Friday, March 31, 2006

UNFORGIVABLE

I need some Unforgivable. I need to rub some P Diddy juice into my neck like a Bad Boy pearl necklace. It's the only scent I deserve right about now. For I've been having Unforgivable thoughts. Horrible, dangerous thoughts. Thoughts I just. Shouldn't. Have.

I've been thinking about Batman. About drawing Batman. Somebody stop me.

EL BLA BLAZO!

I miss El Bla Blazo, and it's celebrity alternate, El Super Bla Blazo. It was a spanish gameshow where contestants answered general knowledge questions. The host was a man. His co-host was a puppet. It was wonderful. As much as I enjoy the inspired lunacy of Megamatch, I miss that classic man-puppet team.

I miss puppets, in general. We need more puppets.

I still have a little more printing, cutting and folding to do. After going to the art store and bed, bath & beyond, my mother called and we talked for an hour, then Evelyn called and then the printer ran out of ink and then I just got exhausted. I'll finish tomorrow.

Worked on the display during all this. I don't know why I thought some 20-piece set-up was going to be a good idea. I'm reducing the verticle height, and worrying less about certain design elements I had in mind. Instead of a two-piece 28" plane, I'm going with a one-piece 18" plane. Than means the side panels can be one piece each, I don't need manny time piece sopport posts, possibly no dowling whatsoever. It won't be as cool, but it should get the jorb done.

Once the books are all ready to go, I'll figure out the decoratives.

I'm exhausted. I haven't had a real break in a while.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

OH YEAH, BABY

They should have called itUnadulterated Beauty Reborn

BECAUSE WE DISCUSSED IT

One time.

Rejected covers on Dial B For Blog. A few weeks ago, Marcos were discussing the scrutiny that goes into every cover of King magazine. We thought we should do the same, and just yell at each other until our covers were perfect.

We never did this.

And, a couple of days ago the Dial featuredunpublished Brian Bolland art. I must have not been awake that day, and missed it.

BLACKLIGHT—Silver-Age hero from the "hood?"

The map

Aegrescit medendo - The disease worsens with the treatment. The remedy is worse than the disease

Malum consilium quod mutari non potest - It's a bad plan that can't be changed.

Ut sit magna, tamen certe lenta ira deorum est - The wrath of the gods may be great, but it certainly is slow

Cogito ergo doleo - I think therefore I am depressed

Credo nos in fluctu eodem esse - I think we're on the same wavelength

Sursum corda - Lift up your hearts (to God)

This one is even better

LINK OLN

Dave's Longbox celebrates one year of blogging. I'd tell you why I read this blog every day, but Dave does a much better job of doing just that. Go read, then catch up. And laugh.

FOUR DAYS LATE IN DOLLAR SHORTS

One day I will accurately schedule time, and then you'll all be sorry! You will be. You will be.

Twelve copies of EMAW #3 short. Twelve! I never learned to count! And I didn't learn it from watching you!

Tonight, I print, cut and staple the remaining issues. Then I stuff #5 envelopes. Then I'm fucking DUNST!

Except I still have to make that display. I buy foam core tonight and look for Father Dowlling Mysteries. Constructions! Also, table cloth. Last night, the generals in the Cliff Face Army met at the Brownstone for burgers, pancakes, strategic ass saults and redesigns. Marcos did a Medusa. I did D-Man and Dove. Kenny did a Robin and a Ghostrider. it was fun. Then we got kicked out.

Due to miscommunication on my parts, you'll probably have to wait until next week to buy Earth Minds Are Weak #5 at Jim Hanley's Universe on West 33rd St in New York City right accross the street from the Empire State building. They will also have EMAW #1–4s, Carl is the Awesomes, Tear-Stained Makeups and Mercury Lounges in stock.

Fucking Lost. I fucking love that show. Slam it home.

FOUR-FINGER RINGS!

I've decided that when I become Marvel Editor-in-Chief, I'm giving all the characters Four-Finger Rings! I just need a good Mega crossover event to promote it...
Infinity Four-Finger Rings...

Contest of Champions Wearing Four-Finger Rings...

Secret Four-Finger Ring War...

Secret Four-Finger Ring War II...

Four-Finger Evolutionary Ring War...

Atlantis Attacks with Four-Finger Rings...

Acts of Four-Finger Ring Vengeance...

Four-Finger Ring Inferno...

Fall of the Four-Finger Ring Mutants...

Four-Finger Ring Mutant Massacre...

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

BARKLAGE II

I wouldn't trust me either...

America and reality are at it again. This time in a steel cage.

"Americans rate atheists below Muslims, recent immigrants, gays and lesbians and other minority groups in “sharing their vision of American society.” Atheists are also the minority group most Americans are least willing to allow their children to marry."

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH! "Ah'd rathuh ma son marry a recently im'grated Muslim man than a ath'ist."

“Atheists, who account for about 3 percent of the U.S. population, offer a glaring exception to the rule of increasing social tolerance over the last 30 years”

Increasing social tolerance? Okay. Only 3% of the population? Damn agnostics! Get a spine!

"Many of the study’s respondents associated atheism with an array of moral indiscretions ranging from criminal behavior to rampant materialism and cultural elitism."

Cultural elitism, I'll grant you. The fact that atheists don't worship any deranged magic elves in the clouds, pretty much forces that "moral indiscretion." But rampant materialism and criminal behavior? I love you, Christians. I love you to pieces.

I wonder how many atheists there are in prison?

I wish we had an-antimaterialistic holiday like Christmas.

MISSED IT

Thanks to Mike Barklage over at New Meievalism for pointing this out a week ago:

Texas arresting people in bars for being drunk

I love you Texas. If you didn't exist, someone would have to make you up. And no one would believe them.

PIQUED, I PEAKED

I took an unauthorized glance at Kenny's "Water" mincomic. Twenty-four hours, my ASS. It looks better than stuff that took me that many MONTHS.

With only a week left before leaving for San Francisco, the countdown to the Alternative Press Expo officially begins. "Water" will be the serious sleeper hit of the show if we can drag enough of you to our dark corner of the hall. It will be worth it, Cliff Face Comics will have one awesome table.

NOTHING LIKE WAKING

To the sounds of your upstairs neighbors powersanding their floor. Or building a private, state of the art bowling alley. This morning they were running windsprints. In steel-jacketed clogs. For an hour, starting at 7:30. I will find a way to kill them. It will be a most painful way.

Last night, I had the second Martini of my life. Also the third and fourth martinis of my life. None of these was a standard martini, as olives are repellant, but all have been with Tobor. These last three were lychee martinis. Some kind of vodka (carachararara?), pineapple juice and a lychee (it's a fruit from some alien world, possibly the one that birthed Beta Ray Bill). Simply delicious. And cheap. $4 until 10PM. If i ever find myself in the need to impress a woman again, I've got a place to go.

I also got work done. Some work done. EMAW #5 is ready to go. #6 is ready. In a repeat of last year, only EMAW #1–4 need be finished. I'm more than halfway done with those. Finish by tomorrow night? Let's hope.

FISHSCALES!!!

New Ghostface Killah. I thought he dropped the Killah quite some time ago, but iTunes will sell you some hippy crap if you try to buy Ghostface's new album.

What's with guys putting out albums that they declare is the best one they did since their greatest achievement. What's with those bragging songs always being so good? Just Blaze does it one time, giving Ghost, 'The Champ.' He ain't been hungry since Supreme Clientele. Ghost is the hungriest rapper OF ALL TIME. No one in hiphop history ever sounded desperate until Ghost came on the scene. This song is revisionist history! But, if this is Ghost even hungrier, I'll take it. More Just Blaze too. Crazy dual organ duel. Seriously. More Just Blaze everywhere.

And less MF Doom, please! Metal Fingers has an incredible talent for finding ace loops—and then driving those loops into the ground. The experience of listening to his production is one of returns that diminish to the point of annoyance. Also, his production is so overwhelming, that it often drowns the vocals. He does five tracks. Some not as bad as others. The loop on '9 Million Bros." is fantastic, but needs a little mixing up, because it get old. All Wu Tang is there, even ODB in yet another tape fragment. Also Capadonna. Giving Cap three appearances. That's equal to the number of Chef appearances. Wha—? Was U-God busy? I need to listen to this a few more times. I couldn't tell if guys were bringing their A game or if a bunch a random drug-running rhymes were just cobbled together. It felt like the former at first, then stumbled into the latter.

But talk of A games that aren't played by Just Blaze, makes me think of Pete Rock. I won't blame him for the egregious use of eBay in the chorus of 'Be Easy', but I will credit him with making that song fun (this first version of the song). I will ALSO give him full props for 'R.A.G.U.' Of COURSE, R.A.G.U. had to be ace. It's named after pasta. Also, Chef throws in the first of his great guest spots.

His next great guest spot is on 'Three Bricks'. Raekwon knows he's on the track with Biggie, and does a great job. Ghost does a decent job trying to match Biggie's wordplay. It's all good, although A) do we really need to keep bringing that guy from the dea? and B) I know you're trying to get named best NY MC, but it actually doesn't help you to remind us why Biggie is still the best.

Still, if Ghost is not as good as a dead Biggie, he's miles ahead of a live Ice Cube. Cube appears on a second version of Be Easy. Oh, mutherfuckin' christ! Remember when he used to be awesome???? Or even good??????

