Friday, May 26, 2006

AT THE RISK

At the risk of just posting a link to every post on BLDGBLOG, here's Part 2 of the Mike Davis Interview on pandemics, biosecurity, Pentacostalism and the Apocalypse.

The Bible as the world: BLDGBLOG looks at topographical maps message
drawn in text from Chronotext.

DID DC HAVE AN EARTH-MUPPET?

Friday! Alones! Marcos away. Evelyn away. Phone of the hooks. Workins. Do it. Mango curry dinner. Looking the fo-word. Zip it up. Crack a window. Make the MoCCA in chinoes. Coffee up lates and sleepins the mornins. Suck it make it ass. DX.

I can tell things are looking ups 'cause I can read all words on the internet and view all images. Including my own. And Kenny's.

In between nanonews, Kenny does 23 Batvillains in 23 Batdays. I tried to think of 23 Batvillains that he could be painting. I came up with 20 (and I included Orca, King Tut AND Egghead) off the top of my head... Deadshot. That's 21. I wonder, how many will he do that I thought of?

So far, Killer Moth is my favorite. I love the bricks like Redman and check those wings! I f Kenny did a Killer Moth comic, he would be pretty cool. Killer Moth, I mean.

I need to remind myself to borrow West Wing Season 1 from Marcos to lend to Stacia. THIS is where the breakup becomes problematic. We've each got different seasons of the same show. Sorkin's gonna grow up blaming himself for the split. Sometimes two people just stop loving each other, lil'Sorkins, but we'll never stop loving you. I suddenly want a West Wing Babies show like the Muppet Babies, except with puppets, the way the Muppet Babies sequence was done in Muppets Take Manhattan — that would be so awesome.

All things should have Muppet versions. Imagine a Ken Lay Muppet. Or a Killer Moth Muppet.

Or an Isabella Rossellini Muppet.

I wasted the night away last night. Thinking about The Phantom Stranger again. And watching Alias with Marcos. I was just watching as I ate dinner, but then they had Vivica A. Fox (ooooohhhhhhh) and Isabella Rossellini. Isabella Rossellini. Isabella Rossellini. Isabella Rossellini. And Isabella Rossellini.

"I find you sexy. Deal with it." BOW! PLAM! Also good is when she seduces the young Russian guard. "I made love to a boy who looked just like you there. Is it possible you might have forgotten?" ZOW! BAP! This is going to sound totally gay, but I can imagine Isabella Rossellini just dripping in toned, oiled 18-year-old male models. See? Sounds pretty gay. But it's not. Just picture it. Now picture it in Muppet form.

After you've cleaned yourself up, remember Isabella Rossellini in Blue Velvet. And then remember her in The Saddest Music in the World. As a sadistic parapelegic Canadian beer baroness with glass legs filled with beer.

Suddenly, I'm tempted to do 23 Isabella Rossellini paintings in 23 Isabella Rossellini-days. I would do it if there was a Muppet version of me.

LAY OFF THE GANGA?

I don't know anyone who'd be interested in this news.

"He theorized that tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, a chemical in marijuana smoke that produces its psychotropic effect, may encourage aging, damaged cells to die off before they become cancerous."

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"The White House had no comment on the verdicts except to congratulate the Justice Department for winning convictions in a "highly complex" case. Lay was a major fund-raiser for President Bush, who gave him the nickname "Kenny Boy."" Sentencing is scheduled for September 11th.

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I'll have more to say when I'm done, but so far, Jean-Philippe's First Second book, Deogratias: A Tale of Rwanda, is pretty fantastic stuff. The only unfortunate thing about it is that it's taken six years to be translated into English. We really need to be picking up the pace on this sort of thing, especially with a book like this that would have made a HUGE mark when Graphic Novels were just getting into bookstores, instead of being kind of lost in a book publisher's big dump.

I assume :01 will be doing more Trondheim, which is good. A questionable Eddie Campbell book... I'm not sure about. You know what would be absolutely perfect? Tardi's Trench Warfare books on WWI. And everything else he's done too. If Stassen's other books are of this caliber, they should be on the list too. It's the sort of stuff NBM should have been putting out. Well, I can't fault the people responsible for giving us Dungeon, amongst other good books.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

MR. EKO - NOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!

It was panel 8 that was missing. I must be really tired. Where's my three-day weekend???

MIKE DAWSON - NOOOOO!!!!!!!!

Where did panel nine go? I look.



Wednesday, May 24, 2006

CLANCY BROWN - NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!

No more Brother Justin (until S2 dvd in July). No more Lex Luthor. No more Mr. Crabs. No more Kelvin (was that his name?). Well, there's always flashbacks. And I guess he can come back astral-style.

Some more of those test from yesderday. Not cleaned, hardly final. One even has the wrong file name. Just seeing what works. Next post is the smalls.




THE JUICE

I hate this. It's always when I've got other stuff to do that it happens.

The juice is flowin'. No, OJ Simpson doesn't have a rap album coming out — or does he?

I'm talking about the creative juices. Like the juice from a Jack LaLanne Juicer, they're free. Free flowin'. And I'm a bad boy, for having these thoughts. I'm also crazy 'bout Elvis.

So, I'm doin' the Kaiju. MoCCA's coming and I've commited to making new comics for that.

And now... now I'm having horrible thoughts about something else.

I think it's something that can be a good "preliminary work at the office/primary work after Marcos is gone sort of thing." Which is good, because that's just the sort of thing I need.

But I don't want it to become a thing.

You know, 'a thing'?

Something that eats all the time you have and the focussed totality of your mental powers, when it should only be a little side project.

That's all I want it to be, but work begets thought. The more I do, the more ideas I have about other things. And I already have so much to do. But if I stop, too overwhelmed with work and thought, then I just shut down. No work gets done, no thoughts are had, and I unlearn how to do things. My drawing turns to crappier. My sense of composition goes out the window. And then I have to work really hard to get my brain and hands to do what I need them to do. It's like the hand is connected to gears, each movement with a pen or brush moves the gears a fraction of a turn. The gears are connected to a big steel door in my skull that slowly opens, revealing more and more of the secrets of art, as the gears turn. But whenever those gears AREN'T turning in the right direction, the door starts closing again — and the secrets are lost.

When the door is opening, though, thoughts flood out like blood from the elevator. And I start drowning in them as I try to write down as many secrets s possible. I'd rather be drowning in thoughts than closed off from the secrets, but it gets hard to breathe down there.

