Submit! SUBMIT!

The comic that I've been working on with Martin Hayes, Matt Soffe and Bram Meehan has been officially sent off! We've put together a great looking pitch and sent it to some very big publishers (not to name names, but the some of the publishers rhyme with Smark Shorse and Bimage and Flirtigo and so forth). 

Now we wait. 

And since it's the 4th of July, I just want to say to the editors: It's okay if you drop your barbecue or spill your beer on our pitch.  We get it. We won't take it personally. 

 

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I'm in a holding pattern on a couple of projects at the moment. We sent our pitch off to Image Comics this week and are waiting to hear back. The process of submitting a pitch, waiting for a response with the possibility of rejection only to pitch to another company and start waiting all over again is an interesting exercise in patience. Let's see how long I can hold out before the jitters take hold. 

I'm waiting for contracts to be completed on yet another project, and for some final approvals for sketches on still a third project. All the while I have three or four (seriously) small comics on the back burner. 

I'm trying to avoid the pitfall of procrastinating and wasting time on Facebook or whatever by moving some of the smaller-scope projects to the front. Here's to focus and determination! 

Tragedy Overload

I struggle with how to best express my thoughts and feelings when yet another stupid, senseless tragedy happens in the world. Part of me feels that I should use the platform of comics and art to speak out against all of it, but I find myself feeling like Just Another Guy with an Opinion who happens to express it in drawings. 

People have to speak their conscience and maybe artists do even more so. I've never been an activist (tried it a few times - it never sat well with me). I don't really like to editorialize in my work, especially in Cletus. I've found that the strip is funniest when Cletus is the butt of the joke, but when I use him to stand in for my own stances on political issues, something feels incongruent. 

In some sense it's a writing problem, meaning that I'm still discovering a coherent world/world view for Cletus, and instead of starting out with the entire world mapped out I'm letting it grow organically. I've never wanted Cletus to be an ISSUE comic. Like, you need to know 1980's politics and social culture to really get some of the old Bloom County comics. It was hilarious at the time, but jokes about Lionel Richie just aren't as funny anymore. I would prefer to keep Cletus much more in the realm of The Far Side - human frailty and foibles don't change that much over the years. 

Still, crimes like the one perpetrated in Orlando hit me hard. I'm STILL reeling over Sandy Hook and cannot believe that we haven't done anything to change gun culture and safety laws after that one. But it just doesn't stop. Our leaders have failed to protect us. Our neighbors might have the capacity to commit mass murder. It's left me speechless. 

Movin' on up!

I have several projects that I've been laboring on in the dark, murky shadows of my studio, all hunched over like Golem fawning over the ring or whatever. I should probably take a break and clean my studio. These discarded fish heads are beginning to pile up.

Anyway, these projects are finally moving onto the next stages of their lives, and I'm excited to see what becomes of them. I've been working on a pitch to major comic publishers (so secretive! much mystery!), and my fingers are crossed so tightly that writing this is tremendously difficult. I've also been talking with several writers (one of whom is the incredible F.P. Calabretta. Aw yus!) about working on some other comic projects. 

If you're in Albuquerque, you may have noticed by cover to The Weekly Alibi earlier this month, featuring the hellish nipples and smug grin of The Hostile Combover. That cover seemed to get a lot of attention on the Alibi's various social media pages, about which I'm proud. And so, I'm selling prints/posters/ stickers/ etc. of the image on my Redbubble site. We've got just under half a year for you to attend a protest/ counter-rally, so buy one of the posters and wave it around in public! 

Finally I'm doing some paintings that will be used in a play (that I got cast in! Hurray!) at the National Hispanic Cultural Center this October. More to come on that  soon. 

Peace! 

 

RedBubble

I've just started a page at RedBubble. I'm going to continue making high-quality, archival prints locally with the good people at 10,000 Cranes  , the world needs stickers and coffee mugs and stuff too. So if you want anything on a sticker or phone case, let me know and I can whip one up for you over there. 

Cheers! 

Prints for sale!

I am selling prints of my artwork. All are giclee prints on acid-free paper with archival quality inks and would make fantastic Christmas/Hannukah/Festivus gifts!

Email me at michaelellislines@gmail.com for more info.

New projects in the works

Well hello there. 

I'm extremely excited to be working with Martin Hayes on his comic After the End. Things are very new at this point - we're getting the artwork together to pitch the story to some heavy hitters in comics publishing. Cross your fingers! 

I'm going to put up pages as I complete them, which should hopefully not take too long. And of course, Cletus will still make his miserable way up here. 

Website Renovations and Good Stuff

This blog has been neglected. Big time. BUT! We're working on getting things ironed out, such as making prints and original art available for sale through here. 

Of course, you can always email me at michaelellislines@gmail.com if you're interested in purchasing prints and art. 

DOH!

Aaaaaaaaaand then I broke my hand, which has put my work on hold for a few weeks. Pretty irritated about it. The nice thing is that I now have time to submit my portfolio around, which I haven't done in a while. 

I'm looking more into gaming and comics companies. Those are two of my lifelong loves, and it would be dream work for me. Here's hoping for big things in 2015!

Comic making

Things around here have been quiet lately, because I've been busy working on the indie comic project Alcheringa, written by Stephanie Corriz. All of the pencils I've done for the project are on the "comics" section of the art portfolio. I'm excited to see how the book turns out! 

Cletus, you sad, sad little man.

