Jump to content

JacquiR

Team Cicada
  • Content count

    21
  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by JacquiR

  1. Alex D. Araiza

    Alex D. Araiza is a freelance artist living in Minneapolis, MN where he helps run Plus Dog Collective. He lives and works in a cozy house with his fellow artist friends, a dog, and an amazing cat. CICADA: A lot of your work tends toward dreamlike horror—what draws you to this kind of subject matter? ALEX D. ARAIZA: I have an extremely overactive imagination that lends itself to a lot of high anxiety and an ever-looming fear of death. For some reason, though, I’ve found that when I’m working on something that appears horrific or creepy, I become less focused on my mortality. My fear of monsters, ghosts, or strange, unusual sounds in the night is not my fear of death. I would rather be scared of fiction than be frightened of reality. CIC: In this comic, you literally “put a happy face” on your fear of death. How does art help cast a friendlier light on things that frighten you? ADA: Art helps me gain some control over my fears. If I can create something visually irksome or terrifying, what does that mean? Does it mean that my fears in real life are as counterfeit as the two-dimensional world I’ve painted on a wood panel? If I can create my own fears, maybe there’s a chance I can unmake them, or at least there’s a chance I can overwhelm them with a whole new idea. CIC: So you’re part of an artist collective called Plus Dog Collective. Can you tell us a little bit about that? What is the importance of community to you as an artist? ADA: Plus Dog Collective is a collective that my friends and I created post-college. The main two things Plus Dog does are to create anthologies and enter art conventions. A lot of us came out of school feeling dried and used up. With most of us stuck in non-art-related jobs, there was a real fear that we all kind of failed at life. Plus Dog was a remedy for the stagnant feeling of failure. It became our rallying call to get us unstuck from the mud. Having a community is just the norm of the art world. You can’t get by on your own, and really it’s worth it to reach out to others around you. Artists are meant to grow and reflect on the world around them. If a person is unwilling to get outside of their own head, they will be cutting themselves off from the only way to stay relevant. CIC: Are there any other comics and artists that are inspiring you right now? ADA: I would say the artists and cartoonists who have had the biggest influences on me have definitely been KC Green, Stephen Gammell, and Junji Ito. The latter may be the most obvious if you look at the style of my art, but KC Green may seem like a big surprise. I really value humor. I feel like the reason life can be so scary or sad is because those feelings only occur in reaction to the loss or the fear of loss of what is good. Also, humor, when it is successful, is the best tool to relate to your audience. If you can make people laugh, you can make people cry and scream. CIC: Say you’re a were-animal of some kind. What do you turn into every full moon? ADA: Another human. Does that count? A taller, cooler human. Or maybe just a house cat.
  2. Instructions

    This is a helpful guide for folding CICADA's 8-page zines, and for making your own!
  3. CICADA J/A 2017 Comic by Kelly K.

    © © 2017 by Name Here

  4. Version 1.0.0

    4 downloads

    Cicada Zine Issue 8: Tricksters, Thieves, and Other Rogues A Guide to Folklore Fauna.
  5. Version 1.0.0

    2 downloads

    Cicada Zine Issue 6: Divination Techniques for the Futuristically Inclined Spoiler warning.
  6. Killer Poppets

    Version 1.0.0

    0 downloads

    Cicada Zine Issue 5: Killer Poppets and Other Dolls That Do Stuff Poppets and golems and more, oh my!
  7. Version 1.0.0

    0 downloads

    Cicada Zine Issue 4: Field Guide to Forgotten Victorian Gadgets Mustache guard teacups, electric corsets, and more!
  8. Victorian Ghost Hunters

    Version 1.0.0

    0 downloads

    Cicada Zine Issue 3: Victorian Ghost Hunters Mediums, scientists, spirits, tricksters, and more!
  9. Pirate Queens

    Version 1.0.0

    0 downloads

    Cicada Zine Issue 2: Pirate Queens From the Caribbean to the South China Sea, these lady pirates knew how to plunder.
  10. Instructions

    Version 1.0.0

    2 downloads

    How to Fold a Sheet-O-Paper into an 8-Page Zine Zine assembly instructions: 1. Download to your computer or device before printing. 2. Make sure the document is centered and print at 100%. 3. Print the PDF single-sided. It should print onto a single sheet of 8.5" x 11" paper. 4. Cut and fold according to the instructions below. 5. Staple twice along the fold to bind the booklet together.
  11. Version 1.0.0

