Thursday, October 28, 2010

Sketches from PIX

I had a super time at PIX two weekends ago! I (for the first time ever) sold back the cost of the table, and then actually MADE. MONEY. It may be in part due to the fact that the table cost only $25, but I'm still feeling pretty good about myself.

Since I was at the show by myself, I had a lot of time to work on my comics. So of course I didn't; I just doodled the whole time.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Come see me at PIX!

Hello out there!

This weekend there is going to be a comic convention in Pittsburgh, PA called PIX (Pittsburgh Indy Comic Expo 2010). And I will be there! It's happening the same weekend as APE, so all you poor folks that don't have the money or time to go out to San Fransisco will have something that's destined to be equally awesome closer to home! Also, I will be there selling my comics.

Click here for a link to the PIX site.
Click here for an article about it in the Tribune Review.

And here is a copy of my It Gets Better strip I did last week for the new gay. I will be selling copies of this at PIX for $10, $8 of which will go to the Trevor Project. If you are not able to come but would like to get a copy, send me an email at katie.omberg at

Friday, October 8, 2010

It gets better

I'm a huge fan of the campaign that Dan Savage started. No matter what flaws it has, and no matter how imperfectly better it gets, lets be honest: not being in high school is an improvement. Here's a link to my it gets better strip at the new gay.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Things I am up to related to comics

Here is a recent iteration of Office Bitch, the weekly strip I do for The New Gay. I am really loving working for them and having a deadline that is enforced by someone other than me. Without it, I have a really hard time getting my act together and producing work (as you can tell by my really intense presence here on my blog).

I went to SPX a few weeks ago and LOVED. IT. It was so great to see so many people just zoned out on comics. I met a lot of awesome people, and don't know what a single one of them does for their day jobs. It's so awesome to make connections like that. People responded really well to "Gay Kid," which is now the formal name for the coming out comic. I actually sold out and had to make more copies half-way through the convention to keep it going!

Next on the docket, is PIX (Pittsburgh Indy Comics Expo) which is Oct 16 - 17. I'm not sure I'll have anything brand new for it, but I will have all my old minis, as well as the first issue of Gay Kid, which was finished in September. If any of you will be around then, please please please come check out my table! It's free to get into the show, which is rare in comic cons.

Thursday, August 5, 2010


Ok, I can't keep a lid on this one. I'm really really pumped about this cover; even more now that it's in full color!

FULL DISCLOSURE: I haven't worked in real, hand-inked color since probably high school. I used to do a large scale, full color comic book at the end of each year (full-full disclosure: only after 8th and 9th grade). It took FOREVER and I've never really liked working in color since it takes up more time than I want it to.

So, here it is in color. I shaded it in Faber-Castel brush pens, which are hands down my favorite markers in the world.

The one thing that I wish was true of working in marker is that it was a smoother line. I HATE seeing the grain of the marker, but there's really no way around it. Painting is much more frustrating for me, and I don't have access to Photoshop any more. Coloring it in paint sounds like pulling teeth.

And this is why working in color is so tricky; it always really ups the ante, but it requires a lot more work; is it worth it? Thankfully, since this is a cover, yes I definitely need color for it to have that extra pop. But other than covers, I'm not sure if i'd really work with color on my own volition.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Update on my projects

Hello! I've been working on the Suggestion Box anthology Matthew and I are putting out in time for SPX 2010 (if any of you will be there, or in the DC area the weekend of Sept 11-12, come see me!). I just finished the b&w of the cover yesterday. I'm pretty excited cause I've always been interested in how people draw the old-school style of comics (lots of shading, using both a pen and a brush in a way that works--instead of having it look like a kindergartner using both a marker and a crayon on the same piece of paper, which is usually how it ends up looking for me. ANYways, here it is. I'm hoping that Matthew can do the coloring on it, mostly because I don't have access to photoshop the way I used to (I used to work at an arts college) and it's not that fun for me to do coloring.

Friday, June 25, 2010


WHOA is right. I just visited The New Gay, the blog where "Office Bitch," the new weekly fancy graphics comic strip is at. And look at this BEAST screen shot:

And yes, I did then go ahead and edit it all in paint.

In other news, I just finished up a mini for the mini anthology Candy or Medicine, which is a quarterly publication. And printing is to begin this weekend for the fourth installment of Suggestion Box. So even though I have been a bit absent here, the comic life is still in semi-full swing!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Comic strip in The New Gay

It looks like I'm sending everyone away from this blog once they get here, but here's a link that definitely needs to be included here. I have a new weekly in The New Gay, a blog that was started by my friend Zach who lives in DC. Though it started in the District, it now has pages for cities across the country and covers a spectrum of gay/queer/trans/etc issues. It leans towards hipster (or at least 20-something) gay, which--oddly enough--works for me.

