Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Papercut zine library grand re-opening!

This weekend, as it became apparent that I was getting a very nasty cold, I left the house anyway to attend the grand re-opening of the Papercut Zine Library at its new home in the back corner of Lorem Ipsum books.

When we walked in, the shop was full of zine-appreciators, all listening to a zine reading. After the reading we milled around, took a peek at the collection, and found a table with zine-making supplies so anyone who wanted to could make a page for their comp zine. Friends, we all know I can't resist the opportunity to try out a typewriter. We stood at the table to do layouts, and I typed some text quietly as the first band of the night began to play (The Low Tide; I really liked them!). And from the weird old books and supplies on the table, I made this:

I feel like there might be more to that story, or maybe a fake archaeology zine that may need to happen in the future. For now, I am so excited that the zine library has moved into my neighborhood, and I hope to visit often, read tons of zines, donate extra zines from my collection, and hopefully see more zine-related events in the future. There used to be so much of a zine presence in Boston, and I miss that.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Something Sweet at the WSAC on November 4th

Hi readers! If you are local to Somerville/Cambridge/Boston and are free on November 4th, stop by Something Sweet at the Washington Street Art Center.

The WSAC is hosting an art auction and dessert buffet to benefit the Somerville Homeless Coalition. Over 20 local artists have donated work for the show, and you can bid to take home your favorite piece. I am donating a giclee print of one of my favorite drawings, this one:

Yes, a print of this drawing could live at your house. Totally exciting, right?

The event is Friday November 4th from 6-9pm, and admission is $10 or a donation of canned food or new clothes. Hope to see you there!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Upcoming art shows + appearances

Friends! I wanted to alert you to a bunch of art events I'm involved with in the next few weeks. Come see some art!

September 24 (TOMORROW): MICE (Massachusetts Independent Comics Expo) in Porter Square, 10-6. I will have copies of META and Miss Sequential.

October 1: Tangled group show at the Washington Street Art Center in Union Square, Somerville, MA. I have an embroidered piece in this show. The opening is from 7-10pm.

October 4:
I also have a piece in a taco-themed art show in honor of National Taco Day! At Cantina La Mexicana in Union Square, Somerville, MA at 6pm.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

wonder what i know now

Did I tell you about when I went to the Jejune Institute? What about the adventures that followed? If you read Miss Sequential #3, I mentioned a little bit about it in my stories of exploring San Francisco, but I didn't want to spoil the details for anyone else who might want to participate. Well, if you were curious about what I was talking about very mysteriously in that zine, or if you participated and were curious about other people's impressions of the whole thing, you will be happy to hear that I joined creative forces with Carolee and we made a beautiful zine about our experience.

From Carolee's description:

The Jejune Institute opened in 2008, running its covert third-space reclamation project until the spring of 2011, when the Games of Nonchalance culminated in a day-long Socio-Reengineering Seminar held at the Hyatt Regency in San Francisco. Part cult, part art project, and part Alternate Reality Game, the Jejune Institute defied categorization and definition, particularly for those who were its most deeply involved participants.

This zine is an amalgamation of experience and rumination. There is no way it can provide a comprehensive portrait of all the Games of Nonchalance were or tried to be. It merely scratches the surface of all the mystery and mind-fuckery that followed.

This zine was made in time for this year's San Francisco Zine Fest, and when I say "in time for," I really do mean "in the nick of time for" ... up until two days before I was sending Carolee bits and pieces and maps and my version of the cover (of which there are two: two front covers), and then she expertly assembled it, in record time, into this amazing, thoughtful artifact of our experience. I enjoyed seeing it for the first time as a reader would, which was a unique experience in itself.

At present, the zine is available through Carolee's website, superdilettante. While you are there, do take some time to peruse her other projects, all of which are thought-provoking, beautifully-made, and generally remarkable.

Monday, September 05, 2011


I hate to be an internet-tease, so I first want to say THANK YOU blog readers, for being so patient. I wasn't trying to be super-mysterious about my new zine in my post the other day, but a no-spoilers San Francisco debut was important for reasons that will become obvious in a paragraph or so.

I made a new zine! It is the culmination of months of note-taking and thinking and "This is a great idea but how do I DO it?" ruminations and talks with friends. Do you ever have an idea for a project but struggle with how to do it RIGHT? This was one of those for me, because of the subject matter and how dear it is not only to me, but to many other people. It turns out that it is a pretty big challenge when you mostly write zines about yourself, to then write a zine about someone who you really admire.

