A birthday present for a friend

I've been busy working on comic freelancing and private commissions over the last couple of weeks, so there hasn't been a ton of time for other stuff tho I am chipping away at inktober. Today I took some time out to draw a gift art for my comics buddy Capp, artist of the really spectacular heist comic Shaderunners. You should definitely give it a read if you haven't already, it's pretty dang good!

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Shiptember 23-25

We're nearing the end of Shiptember here, and I'm kind of anxious to wrap it up. October means Inktober but chances are I'll save the results of that until the end of the month when I can properly scan my work. If you want to keep up with that in real time, follow my Instagram

Luzzu and Gatta from Final Fantasy X. 

Luzzu and Gatta from Final Fantasy X. 

Akko and Diana from Little Witch Academia

Akko and Diana from Little Witch Academia

Katara and Zuko from Avatar the Last Airbender. Steam babies!

Katara and Zuko from Avatar the Last Airbender. Steam babies!

Shiptember 20-22

Hey guess what, I'm officially caught up! This will of course be ruined by the weekend, but at least I'll be one or two behind, not... ten.

Anyway, here's some Final Fantasy ships and also the greatest love story in sitcom history. 

Rachel and Joey from Friends. They were meant to be.

Rachel and Joey from Friends. They were meant to be.

Rinoa and Squall from FFVIII, my fav teenage ship who probably won't last into their 20s but hey, that's what teens are for.

Rinoa and Squall from FFVIII, my fav teenage ship who probably won't last into their 20s but hey, that's what teens are for.

Aerith and Tifa from FFVII, settling the Cloud debate once and for all. 

Aerith and Tifa from FFVII, settling the Cloud debate once and for all. 

Shiptember 18-19

Doing these has made me realise that 1) wow I haven't done just drawings in a long time huh, wow comics eat your life and 2) I want to keep this up so bad. One little drawing a day or maybe pick away at a more elaborate illustration through the week? I miss drawing things that aren't comics. 

Anyway, here's some ships.

Chiaki and Mine from Nodame Cantabile, the live action drama because I apparently like the drama more than the anime for a lot of these. My love for conductor/concert master will never die.

Chiaki and Mine from Nodame Cantabile, the live action drama because I apparently like the drama more than the anime for a lot of these. My love for conductor/concert master will never die.

Metal Gear Solid 3, ADAM/Snake/EVA because why choose when you can go both ways? 

Metal Gear Solid 3, ADAM/Snake/EVA because why choose when you can go both ways? 

Shiptember #4-5

Slowly slogging away! I'm digging deep into my old anime roots, which means blowing the dust off some ancient Sailor Moon shipping and the less ancient Honey&Clover drama. This challenge is really good for reminding me of things I used to be very into but kind of forgot about. Oh well!

Usagi and Minako and their kitties.

Usagi and Minako and their kitties.

Morita and Hagumi, my forever couple

Morita and Hagumi, my forever couple

Shiptember #1

There's a meme going around on twitter called Shiptember, where for every day in the month of September you draw a ship. For those of you who aren't savvy with the internet lingo, a ship is a romantic or sexual pairing of fictional characters. Y'know, all your Spock-Kirk ships, or the complicated mathematics of the Gundam Wing fandom. 

I need to carve out some time for art that isn't comics and this seems like the perfect thing for it. I'll be posting the results here - here's day one and two. 

My very first ship, Mr Toad and Mr Frog. I clocked them as a gay couple when I was five, but didn't know it was entirely intentional until just today. Thanks, Arnold Lobel, for shaping my childhood so fundamentally. 

My very first ship, Mr Toad and Mr Frog. I clocked them as a gay couple when I was five, but didn't know it was entirely intentional until just today. Thanks, Arnold Lobel, for shaping my childhood so fundamentally. 

I had a big crush on Gene Wilder when I was a kid and can you blame me? Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein and my all-time favourite - Sherlock Holmes' Smarter Brother. The scene in the buzzsaw room, followed by the butt-naked ballroom dancing? Be still, my queer heart! 

I had a big crush on Gene Wilder when I was a kid and can you blame me? Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein and my all-time favourite - Sherlock Holmes' Smarter Brother. The scene in the buzzsaw room, followed by the butt-naked ballroom dancing? Be still, my queer heart! 

Getting back to work.

This was, perhaps, the most eventful summer of my entire life, for good and bad but mostly good. It's September now however, the month of the year where I'm at peak productivity and boy do I have some stuff to catch up with! 

Here's a couple of previews for a pitch I'm working on - some of you may recognise it from an earlier post. Fingers crossed that I actually get to do it this time around! 

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Loss and turning it around

Last night, I had to make the decision to put down my beloved cat, Molly. She was the best, and for long stretches of time over the past nine years we were each others only company. When she came to me she was paranoid and wouldn't let anyone touch her - a couple of months later, I could barely get her to leave my lap. Cleaver, gorgeous and deeply loved. The apartment is really quiet today. 

I made a drawing of her to process, and put it up for sale on Society6. Proceeds go to her vet bills and then to Kattstallet, a charity organisation in Stockholm that's dedicated to finding homes for homeless cats. 

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Full of expression

I've talked about drawing headshots before but since these are usually paid for commissions, I usually can't post the results which means that I have literally hundreds of drawings that just sit there. Luckily I made a whole bunch for myself a couple of months ago!

Drawing a wide range of expressions like this while still keeping the character recognisable is great practice, especially if you do it for many characters who show emotion in different ways. Aidan is pretty expressive, happy-go-lucky and likes to do work with his hands, so of course I had to incorporate some gestures into it! Hopefully you'll see more of this dude later on - I'm trying to rework him to fit a comic idea I've been toying around with lately. 

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Improving through finishing

Back in November 2015 I applied to be part of Filthy Figments (who, as it happens, have submissions open right now) and was lucky enough to do a comic for them. A couple of weeks ago I finished up the fifth and final chapter of Belle, a fictional story about a real Swedish monarch who was raised as a king even though she was assigned female at birth. Kristina has become a  queer icon here in Sweden, especially in the last few years and writing her has made her into more of a hero for me. Getting into her head has taught me a lot about my own relationship with gender, and even more so about my place as a queer cartoonist. 

This was the first contracted job I ever had that spanned more than 10+ pages - Belle is clocking in at 115 pages counting the covers, which is longer than any comic project I've ever worked on. Making it has taught me perseverance, efficiency in both writing and drawing and most of all to push myself even if I'm pressed for time. I think the chapter covers speak a lot for how much I learned and grew as an artist over this year and a half, and I'm excited to see what my next FF comic is going to teach me. It's going to be something different, that much I know.

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Symbolism and Herring

The last couple of months I've been itching to get started on actually drawing Herring Taco, but I also really want to finish it this time so I've kept it to sketchbook doodles (that I should scan some day and post here) and daydreaming about all the art I can make once I've gotten further on the story. Maybe that's silly, but it also drives me forward more than just going straight to art ever did. I have plans to start a concept bible soon as I have the time for it, which will hopefully be soon. 

In the meantime, here's a couple of quick tarot designs I did a couple of months back as a warm-up. Maybe I'll revisit these some time - tarot would be very on-brand for Herring Taco. 

Sofia, the Hanged Man. 

Sofia, the Hanged Man. 

Jamie, Death.

Jamie, Death.

Charlie, the Emperor

Charlie, the Emperor