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Oct 13 14

Mer World Problems

by Theo

A new coloring book appears! Front Cover small   Meet Mer World Problems: a coloring book documenting hardships under the sea!

Mermaids might seem to have it all, with their shiny tails and fancy seashell castles, but life under the sea is full of difficulties. This coloring book features 20 examples of the most pressing issues mermaids face, including socially inept sea turtles, barnacle breakouts, interpersonal issues with fish, lack of wifi, and more.

Mer World Problems is available now on Amazon or CreateSpace. Here are a few free pages for you to print out and color as you like! Just click through twice to get to the printable sized files.

19-books-fall-apart

05-tacos

09-parties

14-no-wifi

Happy coloring!

Sep 26 14

Oh hey!

by Theo

Did I mention I now have a Society6 shop where you can buy prints, t-shirts, and other neat stuff with my art on them?

I do. It’s right over here. 

I’m adding to it whenever the mood strikes, so if there’s a particular piece you’d like to put on your wall or self, feel free to drop me a line and let me know about it.

 

May 12 14

SpringCon and WisCon!

by Theo

I’m currently working under two comic anthology deadlines, so I haven’t been around much, but if you’re looking for me, I’ll be at two conventions in the next couple of weeks!

MCBA SPRINGCON
May 17 & 18
Minnesota State Fairgrounds – In the Grandstand

I’ll be tabling both days with my Black Hatters, bringing my usual small mountain of coloring books and little fanart watercolors – plus some prints of Nick Fury in a Flower Crown.

Nick Fury in a Flower Crown

You know you want one.

SpringCon is always a blast. It’s only $12 to get in and is packed with over 250 guest creators, so it’s a great place to meet your favorite comic artists and spend a fabulous day amidst your fellow geeks.  You can check out SpringCon’s website here.

 

WISCON
May 23-26
Madison, Wisconsin – Concourse Hotel

WisCon might just be my favorite convention ever. It’s also the place where Fat Ladies In Spaaaaace was born! If you’re interested in intersections of feminism and sci-fi/fantasy (with a hearty dose of squee), you should take a look at their website. And if you’re gonna be there, you can find me at these panels:

Comics Reading – Sat, 1:00–2:15pm in Conference 2
My companions will be reading their comics aloud, with accompanying projections. I, as the weird cousin of the comic group, will be reading aloud from a coloring book.

Coloring Contest… of DOOM! - Sun, 2:30–3:45 pm Senate B
We’ll bring the coloring supplies, you bring your imagination, and we’ll talk about coloring books while you color! It’s going to be great.

Also, my coloring books will be available in the Art Show all weekend.

 

Wow, this May is almost as busy as the last! (At least I’m not graduating or moving this time. Though I AM signing a lease next week.)

Apr 3 14

COMICS COMICS COMICS

by Theo

I’ve been doing SO MANY THINGS in the past few months, and most of them are comics!

First off, I’ve just completed a collaboration with the fantastic Ty and Lee Blauersouth of Studio Interrobang called Lights Out.

cover copy

Lights Out is a collection of two short horror comics about things beyond the reach of the light. In Ty and Lee’s comic, “8 Minutes,” an astronomer watches the stars disappear from the sky. My comic, “Hello?” follows an amateur spelunker into a cave that’s been closed off for good reason.

hello preview

 

We’re all really proud of this collection. Lights Out will be debuting at Anime Detour this weekend, where Studio Interrobang is a featured local comic team. (I’ll post a link here once it’s for sale online.)

Secondly, I’m thrilled to announce that I’ll have a comic appearing in Beyond, an upcoming anthology of queer SFF comics! It’s a sweet little trans superhero romance. Remember these two from a few months back?

Pudding Cup?

Yeah, it’s their story. I fell head over heels for Chevron and Felix while writing the script, and I couldn’t be happier to bring them to Beyond.

And last but emphatically NOT least…holy crap, I’m gonna be in Smut Peddler 2014.

unnamed

My friend Abby Lark wrote the most adorable little pegging comic you’ve ever seen, and I’m drawing it. We came into this project late as pinch hitters, and being included is, frankly, a totally intimidating honor. I’ve been reading a lot of these creators’ work for YEARS, and based on the comics I’ve read so far, I’m pretty sure this book is going to beat the pants off Smut Peddler 2012.