Margaret Kilgallen (1967-2001) was a painter and a graffiti artist, a member of the Mission School art movement in San Francisco in the late 1990s, along with her husband, painter Barry McGee. Kilgallen was prolific in her short career, which ended with her death in June 2001. This zine is about my search for more information and insight on Margaret and her work, and tells the story of my own artistic journey as well as thoughts on art in general.

I've been interested in Margaret's work for a long time, but this winter/spring some chance meetings and conversations kind of propelled me into thinking a zine might be a good idea. And then I couldn't stop thinking about it, so I was pretty sure it really was a good idea.

If you know of Margaret and her work, I'm sure you can see how this project was a little bit daunting at times. I felt that it was important to stay true to (what I understand to be) her vision and practices, as well as to my own vision of what this zine would become. And I think it came together very well, from my handmade, Margaret-inspired layouts to the block printed covers that came into existence on my kitchen table during a hurricane using a borrowed press, a borrowed blank lino block, and snacks of Doritos between prints.

If you are not familiar with Margaret and her work, that is all the more reason to check this zine out. I could say "If you like ____ then you'll like this zine," but chances are good that if you're reading this and/or have ever read/liked something I have written, you will appreciate reading this.

Copies are currently available from me via my etsy shop, or as always if you need to arrange ordering some other way, email me and we'll work something out.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

San Francisco Zine Fest: this weekend!

Readers, if you happen to be in the Bay Area this weekend, you should most certainly stop by the San Francisco Zine Fest, which is being held at the SF Fair Building in Golden Gate Park (near the botanical gardens! go wander around there, too! it is otherworldly!). I have been to this fair for the past two years and it is a fantastic, fun, and exceedingly well-run event with zines and comics for every (yes, every!) interest.

I will not be in attendance this year, but my latest project I alluded to in my previous post will debut at the zine fest. Yes, it's true! The topic of my latest zine is very much connected to San Francisco, and so my friend Carolee will have a limited number of copies available at her table. Do stop by!

If you, like me, will not be in SF this weekend, do not fret! I will make a blog post about my new zine with ordering info this coming Monday, also known as Labor Day, also known as a great day to lay on the couch and watch a Dirty Jobs and/or SVU marathon on tv.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Old zines, new zines

Hi readers! It's been a while. While I was having a summer, Miss Sequential was reviewed in an article in the Library Journal focusing on out-of-retirement zine-makers. You can read it here.

And another thing! I've been working on a new zine. It's a little different from past issues, but not completely. I'm not going to tell you what it's about just yet, but here's a photo from yesterday's layout session.

Look for an announcement on this blog (probably next week) on where you can get a copy!

Monday, June 13, 2011

New project: Draw Your Vegetables

It's summertime in the northern hemisphere, and for many of us that means more fresh vegetables, finally. Because this is my first year participating in a CSA, I thought it would be cool to draw my vegetables each week. Not only will this help me to keep a record of the veggies and fruits received (so in planning for next year, this is good "was it worth it" evidence), but it will get me thinking about seasonal recipes and what the heck to do with 20 heads of lettuce (instinct: run away screaming).

Keeping in mind that many people eat more vegetables this time of year, I thought it would be cool to start up a Flickr group called Draw Your Vegetables, a chance to share the contents of your crisper every week (or as often as you'd like to draw them). So whether you participate in community-supported agriculture, visit a local farm stand or farmer's market, grow your own vegetables in your yard, or go to the local supermarket, please join us. All of these vegetables should be drawn!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Orderly Disorder tour poster

It's been a busy few weeks! In the midst of everything, I agreed to draw this flier for Orderly Disorder: Zinester Librarians in Circulation Tour, a nine-city tour of the southeast and midwest by a crew of zinester librarians in a magical zinemobile. The tour starts off in two Sundays from New Orleans, and makes stops in Atlanta, Murfreesboro TN, Pittsburgh, Cleveland... well, you get the idea. See the website for details.

The group didn't have a set idea for the poster, so they left it up to me to come up with a concept. I pictured the zinemobile as an ice cream truck with wings and lots of zines fluttering around, so that's what we've got here. There was an awful lot of text to fit in, so I alternated a few different styles of hand-drawn type to create an hierarchy of information and to look cool. I also incorporated the list of stops and participants typed on my typewriter, which gave it an old-school cut-and-paste zine look.

