A Snippet of the Edgar Allan Poe Anthology

As some of you may know, I have been working on a visual anthology of Edgar Allan Poe’s works with a group of artists. I just finished my illustrations of The Cask of Amontillado, put some watermarks on them and decided to show them off here. Please enjoy this creepy tale of revenge and irony.

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Edgar Allan Poe Anthology

It’s slow going, but fun to work with other people. As some of you may know, I’ve been collaborating and managing a visual anthology of Edgar Allan Poe’s works.

I’ve been rereading a lot of Poe’s works, and I’ve got to say that I never realized what a great ironist he is. When Montresor leaves Fortunado sealed up in a vault, he describes how he feels sick to his stomach, not because of the atrocious act he is committing, but because of the damp nitre in the crypt. Some might interpret that as Montresor having a tinge of guilt, but I actually think it was Poe making a joke!

And The Telltale Heart is filled with irony, as the unnamed murderer believes himself to be so clever, as he plots to kill the old man with the “evil eye.”

Here is a drawing of Montresor, just to  give you guys a sneak peak. I wasn’t sure how I would color it, but I think giving it a graphic design touch really works. Let me know what you think in the comments below!

Montresor Evil Plan

My Drawing Process

Usually I start by taking a picture of real people. Most of the female characters in my book are based off of my anatomy. I’d like to say that it’s because I want there to be more pear shaped women and less ridiculous standards for women, and men! out there, but it’s mostly because of convenience; myhelen-2 drawings are based off of my friends and myself. It works well, because while my story is, in all likelihood, implausible, it’s still based in real science. And I love Wonderwoman! Don’t you ever accuse me of verbally abusing the classics, but we’re entering a comic book era in which variety can flourish. Comics aren’t just about superheroes anymore. Maus, Saga and Lumberjanes are great examples. Anyway, I’ve gotten a bit off topic. I’ve talked a lot about my writing process, because I personally think my my story building skills are superior to my visual art. But I do want to take the time to high light it as well.new-canvaslyria-with-gun

I take a picture, as I said before. Lyria, above, is also my anatomy.

I took a picture of myself with a toy gun. And then on a computer program I blocked out all the shapes. And then I made it look good. That’s about it.

helenMuch love, Miriam Burden

My Writing Process

Starting on my second graphic novel, in the series Beanstalk, I’m already on page 50 at least in my script. It’s going a lot quicker than my first book, and I can’t quite pinpoint why. I don’t think about it as often when I’m at work. (It used to be all I daydreamed about, before some guy punched Richard Spencer, and now that’s all I can dream of doing. I think of that, and Kellyann Conway’s “alternative facts.”)

It could be that I’m not as good at this anymore, or it could be I’ve gotten better. There was a time when the simple task of waiting on tables was daunting, but now I do that with such ease so as it does not register if I’m talking to you, while I’m thinking about something completely different. “Would like fruit or potatoes for your side?” In my head I’m contemplating Rousseau’s ideas on civil liberty, because I am a big nerd like that.

I’ve started this new graphic novel with a rather unexpected side plot. Dennis is a character I had no intention of reviving, but he has become a central part of this project. He is somewhat of an automaton, as I believe a number of scientists and engineers are in reality. (That doesn’t mean all of them are self serving pricks without any intention of serving the greater good.) He got into this business, because he was good at differential equations, and it made him feel good to be competent at something. I feel like that’s something we can all relate to at least on some level, (even if you failed algebra 2 twice in high school ((Guilty!))

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Tshirt Design

I just sent a request to Amazon to receive a merchandise account with them. I’m already selling my first graphic novel with them, and I’d love to keep the momentum going by offering my fans some commodity. I’m thinking about this image for one of my tshirts.

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Back to Work

Welp, I officially put Beanstalk Volume 1 The Farm on Amazon yesterday. While I figured it would feel monumental, (it does feel good) all I can think about is all the things I still have to do in order to advance my writing career. I do perhaps feel a sense of relief. I have proven something to myself and perhaps to other people. (I don’t think they care quite as much as I do, but it’s nice to feel accomplished.)

I took special care of my body today, and reminded myself to live in the moment. I tried to meditate, but it’s not really my thing. I think of myself as a focused person, but meditation is a difficult process.

Now it’s time to work on Volume 2 of Beanstalk!