Sunday, December 12, 2010




Some sketchiness from yesterday and drawing I did of Inara from Firefly!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Indie Lit Roadshow!

Hello all! I have no new arty things to post, but I should have something for Sunday. I had an awesome time in Brooklyn, where I was tabling at the Brooklyn Comics & Graphics Festival. I wanted to tell y'all that I will be tabling closer to home this weekend, in Portland, at the mall actually! There will be lots of Sparkplug's books and a few of my minis. Here are the details:

This Saturday Sparkplug in Portland at Indie Lit Roadshow!

This Saturday Dec. 11th in Portland Virginia and Emily will be coordinating the Sparkplug table and selling books at the Indie Lit Roadshow

REDEFINE magazine and PILOT BOOKS are teaming up to bring you an afternoon of literary readings, music, and a pop-up book shop just in time for the holidays. Come hang out in the mall — yes, the mall — for an afternoon celebrating independent press, literature, music, and a lot of anti-stereotypically-”mall” ideals. Saturday, December 11th, 2010
2:00pm – 6:00pm
PLACE in Pioneer Place Mall (3rd Floor)
700 SW Fifth Avenue, Portland, OR

(copied from the Sparkplug blog)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

On Slumping in Public.

Last night at a party my lovely friend (and talented artist) geminica sat down next to me and, despite not having seen me since August, said, "Are you in a slump?" "Why yes I am," I replied. It's true; I have not been drawing very much at all. I haven't felt like it, but I have been talking about not drawing a lot - with other cartoonists, with non-artisty friends, even with my therapist, who is actually the one who reminded me what this is called - A Slump! And now I'm going to talk to you about not drawing, because I am tired of apologizing for it.

First, why haven't I been drawing much? There are surface reasons - stress, depression, work, etc. But what became apparent as I talked to people is that there is a more ridiculous reason! And that is: I decided I was going to make money doing this someday. Like, it would be my career! I even told my parents that it was my plan, which was my ultimate downfall. Now the pressure is on and I don't want to draw a goddamn line, because every line must be perfect, a perfect money-making step towards my career as a comics artist!

This is, of course, all in my head. And now that I have found and labeled the fundamental cause of The Slump, I can start winding my way back towards what started me drawing comics - fun, self-expression, therapy. It has not been easy so far and has been complicated by the fact that I am remarkably busy for someone who barely makes rent every month.

Second, how exactly has it been difficult? Well - I agonized for like an hour over that scribble at the top of the page! I made a card for my friend's birthday that pretty much ruined my mood yesterday. I don't want to subject you to my bad-mojo-filled art! No matter how much importance I attach to getting feedback about it through this blog. I want to do this because I love it, I want to share it because I love it and I want to get back to where I was when it was enough for me to just be. And I will get there, because I am one stubborn, driven SOB, but I want you, dear blog readers, to understand and be patient. I still love you, but I'm not going to apologize about this anymore. This is my journey (I know I sound all hippywoo-therapy-BS) and you are welcome to come if you want.

Third, just what the heck have I been doing with all my time? Well, as I mentioned, I have been working my two jobs. My catering job is infrequent enough that the short, early early morning shift knocks me on my ass for the rest of the day and I'm good for nothing except napping and watching BSG. When I'm not working, I've been cooking and sewing. I'm working on another dress and also a bunch of purses for my gf's sister's wedding. It's not like I have become completely drained of artsy-ness, I'm just enjoying working in 3D lately. It's more immediately satisfying - I can wear the dress as soon as it is done, I can eat my delicious concoctions and I don't need to rely on the public - you - for validation, monetary or otherwise.

As for drawing - I did complete (and had to redo half of) a pretty large project for Sparkplug that took up a bunch of time. A word to the wise - do NOT leave your originals on the photocopiers at Kinko's. They will disappear. And yes, I did go through the dumpster.

Other projects: I have been really disliking doing diary stuff lately, so a new issue of Milkyboots will not be coming out anytime soon. I lost my steam on Just Sayin', but obvs I'll have to work on it in the extreme unlikelyhood that I get the Xeric. I would like to have two new zines done by Stumptown Comics Fest, which is ironic because neither of them will be comics. I am collecting recipes for another Food Stamp Foodie, because the other one was fun and well-received. The other zine will require some drawing, but I am trying to figure out how I can make it enjoyable for myself.

