I took my little brother (who falls on the autism spectrum) to see Guardians of the Galaxy and after this scene he lit up like a Christmas tree and screamed “He’s like me! He can’t do metaphors!” And for the rest of the film my brother stared at Drax in a state of rapture. 

So for the last 6 days I have heard my brother repeatedly quote all of the Drax lines from the movie verbatim (one of his talents), begin studying vocabulary test words, and tell everyone he knows that people with autism can also be superheroes.

Now I am not saying that Drax the Destroyer is, or was ever, intended to be autistic. All I am saying is that it warmed my heart to see my brother have an opportunity to identify himself with a character known for his strength, badassness, and honor. And that is pretty damn awesome. 

So while I adored Guardians of the Galaxy as a great fun loving film with cool characters I can do nothing but thank Marvel Studios and Dave Bautista for finally bringing a superhero to the screen that my little brother can relate to.

Wow. The power of seeing yourself in a larger than life character is something that can’t be cheapened.

You’d be surprised how good crying feels sometimes.

We have this notion that men don’t cry and that they need to “man up” and bottle that shit, but that’s the thing that kills you in the end.

Being a man has nothing to do with crying or not crying. Being a man means being there for your family and friends when they call.

You can’t be a man if you’re not here. 

It’s ok to be depressed. It’s ok to be sad. It’s ok to cry.

Just…stay here with us.

Suicides go up every time a celebrity commits. If you’re thinking of committing, or even self harming yourself, please give these sites a look and numbers a call. We’ll feel for you, how we feel for them.

I’ve Always Been Fond of Robins

I write this in full knowledge that in a week, a month or whatever, these words will be forgotten, added to a pile of memorials that others have written, by some more, and some less, eloquent than me. But in spite of that, my heart wishes to write, and write I must.

I would imagine that my first exposure to Robin Williams, the comedian/actor, would probably be Happy Days. I was an absolute nut for Happy Days as a kid. Happy Days was probably the center of my universe, as I used to be able to know the day of the week because I knew Happy Days was on Tuesday. I was a Fonzie devotee. Probably as much, or more, than most Italian kids my age. And because of my…predilection for comics and sci fi, I didn’t find it odd that Milwaukee was visited by an alien that said funny words. I laughed, as that was the intention. 

Next, maybe, I saw him on Carson. Johnny Carson, for more than a generation of people, was an institution, but also…he was the indicator for whether or not you stayed up late on a school night. If you saw Carson, you were cool, a rebel. And I remember Johnny losing his mind over this frantic, non-sequitur spouting, hairy knuckled comedian. It could very well be that I’m mixing these first two incidents, but they happened so close to each other, that it’s really not much of a difference.

And then Mork appeared again on Happy Days and spun off into his own show. I loved that show. I had the suspenders. I bought Mork and Mindy trading cards. I vaguely remember having a Mork action figure (from Mego, I think).

And then Hook. There was a point there where he got corny, where he got serious (while I watched Good Morning Vietnam later, it comes before Hook) and I just wasn’t interested, but Hook appealed to me. At the time, I was just starting to reintroduce myself to my younger sister (she was 9 years younger than I am…still is…and lived in NY while I was in PA), and while it escapes me at the moment, something about that movie just made me think of my sister. Still does. Maybe it’s the power of imagination. Or the idea that youth is fleeting and we all eventually get a job and grow up. I don’t know. But for all the bad mouthing it gets, I love that movie.

The Fisher King nearly broke me. I remember watching it Freshman year of college, at Pitt, at Alan Sweatt’s apartment. And I remember being moved to tears. I remember years later, when listening to Groucho Marx sing “Lydia the Tattooed Lady,” thinking, “Wait, Robin Williams didn’t invent that song?”

Aladdin. Mrs. Doubtfire. The Birdcage. Kenneth Branagh’s Hamlet (boy, seeing him in there shocked me), and Good Will Hunting.

