2.19.20 / by Marina Harkness

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Right now this page doesn’t look amazing but I don’t really need it to. I’m maybe the youngest person in comics to have a blog built into my website. I dunno how I feel about committing to writing frequent blogs or updates on things but I guess I need something on here so it doesn’t look too bare or weird. Right now I’m pulling the plugs on all my other art zones online so this will be the fuckin main zone. Big Data Center.

I’m M.S. Harkness.

Shortrun ‘18

Shortrun ‘18

A couple of people have asked me why I don’t use my full name and there’s a few reasons. I’m trying not to have my full name online and there’s some of you out there who know my real name and had to go through the trouble of me calling you to take it out of your blogs/tweets/comics, etc. You’re all saints and I love you. It’s EM ESS Harkness. Not Miss Harkness. If you mess it up, I forgive you.

I make autobio comics and I live in Minneapolis, MN.

Panel from Desperate Pleasures

Panel from Desperate Pleasures

I’ve been making comics professionally for about four years now. I graduated from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design in ‘17 with a BFA in Comic Arts and Kevin Huizenga was my Professor for the majority of the time there. My very first show was the Small Press and Alternative Comics Expo ‘16 in Columbus Ohio with Pete Faecke. We drove all the way to Ohio because we were pissed off we didn’t get into the Chicago Alternative Comics Expo in June. It was a 12 hour drive, we had no one to stay with until we got to the venue and Pete texted Josh Bayer and somehow Caitlyn McGurk of the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library let us sleep in her basement. It was fucking insane for two college kids who had no idea what the fuck they were doing. On the way back, my car was totaled and it was in that moment I knew I was going to die for comics.

Where my car died outside of Wisconsin Dells, WI. 2016.

Where my car died outside of Wisconsin Dells, WI. 2016.

Since then, it’s kind of been a no brainer. After I graduated, I published my first full length graphic novel with Kilgore Books and Comics and hit the road on a cross country tour with some of the Kilgore squad. I love making minis and doing live readings in the Minneapolis area whenever we throw together a little show. During the week, I work part time as a personal trainer, so I never have to worry about drawing soul crushing freelance garbage to pay my bills, and I love training for Olympic Weightlifting as a hobby. You can see a lot of my life on Instagram in between the books I make.

I’m a young cartoonist and I’m excited to be working on my second book and just grinding toward my mid-career. Everything feels really wide open right now, and just this spring, I’m receiving a Minnesota State Arts Board Grant toward the creation of Desperate Pleasures, which is a little longer than my first book Tinderella.

Page from DESPERATE PLEASURES

Page from DESPERATE PLEASURES

I’ve got a good chunk of pages finished now, but I feel like I’m still settling on how things are going to look throughout the book. The idea is to make it shine in ways that Tinderella didn’t, but to stay sharp and on beat with what worked. Trying to be balanced. Save my wrist from overdrawing. Make sure everything looks like it’s from the same solar system.

Aside from that, I’m working with Tinto Press on another secret project. Maybe I’ll post some of that stuff later. I don’t know how much of this stuff people will care/read about. For some things, I like being secretive (But I’m also really bad at keeping secrets)

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Uncivilized Books will be publishing Desperate Pleasures and printing a NEW edition of Tinderella in 2020. As a celebration, all books in my store are 25% off through the month of February with the discount code LAUNCH. Order something and help me troubleshoot my new shop, if you can.

Shame me in the comments. Do not follow me on twitter.

ciao