RADIOERASERHEAD

Thom Yorke's album without anyone else comes out July 11.

Synchronicity Part 3: After posting about the Flavelas yesterday, Evelyn called to say she was booking her trip to Brazil, for a yoga retreat. It's on some yoga island though, not in a megaslum resort. Or a Megatron resort. Yessss. It actually sounds as fun as it does corny.

My question: what's the difference between a retreat and an overnight camp?

And thinking about megaslums and Brazil and Brazillians and Rio and Brazillians and South America and Brazillians, I let my mind wander a bit north to Central America and think of Mexico City — the biggest city in the world. Megacities, megaslums, Judge Dredd, "I Am the Law," Anthrax and the sound of Joey Belladonna sreaming over Scott Ian's crazy guitar and then thinking about S.O.D. I can't even remember S.O.D. I think they were the really un-p.c. band.

BY SHOGGOTH!

The whole idea of putting the pictures on the blog is so that I can look at them all day at the office and be reminded how terrible I am. This only works when I can see the images, and my computer at work has decided to only let me see a couple of them. Fuckin' work server...

I'll toss the rest of the inks up tonight before Lost. It's two hours, so I probably won't get much other work done tonight.

B&N didn't have the 2nd season of Deadwood. Sup wit that?

Exploding eyeballs and testicles! I had to watch House last night because it guest-starred Casey Jones/Vaughn himself, Elias Koteas as Jack Moriarty. If he becomes something of a regular, I'll be watching more often. I like the show, but it can get a bit repetitive.

UNDER DEBATIONS

And here's panels 3–6 with panel 2 of page 3 in print size.





DEBATIONS

I'm the super tireds, so I'm not doin' every panel I inked tonight. This post will be the fools, and the next will be the print-sizes. I'm having a bit of a background/fool image crisis, and I hope putting these up will give me a chance to look at a couple option.

So, here's the preliminary, not cleaned up and probably not finished panels 3–6 0f page 3 of Kaiju Jugoruma:



Tuesday, May 23, 2006

FAVELA

Reading BLDGBLOG'S interview with controversial urban social geographer Mike Davis on his new book about slums. Haven't gone all the way through part one yet, but I'm immediately reminded of the fantastically terrifying documentary that accompanied City of God about the Rocinha slums of Rio de Janeiro. So, I think I might look at some information on Rocinha when I stumble upon POUSADA FAVELINHA, a tourist destination for people looking to experience life in a Brazilian slum. I always forget that the most absurd sci-fi ideas already exist just one or two clicks away on the web.

Or, at least in the Etended links in Wikipedia articles.

Also, population of Rio's flavelas reaches 1 million, Canadians in Rocinha and a blog on squatting.

THEY SAY IT'S MY MIRTHDAY, GONNA HAVE A GOOD TIME

I almost missed it like greased lightning, but I thought I'd point out that today is my Mirthday. I'm many years and a half old now. How will I celebrate? HOW?

Maybe I'll get some sneakers that talk to my iPod. I can hear it now:

"You have not burned any calories. You are just getting fatter sitting there. Next Door Nikki is not a treadmill. You are taking excersise to a whole new level of obliteration. I'm only playing music you got on that crazy viral cd-rom from Kenny until you get off your sorry ass you disgusting slab of cholesterol and saturated fat!"

Maybe I'll drink from my new wine glasses. Or maybe I'll sip the juices of a fifteen-year old.

Only time, and your doctor, know for sure.

CLEAR SAILING

Oh man. I LOVE inking in the cool, dry air. SO MUCH SO MUCH SO MUCH. It's nearly erotic.

I'm surounded by people all day, complaining about how COLD it is outside. COLD. People are walking about comfortably in t-shirts and it's COLD out. People are comfortably lounging about outdoor cafés, sipping wine and coffee and it's COLD out. Water flows freely all about us and it's COLD out. This is not COLD, people. This is HEAVEN. It's going ALL THE WAY UP TO 67º TODAY. Enjoy it while it lasts, people. Tomorrow it's mid 70ºs and up. With no ceiling. It will be HELL. Cause that's what hell is. HOT. And HUMID. And there's no ceiling. Heaven is COOL. And DRY. And there's a ceiling. With a fan.

Don't go to the beach. The beach sucks anyway. Don't get a tan. A tan will kill you. Walk about town. Give a "Howdy do?" to your neighbors. Get yourself a sammich. Laugh at a crippled squirrel in the park. Then go back inside and ink. Ink a doodle doo.

I've got the layouts done for the next two pages. They suck the ass, but they're done. So, last night, I began inking. Inking in the cool, dry air. It was just woderful. New brushes. Fresh ink. Cool, dry air. onderful, sharp lines. Full holds. Smooth, smooth workin'.

I'll do the penwork tonight and then post up to seven panels tonight. Full-page 3!

Looking at my schedule, I should have 23 panels done tonight. Hopefully, I'll have 27 done. Whoo-hoo! I hate all of it. But I need to soldier on right now. Especially since it won't be this nice forever.

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I need more Hüsker Dü. And Grant Hart. While I love Bob Mould's contributions, I realised last night that my favorite songs on Zen Arcade are the Grant Hart songs. Adding that to the list of things I should get when I go cd shopping. New Aphex Twin, new Tool, old Grant hart, older Hüsker Dü.

Deadwood Season 2 is out today. Maybe today is the day I go CD shopping.

And then there's Mission of Burma's new cd out too. Maybe that's why, "That's When I Reach for My Revolver" popped up on the iTunes yesterday. Wait. Does that mean Foxxy Brown has a new album out too?

Monday, May 22, 2006

fiRE hoES

iTuned a buncho fiREHOSE. Four albums. I've avoided getting their material for years because I was always afraid of what I would find. I know what can happen when a bandmember dies and some fan writes a letter saying they should go on and the band lets the fan take their place.

Sometimes you get Temple of the Dog/Pearl Jam (which worked mainly because Mother Love Bone wasn't actually that good). Sometimes you even get a Black Album out of it (but then you're stuck with all the albums afterwards). Sometimes you get AC/DC's really popular stuff. Hell, there might even be a Dirty Vegas in there. Sometimes you just get "The New Doors" or the recently announced "New Alice in Chains": essentially cover bands.

