REAL RILEY MAYES book signings and talks in Oklahoma

My debut graphic novel THE REAL RILEY MAYES is set in Oklahoma. I grew up there, and it was a joy to draw little slices of life from my home state into this LGBTQ+ book for kids. So I’m thrilled to come back to Oklahoma for three stops on a little book tour! If you’re in Oklahoma, come say hello!

SEPT 30: I’ll be on a panel “Banning Queer Books” at University of Central Oklahoma’s International Gender and Sexuality Studies Conference in Edmond. The panel is at 1:15 in Constitution Hall at UCO. There will be a REAL RILEY MAYES book signing afterwards, and free postcards for everyone!

OCT 1: I’ll be signing copies of THE REAL RILEY MAYES, and giving out free postcards, at the Pryor Book Exchange and Bible Bookstore in my hometown of Pryor, Oklahoma. I’ll be there 1pm-3pm. While you’re in town, don’t forget to swing by Sandusky’s Market for some jam (the edible kind and the musical kind!)

OCT 2: I’ll be talking about the making of THE REAL RILEY MAYES at Magic City Books in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Come ask a question! Pick up free postcards, and browse a scrapbook of behind-the-scenes sketches. 2pm at Magic City Books.

Printable SAY GAY and BIG FAN Real Riley Mayes Postcards

Since Riley uses the U.S. Mail to contact her favorite TV comedian, I drew and designed these postcards. I bring them with me to book signings for THE REAL RILEY MAYES. Want some of your own to mail to your fave celeb, LGBTQ organization, your friends, or even your enemies? Here are two downloadable, printable color PDF files to make your own RILEY MAYES postcards. It works with Avery 8387 postcards, or you can print them on standard 8.5 x 11 cardstock and cut them yourself.

New Stuff in the Color Illustration Portfolio

If you click on PORTFOLIO and then COLOR ILLUSTRATION, you’ll find some new work! These are all mixed media pieces. There’s a little bit of correction going on in Photoshop, but most of what you see is true to the original illustration on paper.

The Great Heron.

Watercolor, colored pencil, and brushmarker with pigment-based ink on watercolor paper.

Snow Shovelling

Watercolor, colored pencil. brushmarker with pigment-based ink on watercolor paper.

Zeb and Bel

Watercolor, colored pencil, alcohol marker, brushmarker with pigment-based ink on watercolor paper.

Dip Pens

Photos of famous cartoonists always show them holding a dip pen. Alison Bechdel uses dip pens. Charles Schulz loved a particular dip pen nib so much, when the company was shutting down, he bought up the remaining nibs (or so the story goes) and now the nibs he stockpiled get auctioned off on Ebay.

When it comes to dip pens, I’m less like Charles Schulz and more like Charlie Brown.

strip shared via the charles schulz museum account on twitter:

I drew the line art for my graphic novel, The Real Riley Mayes, with brush markers. They’re disposable brush markers called “Fudemoji” made by Pentel. The ink is similar to sumi ink. It dried quickly on the page, and held up to alcohol markers, which I used to color the pages. It took over a year to make all the pages for the graphic novel. By the end of making all that art, I really want to try some new tools. Plus, I have… a lot… of plastic marker bodies leftover… probably enough to make a plastic lawn chair? That’s embarrassing.

So, for the next few blog posts, I’ll share my Awkward Adventures in Art Tools! Starting with dip pen nibs, and a thick black permanent ink called Deleter #4.

When I’m not using a nib, I put in in a Dr Pepper bottlecap. There is no reason for this behavior.

After about a week or two of practice, here’s my very limited advice regarding dip pens:

  • If you don’t want the pen to sound like an orthodontist scraping dental cement off your teeth, sand the nib a bit using the very-very-super-fine sandpaper that comes with it.
  • Wear black clothes, unless you wanna look like you just changed your car’s air filter
  • Dip up to the hole in the nib, but not past there. The little hole holds the ink so you can draw longer.
  • Rinse the nib every 2-3 dips, especially if using waterproof ink. Otherwise, the ink dries on there, and the dried ink blops up all the little engraved lines that help the ink flow, and it will drip on the page.
  • Remember to breathe air in and out. Of your nose. Or your mouth. I’m not picky.

Here’s some line art I made with the dip pen and Deleter ink. It’s a great heron. The GREATEST heron.

Meet The Real Riley Mayes May 3, 2022

Back in 2015, I started drawing an elementary-aged girl who played with tonka trucks, acted out death scenes with markers, and chopped off her blonde ponytails. The character began to talk and interact with other characters in my sketchbook. Before long, I had several pages of comics about this kid. Years later, my agent Susan Hawk helped me revise the story into a graphic novel, which has been sold at auction to Donna Bray at Balzer+Bray / HarperCollins. THE REAL RILEY MAYES will be available on May 3, 2022.