It dawns on me now that I grew up with him.

The stories of the rampant cocaine use. The disheveled appearance. All of it irrelevant because as soon as you see him, right there on TV or in a film, with that Robin smile…

…what else is there?

And that’s the part that hurts. That smile hid so much, SO MUCH, that there was a man, who was suffering. His smile hid so much pain. And that’s the part that hurts. Because if we knew, and if we could, who would deny helping him? I mean, I grew up with him on the other side of a cathode ray tube. I was closer to my TV than I was to any classmate.

He was a Robin, so of course I wanted to be his friend. Just like Dick Grayson. Just like Burt Ward.

Last year, around the holidays, I gave my Kickstarter backers my phone number, telling them that if they needed someone to talk to during the holidays, which are typically difficult, I would be there for them. And I got a few calls, a few texts, and you know, I never really thought it through…what if EVERYONE called me? What was I going to do?


And I’ll still listen. Because at some point, someone listened to me.



So this happened.

I’ve been taking the time to process this thing and I’m still wondering how I convinced any of my comic friends I am at all deserving of this award.

I say that but this is the second colorist award I’ve won -
The first came from Publix Super Market (without a doubt, the best super market on Earth). I participated in a coloring contest. I colored something similar to the happy counting dinosaur you see above. Upon winning this contest, after trying to win the coloring contest for what felt like forever, I was granted a Jurassic Park birthday cake. It was a great day for a five-year-old and the cake was delicious.

The Eisner means a great deal more than a Jurassic Park birthday cake but the feelings upon winning were nearly identical - absolute surprise, maybe a little nervous someone will take it away saying “Oh, wait, we’ve made a terrible mistake!”, followed by feeling like the coolest person in the room but then finding it difficult to feel that way when you’ve maybe peed your pants.

I owe my thanks to my boyfriend, Declan, who picked up the award for me and always forces me to challenge myself. It’s exhausting but I clearly cannot argue with results. My friends and my parents are just great and even though I rarely saw them the past three years because my work commitments forced me to cancel nearly every hangout plan made, they are were still supportive and caring - I owe them a lot there (looking at you Clayton Cowles, Maddie Bellaire, Aaron Fever, Stephen Mooney, Jacintha O’Reilly and Jeremy Lambert to name a few). Plus, my parents let me go to art school so that’s pretty great. Thank you my wonderful, beautiful parental creature folks!

My editors and my collaborators - I owe them basically everything. Eric Stephenson, Sana Amanat, Lauren Sankovitch, Tom Brennan, Sierra Hahn, Jim Gibbons, Nate Cosby, Scott Dunbier and many others put me on all the right projects, regardless of the little experience I had and for that I am so grateful.

Tom Fowler, Chris Samnee, Ramon Perez, Declan Shalvey, Sean Murphy, Gabriel Hardman, Ming Doyle, Becky Cloonan, Mike Hawthorne, Matthew Dow Smith, Garry Brown, Walt Simonson, Chris Sprouse, Nate Bellegarde, Mahmud Asrar and Emma Rios - this partial list sounds like a ridiculous and wonderful convention guest list but these were my collaborators! I cannot even believe my luck. I am so humbled by these talented beasts and so grateful for the time we worked together. They are the best.

And finally, my colorist peers! Every single one of them deserves an Eisner. They are amazing and ridiculously charming, wonderful people and they wow me with their work. Matt Wilson, Bettie Breitweiser, John Rauch, Jordan Boyd, Laura Martin, Shari Chankhamma, Dave McCaig, Nathan Fairbairn, Nick Filardi, Rachelle Rosenberg, Bill Crabtree, Rico Renzi and the other nominees! Whenever I pick up a comic colored by any of these titans, I want to pack my bags and quit!

But I’m not quitting anytime soon!


Jordie is just so…wonderful. Her outlook is amazing. She’s humble, but we all know, that girl got skills.

Well deserved, my friend!