January 2013 Newsletter

Hello and happy new year!

You want to hear something strange? Despite the fact that I’m an extremely logical person, there was a small part of me that wondered if we’d make it to 2013. Combine the “I won’t live ‘til forty” I’d emphatically stated at the tender-but-wizened age of fourteen (I’m still not forty, but I will be on August 2) with two separate boyfriends (circa 1999 and 2003) insisting that a giant asteroid would knock our planet off rotation by the end of the Mayan calendar. Both with eerily “trusted sources.” I know it makes about as much sense as invisible sky wizards punishing non-believers with eternal hell fire, but there it was, at the back of my head, one of many possibilities.

With that said, I’m unbelievably glad that I’m here to type this, and that you’re here to read this, and that life continues on in the ways that it will: exciting, heartbreaking, dull, beautiful in all its glory and disappointment.

Speaking of exciting, I’ve got some news to announce. After a long, slow year of toiling away and waiting for something—anything—to happen, in the span of a week I was given the following news:

  1. I’ve been approved to join the faculty of California College of the Arts’ MFA in Comics program.  This is magnificent, as I’ve recently discovered (to my inner-sullen-teenager’s surprise) that I absolutely love teaching! In fact, a workshop I recently taught at CIIS opened my eyes to this wondrous new outlet for helping people. I’m really looking forward to teaching this class in July.
  2. I’ve been given the title of Assistant Comics Editor at theRumpus.net. I’m not entirely sure what the scope of this position will be, but I do know that it will give me a chance to delve further into the amazing Rumpus community. This community has been nourishing my creativity for over a year now, and I’m so thrilled to give something back.
  3. My comics have been nominated for two SPACE prizes (for Kiss & Tell and Smoke In Your Eyes). You guys, my art has never been nominated for anything, ever. Ever ever ever!
  4. A contract was agreed upon, and I was promptly signed on for a six-month weekly new web comic series, Said While Talking, for Tapas Media. Exciting!!

Okay, to be honest, the onslaught of the above information was almost too much to bear all at once. I announced these things to my friends and family, then proceeded to have a merry little bout of anxiety. Why can’t these things happen over time, bits of happiness meted out so that I can reasonably celebrate and appreciate each success? But oh, that’s not how the invisible sky wizard intended it to be, so instead I paced and yelled and hurrahed and hyperventilated, cursing myself for not being very graceful at accepting good news.

Okay, I jest, but only a little. Truly I’m grateful that these amazing things are happening, that the past sixteen years of toiling in obscurity is beginning to pay off.

So without further ado, I am so pleased to announce the launch of my new web comic on Tapastic: Said While Talking

This is the first of at least twenty weekly web comics I’ve signed up for. The series is meant to be a peek into the silly, awkward, humiliating, sweet moments of my life in bite-sized pieces. A new episode posts every Thursday!

I realize that the doubling of my output is going to make it that much harder to keep my readers engaged. After all, we only have so much time to live our lives, let alone read comics on the internet, let alone spread the word and/or leave comments on the site to let the authors know that we’re reading what they’re putting out there. So I want to thank you for the time you give me, in reading this email as well as reading my comics, clicking on my links, and all that jazz. And as a thank you, I’ve decided to have a little contest to thank those of you that leave comments on the sites (leaving comments and sharing my links mean so much to me, you have no idea!) So here is the contest:


For the next month, I will collect the names of the people who leave new comments on the sites where my comics reside (SFBay.CA, theRumpus.net and Tapastic.com). On February 3 I will select one name at random, and announce the winner in my newsletter, on Facebook and Twitter.



Why, a custom-drawn black-and-white avatar like this one right up here (but bigger: 500 pixels x 500 pixels JPEG), to be used for whatever you’d like! It will be the winner’s responsibility to contact me with a photo reference for me to draw within thirty days of the announcement. I will deliver the winner’s prize within thirty days of receiving the photo reference. DISCLAIMERS: One entry per person, although multiple comments will certainly be appreciated in my heart of hearts. Not that I necessarily think this will happen, but rude comments will be disqualified at my discretion. IF YOU WANT TO MAKE SURE I HAVE YOUR NAME DOWN, please email me and let me know you’ve posted a comment and where I can find it. This applies for all the comics I’ve posted on those three sites, all the way up to February 2.


Frisco al Fresco: Avatar’s (a restaurant review)

Frisco al Fresco: Xmas Eve 

Frisco al Fresco: Jury Duty 

Rumpus: A Day at the Shooting Range

One of my favorite musicians, the brilliant Terese Taylor (her voice is like angels), asked me to make a music video. I’ve never made a music video, let alone animated anything for other people to see, so it was a daunting task. But how could I refuse? Especially when she let me choose my favorite song! So I present this to you with nervous-but-gleeful fingers, the result of many many many hours of hard, glorious work. Behold! (and bekind!)

Watch it here: Goats for Daddy (video) 

Not My Small Diary: The High School Issue (edited by Delaine Derry Green)
This issue contains autobiographical work from 55 cartoonists, for only seven bucks. What a deal!

Sister Spit Writing, Rants and Reminiscence from the Road (edited by Michelle Tea, City Lights) A bit of my tour diary was excerpted in this hilarious anthology.

Naughty Santa (illustration) ~ A little holiday image I made for theRumpus.net.

I’m so proud of this portrait I made (painting) ~ One of my favorite commissions I’ve done to date. (Did I mention I do portraits on commission?)

Thanks so much for reading, and I hope your new year is starting out right.

Warmly yours,


7 thoughts on “January 2013 Newsletter

  1. Yay!!!! Congratulations mari!!!! Such exciting news!!!! 2013 will be a whirlwind for you!!! To an amazing 2013. HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

  2. Oh wow these are super. I love that you toiled in obscurity for so long and are seeing some light of day now! Hooray for the shoulders to the grindstone!

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