Countdown to Bloomsday 2016

Well, its that time again. Joyce’s birthday is today (February 2nd) and that’s the time we start gearing up for another Bloomsday. To get people in the spirit I usual do a series of drawings, bookmarks really, released daily over twitter. 135days from now until Bloomsday itself this makes for a nice little birthday gift to the Old Fella.

This year, 2016, also marks the centennial of the Easter Rising in Dublin, an important moment in the struggle for Irish Freedom and a date close to the heart of many fans of Joyce’s work. To honor and commemorate that date I’ve changed the format of the bookmark drawings this time around.

I’ll be drawing portraits of one hundred “Heroes of Irish Freedom” from now until Bloomsday based upon a list developed by good friend Pat Callan. So far they’ve been great fun to do and have given me a chance to learn more Irish history each day. I hope people use them as I have, as a window into study. We’ll try to figure out a way to drop some links to good biographical information onto the tweets for people encountering them that way, and our hope is to collect the group of them somewhere once all is done.

“But that’s only 100drawings,” you may say. And “what about the other 35?” you may say.

Good question. Don’t worry. I’ve got something more Joyce in mind as we draw closer to Bloomsday.

So let’s get started, and we’ll see you on Bloomsday,



Overdue. An apology. Of a sort. (No Sunday in Comix)


Well, as some you of you get the weekly email updates, you probably know that we held off on giving you four pages of the comic last week because I was waffling. It seems that every time we make a change in the environment, no matter how slight, it raises new questions for me about how to best present the work as well as the methods I and Josh are using. We’re closing in on the end of the Telemachus chapter now, and I’m starting to miss Buck Mulligan already. This next bit is kind of a spotlight on Mercurial Malachi as we handle ‘The Ballad of Joking Jesus’ just in time for the holiday. Last week I decided to hold the pages we had so we might deliver an eight page update this week that pulls off the whole of the joke. Continue reading

Money!?! From Webcomix!?! (No Sunday in Comix: Part 1)

Stephen Money Full 72So friend and fellow cartoonist Gabe Ostley brought up some good points about money and webcomix on another part of our blog.

How does “free media” reward the people who publish it? Can someone really make a reasonable living making webcomix or will it always be more of a passion for us and less of a business?

Tough questions we’re all asking ourselves these days.

This is, invariably, the subject of any blog related to the field of comix and I’m relatively certain you’d be able to find it pretty high on the list of topics for most art/hobby messageboards. Everyone wants to figure out a way to “live the dream” and make a reasonable wage out doing the thing they love. Every one of us.

Continue reading

No Sunday in Comix

Ulysses_Rob_Paris_2Paris, when it drizzles…

So I’m on vacation. Sort of. A life making comix means never really not thinking about comix so even here, in Paris with my wife for our fourth anniversary, many things still revolve around the work I’m doing.

We’re staying at a hotel across from the Odeon Theatre and about a block or so from the site of Slyvia Beach’s SHAKESPEARE & COMPANY. The nearest comic shops, six of them, are in the Sorbonne area three blocks away. I’m seriously considering buying a set of TIN TIN figures from there which I can use as still life material in my watercolor paintings. I still draw the ULYSSES “SEEN” pages each early morning, I just do it in some café instead of my own studio. Continue reading

No Sunday in Comix

Ulysses-Paris-1Writing on the fly a bit today as my wife and I get ready for a trip to Paris tomorrow. We’ve never been and, no, neither of us speak a lick of French. So some of this past week has been spent struggling through Rosetta Stone software and iPhone apps intended to bolster up the idea that we’re at least trying to understand the language.

In looking for a subject for this week’s blog post about comix, Michael suggested something on the process I use for adapting Joyce’s novel into the comic; what do I look for when reading the text and so forth. Well, given all this French homework I’m doing just now, that’s a pretty easy thing to talk about. Continue reading

No Sunday in Comix


Spent most of the day yesterday down in Baltimore for the Comic Con. Truthfully, I don’t like comicbook conventions very much because I get really cranky in large crowds, but this is a particularly good show for young and new comic fans alike.

Unlike some of the bigger media exhibits and cross-over marketing arenas like we see in NY or San Diego, the attention here is on genuine comicbook fandom; the joy and love of the medium and the object without all the summer blockbuster hoopla. Due to the attention focused on comix and toys through big media the rising cost of floor space at some of those other conventions has made it hard for retail comicshops that make their living out of collectables to have much of a presence. Baltimore is much more like an old-fashioned comic con.

Continue reading

There’s No Sunday in Comix

c_a026So tomorrow we bring back the comic (finally!) in regularly updated installments. There’s been a lot of work done on the mechanics of both the comic and its website since we premiered it on Bloomsday back in June. Probably the most time-consuming, and maybe the most important, change since then is our decision to switch to hand-lettering. Josh and I (though mostly Josh, thank god) will be drawing all the text on the original art rather than adding it using a computer font. Yes, it’s a crazy, old-school way of doing things that I’m absolutely certain is worth every bit of the trouble. Continue reading

Which brings us up-to-date…

self-portrait08_08So all of these earliest posts bring us back up to speed with how the project has changed since its inception and premier at Bloomsday ’08. Mostly what you, as new readers, should know that we’re doing are best here to set up for the long-haul of a project that could not exist if not for the interactive possibilities of the internet. We’re learning a lot of new stuff to do this and, like in ULYSSES, the learning curve for this stuff is pretty high. We hope that this new format of the site and new presentation of its content makes connect with fans  (and experts) of the novel that much easier for us while allowing each of you add advice, criticism, hand-launched rotten vegetables or faint praise whenever necessary. The site, and the comic itself, cannot happen without that kind of  input from readers.

Joyce’s ULYSSES is a very hard read and comics, god love them, is a very peculiar, very new way of looking at making it more accessible without “dumbing it all down.” I hope that each of you interested enough in this weird notion to have dug this deep into the site will help us make Joyce a bit easier to enjoy and comics a bit easier to take seriously by helping me to do this thing right.

Thanks again for your support and attention in following this to the next level.