Autobiographical Comics: The Artist Responds

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Last week I got something unexpected in the mail, a copy of a new book from Bloomsbury Academic, AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL COMICS, by Andrew J.Kunka. It wasn’t totally unexpected, since Kunka had approached me last year for permission to reprint two pages from one of my comics in the book, but in the meantime I had completely forgotten about it.

Naturally, I turned to my name first in the index. Though DAVID CHELSEA IN LOVE is my best-known autobiographical comic, there is no discussion of it in the text, or of any of my work apart from the two pages previously mentioned, which appear as “Appendix 3”. These are the opening two pages from EVERYBODY GETS IT WRONG!, a 24 Hour Comic I drew in 2006 (which gave its title to my first collection of 24 Hour Comics from Dark Horse). This story was an essay in comics form, making the argument that an artist who draws him or herself in an autobiographical comic is false to experience, and that to really recount the story as the artist experienced it, it must be drawn “subjective camera”, as seen through the artist’s own eyes.

David Chelsea is reading:
Updike
by Adam Begley

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SLEEPLESS Stories: I LIKE TO RIFF

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This is the last of my irregular series of posts about stories in my 24 hour comic collection SLEEPLESS, published this spring by Dark Horse. I LIKE TO RIFF is something of a victory lap, both for myself and for any reader who has made through all eleven of my previous 24 hour comics. I constructed the story by putting the names of the eleven previous comics in a sack, and drawing one out at random every two hours. See if you can spot all of them (the first six are in my previous volume, EVERYBODY GETS IT WRONG!).

David Chelsea is watching: Krampus
directed by Michael Dougherty

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SLEEPLESS In SLEEPLESS

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Here is the second of a series giving background on the stories in my second collection of 24 hour comics, SLEEPLESS, published by Dark Horse last month. This one is about the title story, which I drew in 2007.

David Chelsea is reading: Modernity Britain: Opening the Box, 1957-1959
by David Kynaston

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RIP, Bingo The Cat

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It saddens me to report the death of Bingo, our family cat for the past twelve and a half years. Although he was already pretty old by cat standards, Bingo’s last illness came on very suddenly. Last Saturday, Eve noticed that his belly was strongly swollen. It was more so on Sunday. Instead of purring, he was cooing like a dove, which was odd. Monday, Eve called for a vet appointment. Since it did not seem to be an emergency, they gave her a Tuesday appointment. When they took his temperature, the nurse thought it was a mistake because it was only 95.5° The vet said it was cancer causing fluid to build up, which explained the swelling, and that Bingo’s temperature meant that his body was actively shutting down, and he might not last to the weekend. Quite a shock, since we had vaguely thought this might be worms or a bowel obstruction. The vet recommended euthanasia on the spot. Eve decided to have it done at home, so Rebecca would have a chance to say goodbye. Bingo had not seemed to be in pain before, but he spent Tuesday night squirming around on the floor, yowling piteously. The end of life vet arrived Wednesday morning. Eve and I had a chance to hold him one last time before she stopped his heart. We buried Bingo in the yard that afternoon.

Bingo
Bingo

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Coming In 2016: SLEEPLESS AND OTHER STORIES: DAVID CHELSEA’S 24-HOUR COMICS, VOL. 2

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Big news for fans of my 24 hour comics (in case you don’t already know, I am the World Record Holder in meeting the challenge devised by Scott McCloud, to produce an entire 24 page comic book in a single day– I have done 16 of these one-day epics so far). Plans are in the works for a second collection, titled SLEEPLESS AND OTHER STORIES: DAVID CHELSEA’S 24-HOUR COMICS, VOL. 2, to be published next year by Dark Horse (the first Dark Horse collection, EVERYBODY GETS IT WRONG! AND OTHER STORIES: DAVID CHELSEA’S 24-HOUR COMICS, VOL. 1, came out in 2013).

David Chelsea is reading: It Never Happened Again: Two Stories
by Sam Alden

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My Favorite Bit From JESUSLAND

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My dear friend Mary Robinette Kowal, the Hugo Award-winning author of a popular series of fantasy novels set in the era of Jane Austen (the titles so far have been GLAMOUR IN GLASS, SHADES OF MILK AND HONEY, and WITHOUT A SUMMER), is playing host to me on her blog this week. Mary has a regular feature she calls MY FAVORITE BIT, which she describes as follows:

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A short (400 to 1,000 word) essay on your favorite bit of your new work. This can be a scene, a sentence, a character, or a bit of world-building. It can even be a piece of research that never made it on the page. The key is that it’s something that you love LOVE sooooo much. This is your chance to be enthusiastic and geek out over that favorite thing you wrote but don’t expect anyone else to notice.

David Chelsea is reading:
Disguised as Clark Kent: Jews, Comics, and the Creation of the Superhero
by Danny Fingeroth

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Everybody Gets It Wrong Today!

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The long wait is over! Today is the day you can walk into your local comics shop and buy my new collection, Everybody Gets It Wrong! And Other Stories: David Chelsea’s 24-Hour Comics #1 , published by the fine folks at Dark Horse. In the unlikely event that your local comics seller doesn’t carry the book, you can take your business online through Things From Another World or Amazon.com.

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I’ve Got Mine

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An advance copy of my latest book arrived from my publisher last week. EVERYBODY GETS IT WRONG! (AND OTHER STORIES): DAVID CHELSEA’S 24 HOUR COMICS VOLUME 1  collects my first six (of fifteen so far) 24 hour comics between hard covers. The book will not be in stores until June 5th, but you COULD beat the rush and pre-order it from Amazon today.

David Chelsea is reading:
The Fingertips of Duncan Dorfman
by Meg Wolitzer

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Everybody Gets It Wrong! And Other Stories: David Chelsea’s 24-hour Comics Volume 1 HC

Published by: Dark Horse

Written By: David Chelsea

Art By: David Chelsea

Cover By: David Chelsea

152 pages, black and white, $14.99, in stores on June 5.