I love the Minutemen. It took me a long time to get anything but Double Nickels on the Dime, but I had that on cassette! AND CD! Only the works of INXS share that distinction. Oh. And Disintegration, but that was a cassette copy of a cd.

I also love Mike Watt. I sometimes love Mike Watt more than the Minutemen. Certainly, I love his thumpstick. Just thinking about it makes me bounce. I love all his albums (even if that weird organ one wasn't the greatest), so I was naturally very interested in fiREHOSE.

But, I was also terrified. Watt writes about D. Boon a lot. A LOT. All his songs are either about his dad, the town of (San) Pedro or D. Boon. Or all three. Usually all three. But fiREHOSE has a lot of stuff written by some kid. That's fine, but he's the outsider and he's doing the singing. And the band was still meant to be a sort-of continuation of the Minutemen, not really it's own thing.

I'm not sure why I finally decide to get these albums yesterday. It had something to do with there not being any Hüsker Dü on iTunes. I want to fill that catalogue out. There's the anticipation of the DVD. There's the sheer pleasure of hearing all those songs I got a couple weeks ago. Maybe it's my rampant consumerist impulses, and D. Boon is rolling in his grave. Whatever the reason, I decided to take the plunge.

Watt hadn't played with every 80s/90s rocker yet. He's still doing it Minutemen-style (which, admitedly, means he was doing it many tine style). But the music kinda sounds like the guy from the Decemberists rewriting the lyrics to old Mentunes. It's weird and disorienting. And at the same time, it all kinda sits in the background. There's no real jolt. No political rant. There's singing instead D. Boon's rhythmic rant. It lacks the gin dips and whiskey swirls of his voice. It's hard for me to judge on it's own, because it sounds so much like the first band and yet so little like them. George Hurley is there, pretty much providing the same drums, and Watt seems content to sit in the background instead of any lead-bass playing. Actually, the ballads, the least Minutemeny of the songs, are probably the best. It's weird and will need more listening. But it feels empty. I don't think it ever won't.

THE ONLY MAN-SCENTS ARE RESIDUAL

I really miss Chris Claremont... sometimes. Wolverine is taking Rogue along on her first mission with the X-Men and Paul Smith. He walks into the samurai/ninja/crimelord/arbitrator's office and thinks, "The only man-scents are residual."

You've got to hand it to Wolverine. He's been there. He's done that. He's so jaded (having been a soldier, a spy, possibly a farmer, a test subject, a super hero, an animal, a samurai, a criminal, a breeding ground for aliens, a murderer, a drunk, a mutant, a man and a Canadian) that he can just turn his ironymeter on and off like a lightswitch. He doesn't even crack a smile, but he knows better than to say something like that in front of Rogue. This "darlin's" new to being a hero, having only just left the spring-autumn clutches of lesbianism, and with a woman inside her still. She would probably snicker. In a southern accent. "Snickah." No wonder Ororo didn't like her.

However, since he's never been much of a businessman (I'm sure he's even said as much at some point), he can't even see the dollar signs before his hyper senses (a gift of the gene that made him a mutant, a step up the evolutionary ladder, a step that has made him and people like him feared and hated by ordinary humans) when he comes up with the incredibly marketable...


RESIDUAL MAN-SCENTS
Make sure they never forget you.

After perfume. For men. Or for anyone who wants to be remembered as one.

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And I'm thinking that an all-Claremont Suave Prospects song NEEDS to be written. But what rhymes with "residual?" How about these:

"I'm the best there is at what I do, and what I do isn't pretty."

"She was kind t'me."

"I ken nae understan' what's wrong wi' her."

"Majestratix, I have failed you."

"The focussed totality of my powers."

"Were this but two weeks ago, I may have acted differently."

"I invited them to my wedding, but I may have lead them to their deaths."

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And all this Claremonting reminds me of another Marvel writer from around the same time period: Peter David and the character he'll forever be associated with: The Incredible Hulk.

As I was going through the motions of setting up the tv for dvd viewing, Evelyn asked, "What are you going to do when you don't have suround sound?" A fair question, but it made me think about some of the items that will be contested between Marcos and I in the near future.

Only a few hours later, the grey Marcos was gamma-transformed into the green, rampagin' Marcos and he Hulk-smashed through the coffee table and wine glasses. Seemingly answering the unasked question. It's possible that he was under the Leader's mind control, but I still had to call in Thunderbolt Ross, Doc Samson and the Marcos-busters to capture him. Unfortunately, he leaped into sunset, lost to the Nevada desert.

VERSAILLES

Jog writes a HUGE article on François Schuiten and makes me want to dig out my few issues of Cheval Noir to revisit his cyber-sexual cityscapes. If that's what's there. I haven't looked at them for years. I actually have one of his books on my amazon wishlist. He's an artist I always suspected his stories never matched up to his visuals, although Jog makes quite a case for at least one of his pieces. And the visuals are quite amazing.

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Saw The Station Agent. Honestly, I'll watch anything shot in, set in or mentioning New Jersey. I don't think I cut things more slack if they have something Jersey in them, but I get a kick out that stuff anyway. Because. I'm. A. Big. Nerd. Jersey is my Texas, except, you know, actually a good place.

I was thrilled to walk in on Marcos watching Superman when Gene Hackman says the second missle is headed for Hackensack, New Jersey. I love trying to figure out where the wormholes along the Turnpike are that Harold, Kumar & friends must be traveling through as they search for a White Castle (all they had to do was drive half a mile to Jersey City).Etc, etc.

So, it surprised even me that I had not seen The Station Agent, set in and shot in Newfoundland, New Jersey. I wasn't even sure where Newfoundland was. Turns out it's in West Milford. Ah, West Milford, where I once left a piece of my heart.

The movie itself is nice, even if the great Peter Dinklage doensn't talk as much as I wish he would. He's still phenomenal. As is the rest of the cast (even that girl from Dawsonback Mountain Creek). And it's got lots of train talk. If this movie had come out 10 years ago, it would have been touchstone point in a relationship I was in. It's a very nice movie that just sort of stops rather than end. Not the greatest thing EVER, but enjoyable.

Also saw The Edukators, a German movie about kids trying to start the revolution by breaking into the homes of the rich, rearranging their furniture and leaving a note of terror (not death). Well, it claims to be that, but the first fucking half of the movie is the cheesiest, most cliché-ridden lovestory. And then it's about the characters getting their ideas about the world thrown all out of sorts by a victim they inadvertantly kidnap. If it had been all breaking and entering heist stuff or all psychological gamesmanship, it would have been a much better movie, but that first half died on the lap. If you're going to do something that bad, you should do it quick — at least that's what I was told in West Milford.