How is Ghost through all of this? pretty great. We don't really get the surreal lyric blender of my favorite old tracks, but we do get Ghost the great storyteller. The whole thing is just one big cocaine-inspired concept album. Every song, even the awesome 'Barbershop' song seems to be part of this story. It comes at just the right time, as the drug running, women and crime have him at the breaking point. The album is like Scarface in reverse, with more heart and more soul. It starts with the big climax and just falls apart after that. Not in a bad way, in a life way.

The storytelling is phenomenal. Ghost says, "The dick snot hangin' outta his nose." It's good.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

DISPLAY AGAIN

Okay.

Thinking about the way the majors play. They push the new over the old, the best-seller over the steady. The eye-catching over the dull.

So, I'm thinking of pushing the first four issues to the 12" x 15" inch table space I'm hoping to have at the base. I may even create a table mat to better show off the books with a design element that echoes the standing display.

Now, I've got a 12' x 28" angled space to play with. Three rows. I can fit EMAW #6, two across the top row. Put a #5 envelope on the second, with the three enclosed books next to it and below it. This should give me plenty of space around the books (not really to the sides of #6, but enough so that they shouldn't go over the edges.

With 1" between rows 1 and 2, 2" between 2 and 3 and one inch on the bottom, I have five inches at the top for a logo.

Now we need to figure out how to weigh down the leading edge.

We also have to discuss as a group how to handle front of table decoration and pole decoration.

DISPLAY

Okay, I'm thinking about this again. Foam core. Foam core is the way to go. Why would I use illustration board? That just crazty talk. Foam core won't buckle after two days. Also, it's foamy for sticking. I could hole the whole thing together with those long t-pins. Excess foam core could be used for micro shelving.

The widest book I have is 5.5". I think we'll each have 24" at the table, but I'd like mine to be as dense as possible. I can have four rows of 2 on a 28" high board. With 1" separating each row. The top two rows can hold EMAW 1–4 in a 12" high space. Going all the way to the top. Row three holds EMAW 5 (envelope) and 6 with the 1" divider; that row is 9.5" high. Row four has the exploded #5, the three issues (5.5" wide, 2 1/8" wide and 4.25 inches wide). A 5.5" high book with a 1" divider on top.

This only works with
A) no bottom shelf (books resting on the table),
B) shelves of less than 1"
C) very few design elements on the display itself

I don't want to make the backend higer than 24" and I don't want to go wider than 12" (half my space)—partially to create a really dense experience and partially in case my estimate is way off base. Also, those guys are going to take up a LOT of space, because that's how they roll.

More thinking to come.

FISHSCALES COOPER

Pitchfork does Fishscales today. Whoo-hoo! I gets when I gets home. Even if MF Doom produced 4 tracks. Maybe I'll see what everyone else does.

Dave Cooper does the steps by steps for a painting he done did.

The problem I have with shit like this coming as it does right now, is I start to get itchy. I can feel it. My neck, my face. Itchy. I'm so susceptable to this stuff right now. I can tell because on Sunday I worked on KJ. Yesterday, I did those silly sketches. I've got to finish this grunt work and I'm starting to feel the creative itch. We've got a show in 11 days and I'm getting the post-show itch already.

Can't let Ghostface talk me into doing Suave rhymes. Can't let Dave Cooper talk me into—ooh, he sketches on printer paper like me... he has a large format printer? I with I had a large format printer... and a studio... oh, look how big he works... color... thick paint... how long has it been since we've played with thick paint... I'm just glad I can't hear Ghostface right now... he has a song called RAGU?... crap... so painful... must do grunt work... must finish assemblies before weekend... must build display before Thursday... must be prepared to shift into shilling wares mode... so big... want to do fun work...

PRO CRASTINATION

Okay, I did slack off a little. I didn't get AS MUCH work done as I wanted to, but blowing those sketches out of my system last night didn't affect things too much. I probably could have stapled a little more, maybe printed one or two sides. But I did print out all my EMAW #1s, stapled two thirds of Good-Bye and cut my #2s. The real time killer is the only 4–5 hours of workable time after work. The sketches are more of a mind killer.

The saddest thing about some of those sketches is that they remind me a lot of stuff I did in elementary school/junior high. Even some of the drawing looks the same.

Well, not the Batgirl. She drawn good.

I like the fact that I tried to make Black Canary and Huntress look more like they're on the same team, even though they cleary come from different dimensions with different anatomical and biological laws. The women of Earth-2 are HUGE, they have hips designed for dropping three-four kids at a time, shame their heads are so, so tiny.

Actually, I like the Canary. In design and drawing.

Speed Ball, despite looking the most like what I would have done as a kid, is the bestest design. He's been 15 or so for the past 15 years. he should dress more like a 15-year old, reality tv star with super powers—which is what he is—than a kid squeezed into Steve Ditko-designed condom—even though he is that too (and I should have incorporated more Ditko squiggles). It's the four-finger rings that make it for me, reverse-print embossing so he can leave his imprint everywhere as he bounces around—including your FACE.

The original X-Factor supporting cast, the X-Terminators (sort of). Artie and Leech are the awesome. Rusty and Skids are just there. Caliban too. I figured, what would freakish-looking kids, who've been home-schooled most of their lives, with strange talents do with their lives as they left home? They would go into stage magic, just like they do in the real world.

Whatever happened to these guys? Were they just added to the list of kids Cyclops abandoned to the wilds? Did they lose their powers in M day? In my mind, they're still aboard Ship, standing tall in the lower east side.

LAST AND LEAST

I HATE YOU, KENNY

Monday, March 27, 2006

AND THE HUNTRESS


I really DID get some work done...

CANARY BLACK


Ms. Dinah Lance

SHAM BALLS


Then I thought some more. I was SUPPOSED to be goddamn working!

BLAME IT ON KENNY RIO


I was getting sick of that damn Shamrock picture on the Cliff Face site, and with Kenny's True Crime Fiction character redesigns, I started to think.

DAM THE FRENCH

We need to stop the influx of wonderful French comics. Stat. I'm reading Dungeon: Twilight Vol. 1, and it's just a great little book. I like all the Dungeon books so far, but the added elements of perpetual twilight, new character designs and my growing familiarity with Trondheim/Sfar's art sets this book above and beyond. It's darker, it's sweeter, it's prettier and it's uglier. I need to look at the first books and see if I notice a difference in art styles. In this book, Trondheim does the first chapter and Sfar does the second. Despite their differences, they still manage to make the book seem cohesive. And gorgeous.

KAIJU KEEPS ON ROLLING

Speculative biography. It's twelve years from the end of next week. A giant monster is the center of a huge movie franchise. Carl's Cartoon is the Awesome is the heir apparent of the Simpsons, Family Guy and South Park. The True Crime Fiction Variety Show airs five nights a week. A painter has tea with doped-up models lounging across invisible furniture. The hits from the last Suave Prospects album, Mesopoontangia still get plenty of airplay. Baby mills run by the Christian Right are subject to law-enforcement crackdown after crackdown. You can't smoke inside your own home anymore. Or on public property. Milk is fourteen dollars a gallon because gasoline is eight dollars a gallon. Cars are bigger than ever. Alternative fuels have yet to catch on in any significant way. There are 1.9 cars for every licensed driver. There are more licensed drivers than ever. The internet has be shut down three times in the past two years. Your neighbor is spying on you, but it might not be for the government. We don't talk anymore, but all we do is communicate. A man needs a communications director just to wish his mom a happy birthday. People are dying and you are being blamed for it. The biggest Suave Prospects fan may have the answers to your questions, but she's dead too. Thankfully, we're still able to laugh about it.

This is Kaiju Jugoruma.

BILLY, DON'T YOU LOSE MY NUMBER

The kid is not my son.

Thirteen days till APE. We fly out in eleven. One week later is tax time. To celebrate tax day, New Jersey bar- and restaurant-goers will be doubly punished by having their right to smoke revoked. No more smoking in the diner. No more smoking in the bar.

I'm thinking about this because I just don't utilize the smoking section at the diner nearly enough. I absofuckinglutely love writing in the diner. Dinnertime at the Brownstone is much slower than breakfast. You get yourself a table, order some food, power the brain, write, smoke, get some coffee, write more, smoke more, people are coming in and out for mild distraction, some snippets of overheard converstaion to help you remember what human voices sound like. It's a wonderful experience. And it all ends in three weeks.

I took a break from the tripotony of printing, cutting and stapling last night to go to the Brownstone. Their specialty is something like thirty different pancakes and waffles, but they make great Greek-diner burgers with seasoned curly fries. Set myself down, paper and pen in hand, a table away from where the family of owners sit at night. Brought out my Kaiju Jugoruma thumbs, ordered some food and lit up.

You just motor this way. Caffeine, protein and nicotine are just filling your head and bloodstream. It's all energy and stimulation. And there's no work to be done. This is the real secret. Yes. I can eat, drink and smoke while working at home. No problem. Thank-you, Democratic party I've supported my whole life. Thanks for pissing in my ear. I can do all my nasty little secret things at home. For now. But at the diner—at the DINER—I don't have to cook, I don't have to have every possible food on hand to sate my whims, I don't have to wait for delivery and then get up to get my food, I don't have the clutter of dirty dishes, I don't have to get up to refill my soda or coffee, I don't have to clean my ashtray, etc. I don't have to do anything but stuff my face with calories and drugs and work. There are no creative blocks, just raw information being created and unleashed.

Nonsmokers, the uncaffeinated and healthnuts will never understand this. Give us the above scenario and we can dust you. No human can compete with that sort of productivity machine.