The zinemobile isn't coming within several states of where I am, but if you're in one of the cities it plans to visit, be sure to check the blog for more info. The zinester librarians will be reading from their own work, which should be really cool.

Monday, June 06, 2011


I've been waiting for ages to be able to show this to you. Several months ago, a friend of the family (actually my sister's oldest friend--I think they've been pals since kindergarten) contacted me about designing baby shower invitations for her sister. They wanted to use an owl theme, and they didn't have too many requirements besides that, so I was free to add what I thought would work best. This is what I came up with.

They also wanted me to design a thank-you note that could be sent to party guests following the shower. We agreed that I shouldn't reinvent the wheel, so I traced the owls from the invite and kept it simple.

I had drawn the initial illustrations in ink, and then colored them with watercolor. In order to keep the watercolor effect, I printed all the invitations and thank-you notes on my home inkjet printer. This was possible because we didn't need too many invites/thank you cards, but for a larger print run I'd definitely consider using a printing service in the future. I love printing and comping, but I also like taking a break while someone else takes care of all that stuff, you know? Catch a movie or something. Anyway, the cards all turned out great, everyone loved them, and it was a fun little project for early Spring.

Friday, June 03, 2011

Interview on the Craftland blog today

Exciting news: today I am the featured artist on the Craftland blog.

Craftland is a store in Providence, Rhode Island, that sells items made by indie designers, many from New England and others from faraway lands. Craftland has carried my goods in their special holiday sale for the past few years, and they currently carry a lot of my handmade items in their year-round shop. It has always been a great experience working with them, and they have helped me bring my work to a larger audience, so when they asked if they could interview me for the blog, I said OF COURSE.

The interview features lots of discussion about my work space, philosophizing about winner medals, some stuff about my zine history, and other topics. There is also a photo of me looking cool as a cucumber drinking a beer from a glass (fancy!!) at Vesuvio Cafe in San Francisco. Vesuvio is directly across Jack Kerouac Alley from City Lights bookstore, and with all those Beat poet connections it is an ideal place for being cool. Just saying.

Thank you Craftland! And thank YOU for reading.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Attn: zine readers! Many Mails!

Dear people who have read my latest zine, Miss Sequential #4,

Thank you for reading! I wanted to assure you that I was not kidding about the mini-zine that you could get from me if you sent a SASE. Here is a photo, so you will know it is real:

The Many Mails of Miss Sequential

Look at that cover paper. Fancy! This is a zine of drawings of all the mail I sent out from January-March 2011. Yes, I drew all those mails.

And I should say that SASE is the ONLY way you can get one of these mini zines. They're not going to distros, they're not going to be with the rest of my zines in my Etsy shop.

If you haven't read Miss Sequential #4, you can order it here.

If you want to read the mini Many Mails zine only, you can send a SASE (or an IRC if you're outside the USA) to:

Marissa Falco
65 Newton Street #2
Somerville, MA 02143

Note: Zine dimensions are about 4 x 4.5 inches, so any envelope that will accommodate that will be perfect. If you are in the USA, a 44-cent stamp will be sufficient.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Open studios April 30 + May 1: one more thing!

Friends! I received a question from someone about whether or not you should bring your own supplies for the letter-writing party at my open studio tomorrow and Sunday. This is the deal:

I have made some special-for-the-event stationery AND postcards which you are welcome to use. I will be digging through my paper stash for some coordinating envelopes. I also received a donation of some stationery from the Letter Writers Alliance from their recent letter-writing party and it is very cool. You can use that, too. No charge for any of this stuff, by the way.

However, if there is a special paper you want to use, or maybe you write all your notes to friends on Atlantic City postcards or something clever like that, well you are certainly welcome to bring it for yourself. Either way, no problem!

And I will also have a selection of stamps available, in case you need one. Because if you're gonna write a letter, you're gonna want to mail it.

Ok! See you tomorrow, or maybe Sunday!

Miss Sequential #4

Miss Sequential #4 is now available! Subtitled Outgoing: My Life in Mail, this issue of Miss Sequential chronicles the way in which the mail (the US Postal Service, pen pals, etc.) has figured prominently in my life from birth to the present. It is an autobiography framed by the act of correspondence. It is entirely hand-written, as though a letter from me to you.