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David Cronenberg should make a movie starring Peter Dinklage. Dinklage could be a German conceptual terrorist visiting a cyber-sexual city of the future buried deep beneath the haunted woods of West Milford. I watched a couple of episodes of Alias as Marcos blazed through the seasons at lightning pace. My opinion hasn't changed much. It's La Femme Nikita with a bigger budget, probably more story-arc thought, a great supporting cast and Jennifer Garner. Garner just fires up the antibodies in me and I reject her like mistyped liver. Her Michael Vaughn is no Michael (from Nikita) or Vaughn (Crash). But I love that supporting cast. Some fantastic actors there.

And then there's David Cronenberg. Despite A History of Violence (and probably M Butterfly), the man is probably one of my five favorite directors of all time, and someone I might actually break my 'no theater rule' for. Every once in a while, he shows up in a small acting role, mostly because directors want to honor the guy. Like when Miike showed up in Hostel or John Waters shows up in any number of things. It helps that he's a good actor, and I made Marcos wait before returning an Alias disc so I could see Cronenberg's few scenes.

And, he's great. Wonderful. A little monologue about 'Facon', some little moments of absentminded dementia and a hot redhead assistant who could act. Before she showed up, I was thinking that they should add a robot redhead to pair with the robot brunette and robot blonde on the show. But they actually added a human. There wasn't much of the tech guy, or the Barrack Obama guy, and I had to go another episode for the O'Quinn, but I got some delicious Cronenberg and a nice Prisoner-esque dream sequence.
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When I began my Springtime of manga, Kenny offered to lend me Bleach, a manga I had never heard of. He's got, like, 10 volumes of this thing. Oh boy. I'm SO GLAD this wasn't the book I read. I would have never made it to Death Note or Monster or Pushman. This is EVERYTHING I was afraid of when I decided to dip my toes again. WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS?!?!?!?!? There's got to be eighty different visual styles per page. DO YOU HEAR WHAT IT IS THAT I AM SAYING?????? Anytime there's action, the scenes become unreadable. OH MY GOD I CAN"T BELIEVE HOW HARD IT IS TO UNDERSTAND SOME OF THE PANELS OR PAGES DEPENDING ON HOW LONG AN ACTION SEQUENCE LASTS!!!!!!!! Characters shout for no reason. WHY DO THEY DO THAT?????!!!!! There's that crazy anime/manga talk. "What? WHERE IS MY DRESS? I don't know. Huh? Oh. YOU LOOK VERY PRETTY! What? Huh/ Oh. AKIRA!!!!!!" It's really a mess. I might read more, just because there seems to be something fun underneath all the attepmts to make the book seem REALLY FUN. I don't know.

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Finished the full layouts for the next two pages of Kaiju Jugoruma. Hopefully, I'll have some inks tonight. But I'm thinking I might need to re-write some stuff. There'ssomething missing.

Friday, May 19, 2006

THE WIFE AND KIDS

Science, the government and actual ethics versus God. I'm sure the government will be getting a talking-points memo.

If I marry a chimp, would I be marrying my cousin?

The human family tree has been thrown into disarray by evidence that the ancestors of man and chimpanzees kept on mating with each other for a million years or more.

If I marry my cousin, would I be marrying a chimp?

Polygamist church leader Warren Jeffs has been placed on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list in hopes that the additional exposure and reward money will lead to his arrest.

What if I marry a man?

A Senate committee approved a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage Thursday, after a shouting match that ended when one Democrat strode out and the Republican chairman bid him "good riddance."

"I don't need to be lectured by you. You are no more a protector of the Constitution than am I," Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter, R-Pa., shouted after Sen. Russ Feingold declared his opposition to the amendment, his affinity for the Constitution and his intention to leave the meeting. (For the record, Specter is against the Bill too — being the last reasonable Republican — but thought the thing should be debated on the floor of the Senate... debated? Ha! The vote is June 5. Should be quite a debate.)

MILCH MULCH

"A whole bunch of other development was going on and it was a finite fiscal universe," Milch said, "and they just couldn't push the button at that time for a full slate."

"I guess inadvertently I was part of the equation in that I had believed that ["Deadwood" had] been picked up and I had also given them the script of a new pilot which they wanted to proceed with," said Milch, referring to a new series with the tentative title, "John from Cincinnati," reportedly a drama about surfing. HBO has ordered a pilot for "John" but has not yet made a decision about ordering a series, Milch said.


It's from a story in the NY Post, so I don't feel particulary beholden to link, but click here for the rest.

SURFING??? Surfing alcoholic cops HAS been done already, right?

AD DISHIN'S

Kevin Huizenga, creatively stalking me for years now, begins his blogging with thoughts on David Foster Wallace's Everything and More. Just you wait, Ganges' Mind is Weak will be the title of his next Ignatz issue. Just you wait.

I added Graphic Language to the links yesterday or the day before... whenever. Interviews on comics. So far, so goods.

767 Fifth Avenue at 59th Street is the new Apple Store. Up in the boondocks of midtown, but open 24/7. I like the design of that entrance. I'm terrified of what I might buy in an Apple store at 4 in the morning...

Well, Peter Dinklage, man of my dreams, is actually the man IN Marcos' dreams, acting as his spirit guide. My spirit guides are always yelling at me for sleeping with their sisters.

Did some computer work on Dynamo! among other things. Drank the re-gifted $3 Trader Joe Sauvignon Blanc. Was ok. Considering that a really good Blanc goes for $10-11 at the expensive place on the corner, $3 for an ok blanc seems kind of pointless.

I can't fucking WAIT for this rain to end already. Thinking about Phoenix...

Marcos was sending out the Hanley's reorder. Midtown's order should be arriving tomorrow. Added Midtowns to the retailer links on the main site.

Read 52 #2. Art wasn't as good (but still much better than his fill-in work on Infinite Crisis), but still decent enough (although I'm not sure how many pairs of underwear ex-cops wear at a time...). Morrison's voice is MUCH more present. One of these guys tries to write like Bendis. I'm guessing that's Rucka.

