|Fri Aug 13 -- Wham!
Time for a super-sleek Friday update, no-nonsense, just bam! the cartoon
and then bam! the
AVP:Aliens vs Predator in the reviews section
and then bam!
Tues Aug 10 -- August charges ahead
Yes, time stops for no man or woman. It just keeps clunkin' along, and so here it is, Tuesday August 10, 2004, a date that's never been before today and never will be again unless we change our dating system and reset everything.
Paul's book is, of course, The Leaden Angels, and we've got a pipin' hot section-ending chapter for you all. It's called The Chinese Spice Box, featuring hot-tubbing accountants and, well, a Chinese spice box.
I got a few links n's such from eager link-senders. I've got a LiveJournal poll of The Best Thing Ever. That's one. And another Bob fan seems to have up some kinda NFL game-prediction site. That's two. And then some Canadians sent me a link to their clothng store, Under the Weather, so what the hell, let's throw that up. That's three. And then there's a fella named Emlyn who's got a site featuring some kinda Davros "Exterminate" song. Wacky. And, um, that's it for now.
Fri Aug 6 -- Whee! It's Friday!
Though to be perfectly honest, I don't have a ton of stuff for this update. Let's get to the stuff I do have, starting with this week's strip:
No, I haven't made any new ones, though I will someday. However, I did get an e-mail from a fella who set up some Who's Supporting the President? T-shirts n' stuff at Cafepress; his store address is www.cafepress.com/bananadoom.
Drawing On Demand 3
I've got another pay-me-to-draw-what-you-want gig up at eBay. I heartily urge any of the folks who bid before to bid again. Do it!
Well, I have seen Garden State and Vanity Fair, but they haven't opened yet so I'm gonna hold off on my reviews until they're more seeable by the general public.
Bush Misspeaks... or does he?
We all know Bush isn't exactly the slickest speaker in the world, but when he says something like "Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we," y'gotta wonder. Here's a link to the transcript and here's a link to the video. I urge folks to check out the video. That sure doesn't look like some slip of the tongue, it looks like he read the speech exactly as scripted. Is tht truth bubbling out of the Bushies' subconscious without them even realizing it?
Every so often I get complaints about how the cartoons look a big jaggy and no good. That's because your Internet Explorer is automatically resizing images, which it shouldn't be doing. Fix it by going to Tools > Internet Options > Advanced Tab > Multimedia and clicking off Enable Automatic Image resizing.
Tues August 3 -- Let's get this Tuesday Update done
Here's the latest chapter in my brother Paul's ever-more-on-the-Internet novel The Leaden Angels. This week is Conspiracy and Matrimony, featuring a marriage and three more days of solid fucking, while Vivian thinks about his wife.
MothComiX, ABC Sketchbook, Drawing on Demand
The last Drawing On Demand I did was for a fella named Scott Cates who happens to run a site called MothComiX.com, selling "Original Artwork, Rare Hardcovers and Unique Collectibles from the Comic-book industry." I told him he could either get the 12"x15" standard size or the old-style 20"x10" landscape style, and he picked the latter, breaking it up into two 10"x10" pieces. The first one was to be in his ABC Sketchbook, a sweet little project he's putting together, an alphabet book for his freshly-born daughter with original art from a buncha comic artists. Here's what I did for it:
For the other panel, he just wanted something that mixed Bob and Shakespeare. I toyed with Hamlet for a while before settling on Lear thusly:
Pretty neat, huh? And now, according to popular demand, it's happening again. That's right,
Drawing on Demand 3
is a reality. A formidable one. Let's put up the graphic:
Oh yeah. Same deal as before, the successful bidder gets to tell me how to fill a blank page with whatever he or she wants and I can draw. So, I urge you, bid now.
More San Diego Pictures?
Well, okay, one more, this odd thing called Wage photographed by the sister of editorial Cartoonist Pam Winters, eater of Mexican food along with her Mom, me and Ted Rall one fine temperate evening during the ComiCon.
