Good news, Everyone!

That's right, you guys--I'M A MASTER OF FINE ART!!! You must all call me "Master" now; I won't respond to anything less. Except that I totally will, because the enormity of this situation still hasn't sunk in, haha.

Last Thursday, I defended my thesis (Rockall) before a tribunal of published cartoonists in order to graduate. All three, Steve Bissette, Bob Sikoryak, and Jon Chad, have been my professors at some point over the past two years at CCS--and I'm proud to say that I think we're all friends, too--but I was still out-of-my-mind-nervous to get that last critique. I worked my butt off this year, and I'm super proud of the product I turned in, but when you spend so much time with any given thing (it took me THREE DAYS just to hand-bind the books!) all you can see are the imperfections and they are SO HORRIBLY GLARING.

Like the fact that my bangs were still uneven after all the hairspray I poured on :\
It was a great experience, though! There were a few little constructive criticisms to tweak for the future, but overall it was overwhelmingly positive and reassuring. And I passed! THANKS, GENTLEMEN! :D It has truly been a pleasure.

All of us second years, in addition to meeting with a Thesis Committee, also had to hang original art for the gallery show with our own hands. It was a fun callback to my Museum Studies years; the last time I hung actual art for a show (instead of just didactics) was waaaaay back in 2009. It was nice to know that I've still got it!

We all took turns holding the glass for each other while someone hammered in their nails. Go Team!
Later, Jon went through and hung a copy of everyone's thesis project next to its corresponding artwork, so visitors could read and compare the finished product.
I love that fat little seal so damned much.
Then my parents came into town, and we played all of the pinball and ate all of the food! It was great, I love hanging out with them. It was also incredibly interesting to meet everyone ELSE's parents, too, and try to guess who belongs to whom, haha! Everyone was so nice. AND THEN WE GRADUATED! My dad got distracted by the ceremony, so this is the only picture I've got of what is possibly the most important moment of my adult life:
Not pictured: when I curtsied right into the goddam podium and nearly took the microphone out.


But it's ok, because I was totally the prettiest girl there!
Right? Right.

I am seriously in love with this dress, however.

Then there was more pinball, and more food, and all of the rum and beer. And I think that pretty much brings us up to date?

IN OTHER NEWS, Rockall got a super-nice review from Johanna Draper Carlson, over at Comics Worth Reading! She stopped by the table I shared with Billage, Donna Almendrala, and Melanie Gillman at MoCCA (no doubt lured by our mesmerizing orange tablecloth), and we all had a really good chat.

Reviews?! Networking?! It's like I'm a real cartoonist or something, haha!


MoCCA and Thesiseseeesseeeiisez?!

Hey, guys! I realized it's time for a new bog post, and not just because most of you new visitors from MoCCA will be routed here from my business cards because I was silly and used my blog's url and not my new site's. WHOOPS. With the Thesis deadline crunch I didn't have time to make new cards in addition to eight hand-bound books, and screenprinted covers for Rockall Part I reprints, AND facetrim a pile of Part Is and Part IIs for MoCCA. I'm still baffled at how much I got done just last week! At least ROCKALL (the webcomic) has been updating regularly! Tuesdays and Thursdays!

So, Thesis! It's all put together and handed in, and now I have no idea what to do with myself since I have free time again. I slept a lot today; it was awesome.

About eight days ago, I was finishing up the digital files of my cleaned up artwork and plugging them into the InDesign file. Exactly a week ago, this is what my project looked like:

You can't tell, but that stack of paper on the right is, like, two inches tall. Over 1,000 pages, Baby!
Then I separated out all of the signatures, cut the endpapers down to size, poked holes in all of them, and sewed them together with my Hulk Hands. All eight books took me an entire day, because I kept snapping the thread on accident when trying to pull it tight. They don't call me Amelia "Rips Doors Off Hinges" Onorato for nothing, folks. That has actually happened. Twice.

But early last Wednesday morning, I was looking at these beautiful babies! The spines are cardstock, doubled on itself and glued directly to the book-binding cloth, which in turn is glued directly into the sewn-together signatures.

So much glue, you guys.
Then I took a nap.

THEN, I cut down 12 pieces of faux-microsuede and got nine viable screenprints of the cover design out of them! I didn't take a picture of either that step or the ensuing steps of gluing together the bookboards and guts, because I was operating on autopilot at that point, but of the books themselves I've got pictures a-plenty!

It looks so much better than the dummy, haha--and that was a version that won me a cut of the April Fog Memorial Scholarship!

Plus there's a sweet little chubby-chubs hiding out on the back! EEE!

SPINES! Dummy copy is on top.
Then I sewed them all into their little knit pouches while watching Hellraiser: Hellseeker (staring the Allstate Mayhem Guy and Liz Lemon's ex?! YES, PLEASE), and lined them all up for one last group photo. Although we had to make eight copies, we only had to hand in six to the Thesis Committee; we can keep one for ourselves and send the other to our Thesis Adviser. And, since all the patterns are unique, and I'd been working on them for so long, they all felt like their own little personalities.

What should have been a moment of triumph turned into a version of Sophie's Choice, albeit with somewhat fewer Nazis.

Thursday night and early Friday morning was spent facetrimming Parts I and II for sale at MoCCA--

--Thesis projects were handed in--

Here seen with the lovely Donna Almendrala!
--and Donna, Melanie Gillman, Billage, his wife Sarah, and myself drove down to New York, where we met up with my friends Amy and Chris (citation_needed, tl-dr), crashed in my aunt's apartment, and went to MoCCA!

Our table was the best! And the only one with an orange tablecloth. That was really a sheet. Which Donna and I found for $1.26.
I made back my table cost and made some pretty sweet trades, and I got to hang out with a bunch of friends I haven't seen in a while! HUGE SUCCESS!

I also got to try Bubble Tea for the first time!

The tea itself was good; still not a fan of tapioca.
I also got to see Cabin in the Woods on Saturday night, which may be the best $13 I've spent in a long time. Don't listen to the critics--the ending is PERFECT.