I'm back... kind of!
(more on what that font is about later) So even though it was for medical reasons, I still feel pretty bad about leaving this blog outdated for so long... my hand still isn't doing too great (I've been using the mouse with my other hand, though I can't write or draw with it) but I just wanted to give a Mikhaela-Land update in case I actually have any readers left after my long silence.
When will I start cartooning again?
That is the question. But I do have an answer: August. I wasn't actually able to draw my cartoon on June 28th but I will have two cartoons in the Crimson in August. I think the difficult thing will be picking ONLY two of the political issues that have made steam come out my ears this summer but I'm thinking it might be about education: vouchers for religious schools, or the increase in abstinence education funding...
Really cool cartoonists who make me happy
Last month my boyfriend Yves and I took the $20 bus to a wonderful event in New York City called the MoCCA (Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art) Festival. Almost everyone was there: comics artists from Howard Cruse to Megan Kelso and Jason Little (who told me I look like his protagonist, Bee, probably due to the flaming red hair I recently got out of a Feria bottle); and political cartoonists from Jules Feiffer to Peter Kuper and the one and only mad genius Ruben Bolling (sadly, Tom Tomorrow and Keith Knight were not in attendance). Being in a room with all those people made me so happy and nervous I had trouble speaking, and I probably wouldn't have gotten the nerve up to give any of my heroes my website address if my boyfriend Yves and my dear friend Geoff hadn't given me a serious pep talk.
But I'm glad I did, because a few days later I got really nice emails from Scott Bateman("Great cartoons!") and Ruben Bolling ("if you have the poor judgement to choose to do comics professionally, i'd think you'll do real well.")!!!! sorry for all the exclamation points, but you can't imagine how happy this made me. And then if that wasn't enough, I got an encouraging letter from this year's Pulitzer winner for editorial cartooning, Clay Bennett (who wasn't at the convention, I met him a few months ago when he came to Harvard, as you might recall)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ok, I know more than one exclamation point is usually excessive, but in this case it's appropriate.
Now one of my personal regrets is the fact that I got into RISD (i.e. art school) and went to Harvard instead--even though I knew I wanted to be a graphic designer and/or cartoonist and/or illustrator (Harvard has no graphic design or commercial arts program; RISD has one of the best graphic design and illustration programs in the whole damn country... and my parents WANTED me to choose RISD, so don't blame them, they couldn't care less about Harvard's reputation). So it was nice to learn that many of the other political cartoonists at the festival hadn't gone to art school either--like me, Ruben Bolling went to Harvard (Law School, in his case), and Jen Sorensen was--of all things--an anthropology major. Yes, you heard me, I'm graduating with a degree not in photography or Fine Arts but social anthropology... which, by the way, is about studying human life, society, culture and language, NOT monkeys (biological anthropology) or old clay pots (archaeology).
Speaking of RISD... ...that's actually where I am right now, at the Summer Institute for Graphic Design Studies, learning to design fonts with ultracool type designer/teacher Cyrus Highsmith. Remember when I said I'm going to totally redesign this website? Well, I'm taking the first step by designing my own font for the site, tentatively named Mikhaela Bold (although it's not really thick enough to be a bold). The image at the top of this post is a sneak preview. I really like the font I'm using now, Minya Nouvelle--a fabulous piece of freeware from Ray Larabie--but this site is about MY cartoons and I wanted a font in my own lettering and style.
So if it looks familiar that's because it's based on the handlettering I did in a cartoon a few months back. I still have to finish the upper case alphabet and do numbers and punctuation, but I'm well on my way. There will also be an italic version and an accompanying text version to make lettering my cartoons easier. If by chance you're interested in using the font, email me and maybe I'll put up the Truetype for Mac and Windows (for free!) on the site.
All right, this has been way too much typing, even on my new ergonomic keyboard. Until next time...