Monday, November 24, 2008

bazaar bizarre boston!


what i've been up to lately. i am involved in organizing as well as selling stuff this year, so i have been super-busy! here's the flyer i made for the event.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

halloween, corporate style

i'm on the social committee at the publishing company where i work, and every year our work throws a pretty excellent halloween party for employees and their kids. this year i was in charge of flyers and invitations, so one afternoon i sat down with a sharpie and sketched out these monster co-workers:


then i scanned them into the computer and colored them in photoshop. i decided to keep the flyers simple, because of the simple drawing style. (you're not seeing the entire flyer because most of the rest of it is boring details including my work's name, my work's address, and really i need to stop getting so much fan mail there. i'm sure you understand.)


i am secretly hoping that someone will pull me aside and very seriously ask me if i used them for inspiration for any of my characters. "am i the werewolf on three?!" 'fraid so.


Friday, October 10, 2008

something spooky is brewing

More long-distance murals for Eastern Perk (701 Main Street in Willimantic, CT). I'm not sure if they've had a chance to hang them yet, but I do know Karen likes it when I write about things.

eastern perk halloween 1

Fun fact: Did you know that when I was in 3rd grade, I won a Halloween drawing contest and had my portrait of Dracula printed in the Willimantic Chronicle? That likeness was much scarier than this one, but that's ok; we don't want to scare the customers away. If my mom still has a copy of my 3rd grade Dracula, I'll try to scan it in and post it here.

I briefly considered giving this Dracula a red mug with red steam, but that's just gross. Too much True Blood lately, folks.

eastern perk halloween 2

Who are these mysterious Perk patrons? Beats me, I just draw 'em.

eastern perk halloween 3

I have known there to be several haunted places in the Willimantic area, and just want to say, in case any ghosts are reading this over anyone's shoulder, Hello, welcome, thanks for mostly not scaring the bejeezus out of me, and I know this isn't what you look like, it's just a Halloween thing.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

more movies i've watched

dark knight

i still don't know what to say about "the dark knight" except i really enjoyed it, but am still not ready to see it again. it was intense.

pineapple express

sorry seth rogen and james franco: i'm sure you're fun to draw, but MIA's song "paper planes" has been stuck in my head since i saw the first preview for your movie. also, i just about cried when you guys were in the woods: so brilliantly ridiculous.

p.s. fun fact: i would never wear a ski mask because i find them TOTALLY SCARY. file along with fright masks and clowns under the category "disguises that mostly freak me out." see also: most wigs.

Friday, September 26, 2008

barack steady

barack steady!

let me break it down for you, friends: sometimes i need to get a little political.

sometimes a public figure is too entirely perfect a candidate for a marissa-made portrait. sometimes it takes me months and months to be able to get the drawing-in-my-head to commit itself to paper. this one has been bouncing around in my brain for a few months. today i give you barack steady, a 1.25" button (pin, badge, what have you) in celebration of the man himself. not only did i design the button, but i assembled them on megan & sarah's button machine, fueled by chicken pot pie and HOPE. i am rather thrilled with how they came out.

this is a limited edition of 96 buttons (with a possible second edition to come, should there be a need), and one of them can be yours! i'm asking for a $1 donation per button, and all donations will go to obama/biden '08.

if you're someone i see in person, you can just hand me a dollar and i'll hand you a button.

if you're a faraway friend
, ordering info is thus: buttons are $1 each with an additional $1 shipping. the $1 shipping covers the cost of postage/envelope and will cover up to 10 buttons. so if you order 3 buttons, you send me $3 for the buttons + $1 postage = $4. cool? payments can be sent to me via paypal to if you don't have paypal, kindly email me at that same email address and we'll figure something out.

edited to add: hello readers from! i have currently sold out of the first batch of these buttons (as of 10/5), but will have more available in about a week.

buttons back in stock as of 10/11. get 'em while they're still here!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

summer & andy are getting hitched!

this is a project i've been working on for a few months, and it's finally finished! my friends summer and andy are getting married this autumn, and requested wedding save-the-date cards and invites in comic strip form. you know how much i love drawing my friends in cartoon form, so of course i said yes.