WHY DO LOVE SONGS HAVE BACKUP SINGERS?

Think about it. Why is it always some guy and all his friends singing to you girl?

Guy: I'm the only one who can do it to you right, baby
His drinking buddies: Ooh-ooh, oh yes I am the only one.
Guy: I'm gonna stick it in you and be the only one!
Some dudes he met one time: I hope there's room enough for us...

"Because your kiss, your kiss is on my list. Because your kiss is what I miss, when I turn out the lights."

That's two guys. What, do they round up every guy who's been inside that and have him sing the same song?

"Okay, you're the loudest, you sing lead. Oates, you do the backing vocals."

A LICKY BOOM BOOM DOWN

Tryin' to beef my googles with some of Snow's Informer lyrics. Might turn this blog into an all-things Snow blog. What is our boy up to these days? What ever happened to that guy? Where for art thou, Snow? Where can a guy get A LICKY BOOM BOOM DOWN?

Wodda weekend. I think I'm all healed. Whoopee! Turns out, I healed before finishing my APE work. First print run of #6s are done, stapled and folded. Same with "I Love You" and "Lincoln." "Good-Bye" is all printed and cut, stapling and folding tonight. Part of me just likes looking at that serious brick on my desk, though.

The miscalculation was with EMAW 1–4. I didn't realize that I'd need to start a second print run of that already. I printed 200 copies of them just over a year ago. I know I screwed quite a few copies up, gave away quite a few and I have about 30 of each left, which means I've probably sold about 100. Alright.

Tonight's the night, tonight. I can feel it, coming in the air tonight. Su-Sudio. A licky boom boom down. Dunz. Tonight. Printeds. Staples. Foldings. Dunz.

Friday, March 24, 2006

I'M NOT TEAM COMICS

I know I'm not the best team playa: Black Hole sucked. Solo isn't as singular an achievment as it should've been and... wait a fuckin' second:

NEW Brendan McCarthy comics!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sex, now.

SHAKEDOWN. BREAKDOWN.

Takedown. Everybody wants into the Kaiju life.

When Kaiju Shakedown has good news, it's very good. When Kaiju Shakedown has editorial, it's pretty fantastic.

ULTRAMAN MAX is the Ultraman show that features episodes directed by Takashi Miike and Shusuke Kaneko (of GAMERA fame). How bad could it be? It can only be amazing!

It’s the worst job in the world: censor.Just a really nice writeup about different censorship boards in different countries. Highly reccomended, quick reading—contains porn talk. Go already!

I'm probably the last guy in the world to know about Southland Tales (link goes to the bottom of the page instead of the top—what're you gonna do, it's comicon!). Chapters 1–3 are comics, 4–6 are movie, there's a supercomplicated website in the cumming.

The Rock is action star, Boxer Santaros, with amnesia.
Buffy is pornstar, Krysta Now.
The Grand Nagus plays Baron Von Westphalen!
Janeane Garofalo is General Teena MacArthur!
Justin Timberlake and Mandy Moore are in it!
Christopher Lambert is Walter Mung!
John Larroquette is Mr. Smallhouse!
Jon Lovitz is Officer Bart Bookman!
This girl!
There's a character named Megazepplin Waitress!

I declare this the greatest movie of 2006.

MY NEW FROCK COAT

Well, I've printed all the odd-numbered spreads for EMAW #6. Tonight, I begin the evens. Assemblies tomorrow. Sunday will be finishing off the #5s. If I can puul this off, I'll be done as per my original schedule. Wowsers.

I wonder if I can find parallelogram dowels. Glue them onto illustration board for the EMAW display, to hold the issues up. I think the whole thing need only be three panels. The front and two sides. Decoration printed on. I'll need some weight on the bottom. A heavy leading edge. Then I need to figure out a way to make it easy to assemble and take apart so I can pack it flat. I know exactly what I want, I just dont know if it exists.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

THAGOREAN PIE

Or: GREEKING IN SAN FRANCISCO

With two weeks to go, and four days to meet my assembly schedule. It's not impossible to still finish on schedule. With that in mind, I've got to start thinking about that ol' plunderer of behinds, Pythagoras. We called him "P-squared on the block," back in the day, and I dare say he still is the same guy he was then. He never let universal theorums and death get to his head.

His famous catchphrase was "a times a plus b times b equals c times c." It loses something in the translation, but you get the idea.

If I remember correctly (and there's no reason to think that I do), the tables at APE are the standard 72"x30"ers. There's three of us gonna be there, giving us each about 24" of width. Remember this, folks. Cliff Face is coming to your town with 24" of width, each. Open wide.

So, how do we maximize that space? Or, rather, how do I (since we do nothing sameways and have different needs)? Maybe P-Squared has something of a solution? Perhaps an inclined plane for increased surface area AND greater visibility?

The more disimilar the two shorter sides of a triangle are, the longer the hypotenuse is in relation. I think I can go up to 24" in height and still have plenty of head clearance. Now, I could go all the way to 30" deep (that's right), but that only increases my surface area by a couple of inches. Also, I'm not sure if I HAVE 30" to play with.

What if I only go 15" deep? Suddenly, I find mice elf on a steeper incline for greater visibility. I also have a smaller foot, taking up less table space. How long is my hypotenuse? 28" with up to 15" of table space in front. I'm suddenly looking at 43" of prime real estate. Hell, that's 1032 square inches versus 720" sq. One third more space.

WHEN IT RAINS ON YOUR WEDDING DAY

Well, I'm sure there's some irony in the fact that we kept saying our table at APE couldn't be any worse than it was last year. We now find ourselves one table over on the floorplan in 2006. It's an improvement of a sorts. But the sort of improvement that kills you. It killed me, for about an hour or so. But, we just have to make the best of it.

We at least know the space. There's a pillar behind us we need to take advantage of. We should have some big arts to hang on the table and pillar. We also need to remain vigilant. No boredom on the faces. No despondancy. No exhaustion. We have to be in sell mode nonstops. We should try to look good for the girls as they come out of the restroom. Bad enough they have to see our faces seconds after taking care of business. Last year, we did our best when we looked like we were having fun. This is a huge factor, especially since we going to be in a section with the least foot traffic. Last year, as I walked our section, I was amazed at how forlorn people looked. Sitting, arms folded, sketching. There was almost an air of entitlement among those that thought they were going to make millions in their first attempt at selling their wares. Even at our table. I'll admit it. The whole enterprise can be a bit soul-deadening. Which is why we have to work even harder.

In the good news department, I have done my full print run of covers for #6. I might have most of the pages printed tonight. This weekend is probably going to be all work. Printing and stapling. Also, healing. Looking more and more like a photo-finish.

It's going to be a fun weekend. There's some people we haven't seen since October or even April. I'm a little disapointed that the Bodega boys and Lloyd Dangle don't seem to have tables. But it should be fun nontheless

I'm curious to see how other people run their tables. I notice that Oni only has two tables, and I want to know how they manage that. Lumachick, Hellcar, Meathaus, AIT, AdHouse, etc. People with half tables, one or two tables. See how they set their shit up.

Our table is going to be hella crowded. Last year, Marcos had only two issues of TSM and one set of Carls. This year, he has twice as many. Last year, Kenny only had one half-legal-sized book. This year, at least on book and manny painting. And manny stuffed toys. Last year, I only had EMAW 1-4. This year, I add the much larger #5 and #6.

I might go to Staples to look at display ideas again. Also, our own tablecloth. I want that fucker covered in arts.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

TECH BLINDNESS

Okay. I can't even pretend to read my or many other people's blogs right now. I'm only guessing this is my blog and not the Cliff Face blog. This font isn't even Wingdings. It's just symbols. Arrows, nubers in circles, some sort of fil de fuer, a pointy finger. A wide variety of arrows, actually.

Here's some stuff I stole from Warren Ellis, some of which he stole from other people (with attribution). I haven't read his stuff in a while... I did the link in a different app, so it should work.

Interview videolog, shot in black and white, with everyone wearing suits and dresses, smoking and drinking and actually talking like fucking grown-ups…

The New York Times published the toxicity of breast milk: found to contain “paint thinners, dry-cleaning fluids, wood preservatives, toilet deodorizers, cosmetic additives, gasoline byproducts, rocket fuel, termite poisons, fungicides and flame retardants”. These chemicals will remain in human tissue for decades long enough for these babies to pass the PCBs and chemical onto their own children.
Reuters July 14, 2005. A study made by testing the umbilical cords of 10 unborn babies. “Of the 287 chemicals we detected in umbilical cord blood, we know that 180 cause cancer in humans or animals, 217 are toxic to the brain and nervous system, and 208 cause birth defects or abnormal development in animal tests,”

The Ballardian future of local boredom and widespread repetition.

Looked at the Simonson/Chaykin Hawkgirl book. Looked nice, but not as amazing as I expected. I think the problem is, I forget that supercomics mostly look like crap, so I forget that it's easy to blow socks. I would have bought it, but it's HAWKGIRL. I just couldn't do it. Maybe another time. One thing I noticed that Chaykin does (that you rarely see anywhere) is the cropped closeup. Not really new for him, but how often do you see a face pushed to the panel borders like tht? He's also good with the three-dimensionality of figures. I don't know, I never really think about Chaykin that often.

Mome 3 is already a huge improvement over 1&2, because it's got 36 pages of David B. I want to read the Kurt Wolfgang interview, mainly becaue he so obviously doen't fit in with the other cartoonists (well, the ones who occupy the majority of the books) and doesn't seem to fit into the idea of a "literary journal of comics." Hopefully, they'll actually address that.