Finally reading Jason's The Iron Wagon. It's splendid, of course. My biggest problem (my ONLY problem) with Jason is I can never tell which books I've read and which I haven't from looking at the cover. Is that the one with the dog? Or the cat? Maybe the bird? No, the rabbit. Why Are You Doing This has the only distinct cover of the lot.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

MATT SMYLIE GIVES GOOD PHOTOSHOP

I was saying that the best thing ever would be Sayid going all "Wolverine underneath the Hellfire Club" for an hour or so in the middle of next week's 2hr. season finale.

OH. MY.

NEW TUNES

Well, after meeting Gnarls Barkley, the love of my life, I decided to try some new girls out.

The Coup, Pick a Bigger Weapon. Not sure why I've never heard of these guys before. It's Outkast-lite with more politics. Wanting to eat, drink and fuck to bring the revolution nearer. As close to his woman in bed as W and Saddam. Beatswise is Outkast without the crazy, boots sounds a bit like Andre but almost all rapping and without any crazy speed. It's pretty good. Only enjoyable.

Scott Walker, The Drift. Someone ELSE I never heard of before. Avant-garde/abstract music. My Life In the Bush with Ghosts stretched out and minimalized like Music for Airports. Xiu Xiu being water tortured. Nick Cave's ambient dance music for a tar pit discoteque. Very interesting stuff. Not everyday stuff, but I think a few listens will make it stuff I'll be happy to hear again.

DYNAMO!!!!!!!!!

Front cover/first page of a 4-page comic:

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Brendan McCarthy on Solo #12:

"The guy on the front is 'DUKE' HUSSY. He's a neo-shopper and he's just bought the new 'holed' edition of THE LORD OF NOTHING."

More in link.

So, I've got my SWIMINI PURPOSE and I'll have this in August, but when WHEN WHEN WHEN will I have a constant stream of McCarthy. WHEN!??!?!?!?

And when will I have big fat collections of everthing else he's done?

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Well, the bigguns order to Midtown comics went out today. While I was over there, I stopped at the paper store for envelopes for more #5s and the new #7s. Next time, I need a cheaper gimmick. At 50¢ per, these are steep pieces.

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Station Agent is next on the Netflix. Added a bunch of Kim Ki-Duk movies too.

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Added Elijiah J. Brubaker to the links. He's doing 50 drawings of super heroes, starting with Martian Manhunter, Cyclops and Red Tornado — so he's won my heart already. There better be a Dr. Fate coming soon!

WIRE WE COMPLAINING THOUGH?

THE WIRE S3 on DVD - August 8th with S4 starting in the fall.

If anyone hasn't picked up Seasons 1 & 2 of the best tv show ever, the prices are going down by about 40% in August.

Better than the Sopranos, slightly better than Deadwood, better than Battlestar Galactica, better than Lost, better than House... I think that's the best stuff that's on tv these days... and The Wire is best of all. Only three months to go. I f anyone is thinking about getting me an empty nest gift, this would be perfect (although a season of Empty Nest would be funny — wait, no it wouldn't).

DEAD END WOOD

With Season Two so close to being in my damn dirty ape clutches, and Season Three about to begin, the cast of Deadwood have been told that next month they can start looking for other jobs. It's not OFFICIAL, but the plan to do Season 4 has been changed because Rome costs too much money. David Milch has already moved on to another HBO project (but might return to Deadwood if it returns.

The Real Golden Age of television begins closing its door and uprooting the healthy plants to make more room for jalopies.

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Scanning, cleaning and page layout SHOULDN'T take longer than the drawing, but that's what happened as I prepped Decaf Zombies. I'm not even really cleaning it, just erasing the staple holes and fixing one girl's mouth so she looked more like she was just a cartoon girl licking a urinal and not a WWII yellow peril stereotype (I tried fixing the tongue while drawing it, but wound up with these two huge buck teeth). Then the page layout kept getting screwed up as I couldn't wrap my head around where images needed to be. Took me two hours, about one and a half hours longer than it took me to concieve and draw — yes, it's a considered piece of class and grace. I still need to fix some of the page positions.

It will be 16 pages (I Love You size), b&w, and really poorly drawn. More poorly drawn than usual.

I really shouldn't be doing these minis at all, but this weather is killing me softly with its song.

There will be two full-color 4-page minis (1/4 letter-size): Dynamo and I Have a Town in My Feet, because I'm stupid as all hell, another 16-page b&w mini (drawn slightly better than Decaf Zombies) called My Boss Drove Me to Drink and possibly the 32-page (1/8 letter-sze) Letters From the Time War — if I decide to throw my life away entirely.

I'm having fun doing these. Last night, I just kept saying Dynamo in my best Challenge of the Superfriends narator voice. Which isn't very good.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

DAWSO!!!

Newsarama gives good review to Mike Dawson and Chris Radke's Gabagool #4. Found in a QUARTER BIN? For shame! Hoping to see Mike's Freddie Mercury-tatooed ass at MoCCA this year.

On DC's 52: "...the company offered the option of targeted returnability on the first 12 issues" ... "there would be no collected edition of any of the issues until after the final issue hit shelves, and that there would be no reprints of the individual issues..."

If it wasn't awful, it could almost be a comic book: The DA who won't quit takes his shaky case back to court.

Marvel Comics reveals it has no Brendan McCarthy comics in August, forfeiting the month to competitor DC Comics.

Monday, May 15, 2006

ST. ELSWHERES

Here's them images. Click for fulls.

Panel one of page three:Print size:
Panel 2 of page 3:
Print size:


I'll do layout tomorrow.

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I've been burned many time taney, so after getting all excited about Gnarls Barkley's St. Elsewhere, I decided not to download it on Tuesday. By Friday, I had decided I had done the right thing. Who wants to be disapointed by new music when you can torch a pizzeria?

By Saturday, I had my expectations low enough that I could only be pleased with the album. BAM! Take THAT, low expectations. Elsewhere is AWESOME. Everything I wanted it to be, not at all what I expected and everything I needed.

Apparently, Dangermouse did ups the beats at about 2 minutes each, with plans to cut and loop for length. But Cee-Lo only wrote to the length of the short beats. What you get are all these songs that are just too short, many ending just when they build to fantastic. It reminds me of Jefferson Airplane's White Rabbit, ending where you only want it to continue but never going on so long you wonder when it will end.

