Archive for November, 2012

rising damp, in its entirety

November 19th, 2012










London part II

November 17th, 2012

This week has been a crazy blur. Here’s some of the crowd at King’s College for my event with Adam Phillips on Thursday.

crowd at kings

And here I am talking with Adam. I really enjoyed this talk with my psychoanalytic idol.

me and ap

It was different from most of the public events I’ve done recently–and I’ve done a lot–because I feel like we got down into the substance of the book in a real way. There will be a podcast at some point I think, if you’re interested. He was really great, and kind, and had all sorts of brilliant insights into my story. I especially liked that he wanted to talk about the epigraph, from To The Lighthouse, “Nothing is just one thing.” He gave an eloquent explanation of where it comes in the book and what it means. There are two lighthouses for James Ramsay: the fantasy one from his childhood, and the somewhat disappointing, but real one from the present. Likewise in my book, there are two mothers: the wanted, desired mother. And the real mother. And in the end, Phillips said, I accept that what I have is my real mother. That felt like a remarkable conversation to have, in this strange somewhat stilted public context of a large crowd listening to two people talk.

For anyone who wanted to know how our Garden Flat Mishap turned out, my publisher very graciously moved Hol and me to a nice hotel. Where I immediately began to draw a comic strip about the whole thing. They had this great desk with a glass top, and a drawer underneath. So I put my iPhone in there with the flashlight on and it served as a very functional light table.

hotel cartooning 1


November 11th, 2012

comiket drawing with screen in background

Today I visited Comiket, the alternative comics event associated with Comica, the London International Comics Festival. It was a lovely, small exhibition of independent, alternative cartoonists. I got to take part in the “live drawing parade,” where cartoonists draw for a half an hour while a video camera projects what they’re doing onto a large screen.

I created a superfast sketch-o-vision comic for the audience. That is to say, I quickly inked the pretty tight pencil I had spent a lot of time on beforehand. At first I thought the “drawing parade” meant totally spontaneous drawing for the audience, which I’ve never done before, and felt a lot of trepidation about. Then I learned that it was okay to work from a pencil sketch.

I drew a nine-panel strip about the slight mishap that befell Hol and me upon our arrival here Friday morning.


After Comiket, Hol and I made our way to Bloomsbury. Hol asked this squirrel to lead us to the bust of Virginia Woolf in Tavistock Square.


Then we went to Gay’s The Word for a booksigning. There was a big crowd of lovely people. Afterward we went for drinks with some of them, including Lenna Cumberbatch, who used to work on my website for me,


…and Pam Isherwood who comments frequently here on the blog.


In fact, Pam chided me a bit about how I’ve completely stopped blogging. So I am making this post to prove her wrong.

sundry news

November 2nd, 2012

1. My family gets a nod in a Publisher’s Weekly article about The Most Dysfunctional Families in Literature. Also ranking: The Bennets, of Pride and Prejudice!

2. Here’s the kickstarter page for a cool movie about the current state of the LGBT community.

3. Here are some new books to check out. Urvashi Vaid’s Irresistible Revolution.

My childhood friend Ken Foster’s book about pit bulls.

And Dylan Edwards’ comic book cover_mockup1

4. Out Magazine has put me on their annual Out100 list. At the photo shoot they gave me an itty bitty boy’s suit which I could only fit into when they ripped open the waistband of the pants. Fortunately they used a close-up shot. For the set, they printed out all these comics from my website. A bunch of them were fanfic strips, though, like this one, that others submitted to this blog years ago.

Rich tribute

November 1st, 2012


The Adrienne Rich tribute last Sunday was really great. Here are some of the people–that’s Joanie Seager, of the New Words Remnants Collective (members of the erstwhile Cambridge women’s bookstore, New Words, who came together to make this event happen), hugging Evelynn Hammonds, who was one of the readers (and also Dean of Harvard College, and also someone who worked at New Words). That’s poet Robin Becker in the red-orange pants. And me, talking to Adrienne Rich’s son, Pablo Conrad. He also spoke briefly, which was really moving. Gilda Bruckner is next to him, and Laura Zimmerman, both of New Words. Poet Kate Rushin and activist/academic Cynthia Enloe are out of the frame on the left–they were two of the other readers.