| Wed May 5 -- Horribly Late Tuesday
Well, I'm back, and I had a great time. I took some pictures with a crappy disposable camera; if you're interested they're here.
The Attitude Gala was a blast. Indeed it may have been too much of a blast since I got pretty drunk pretty quick and have fairly fuzzy memories of what happened beyond coming off as rather an ass to certain cute cartoonist girls. Whoops. Ah well.
I want to send out a trillion thanks to Ben Jones of Jigsaw. Not only did Ben get the place up and running from signing the lease to funky party in five days, but he kept the place fully supplied with liquor, indulged my lazy-ass in-sleeping and constatnly introduced me to a bucnh of totally charming New York girls. AND he bought all the books I had left, which was most of them, so if you're in New York and you're looking to find copies of Bob stuff go to Jigsaw at 526 East 11th Street.
Another place to find Bob stuff in NY is St. Mark's Comics (no web presence as of yet) on St. Mark's St. (natch) between 2nd and 3rd Ave. They bought one copy of each book and the staff were highly pleasing in their own right.
Last update I mentioned that some people had been having trouble with viewing Bob strips because of the way Explorer likes to resize images. In the wake of that mention a bunch of people wrote in to let me know that if you go to Tools --> Internet Options --> Advanced --> Multimedia --> uncheck "Enable Automatic Image Resizing", you won't have this problem any more. The real solution is for me to create separate pages for each comic that sets out the proper image sizes, but for now the workaround should, ah, work.
Holy crap! The eBay auction for a customized Bob picture is over and the winning bid is just over $300! That rules! In fact, I may make this a regular thing for as long as the market can bear. I want to thank everybody who bid on it and to encourage them to take another crack at when I put up another one.
Apparently last Friday El Busho was taking questions regarding Canada's involvement in Iraq and (as he is wont to do) he wandered off on some irrelevant tangent, saying the following:
"There's a lot of people in the world who don't believe that people whose skin color may not be the same as ours can be free and self-govern. I reject that. I reject that strongly. I believe that people who practice the Muslim faith can self-govern. I believe that people whose skins aren't necessarily -- are a different color than white can self-govern."
I guess my question for ol' George is: who, exactly, has been saying that dark-skinned people can't govern themselves? Which people have been saying that? It's not like any politicians or journalists have been advancing this notion or anything, and yet this is the second time Bush has answered this unasked question, the first being during his laughable "press conference" last month. And since we know he doesn't read the newspapers and relies on his advisors to tell him everything, which of his advisors is feeding him this "It's the darkies' fault they can't be free" line so much that Bush feels the unconscious need to refute it? My gut says Cheney, but I dunno, Rove feels pretty good too...
Tues 27 April -- Tuesday feels like Friday
Well, just last week I said I was gonna do two updates a week, Tuesday and Friday, and one week later we're back to one update a week since I'm not going to be around Friday. But such a good reason not to be around! But hush, first let's put up this week's cartoon:
(Quick note until I figure out how to fix it: some browsers wanna resize these cartoons and crapify them for your viewing pleasure. If the strips happen to look chunky and illegible you might wanna make sure your browser is sizing them properly.)
Not too much to scream at the top of my lungs about in the review front this week; mostly just a tepidish look at the new Julianne Moore/Pierce Brosnan divorce-lawyers-in-love romantic comedy Laws of Attraction. In fact, not just mostly; that's all I have for you this week for movie reviews.
Off to New York. City, that is
Well, I leave for New York City today, which means this is the last update in which you folks are likely to see this well-worn graphic:
Let's see if I can actually remember to check Netscape this time so that it doesn't point to another goddamn spot on my hard drive with that graphic like it always does. Checking... checking... okay, it should be good. And while we're at it, let's dig around and splonk down that list of attendees and links I had earlier... right, here it is:
Featuring the following: Alison Bechdel (Dykes to Watch Out For), Jennifer Berman, Max Cannon (Red Meat), Barry Deutsch, Emily S. Flake, Marian Henley, Justin Jones, Keith Knight (The K Chronicles), Tim Kreider, Aaron McGruder (Boondocks), Kevin Moore, Eric Orner, Greg Peters, David Rees (Get Your War On), Mikhaela B. Reid, Neil Swaab (Rehabilitating Mr. Wiggles), Brian Sendelbach, Tak Toyoshima (Secret Asian Man), J.P. Trostle, Shannon Wheeler (Too Much Coffee Man), and Jason Yungbluth (Deep Fried). And me! Check it out!
