return to the light

December 22nd, 2011 | Uncategorized

I seem to have finished penciling the last chapter of my book at the moment of the solstice.

40 Responses to “return to the light”

  1. chriso says:

    Congratulations! And what a timely moment to finish your penciling.

  2. brooke says:

    congrats allison! i wish i could have said the same thing about my dissertation. happy solstice and returning of the light. yeah! it’s nice that here in utah that has also coincided with a coming of more snow. light + snow shoeing in logan canyon is a double blessing!

  3. Kate L says:

    A.B. … if talking to us about your creative process is useful to you, we’re all for it! 🙂

    Maggie, if you can see this, I hope you are well!

  4. LurkingLibrarian says:

    This long-time lurker says “Congratulations!”

  5. Diana says:

    Congratulations! Can’t wait to read it!
    It’s interesting to me that you find inking the easier part. To me, inking is hardest, because you can make all kinds of changes in pencil and layout, but ink is less forgiving….

  6. lh says:

    That is awesome. Congratulations.

  7. Alex K says:

    Off to Stonehenge myself tomorrow; the Henge toward noon, then on to Salisbury Town for two nights, with services Christmas Eve and Christmas Day at the cathedral. Thus is the balance between the old gods and the new one respected and preserved.

    You look young, fresh, happy, fit. Good for you. An excellent start for 2012!

  8. Eva says:

    Fetish, smetish. “You do the math!” You make 30lbs of illustrations look pretty light. Mazol Tov!

  9. Ginjoint says:

    Yeah, baby!! Congratulations, Alison! That Stonehenge thing was a good sign, I think.

    Alex K, that sounds like a magnificent holiday.

    Meggars, if you’re out there, I’m thinkin’ about you and hoping for your speedy recovery.

  10. After dabbling in writing for a year, I got curious about how other ‘creative people’ did what they did. Many SF writers only talk marginally about ‘their process’ with fans at Cons. It’s interesting to see the things you do to keep going and stay on track.

    I recall Theodore Sturgeon (creator of the AMOK TIME episode of Star Trek) talking about ‘some days, all you can do is copy the phone book’. This is on a manual without even White-Out.

    Mazel Tov on the book’s progress. I’m excited for you.

  11. DianaMlvz says:

    Awesome AB! Incidently, I was working act 4 of my AREC script. I have a character named Gregg who represents Winter season in play. I was hauling ass on his monologues all yesterday, unaware of winter solitice until next day. Yep.

  12. Ellen Orleans says:

    I cracked up when you said “Now, I’m going to weigh it.” It’s good to quantify, especially after years and years of work. A solstice salute to your steadfast discipline.

  13. Andrew B says:

    Alison, congratulations and I hope the inking is going well.

  14. Great use of the dark, and such fine harmonics with the solstice and Stonehenge. Happy inking.

  15. Kate L says:

    The scientist Richard Feynman once suggested that all electrons appear identical “because they’re all the same electron!”. Johnny Carson, who hosted NBC’s Tonight Show before Jay Leno, Conan O’Brien and Jay Leno, had a corallary that involves that fruit cake you just got for the Holidays. Carson once joked that there was only one fruit cake that people regifted every December, which is why we’ve all had the experience of receiving a fruit cake at this time of year. And… it’s TRUE!. The Associated Press has uncovered the fact that this fruit cake – THE fruit cake – was baked for the Kroger Company in the early 1940’s.

  16. Cathy says:

    Re: #16, if you want “the GOOD fruitcake,” made with tasty fruit, soaked in brandy, topped with pecans, get one made by the monks in Berryville, VA. (See ). Their monastery is in the Shenandoah Valley, in beautifully hilly country that I expect is somewhat similar to Beech Creek, PA, and the sweet brother who works in the gift shop usually has a kitten in his lap. Oh, and they sell a treat called “fraters” that consists of fruitcake slabs with a THICK coating of dark chocolate.

    Interesting, I’m now realizing that the vibe I’ve gotten visiting that monastery is not too different from what I felt while visiting Stonehenge 10 years ago, when I saw it early in the morning before other tourists arrived.

    Congratulations, Alison, and happy inking! I used to sweat over drawing one editorial cartoon a week for my college paper, so I’m in awe of the work you’ve done.

