CW: This essay deals with the emotional fallout of having an abortion as a teenager. If that’s not a subject you’re up for reading about right now, I encourage you to make a cup of tea or take a walk outside instead. Be gentle with yourself.

I am sixteen, sitting sun-warmed against the stucco wall of the school library, hearing my voice shake as I schedule an appointment at Planned Parenthood. I am six weeks pregnant and scared out of my mind.

The nurse is very calm, explaining slowly and clearly what I should expect. We set a date during…

Hourly Comic Day challenges creators around the world to illustrate the minutiae of their lives in panels and sketches every year on February 1st.

This is my ninth year contributing to the series, and I remain deeply in love with the whole practice. Read on for a window into my life right now:

It’s time for another installment of Hourly Comic Day! Every year on February 1st, creators around the world draw a panel (or panels) for every hour they’re awake. This is my eighth year participating, and I love it more and more each time around. It’s a great opportunity to reflect on where I’m at in my career, what’s changed in the past year, and how I’m feeling about the future.

Full disclosure: while I penciled all eight of these pages on February first, I inked and painted about five of them on February second. I always want to watercolor my hourlies and never let myself do it so this year I got indulgent. Worth it.

Three weeks in the Pacific on an oceanographic research vessel, distilled in comic form.

At the tail end of 2016 I flew to Guam to take up my position as Artist-in-Residence aboard R/V Falkor, a state-of-the-art oceanographic research vessel owned by the Schmidt Ocean Institute. Over the next three weeks at sea, we covered thousands of miles of the rolling Pacific Ocean on our way to Honolulu, mapping the ocean floor below with the use of multibeam sonar as we went.

Stepping Aboard America’s Newest Sail Training Vessel

In 2016 I had the pleasure of sailing with the Oliver Hazard Perry for six days as a voyage cartoonist. The following illustrated journal seeks to capture what day-to-day life is like on a full-rigged tall ship, and what students can expect from sailing expeditions with OHPRI.

These pages were drawn in-between helping with sail handling, chores, and educational classes. I work in a 5.5” by 8.5” watercolor sketchbook with a 2H pencil, a .5mm black gel pen, and a pocket watercolor kit.

Those of you who read my last Year in Review post will recall that I didn’t read as much as I would’ve liked to in 2014. So, spurred on by Austin Kleon’s excellent “How to Read More” list, I set out to read…

Good News: I’m currently at 63, and will probably have knocked out a couple more before January 1st officially rolls around, so I’m calling this initiative a roaring success.

I plowed through nonfiction, fiction, comics, memoirs, short stories, plays, and poetry. …

A brief overview of the history of scurvy, brought to you by me, Lucy Bellwood, Professional Adventure Cartoonist and tall ship sailor, and Eriq Nelson, Professional Scurvy Know-It-All and Co-Researcher Extraordinaire.

Catch this comic in full color in Baggywrinkles: A Lubber’s Guide to Life at Sea, the collected volume of all my autobiographical tall ship sailing stories.

Lucy Bellwood

Professional Adventure Cartoonist working out of Helioscope in Portland, OR. | @LuBellWoo | |

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store