The strip is called "Office bitch" and focuses on Sarah, a character who has been my old stand-by since college. Whenever I've needed a character to just throw into a situation, she's been the go-to. She's 20-something and works an entry-level job at an office. Since "the new gay" has the tag line "for everyone over the rainbow," I'm going to focus most of the strip on things outside of the typical gay experience, not just making it a comic strip where girls hook up (though some have said that this may be a good turn to take), but more about the shitty little things that happen in an admin assistant job.

Oh, what the heck. Here's the first strip:

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Oh man it's been a while

Wow. It has been far too long since I have posted here. Let me start with the most recent drawing I've done and work my way back from there.

I got a new job!!! I finally have left the life of barely managing. I was cobbling together hours from two part-time jobs (one as a museum guard, one as a visitor service rep. at another museum), never going out to eat and pre-gaming before going to bars because I was so poor. I am now working for the League of American Bicyclists (check them out at here) in the Membership and Events department. One of my responsibilities is to work on a quarterly publication we distribute to member club leaders. The illustration above was for this publication; May is National Bike Month, and May 21 is Bike to Work Day, so we needed a pic of a city-smart bicyclist.

In other news, I moved houses (again) from a kind of old, stuffy neighborhood in DC to a more hip and young one. Also, the new house is $300 a month less, which is DEF an improvement, especially when coupled with a regular income, and is with one of my best friends.

Also, my dad got married two weekends ago. So things have been really busy here, and there hasn't been too much time to draw. It's really hard for me to get myself going when I have no routine, spend most of my days by myself, and therefore get lonely and depressed. Being mad is always a great inspiration to me to get drawing, but being sad is like the WORST writer's block ever.

So, long story short, there will be more drawing to come. I am working on contributing a weekly strip to a gay blog (big surprise), and will post a link here once that gets up and running.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

COC: new installment

So I've left the "Seventeen" story line alone this past week, and have jumped ahead to high school. I got kind of sick of all this holy-shit-I'm-stuck-in-my-head for now, and have temporarily moved onto more action. I've done about 9 pages of this section of the coming out storyline, all of which is done without any interior monologue or narration. Doing it completely from the third-person has been a lot different than how it was to actually live this experience, which involved a LOT of back-thinking (why am I acting this way? what am I thinking? what is going on? who do I think I am?) and a lot of worry (what if she hates me? what if I hate myself? what if I am completely clueless and awkward?).

Here are three of these nine pages. I'm sorry if it's a bit hard to read the text in the images, but if you click on it you should get an enlarged version that should be clearer.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Old article I found

I was trawling the internets the other day, which means I was googling myself, "Katie Omberg," which is always a fun thing. I found this old review that Rob of Panel Patter did of my work from SPX last fall. Check it out here.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

COC installment 5

After much anticiption, here is the fifth section of the Coming Out Comic. And yes, we are still in Safeway. And yes, we are still reading Seventeen.
So I work this dumb security job at an art museum in DC. The one benefit of it is that you are surrounded by interesting things to look at. The downside is that, after looking at them for 7 hours a day, they aren't that interesting anymore. Here's a drawing I did of a grandfather clock that's on the old side of the museum. I did it on the back of a receipt, which is why the image looks a bit bogus.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

"Seventeen," why?!

Oh man. So, for those of you who have been following the COC storyline, "seventeen" magazine is something which all 4th grader girls hold in the highest esteem. Well, at least they did 10 years ago.

Anyways, I found this really disheartening story on a transphobic article they published in Oct. 2009. Click here to read about the article.

Also, here is a link to the latest section of the COC, in which "Seventeen" plays a pivitol role in my life. IN. MY. LIFE. people.

Here is a link to Pam's House Blend, which has a PDF of the original article.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

SBox3 Debut and the VA Comicon

This past Sunday Matthew and I went to the VA Comicon in Richmond, VA. It was a pretty small thing with an even smaller turn out of indie-interested people. I still had a pretty great time; hanging out behind the table with Matthew and his son Christopher was a great. It was nice to see some quality dad/kid time, and it reminded me of going to conventions with my dad. Albeit, they were stamp and coin conventions and we were going to buy instead of sell, but still.