Edmotonians, be aware that Malcolm Azania is debuting his new scifi novel The Coyote Kings and the Space-Age Bachelor Pad this Thursday, August 5, 7 pm at the Sugar Bowl Cafe. There's gonna be jazz poetry, live readings, unreconstructed socialists, the whole works. In the interests of full disclosure I must point out that I crashed for two nights at the fancy Hilton hotel room Del Rey got for Malcolm when he was down in San Diego. But that doesn't change the fact that I got a copy when I was down in San Diego and I'm diggin' it.
Fri July 30 -- Whoops
Man, I don't know how this keeps happening, but there was another screw-up in my transmission of the strip to Vue Weekly this week, resulting in them not running it. Dammit! They're gonna run two next week, but it's just not the same.
Anyway, here's this week's strip, the slightly mean and unfair
San Diego holdover
Here's a couple more photos folks sent in...
Send in some pictures of other cool things!
I also wanted to take the time to praise The Journal of MODOK Studies. I'd contributed a cartoon (MODOK, Etc, natch) to the first issue but had never gotten the chance to see the actual thing until this week. It is funny. Shockingly, there seems to be no web version of this fine Journal, but if you write to Second Period Industries, P.O. Box 948, Athens, Georgia, 30603 and say something to editor George Tarleton, he should be able to help you out.
Also unexpectedly cool was a bootleg DVD of the Clone Wars I managed to pick up. Yeah, I know, this stuff's been out there for a while, but I never wnated to hook up to KazaaLite or whatever to grab them off the Internet. Anyway, they're pretty good and Star Wars-y, little action nuggets with that Star Wars superspeed quality. Indeed, it's hard to imagine that the new film Revenge of the Sith will feature any Jedi action as good as the best Clone Wars stuff, which leaves story and character development as the only possible cards remaining in RotS's hand. Yikes. And I gotta admit, I find the fact that this movie's acronym is "ROTS" a little troubling, as in Star Wars is dead and in this movie it rots.
Also good is anything by Donna Barr. I keep forgetting how much I love her stuff. I got the Desert Peach collection last ComiCon, stories of a flamingly gay German officer during the Second World War, and it brimmed with style, class, wit, heart, imagination... all the postive things I associate with the word "gay" without any of the negatives. This time I got a collection of Stinz, which tells the story of a centaur who essentially joins the German army before WWI. This is way away from fantasy comix, here, and I burned through the whole thing on the flight home.
Buy some books!
Particularly all you folks at San Diego who came by the table to find me sold out! If you order books remember to put a little note in the "Special Instructions" section mentioning that you missed me at ComiCon and I'll sign it special for ya just as I would've there and then.
Tues July 27
ComiCon 2004, muthas
Whew. Back. What a time, full of gritifying successes and grustrating missed opportunites. Yes, I said "gritifying" and "grustrating".
So. I got in on Wednesday afternoon mostly without incident, checked in at the USA Hostel, dumped my bag, broke out the collapsible trolley (which ruled) and dragged the pile down the ever-enlargening convention center, there to sweat like madness and set up and then remember, oh yeah, they're actually letting people in to buy stuff this evening. And so they did, and people bought stuff. Yay!
Met up with Keith Knight of the K Chronicles, acquired some amusingly added-to cookies and ended up at Dick's eating ribs and waxing extensive on Spider-Man 2, Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter. Then slept. Nothing too fancy.
Thursday was pretty sweet. A lot of people came by pretty consistently. I spent some time pitching and handing out handouts, but quite often I'd get that thing where I'd spot someone down the aisle heading right for the table, and they walk up and say "I wanna get all your books." And I want to sell them to you! Sell sell sell!
