Thursday, December 04, 2014
Sunday, March 02, 2014
My new blog about food allergies (and a new illustration): Safe & Scrumptious From Scratch!
For over a year, I've been burning to write and do more about my daughter's food allergies. My little girl is the center of my world, and I cannot count the number of hours I spend dealing with and thinking about food allergies. I did consider just including more cooking posts over at my sewing and knitting blog Polka Dot Overload... but food-allergy cooking is so specific, I felt like most of my readers would rather hear about yarn and fabric. And this blog was out, as it really has nothing to do with political cartooning.
So I finally found a little time to muck around in WordPress and set up a dedicated home for all those ideas, recipes and thoughts... Safe & Scrumptious: Allergy-Free Life on a Budget (No Dairy, Eggs, Nuts, Sesame or Mustard). It's not much yet—just an about page and some simple recipes for sesame-free faux-hini sauce and allergen-free hot cocoa, but I have oodles of post and recipes in the queue.
I'd love if some of you readers dropped by to take a look ... and please do tell any friends you might have who deal with similar allergies or dietary restrictions. My recipes are all free of dairy, eggs, tree nuts, sesame and mustard. Most are also free of peanuts, fish, and shellfish. Some are free of soy. Many foods featured will be plant-based or vegan and lowfat. But please note that I do bake and cook a lot with wheat and gluten-containing products, so my new blog might not be of much interest to those with celiac or gluten intolerance.
Things may stay a little quiet around here for a bit, but I'm not abandoning ship. Do come by and say hello at my new home!
Friday, September 13, 2013
My new (children's) book: Susan's Mess
Just in time for SPX 2013 Small Press Expo in Bethesda this weekend Sept. 14/15 (and by just in time, I mean the minicomic version of this book is printing at Staples as I type this) I finished my first (full-color) children's book, Susan's Mess.
It's the story of Susan, who was the neatest girl in the world, and had never, ever in her life made a mess — even as a baby. Until one day... a MESS made itself.
I should note — since this is my political cartooning blog — that there isn't any overtly political content in this book, but I wanted to share it for those of you who might be interested. It's about a spunky little girl who is a bit TOO fond of cleaning her room and alphabetizing her books. (Like my daughter, she does happen to be from a biracial family — it's amazing how few kids in children's books are.)
Once SPX is over, I'll see how many are left for sale, and will also be putting it up as an e-book and print-on-demand book.
Thursday, August 29, 2013
Event: See me at SPX in Bethesda, MD (Sept. 14/15)
Thursday, June 13, 2013
Follow the Boiling Point on Bloglovin'! (before Google Reader goes dark)
I know this blog is a bit quiet these days (though I'm very busy sewing and knitting over at Polka Dot Overload), but I still have the occasional cartoon for you. Google Reader goes dark on July 1, so follow The Boiling Point blog with Bloglovin' if you want to stay in the loop on new posts.
I know Bloglovin' has some bugs and is missing a few features—the ability to save posts to read later, for example--but I prefer it to the other options for one huge reason: it lets you read actual blog pages in their own design, the way they're meant to look... and it gives bloggers pageviews.
Why do pageviews matter? Many bloggers rely on people actually viewing their sites (instead of just the text and photos from a single post) to earn money from ads, sponsors, Etsy shops and links. When you read a post through something like Google Reader, that didn't count as a pageview. So every time you view an actual blog, or read it through Bloglovin', you are helping to support your favorite bloggers!
I don't make MUCH money from ads on my two blogs but I have noticed since folks started switching over to Bloglovin' my pageviews have doubled (30,000/month average now). And instead of $10/month from Google Adsense, I'm seeing $30 or more. (That may not sound like much, but I live on a REALLY tight budget!)
So again—please follow me on Bloglovin'!
P.P.S. If you are a blogger, even if you don't make the switch to reading blogs on Bloglovin', you should still claim your blog over there to have more control when people subscribe to you that way!
Thursday, March 28, 2013
Cartoon: What Causes Rape?
And a tip of the pen to the always amazing Jaclyn Friedman (co-author of Yes Means Yes: Visions of Female Sexual Power and a World Without Rape) for giving my sketch a quick peek to make sure it was on-point!