And hell, here's the book it's all about:
Bob fans in New York, do come and join the festivities. It should be a riot. Indeed, it damn well better be; I'm pinning all my hopes of happiness on it. Yes I am!
I don't have a ton of links for you cats today, but I do have this one: a photo diary of a biker's trip through Chernobyl. Some pretty cool stuff if you're into deserted irradiated cities and countryside. I know I am! And hell, why not, some send-flowers-by-mail place wants a plug, so here's where it's going: Send Fresh Flowers today! Annnnd, that's it for links.
eBay Art Auction
Holy Christ! Last Tuesday I put up a link to an eBay art auction in which the lucky bidder gets to command me to fill a 12" x 15" sheet according to his or her bidding, and it's already up to $290! American! What a great money-making idea! I should have known it would be since it came from my buddy Jason, founder of the wildly sucessful Popcap games. Jason always knows what to do! At this point I can't really believe that anybody is willing to bid more money that what's already down there, but hey, surprise me.
And what of Life?
Ah, don't talk to me about life...
Fri 23 April -- Oh boy oh boy oh boy!
I'm getting kinda excited about this New York trip next week, though I gotta be careful; every time I get totally pumped for some trip it ends up disappointing me. Anyway, here's the Friday update, and since I'm now doing Tuesday updates as well it's gonna take some time to figure out where to put what content. At any rate for sure there's a new cartoon, a silly little thing this week about the
eBay Art Auction
On Tuesday I announced I was gonna try to raise money by auctioning off a Drawing On Demand, that is, a 12" x 15" blank sheet of paper that the winning bidder could command me to fill however he or she wished. Last time I checked the bidding was at $200, so I don't know how likely it is that anybody else is gonna want to top that, but I figured I'd keep it current on this update just, y'know, cuz.
New York Do
Gotta keep plugging this event, sure to be one of the year's best:
(graphic of NYC Attitude/ MoCCA cartoonist gala moved up-page for laoding-time reasons)
Come all, come one! Drink fer chrissakes! And I might as well toss in a link to Ted Rall who conceived of the book, edited it and set up this cool wee mixer for us 'toonists. Ted is just now a father so let's all go "Awwwww" for him, okay? "Awwwww..."
No new reviews for this update I'm afraid since I kinda shot my load last week but I'll be seeing the new Pierce Brosnan/Julianne Moore romantic comedy soon and I'll have somethin' about that for y'all soon enough. And, um, other stuff.
Links Dump the More
Got some links n' such for you folks, a random sampler. One fella asked me to include a link to Haikucircus.com, a web site presenting cartoons in the form of haikus, or haikus in the form of cartoons. To him I say, verily, it is done. And a while ago I had some stuff about Dave Sim and Cerebus; here's a link to some stuff on LiveJournal in which the reporter who conducted Sim's famously defensive interview on the Onion's AV Club a couple of weeks ago explains how it came about. And I wanna re-link to the dialogue that Sim had with comic supergenius Alan Moore; after a while I kinda started skipping Dave's comments but Moore's brilliant ramblings are pure gold-platinum alloy. And, um, that's about it for links, really, though I do have this picture a fan sent in of a BtAF doll she made. I append it here:
Not bad, huh? Don't forget to check out the Tuesday update below the ad!
I almost forgot to pester you all to BUY MY BOOKS! And my posters! Where is my head?
Tues 20 April -- Regular Tuesday updates
In a likely vain attempt to "grow" Bob and have more "success" with my efforts involving him, I've decided to try to start -- no, to *start*, there is no try-- doing twice-weekly updates to give people a reason to come to the site more often. Hang on, don't get too excited. I'm not doing two strips a week or anything. Friday will remain new strip day, and Tuesday will end up being what Tuesday ends up being, probably stray movie reviews and bloggy rants. But first...
Own my soul on eBay
I'm trying to come up with some ways to make some extra cash, and a buddy suggested I try auctioning off some original art on eBay, so that's what I'm gonna do. Or more specifically, I'm gonna auction off a Drawing on Demand; that is, the winning bidder gets a blank 12" x 15" page and the right to tell me to fill it however he or she wishes within my ability to draw. So you want robots, Bob, Lovebot, Bears, whatever, you can send me pictures and I'll draw you in, tell me what to draw and I'll draw it. Get it as a gift and get me to draw in your Bob-loving loved one. The possibilities are finite but very large. If there's anybody out there who finds this appealing check it out here.