  17. Alex K says:

    Christmas Day, girding myself for the drive back to Southeast London with the Hammersmith flyover closed; and reading on-line, thanks to Wikipedia, the Gospel of the Pseudo-Matthew from which the legend comes that gave rise to the cherry-tree carol.

    Included in that Apocryphal text — note the capital letter — is the story of how Joseph ran to bring midwives back to the grotto in which Mary was in labour. The first midwife was amazed: No blood! This woman has given birth, and is yet a virgin!

    The second said, We’ll see about that, and performed a digital examination on Mary. Upon which, the midwife’s hand withered.

    Not to worry. It all ends well; the second midwife laments her doubt, puts her withered hand on the head of the Baby Jesus, and is healed, going forth thence to proclaim with her professional colleague the mercies of God and the holiness of the Infant.


    This story is enough to keep me visiting cathedrals with a pair of binoculars around my neck, hoping to identify the stained-glass window — please, please let there be one! — in which devotion has illustrated, for the edification of the faithful, the Good Midwife and the Doubting Midwife.

    Happy Christmas, all!

  18. Kate L says:

    We’ve located my relative (my father’s late cousin’s wife, although I always thought of her as an aunt) in an assisted living center. She and her husband were both in assisted living, but he died last summer. When I lost contact with them about a year ago, I thought that it was for the same reason that I’ve had little contact with my immediate family in this new century (I had last seen my sister over 9 years ago). But I was wrong about that.

  19. hairball_of_hope says:

    Bummer news… Lynn Samuels, for years the token progressive voice on right-wing talk radio WABC in NYC, died last night.

    I knew her from her days at WBAI, the local Pacifica public station. She was an original, one of a kind, with a deep irreverent streak for conventions and niceties. No one did on-air fundraising like Lynn. Her call-in shows were legendary, including the Xmas eve ones where callers sang on the air. She was funny and zany, a solid feminist with sharp wit and a New York accent that could curdle cheese.

    The article obliquely notes one of Lynn’s classic topics:

    Aside from politics, Samuels would devote long segments to cultural matters like books, music, a movie she saw or the merits and demerits of wearing foundation garments.

    Foundation garments… she discussed on air whether or not women should wear bras, and the ridiculous male-centric and sexist designs of bras that were intended to amplify bosoms at the expense of women’s comfort.

    They don’t make them like her anymore, and they definitely don’t let them on the air.

    (… goes back to lamenting the bland radio wasteland …)

  20. Therry and St. Jerome says:

    Hairball dear, merry Christmas to you. If it can be arranged, I am going to appear on the PBS newshour show thingie on January 5, 2012 as part of a panel of NH voters, vis a vis the GOP primary soon to take place in our state. I plan to bring up the Republican war on women and the disregard of science as influencing my vote. Should be interesting. We’ll see if they still use the hook in public TV programming.

  21. hairball_of_hope says:

    @Therry (#21)

    Christmas greetings to you et familia. Unlike Fox News, I don’t think PBS Newshour will yank you off the panel à la The Gong Show, but it is prerecorded, so your comments could easily be edited. Go git ’em girl! Make us proud.

    (… goes back to debating ordering in takeout vs. going out to dinner …)

  22. Kate L says:

    Sorry to hear of the death of Lynn Samuels. So many interesting people are departing this mortal coil that I’m beginning not to like this new century.

    Any progressive person willing to appear on Fox News has my admiration. I’m a recovering Fox News Channel Viewer. For several years, Fox News Channel came through loud and clear on my local cable provider, while MSNBC (on the very next channel) had what looked like a scrambled video signal, and the sound came along with a piercing electronic shriek. I thought it was a pro-Fox News conspiracy, until my 40-year-old cable cable had to be replaced, and now I can watch MSNBC to my heart’s content, clear as a bell, and do. Rachel Maddow is just so much nicer than Sean Hannity.

  23. Dr. Empirical says:

    In my opinion, any progressive who goes on the Fox “News” channel is just supporting the false assertion that Fox is a legitimate source of information. If everyone with a lick of common sense would just refuse to participate in Fox’s insanity, we’d be on the way to sidelineing those vile propagandists.