    0 downloads

    Cicada Zine Issue 1: Felicitious Recipes for Modern Youths Recipes for Cicada readers to enjoy!
  12. Best of The Slam 2013

    Version 1.0.0

    1 download

    Best of The Slam 2013 Some of the most exciting poetry and prose from our online writing forum The Slam.
  13. CAPTCHAzine

    Version 1.0.0

    1 download

    CAPTCHAzine You know it, you hate it, you love to hate on it: iiiiiiiit's CAPTCHA! Cicada readers vent their spleens against their deadliest foe.
  14. Into the Woods

    Version 1.0.0

    1 download

    Into the Woods: A Fairy Tale Zine Our zine full of reader fairy tales has ravening wolves, haughty princesses, an alt-universe Cinderella, and the entire cast Into the Woods.
  15. CIC1705 Comic

    © © 2017 by Name Here

  16. Steenz

    Christina “Steenz” Stewart is a comics creator from St. Louis, Missouri. She works at Lion Forge as the Social Media and Community Manager and has been making comics professionally for the past six years. Steenz created and has run an annual educational series, “Comics University,” for the past 4 years and prides herself on her extensive knowledge of the DC Universe. She likes watching reality TV competitions, eating Pop-Tarts, and listening to any and everything Lin-Manuel Miranda touches. She and Ivy Noelle Weir have a book coming out from Oni Press called Archival Quality. Look for it in 2018! She lives with her fiancé, Keya, and her cat, Marko. CICADA: Do you ever get stuck over-thinking or over-editing a comic instead of finishing it? How do you get yourself out of that rut? Steenz: Actually I don’t do ENOUGH editing. I like to get a lot of my thoughts out there even if that means making the comic longer. If I need to stick within a page limit that’s when I do the most editing. The best way to do the right amount of editing is to read what you wrote at least twice and see what is superfluous information. No need to be repetitive if you don’t have to. CIC: What subjects and ideas are you most drawn to lately? S: I love reading and drawing day in the life types of comics. The small things that happen in people’s lives on a daily basis give me so much life. Knowing that other people also count while they brush their teeth or commiserating on life’s tiny annoyances is satisfying. CIC: How do you decide which “small things” to turn into “day in the life” comics? What advice do you have for people who want to start creating autobio comics? S: When it comes to autobio comics, I like to focus on things that cause a visceral emotional reaction, whether it’s humor, tragedy, or the satisfaction of seeing someone’s mundane activities mirroring your own. My advice for those looking to make those kinds of comics is to go with your gut. If you feel like you would want to read a comic about a certain situation, then by all means write it. In fact, write it regardless of whether you think it’s interesting to someone else. Write what makes you feel. Nine times out of ten, there’ll be someone who wants to hear your voice. CIC: What comics/books/movies are inspiring you most right now? S: Right now I’m really impressed with Hulk by Mariko Tamaki, the Six of Crows series by Leigh Bardugo, and most horror movies. I’m actually going to see Get Out later tonight, so follow me on Twitter to see what my thoughts were. I expect it to be great! CIC: If you were a mythological/fantasy/fairy tale creature, what would you be and why? S: I would probably be a siren. The idea of luring someone to their death with sweetness is kind of baller. Also then I’d be able to conquer my fear of drowning.
  17. Corinne Mucha