Finished Ballard's "Cage of Sand," "End Game" and "The Drowned Giant." I wish they called this book Deja vu, because all of these stories seem more like rememberances than new experiences. I can't figure out when I read them, but I must have. Must'nt I have?

Tonight is EMAW #6 corrections, printing, Lost and possibly drinking.

Fuck. I really hope this is the right blog...

THE WISE KNOTS

Preview of June's Sloth graphic novel from Gilbert Hernandez and Vertigo. The only thing Beto's done that's disapointed me (no, I haven't read Measles or that other book) was his last Vertigo book, Grip: The Strange Life of Men. It started of so promising and then it just sort of ended. And it had about eighty different stortlines that seemed to be just below the surface but never saw light. I wonder if he meant for the whole thing to be a few hundred pages instead of one hundred.

That gives me trepidation about the upcoming book. The fact that this is his next Vertigo work. I also forget just how awesome he is is just days after witnessing it. He's like Chinese food. Really, really good Chinese food. Unbelievably good Chinese food. Ah, it's a stupid metaphor. But I always kind of fear the next book, even when I'm excited about it. I rush out and buy it, but rarely read it first. I just know he's going to let me down. He almost never does, but I know he will this time. Even if he doesn't.

Anyway, that preview is kinda crap. I don't understand DC marketing at all there. It's like they couldn't decide if they shouls market the book to Vertigo readers or Fantagraphic readers or bookstore readers, so they just chose to preview the first 8 pages of setup.

On the home front, I found a couple of little cleanups I need to do on #6. There's about an hour's worth of work left overall. Should start printing tonight. Bought four ink cartridge double packs of supposedly big size. The printer info says it can take a pair that big, but the cartridge packaging doesn't list my printer. That's got me nervous. Them cartridges expensive as fuck. I'm sure I'll find out tonight.

I wonder what will happen first, the printing and assembling of all my APE books, or the healing of my balls. Could be a photo finish.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

IT'S AMAZING WHAT DIFFERENCE A COVER MAKES

Okay. EMAW #6 cover is done. I think it looks pretty awesome. Some adjustments were made to a page that bugged me (made some type pop a bit more, rediscovered the burn tool to fill some areas better—after rediscovering the smudge tool a couple weeks ago). I still have to transpose two pages I put on the wrong sides of a spread.

I'm really happy with the cover. I was thinking about Chip Kidd as I designed it. It probably doesn't show. I like the fact that it looks like a a prose book. Almost nonfiction. It will really standout amongst my books and, I think, amongst the books at APE.

I know the story might seem a bit slight, but I'm not the best judge of my own work. It's especially hard with part of my head already into the next book. One of the hazards of working stylistically differently each time.

Anyway, the cover is aces. Not what I originally conceived, but close enough and really strong. I usually try to put that design training to use, but I think this one just came together.

I just realized that I forgot to put the price on. Nothing's simple.

It's going on the site after APE. #5 is there now, and this will give it a little room to breathe.

So, price and transpose tomorrow. Then printing. Then printing the rest of #5. Then APE. Then #6 goes on the site. Then two months until MoCCA. I'd like to have #7 written by then. Four months between that and SPX. Two months for pencils? Two for inks? Two pages every three days assuming I do it 40 pages as planned. Working nine times larger than #6 and that doesn't even factor in computer time. Maybe work on Kaiju until late August then do something small for SPX and debut Kaiju at no shows. Then six months until APE 07 and at least another book. And it all gets scary again...

3-21 CONTACT HIGH

I wish I hadn't written that title. Now I want to do a story about a school called Contact High. Already the ideas are—there. They're all dead now. So long, ideas. There's a girl in my office, with a voice like a no-name Sesame Street monster, singing the chorus to "I Walk the Line" over and over again. Or, rather, she's humming the chorus to "I Walk the Line," and singing, "I Walk the Line." Just those four words. Suddenly, ideas for Contact High start flooding back into my brain and I know who kicks it first...

I'm piecing the next sentence together in my head when it occurs to me that she might be running some sort of doppler experiment. The humming just builds and builds in intensity as she approaches my desk and hits those four words when she's closest. She might not fit into the story. She was clearly home-schooled. It's possible that she still is.

Despite the fact that I can't make heads or tails out of the healing process of bruises, it's hard for me to tell when I'm getting better and when I'm healing. Saturday night looked like a major setback. Last night things looked better in most areas and worse in another. Whatever, work has to get done at some point.

And work has gotten done. Well, the part I dreaded the most is done. There comes a time, when you have to make a choice between the better and the done. I have chosen the done. More than a week behind schedule, and with that awful suspicion that the longer I work on it, the better it needs to be. It's time to put this puppy to rest. One design element is not what the book is going to hang on, after all.

Tonight will be the cover. I have the whole thing worked out, I just need to do it. I could start printing tomorrow, only nine days late. Luckily, I had that 10-day cushion built into the schedule. Hopefully, assembly doesn't take more than 15 days. It really shouldn't.

It would be great to be able to get back into Kaiju Jugoruma before all momentum is lost. I have a feeling there might be a third draft on that before I'm even out of thumbnails.

Monday, March 20, 2006

ERNEST SAVES SPRING

Happy Vernal Equinox, Northern Hemisphere. And a happy Autumnal Equinox to you, Southern Hemishpere.

I'm celebrating the first day of Spring with the realization that I'm now a week behind schedule. Fantastic. Perhaps these ten boxes of Girlscouts will ease the pain and guilt.

Watched Grizzly Man and the last six episodes of Justice League Unlimited. Both were great. I liked the fact that many people treated Grizzly Man like a freak, even though he seemed no different than any pet owner I've ever met. This is what you all look like to me! You are not an animal! The animal isn't people! You should be killing and eating one another! Or something. Herzog does a great job assembling these found images and staging really strange interviews to create this surreal picture. No one would have bought into this film or Treadwell as a fiction, but he reminded me of a lot of people I've known.

JLU is most always enjoyable even though it's a bit of a mess. It never seems sure if it's a kids show or a young adult show, with messages for young kids (the parade episode) and sexual jokes for adults (Flash in Lexhead, Legion of Superheroes, Chickapalooza). I think the problems of licensing and the desire to use every DC character ever also hurt the show a bit. You get to the end and suddenly, "Oh yeah, I forgot about Batman and Superman." It actually seemed strange that the final battle wasn't between Vigilante/Black Canary/Stargirl and Lex/Tala/Grodd. Really, the show should have been called Lex Luthor and Everyone Who Opposes Him. Actually, aside from licensing issues, the only thing that hurts the show at all is the fact that there aren't a thousand more episodes to explore their crazy, enjoyable world. That and I wish just ONCE, the forces of Apokalips were even half as effective as the characters tell you in advance.

Getting pretty nervous about APE. I hope I can finish in time and that it goes well. I'm starting to have serious doubts about either.

Friday, March 17, 2006

THANKS HIVE

Reading the music thread at the V (in the VHive), I have discovered that there is an all-instrumental, all-RZA, Japanese import Ghostdog soundtrack—that I never heard of...

ALSO, there is a new Tool album coming May 2, "10,000 Days" tracks:

Vicarious
Jambi
Wings For Marie (Pt 1)
10,000 Days (Wings Pt 2)
The Pot
Lipan Conjuring
Lost Keys (Blame Hofmann)
Rosetta Stoned
Intension
Right In Two
Viginti Tres

Combine this with Gnarles Barkley and Fishscales, and this is a most promising near music future for my ears. Now, if Modest Mouse, Radiohead and someone else would hurry it ups, we could have the year to make you forget last year!

WHAT IS IT? IT'S IT. WHAT IS IT?

Warren Ellis and Brian Hibbs ask what the Direct Market is and what we should be doing to be a part of it. I actually read these, side-by-side, alternating paragraphs. Effective!

Reading Dungeon: Twilight 1. This may be the most beautiful of the Dungeon books so far. A bit sadder, but still fun.

PADDIES GO FOR ERIN'S BRA

There once was a limp Rick from Limmerick
Who couldn't get it up very quick
But when fin'ly extended
His lady upended
And found herself head over dick.

I hope everyone enjoys their celebration of the day some snakes played their pipes and drove the potatoes out of Ireland, commemorated with carbombs and dancing with the pituitarily stunted. Or something. Me, I like to go to a quiet little place, drink something tastey and wastey and think of a fair-skinned, flame-haired Colleen. Maybe curl up with the adventures of Dum-Dum Dugan in Essential Godzilla.

Of course, my dick looks more like the flag of Gabon today, so maybe I should raise something to El Hadj Omar Bongo and think of oil.

Hopefully this posts. Had some trouble last night and this morning.

Gilbert Hernandez has done it again! Book of Ofelia is simply wonderful. Truly. If Luba is one of the all-time great characters, with the literary endurance equavlent to the Mars Rover, Ofelia and Pipo may be two of the greatest supporting characters. At the risk of sounding hyperbolic, I mean that in all of literature. All of it. Maybe not Pipo, but I've had a serious crush on her for about 15 years, and you always elevate the unattainable ones. The collection bobs and weaves the ways sportswriters would describe Muhamed Alli's fighting style, taking you through flashbacks and new scenes, families and lovers. Moments of joy sprinkle themselves along a tragectory of failure and tragedy that only seems obvious at the end. Outsized characters engage in outrageous activity, guided by their loins and their love, behaving foolishly and cruely, choosing sides in a struggle for a perfect mate or revenge.