I have been in slumps before, of course, but that was pre-social networking and blogs. Now people who haven't seen me in months - like geminica - know that I haven't been drawing much. Now I feel that there are people relying on this thing I do, that started as something I was doing for myself. There are people watching me be depressed; how weird is that! It makes me feel guilty (which is not your fault, internet), not just because I'm not making money, but because I am letting people down. So part of the process of getting back to doing comics (and not just quitting entirely) is trusting that a) my audience will still be there when I get back and b) the desire to draw will return. But not a minute before it is ready. It will not be forced.

I let this particular Slump get pretty big. It leaked over into other areas. I have always been a big music person, but I haven't found a new band or song that I like in months. And I just can't get excited about anything. The fact that I'm traveling a lot fills me with anxiety rather than anticipation. I keep having to remind myself things like, "Hey, Virginia, did you know your job at a comic book publisher is really awesome?" or "Wow, you have the sweetest, kindest, most understanding and smokin' hot ladyfriend ever!" But the fact that I am remembering to remind myself these things is a good sign because eventually I'll get back to "Hey, remember how awesome drawing comics makes you feel? Let's make some right now!"

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Making up for being gone!




Three comics! Well, one comic and two sketchy pages. I realized after I drew this that Cylon #3 is actually Xena, even though I never watched that show.

Friday, November 12, 2010


Well, I forgot to post on Sunday because it was my roommate's birthday and because I have generally been really busy. Also I haven't really been drawing! I just haven't felt like it! I know that it makes some people disappointed and to them I say what I always say: "Write your own damn comics!"
So here is another page of Just Sayin'. I'm sorry that blogger sucks at images and it is tiny, but I don't feel like futsing with flickr and I only have like nine pictures left before they start deleting stuff or I have to start paying and I know $25 for a real account isn't much but, goddamn, it kind of is for me.
How about some good news? I am very, very close to getting my free-pile-find scanner working, which means more regular updates. Also I will be at the Brooklyn Comics and Graphics Festival at the beginning of December! Tabling for Sparkplug of course, but I will have some of my own stuff as well.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

I have a cold.

I swear this is at least the third time since I've had this blog that I've titled a post "I haz sick, boohoo" but oh well. I feel like butt, in case you were wondering.
Here is the rest of my September update, now that it will be November in a couple hours.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

More Just Sayin'

Another page of Just Sayin', because I have yet again failed to do a diary page this week! I'm not slacking, I've just been working on the cover for the Sparkplug catalog.

I want to remind everyone that my friend/former teacher Annie Murphy has a Kickstarter project called Gay Genius! Please give if you can, they have a month to go and are about halfway there. Hooray queer comics!

Thursday, October 21, 2010


I don't know if you all remember, but there was a point in my life when I drew comics! I forgot too, I guess cause I've been feeling all burnt-out and "slumpy".
Anyway, here is a continuation of my catch-up stuff:


And here is a scribble I did at the Oakland Airport:


APE was fun and I got to meet lots of cool people and hang out with JWoolard (Remember her? She is still quite awesome!).

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Busy Days.

I forgot to grab my diary sketchbook before coming to the IPRC today, so instead I offer you page two of Just Sayin', that thing that I'm trying to get a grant for. Wheew, it has been a busy week and it's not going to get any less busy 'round here anytime soon!
I want to remind y'all that I will be in SanFran this weekend for the Alternative Press Expo! Come visit!
My friend Annie Murphy has a really awesome project up on Kickstarter called Gay Genius! I heartily encourage you to donate if you can.
And finally, some asshole is being an asshole to zinesters and stealing their work without permission. Read about it on Hello Amber!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

I'm Back!

Melinda is awesome, and her comics are beautiful. Check them out.

I'm back, sort of, and I have NEWS!

-I will be tabling for Sparkplug Comic Books at APE! It's October 16th and 17th in San Francisco. I won't have much for sale, but I will have the newest Milkyboots. Also, all the Sparkplug books are great and you should come check them out. I think I will be working with Julia Wertz of the Fart Party for a little bit. Should be interesting.

-There are several nice reviews of my new zines over on Hello Amber!. Also, her new distro, Fight Boredom!, is pretty great.

-I applied for the Prism Comics Queer Press Grant and the Xeric Grant last month. Phew!

