Post-apocalyptic newsletter

Hello, how are you?

I’ve been pretty down since November 8, to be honest. It’s a sobering thought to realize that “my kind” might not be welcome here by almost half the voting country, when “here” happens to be the country I was born and raised (“sobering” being an ironic word, as I’ve been drinking a lot more since the election lolz).

I’m not going to talk about the orange elephant in the house, as it seems like it’s all I can talk (and think) about lately. Instead, I’m going to fill you in on all the months I’ve neglected my email list. (Sorry!)

MERCH (aka, buy my stuff!)

I recently was commissioned by the Nerds of Color/SIUniverse to create some Asian-American-themed art for Smithsonian APA’s CTRL+ALT exhibit in NYC. The exhibit was overwhelmingly inspiring! Over forty artists got together and turned an empty warehouse into art upon art upon art. I had my comics art displayed, plus I led a couple workshops. It was an amazing experience. Also: I freaking love New York!

With the permission of NOC/SIUniverse, I’ve put the images from my comic onto some pillows, prints, mugs, clocks and other stuff over at Redbubble. If there’s a mixed-race or Asian-American person on your holiday list, perhaps they’d like a pillow referring to their very private birthmark?🙂

I also put a bunch of my images on Print All Over Me awhile back, including dragon-print robes, punny t-shirts and bedbug-print leggings.

NEW BOOK

Did you know I came out with two books this year? The latest is called I Thought YOU Hated ME via Retrofit Comics, and it’s a memoir about a long-term friendship of mine. I wrote and drew this book not only because I wanted to tell the story of our complicated fromance, but because there’s a dearth of books out there that accurately depict friendship between women. Read about it here.

And in case you missed it, here’s my book that came out earlier this year with 2dcloud, Turning Japanese, about seeking out my cultural heritage by working at hostess bars.

ONLINE COMICS

Here are some comics you can read for free online that came out recently:

Back in the Olden Days (a short, optimistic comic about gender)

Things that go bump in the night (a short, bleak piece about sexual assault)

ARTICLES

I wrote an article for Catapult about my process when writing/drawing I Thought YOU Hated ME.

Also on Catapult, here’s a comics round table I participated in with cartoonists Liana Finck and Amy Kurtzweil, moderated by Nicole Chung.

INTERVIEWS and stuff

There are too many of these to mention lately, as I’ve been promoting the hell out of my books this year. So instead of giving you a bunch of links, I’ll direct you to this one link containing all the links.

DATABASES

Lastly but not leastly, please take a look at my pet projects, some lists meant to highlight the work of marginalized comics creators:

The Cartoonists of Color is almost at 1000 people!

The Queer Cartoonists database is almost at 500 people!

And here’s an interview I did for VICE about why I started them.

Thank you for reading this far, and I hope you are warm and safe this winterly season.

Love,
MariNaomi

PS. To cheer myself up, I bought a ukelele and have been learning chords. Here’s a video of me being a dork.

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Announcement

TurningJapanese

Turning Japanese is now available on my online store, but ONLY FOR ONE WEEK. On August 2 (my birthday!) I’m removing my store indefinitely so I can get some friggin’ work done. So if you want an inscribed copy of Turning Japanese, Kiss & Tell,Dragon’s Breath, or any of my zines, this may be your only chance.

Here is a link to my store: http://marinaomi.com/store.html
Yours truly,
MariNaomi

New book announcement: I Thought You Hated Me!

IthoughtYOUhatedME

I’m very excited to officially announce that I have a second book coming out this year (in addition to Turning Japanese via 2dcloud)!

I Thought You Hated Me is a comics memoir about a complicated female friendship. It is 64 pages long, black and white, and I hope you will love it. You can see a bunch of progress photos here.

I Thought You Hated Me, will debut at SPX 2016 in the fall, via Retrofit Comics​.

This book is available for pre-order in the 12-book bundle via Retrofit’s Kickstarter.

Yay comics!

2dcloud

I’d like to take a moment to talk about my publisher, 2dcloud.

You might know them as the force behind Dragon’s Breath and Other True Stories (in cooperation with Uncivilized Books) and my upcoming graphic memoir, Turning Japanese. I’d like to tell you a little more about them.

I was introduced to 2dcloud when they invited me to submit to Little Heart, an anthology created to support gay marriage. When they sent me my contributor copies, I was blown away by the talent they’d rounded up and the production values of the book. This was no ordinary micropublisher. And once I got to know them, I was impressed by the values and commitment of the people who run it: Raighne Hogan and Justin Skarhus.

For example, the press was started when Raighne and his (amazing artist) wife Maggie wanted to support their cartoonist friend whose work was too cutting edge for publishers at the time. They used their honeymoon money to publish a gorgeous book, and the sacrifices they’ve made since then have not slowed down at all.

More importantly, the work they put out is unlike any other. At one point a few years ago, I was feeling down about the state of comics, sad that much of the work I came across all looked and felt the same. And then Raighne put a copy of Strong Eye Contact by Christopher Adams in my hands, and everything changed. I’d never seen anything like it. It inspired me to be bolder with my work, to stretch my boundaries, and it gave me new faith in the industry and medium.

The work 2dcloud publishes is experimental without being pretentious, entertaining without compromising taste, and oh so exciting. 2dcloud are true pioneers. It is so important that they continue existing, putting voices in the mix that might not otherwise find homes.

So here’s why I’m writing this: Right now, 2dcloud is trying to grow. They’ve hooked up with Consortium to distribute their books, which is a huge coup for everyone involved (especially their authors!). But working with a distributor has its challenges, particularly in the money department. You can read about the nuts and bolts in their blog post, which you should check out if you’re curious at all about how publishing works: https://medium.com/@2dCloud/can-indie-publishers-afford-to-grow-4e509d702333#.y8wo6886a

To try to keep the costs under control, they have sacrificed so much more than their honeymoon money. I won’t go into the details as they’re a bit personal, but what’s important is that now is a crucial time in their existence. They’ve turned to Kickstarter as a preorder tool, to keep the business afloat while they wait for the distribution money to start coming in.

If you agree that 2dcloud is important, please consider contributing to their Winter Collection Kickstarter (and their Spring Kickstarter, which will include Turning Japanese!). In return you’ll get some beautiful, sexy, thoughtful, envelope-pushing comics by diverse cartoonists. Books that might not otherwise have existed if it weren’t for the sacrifice by these generous, forward-thinking people.

Here’s a link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2dcloud/winter-collection

Thank you.

MariNaomi

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