Beto is working in Human Diaspora mode, with a fat, sumptuous line more accomodating to his fat, sumptuous characters and scenes that spread out over a few pages at a time. I think this is the Beto I love best, a cartoonist working with meaty, solid forms that live off the page in every way.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

SO FAR BEHIND

See, this is what happens when you get injured and read 'books'. You fall behind. Not only am I cutting into my EMAW time, but I'm behind comics-wise.

Still have to make my way through Book of Ofelia and The Placebo Man, and now I just went out and bought the Superman Family Showcase (98% Jimmy Olsens), Essential Godzilla, Dungeon Twilight 1 AND Bacterarea by Keith Jones (the most petits of the Petits Libres). Maybe I read some them tonights.

THis SHOULD have gone up last night...

WHO KNOWS

what evil lurks in the office server.

It's always a surprise to see what fonts html pages and aplication documents will display on any given day. Will it be wingdings? Perhaps a typewriter font? Maybe blogger will appear entirely in a mixture of a handwriting font and an art deco font (I wish I knew fonts better, I'd name them if I could). Sometimes it's annoying, today it just looks classy. Or prissy. It's just my work computer, keeping me on my toes.

Aside from the six days in a row I didn't take my vitamin C megadose, I've been healthy as some healthy animal. Even then, I pretty much cleared up once I hit the C again (5-6,000 mg after lunch), since restarting the regimen. And this is while being surrounded by many plague victim.

I think I need to start a protein regimen again so I can return to excersise. it's the all supplementary diet! Maybe some vitamin E for the genitals. They hurt more as they heal. I think I might just rest tonight. No going outs. No work. Just healing. Hopefully Monday Night Wars is at the house.

Watched Ultimate Avengers last night. Most of it. I thought it would benefit from booze and smoke, but it was just really boring. Really boring.

My friend Stacia just returned from Belize. After scubadiving and climbing through caves full of Mayan sacrifices, she traveled through indigenious villages, AMISH villages and Francis Ford Copolla's villa. If there's not a story there, then there isn't a story anywhere.

Some of these Ballard stories have a strong hint of familiarity to them. 13 to Centaurus was good, but the surprise ending seemed to be the premise the reader was hanging the plot on, which was disapointing. It was like, "Oh my god! The only reason this could make sense is the twist!" I SWEAR I read the Subliminal Man before. I don't know where. Online? In an issue of Playboy from thirty years ago? It's almost science fiction to imagine how I could have pulled that off.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

CENTRAL CASTING COUCH

The best laid men of mice and plans are often led astray.

In my continuing effort to drown the pain of life in libation, I'm falling further and further behind in my work. I'm now three days behind schedule. And I'm not catching up tonight. Maybe tomorrow.

Missed The Unit, but enjoyed the company of Jack Action and the legendary Suave foundation. Also, Katie. Also, Jack Daniels. Also, Devon, Steven and Keith at Revival. Also Neil's friend. Also, a sack of Thomas' Everything Bagels.

No new Lost tonight, so I can enjoy more drink.

Making progress in the Ballard. Finished The Overloaded Man, Billenium (and we thought this was OUR joke) and the Garden of Time. More people, more isolation, more attempts to freeze moments of time. Yadda yadda yadda. I think the limitations of the short story are becoming more and more evident, even though I'm enjoying these. I'm hoping I can make a dent in the Borges before I finish the writing of Kaiju 1.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

LOVE, SLOTH STYLE

Whitey on I Love You.

Instead of sitting and working in pain last night, I decided to cool my bruises with cold beer and numb the pain with same. Watched The Aristocrats. It was ok. I would have loved to have heard Gilbert Gottfried's whole Friar's Roast bit including the 9/11 jokes, but it wasn't even a special feature. He did his bit, but he did it in an empty room.

The best things about the dvd were the "Comedians Other Favorite Jokes" and the entire Doug Stanhope version of The Aristocrats. After watching the entire movie and about a dozen extra full bits, Stanhope made the entire joke fresh and funny again. His delivery was perfect, his descriptions were inventive and it would have been funny even without the icing—he had an audience of one: his infant son. It's almost worth buying just for that.

Finished Veronica Mars Season 1 with the best episode of the series (the next to last) and the most over-the-top ridiculous (the last). The episode where she finds out what really happened to her at a party a year earlier was like a huge corrective lens on similar episodes (I'm looking at YOU poker episode) and I said I would take back every negative comment made if Harry Hamlin would appear in Mars' car in the finale and HE DID. And then it just got overwhelmingly ridiculous, culminating in a Hamlin Kick® and Car Go A The Smash™. So, I take back my take back.

Monday, March 13, 2006

SUPERDENSITY

Thinking about the reading experience.

It took me as long to read the first ten pages of Beto's The Book of Offelia as it does most comics twice as long. It's just a full experience. Silent moments are earned through a richness of character and a beauty of line. Dialogue is rich. I've spent a lot of time with these characters in the past, but Beto manages to convey a sense that these characters have lived a life outside of this book without making the reader feel like they've missed something important to this particular story. This isn't the page-of-comics squeezed into a single panel Beto that he did after Poison River (it's not even as dense—yet—as PR). Just look at the last few major chapters in Palomar for what I'm talking about. I actually think that stuff went a little too far, and lost some of the mind-blowing awesomeness of PR. But it was still great.

So, I've been thinking about this a lot lately. I've been thinking about decompression, compression, density and superdensity. I've been thinking about the formal aspects that separate comics from movies. Or texts. Or whatever. I've been thinking about hiphop and what that should have meant to comics for the past thirty years. I've been thinking about Watchmen and Acme Novelty Library as hiphop comics. I've been thinking about the formal experimentation of the late eighties/early nineties. I've been thinking about Die Brucker and Contructivist and Communist poster design.

I've been thinking about the ability to add layers of action and meaning in a visual sense, the way a writer uses metaphor and allusion. Or a producer uses samples. Or the way call-and-response changes the meaning of a phrase. Backgrounds as B-Story. Captions as countertext. The visual appearance of words as metaphor. I've been thinking about the restrictions of poetic rhythm. Conversations in haiku or cinquain. Speaches in iambic pentameter. I've been thinking about speculative biography. Inserting yourself into the future.

I've been thinking of politics and a final, desparate, blazing exeunt of progressive thought. Of the even darker ages to come and the end of humanity. The evolutionary failure of science and the darwinesque success of superstition. The end of art and the rise of consumerism. The last party thrown before the stormtroopers raid the caberet.

I've been thinking about Kaiju Jugoruma.

WHAT ABOUT BLUE?

I apparently fucked till I was black & blue this weekend. I was getting ready for bed last night and dicovered huge pelvic and genital contusions all over. You could play Risk below my belt. Just don't hold Kamchatka for too long. Apparently, I need to avoid all sexual stimulii until I heal. I should also ice it, but I'm not sure how to do that in the office.

To add insult to injury—almost litterally—some guy threw his shoulder into me this morning. I was limping to work and had one of those moments where two people on a fifteen foot wide sidewalk can't seem to get around one another. Finally, we agreed on the direction we were going and then he THREW HIS SHOULDER INTO ME. Deliberately. Knocking the wind right out for a second. Then he ran into a garage. Wha' hoppen?

I am now officially behind on EMAW #6. I have to do some more collage work and the cover. I might finish tonight. We'll see. I'm really not sure how this is going to turn out and am ready to turn my full attention to #7. Maybe have that ready for SPX. #6 is starting to feel more and more minor. I think I'm just too immersed in it. Too close. I need some distance.

Got Benny Goodman's Carnegie Hall concert from 1938. The first time jazz was performed at the hall. It must be a tone of other shit too, because the thing has 144 tracks. Thirty bucks iTunes. 144 tracks??? how is this possible. I find out tonights. Maybe all the major solos are separate tracked?

Also got Beyonce's "Check Up On Me." Possibly the most ridiculous song I've heard in a while. For some reason, this was on that Destiny's Child Greatest Hits record (the only solo song on it—although you can hear the girls in the backing vocals). The remix is getting a lot of radio play, and I can't get it oot of my head. It's okay to check out Beyoce's ass so long as you don't grab it and I hope you don't mind but all my friends are gonna watch you look at my ass and then maybe I'll let you touch it.

Café Tacuba's Un Viaje is fun. It's always strange to hear a very studio-oriented band cut loose live and pull it off. It's also strange to hear other people excited about these songs. They're my secret band! I don't care if they went many time gold in Mexico! There's an MTV Unplugged out there too, but I haven't found it.

BOY IN BLACK NAMED BLUE

Saw Broken Flowers, the Jim Jarmusch/Bill Murray movie. It was fine, great acting, lots of atmosphere. LOTS of atmosphere. Oh MY GOD—quit it with the atmosphere already! Yes, I understand that Jarmusch was trying to convey the emptiness of Murray's life and he was allowing us to focus on Murray's very subtle transformation, but I need a denser filmgoing experience.

It made me think about the way comics (nonart-comics) are trying harder and harder to seem like movies, but no one's going to the movies anymore. Movies should try to be more like tv. And while I think comics should try to be as much like comics as possible, if they need to be like something else, they should go with tv too.