And what great stuff. I was waiting for Dangermouse to actually work with someone good, and instead of decent beats with wallpaper lyrics from Jemmini or the sloppy mess of the Grey Album (man, that aged like old fish in the sun) or some crappy MF Doom crap, you get a psycheldelic-focussed Mouse pushin' it cinematic like the first DJ Shadow disc or the first RjD2 album with Cee-Lo doin' deliveries.

The worst criticism I've ever seen leveled at Cee-Lo is that he's just a poor man's Al Green (which means you're only listening to some of the sound on some of his tracks), but he comes out on this like he's having more fun than anybody. He goes weird and disturbing and silly and fun. It's Cee-Lo as Oingo Boingo, and that's not Al Green territory. Crazy is perfect, the Violent Femmes' Gone Daddy Gone is better than his take on Talking Heads Sugar (not saddled with Trick Daddy helps), Transformer won't age great, but Go-Go Gadget Gospel will, The Boogey Monster is like Boris the Spider and Nightmare Before Christmas (weird and fun) and Necromancer is Oingo Boingo for the 00s.

The whole thing is great, low expectations are out the windows and now it's nuthin but joy. And, since the songs are so short, you just want to play them over and over again. AWESOME.

OOOOOOH...

Don't ask, look.

SOLO #12. Brendan McCarthy.

Full DC solicits

with this:

SOLO #12
Written by Brendan McCarthy, Tom O'Connor, Jono Howard and Robbie Morrison
Art and cover by McCarthy
It's the final issue of Solo, and we're going out with a bang! Artist/writer Brendan McCarthy (Judge Dredd, Rogan Gosh, Skin) lends his unique style to some of DC's biggest icons: Batman. Superman, the Flash, and even JSA villain Johnny Sorrow! His take on the "World's Finest" is guaranteed to be like nothing you've seen before. And you won't believe what else is spawned from McCarthy's fevered imagination!
On sale August 30 48 pg, FC, $4.99 US

HOLLYWOOD KNIGHTS

Porn again
From the AP:

"Starting Monday, Vivid Entertainment says it will sell its adult films through the online movie service CinemaNow, allowing buyers to burn DVDs that will play on any screen, not just a computer."

Really, if you want to be on the cutting edge of entertainment technology, and you're NOT working in porn, then you have failed your goal.

Mayan Mel bases the fall of the Mayan Empire on the politics of George W. Bush. If Catholic snuff-film director Mel is criticizing Bush, I have to wonder, "What is W doing right?" I just hope the Mayans are evil. Really, really evil. Just incredibly upfront about their evilicitude. And smirk a LOT. Openly laughing about the torture and murder of people to the Daily Tablet.

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Danger! Danger!

I'm really getting into these little minis and want to do a couple all nice like now. DAMN IT!

WET AND WHINING

I've actually done a few more panels of Kaiju. I just need to review the scans. Between the rain and a 12-hour day at the office on Friday and then Mother's Day, I didn't get as much as I've wanted to get done this week. Ah, so it begins.

While I was at the office, I did ballpoint a couple of quick minis. I did a couple more last night when it was so humid the ink from my brush melted the paper.

SO, I might have a bunch of real-quick minis for MoCCA, maybe bundle them like #5 and call them #7. I'm thinking a blue envelope. Probably four or five of them, depending on how long the weather stays this way. None in color, and probably none too involved, just fast funnies — the kind people actually like. Then KJ becomes #8.

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Midtown Comics has become the latest retailer to carry Cliff Face Comics! We'll be shipping the books out once Marcos returns from the south, so they should be available by the end of the week. I'll add links to sidebars in a moment.

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Finished Life As We Know It, all thirteen episodes. I feel ridiculously cheated. They wrapped up the major story arcs, but it would have been such a perfect show to continue. Great acting, great writing, great directing, my future ex-wife: Jessica Lucas and my new man love: born in Morristown, NJ — of all places — only 6 years my senior and the best actor I've seen in quite some time, Peter Dinklage. Of course, I'm the last person in the world to discover him, and was chastised with the chastizing stick of incredulousity for my not seeing The Station Agent. Still, I claim him as my own.

I haven't enjoyed an actor's performance that much in a long time.

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Saw Hostel. It was okay. It's more of an action movie than a horror movie. Like a gruesome action movie, but it follows that story-telling style more than the one for horror. And that's only for the second half of the movie. The first half is a road trip, teens-getting-laid movie. It did have a cameo from Miike! Still waiting for Eli Roth to make that movie he seems on the verge of making any day now.

Also saw Bin-jip (3-Iron) from Korean director Ki-duk Kim, who did the wonderful Seom (The Isle). A beautiful movie. Really, the sort of thing that movies forget to be in this day and age: just a single statement explored in a complex way. It's all about love and finding a way to live outside the normal parameters of society — or beyond its reach. A theme that existed in The Isle, but that gets explored and expounded here. There's very, very little dialog (think 2001), but a ton of communication. Also, it made golf interesting (as an instrument of violence).

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I can only go home again one more time, as the folks are leaving for Florida in the middle of June. The big going-away party is the Saturday of MoCCA (the only day everyone who counted could go, my value dropping from near-mint to fair with torn corners faster than lead in a vacuum). I made my plans a year ago, they made theirs a month ago, so screw'em. I'll see them Memorial Day, probably.

Friday, May 12, 2006

BIGGIE OR TUPAC?

Is W flashing a gang sign? I think he was going for 'East Side', but realized that he was using the wrong hand and wound up giving the big ups to opthimoplogists everywhere.

STAR J. FOX

"...a killer isn't as bad as a rapist because people came back from the dead in The Infinity Gauntlet..."
—Greg McElhatton (paraphrasing an internet argument he witnessed, not his own opinion)

This is the greatest thing ever. I'm sure the actual message board thread on CBR is intollerable, but it's always nice to see someone willing to rake through the muck.

I don't know if it's better than light traveling faster than light (or is that L traveling faster than L? KIRAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!), but it's pretty damn great. It's the sort of thing I want on my t-shirt when I win my Nobel prize in somethingorother.

On the other hand, THANKS FOR FUCKING SPOILING THE END OF THE INFINITY GAUNTLET YOU NERD! I was totally gonna read the rest of that one time.

IT'S NOT THE HEAT

So, in answer to part of my question: Paul Smith left Uncanny X-Men to work on Dr. Strange? And at some point in there also worked on X-Men/Alpha Flight, which ISN'T in this Essential.