-I still need another job.

-Check out my etsy shop! I still have lots of zines and cute things for sale.

-I will probably be in Brooklyn in December, for the Brooklyn Comics and Graphics Festival. Again, courtesy of Sparkplug!

-Sorry about all the exclamation points! I think I'm trying to counteract this grey, rainy day with exciting punctuation.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Just Sayin'

What have I been up to, you ask? Working on the above comic in the hopes of getting a grant to have it published!

Also, a reminder: Milkyboots #11 and other zines/minicomics are available in my store! Or if you don't want more things in your life, you could make a donation, as I am still sadly (mostly) unemployed.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

New Milkyboots Zine!

Now available in my etsy store: Milkyboots #11! Also I just added two minicomics, Cannibal Corpse on the Turnpike and The Warehouse on Poplar, my recipe zine Food Stamp Foodie #1 and a specially priced four pack of issues #8-11 of Milkyboots!

Friday, August 27, 2010

This weekend!

This is where I'll be! I'll have Milkyboots #8 - 11, two mini comics and a recipe zine for sale. Hope to see you there!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Milkyboots #11, Portland Zine Symposium, etc.

Yes, Milkyboots #11 is almost done and will be ready for the Portland Zine Symposium next weekend (August 28th & 29th)!
I will also be selling back issues (#8 - #10) and some minis: The Warehouse on Poplar, Cannibal Corpse on the Turnpike and a food zine that (because I love to overwork myself) I made this weekend:

I hope to see you there! Both the new things should be in my shop within the next week. Also, I probably won't be posting diary pages for awhile ... I'm kind of burnt out on them, and I am going to be working on applying for a grant to have another project published. However, I will try to post stuff from that ...

Sunday, August 8, 2010


But seriously, isn't that why we have cell phones?

Some things that have been on my mind:

- See all those black lines up in panel four? This is why. I'm not sure what I am going to do about it.

- I was reviewed in the Comics Journal! I am actually pretty happy with it (though some of the things he said are eerily reminiscent of complaints my ex had about how I express myself). It was flattering as well that the author asked to review me.

- Portland Zine Symposium. It will be here before we know it.

Sunday, August 1, 2010


Trust me to get injured making iced coffee. Luckily both of us healed pretty quickly!

I keep forgetting to mention that I have been putting new/old artwork on my artwork blog. Check it out here: Do Everything At Once.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Fourth & Reading

The incident involving the beer was not my fault, by the way. At least I'm pretty sure it wasn't.

I've been adding plenty of new jewelry and clothing to my shop, so please stop by! Or donate, as I am once again short on rent, despite my three (now two; I got laid off from one already) jobs.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Lots of jobs, lots of links!

The new flickr is confusing me, so you can also view this here.

As of Thursday, I am back down to two jobs (the cafe laid me off already, lol!) which is kind of a relief. But Sparkplug! So awesome, all their books are great, you should srsly check it out: Sparkplug Comic Books.

I got a write-up on a blog I totally adore, Hello Amber!, done by the author of the zine Culture Slut. She does lots of zine reviews and takes awesome photos. Fight Boredom!

And finally, I lowered the prices on everything (except zines) in my etsy shop, as well as posting a couple new, cute things. Check it out!

Monday, July 12, 2010


Nothing new this week either, so I thought I'd put up some paintings I've been working on. The self-portrait was a request from Olivia, and the second one is an illustration for a story.

UPDATE: My friend Pam has a blog! She is an amazing artist and human being. For shizzle.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Reading! Tonight!

That's right! I am reading with three other talented comics artists tonight at Reading Frenzy in downtown Portland. Hope to see you there!

Sunday, June 27, 2010



I can't remember what Jesse's hair actually looks like, so I guessed.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Crying & Ironing.


Um, yeah. I've been feeling better lately, partly because we've actually had some sun, and partly because I started taking my mood-stabilizing herb cocktail again. I've never been diagnosed as depressed, but I've been struggling with it at least since middle school. It comes and it goes and I try to find healthy ways to deal.

I started doing some watercolors this week but forgot to bring them downtown to scan. Maybe on Thursday! Also I put a bunch of new crafty things in my shop - please peruse!

Sunday, June 20, 2010


Not only is it totally miserable outside today, I have nothing to post! Father's Day means no IPRC shift means no access to a scanner. There should be a new comic on Tuesday though.

