“Funraiser” Contradance Posters

On numerous occasions, organizers from DownEast Friends of the Folk Arts have invited me to design poster for their annual “FUNraiser” dances.

I enjoy the unique ways that poster design invites playing with image, text, and negative space to lead the eye for transmitting information. And of course, who doesn’t like dancing animals?

DEFFA Funraiser 2018 Poster
deffa-funraiser-2016-poster-2016-11-web

Haiku for Gale

Ink wash, 2016

This short but sweet collection of haiku comics were originally sent one-by-one to a mentor who advocated for haiku as a means of everyday creative and spiritual exploration. They’re now collected into a single mini-comic with a new introduction.

Purchase the comic online.


Preview

To read the whole collection, purchase the comic online.

Lucky Fox

Offset print, August 2014

I was fortunate enough in 2014 to get acquainted with Portland, Maine-based print studio Pickwick Independent Press, and the result was some gorgeous prints.

Read more about the process below or purchase a print online.

 


0. The Student and the Teacher

I had no experience with printmaking whatsoever before my visits to Pickwick. Of course, having been working in indie, DIY comics and illustration for a while by that time, I was cautiously curious about the vast unknown that was printmaking. After talking with founder and then-director Lisa Pixley, visiting the studio, and then showing her some of my work, she convinced me (with very little arm-twisting) to schedule some guided use of their off-set printing press.

Like so many new projects and experiments I took on during that time, I didn’t know just what I was getting into when I started. But that’s often what always makes it so fun.


 

1. The Design

This part was generally familiar territory: pencil, ink, scan, clean. I had never done a poster-style design before, but my design experience in prepping my first three comics earlier this year lent itself to the task.


 

2. The Plate

Next came the entrance into truly foreign land. After completing the drawing digitally, I sent it off to Boxcar Press in New York, recommended by Lisa, for making the “plate.” I naturally had no idea what she was talking about, but I followed her basic guidance for the type of plate and size limit for uploading my PDF to Boxcar.

After the wizards at Boxcar worked their alchemical photo-something-or-other-processes on my digitized drawing, I got this in the mail.

A big plastic-y thing. Great! This was in fact right-side-up, which I figured since the ink would go onto plate this and then transfer to paper to make the print.


 

3. The Production

With the plate made, it was time to head back to Pickwick and meet with Lisa. Thanks to a little of her printmaking expertise and assistance (read: a lot), I ran my first series of Lucky Fox prints.

The printing itself took maybe 20 minutes, but the time in the studio was a good four hours of getting to know the machine, readying the plate, testing and adjusting its placement for centered printing, trying different inks, and cleaning all those rolls (twice).

We used a proofing press, a machine originally meant for quick letterpress editing that has since found a wealth of function for visual and print artists. Lots of intimidating parts and pieces for someone used to handling a paintbrush and pen. But it was oh-so-satisfying to clunk-a-chunk those mechanical parts when rolling out each print.

clunk a CHUNK

You’ll notice that things got a little fancy with a color-blending trick called a “rainbow roll” in printmaking circles. The white-to-blue really captured that frosty snowscape feel.


 

4. The Prints

While there was a lot of time spent prepping and experimenting, the process as a whole was quite satisfying.

And the results? I can’t complain.

What comes next? More printmaking, I hope. I’d love to print the cover for a future comic at Pickwick, or even an entire comic there. It’s safe to say that there are more projects on the way.

 

Like what you see? Buy the print online.

Crowd Walking Strategies

A friend of mine from my days in Arkansas needed some illustration work done. Then in New York, he was developing a multimedia project for DenseCity.

The illustrations really take on life in their intended video context: The Art of Walking.

And Sidewalks

Ink, digital; March 2014

Part of an ongoing collaboration with a friend, this one a response to a piano piece he wrote and performed.

 

Towards the Tail of the Spiral

Graphite, digital; March 2014

My first contribution to an ongoing collaboration with a friend of mine in Providence. He wrote a poem; then I (significantly) trimmed it down, adjusted it, and put it to comic. The title comes from the original poem (included below the comic with the author’s permission).


Fragile Courses

Towards the tail of the spiral
on the island planet Jerkota,
there are no stars at night.

The upper atmosphere is thick
with an egg-smelling fog.

Even in the bright day,
the haze obscures the precise
position of the sun overhead.

Before the GPS satellites,
navigation was a serious pain in the ass.

Seafaring relied on Wal Ort,
the art/science that forecasted
the slow movements of each sky whale.

The pinpricks of light from the whales high above,
glowing to attract their mates, was often deceptive.

Once, Frage, a famous sky whale,
discovered a lover had copulated with someone else.
Frage and part of the family strayed wildly into the unknown.

On the world below, the great war-fleet of a vast nation
was instantly lost. However, they did not give up hope.

You know it’s like. When your northern star
is whisked out of place like a firefly on a breeze,
you cling to life like an ocean clings to her world.

They drifted for seven months
before they found an uninhabited land, and began a new life.

The new nation born from this fiasco
discovered imaginary numbers
as well as the sandwich.

Original poem ©2014 Jackson Loper
Adapted poem/comic ©2014 Tyson Pease

What’s Up with Rabbit’s Computer?

Pen and ink, digital; January 2014

My work with fairy tales and folktales led me to make this comic adaptation of the Masai story, “Who’s in Rabbit’s House?” (for those who keep up with children’s illustrated books, you’ll notice references to the previous adaptation by Verna Aardema). The comic follows a performative format like you’d see in Carousel Comics; in other words, each panel has its own page to better control the story’s rhythm.

Purchase the comic online. Sold out!


Preview

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Thanks for reading! To see the complete story and support the work, purchase the comic online. Check back soon!

Watterson, Crumb, & Conversations of 1

Pen and ink, digital; 2013

This early essay comic captures some of my reflections on comics artists and audiences, as well as an unexpected connection between two cartoonists whom I had never held in the same light. I chose a straightforward layout—partly to account for the essay format’s consistent narration, but also as an additional reference to the work of R. Crumb.

Purchase the comic online.


Preview

Watterson Crumb and Conversations of 1_Print_with Bleeds1

Watterson Crumb and Conversations of 1_Print_with Bleeds2

Watterson Crumb and Conversations of 1_Print_with Bleeds3

Watterson Crumb and Conversations of 1_Print_with Bleeds4


To see the entire essay and support the work, purchase the comic online.