The Smut Peddler 2014 Kickstarter just launched a few hours ago and is already jogging toward fully funded. Check it out here!

More project news later. I’ve gotta go crawl into my comics drawin’ nest and get some work done.

Nov 11 13

Art show this Friday!

by Theo

Hey, Twin Cities locals! I HAVE AN ART SHOW THIS FRIDAY!

Nick Fury in a Flower Crown

The central piece in my collection NO I AM NOT KIDDING I LOVE MY LIFE

Friedman Iverson in Northeast Minneapolis is presenting A Field Guide to the Alternate Universe, a show featuring the work of myself and four other fantastic comic artists. Click the Facebook link there for time and place details.

It’s going to be a blast – free drinks, great company, and of course, awesome art. This will be the first time Dinosaurs With Jobs will be available out in the non-internet wild.

And hey, if you’re still planning on entering my coloring book giveaway, you’ve got three days left!

Nov 9 13

No bears at the opera

by Theo

I got to sketch through a dress rehearsal of Arabella last night, thanks to the ever-fabulous Minnesota Opera Company. I’ve seen a lot of opera through their Social Media Preview events now, and I gotta say, Arabella was probably one of my favorite stories I’ve seen performed.

First performed in 1933, this opera is a comedy about a young woman named Arabella whose financially ruined family needs her to marry into money but who desperately wants to marry for love. She’s very beautiful and has a number of suitors, but none really float her boat. On the other hand, her little sister Zdenka, who dresses as a man so the family won’t have to pay to have two daughters out in society, is secretly head-over-heels for one of Arabella’s longtime suitors, Matteo.

Which brings us to reason #1 that I loved Arabella: Although the story could easily have gone there, the two sisters are not at odds with one another. They love each other deeply and support one another. Ladies supporting each other! I am always down for more of that!

Arabella and Zdenka

Arabella and Zdenka

Arabella’s suitors are, by and large…not fantastic prospects.

Thinking is death! Happiness lies in not thinking.

(Actual wisdom from one of the suitors, which I plan on quoting as justification while I watch Say Yes to the Dress.)

But then, along comes Mandryka. Mandryka is rich, handsome, and just got back from hunting a bear. Which he might have actually been wearing when he showed up. Reason #2 why I loved Arabella is Mandryka’s coat.

Mandrynka's fabulous coat

Making. It. Work.

Mandryka comes in talking big about this bear he was hunting and how he basically got a little bit mauled by the bear and spent a his time in recovery with nothing but Arabella’s photo to keep him company. Which strikes me as a little creepy. I mean, dude spent like twelve weeks staring at a photo of a woman he’d never met, lovesick? I once had a stranger at con recognize me by my OK Cupid profile photo, and I made an excuse to flee. But then I suppose I wasn’t looking for a rich husband, and the dude at con wasn’t wearing a bear, so different circumstances.

Side note: It was around this point in the show that the friends I was sitting with and I all fell in love with the bear in Mandryka’s story. During intermission, we talked about how the bear should come back, the bear should show up for the big party in act 2, the bear would woo Arabella and fix everything and the show would now be called Bearabella. I spent the rest of the opera pretending the bear was in the background of every scene, waltzing with pretty girls and making “Oh no you didn’t” faces along with the other suitors. Not gonna lie, the bear is reason #3 why I loved Arabella. He didn’t show up on stage, but the whole bear story was just fantastic.

Background

Here’s a color study I did of one of the beautifully constructed but aggressively neutral sets. As you can see, there are many places in it for bears to hide.

Anyway, at the party in the second act, Mandryka meets Arabella, they fall in love and get engaged, and then everything goes to hell in typical comedic opera fashion. Mistaken identity! Eavesdropping! Drinking! A woman who appears to be dressed as a lion tamer cracking her whip seductively at party guests! I swear I’m not making that last one up!

And here we come to reason #4 why I loved Arabella – the biggest reason: Arabella is a woman who demands respect and gets it.