** Mini-update Wed April 21 **
Holy crap, somebody's already bidded it up to $200! I hope to hell they're serious!
Stray movie review
This week it's Hellboy, which a few people have asked me to review even though it's been out for a couple of weeks already. Usually I like to get paid for my reviews, but I got a new Tuesday update to generate content for so there it is.
A Strategy for Iraq
I wrote about this a while ago in my Thumbnail Solution back in September but it bears revisiting as Bush and Kerry both flail around talking escalation and course-staying and phony sovereignty off-handing. They're having a bit of trouble figuring out who to hand power over to not just because they don't actually have control of the country to hand over in the first place but because the only proper recipient of that power is a body selected by a free and fair election. Y'know, like in a democracy?
The problem is that although the Bushites *say* they're trying to build a democracy in Iraq, the truth is that democracy is the one thing they won't abide. The Iraqis have been yelling for elections for months and the US has been dragging its feet the whole way. The number-one political priority in Iraq right now should be completing the census necessary to hold elections but the Iraqi Governing Council suspended its census-taking late last year on the behest of the Americans. This whole "sovereignty" handoff is just another stall, and a transparent one; do they actually think the Iraqis are going to fall for it? Are the American forces in Iraq going to be taking orders from the new sovereign government on July 1? Of course not, so talk of sovereignty is meaningless.
Back in February Bush was asked on Meet the Press how he'd respond to the Iraqis electing a Shi'ite theocratic government. His statement was basically a flat "they're not going to", with "we won't let them" as the unstated corollary. Now, Bush himself actually probably believes all the B.S. Chalabi and his stooges have been shovelling him but aside from Bush's delusions the plain fact is that the current US government will not permit the election of any government that insists on US troop withdrawal or refuses to honor all the phony contracts and government sell-offs signed by the occupation authorities -- no matter how popular any or all of those policies may be with Iraqis. So the "democracy" angle is a sham.
The solution, simply, is to make it not a sham. Make elections the priority, hold them freely and fairly and commit publicly to abiding by the outcome. That means no restrictions on who can run, no shutting down of newspapers, the whole bit. That means accepting that most of the government is going to be made up of clerics because those are the people who have political power in Iraq. And it means accepting that the new government is proably gonna be Shi'ite-heavy and friendly to Iran. And it means that, yeah, they may well tear up all the illegitimate contracts the US occupational authorities signed. We don't like it? Too bad. The only thing that has any legitimacy in this otherwise illegal, immoral, unprovoked war of agression was the supposed good deed of knocking Saddam off. They didn't ask us to do it, but whatever, it's done. Now we got no reason to stay and every reason to split because right now *we're* the problem there.
America, at least under the Bushites, is much like the monkey who reaches into the jar, grabs a handful of chestnuts and then finds its hand is stuck. The harder he pulls the more stuck he gets and the only way out is to let go. Bush and his cronies fought this war for this territory and those contracts and those bases and that oil and there's no damn way they're gonna let them go, no matter what the Iraqi people say. At the same time they're trapped into insisting they're trying to build a democracy even though it is obvious to the Iraqis that they intend no such thing. A collision course if I ever saw one.
The ironic thing is that the very democracy that Bush is struggling to prevent while claiming to support may come about, in the end, by the Iraqi people uniting to *eject* the Americans. The Iraqis are gonna get what they want sooner or later and the only thing we're gonna get from trying to keep it from them is failure and a much angrier and more hostile Iraq government that we would have had if we'd played fair.
Speaking of ads
Not that we were, but I was talking about making money so it kinda relates. I've had a longstanding "no ads" policy for this site but I recently learned that had mostly to with the fact that nobody had ever actually offered me money to run ads before. Now somebody has and I need the money so now we've got an ad, visible below. Hotelsbychain.com, folks, helping to keep the Angry Flower dream alive.
Fri 16 April -- Snow Day
Gosh, it's nice out today. I mean, sure, it snowed like hell yesterday and the day before so "walking" or "going out" is a slush-filled boot-soaking affair, but that's just part of the Edmonton April package we Edmontonians should be damn well used to, goddammit.