Breezed through the opening Cockrum issues during dinner and started the Smith's. Smith's stuff is just blindingly good. Both artists', though are stuck in a Shi'ar/Brood story, which fits their styles well but seems to miss the point of the X-Men. I've never liked the Shi'ar as X-Men characters. Avengers? Sure, that would make sense. I don't care if they were involved in the Dark Phoenix saga and then this story and then hald a million more. I don't care if it's Byrne or Smith or Lee or Quitely in the works, the Shi'ar just don't make sense as X-Men characters. They're an alien galactic empire with internal intrigues and constant civil wars. The X-Men are an evolutionary advancement and persecuted minority tasked with protecting those that hate and fear them. Even when it kinda worked, the whole Lil'lilandra/Xavier, Scott/Corsair, Shi'ar/Phoenix, Casandra Nova/Shi'ar stuff just never gelled.

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You know who does make aliens work? Lewis fucking Trondheim. A.L.I.E.E.E.N. is the funniest, grossest, prettiest kids' comic I've read since... well Trondheim's Mr. O. Lovely desaturated colors fill the simple lines of wonderful characters as they lick, poke, beat, stuff, skin and humiliate one another. Which is more disgusting: an alien witha never-ending trail of poop or one alien poking his eye out from the very same sphincter? Awesome. Another First Second success.

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No panels to post. There was no way I was inking in that humidity last night. You'd think the rain storm would have broken it, but it hasn't. Supposed to rain all weekend. So, I'm just doing my full layouts, and then maybe I'll ink the page at once.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

DIRT OFF MY SHOULDER

52 comics come out. 52 tonics come out.

Pagus, help me. I bought 52 #1. The follow-up to Infinite Crisis. Will I never learn?

Actually, as someone who only read the one crossover, this was pretty good. It's got the Question, Black Adam, Steel, Elongated Man and some other people, so that's kinda cool. Morrison, Johns, Rucka and Waid writing. Ok. Giffen on art breakdowns, one finishing penciler and ONLY one inker. Also, the inker ISN'T terrible. Not exactly my taste, but not Lanningbad.

And the events seem pretty clear, although I have no idea when the villain disasters all took place (I guess in the red spread from IC #7?).

I picked up the Essential X-Men book with Paul Smith, John Romita Jr. and God Loves, Man Kills!?!?!?!?!? Man. ESSENTIAL. What happened to Paul Smith after X-Men but before Leave it to Chance? Another mystery.

And A.L.I.E.E.E.N. which can ONLY be awesome. Fun for late tonight.

CARLA'S CHOICE

I was thinking about tough questions last night. The ones that keep you up at night, the ones you try to solve with alcohol and drugs, the ones your friends, family or clergy can not answer. Questions like:

Which is better: Teenager of the Year or Last Splash? I dumped them into their own playlist and set them on random while working. What is the answer??? What would Carla choose? I can't answer the question. Not yet, anyway.

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It's supposed to rain all weekend. I hate the humidity. Inking yesterday was a bit of a bitch. Paper kept lifting of the surface. Brush wasn't holding the ink. Or holding proper points. Ink wasn't coming total black. Fucking humidity. I need to pull a Herriman and move to the desert.

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Schedule. Since I'm working on pages in a different way than I originally planned, I'll need a different schedule. I'm currently looking at 1 page/week (without revisions) which puts me finishing around September 27th (20pgs plus cover). Two and a half weeks before SPX. That's the close cutting I like to see.

I need to start working faster. It's not like my drawing can get much worse for it. I'm hoping I can have page 3 done by the 17th, page 4 by the 24th and then page 6 for the 30th. The 29th is Memorial day, so this better be doable.

The following week is MoCCA prep, but since the dates don't mesh precisely, I want to have page 7 for the 13th. Now I'm about a week ahead, finishing the art on September 20th. I should have 10 vacation days plus 4th of July in there. I'll need at least three of those days just for SPX itself, but that leaves 8 potential days — or an extra week —hell, it's like TWO extra weeks since I can work all day and be fully rested the whole time.

It's POSSIBLE I could be done with arts on September 6th. Five weeks before SPX. Factor a week of SPX prep and I could even be well into Chapter 2 by the time we go to Bethesda.

Or I could live a little in the mean times.

IS THE NEW SIT 'N' SPIN

And here's the two pages together as is:

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

THE ROTATION OF THE FINGER

OKAY! Panel 9 is the Dunst. Added some more background detail. Trying to see what I can and can't have.Through it on the page and flair penned the captions during Lost commercial breaks. Originally planned to do brush inks on them, but thought I'd leave them at that stage and see how it sits. I like the idea of the two slightly different styles.

U-MEN TUBE

Ah, the U-Men. What side will THEY be on?

youtube.com ed the X3 and Superman trailers after watching the Gamera deally 10 times. X3 actually looks better than the first two, as long as you ignore Juggernuts. I'm glad Magneto's got an army. He should have an army. Angel and Beast actually look better in motion than in photos, although the old characters just look even more ridiculous (I'm looking at YOU Rogue and Storm!). Superman looks MUCH better in motion than photos. Aside from Lois' kid... WHYWHYWHYWHYWHYWHY?!?!?!?!?!? Speaking of WHYs, WHY is Kevin Spacey playing Lex Luthor like Jack Nicholson in Batman? Eh. If it's not Clancy Brown, it's not Lex.

Looked at The Promise's trailer too. If the movie is half as long as the trailer, I'm already bored.

Looked at some Maria Swan stuff too. Marcos, if you haven't seen the Swan yet, you're no Marcos of mine. Wet issues be damned.

Looked at Joey Styles 'quiting' WWE speech (to take part in the new ECW). When did Styles get so fat? Probably when I did.

Might go Essential crazy again. Even if I never finished half the fat tomes I've already got. Thinking about those Paul Smith/John Romita Jr./Barry Windsor Smith issues. Remember when Claremont worked with only the top-notch? Even Silvestri was decent for pages at a time. Was there anyone in between JR Jr and Silvestri? Damned if I know.

CATSUP

Watched that Gamera trailer. It's Gamera as E.T. Actually, it doesn't look bad. Gamera loves children, so if they're going to do something different, they may as well go that way. Effects look more Godzilla-esque.

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Nice little interview with Doug Martsch of Built to Spill

The last Grandaddy album.

