Read Our Cats Are More Famous Than Us

Read Our Cats Are More Famous Than Us

In 2008, Ananth Hirsh and Yuko Ota launched the auto-bio webcomic Johnny Wander. Eight years, four cats, and three moves are chronicled in this gorgeous hardcover omnibus, which includes a foreword by Raina Telgemeier (Smile, Ghosts). Hirsh and Ota’s charming reverie about new adulthood will appeal to fans of Kate Beaton, Bryan Lee O’Malley, and Jeffrey Brown along with anyone who’s just winging it.

Cute but not super compelling. Kind of a cozy read with fun quirky characters. Was hoping for a little bit more structure or arc overall — I get the impression this is an omnibus complete collection, but maybe some judicious rearrangement of related stories and culling of some comics might have made it more cohesive. Liked the art though wasn’t crazy about the halftone shading where it was used, made it harder to read. I wasn’t sure what the different colors were supposed to indicate — a new year? a new season?

Comics History

Read Baggywrinkles

Read Baggywrinkles by Lucy Bellwood

Welcome to the world of Baggywrinkles a rollicking, educational survey of maritime lore, built around cartoonist Lucy Bellwood’s time aboard tall ships. From the scourge of scurvy to the exhilaration of climbing the rigging for the first time, Lucy’s comics bring the reader into a world of high seas history and informative adventure.

A collection of comic “essays” about tall ships, incorporating history lessons and her own experiences. Her enthusiasm for tall ships comes through. I would have liked a few more essays or one-pagers to flesh it out a bit more – one more autobio essay at the end would have helped round it out and make it feel more of its own thing than a collection of smaller things.

That said, this feels like what I should aim for as a first big comics project: a collection of small, even mini comics.


Funny Memoir Project

My evil friend, as I was telling a story yesterday, suggested I should write a memoir. I argued that I get too stuck on all the bad stuff, which she said was the point of reading memoir, but another friend suggested the slightly different angle of humorous, self-deprecating episodic memoir in the vein of Jenny Lawson or David Sedaris.

That’s much more up my alley, and I found myself actually thinking about it as I lay in bed last night, despite already having as many projects as I can write in the next ten years already.

Since I’m a glutton for punishment, I thought I’d make notes about some of the possible stories that sprung to mind.

* marks outdoor adventures. ** marks travel stories. Bold are the best stories.

  • The illegal swim**
  • Eat that vein*
  • The Sandblaster and dune buggy rollover*
  • Backpacking in Canada in November*
  • Wanna Dive*
  • Mediterranean cruise on a ship with no sail*
  • Frozen water bottle at Joshua Tree*
  • Weirdo at horse camp*
  • Kansas City road trip**
  • Kahurangi backpacking*
  • Water heater explosion
  • Band camp
  • Egypt**
  • They call me Strings*
  • Camping next to the katana wielding felons*
  • Two a.m. siren in a New Zealand beach town**
  • “We’re so fucking lost” backpacking trip*
  • Inviting ourselves to camp of the howlers*
  • Woman popping out of the river into our campsite*
  • Bear doing the lakeside tour in Yosemite*
  • Photography camp
  • Poetry camp
  • Winning a nerd-off contest
  • One Teva Down*
  • Hiking Mt Tam in a day*
  • North Cascades bear cam*
  • Fiji vacation**
  • 4th of July at type 2 waterfront
  • Olympic National Park in July*
  • 30th bday backpack*
  • Hiking in to Goldmyer*
  • Long weekend in New Zealand*
  • South Island road trip*
  • Northern tip of New Zealand**
  • Kaikoura marae and the dolphin dive**
  • Halloween hotel and the brunch meltdown**

Phases in my life I could probably turn into a story:

  • Band Mom
  • Cats from hell
  • National Park internships*
  • Pen pal competition / “the friend tree”
  • Montana “study abroad”*
  • Roommate opposites: OC and the Jesus battle
  • Living in the crew girls’ attic
  • Cross country and Coach
  • Middle school excursions with Hannah
  • Mud Magnet*

Some possible kind of title themes I could stew on more:

  • Stupid ways I could have died in the woods, and other fun excursions
  • Why do I like backpacking again? And other fun adventures
  • Woman vs Wild: misadventures in the not-so-great outdoors
  • Outdoorsy: a suburban girl with adventurous aspirations
  • Unprepared: tales of mutual suffering in the not-so-great outdoors