On an unsimilar note, I have a cartoon this week, as I do every week. This week it's
Well, let's see, reviews, reviews. It's a week past due but what the hell, I kinda like The Alamo, so here's the review for that. Then there's a wee litttle B&W Canadian zombie movie thing called Graveyard Alive that had some good points worth enumerating, so I did. And I'm not sure when it comes out in Edmonton, but it's out elsewhere so I thought I'd toss up my review for Touching The Void, a pretty durn teeth-clenching good mountain climbing disaster movie. And finally, though it's not a movie, I wrote a piece about Cerebus the Aardvark I might as well toss up as well.
It seems the Attitude signing/cartoonist gala of the year is going ahead as scheduled as laid out in this ad:
(moved up-page for file size reasons)
(frickin' Netscape! I had this thing up for hours as a broken link! Dammit)
Last week I asked if there was anybody out there in New York Land who could let me crash for a day or two on their floor or couch, and while I wouldn't call the resultant e-mails a "flood" I did get enough offers to serve my purposes. Awesome! Who says New Yorkers are cold, emotionless proto-humans with no generosity or kindness in their calcified hearts? Not me, that's for sure.
I haven't done any links dump stuff in a while, but I got a couple this week. First is a link to a fella's series of Anti-Bush T-Shirts at Cafepress; they're okay. Better is the link to a comic called Raymondo Person; t'ain't bad at all. And then, every so often I throw up a link to Channel 101, the mini try-yer-luck TV station founded by the cats who brought us Scud the Disposable Assasssin, and this week is one of those every so oftens on account of how much I like Rob Schrab's latest effort, Twigger's Holiday; the theme song alone keeps me coming back.
Bush Press Conference
I don't know how many of you caught El Busho's doddering, incoherent ramble on Tuesday evening, but it sure was revealing. Check out this exchange, f'example:
Q Mr. President, I'd like to follow up on a couple of these questions that have been asked. One of the biggest criticisms of you is that whether it's WMD in Iraq, postwar planning in Iraq, or even the question of whether this administration did enough to ward off 9/11, you never admit a mistake. Is that a fair criticism? And do you believe there were any errors in judgment that you made related to any of those topics I brought up?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, I think, as I mentioned, it's -- the country wasn't on war footing, and yet we're at war. And that's just a reality, Dave. I mean, that's -- that was the situation that existed prior to 9/11, because the truth of the matter is, most in the country never felt that we'd be vulnerable to an attack such as the one that Osama bin Laden unleashed on us. We knew he had designs on us, we knew he hated us. But there was a -- nobody in our government, at least, and I don't think the prior government, could envision flying airplanes into buildings on such a massive scale.
The people know where I stand. I mean, in terms of Iraq, I was very clear about what I believed. And, of course, I want to know why we haven't found a weapon yet. But I still know Saddam Hussein was a threat, and the world is better off without Saddam Hussein. I don't think anybody can -- maybe people can argue that. I know the Iraqi people don't believe that, that they're better off with Saddam Hussein -- would be better off with Saddam Hussein in power. I also know that there's an historic opportunity here to change the world. And it's very important for the loved ones of our troops to understand that the mission is an important, vital mission for the security of America and for the ability to change the world for the better.So, "no", then?
Two minutes later Bush then brought up the Genoa conference in Italy at which people with memories may recall there was some worry that terrorists might try to fly airplanes into the conference centre. But of course "nobody in our government could envision flying airplanes into buildings on such a massive scale." Right, got it. We just thought it was going to be a regular hijacking, hardly important enough to take action on, right? And not only did the CNN after-commentary on his press conference not point this out, they even somehow spun the line that ol' Georgey was "strong and resolute" rather than ignorant and flailing.
I mean, I suppose it was hardly a surprise that Bush refused to accept any responsibility for anything that happened on his watch, just as it was no surprise to see him respond to each unexpected question by babbling around hopelessly before hooking into one of his stock phrases and going with it. But it was a bit of a surprise to see him go on and on about America's "historic mission" of spreading democracy and light throughout the world with soothing American force, linking it to the Almighty as he did so fervently. Yep, they're gonna love us any day now, just so long as we stay that crappy course.
Buy Books, Dammit!
You know the drill. I got books, you got money, one quick little switchery-doo and we can reverse that situation. Do it now!!!
And there are always posters to buy. Always always.
Gotta walk the dog
And now, if you'll all excuse me, I'm gonna trudge over to my sister's place and walk her dog before she pisses all over the house. The dog, I mean, not my sister.
Previous update is here.