first up was the save-the-date, which they wanted to have printed up as a postcard. they came up with the copy and the general concept of featuring their vintage airstream trailer (hitched, get it?), and supplied copious reference photos. i did a lot of drawing, and was really happy to hear that the only edit they wanted me to make to my initial sketch was to make andy's beard more robust!


then it was on to the invitation, a much more involved creation. we went back and forth on format, size, and pretty much everything else for a few months. unfortunately, if you're going to draw a comic that you want to print at 100%, you have to know things like trim size and know that they're not going to change. once that detail was ironed out, they supplied the copy and the art direction for the various frames, as well as many, many reference photos. the first two frames they had very specific requests as to the identical shoes they were wearing when they first met (old school vans) and the jazz club where they eventually fell in L-U-V (jazzy, crowded). the direction for the last panel was, "... and then i want it to end in a WEDDING EXPLOSION. you know what i mean."


i've heard that their 3-year-old nephew was the first to realize that summer and andy's dogs had made it to the wedding illustration. but of course!

i think it turned out pretty well! summer had it printed offset on french paper muscletone (very hefty) in a chocolate-brown ink. there's copy on the back, too, which was set in estilo script, a font i got from veer that captured the fancy-but-fun aesthetic of the wedding.

a couple of days before printing, we realized that there was a need for an rsvp postcard, too. i decided to keep it simple, and snagged the gorilla drummer from the invitation to make a cameo here:


this was a great project, made especially enjoyable by working with friends who were totally into having fantastic invites. i most appreciated when, after showing them my second sketch of the invite, i said "it's going to be much more detailed than this when i ink it, TRUST ME." and they did.

congrats-in-advance, friends! i am very much looking forward to attending your wedding explosion.

Monday, September 08, 2008

caricatures from the castle

bazaar bizarre blog icons

I've been so busy with projects lately! One of them is still top-secret (ah, the nature of other people's wedding invites), but this is one I can show you. I think I mentioned that I'm one of the organizers of the Bazaar Bizarre Boston this year. One of my duties so far has been drawing stuff to promote the event (which is on December 7th from 12-7, so you'd better be there!), and this is a sample of such. These are the little icons we use to personalize our posts on the Bazaar Bizarre blog. The crowns are important, since the fair will be at The Castle at Park Plaza this year. I don't think it's much of a stretch to say it will be royally entertaining.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


for some reason i never got into painting. something about the lack of control of the brushes, the lack of lines outlining everything, the idea of being patient and letting it dry... never really appealed. also, i felt like i had no good ideas of what to paint once the paints were out there in front of me.

but then i ended up planning/curating an art show at my work (so i needed to bring in something i made), and my friend millie said something really funny that i knew i had to draw, and the planets aligned and i made this:

dinner with el chupacabra

it's dinner with el chupacabra, of course. it came out exactly as silly as i hoped it would. the color is a little bit off on-screen, but you get the idea. funny stuff.

and then, because i can't just make ONE of anything, i made this:

shoe shopping with bigfoot

shoe shopping with bigfoot

i'm not sure how much i'll be able to paint (takes time and ideas!) or how much i'll paint vs. draw in the future, but i had so much fun making these and feel like there may be at least a few more paintings in me.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

summertime movies 2008

this summer i've been watching a lot of movies. sure, ticket prices are higher than ever, but i can think of no better way to spend a sweltering summer day away from my apartment. this is the first installment of illustrated impressions of the films i've been watching. and on to the summer blockbusters!

stepbrothers, 7/25

stepbrothers, starring will ferrell and john c. reilly. sophomoric gross-out humor? CHECK!!! i liked this movie because it was completely ridiculous. watch out for the sleepwalking scenes, some of my favorites.

mama mia, 7/26

mama mia, starring amanda seyfried, meryl streep, and about twenty other famous people. i don't like musicals, but i do like ABBA and several of the actors/actresses in this movie, so it was enjoyable. it was appropriately silly and fun, and the only thing that would have made it better was if it were a singalong (attention theatres: do it!!!).