Also saw Walk the Line by the great James Mangold. I say great because he somehow managed to make Copland a decade ago, despite the fact he clearly had no script. "Line" is the cliff notes/80s tv movie of the week approach to Cash's pre-San Quentin concert life. It's all about the great love story between him and June Carter and manages to fail in the most obvious way, namely what was so important about Johnny and June Carter Cash's lives that was worthy of making a movie? Why are they significant figures in American culture? Why would Phoenix leave his hot wife for a screeching cat who looks like Skeletor? Glow-in-the-Dark Skeletor.

It's filled with all those great bad movie signifiers. The dad is an alcoholic, so here is the scene where is is drunk and yelly. Cash slept with other women? Here's the scene with him walking out of somewhere with TWO girls. Ok. Done. June Carter is an embarasment to her family? Here's the drugstore scene where a woman calls her immoral.

If Broken Flowers suffered from driving a single point home too hard, Line suffers from a complete lack of focus. It also suffers from not playing all of "Ring of Fire." Or ANY of "A Boy Named Sue." What crap.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

LOST AND REMADE

So, I lost my original first draft pages of Kaiju Jugoruma. However, I hadn't gotten that far. And I remembered the jist of what went on. I'm now recreating those pages as I take a break from the computer, while listening to Café Tacuba's Un Viaje. A live album from last year I had no idea existed. It's strange listening to them perform live. But it's just strange enough to provide excellent background music for this work.

I'm glad I have the chance to redo these pages. Now that I know what was going into them, I can work certain things out with that knowledge. I love the discovery that comes during the writing, but putting that information in where it belongs, earlier, I leave room for new things to discover. Stuff I may not have found until the pencil stages. I'm able to play in the superdensity pond at a more formative stage.

I want to write more about this, but I'm supposed to be AWAY from the computer...

Friday, March 10, 2006

GOOD CRASH BAD CRASH

Cronenberg can't stomach the Haggis

As disapointing as A History of Violence was, I would have loved it if Aragorn went over to Paul Haggis' house and demanded my $10.50 back after the credits. Then shot Haggis on principle.

Haggis' next movie is going to be called "A History of Violence." It's three hours of women thanking the men who rape them and begging for seconds.

NOTHIN' DOIN'

Dinner with the boss and some coworkers went well. Had a good time. Didn't eat enough, drank too much. Was more or less useless by the time I got home, so I drank some more and watched Veronica Mars dvd.

It really is the most frustrating show ever. There's a lot I like about it and then there's stuff that just makes no sense or is just so contrived that it borders on the unreasonable. But the characters, the dialogue and the social politics are all topnotch. Also, it inspired me to grab "Crimson & Clover" off the iTunes. Thar be a great song.

I hope to watch Broken Flowers tonight. Then finish EMAW #6 on schedule this weekend.

Finished "The Deep End." It was okay. The last men on earth after everyone else evacuates the dried-up planet find a fish.

NOBODY TOLD ME HE LEFT

The Cliff Face hotmail inbox has lost it's most unique voice. It's a sad day. Or it was a sad day, but nobody told me, so I had fun. Then I had more fun the next day. Then I got the Dear John letter (he could never remember my name) and I was sad. Then I laughed. I'm such a trooper!

Many months ago, I recieved an email asking me to review this guy's comic should he ever make it. I wished him luck and told him to let me know when he had gotten around to doing it. Not long after, he had the book done and asked to mail it to me. I gave hime the address and said I couldn't promise anything, but I'd read it and be as fair as possible.

I got the book, and it was awful. I really didn't want to write anything. I usually focus on books that really affect me or have an element to them that is worth addressing. I don't write anything substantial about the vast majority of comics I read, and I'm pretty good at reading mostly comics I enjoy. The writeups are intended to serve a couple of functions:

1. The small-press books deserve to have some attention paid to them.
2. It gives me a chance to expand my critical thoughts about comics, something that can then filter into my own work.
3. It gets people to the site.

This book had nothing I wanted to talk about. "It's poorly done" isn't where I want my critical faculties focussed. I'm more interested in why something well-put-together doesn't work and even more interested in why something succeeds.

Then the emails started. First he just wanted to know if I got the book. Then he wanted to know when I was going to write something. Then he insulted someone he didn't know, but I had had the pleasure of meeting.

Suddenly, I didn't feel bad writing a bad review, but I tried to make it as optimisitc as possible.

After posting the review, the emails started coming. He accused me of being a Republican, a Communist, a lesbian, a "faggot," a hater of bosomy women, a disparager of Italians, a anti-Jesuit, a car-trunk t-shirt salesman, an inferior cartoonist, an embarasment to my mother and many other things. I couldn't even discern what all of the insults were, just that many of the words typed were intended to be venomous.

It was all good fun, I enjoy a good insult more than most. I even enjoy a bad one. And I was begining to discover the pleasure of a rabies-induced, frothing-at-the-mouth insult. I have no idea why, but he then started turning his nonsensical venom on Marcos. Possibly to support his claims of my lesbianism (I'm reaching at straws their) or just to indulge his racism. And he indulged that full-throttle (although sometimes I wish I were a lesbian Republican t-shirt salesman). His insults of Marcos were pointless and racist. And they were insults of my friend.

And that's when he took things too far. I had pity for him, and even considered giving him some material to help sharpen his insults, but then he just fell deeper and deeper into madness and stupidity. I never responded to him and the flood of poison letters slowed to a trickle until we went a long time without one.

On Wednessday, March 8, we recieved a final email. He was getting out of the comics game. He was dropping us from his comuniques. He was moving on.

I'll miss him.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

NO WORK, JUST WORK

Just remembered that I probably won't be doing much comics tonight. My boss is taking me out to dinner. Better get ready to put out.

Good thing I wore my fuck-me pumps.

I'M LOOKING AT ART SIZES

You remember him, right? Always measuring stuff. B. Guy Ling

Paul Pope looks like he works consistently around 19" x 24". About twice up, as I imagined.
Peter Thompson's work for Lucky L.O. is about half lettersize
Seth art is very cheap. He appears to do pencils separate from inks. About twice ups.
Brian Ralph did Cave-In twice ups, Climbing out at 150% approx.
Anders Nilsen 11x14 for Big Questions, 11x17 for Dogs and Water (about 150%)
Jason seems to work about twice up. His work looks much looser when isolated then it does on the page. I think he just has so much ease with the form, you don't notice.
Lutes works twice up. I haven't looked at his work in so long, I forgot how dense it was. Hurry it up, Lutes! Gimme some more! Put your Berlin where my eye can see! Whoo-Ha! Pass the Courvasier.
Harkham worked at just over 100% on poor sailor? Is he the crazy?

Most everyone else is in the same range, but Chester Brown seems to have done 5x5 individual panels on Louis Riel.

I'm still thinking huge.

VOICES OF FIREFOX

Somehow, one of the guys under me got his firefox unblocked. I need to find a way to do this for full funtionality. This has been your euphemistic tech talk for 3-09-06

Finished "The Voices of Time." I liked some of the mutants and I liked the idea of alien transmissions counting down to the end of the universe. It was interesting to see some of the character types from previous stories interacting.

I might be getting sick, because I feel my creative juices firing like a late-model supersoaker inside my head. I usually go all Tower of Babel right before the fall. Why do I have to waste this energy at work?!

I need to return those dvds I'm not watching anytime soon.

Taxes. Do taxes. Seller's permit. Send that thing. More energy wasted on unneccessary crap. Maybe I'll bring my taxes to work...

EMAW #7 will be B&W until I change my mind. Color is really killing me right now. Somewhere else, I said that B&W is the color of scince fiction. I stand by my claim.

American Virgin was so slim. Beto's Offelia is so thick. I want to jack myself into Beto's crank machine. I want Ghostface and Beto to collaborate on a comic.

I was trying to think of a way to describe Kaiju Jugoruma.

BLAZIN' HIPS R&D

I think I found a new solution to problem involving alternating patterns for differentiation. The essential problem was that the patterning I want to use obscures the line work (the patterning contains a lot of black) in a fairly intricate overlapping arrangement. I think that if I alternate that pattern with a similar, but distinctive one, I may regain my shapes.

Didn't do nearly as much work as planned last night, because it was the first time in a long time I just spent the evening with a friend, and the first time in an even longer time with this particular friend. Even before I started getting serious about comics again, I was widely aknowleged as the world's worst friend. I never call, never write, often bail. I generally rely on other people to manage my friendships. It's only some miracle I have any at all.

So, I did a little work last night before spending an evening with a friend who is crossing the continent pretty soon. I think I need to finish EMAW #6 before I can really catch my breathe and hang out with friends again, but she's leaving in a week and a half and deserves special dispensation anyway. She's one of my best friends, and I'm probably one of her worst.

Tonight I do the serious buckle down and finish the damn book. I have to make fifty of these for APE, another thirty of my backlist, do my taxes, reserve a motel room a pick out a nice celebratory bottle of vino.

Ballard loves the time! After "Chronopolis," I move into "The Voices of Time," - —ahem - with characters in permament comas, a girl named Coma, a guy who is sleeping more and more every day, a guy who had the same sleep-deprivation surgery as the characters in manhole 69, mutant plants that can 'see' time. I wonder if Ballard is just building to a final culmination of timesession. Chronopolis was ok, and the one-sentence twist ending was okay, but I hope most of the stories don't rely on this sort of gimmick, as gimmicks get old fast.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

MUST DO EMAW #5 BEFORE 2015!!!

BOUGHTEN!

American Virgin #1
Luba: Offelia's Story
Tomer Hanuka: The Placebo Man (why didn't I see this listed on ANYone's shipping list?)