You can get my zine through my shop on Etsy, although if you need to arrange purchase another way just contact me at thimblewinder at gmail dot com and we'll work something out.

And of course, this zine will most definitely be available at this weekend's Open Studio + Letter-Writing party, which is tomorrow and Sunday.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


I forgot to post about this earlier!

This is a logo I created for FILL-anthropic, an organization started by one of my friends from home, Karen Gilbransen. We worked together to come up with a logo concept that would suggest a glass-half-full optimism about doing your part to make a difference in our hometown community of Willimantic, Connecticut.

The logo was created in black and white to keep printing costs minimal (flyers and postcards can be printed on any photocopier) and to keep the beverage generic (though if we're being honest, mine would have to be one of the house brews from the Willimantic Brewing Company). A color version could be an easy change in the future.

From the organization's Facebook page:

Raising money for local non-profits is as easy as going out for a drink and leaving a donation. It really is that simple. Once a month we meet at the Willimantic Brewing Company, spend time with friends and meet new ones. We ask for a donation of $5. That money goes to a local organization that we choose.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Lynda! Barry!

Lynda! Barry! by thimblewinder
Lynda! Barry!, a photo by thimblewinder on Flickr.

Last night I went to see cartoonists Lynda Barry (One! Hundred! Demons!, What it Is) and Alison Bechdel (Fun Home) read from their work and discuss comics at Wellesley College in Wellesley, Massachusetts.

Right before the event, while people were still trickling into the auditorium, Lynda sat in the front row, re-braiding her hair and tying on a bright red bandanna. My hero.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Open studios April 30 + May 1

It's that time again! Somerville Open Studios is in just a few weeks, and I will be showing my recent and older and maybe even FUTURE creations. And so will you.

Wait, what's this about you? That's right. Should you come visit my studio on April 30 or May 1 between the hours of noon and 6pm, you may very well create some art of your own. Making and sending mail is a big part of my creative process, so I've decided that my open studio should include a casual letter- (or postcard, or thank-you note) party, because good mail is something to be shared. Also, I am thinking about making brownies, which are also something to be shared.

In addition to the letter-writing business (and you don't have to if you don't want to), THERE WILL BE A NEW ZINE if that's your sort of thing. There is also a possibility of looking at some zine flats, and some stuff I'm not quite finished with, because process is cool, and I'm going to show some illustration work I've done this past year. I'm not sure what else, but it'll be fun.

You can find my location, a map, and an artist statement right here.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Brilliant Mistake + Your Secretary cover

Rats in Love illustration

This is a zine cover I drew, commissioned for a valentine-themed split zine by Carrie of Brilliant Mistake and Jami of Your Secretary. They wanted something valentine-related, but kind of unexpected or campy, and we decided that rats in love was the right way to go. They were planning to have the cover silkscreened in one color of ink, so I took that into consideration when I was making the drawing. It was a fun project to work on, and I enjoyed reading the finished zine. I hear that you can get a copy of the zine from Quimby's Bookstore in Chicago.

I have another recently-finished illustration project I'll be able to share soon. Stay tuned!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Presidentine/New Year's 2011

Make More Mail

I accidentally wished a bunch of people "Happy 2001" instead of "Happy 2011" when addressing these cards to friends & family. Whoops.

Artists and their Bookshelves

Today I was featured in a ginormous, image-heavy blog post about artists and their book collections and means of dis-/organization. My two bookshelves are featured, as well as a few words about what the collection means to me.

The author of the blog is the very talented Jessica Gowling, who makes awesome nature-inspired artwork.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Temporarily Out of Hibernation

Hello readers! It's been a long winter, and there is still more to go! I've been laying low since the holidays, thinking about what I want to make next. I've been working on some illustration projects that I can't share just yet (soon, soon!) but rest assured there has been lots of art-making and project-planning happening on my couch if not in my studio.

I'm currently doing a lot of drawing (for me and for other people) and am working on a new zine.

If you like to plan in advance, you could mark April 30 and May 1 on your calendar. That weekend will be Somerville Open Studios, and I'll be exhibiting again this year. Here's a photo to give you a clue of what my projects this year will entail:

Coming soon

... more on that very soon!