xfiles, 8/1

the x-files: i want to believe, starring david duchovny, gillian anderson, and isn't that really enough? i had suspicions that this movie would be terrible, honestly. i was a huge x-files fan when it was on the air, and felt that i couldn't go without seeing this movie... happily, although it featured zero aliens and nearly as many weird monsters, it was decent and i mostly enjoyed it. "mostly" because it really didn't capture what was so wonderful about the series, which was the overwhelming feeling of possibility. this movie was very grounded and realistic, considering that this is the series that once had a storyline about people being possessed by an extraterrestrial being that leeched into their eyes in the form of a swirly black oily substance. some wacky stuff, but nothing like that.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

graphic design nerdery

this post isn't something i drew, and it's not even related to comics at all. it is, however, a hilarious-to-me scene from the movie "american psycho."

i went to see this movie when it came out, but the hilarity of this discussion was (mostly) lost on me until i started working in graphic design. i saw part of this movie the other day (due to the new batman movie, it seems like there are tons of christian bale movies on lately... no objections here!) and realized just how great this scene is:

Sunday, August 03, 2008

bazaar bizarre promotion

baz biz fans

i'm helping out with some duties for the bazaar bizarre boston this year... my first project was designing these fans to promote the event to vendors and customers at the art beat festival last month in somerville, ma. this has been a fun project so far, and there is lots more to come!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Monday, July 07, 2008

more murals more murals more

bits and pieces of another mural i made for eastern perk coffee shop in willimantic, ct

eastern perk mural

eastern perk mural

eastern perk mural

eastern perk mural

these are acrylic on kraft paper, since i'm painting them long distance it's the best way we've found to go about it.

more soon!

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Hark, is that rustling taffeta I hear?

Prom season, yo. It is upon us, I suppose, if you are in high school or you are the chaperone sort. Recently I was talking with my friend Courtney (see her high school self in row 3 of the below) about this comic, and after I emailed it to her, I decided it deserved a post here.

So, the prom: I'd been looking forward to it for mostly fashion reasons for a while. Around the time we had to buy tickets, my friends and I realized that those cool dudes we knew from ska shows probably weren't going to go with us, and that our best pals (in other grades, from other schools) really would be the best prom dates ever. And so it went:

prom comic 2007

a) Courtney didn't end up going with us to prom after all. I think she had mono or something?

b) That t-shirt i'm wearing was handmade by me in graphic arts class (really one of my first PROPER graphic design experiences). It was the label/sticker on the records in the triple-seven-inch version of Cub's "Come Out, Come Out" album. The silkscreen process was totally dope, with THREE color separations (violet, magenta, and lime green) and I made one for me and one for my penpal Mara who took me around NYC to see some of the sights mentioned in the Cub song "New York City." Wow, that's quite a footnote!

c) Other funny things I am wearing: vintage polyester warmup jacket I found in a box in the hall at school, the same glasses I still wear, the yellow mini-cardigan I picked out at Urban Outfitters in the big city (ie. Boston), which I got as a birthday present from my parents. The dress in the ska show scene is amalgamation of all the mod dresses I wore in that era.

Don't worry, old-timer! You can see the super-ginormo size here, to inspect all my crosshatching and continuity issues.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

ballad of the long-distance muralist

my friend karen recently opened up a coffeeshop in our fine hometown of willimantic, ct. in preparation for said coffeeshop, karen asked me to draw a few things for her.

there is a long history of me drawing things for karen, in fact we first became friends when she was directing a production of "alice in wonderland" at my high school, and i was working on sets and costumes. "i need a tree bleeding color," she said, "i saw the tree in a dream, and that's what it needs to look like. can you make that?" and i did. there were other drawings, and projects, after that.

this project was a little bit different (no bleeding trees involved), we wanted to make a mural that would be a little bit new yorker cartoon, but in color, but not realistic color, and incorporate the eastern perk logo: a steaming cup of the day's brew. here's what i came up with:

eastern perk mural 2

eastern perk mural 1

and! the window murals have gone over VERY well with the shop's visitors, so there may be more of these guys in the future. i've been sent back to boston with a roll of kraft paper and license to draw even more colorful coffeeshop patrons.

Monday, May 12, 2008

inspiration: how to make a repeating pattern

as seen on

how to make a repeating pattern

inspiration! so i won't forget.