Update: I redid the design! What do you think?

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Candidate? Candidate!


I am still plugging along, about a month behind, with the diary. I hope to get caught up soon, but it seems unlikely since it *finally* got nice out here in Portland.

Some things for you to remember!

-Saturday, June 26th is the release party for the Stumptown Underground mythology/folklore issue, which I have a 3 page story in. It's at the Waypost; they didn't hire me last year but are still pretty cool.

-Friday, July 9th I am doing a reading! With other diary comics folk Jesse Reklaw, Clutch McBastard and Melinda Boyce! Jesse organized it, he was my teacher and also his book, Ten Thousand Things To Do, is pretty great. It's at Reading Frenzy, which is also pretty great.

Sunday, June 6, 2010



Popcorn is the best snack. It's cheap and easy to make and if you put nutritional yeast on it (which really you should, with a lil bit of sea salt) you get all your B vitamins and that makes you less crazy-feeling. Yay popcorn!

I've watched FLCL twice, and still, even after the second viewing (when I wasn't wasted on Bulleit and making out with my lady) I have no idea what it's about. There's a babe with a guitar, and a sad babe, and they're both in love with a little boy is what I got out of it. It's pretty awesome.

Also, I got a write-up on the Bitch Magazine blogs! I'm totes stoked! If you are my parents, though, please don't read it because I'm still processing some of the things quoted in the article, haha. No, seriously, mama, don't read it (I love you!).

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

What do I do ...

When I'm not doing diary comics? I know you ask yourselves this all the time, right? (Har har.) Well I usually sew or hang out with the gf, but sometimes I do other drawing projects!

I do a fair amount of illustration work for my job at the Independent Publishing Resource Center. Like the promo flier you see above.

I work on other projects too. Last month I submitted a three page story to the anthology Stumptown Underground. We'll see if it gets in! Here is a sample.

I'm also very slowly starting a project that is fiction about a bunch of queer and hipster kids in a town remarkably like Portland (or it might be Portland. I haven't decided yet). I hope to have the first issue done by the Portland Zine Symposium. Aaannndddd I am hoping to finally illustrate and publish the really long fantasy fiction stories I wrote a couple years ago. I am thinking about putting them out a couple chapters at a time in zine form.

I guess I look for a job a lot too, but that's not as much fun.

If you would like me to draw something (or sew something) for you, you can contact me! vlpaine at yahoo dot com. I like money, but am also willing to trade.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Put your hands up, up!

I have a new unhealthy fixation! It is with the Sims 3. If anyone has a copy, I need one so I stop hogging my girlfriend's computer.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Links-heavy Post


You can find Geminica and La Nina's comics online! They are both fantastically awesome.

I have been reading these lately:

tiger beatdown

the sexist

Melinda Boyce

Derailing for Dummies

Also, Milkyboots #10 is available to read on QZAP. If you choose to read it there, I highly recommend donating either to them or me! Keep the zine-lovin' alive!

And, if you have any other extra money, my boss T Edward Bak, has a Kickstarter project for the book I am helping him with: WILD MAN! The rewards for pledging are pretty awesome - Mr. Bak is a fantastic artist.

I was thanked in my friend's trainhopping zine, so no one can tell me I'm not punk anymore. I think?

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Back to Normal-ish.


Hello all. I'm going to try to get back to my usual once-a-week schedule, though the blog might go through some changes or a move in the next couple weeks.

Don't forget! The new Milkyboots zine/minicomic is still for sale in my shop! It is pretty fantastic.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Milkyboots #10 - now for sale!

Yes, you can now buy Milkyboots #10 on my etsy! Click there or on "Shop Milkyboots" in that column to the left. Isn't Lyra a lovely model?

If you don't want to buy a copy, please consider donating! I am still unemployed and a little strapped for cash.

Stumptown Comics Fest was a lot of fun and much less stressful than last year. I hope you had fun too - it was great to see a bunch of y'all there!

Thursday, April 22, 2010


Just a reminder: this weekend is Stumptown Comics Fest! Above is what I will have available for you. I will be tabling on Saturday morning and Sunday afternoon. Also, Friday night I will be at Drink and Draw Like a Lady at the Secret Society in lovely NE Portland. There will be tons of awesome folks at both events. Oh yes, and Sunday is also the QZAP talk at the IPRC!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Officially done.