Friday, March 22, 2013
Wartime ABC's + The Harsh Realities of War
Friday, February 22, 2013
Cartoon: "Maternity Leaveless"
Seriously, 30% of women in the U.S. take no maternity leave, and 40% take six weeks or less. It's not hard to guess why—we have the not-so-distinct distinction of being the only "economically advanced" country to offer no paid maternity leave whatsoever. (See Think Progress for a colorful and depressing infographic on this).
You might notice the women in this cartoon is breastfeeding—at least for now. It can be hard enough to get a good start feeding your kid when you have only 6-12 weeks at home to get things going, but with no maternity leave, that would mean an immediate need to ALSO wrestle with a breast pump, try to get pumping breaks, maintain supply, etc... Studies show that the longer breastfeeding moms get for leave, the longer they are able to successfully breastfeed and meet their breastfeeding goals.
I got 12 weeks leave myself, half of them paid. I had no trouble getting pumping breaks or a place to pump at work. By U.S. standards, I'm one of the lucky ones—but by global standards, that's not super impressive.
Thursday, August 16, 2012
Not Politics: Sewing-Related Illustrations
Here's a cover illustration I did for a digital sewing pattern download for Cake Patterns by the Consulting Dressmaker: (full details here)
It's also the timeline cover photo for the We Sew Retro Facebook page. Here's a screenshot of the art in action:
And I've got some other POLITICAL cartooning projects in the works. More soon! I'm not dead! Etc.
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
Polka Dot Pinup Art in the New Bob the Angry Flower Book!
Stephen Notley's latest collection of geeky Bob the Angry Flower genius, How to Operate a Chair is on sale now... and it features a fantastic assortment of Bob pinup art by cartoonists like Jen Sorensen, Matt Bors, Keith Knight, Masheka Wood and yours truly. Check it out!
Thursday, January 05, 2012
My Essay on "The Way the Future of Political Cartooning Wasn't" (Herblock Foundation Report)
The Herblock Foundation has a brand spanking new whitepaper out on the state of political cartooning called "The Golden Age for Editorial Cartoonists at the Nation’s Newspapers is Over." Too true.
The whitepaper (which you can download as a PDF here) contains a glum survey and a depressing collection of essays by a wide range of cartoonists, including Clay Bennett, Ted Rall, Jen Sorensen--and yours truly.
Here's a quote from my essay, which is untitled in the collection, but which I like to call "The Way the Future of Political Cartooning Wasn't."
The future of political cartooning I imagined in 2001 was already a far cry from the future of political cartooning in 1981. My fellow 20-something alternative cartoonist friends and I didn’t even vaguely aspire to comfortable drafting-desk staff positions at daily newspapers with reasonable salaries and health benefits. The Pulitzer Prize application just seemed like a waste of money.
Our model was self-syndication in the alternative weeklies. We looked to Ted Rall, Keith Knight, Alison Bechdel. We’d pay our inky dues, toiling in the Bristol Board — or Wacom tablet — trenches. We’d work day jobs. By night we’d comb through news sources and write and draw and write. Sleep was for suckers.
We’d market ourselves with clever self-promotional packets mailed regularly to hundreds of alternative and niche publications. We’d blog and send e-mail newsletters, and we’d draw attention to our cartooning book collections at comic conventions with big vinyl banners and brightly colored tablecloths. We’d sell T-shirts and stickers to our legions of super-dedicated online fans.
Our aspirations were modest. Maybe one day we’d quit our day jobs and squeeze by on a low five-figure income. Or if we were already squeezing by fulltime, maybe one day we’d be able to afford — gasp! — basic health insurance.
That's one of the least sad bits. Download the whitepaper PDF to read the whole thing.
Yeah, um... Happy New Year. And stuff.
P.S. If you want a more thorough sum-up of my 2011, it's over here at my sewing blog Polka Dot Overload, but I do warn you that it is mostly about babies and sewing and not political cartoons or politics (except for a mention of me getting laid off from the cartoon syndicate United Media when they outsourced all our jobs to Universal Press Syndicate).
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
"Should I work for free?"
Friday, September 09, 2011
Brooklyn Book Festival: Sunday Sept. 18 (Free!)