Monday, May 05, 2008

the artist as an organ grinder in the distant past

organ grinder

pencil, then ink, then watercolor in sepia-like tones. just because.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

( pard in the parlor )


i am lucky to have a wonderful handmade journal/sketchbook from superdilettante, featuring all different kinds of paper including this yellowed page from an old dictionary. i decided to use it as a drawing prompt, and made a single illustration with images based on the words and definitions on this one page. can you figure out what all the references are? i think i highlighted most of them in red for you.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

coffee and banana

coffee and banana

process sketches from an illustration project for a friend. proposal began with a cell phone conversation:

"hey, remember when you drew a picture of a hot dog for me?"

". . . a hot dog?"

"yeah, a hot dog."

"oh. wait, was it a dancing hot dog?"


"okay! i remember that."

"right. so do you have time to draw me a banana? and maybe a cup of coffee?"

news flash: i buy stuff


this month it felt like i was getting a lot of packages delivered to work. i felt important.

Friday, April 11, 2008


an oldie, from the vaults. this was a one-off card i made for a friend years ago, wishing her luck on her thesis defense:


the blonde-haired girls are both me, with different hairstyles.

shirtless guy with his chest painted is my favorite, though!

new stuff soon...

Thursday, March 27, 2008

when all else fails, draw television

the march 27, 2008 episode of America's Next Top Model, expressed in real-time tiny illustrations:

america's next top model: episode summary (part 1)

america's next top model: episode summary (part 2)

maybe more like this soon. i do like my programs.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Monday, February 25, 2008

art directing tattoos on the subway


for a larger version click HERE.

for art direction of your very own tattoo, email me.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Thursday, February 07, 2008

The Sampler is crafty like ice is cold

this sketch was done for this great craft-related organization/network/awesomeness called the sampler, which brings samples of indie craft items to potential purchasers. it's really a clever concept, and one i have participated in a few times, so i was excited to have the opportunity to help out with this drawing!

drawing for the sampler

the sampler headquarters has recently moved to boston, massachusetts, and alison is curating a special sampler featuring lots of local handmade items. we didn't want the drawing to be too "pahhk the cahhhh" and overly boston, so i opted to include a more subtle detail to indicate the boston area.

like a lot of my drawings, i did a few sketches before i finished the drawing. check 'em out!

process sketch 1

process sketch 2

Monday, January 21, 2008

barbe bleue


this is a project i made for my french translation 3 class when i was in college. we were assigned the story of barbe bleue, or blue beard, to translate from french to english in a creative and interpretative way.

all of my classmates wrote up translations that were fairly straight and true to the story. the night before it was due, i got out my sharpie, my crayons, and my construction paper, and made this:


i thought it would be funny to make it into something on the idea of a children's book, but very, very dark (thanks, creepy storyline). simple drawings with crayon to highlight the two most significant colors.


due to my minimal grasp on the french language, i kept the translation fairly literal but embellished with my own sense of humor and details i thought would add interest to the story. for instance, there are a couple of crusty punk characters and a hero that rides off into the sunset on a vespa scooter.


i'm only showing a sample, since i'm still thinking i might do something with it someday. i'm glad i wouldn't let my teacher keep it. je suis desolee, marie-cecile.


Monday, January 14, 2008

regarding photocopies

comic about work

at my first publishing job i did a LOT of photocopying. my coworker paul and i would stand at photocopiers all day, copying manuscripts. sometimes i'd be stuck at the copiers alone and my mind would wander, as it has been known to do. this comic came about when i pondered the face of the dude on the wrapping around reams of letter-sized paper. it was never finished, but does that really matter?

found in my closet yesterday, probably drawn around 2001-2003.

view a piece above, or follow this link to see the whole thing up close.

Sunday, January 13, 2008



found in a box of stuff from college. i'm not sure when i drew it, though it's possible that it was during college. my math skills are not that bad, and i haven't given much thought to long-distance calls since i got a cell phone. relic from the past!!!

beware the missed opportunity for comedy gold

attention, writers!

(thanks danielle and karen for the extra prodding to draw this!)