You may have read/seen that my comic Cletus the Defeatist ran its debut episode in The Weekly Alibi. Boy howdy am I excited about that! 

Turns out it will be a bi-weekly engagement. So if you're in the Albuquerque/Santa Fe area and can get your mitts on The Alibi, keep your eyes peeled for Cletus and his existential woes. Because darkness, my friends, is funny! 

Also, Cletus has his own Facebook page and Twitter account. It's Cletus posting there, not me, so if you get offended or tumble into a state of personal crisis due to reading it, take it up with Cletus.

But Michael! you say, I am not in the Albuquerque/Santa Fe area, and I can't read Cletus on that sweet-smelling cheap newsprint! Fear not, you can tune in to both the aforementioned Facebook and Twitter pages, or on this very site, and get a slice of cold, leftover Cletus pizza the week after it goes to press.  

The Weekly Alibi

My first cover illustration for The Weekly Alibi was published this week. I'm beyond thrilled because I've been reading the Alibi since I was a kid running around the streets of Clinton-Era Albuquerque.*

Getting on that cover has been a personal milestone of mine for a while now. What makes me feel even warmer and fuzzier inside is that they approached me for the cover art, I didn't solicit them. Very nice to be validated like that.

Now back to work!

 

*The first time I ever saw the paper was at a campaign stop for Bill Clinton on the University of New Mexico campus during the Bush I presidency. Al Gore was stumping for Clinton. My middle school decided we needed to see politics in action, so they took us down there, to one of the grittier parts of town.

There were hundreds upon hundreds of people there. It was raining and cold, and a punk rocker friend of mine convinced me to ditch the rally (quite the scandalous act for me at the time) and run across the street to The Frontier restaurant.

In the corner of the restaurant was a stand of free newspapers. It was called NuCity at the time, and it was full of the most awesome things my 8th grade eyes had ever lain upon. It was hip, grown-up (well, college-aged, but I was 13, remember), edgy, pithy... it had it all. I've been hooked ever since.

I am popular and pretty

So I asked people to like my Facebook page and folks came through in fine style: 42 new likes over two days. The traffic it generated on this site has been grand too - some of the highest numbers yet. These aren't HUGE numbers, but they are a nice starting point for me at this stage in my career.

While I realize that creating art is not about popularity (quite the opposite, actually), creating a career making art cannot ignore the importance of visibility and exposure. I truly appreciate the time you took to glance in my little corner of the interwebs. I hope you'll keep looking and tell others.

 

Plugging Away

Finished up the illustrations for the Spindles anthology and The Alarmist. I can't wait to show them off! You can pre-order a copy of Spindles, which you should do because you are a good person.

Here's their description of the book:

Spellbound & Spindles is a pair of anthologies of fairy tales retold to be more inclusive and diverse.  Featuring PoC, disabled and queer characters, as well as non-western European settings and fairy tales not found in the Grimm’s collection, the books show how resilient and universal “One Upon a Time…” is.

Sounds cool, right?

I did an interpretation of the Little Mermaid story. You can see a preview shot here.

News News News!

 

This summer I have illustrations coming out in Isotropic Fiction, Pocketful Magazine, Strange Horizons, and String from 7000BC Comics. Strange Horizons has been nominated for Hugo Awards two years in a row, which is mighty sexy and you know it.

The good people at the twisted magazine The Alarmist have asked me to do an illustration as well. I’m pretty excited about that one – Barnes and Noble carry the magazine, you know.

Three of my paintings are currently hanging at the Metallo Gallery in Madrid, NM.

But the biggest news of all is that I’m quitting my 7-4 day job to focus more on my art and to homeschool my 2 year old daughter. I couldn’t be more excited and frankly, terrified. I couldn’t do it without the support of my lovely partner Joy.

So I’m taking the plunge! Stay tuned!

News: Good Stuff

All kinds of awesome goings-on! First off, I've been working on illustrating and designing an album cover for the band ForgottenSky. Check out their music on Soundcloud. It's a pretty fun project that I'm having to stretch my skills on (there aren't any robots of monsters or sexy robot-monsters). Progress pictures to follow.

Second, two of my paintings will be in this year's In Microscale show at Metallo Gallery in Madrid, NM. This is the third time I've been in this show, and it's always a good time.

Third, did another design project, this time making a business card for Eric Thelander's art show at the Barelas Railyards in Albuquerque.

There are a few other cool things on the horizon, but I don't want to let the cat out of the bag just yet.

Week of work

I've had a great week of working on drawing, digital painting and business-building. I'm working on securing a couple of commissions about which I am SUPER excited (knocks on forehead)! Also I've been doing a lot of study.

I've been really enjoying the lessons and resources at New Masters Academy. I never went to art school, so I find the resources there to be an absolute boon.

New Masters is a classical art school curriculum with top notch instruction available all online. There are videos by master artists and teachers like  Steve Huston , Glen Vilppu and others. The videos range from the theoretical and philosophical to the highly practical. There are also tons of photo references and a lot more. It's relatively affordable too, which is a major plus.

Give them a look!

We have lift off!!!

Welcome! I'm extremely excited to finally have my website off the ground, up and running, and ready to go!

Seriously. Two exclamation points in one paragraph, three in the title... that's five exclamation points over a twenty-three word post. It's like a golden retriever puppy got a blog.

And boy howdy, that's how excited I am about this.

So stick around and check back often. I'll post updates on my Facebook page so be a dear and like that page as well!

Cheers!