I mean, I think it’s ramps season. Our farmer’s market is on the break between winter and summer markets, and they’re not at Whole Foods yet. But I wasn’t kidding about Chef Stephanie Izard getting some ramps, and now I’m extremely jealous. I need some ramps! Who has ramps for me?
If you haven’t had them, they’re a bright spring allium plant that tastes like garlic on steroids. They’re intense, and not for the faint of heart, but if your taste buds can handle them, they’re really amazing. Last year we made ramps pesto, and the year before I made a ramps butter. I don’t even have any real plans for them yet, but I know that I need my ramps fix!
Sorry I skipped a few Sauceomes, you guys! I was finishing up my project with 5th House Ensemble. If you’re in the Chicagoland area, you should come check out a show! It’s gonna be a lot of fun, it’s great music, and a good story that involves an adorable cat, a loyal dog, and a mysterious, demonic, goat-type… thing.
I’m also going to have a table at CAKE and also at Printers Row Lit Fest this year! You should definitely come out and get some comics, prints, and shirts! I’m also going to try to have a new Sauceome-themed minicomic ready for both shows.
I don’t drink tea nearly as often as I should. I’ve had a bunch of it lately, because I have a head cold and a bit of a throat thing, but I wish I remembered to drink it on a regular basis, because it’s really quite lovely, and insanely good for you.
On our trip to Montreal last year, we saw a really fascinating museum exhibit on tea and its history, and I’ve been kind of thinking about doing a series of comics on tea ever since. I mean, we’ve been drinking it for thousands of years, we drink almost as much tea as we drink water, its trade history is fraught with violence and intrigue. It could be some interesting stuff.
In the meantime, what’s going on lately:
I am almost done with the art for Luna de Cuernos! I have just one chapter to go. You can see some of my art for it here. If you’re in the Chicago area, you should come see the show! There will be a handful of performances this May. The music for it is really fun, and the musicians are crazy talented, so it should be a pretty great show.
Also, Yusho is about to open a location in Las Vegas! There’s going to be a crazy amount of my artwork for them decorating the place, and I’m working on even more of it.
So it’s been a pretty busy winter! It’s been fun work, but I’m more than a little tired, and I’m really looking forward to a break in this crazy pace.
Hi everyone! So, I’m rerunning a very old comic from 2010, partially because I’m still swamped and very busy, and partially because I spent a few days in Texas last week, for my Grandma Jane’s funeral. She was 93, she led a long, full life, and she left behind 9 grandkids and several great-grandkids. The trip was somewhat sad, but mostly kind of joyful. She was loved.
My mom had a bunch more photos of Grandma Jane than I’d seen in a while, and I thought I’d share a few of them. Here’s her graduation pic:
Apparently she had to fight like crazy to get to go to college. Her father didn’t think it was necessary, and only let her go if her degree would serve her in her duties as a mother.
Here’s a pic from her wedding. She looks ecstatic. My grandfather was pretty cool, as you can see.
This whole week, I’ve been thinking about a specific memory I have about Grandma Jane. My first apartment after college, I lived in the Central West End in St. Louis, a lovely urban neighborhood. I had a tiny 4th floor loft apartment that I loved, with a postage stamp of a balcony that looked out on the street and the dome of the basilica cathedral. My whole family came to see it at one point, and Grandma Jane sat there on the balcony for what seemed like an hour, watching the people go by. She told me that she had wanted nothing more than to move to New York when she was my age, but her father forebade it. She said she was jealous; that she had always dreamed of having a little apartment in the city with a balcony. I forget sometimes how far we’ve come in just a generation or two, at least in terms of a woman’s freedom to determine her own future.
Anyway, here’s my grandma and me and all of my siblings, from a handful of years ago.
I’m surprised – I actually kind of love this photo of me (I’m on the far left), although I hated it at the time. I’m pretty sure my grandma spent most of her life thinking she was ugly. And I’m kind of sick that I’ve spend so much of my life feeling the same way; it seems like such a waste of time and energy.
So, if you do not live in Chicago, you may not have heard of Malört. Or maybe you’ve come here to visit, and your jerkwad friends in Chicago made you do a shot of Malört as a prank or on a dare. I’m confident the majority of Malört shots that are consumed are dare- and prank-related.
Or maybe not. I know a few people who claim they like it, and I guess I have no reason to believe they’re lying? At any rate, if you get the chance, it’s worth trying a shot of it, just to know what it’s like. I definitely regret purchasing an entire bottle, though. And if even Alex at Billy Sunday can’t figure out a way to redeem this spirit, what chance have we got?
Hey guys, it was my birthday! Niles and I spent the evening at Billy Sunday, drinking lovely whiskey cocktails and demolishing a relish tray, which had delicious small bites of all sorts of wonderful things. The tête de moine cheese was amazing, but the guanciale was probably my favorite. Niles wouldn’t let me order any dessert, because he had a giant nutella cheesecake from Bang Bang pie waiting for me at home. If you haven’t had their pies, get on that, because they are absolutely decadent. All in all it was one of the best birthday meals I’ve ever had. There’s still some cheesecake in the fridge, too, and it’s taking all of my willpower to keep from just cold eating it for breakfast.
Ok seriously, I don’t want to eat a flamingo tamale. Or an axolotl tamale, because axolotls are freaking adorable, and I’m super happy that I found an excuse to draw one for the comic. They’re critically endangered, (and wicked cute) so no one eat any axolotl tamales, ok?
But I am pretty fascinated with the idea that humans invented tamales so many thousands of years ago. And the Aztecs made tamales out of so many things – fish, rabbit, turkey and turkey eggs, fruits and honey, gopher and even worms. These are the guys who brought us chocolate and guacamole too, so they’re all right in my book.
…and this concludes the series about the mac and cheese contest that Niles *almost* placed in. His mac was well and truly delicious, though, and the whole experience was super fun. And I’m not kidding either, the three macs that won were fantastic, they were high scorers on my ballot sheet too.
Although I’m glad these contests don’t happen often. You don’t think a few bites of mac and cheese are that much, but two bites each of TWENTY TWO macsandcheeses adds up pretty fast!
But we don’t eat mac & cheese for our health, right? This was Niles’s delicious, decadent entry into the Chi-Town Mac & Cheese cookoff, and it was amazing. It was a perfect blend of salty, smooth, balanced flavors. I helped make it, which is to say I spent a lot of time stirring the sauce, and adding things, and stirring more, and stirring a bit more, and thinking I would be stirring it for the rest of my life. It was high maintenance, but it was absolutely worth it! I only ended up eating three or four bites of it, but they were phenomenal.
Next comic will be about the competition itself.
In the meantime, Saturday, February 1st was Hourly Comics Day! I made a bunch of them, but they’re mostly about how boring I am and how much work I did, punctuated by cute cat moments. You can read them here.
Also! Are you in Texas? In about a month I’ll be exhibiting at STAPLE in Austin. I’ve never done this con before, so I’m pretty excited! I’ll have lots of books and prints and original art, so swing by if you’re nearby! And feel free to recommend awesome Austin-area restaurants, because we’re staying a few extra days to wander the city.