So much selling, indeed, that I barely left my table; I hadn't even looked around the floor once yet. I did get a fairly good walk-by sampling of the costume scene on Thursday, though. Of note was the Cat-Man, a guy who apparently had his face surgically altered to look like a cat, whiskers put in, the whole bit, hanging around the one place where he's just a normal freak instead of an insanely insane freak. Also returning was Elvis Stormtrooper, whose nice litte cape has the Imperial symbol in rhinestones. Lots of Jedi around, hardly any Neos or Agent Smiths. What there was a lot of, surprisingly, was Kill Bill stuff; I saw a several Brides and dozens of Crazy 88s.
I was completely surprised to see that Ted Rall had come down to plug the Attitude book at the NBM table, and I was even more amazed to hear that Tom the Dancing Bug author Ruben Bolling was showing up as well. Bliss! Mexican food and electric Marguritas at some Gaslamp bar/restraunt -- y'know, I think it might have been TGIF's-- and then catching up with Keith who'd been gorging on lobster for $9.99.
Friday was the big day for me, people coming by all day, chatting away with folks (thanks again, all you who bought stuff at the show! Mwah! I love you!), sellin', sellin', and by the mid-afternoon it was looking pretty obvious that I was gonna sell out, maybe even by the end of the day. And so it came to pass, with the odd little side note being that I sold my last book, a UBOPE, to Amber Benson, Willow's girlfriend Terra on "Buffy the Vampire Slayer". She was just walking by and I blurted out "Amber Benson!" and she looked and didn't shy away from the goofball with the flower hat, so I gave her a LoveBot minicomic which she insisted on paying for, so as she was digging for her money I gave her the final UBOPE pitch and sold it to her. Yay again!
And then that was it. The selling was done. I had a fat wad of munnah munnah munnah bling bling bling throbbing in my right back and left front pockets, and I felt pretty good, even though the guilt and second-guessing about not having brought more books was already beginning to set in. I wandered and looked around a bit until the show closed. I had accepted Edmonton buddy/former NDP candidate/novelist Malcolm Azania's offer to crash at his room at the Hilton, so I dragged two very different cartoon artists, Vejun and Garret Izumi, along with me as I interminably checked out of the hostel, sweatily dragged my stuff to the Hilton, misunderstood the keycard Malcolm had given me, wandered helplessly up and down back stairwells finally to get to Malcolm's room and dump my stuff and two litres of sweat on the bed.
Vejun had had his share of those wild good times so he took off to see a movie while Garret, a small, puckish Japanese guy who makes little comics like himself, strange little mystery boxes, and who sold one of his handmade $200 printbook/minicomic to Charles Schulz's widow, and I wandered down to the bay to watch the fireworks commemorating the arrival of the SS Ronald Reagan. No kidding. We darted around the too-lit parking lot taking quit discretish hits off Garret's pipe as the fireworks went off, every big boom accompanied by a braying callback of car alarms.
From there wandered back to Garret's hotel, smoked a bit more and then, finding no cabs, jogged back across downtown to get to the bar where Keith and Ted and Ruben Shannon Wheeler of Too Much Coffee Man and a bunch of Universal Press Syndicate people and some movie folks were drinking. And man, was I ready to join them, bashing back double screwdrivers as fast as they could buy them for me. Met and bummed smokes off some pretty cool editors and ended up in the movie-people's suite yakkin' lenghtily on about the Punisher movie (which I haven't seen) until the hotel staff told everybody to cool it, whereupon I returned to Malcolm's room crawled into bed and went to sleep.
Next day was late rising, pretty hung over. Saturday. I'd annoyed Malcolm by snoring all night, which left a residue of unresolvable guilt (what could I have done about it? I wasn't conscious!), crawled to the table around 10ish, set it up and wandered around a bit. When I returned I found a little note:
Oh man, are you kidding me? Joss Whedon stopped by my table and I missed him? ARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGH! I actually beat myself around the head for a second before calming down. Oh well, he's gonna be doing a Serenity panel on Sunday, maybe I can catch him for a second then and thank him for the note.