It was the debut of Suggestion Box 3: A Titanic Failure. There is nothing quite as rewarding as selling the first issue of a new project. Here's the completed cover, in super-classy green:

It's similar in design to the cover of Suggestion Box # 2, except this time with a ship's captain's sleeve. Too bad I thought about making the cuff have something to do with the content after SBox2, which has like a professor's tweed jacket showing up in a comic book about hip hop music fans.

I bought two old school comic books at the show, totaling $1.25. WOW. So expensive. Anyways, the first was a Teen Titan's book from "the first lady's drug awareness campaign." That first lady is Nancy Reagan. I was inspired to get it after Christopher came back from picking one up, and I was amazed at the quality.

I then bought an issue of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles from Nov. 1987, which is like, the BEST. I was a huge TMNT fan as a kid (Leonardo was my favorite; duh, who else could be the best? Two swords? You cannot argue with a katana, much less two), and am always happy to find old books of theirs:
Turtle Power!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

More good news!

I put in my first bid for a job as an artist two weeks ago. It's doing the cover for a document being put out by a small non-profit here in DC. AND I GOT IT! I am so excited. This is really helping me understand--even more--how quitting the full-time job I had was the best thing I have ever done for myself. Period. I have never been so happy as I am right now: getting paid to do what I would be doing for free otherwise, working with Matthew Smith on some great minis, and finally getting my act together regarding this coming out comic. Outside of drawing, I am loving the city (yes, DC can be called "the city." If you think NYC is the only city, check out a map.), I have a great girlfriend, and wonderful friends. I am also getting better at cooking, which goes nicely with the fact that I have very little money to spend going out for dinner since I left the full-time gig.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Etsy Account

Today has been a busy one in terms of getting my act together with my drawing. I have been working on creating an Etsy account for a while, but it took me a minute to get it looking good. Check it out!

COC installment 4

Here is the forth section of the Coming out Comic. I apologize for the long lage between this section and the one before; with the CRAZY snow that DC got, I have been in hibernation mode. Mostly that includes making and eating cookies and sleeping til one. Clearly, no time to draw in there.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

How is this even possible.

So remember how I posted on how much I love the snow? Well, I think our love affair may be coming to an end. It is still snowing. There is about 30 in. on the ground. Now, if this were the midwest or something, this would not be this bad. Partly, because people have snow tires -- and cars to put them on -- and have mad snow plows to dig everyone out, and grocery stores that are not shocked by the snow. In a city that on average gets no more than 10 in of snow a winter, this really is something else.  The metro has shut down service at all above-ground stations. The buses have stopped running. I have not seen milk at a grocery store since Friday.

Here are some pictures that my friend Cassie took of the snow.


You have the green light....TO SNOW FOR FUCKING EVER.

This is a tree in front of my house. With a cross country skier under it. Now you're probably thinking "ohmigod is there a car under that tree? Boy, I hope not. That would suck." Well, there is a car under that. And it is my roommate's car. What a horrible thing to have happen. The tree fell down five days ago. It is still across the road. It is still on top of her car.

So yeah, long story short, I am getting over this snow.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Suggestion Box 3: A Titanic Failure

Hi hi!

So, no installment of the COC this week. I've been really busy working on the next Suggestion Box with Matthew Smith (if you haven't checked out his work yet, here is a link to his blog). So far I've finished inking five of the eight pages. This one is turning out a lot more detailed from the last, and I've seen even a huge progression within my own illustrations, even since working on "Mildly Irritateing." Holy crap, now that I just wrote this, I realize I haven't uploaded any images from MI! I will have to do this at a later date.  I've gotten a lot more comfortable in filling in space with gray tones, something I used to shy away from. I finaly realized that the extra ten minutes per page is worth it, since it creates a much more balanced page and a much more interesting layout when you encoorperate a range of tones that spread across the page. Here is the first page of the new comic. I will let you all know when this is done, and I will add it to my etsy site and Matthew and I will be exhibiting it at the VA ComiCon on Februrary 28. Come check us out!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Snow day!

Oh my God I. LOVE. THE SNOW. Like a crazy person. I went to college in Massachusetts, and one of the main reasons I headed all the way up to the snowy north (besides the ladies) for my schooling was because of just that: it is the SNOWY north.

Whenever it snows in DC, the city really just shuts down. Everyone goes home and stays put. I love the few hours during a snowfall when the sidewalks are clear of persons, but not of snow. I walked from Dupont Circle to Shaw (from work to dinner at a friend's house) on Saturday, through ab out five inches of snow. It was about a mile, and was like being in heaven. I love all snow. City snow is no better than any other type of snow, but it definitely has it's own perks: you get to see how snow looks on a variety of buildings, the sky turns that gray-orange from the street lights reflecting off the clouds, and everyone becomes more friendly in that "well, we're all in it together" sort of mentality.

