Category Archives: Comics

The Chorus in a Drunken Boat

I’m happy to say that my comic poem “The Chorus” has been published in Drunken Boat 24.

This was a poem that I wrote for my wife and then converted into a comic using Powerpoint to create the panels, text, and simple images, most prominently a small white circle that repeats throughout.  Here are the first two panels.

Sample The Chorus Comic

Thanks to Nick at Drunken Boat for accepting my comic poem.

My other comic poems have been co-created with my daughter Myra, including an alternating comic composition here, an exposition of our collaborations here, a published comic in Ink Brick 3# here and another in Ink Brick #5 here.  Our comic “Blue” is also to be included in the “Language Meets Art” exhibition at LUHCA December 2, 2016 through January 28, 2017.

Myra and I also collaborated on an academic article “Drawing is Learning” in comic format in the Journal for the Assembly of Expanded Perspectives on Learning here.

Drawing to Learn Comics

Here is a slideshow of comics from my upper division Reading Graphic Novels class. (See slideshow toggle at top right of flickr screen.)   Here’s a sample image:

Midterm Comic Sample copy

The midterm assignment asked students to draw the life of comic or cartoon artist in at least 12 panels and 3 colors. Out of the 20 students in the class, no one chose the same artist. That’s kind of a miracle.

“Four Hands” Opens at Angelo State

Opening this week and running through March 11 in the Carr EFA Building will be an exhibition titled “Four Hands” that displays collaborative work from the last three years by my daughter Myra Musgrove and me.  Myra is an artist and illustrator living in Brooklyn, NY, and she will be in San Angelo this week to visit a number of art classes and then attend the gallery reception and talk Thursday, February 25 at 3:30 in Gallery 193.

Artist Statement Small

Artist Statement for Four Hands

This exhibition includes a large scale comic of my poem “My Song,” illustrations and poems from my recent poetry collection Local Bird from Lamar University Press, a co-authored academic article in comic format, and three other large scale digital prints of co-created comics.  In addition, QR codes are on each gallery image label that provide links to further description of each image on display.

Books on pedestal

INK BRICK, Local Bird, and JAEPL

Much of this collaborative work previously appeared in print.  The 24 panel comic “My Song” appeared in a four-page spread in InkBrick.

My Song Internal

My Song in InkBrick

My Song Hanging

My Song on Canvas

The poems and illustrations appeared in Local Bird.

Here and Now Section Page

Framed Local Bird

8 poems and illustrations from Local Bird

And the 12 page comic article “Drawing is Learning” originally appeared in the Journal of the Assembly for Expanded Perspectives on Learning.

Page 1 Drawing is Learning

Framed JAEPL

12 page article from JAEPL “Drawing is Learning”

I’d like to thank Dr. Randy Hall in Visual and Performing Arts who curated and supported this exhibition from the beginning.  And Dr. Chris Stewart, Chair of VPA, who has been very helpful throughout as we printed and framed the pieces to be included.

framed pages from journal article

Images from Drawing is Learning after matting and framing

I’ve also included the poster for the exhibition below.  This poster was designed by Dr. Ben Sum also from VPA at Angelo State.  Their added collaborative efforts have helped make this exhibition a reality.

4 hands 11x17

I want to especially thank my wife Marie-Clare for her inspiration.

Matted comics

Collaborative comics on canvas

Over all this project reflects my interest in collaborative work inside and outside the university community.  I hope to be working soon with colleagues in the art program on developing a comic studies minor program.  I am currently co-editing an anthology of poetry and fiction on the topic of Texas weather with a colleague in my own department.  And I hope to create other collaborations with colleagues at Angelo State on an Angelo State Arts and Humanities Festival as both a recruitment event and the promotion of Angelo Stage as a cultural center for this region of the state.

Matted bios from journal article

Bio page from JAEPL matted and ready for frame

Rain Comic Step by Step

Here below is the comic “Rain” that daughter Myra and I recently created one panel at a time.  The final completed comic will be one of three large format one-page comics in our exhibition at Angelo State February 22-March 11.  For this comic, we agreed on the panel format and title, and then she drew each panel before I added text in response.

rain (7)

rain (2)

rain (3)

rain (4)

rain (5)

The poster for the exhibition also includes an image from this comic:

4 hands 11x17

Blue: Another Comic Collaboration

Here below are images that reveal the step by step process in a comic collaboration between daughter Myra and me on a comic titled “Blue.”  We first agree on title and the format of page of panels,  She draws a panel, leaves me a place for text in a speech bubble, narrative box, or thought balloon, and then she draws the next panel.

blue empty

bluesm smaller

bluesm (3)

bluesm (4) bluesm (5)

bluesm (8)

bluesm (7)More on our comics collaboration here.

Reversing Comic Composition

My daughter Myra and I have been collaborating on a number of projects over the past two years.  She has provided illustrations for my poetry collection, Local Bird.  She has converted one of the poems in that collection “My Song” into a 4 page 24 panel comic that appeared in INKBRICK.  We also worked together on an academic article “Drawing is Learning: To Understand and To Be Understood” that was recently published in comic format in the Journal of the Assembly for Expanded Perspectives on Learning.  In these cases, she has been converting my words into her images.

In an effort to reverse this collaborative relationship, I suggested to her that we develop a different process:

  1. I draw a page of panels.
  2. We agree on a title.
  3. She draws an image in the first panel and leaves me an empty narrative box, speech balloon, or thought bubble.
  4. I provide the text for that empty space.
  5. She repeats step 3 and I repeat step 4 until we run out of panels on the page.

(By the way, because she lives in Brooklyn and I live in Texas, our collaborations have been mediated by email and text messaging.)

Here is the page of panels I drew.

Panels - Theft Smaller

We agreed on the title “Theft.”  And here is Myra’s first panel.

Theft (1) Smaller

I wrote “I can’t tell if I recognize you.”  And here below is what Myra sent me next with three empty speech balloons in the third panel.

Theft (2) Smaller

I then responded with “What are you doing in my house?”  “How do you explain these?”  “I received them from my husband.” And here below is the next panel Myra drew.

Theft (3) Smaller

I recommended a speech balloon for the bottom left panel that would say, “Is this the man you mean.”  And then Myra sent me the panels as drawn below.

Theft (4) Smaller

I then responded with “I used to love this house.”  And here below is the final version.

Theft Final Smaller

This new process of image first and text in response has been very interesting.  Rather than comics as illustration of a story or poem, we have been able to achieve a more shared process of collaboration, an image/text dialogue that shapes the comic panel by panel.

Here’s two more we’ve completed, agreeing that we should move the panel arrangement around a bit each time.


Rain Final Smaller


Chair Final Smaller

And one we just started today: “Blue.”

bluesm smaller