As this page indicates, Milkyboots #10 is complete. Because I'm evil, I will not be selling it until this weekend, which is Stumptown Comics Fest. Actually, I will also have another new comic as well, that is fiction! About cute girls! And weird stuff! I will be tabling Stumptown with my IPRC certificate program classmates, and we will all have things to sell. Plus our class anthology! Which is awesome!

To summarize - Stumptown Comics Fest is Saturday, April 24th and Sunday, April 25th, from 10 am to 6 pm, at the Lloyd Center Double Tree in Portland. You should come!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

I want to make something beautiful.


Again, lagging on the posting, and not much I can do about it right now. Here is the page from my last post, completed. So you can kind of see my process - people like seeing the process, right?

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Deadlines, Lost, etc.


It does not look like I will be completing a diary comic this week as I have to watch a lot of Lost with my girlfriend and finish my stuff for my class anthology. This extremely terrible scan is a preview of that project (It's extremely bad because my pencils are really light and also I don't know how to use Photoshop, really.) It's about my roommate, who is one of the strangest and funniest people I have ever met.* If you want to see more of this story, and my vastly-more-talented classmates' work, you'll just have to come to Stumptown Comics Fest and get a copy. I know the website doesn't have my name on it, but I will be there, working the IPRC tables.

Also at Stumptown I will have for sale: a fiction mini-comic called "The Warehouse on Poplar," Milkyboots #10 Winter 2010 Diary, some back issues of Milkyboots and some other surprises.

*Olivia and I have been tempted to create a fan page for her on the FB, but think that it might creep her out.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Another Day, Another Burrito.


Sorry about the ink blotches, I did this with my nib pen!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Spring Break!

Well, I have been too busy doing zine camp promo stuff and other things, so I did not draw a diary this week. I know it's a cop-out, but this was the only new thing I had, from a mini-mini I made with the kids last week at the comics jam. It was called "Fun Things to do in the Springtime if you are a Robot in Portland." I don't really care about robots, but it was prolly about time I did a robot comic.

Thanks to everyone who donated, it's GREATLY appreciated! I will be sending you little treats in the mail soon!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


I have been working at the IPRC more, which means more access to scanners, which means more bloggy posts. Here is a self-portrait I did today, which will hopefully turn out alright as a screen-printed image.

I don't like to ask, but if any of y'all want to drop a little in my tip jar to the left there, I have two bills due on Monday that I don't got the funds for. I can send you a screen-printed postcard in exchange. Thanks!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Mail-Order Stripper


I was drawing this yesterday and thinking about how I was being kind of snarky about the just-dumped guy and how several of my friends are going through similar experiences ... I started to feel kind of bad. So - sorry you got dumped, hipster dude, and I hope everything works out for you.

Friday, March 12, 2010

I'm back!


I haven't had time to draw a diary page since I got back on Wednesday, but I should be posting one on Sunday. This is a doodly I did on the plane back from the UK. The quote is Joanna Newsom.

Friday, February 26, 2010

The Best Boob


I will be out of town for the next two weeks or so, since my parents sprang for a family vacation to visit my brother in London. I guess we're going to Bath and some place called Devizes too.
Anyway, I won't be able to post. Hopefully this will sustain you!

UPDATE: I've gotten rid of the "followers" widget and started monitering the comments. I'm sure you don't really care why I've done this, but I'm gonna tell you anyways - there have been entirely too many white supremacists, fundamentalist Christians, anti-feminists and 12 year olds who want me to comment on their blogs adding Milkyboots. How do I know this? I usually check out the blogs of new followers, because I am interested in who is reading. And now, I'm sort of afraid.
Apparently, a bunch of people have added Milkyboots without actually reading anything I've written, and that creeps me out. So, I'm going to repost here what I said in a comment last month:

I feel like I should warn you now: I am an ardently feminist, pro-choice, anti-traditional gender roles, radical queer person. If you decide to continue reading, please take into consideration that you may find yourself strongly disagreeing with some of the things I say. That being said, thank you for reading."

Maybe I'm taking this too personally for the internet, but for God's sake, people, try actually reading and comprehending something for once.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Well, folks ...


It seems like once a week is the best I can do right now.