I hung around the table most of the rest of the day after that, doing sketches for people and apologizing for selling out of books so soon. I'd sent 3 boxes last year and sold out by Friday afternoon; that wasn't gonna happen this time! No sir, this time I'm sending 4 boxes! And then bam, sold out again, watching hundreds of dollars of sales wander away. So dumb.
Saw the Sin City presentation, Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller and some footage, pretty cool, matched very precisely to the frames from the book. It can't quite have that unforgivingly sharp black-white blasted-out contrasts of the comic, but it's close, and Mickey Rourke looks pretty frickin' sweet as Marv --can't wait to see him and Elijah Wood throw down.
Saturday night was kinda subdued, had dinner (yummy Mexican pork medallions) with Ruben and Ted and some NBM people, wandered back to the convention center trying to spot Keith and his wife Kirsten at a screening of Bill Plympton's Hair High, but couldn't find them, wandered around a bit and went back to the Hilton, falling asleep to the hope I wasn't snoring.
Got up, dragged my stuff back to the hostel and hit the table, did more sketches, wandered around with Ruben watching him search out old Dennis the Menace comics for his kids while I hunted and eventually bagged Garth Ennis's Punisher Kills the Marvel Universe. One o'clock rolled around and I hit the Serenity panel.
Man, fame. I mean, it's nice that people like my comic and come up and say it's great. I love it, it makes me feel good. Now picture a room full of 3000 people on their feet yelling and cheering and clapping and whistling. You could tell everybody on stage, Joss and the whole cast of Firefly, was bowled over by the reception, and it's easy to see why -- nobody could face 3000 people cheering for them and not be affected. That's fame, or at least one of its operations.
In fact, there's so much love and devotion that it's necessary to maintain a protective field of security guards around Joss and the gang or they'd be mobbed; I know cuz I would've been right in there mobbing. As it was after the panel was over I lurked near the back area to see if I could get a glimpse or catch them on the way to the autograph area. But no, they went around the back way so I ended up hanging around near the back of the 500-stron autograph line only to have it cut off 2 people in front of me.
At that point I lingered around the edge of the security area, the table where they were finishing off the signing and getting ready to go catch their plane. The security guys were keepin' folks back and I was talking with a couple of dudes standing around and saying I thought I saw a way I might be able to get in. I scooted around the edge, cut in front of a table and sidled up into the mill of security and folks who were hanging around after having gotten their autograph. I'd made it.
Or so I thought: then I hear this "Clank clank clank" sound coming up from behind me. I knew what it was. One of the guys I'd been talking to had followed me, and of course, he was wearing a suit of armor.
As the security folks suddenly noticed the guy in the armor they also noticed me, but at this point everbody was heading out the door so I darted out, weaved in and out of the departing party until I caught Joss's eye, whereupon he cut over and shook my hand and asked if I got the note. I said I had, thanks, it really made my day, he said it was nice to see me and off they went.
Whew. Hung around at the table the rest of the afternoon except for a nice spin with a fan round the floor in search of X-Files and Invader Zim DVDs, bought a handful of DVDs, minicomics and some screenwriting software, and then the bell rang and that was it, nothing left to do but spend another salt-dripping hour breaking down the display, packing everything and dragging it back to the hostel. Hooked up with Keith and Kirsten, ate and drank, and eventually managed to sneak into the Graffiti party, the big private party uninvited Keith and I have often jealously stared at from outside the window. There I had my first conversation with a pro-Bush, pro-Iraq War American, a former marine now working for Graffiti, and I talked to Kyle Baker, or actually mostly stood and listened as he talked to Shannon Wheeler while I felt like an idiot with nothing to say. Went back to the hostel, slept, woke up, breakfast with Keith anc Kirsten, and home on planes. And that was San Diego.
I didn't bring a camera and I took no photos, but if any of you folks took pictures I invite you to send them to me. And not just pictures of me, anything cool you got shots of, and if you've got a website where you're posting photos, all the better. Send 'em in!
Earlier updates? Click here, fool!