Because I was in a rush, and am stupids, I didn't pick up the new Dungeon—d'oh!

MORE PO-EM

Often concerning love or work, and usually comical, Dodoitsu poems consist of four lines with the syllabic structure 7-7-7-5 and no rhyme or metre.

Wow:

"lục bát" = "six eight" is a Vietnamese verse form. Alternating lines of six and eight syllables. It will always begin with a six-syllable line and end with an eight-syllable one.
The form has a rather complicated and yet simple rhyme scheme, in which the sixth syllable of the eight syllable line rhymes with the sixth syllable of the previous line, which in turn rhymes with the eighth syllable of the line preceding it. There is no limit to the number of lines, but the eighth syllable of the last line rhymes with the first line.
An example of the lục bát rhyme scheme ("-" is an unrhymed syllable):
-----A
-----A-B
-----B
-----B-C
-----C
-----C-D
-----D
-----D-E
-----E
-----E-A

CINQUAIN!

Here is a short
unrhymed poem of twenty-
two syllables, five lines of 2,
4, 6,


...8, 2 syllables respectively.

Crap.

Here Comes the crazy

An Acrostic:
Elizabeth it is in vain you say
"Love not" — thou sayest it in so sweet a way:
In vain those words from thee or L.E.L.
Zantippe's talents had enforced so well:
Ah! if that language from thy heart arise,
Breath it less gently forth — and veil thine eyes.
Endymion, recollect, when Luna tried
To cure his love — was cured of all beside —
His follie — pride — and passion — for he died.

dactyl
a stressed syllable followed by two unstressed syllables.
Picture your self in a boat on a river with
tangerine tree-ees and marmalade skii-ii-es

CALLENDAR COLLANDER

Less than two months to Gnarles Barkley.
01 Go-Go Gadget Gospel
02 Crazy
03 St. Elsewhere
04 Gone Daddy Gone
05 Smiley Faces
06 The Boogie Monster
07 Feng Shui
08 Just A Thought
09 Transformer
10 Who Cares?
11 On-Line
12 Necromancer
13 Storm Coming
14 The Last Time

One month to APE.
4 days to self-imposed deadline #6.

THE RHYTHM, THE RHYTHM IS A DANCER

So, my art solution didn't work. I think I'll have to be content to let the dogs lie out. Will try something else tonight. I need to get into homestretch mode and finish this baby in the next two nights.

Continuing my refresher course in poetic rhythms today.

Reading more of the Ballard (Manhole 69—I think I finally know the title to the Suave Prospects gay epic and I'm in the middle of Chronoplolis). The ending of The Concentration City makes more sense in the context of these stories. That story ended impossibly on the same day the main character's ten-day journey began. In Manhole 69, three men undergo a medical experiment prolonging their day infinitely and get trapped inside one minute. Chronopolis takes place in a city without clocks, where it is ilegal to know the precise time. In Crash, part of the eroticism comes from the attempt to capture the feeling in that moment just before death and extend that feeling it into life. Time, time, time.

The visual component of EMAW #7 is shaping in my head. I hope I can transcribe it.

I'm starting to really enjoy the first season of Veronica Mars. I think we're at least halfway through the season. It took a long time for it to really click. There ae things I liked in the first 8-10 episodes, but the show was mostly a big mess. Still, I trusted the people that led me to The Wire and Battlestar Galactica. It's starting to really shape up.

The Unit is not the greatest thing evah(!!!), but it's enjoyable. Some great Mamet dialogue. Some actors I enjoy a lot. Hopefully, it will get a bit more engaging. "You, you and you: panic. The rest of you, come with me."

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

THIS MAN HAS GONE INSANE AND NEEDS TO REST

A forum I frequent contained some news
That David Miltch writes his show Deadwood's scripts
In iambic pentameter: crazy.
It made me think about writing styles
And distinguishing characters' voices
That and absorbacon's haiku fondness.

THE CONCENTRATION CITY

Finished the first story in the J. G. Ballard collection, The Concentration City. Twighlighty Zone combination of those three Bradbury Stories: The Fahrenheit one, the with one day of Sun one and the chinese flying machine one. The individual stories don't have copyrights attributed to them, but the intro comes just short of implying that they're printed in order of publication. I'll assume this is the earliest.

Influence sleeve-wearing aside, it's a nice, bleak story with lots of bureaucratic texture and it all works until the big reveal at the end which makes no sense. Why should it be the same day? What does that add to the story? Delete three paragraphs (not the last two, but the three above), and you get a perfectly fine story.

THE TAXING LIFE

Must remember to actually do taxes.

Well, one thing I wanted to do turned out really well on #6. A little photoshopping with one particular effect in mind. Unfortunately, it leaves me with an additional problem that I'm going to have to work out. And As I type this I come to a complex solution.

Copy lineart. Erase non-pattern lineart. Render lineart with same pattern as interior. Select and expand by a couple of pixels. Generate another layer underneath with the new selection and fill with a color. This might actually work. Also, it sounds like much more work. Craptacula.

Will I finish by Sunday?

Looking forward to seeing David Mamet's Unit tonight. That's right.

I am plagued with images of baby piles. Piles and piles of dead babies. Ten feet high.

Kaiju Jugoruma is going to be the best comic ever. I wish someone else was doing it, 'cause it sounds like a lot of work.

Monday, March 06, 2006

I BUY THE PROSE

Bought two books of the traditional sort today. The Best Short Stories of JG Ballard and The Collected Fictions of Louis Borges.

I don't read a lot of prose fiction. Usually a couple books a year. I really don't read a lot of short fiction.

After watching "Crash" again (the good one, not the evil one that just won an Oscar), I decided that I should read more Ballard. It should be interesting to see how this book intersects with my life. I used to go to bars after work, carrying whatever book I was reading with me (note to singles: this is the absolute best way to meet people in bars). While in the middle of Crash, I met two women on vacation from Florida. One of them had had her hip and knee replaced after they and her femur had been shattered in a car accident. She also had huge breast implants and wore a lot of makeup in order to appear younger. She was like some kind of drunken cyborg. Really drunk. The evening came complete with plenty of pre- and post-vomitting makeouts, proceeded into a variety of bisexual proposals, then into a triangle of jealousy and ended with what must have been some sort of dodecahedron of jealousy.

I'm just glad I avoided getting into a car that night.

I've only read one story by Borges, supposedly one of the masters of short fiction, and I enjoyed it. I,m looking forward to sinking my eyes into more.

This is allfor pleasure and fiction research as I plunge into EMAW #7 soon.

WHILE NO ONE'S LOOKING

Fictional nonfiction book for KJ:

The Biological Nihilism of the Educated American Left

SWEDISH MASSAGE BY REAL SWEDES

Either I need to start excercising again, or I need to get a robot to make my comics for me. Because when my arm gets this sore, "I can't do my woirk!"

Zeroing in on the Finnish line for issue #6 (it's starting to feel like I should be on issue #16 by now). I just have one spread with minimal adjustments to make and then two major steps: the cover and an effect I'm not sure I can pull off. Can't wait to see how badly this turns out. There's Norway this won't be the most embarrassing issue yet.

Oh. And I still have to test it all out on different paper. For some sick reason, I'm considering a glossy paper for this. Normally, I don't prefer gloss to mattes, but it might be appropriate for this project.

On Newsradio fronts, Season 3 is very enjoyable, but I wish I didn't have so many of the best jokes already comitted to memory. It stifles the laughter. Can only blame myself. Need to watch the commentaries, hope they're as good as the first set's.

One weird problem. An episode shot for the second season wasn't shown until the third season, due to the network's issue with the use of the word 'penis'. The producers fixed this airing problem by including that episode in the first set. For some strange reason, they also included the episode in this second set. Now I have this one episode twice on dvd (and once on vhs), and that's just weirder than a five-dollar bill.

Friday, March 03, 2006

STHIS IS THE PART WHERE I THINK OUT LOUDS

Disclaimer: show size comments and superhero comments don't mean I'm not interested in the show. In fact, I'm having thoughts that could swing other way. I also left some shows out. And added some Top Shelfless.

WONDER CON (San Francisco): FEBRUARY 10 - 12 — This show is behind us, but most of these thoughts are for next year anyway. Right now, it's WAY too close to APE, two trips to SF in two months is a bit unfeasable. APE is the show that focuses more on alt. comics, so it seems like the obvious winner.

MEGACON (Orlando): FEBRUARY 24 - 26 — I bet Orlando is nicer in February than New York. Hopefully, this won't be scheduled ON THE SAME DATE next year. Even so, this is a minor supes convention, but the only one in the state.

NEW YORK COMIC-CON (New York): FEBRUARY 24 - 26 — Some people (the locked-out fans) thought this went horrible and some people (the non-locked-out exhibitors) thought it went amazingly. I don't know if there's much logic to doing this AND MoCCA unless we are on a cranked up schedule. Also, superhero show.

STAPLE (Austin): March 4 — This is a very small show, focussing more on Austin cartoonists. No big alt publishers, but some alt-popular cartoonists. I AM interested in going to Austin. Imagine Carl in Austin! I think he's own the town!

FLUKE (Athens, Georgia): APRIL 1 — I'm surprised Top Shelf is doing this, as the impression that I got was the show was just a rented out bar with a table for minis. I suppose Shelf does publish and promote the minis of their cartoonist stable. This show is always intriguing to me, but it's only a week before APE.