As I said previously, I can't make it to SPX in Bethesda, but I will be hanging out at Masheka and Keith Knight's table at the FREE Brooklyn Book Festival next Sunday Sept. 18:
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 2011
10 AM - 6 PM
BROOKLYN BOROUGH HALL
209 JORALEMON STREET
BROOKLYN, NEW YORK 11201
MORE THAN 260 AUTHORS AT THE BROOKLYN BOOK FESTIVAL
Larry McMurtry, Terry McMillan, Jennifer Egan, Eoin Colfer, John Sayles,
Joyce Carol Oates, Craig Thompson, Walter Mosley, Adrian Tomine,
Amitav Ghosh, Jean Valentine, Jules Feiffer, Senator Joseph Lieberman,
Rachel Hawkins, Sam McBratney, Jacqueline Woodson,
Jhumpa Lahiri, Mo Willems, Pete Hamill and many more
The Brooklyn Book Festival is the largest free literary event in New York City presenting an array of literary stars and emerging authors who represent the exciting world of literature today. One of America’s premier book festivals, this hip, smart, diverse gathering attracts thousands of book lovers of all ages.
Masheka at SPX this weekend in DC/MD + De Cunjah Man preview
First, have a sneak peek at the first panel of my adaptation of 'De Cunjah Man' in African-American Classics: Graphic Classics Vol. 22 on sale December 2011.
Unfortunately my better half, Mikhaela Reid, can't make it this year, so this will be my first convention without a buffer between my many neuroses and the public at large. Me nervous! Hope ya like sweaty handshakes and mumblecore!
Monday, July 11, 2011
Stuffed Doodles! + Pix from East Coast Black Age of Comics Convention...
Masheka and I recently (well, two months ago) made it out to our first post-baby cartooning convention, the East Coast Black Age of Comics Con in Philadelphia. I wasn't exhibiting my own cartoons, so I decided to sew up some little softies with Masheka's drawings on them since I had already designed the fabric for Z's Blue Doodle Hoodie.
They're really simple--just upholstery fabric, stuffing, etc. In progress:
They sold quite well, though some folks thought they were cat toys--maybe next time (for the Small Press Expo) we'll put catnip in them. Family shots:
P.S. Yeah, I know. No cartoons in a while. But I work full time, so I give all my attention to the baby girl (well, toddler now!) when I get home in the evenings. I'll get back to it when she gets a little bigger, never fear.
Sunday, February 20, 2011
Mikhaela & Masheka (plus Keith Knight & Jen Sorensen) at SPX 2011
Masheka and I will be tabling with our Cartoonists With Attitude pals Keith Knight (creator of "The K Chronicles" and "The Knight Life") and Jen Sorensen (of "Slowpoke" fame) at the always fabulous 2011 Small Press Expo. More details to come!
What: SPX 2011
Bethesda North Marriott Hotel & Conference Center
5701 Marinelli Road
Bethesda, MD 20852
Subway: White Flint Station
When: Open to the public Saturday and Sunday, September 10 and 11, 2011.
Saturday: 11:00 am – 7:00 pm
Sunday: noon – 6:00 pm
Bonus photo: Here we are with CWAer Matt Bors at SPX in 2006:
Monday, February 14, 2011
Cartoons: Civilian Casualties in Afghanistan
Monday, February 07, 2011
What Masheka Did
He was also recently(ish) featured in the gorgeous art book anthology Black Comix: African American Independent Comics, Art and Culture. That's his art in the bottom left corner:
See the Black Comix blog for more info.
And he has another project coming up, which I'll post about when I have more details.
Monday, January 10, 2011
Cartoon: Letter of the Law
Since I'm not drawing weekly cartoons anymore, I thought I'd occasionally post some Boiling Point Classics. Kicking it off with a 2003 cartoon above on Don't Ask, Don't Tell that is, happily, no longer relevant. The men's names have no significance, but Willow was my beloved (now deceased) toothless cat. (For more current cartoons on the topic, see the work of my pal Matt Bors).
As for new material, I'll have links to the Spanish-language cartoons on LGBT issues and immigrant rights I did for Lambda Legal's "Fair Courts Matter!" campaign as soon as they're available. (You can download the original English-language guide here, but the Spanish version has additional all-new cartoons).