    Corinne Mucha is a Chicago-based cartoonist, illustrator and teaching artist. She is the author of three graphic novels, including “Get Over It!” published by Secret Acres. You can find more of her work at www.maidenhousefly.com CICADA: Can you talk a bit more about what being vigilant about mental health means to you? Corinne Mucha: I have struggled with depression and anxiety since I was a teenager. Over the past twenty years or so, I feel like I’ve learned a lot of the same lessons over and over. For example, a depressive episode isn’t going to go away if I ignore it or blame it on something external—it’s important to be as proactive as I can to reach a baseline of better mental health. I keep a running checklist of good habits that I know contribute to my overall wellbeing. When I’m feeling bad, I revisit the list, spend some time evaluating what I’m not doing and why, and try to get back on track. Some of it is really basic, like getting enough sleep, drinking enough water, and paying attention to my diet. Other things require a little more time, like exercise and meditation. After spending some time recommitting to this routine, I can reevaluate—do I feel any different? Or does even keeping up with these habits feel overwhelming? That’s when therapy can be really helpful. I have seen different therapists at different points in my life who have really helped by giving me a variety of tools to use on my own. I have gone through long periods where depression and anxiety have felt like familiar (but annoying) companions, and I have also gone through periods where they have really disrupted my life, affecting both work and relationships. It’s important to me to stay attentive so that I can tell difference between the two, and to know when to ask for help. Cic: What subjects inspire you most? What would you like to explore more in your comics? CM: My first experiences with comics were making diary comics, and since then I’ve continued to be drawn to making work based on personal stories. My favorite thing about personal storytelling is playing the “association” game—making connections between experiences or anecdotes that might not seem to have a relationship. I also have a deep fondness for drawing faces on inanimate objects. In addition to making comics, I also work as an educator and illustrator. Recently, I’ve spent a lot of time making drawings explaining concepts in particle physics, which I’ve enjoyed quite a bit. In general, I like using art to explain things, whether it’s to attempt to pin down a feeling, detail an experience, or illustrate theories on the origins of dark matter. There are more personal stories I’d like to tell, but I’d also love to keep using art for educational endeavors. Cic: What are some tips for authentically turning yourself into a character in autobiographical comics? CM: Learn to pay attention to your own unique thought process. Noticing your thoughts is not just an art-making tool, but a helpful mindfulness practice! Diary comics are a great way to do this, because you are not just recording what happens to you, but creating a system of noticing what is important to you. You won’t draw every single thing you do or think about in a day, so what will you choose to put on the page? Consistently recording stories over time will help you to get to know what your written “persona” is. Cic: If you were reborn as a plant, what plant would you be and why? CM: An aloe plant! Aloe plants are not only resilient, but they have healing properties.
  18. CIC1703 Comic

    © © 2017 by Name Here

  19. CIC1701-Comic

    © © 2017 by Name Here

  20. Whit Taylor

    Whit Taylor is a cartoonist, writer, and editor from New Jersey. In addition to self-publishing, her comics have been published by Sparkplug Books (2015 Best American Comics Notable Comic, The Anthropologists), Ninth Art Press, The Nib, Fusion, Boom! Studios, and others. She is currently working on a graphic novel about public health. How does visiting an impressive place put things in perspective for you? Can you tell us about a specific time a place left a deep impression on you? Going to places of immense scale or beauty make me feel smaller, and in a way more integrated into the universe. Sometimes, I’ll go to a planetarium or museum to get that feeling. Years ago I visited a few national parks in southern Utah. Just sitting near the edge of a cliff at Canyonlands National Park gave me this feeling of tranquility and awe (as well as a bit of fear). Talk about some of your other comics projects. What project do you think is the most exciting and what drew you to the idea? I’ve tried make different types of comics, from fiction and journalism to autobio/memoir. This last comics genre is the one I’m most comfortable with, but I still try to find ways to push myself with it. The last mini-comic I made, Wallpaper, was a semi-autobio story told entirely through patterns and text. I wanted to see if I could construct a story without drawing people and feel like I succeeded! Plus, it was a blast to draw complicated designs. Up next I am doing a history comic. This is challenging due to the research and fact checking, but it is also rewarding to work on lesser-known stories that I want folks to learn about. What subjects and themes are you most drawn to right now? I’m really into writing non-fiction educational comics right now. I like the idea of taking tricky or misunderstood concepts, as well a typically “dry” material and explaining them visually. I also keep coming back to the same themes in my autobio/fictional work: culture, relationships, and identity. I like wrestling with these topics in different ways, both to help me understand them better and to give the reader something different to think about. Do you have advice for other budding comics artists? I would say that having patience is key. There’s often a pressure to become a fully formed artist at a young age, since our culture puts a real value on becoming “successful” early. I wish I had known that my style would go through a lot of changes in the first few years, as my skills evolved and I tried drawing with new materials. I think that is normal and I also think style evolution is something that will last your entire career, even if those changes become less pronounced. If you could ask one question of a creature of the deep, what would it be? I would ask them how the people in their society treat each other. Or their opinion on mayo. Unlimited possibilities! If money, time, and the laws of physics weren’t an obstacle, where would you want to travel? I’d want to take a tour of our solar system with a few days on each planet. I would include Pluto too, because I’m still having a hard time accepting that it’s not a planet anymore.
×