less than forgiving medium. I sat down today after I did some work on Mr. Wolfman and wrote a list to assess the situation. I felt pretty good after I recorded the stuff on Mr. Wolfman, but as I wrote out the list and mixed things down to give Drew for a Christmas present, I got depressed. This record will never get finished! The one good thing I can say at this point is that I began writing the material about this time last year and all the songs have worn pretty well after repeated listened for a year. (Believe me you find out if a song is dumb when you're on the 45th take for the electric guitar part!)
Here's the list:
1. Name the record: Mr. Wolfman is an obvious choice. Its the catchiest song on the record, but is there some kind of Trademark thing with Universal pictures or can I pass it off as a literary allusion?
Maybe an anagram of Walter Boyd? "Two Bad Lyre"? "Badly Wrote"? Take suggestions from fans? (what fans?)
2. Mr. Wolfman: lacks-bass guitar
3. Monk for the Summer: fix-guitar, harmonica
lacks- el. guitar, bass
4. Tired Old Love Song: lacks- el. guitar, bass
5. Catcher in the Rye: fix- guitar
lacks-bass, el. guitar
6. You've Got To get Out of This Town: lacks- percussion
7. When We Come Home: fix-guitar
lacks- bass, el.guitar
8. Sweet Summer Wine: lacks-bass
9. All I Wanna Do: lacks-bass
10: Good Friday: get Javier over here to sing back up!

My wife calls "Badly Wrote" one of my "twenty projects", but its a big one. I have no motivation to do any of my "twenty projects", which is sad because AC Ink was all excited about my new comic I'm working on. (Beth even blogged about it! Now I have to produce a product!)

So here's the to do list of all my twenty projects:
1. Finish record in timely fashion!
2. Draw "a week in september" (common you have 1 of 16 pages done! Chop chop!)
3. Script and block out "tower of babel" comic
4. finish blocking out Graphic Poems piece and draw it
5. finish My Life in Records script and get cracking on it! You've finally go some readers. You can't abandon it now!
6. write comixpedia article.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

My Life in Records Goes on Hiatus

My Life in Records will be going on hiatus until February 4, 2007. In the meantime, check back here for some “outtakes” such as the Fright Night material and sketches from the next book.

I have yet to decide whether or not I will return right away to the series. I have a lot of the next part of the series written and blocked out, but I would like to be more intentional about how I make this next body of work. I will, however, return with something.

I am writing a few other mini-series that are unrelated to My Life in Records and I will showcase them here if I do not return with My Life in Records right away. I’m really leaning towards that because there are a lot of stories that I’d really like to tell that I have not had the time to pursue because I have been working on My Life in Records.

Be sure to check my main site frequently because I’ll still be blogging, recording songs and painting.

Sunday, December 03, 2006


Fra Angelico. Altarpiece of the Annunciation. c. 1430-1432. Tempera on panel. 194 x 194. Museo del Prado, Madrid, Spain

Today is the first Sunday of Advent. This is my favorite holiday. Maybe its because nobody really celebrates it and its my own secret celebration or maybe its just nostalgia because it comes before Christmas and it makes me think of that time of year, which for better or worse, is actually usually a time I enjoy being with my family. Perhaps I'm intrigued by trying to wrap my brain around the concept of Incarnation. Robert Webber describes Advent as both Israel’s longing for a Messiah and our own longing for a new breaking in of God’s spirit upon us. I’m interested in the lines of supernatural and natural getting blurred even though I’m so seldom aware when it happens. The Annunciation is often shown as a dove breaking the window of Mary’s house as the angel announces what is to come.

In the last several years I have become obsessed with Advent. In many ways I’ve always been superficially into Advent, whether it’s the anticipation of opening presents or getting out of school or opening the next little door on the cardboard advent calendars. But lately I’ve been thinking more about the real meanings of the season. Winter is a time of darkness and mystery for me anyway and now I have a new layer of mystery added on as I try to look for God breaking into my life like light slowly becoming brighter in a pitch black room.

I've made several pieces about Advent. The first one was a painting I began last year and now will reside over my living room shrine for Advent and Epiphany. It shows Isaiah writing his prophecies in the darkness with the Davidic rose climbing up to his lips to cleanse them. Jesus claims in Revelation [22:16] be “the root and the Offspring of David” and that’s another thing I like about Advent- its cyclical nature and its symmetry with the Hebrew Scriptures.

Last spring I wrote a chapter of My Life in Records about Advent. You can read it starting here and even buy a print version here. It’s a little more humorous take on Advent, but still has the theme of waiting for what has been promised.

Finally, this summer I decided to do another comic based on a poem I wrote about Advent. I started off strong and fully expected it to be done by today and then I would unveil it in honor of Advent. But after a few pages it just went flat and I couldn’t bring myself to finish it. After reading the first few pages of Veich’s Can’t Get No and putting it down in disgust, I’m glad I didn’t finish it.

Here are the first three pages of my noble failure. And I will leave you with the full text from the poem. I hope God breaks into your life this December.

Most birds fly right into the window pane and bounce back

Dazed or briefly unconscious

Unable to enter the space we dwell in

But this bird sailed in and shattered the glass without a sound

It dwelt in the womb of a woman and grew into our flesh

Only to be murdered like a pigeon in the street.

And now we’re all waiting for the train

that they just announced is coming shortly

Sure, we still go to work

eating and drinking.

Boys still asking men for their daughters to marry.

Yet the more astute do all these things

With one eye down the track

for the first glimpse of smoke

of the engine car.

Sitting then standing

Then sitting then pacing

then fiddling with the turnstile

Like a bride fiddling with her engagement ring

Once all the bridesmaids have gone ahead of her

And they’ve closed the doors to the chapel

And she’s just waiting for the music to change

for the string quartet


to finish playing

Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desire

Waiting for the music to change

Waiting ‘till they start playing

Here Comes the Bride

On that big golden trumpet

Then the ushers will fling wide the doors

Like pearly gates

And she’ll walk in trying not to rush

Though it seemed like its been an eternity

Since the bridesmaids went in before her

And all the guests will rise up

from their slumber in the pews

the ceremony will all be a whirlwind

All dancing and feasting

and I am his and he is mine

and before you know it they’ll be on that train

to their forever happily ever afterlife