I’m Back from New Mexico

I went on a small vacation to Albuquerque and Santa Fe, New Mexico to visit Christian Beranek, co-creator of Validation.

Newsletter subscribers got some cool stories about what we did during the vacation. So for you, dear reader, I’m going to share some of the sketches I made during the trip.

new mexico trip sketches

We saw the lava rock petroglyphs on the outskirts of Albuquerque, so I made lots of sketches of those.

new mexico petroglyphs sketches

Then, on our way to some restaurants in Santa Fe, we stopped through Madrid and Cerillos.

new mexico madrid sketches

And yes, that is a zebra on a roof with a guitar. Here’s a picture me drawing the thing in real life if you don’t believe me.

madrid new mexico photography by christian beranek
Photography by Christian Beranek

Christian took lots of pictures while we drove around, which turned out really nicely.

madrid new mexico dinosaur sign
Photography by Christian Beranek

By the end of the trip, I felt rested and rejuvenated! It was great to get out of Ohio and West Virginia for a change and see the enormous, expansive desert that I missed so much.

I may have moved out of Arizona two years ago, but the deserts will always make me feel more at ease.

…I’m already planning a return trip next year.

Thank you for reading!

You. Are. Awesome.

This Year at Phoenix Comicon…

This was my first year ever at Phoenix Comicon and it was a blast!

I spent most of my days at my table with Christian, the other half of Validation

Christian at the table we shared. The table is covered in comic books and art.

We sold out of copies of Validation by early Sunday afternoon, which is awesome! And I sold out of bookmarks not once, but twice. I even sold out of one of my really old art prints (I’m glad they sold. I’ve been wanting to find them good homes for years).

While at the con I saw my first ever Dalek with a voice box and rotating head…

Dalek rolls around the convention floor.


I also got the chance to meet my readers, which was fantastic. I even met new readers, including these girls:

three girls read copies of Validation.

There was also dinner at the Hyatt restaurant and enjoying the nighttime view of the city.

The restaurant itself rotated. It was the first ever rotating floor I ever dined on and it was…surreal.

And creepy.

And sort of terrifying when you’re drunk.

night time view of Phoenix

I also got the chance to have lunch with two guys from Team Four Star. They were really cool people. Later on I got to ask them a question at a panel they hosted. Realistically, theirs was the only panel I was interested in going to that entire weekend. I’m glad I went!

The entire time I was at the con, I was meeting comic artists and former TV producers over dinner, talking to really cool fans, and I even got interviewed twice!

The folks over at Watch Play Read and Land of the Nerds were kind enough to interview Christian and myself at the con. They should be up online soon.

Christian and I will also be appearing in other interviews. I’ll post links when they’re ready for sharing.

Phoenix Comicon treated everyone really well. The complaints were few and far between. Mostly we (the creators and guests) were all excited for the VIP lounges and the food the con provided for us.

The quickest way into my heart is with food, and Phoenix Comicon has won me over.

They had a bowl full of blueberries and it took all of my willpower not to just grab the whole thing and walk off.

Also in their guest lounges, they had toys and games on the tables and you could just take them.

companion cube from portal was a prize in the lounges.
Why yes! I will take a Companion Cube. Don’t even ask!

That’s how I got a Companion Cube and a copy of J.R.R. Tolkien’s translation of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.

And a dinosaur hand puppet.

I love dinosaurs, in case you can’t tell.

T-Rex Sissy Fight


This past weekend was one of the best weekends I have had in (what historians would call) a long. Ass. Time.

I’ve been sending thank-you messages to the people I met at the con and I still feel like it’s not enough.

The love I felt while I was there was immense. Not just the love for Validation or Johnson & Sir (but there was a lot of that, too!).

There was just such a love for comics and art and pop culture and it was so energizing and inspirational to see the enthusiasm and love everywhere.

Everyone was awesome.

I’m hoping to make it back to Phoenix Comicon next year.