EMERALD CITY CON (Seattle): APRIL 1 - 2 — Same scheduling problem as FLUKE. This is a small show, with most of the tables occupied by Dealers and West Coast publishers.

ALTERNATIVE PRESS EXPO - APE (San Francisco): APRIL 8 - 9 — I love San Francisco. I love it in April. APE is one of the big three small shows. We are going this year. We hope we're not on top of the ladies' room but that are neighbors are just as cool as last year.

SPACE (Columbus, Ohio): MAY 13 — Probably the fourth biggest small press show. It's only one day. It's really cheap to do. It's right in the middle of APE and MoCCA (space and time wise).

COMICS EXPO (Bristol, England): MAY 13 - 14 — I'm very curious about this. Same date as SPACE. Much more British. I can think of one Cliff Facer who would be interested in checking it out. Mixed group leaning on the Brit mainstream.

MOCCA ART FESTIVAL (New York): JUNE 10 - 11 — Potentially our biggest show. Sort of. SHOULD BE OUR BIGGEST SHOW. We see this year.

HEROES CON (Charlotte, North Carolina): JUNE 30 - JULY 2 — Supers.

SAN DIEGO CON (San Diego): JULY 19 - 23 — The show of shows. At some point we will have to do it. Assuming Speilberg doesn't buy up all the tables.

WIZARD WORLD CHICAGO (Chicago): AUGUST 3 - 6 — Really supers.

DRAGON*CON (Atlanta)v SEPTEMBER 1 - 4 — Isn't this a sci-fi/gaming convention?

BALTIMORE COMIC-CON (Baltimore): SEPTEMBER 9 - 10 — Supers. Usually right around...

SMALL PRESS EXPO - SPX (Bethesda, Maryland): DATE TBD — In 2005, despite selling almost nothing our first day, THIS was our biggest show. Well, MY biggest show. The social enviroment CAN'T BE BEAT. And my sales on Day 2 matched all of MoCCA.

More thoughts to come...

TOP CON

I'm still trying to formulate thoughts on cons. This is Top Shelf's schedule this year taken from comicon.com/pulse

WONDER CON (San Francisco): FEBRUARY 10 - 12
MEGACON (Orlando): FEBRUARY 24 - 26
NEW YORK COMIC-CON (New York): FEBRUARY 24 - 26 (I'm curious to know how they did both shows...)
FLUKE (Athens, Georgia): APRIL 1 (THIS is very interesting)
EMERALD CITY CON (Seattle): APRIL 1 - 2
ALTERNATIVE PRESS EXPO - APE (San Francisco): APRIL 8 - 9 (We'll be there)
SPACE (Columbus, Ohio): MAY 13 (This is something I've considered)
COMICS EXPO (Bristol, England): MAY 13 - 14 (I'm very curious about this)
BOOK EXPO AMERICA - BEA (Washington, DC): MAY 19 - 21 This we can't go to yet)
MOCCA ART FESTIVAL (New York): JUNE 10 - 11 (We'll be there)
AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION (New Orleans): JUNE 24 - 27 This we can't go to yet)
HEROES CON (Charlotte, North Carolina): JUNE 30 - JULY 2
SAN DIEGO CON (San Diego): JULY 19 - 23 (The ten-million dollar question...)
WIZARD WORLD CHICAGO (Chicago): AUGUST 3 - 6
DRAGON*CON (Atlanta)v SEPTEMBER 1 - 4 (another interesting appearance...)
BALTIMORE COMIC-CON (Baltimore): SEPTEMBER 9 - 10
SMALL PRESS EXPO - SPX (Bethesda, Maryland): DATE TBD (We'll be there)

A WORKING-CLASS HERO IS SOMETHING.

My vacation from #6 ended last night and I got most of the coloring done.

Saturday I do test prints and do some backlog.

Sunday for fixins beginings.

OKAY. I LIED.

I think Charlemagne is the Kanye clone. Who predates Kanye. I don't know if it's stylewise though.
I'll listen and compare with this list from discogs

1. Right About Now (2:59)
Producer - 88-Keys
2. Drugs, Basketball & Rap (4:30)
Featuring - Phil Da Agony , Planet Asia
Producer - Needlz
3. Who Got It (4:27)
Producer - Kareem Riggins
Vocals - Krista Thill
4. Fly That Knot (4:08)
Featuring - MF Doom
Producer - Fire Dept., The
5. Ms. Hill (3:44)
Producer - Charlemagne (2) , Steven Kang
6. Flash Gordon (4:11)
Producer - Supa Dave West
7. Supreme Supreme (4:30)
Featuring - Mos Def
Producer - Charlemagne (2)
8. The Beast (3:48)
Featuring - Papoose
Producer - Keezo Kane
9. Roll Off Me (4:02)
Producer - J Dilla
10. Rock On (3:19)
Producer - Midi Mafia
11. Where Ya Gonna Run (4:17)
Featuring - Jean Grae
Producer - J. Cardim
12. Two & Two (5:45)
Producer - DJ Khalil

MUSIC SOOTHES THE SAVAGE BREASTS

NO Ghostface: Fishscales. DMAN you, magazine leadtimes! You get my hopes up, then you reach down my throat, rip out my heart...

I listened to Bulletproof Wallets and Supreme Clientelle to get my works up. You know, Wallets is very enjoyable. It's really very good. It's just a shame it gets overshadowed by the Wu what was ABSOLUTE GENIOUS. Clientelle. Liquid SWords. Return to the 36 Chambers. Tical. Cuban Linx. Nigga Please. Oh well. What are you going to do? How many times can you come up with a "Wu-Tang Clan and Iron Man" chorus?

I did get one thing one time. Talib Kweli's Right About Now: The Official Sucka Free Mix CD
Can SOMEBODY explain what these mixtapes is?
It's an album. Of Talib Kweli songs. Not demos, as far as I can tell. Not rough cuts. Not fpo production.
A fully produced, guest-star-laden official bootleg. That you can buy on iTunes.
I reallyreallyreallyreallyreally don't understand this.

Anyway. One listen in and it's pretty awesome. Kweli seems incredibly focussed on the moment and just explodes with social and cultural detail. There's three tracks that sound like Kanye West produced them, but everything I find online says it be others. Unfortunately, I haven't found any proper credits. Whatever. Listen to it and pretend Beautiful Struggle never happened.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

AT LEAST TWO REASONS

I BUY THE COMICS

Boughten Infinite Crisis #5 (IC is my great guilty pleasure—GUILTY...of PLEASURE!) Halfway through and it's fun. Invisible Propeller Plane! Crazy Olde Timey Superman! Religion in the DC universe! Pink-shirt Luthor! Earth-8!

Michael Kuperman's Snake n Bacon Cartoon Caberet! I expect awesomeness from the Thrizzler.

Another copy of Showcase Hex! I give Kenny so's I can have my own. My own to spine-bust!

Once again, I don't buy Comics Journal. I like Mike Ploog, but I'm not tripping over myself to read an interview. And the second interview is with Sophie Crumb? No. Thank. You.

They should totally do Eddie Campbell Dee Deuce.

THIS ISN'T SUPPOSED TO MAKE SENSE

HAWCS

CAfCA CACA

I continued my EMAW vacation last night and watched Lost and the end of 24 S1. Tonight, I work.

Tonight I also get new Ghostface album. Even if some tracks are produced by MF Doom. Good thing Marcos gets free XXL, or I'd never know this even existed. No word yet if he's finally done an entire song about spaghetti.

KRAVEN!!!

Dave's Long Box looks at Kraven's Last Hunt, because we all should from time to time. It is one of the few Spider-Man stories worth reading. And it's awesome.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

ARGH!!!!!!!!!!!

So, I show EMAW #5 to a coworker.

I Love You is really good, but is it missing a word? ARGH!!!!!!!!!!

THe word "know" is fucking missing! Fucking A!

EARTH MINDS ARE HUGE

Thinking about working really big. #6 was drawn at proportions similar to mainstream work (150%). Story of Suave Prospects was drawn at about four times the size of the printed work. I Love You was drawn 16 times printed size (whoo-ee!).

I'm writing #7 on a twelve-panel grid, 100% print size (legal folded in half). Thinking about drawing one panel per page of 9x12 bristol. Just writing that makes my bank account squirm. Heh. Squirm bank account, squirm.

The bigger I work, the more line variation I have in my arsenal. I like to think of myself as someone with an adequackitation of line variety, but I'd love to just beef it up. And I'd love to just open the panels up. Fewer lines closing up as they intersect. A better sense of space, more room to work. I want it to be as open as possible, especially as I start working a bit more iconically and a bit more densely. Dense openess.

When you work with really stripped down images, iconic drawing, you want to work even bigger than you would with something detailed, so that when you shrink it down, you get a really nice, clean edge. Hides paperpulp, leading edge grain, shakyline and unwanted variation.

And I want to really stretch the push pull of the reader's eye. I'm thinking about really clean, simplified foregrounds against a clean, less iconic range of background action. I want to tell a story in the background that comments on the foreground and I want the reader's eye to really participate in that.

I'm thinking about templating up my word balloon lettering and really letting the other lettering get much more graphic. Get a real uniform look to the dialogue for ease of read and to let any changes be more subtle or really pop.

I want it to work equally well in B&W and color.

SHOWCASE PRESENTS

Showcase Presents: Superman Awesome.
Showcase Presents: House of Mystery Much more awesome.
Showcase Presents: Jonah Hex Possibly even more awesome.
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