Thursday, March 14, 2013

It's Almost Here!

MK here - apologies for the continued production delay, but I'm here to announce that Ivy is at the printers and will be available to purchase very soon! 

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Ivy, Issue 2

Very sorry for the delay in updating this blog.  MK and I have been hard at work on the second issue of Ivy, which will be going to print in the next couple weeks.  If all goes according to plan, we should have it available for sale before January's end.

The broad theme of our second issue is "Place."  We decided on the theme while completing a jam comic about winters in Seattle and Chicago (the cities we call home).  Place is something that suggests permanence, familiarity, and stability.  However, within this "comfort" resides the possibility of alienation, estrangement, and movement.  We hope that the stories and thoughts and bits and bobs that we share in this issue will tap into some of the attachments and ambiguities that structure our feelings about "place."

Our guest contributor for this issue is the amazing John Swogger.  John is an archaeological illustrator and artist from Wales.  Given his wide travels and exposure to a number of different peoples and places (past and present), we thought "who better to contribute to this issue?"  John has been writing about his process in creating a strip for Ivy on his own blog.  His entries thoughtfully reflect upon the various influences that play a part in our relationship to place.  The first serves as an introduction, the second offers reflection on the meaning of place, and the third discusses place in relationship to artwork/style.  Please take a look!

We are so grateful and excited for his contribution.  Thank you John!

Also:  Issues of our launch issue of Ivy, featuring guest artist Sarah Leavitt, are still available!  Check it out here.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Origin Story

Mita Mahato (These Frames are Hiding Places) & MK Czerwiec (Comic Nurse) are proud to introduce their newest lovechild of a collaboration: IVY!

Volume 1, Issue 1: Fall, 2012 is available for purchase in our Etsy store now!

By popular demand, (okay one very kind person) here is a little background on our zine project. I (MK) will cover the origins, and I'll ask Mita (when her hectic schedule allows) to post some info on the actual production of the zine since she was the queen of that phase of operation.

In April, a few pals from the Graphic Medicine world, at the encouragement of Sarah Leavitt, decided that the best way to evaluate Ivan Brunetti's book Cartooning: Philosophy and Practice as a teaching and learning tool was to actually work our way through the book chapter by chapter, exercise by exercise. Sarah set up a private blog for the adventure participants to post their homework weekly. Sarah extended an invite on Facebook to comic artists (and wannabes too). The final crew included the three of us and Sarah's wonderfully talented friend, publisher and teacher Mary Eve. Archeologist John Swogger planned to join us but he was just heading off to a remote dig and was not able to continue participating.

I would highly recommend not only Brunetti's book, but this method for approaching it. Our blog is still going, and we still check in weekly to update on our work, and post comments on the work of our friends. The blog has evolved into a fantastic source of support, ideas, and encouragement.

After finishing the book, Mita and I collaborated on this blog post for Laydeez do Comics Toronto. We had such a wonderful time, and loved the visual aesthetic of our collaborative work - Mita's colorful collage cutouts and my wacky comic drawings - that we wanted to find a way to continue collaborating. Inspired by the indie zine movement, in particular Katie Green's uber-awesome Green Bean, which we both adore, we decided to experiment with the zine form.

We started our issue by brainstorming via Skype about sections we might want to have in our zine. We love jam comics so we did a few of those. We wanted to include some work from Brunetti's book, and we did. Specifically, we included our work in response to the exercise he describes in this video, so our readers can play along at home:

(Fan art is welcome and we will happily post yours here if you send it to us!)

We have a guest strip in this issue by Sarah Leavitt, which also arose from an exercise in Brunetti's book. We plan to have guests every issue. Future guests are TBA, but know it's by invitation only. Very exclusive. Excellent for your CV to appear in our publication, BTW.

Next we have work about the life of an artist, as each of us struggles to live it. In this issue we focus a bit on diet & exercise.

Finally, inspired by Nicola Streeten's wonderful zine that she does with her daughter, Licorice, in which Nicola published a bit of her book in sections before it was finished, I wanted Mita & I  to consider including in each issue bits about our own, larger artistic projects to help move us along. This section is called Stripping. In this first issue, I share a comic I did for the Toronto Comics & Medicine conference, and Mita introduces us to her collage method and shares a few inside secrets!

Here is our wonderful final table of contents:

A note on the cover. We wanted to relive the process and visual joy of combining collage cutout and comic drawing. I did the initial drawing based on one of Mita's dreams. Plus loved the idea of the launch theme, since, like, this is our launch issue and all. 

The only question left was the title! We did a jam comic to help generate ideas, but as you can see in the issue, that didn't get us far. So walking my dog Alice one day I thought about how this zine came to be, through Ivan Brunetti's book, and how we started calling him Ivy affectionately while working the sometimes torturous exercises, and what a great metaphor ivy is - how it grows and grows, adaptive and resistant and constantly flowering. 

So there you have it. Our limited edition zine. Order yours before supplies run out!