When everything is confused and Mandryka accuses Arabella of being unfaithful to him with Matteo, she’s like “NOPE. You don’t get to talk to me like this, and you’d better hope I can forgive you.” When Mandryka is proven wrong, he immediately repents – loudly, repeatedly, with genuine sorrow – and she still takes some time before she can forgive him. Arabella is in charge of the outcome of this story, and she won’t settle for less than a man she loves with all her heart who will treat her with respect. She also stands up for her little sister even when Zdenka screws up big-time, is 100% pure class when she turns down suitors, and basically refuses to take any shit from anyone.

Arabella is my new favorite opera heroine.

For more information on the show or to buy tickets, click here. This one’s definitely worth your time.

bear

And here’s the bear who was secretly in the background.

Nov 2 13

Na-NOPE-WriMo

by Theo

National Novel Writing Month is one of those challenges I look longingly at every year, saying “Someday…someday, my love, we’ll be together.” I adore writing challenges. Testing my limits as an writer/artist is one of my favorite past times, as my friends will attest – probably with a lot of sighing and eye-rolling. But I was in school for a long-ass time, so the only time I’ve ever done NaNoWriMo was during a leave of absence in 2009. I won.

When I realized in late October this year that I would actually have time to do NaNoWriMo again, I talked myself into it in about thirty seconds.

And then NaNoWriMo actually started. I wrote up my novel summary, opened the document for it in Scrivener, and uh…NOPE.

Simpsons walk in walk out whistling

This isn’t gonna work for me for three reasons:

  1. Since I started freelancing, I’ve been falling hard into the trap of tying my self-worth to the projects I’m putting out, and doing a big pass/fail writing challenge like this is only going to make that worse.
  2. I get incredibly single-minded on projects like this when rushed, to the point of neglecting important human things like sleep, food, and chores, and I still haven’t recovered from the Dinosaurs With Jobs binge. I did 99% of the work for that book in six weeks and then immediately dove into prep for an art show I’m doing in mid-November. My kitchen looks like a tornado full of frat boys hit it. I can’t reach the microwave, and the stovetop is buried. Half my meals in the past few days have been Halloween candy. HUMAN BEINGS WERE NOT MEANT TO LIVE LIKE THIS.
  3. I didn’t give myself enough prep time to dive into this novel right now. I need way more daydreaming time to get into the story. I often neglect the daydreaming part of my writing process because it doesn’t feel like DOING anything, but it’s kinda vital, since most of my pre-writing happens in my head when I’m slacking off and watching TV. 

And y’know, I know I can write a novel in a month – that in itself is not an interesting challenge to me anymore. Hell, last November, when I was working on my graduate thesis, I reworked a 125,000 word novel in 18 days. And I did it without any pep talks, while maintaining a day job, a social life, and two Thanksgivings. (UPHILL IN THE SNOW! BOTH WAYS!) I am capable of that shit. But I still want to do a writing challenge of some sort in November, for Hufflepuff reasons.

Or, I guess, a writer challenge. Because for me, the hard parts of being a writer are not the writing itself. Words are hard but doable. The part I’ve never gotten the hang of is striking a balance between projects and life. So I’m gonna focus on that this November instead.

Here’s my new November writer challenge: I  will spend this month learning to better balance my personal and creative life. If I get even a little bit better at this in a sustainable way, I’ll consider it a win.

More specific goals for the month:

  • I’ll unfuck my entire damn apartment and start training myself into better laundry and dishwashing habits.
  • I’m making a giant to-do list of little self-care assignments and grown-up tasks and will be checking at least one off per day.
  • I’ll figure out better ways to work my fannish writing projects into my everyday creative life without them eclipsing or getting eclipsed by my original writing projects. I’m aiming to write, edit, and post two short fanfics I’ve been working on and start another long one I’ve been toying around with. (The art side of my fannish life doesn’t need this sort of focus. Fanart just happens.)
  • I’m going to move forward on my thesis novel, actually revising my damn query letter and sending it out again. I’ve been stagnant in this area for months for fear of rejection, and it’s time for that to end.
  • I’m still going to write the novel I chose for NaNoWriMo, but I’m aiming for 10,000 words – a solid start that I can build on over time instead of binging.

I’ll do a write-up of how this went when the month is up. Right now, I’m off to face the kitchen mess. If you don’t hear from me on Twitter in two hours, call the coast guard.