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Back in the political cartooning game! (sort of)
And I still haven't been able to fix my old blog feed. Some day I'll have time to do that...
P.S. Here's a random bonus photo of Cartoonist Baby, aka Baby Z... in a hoodie I sewed for her adorned with Masheka's doodles:
Note her natural faux-hawk (or fro-hawk, really)--she's totally punk rock.
Monday, June 28, 2010
Cartoonist Baby (aka Baby Z) is here!
Cartoonist Baby sleeps through her family portrait
As you may have guessed from my long past due date, Cartoonist Baby is finally here... and she is AMAZING! Masheka and I are so in love with our little girl, and just in awe of her. We've been home with Baby Z (her first initial) for a few days now, and in between nursing sessions, naps and diapering we pretty much just hold her and talk to her and stare at her in happy shock. I mean, really--look at this face!
Now, when she finally decided to arrive, she certainly took her sweet baby time. I was in labor for FIVE DAYS before she deigned to make her appearance--I kid you not. I remember being scared by one of the videos I saw in my childbirth class about a woman who was in labor 48 hours, but our instructor assured us that was really, really rare. Ha! By hour 60 I was wishing to have that woman's labor. Though the sleep deprivation was certainly good preparation...
Here we are in the hospital recovery room the day after she was born:
By the way, Masheka is the sweetest and most devoted dad ever, in my totally unbiased opinion. He's pretty much doing everything except for feeding her, which is of course my full-time job these days!
Staring at her Daddy:
Masheka and I dressing her for her trip home:
Most of the clothes I've sewn or knit for her are still way too big, but here she is in her pink hand-dyed Fool-Proof Baby Hat:
And here's a middle-of-the-night diaper change photo of her in her Green Goblin diaper soaker, which is still a bit on the big side:
And here she is checking out the Brooklyn view in one of the cloth diapers her Grandmommy Beryl made for her:
Here's the full Flickr gallery.
And with that, I'm off to cuddle Baby Z and stare at her some more.
Thursday, June 10, 2010
Broken RSS feed for Boiling Point Blog?
Anyway, I'm still here, still angry as ever about politics, and still VERY pregnant (39 weeks pregnant). But Blogger made me move this blog from mikhaela.net FTP publishing over to blogspot, and I worry that the RSS feed broke. Please comment if you're still able to get this--I'd like to revive this blog (relatively) soon!
Thursday, April 15, 2010
Not a bad way to go out!
Anyway, one of my few clients remaining at the end was Detroit's alternative weekly, the Metro Times. Well, I heard this morning that I came in second place for editorial cartooning in the Detroit Society of Professional Journalists' annual awards!
Last year I came in third and the judges said I was a "welcome breath of fresh air with great promise for the future." Sigh...
As you may remember, while drawing for the Metro Times, I did a lot of cartoons about the economy, unemployment, and the auto industry, and I got some nice emails from laid-off auto workers about cartoons like this one. Here are two of the more popular ones:
Not a bad way to go out, right?
By the way, thanks to all of you who left me such nice comments and letters about my decision. Please know that I AM still a cartoonist, and a very politically-minded one--I'll have new projects to share with you soon!
Of course, my biggest project right now is Cartoonist Baby--she's due June 18!
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
The End of "The Boiling Point"
I've been considering this seriously for over two years now, but I'm not ashamed to say that when I came to my final decision yesterday and notified my major remaining clients via email there was indeed some uncontrollable sobbing on my part.
I've been drawing political cartoons since high school. I started drawing them regularly again in college with a vengeance in 2001 (which is when I started this blog) and I've been drawing them professionally for newspapers and paying web clients since 2002. Over the years my cartoons have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, The Guardian, Boston Phoenix, Bay Windows, Metro Times, The Rochester Insider, Women's eNews, In These Times, Ms., The Funny Times, Campus Progress, Girlfriends, The Minnesota Women's Press, and other assorted fine publications. I've been interviewed by NPR and the BBC, appeared in art exhibitions such as "She Draws Comics: A Century of Women Cartoonists" and come in third place in the Detroit SPJ Journalism Awards for editorial cartooning. This past fall I was elected Vice-President of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists (a position I'll hold until this September).