Here's a picture I drew from an image that stuck in my head on my walk. I felt like a crazy person for stopping and standin for no reason in between spurts of walking as fast as possible so I could keep warm.

The text reads: "It snowed last night. I walked from work to a friend's house for dinner. It was still snowing. The sky was that orange it gets when it snows in a city at night. When the city is quiet and when you stop, you can hear the snow hit the ground."

Thursday, January 28, 2010

COC sections 4-6 (ok, really just "installment 3")

I'm going to shut up and just post this installment of the COC. See the post I uploaded right before this to hear more about my life.

Completely unrelated


So the other day I was alone. All alone. Being alone would definitely belong in the top five things that Katie is bad at (the others being: spelling, writing in a non stream-of-conscious way, getting up in the morning, and not being a grandma). By about one o'clock, I had already sent out two emails to my ladyfriend and to my friends being like "what are you doing tonight. hanging out with me? for the LOVE OF GOD say yes." Thankfully one of them, who had stayed home from work that day, suggested that we both head down to Tryst. Tryst is a great coffee shop in Adams Morgan and the hub of the unemployed/artist/angtsy-people-with-DC-flag-tattoos crowd. It was a really good idea; no longer was I overwhelmed by feeling completely alone, and I was able to bust out the below drawing and the 12-panel next installment of the COC. Here's a drawing that I did after sitting in the same place for three hours, having drunk the well of inspiration dry.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

COC page 2

Hello out there! Please enjoy this second installment of the COC (Coming Out Comic). As always, click for a legible version.
I spent all day today working on the draft for a Suggestion Box #3, which I am really looking forward too. I will upload more on that later! But for now....
If you really want to live this moment with me, click here.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Coming Out Comic: the beginnings

Things are kind of a mess here. I have spent this whole morning applying for jobs. This means that I have spent this morning updating my resume and debating whether "arranged" or "scheduled" is better (I came down on the side of "scheduled") when talking about giving tours ("giving" does not even enter into it). 

I also FINALLY bought myself some new pens earlier this week. Here is a picture of them, and how beautifully different each one is:

The brush one is a bit hard for me to work with, because I basically carve into any paper I work on and to make this one work well, you have to change the amount of pressure you put onto the pen. It will take me some more practice to make this a efficient tool, instead of just something that is really fun for doodling with. When it comes to actually drawing comics, I have a lot better luck using the straight-up pens, since I can anticipate exactly what the line will do and exactly what the end result will look like. If I want to make a thinner or thicker line, I can just use a different pen. I know what I will get if I use a .08 or a .01. The only problem is that sometimes the drawings can look like they were made in a doctor's office they're so sterile. The brush looks so freaking lively and quintessentially artistic. You could drawing a smiley face with it and it would look like some sort of fine art about the "human condition" or something similar.

Ok, this is definitely enough rambling for one day. Here is a first installment of some of the work I am doing on the coming out comic (hereafter to be referred to as the COC, which is pretty funny when said aloud about realizing one is a dyke.). Click on the image for a larger copy of it. Enjoy!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Already excited

I got an email earlier this week from the SPX coordinator saying that tables are up for reservation for SPX 2010. For those of you who do not know what SPX is, it is basically the Promised Land of indie cartoonists and self-published cartoonists and zine-sters. Click here for more info. It's not going on until the weekend after Labor Day, but my joy is already set to an overwhelming level.

I have really done some soul-searching (cause I'm deep like that, shut up) about the next big project that I'll be working on for the fall show. I recently had a working date with a friend of mine and as I started just doodling before she came over, an old story that I have heard popping out of the back of my head for a while finally took hold. I've thought a lot about making a comic that has a really heavy personal meaning, and the 0ne that really takes the cake is the story of coming out and of knowing that I was a big gay basically from the start. I remembered that one of the reasons why I got so into comics in the first place when I was in high school was that was the closest place to where I felt someone "got" me. I didn't need to know them, and the story didn't even need to be real (in the case of Terry Moore's "Strangers in Paradise" series) or really that terribly decipherable to a 14 year old who has a hard time reading other people's handwriting and knows nothing about drugs (Ariel Schrag's high school comic books.)

All differences aside, these were the books that I could bury my nose in and feel the "holy-shit-I'm-different" anxiety come down from the break-neck speed at which it would attack.

There will definitely be more to come as I work on this. I just really needed to get this out of my system.