Oct 30 13

Dinosaurs With Jobs giveaway, now with extended deadline and more prizes!

by Theo

So I started this giveaway to celebrate the release of Dinosaurs With Jobs, but the deadline is fast approaching and I want to see more people’s coloring pages. And I just placed a huge order for coloring books.

You know what that means? MORE PRIZES AND A LONGER DEADLINE!

Download and color one of the sample pages below. Email a scan or photo of your finished masterpiece to me at theonicolelorenz@gmail.com by the end of the day November 14th, 2013. I’ll select one winner by a random number drawing.

That winner gets ALL THREE coloring books I currently have out, plus I’ll draw them a custom coloring page of a prehistoric creature of their choice doing whatever job they want! 

DWJ-introDWJ-iguanodon

 

DilophosaurusDWJ-argentinosaurus

 

 

Rules:

  1. One entry per person! (Multiple entries per email are okay, though, if you’re submitting entries for your family members.)
  2. No age restrictions. If you want to give your one-year-old a crayon and set them loose, go for it – but if the baby wins, that commission has to be something you think the baby will like.
  3. No art skills needed! Just color a page somehow.
  4. By entering this giveaway, you’re agreeing to have your coloring page displayed in a post on this website.

And here’s the updated Tumblr post, if you feel like reblogging and spreading the word.

Oct 24 13

Dinosaurs With Jobs! Free coloring pages! Art giveaway!

by Theo

Guess what’s now a real book that you can buy and color in?

DWJ front cover small

Dinosaurs work hard for a living, and their efforts deserve to be recognized. This coloring book features 20 examples of the dinosaur driving instructors, dog groomers, astronauts, tech support specialists, and more whose work makes our world a better place.

Now available via Amazon.com and the CreateSpace eStore

Folks, I am SO HAPPY with how this coloring book turned out, and I can’t wait to see what you think. It’s some of the best art I’ve committed to print, the cover is easily my favorite of all three books, and I had so much fun drawing dinosaurs that I wound up including two more pages than usual.

Here are a few sample pages for you. Click through for bigger versions you can download and color!

DWJ-introDWJ-iguanodon

 

DilophosaurusDWJ-argentinosaurus

 

To celebrate Dinosaurs With Jobs being out, I’m doing an art giveaway! (EDIT: The giveaway has had some prizes added and the deadline extended. Changes are reflected below!)

What do I have to do? 

Download and color one of the sample pages above. Email a scan or photo of your finished masterpiece to me at theonicolelorenz@gmail.com by the end of the day October 31st November 14th, 2013. Shortly after, I’ll do a random number drawing and select one winner.

What can I win?

I will draw you a coloring page of a prehistoric creature of your choice doing whatever job you want! You’ll get a digital copy of the page so you can print it out as many times as you want! I’ll also send you copies of ALL THREE coloring books I currently have out!

Neat! What are the rules?

  1. One entry per person! (Multiple entries per email are okay, though, if you’re submitting entries for your family members.)
  2. No age restrictions. If you want to give your one-year-old a crayon and set them loose, go for it – but if the baby wins, that commission has to be something you think the baby will like.
  3. No art skills needed! Just color a page somehow.
  4. By entering this giveaway, you’re agreeing to have your coloring page displayed in a post on this website.

I posted about it on my Tumblr, if you feel like reblogging and spreading the word.

Happy coloring. :)

Sep 28 13

Hufflepuff bender

by Theo

That’s a phrase my friend Lee came up with to describe the way I sometimes work on projects. I am a big ol’ Hufflepuff, heavy on the hard work aspect of the house values, and at some point in my big creative projects, I go completely overboard and lose all sense of moderation. I’ll end up writing 5,000 words in a day, pulling an all-nighter to finish a painting I started that morning, turning down social events for a week because I’m on a roll, that sort of thing.

I’m at the tail end of a Hufflepuff bender right now. Two and a half weeks ago, I decided  to go all-in on a new coloring book. Today, I laid out 20 finished coloring pages across the tables at my comic collective meeting and made the other Black Hatters tell me if it was funny enough yet. (Consensus: it is.)

Dinosaurs With Jobs should be out by mid-November. Expect some free sample pages and possibly a giveaway to go up between now and then.

I’m really pleased with how this coloring book is turning out, folks. It’s easily one of the most unapologetically ridiculous things I’ve ever made. I hope you’ll be as entertained by it as I am.