So why am I quitting? It's not as if the world is running any lower on evil wars, economic injustice, environmental disaster, homophobia, transphobia, racism, misogyny... And while he's no Bush, I'm certainly no big fan of Obama.
- The political cartooning market sucks. This is really no secret. I started out in 2002 with one paying client, the Boston Phoenix. Over the years I picked up and dropped more, and at my peak I was appearing regularly in six or seven print papers. In the past two years, as my clients eliminated or cut their political cartoon content, that number dwindled down to two, and finally, just one (the Metro Times). I did have a few fabulous web clients, but my cartooning income had halved, then quartered itself.
- The relentless deadlines. There are no vacations or sick days in freelance weekly alternative political cartoons. When I had pneumonia in 2003... I had to draw or risk losing my papers. When I had severe carpal tunnel problems in 2008, my husband Masheka had to illustrate my cartoons for me. I had to draw a cartoon the morning for before my wedding and while on my honeymoon. Sometimes you need to take a break--but you just can't. (And yes, I know I could have drawn some extra cartoons and saved them up for a rainy day, but still!).
- I'm just TIRED. And it's not just because I'm hugely pregnant and exhausted all the time, though that certainly doesn't help. I've tried to develop a thick skin and ignore or laugh at the nasty hate mail, the "hope U burn in hel" and "you can't draw" and "you uggly dike bitch I hop the papers cancel you're stupid cartoons" letters and comments, but after a while, it gets a girl down. I wasn't getting paid enough for that kind of abuse.
- I need to make room for other things (and a tiny new person) in my life. I have a lot of other passions and projects I've been wanting to tackle over the years, but drawing political cartoons in addition to working full time and having some vague semblance of a social life has made it difficult to pursue them fully. With the peanuts I was earning for political cartooning, I was theoretically doing it for fun--but I wasn't really having fun anymore.
I'd like to do a graphic novel or a cartoon book on body image issues (along the lines of my "Your Yucky Body" cartoons) someday. I love writing science fiction. I LOVE to make things, and I've recently been having an amazing, hate-mail-free time blogging about sewing and style at Polka Dot Overload.
Not to mention that Masheka and I are expecting our daughter (our first child) on June 18. I'm going to be going back to work full-time after a 12-week maternity leave, and if I'm this exhausted and finding it this hard to draw cartoons and while pregnant, I'd be foolish to imagine it would be any easier while taking care of a newborn.
Despite all that, it was still a hard decision. I'll definitely miss:
- Having a regular public outlet to express my outrage. I'm still furious and I'm still angry and I still want to fight injustice and make change in this world. But I'll just have to do that in other ways and venues.
- The fans. You are awesome. Every time in the past I thought about quitting I'd get an amazing and inspiring letter or comment or meet someone at a cartooning convention who'd been reading my work since the beginning and I'd get new energy to keep drawing.
- Hanging with fellow political cartoonists. I've loved being a part of the AAEC and Cartoonists With Attitude, and I've made some of my best friends through these groups. Obviously I'm still a cartoonist and they're still my friends, but I will miss some of the camaraderie in griping about what it's like to be a regular political cartoonist.
But as I said above, I won't miss the hate mail, the comment trolls, or the never-ending deadlines.
So what's next for me? As mentioned, I have a new blog about sewing and style for those of you who care about such things, Polka Dot Overload. And Cartoonist Baby will be here in a matter of weeks. I'll be leaving this blog and my complete cartoon archives old (1998-2008) and more recent up indefinitely.
I may post occasional political thoughts or cartoons here again, and I'll let you know about those graphic novel or book projects, but it'll probably be rather silent here for a while. For now you can always read the work of my amazing friends in CWA, folks like Ted Rall, Brian McFadden, Matt Bors, Jen Sorensen, Stephanie McMillan, Keith Knight...
Signing off for now...
Your Angry Cartoonist
P.S. A head's up and apologies in advance to my Facebook friends who are readers or fans... I'm going to be changing most friends I don't know in real life to limited profile status (or possibly just deleting), as I would like to make my Facebook page more of a private space for real-life friends and family so I can safely share photos and thoughts about my daughter when she is born in June. I hope you understand.