  24. francesca says:


  25. sparks says:

    Totally off-topic, am wondering if anyone can help me with a bit of DTWOF trivia: Over here one of us remembers a strip in which Mo puts eggs in the freezer because she is so flummoxed about something. We thought perhaps it was when one of the babies was born, but thumbing through “Essential DTWOF” yields nothing when babies are born.

    C’mon, someone probably remembers this, right? Help me not go insane.

  26. Andrew B says:

    Sparks, you’re right. It’s in the “novella” in the back of Spawn. Page 103. Mo is freaking out because Toni went into labor while standing in the checkout line at the coop, and then her water burst while Mo was putting away Toni’s groceries. She also puts some popsicles in an unrefrigerated cupboard. And drives off in Toni’s car, which she needed to get to the birthing center.

  27. hairball_of_hope says:

    Hmmm… the only babies I recall being born in DTWOF are Raffi (Toni and Clarice), JR (Stuart and Sparrow), and Isabel (Harriet). JR and Isabel are recent enough in my brain that I can say Mo didn’t put eggs in the freezer for them, so it must be Raffi. Alas, I’m at work and I’d have to go home to confirm this. Not sure what collection that event is in, but it’s probably early-mid 1990s (Spawn of DTWOF?). Note there’s quite a Freudian angle to putting eggs in the freezer when there’s a tank of liquid nitrogen in the house holding donated sperm.

    (… goes back to wondering why she remembers all this stuff, but can’t recall where she left the Con Ed bill …)

  28. hairball_of_hope says:

    Aha… GMTA. Andrew B nailed it. The reason you’re not finding it in Essential DTWOF is the birthing scene was a bonus section to Spawn, and I guess Essential lives up to its name, it doesn’t include extras.

    (… goes back to missing DTWOF, hoping that AB will one day end her sabbatical …)

  29. sparks says:

    I KNEW I could count on you all! Thank you, Andrew. And HOH, thanks for the ha-ha about the eggs in the freezer echo (though I wonder if the sperm would still be in the house…). I had a feeling it was Raffi, but the episodes in Essential were numbered without missing one, and I forgot about the extras at the end of some of the books. But where oh where is my copy of Spawn? Time to clean up the library. I can only find the original, More, and New & Improved.

    Anyway, at least I’m not insane. Now, about that Con Ed bill you were talking about …

  30. Kate L says:

    Dr. Empirical (#24) Just keep in mind what Jon Stewart said when CNN’s Wolf Blitzer asked him if he watched Fox News Channel: “Sure, I watch Fox News Channel. But not for news!”.

  31. Kate L says:

    Anyway, Happy New Year, all! 🙂 I’m so much calmer, now that I watch MSNBC every night. It’s like having Dr. Maddow drop by my home to discuss the events of the day.

  32. Ellis Avery says:

    Congratulations! We all so look forward to reading it. Here’s hoping 2012 treats you right!

  33. Andrew O. says:

    42 is an important number in “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.”

  34. Nick Mullins says:

    Whoo-hoo! Congratulations! The art in this new book looks amazing. It strikes me as a lot different than the art in Fun Home.

  35. Kala says:

    I love seeing all this process info/video. I’m a composer and, because of the rise of notation software, it was only in my teens (early to mid 90s) that I had to deal with painstakingly making perfect final scores in ink. By the time I was 18, I wasn’t doing anything in ink anymore (except the initial scrawled drafts of my pieces, where aesthetics don’t matter at all).

    It’s really interesting and valuable to watch a process that still has to happen in ink, by hand, at a slow pace. Wishing you luck!

  36. Victoria says:

    Hello Alison,
    What an accomplishment! I have been lurking here, awed at the amount of work you’ve poured into this book. I simply cannot wait to get my hands on it.

    Thanks so much for what you do,

  37. Gabi B. says:

    Just discovered a really cool online mag. It is geared toward teen girls. It is def something I wish had been around when I was younger.
    They had a article called “Hibernation Supplies” where it listed “Fun Home” a a great book to read.
    Just thought ya’ll would like to know.

  38. Gabi B. says:

    I forgot to name the mag, it is called “Rookie”

  39. Ben says:

    Congratulations, Alison! Looking forward to reading it.