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Last night was full-throttles Minutemen. I'm still embarassed that I never got these albums before. It's all very much more of the same (the same being tons of different shit constantly), but it was cool to here olde stuff and b-sides next to later stuff and see their song pacing change and Watt's development as a song-writer alongside D. Boon. Good, angry stuff in an "I can't believe this shit is still happening way." Probably the most incredulous band ever.

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New word today is:

Intriconsistency — the consistency of intricacies. Perfectly grommulent. No longer up for debatement.

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Lost tonight. I hope I've got the next round of pencils down by 9, so I can just lay ink after the show. Maybe get some of the captioning done too.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

HAMMER TO THE SCREWS

There's a rumor going around that Suave Prospects might record again after MoCCA. Wrap your fingers around one another.

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Added Jim Woodring's fresh blog to the links in the sidebar. He's one of my absolute favorite cartoonists (surprise!). It's nice to know he's reminding me just how much I suck on an almost daily basis.

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Certain tools don't make you work better, but sometimes you realize you've been laying hammer to screws, and you might want to invest in a Philips. Went and bought some brushes, number 2s to replenish the 2s I'm using and number 4s for the fats. What a difference a brush makes. The bounce, the line variation, the full loads. It makes me wonder why I stopped using bigger brushes. I've never been a thinz liner, but I was working so small, I wanted to brush small. Now that I'm workin the bigguns, I needed a bigguns brush. Just using it made me feel like I was riding a bike again. I think it put a little more bounce in my 2s line too. I tend to progressively bunch up when drawing, and it's easy to get bunchy when inking — that's the final line, no space to play. I have to conciously loosen. But when you switch it up, it forces you to think again and the bigger brush only uses the muscles you're supposed to be using when you ink (it's too easy to use the finer brush like a pencil — that's no good). Anyway, check the line that defines Mark's face, that's the best example in the panel (and that sweet line for the under lip). For the bouncier #2, look at screamy guy's right side or the lines of sweatsuit woman.

Full:It also helps that I'm getting more comfortable with these characters. It sounds poetic, but you don't know a person just from their voice and body language. Until you 'see' them, they're not exactly real.

Print-size:The whole thing might actually look good by the time I get to the end.

The page:

GAMERA LOVES US ALL

Kaiju Shakedown says here is the new Gamera trailer. Not a sequel to the last movie, a new reimagining of a smaller gamera fighting a monster with a penis tongue.

I can't get the deally to work. Maybe it will pop up somewhere else. I hope it doesn't completely destroy everything good about Gamera.

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A woman in my office, who had a grimace for everyone she saw, has only a couple days left to live apparently. Cancer. I never faulted her her sour disposition, it was pretty refreshing in an office of fake smiles and histrionics, but she was probably in a lot of pain. Fucking cancer.

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Earlier today, I was laughing my ass off thinking about tables with velcroed legs.

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The proofreader who handles the accounts I don't work on is going away for a week and a half, meaning I'm doing the double duties. I expect the internet to behave while I'm away.

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All I want to do is drink now, but there's too much work to be done. I hope I can find the brushes I need to buy tonight. I think once I get back into it, I'm going to realize I needed to get back into it.

WHERE IS EVERYBODY?

BLOGGERRRRR!!!!!!!!!!!!! All my links are gone. They're there in the template, but gone from my view. Of course, the whole of the internet is paler today as my work pooter has decided to give me all fontz but at 25% K. The link-gate is the big problem, as I cleared my bookmark bar of all sidebar links. Now I have to remember everybody's secret names.

Finished Push Man and Hino's Lullabies from Hell. I think Hino's "Zoroku's Strange Disease" is going to stick with me for a while. The crazy pattern's of Zoroku's puss-filled sores. I wish it had been in color, but I think it would have lost some of it's punch (it's about a mentally handicapped man who wants to paint in color, but has to use his own body fluids as pigment)—or not. It's always weird to read a story ABOUT color in B&W.

Finally saw a couple episodes of Wonder Showzen on the ol' netflix. Wonderful. Deranged.

Tonight, more arts and listening to MINUTE MEN in anticipation of dvd coming out in future. I always forget that they had more recorded than just Double Nickles on the Dime, because no band should have more brilliance than that. Lo-and-beholds, it's all on the iTunes. I'll be swamped with and overwhelmed with tons.

Monday, May 08, 2006

THE STRAW THAT BROKE THE CAMEL TOE

I forgot I read Civil War!!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

oh, where was I?

Okay, I admit I paid cash dollar for Infinite Crisis. I admit I enjoyed it. It was nonsensical. The art was haphazard at best. It required reading (or reading about) eight gabazamillion other DC comics from the past 20 years, a photographic memory of Who's Who and a knowlege/interest in Who's Next. It was slam-bang crizzy. It was a lot like the first Crisis. I think it helped that I was NEVER a DC-fanboy. DC sucked when I was a kid. Even if they didn't suck, they sucked to my kid sensibilities. So none of all this mattered and the kid in me was just thrilled to see so many superheroes in one book, it didn't matter if I could understand what the heck they were up to—it probably helped that I couldn't.

I was a BIG Marvel fanboy. I loved those crazy characters. I knew those crazy characters inside out. I could tell if it was Diamondback talking off-panel. Seriously. I think I did that one time. So, it always pains me to read Marvel comics written these days.

Marcos told me upfront: "It's the complete opposite of Infinite Crisis. It makes sense, but it's boring." Oh boy. Super heroes that make sense AND are boring? That seems to understand their appeal.

Of course, it only makes sense if you don't remember these characters. Anyway, it was actually fun, but the real fun is in pointing out how bad it is. It's easier to do that with CW than IC, because you can actually tell what's going on. Let's see:

Wait. I don't know who "Microbe" is, but he's pretty cool. Fat guy who disintigrates metal with micro-organisms? I'm in! Okay, on to the making fun:

Why is Speedball in charge of the New Warriors? Night Thrasher's right there. Shouldn't he be in charge? Why is Namorita blue? Why are the no-mark villains out of their league? Wait — Speedball vs. Speed Freak! Yes!

Nitro does something that is supposed to make us realize that the New Warriors are untrained (uhh... wasn't Night Trasher's whole THING training? and where's his skateboard?) but is really the sort of thing super villains should be doing all the time. Seriously, is registration/government training going to make super heroes develop the mysterious power to not have villains think to to exactly what villains should be doing anyway?

BAM! 2-page spread. The X-Men, Avengers and Fantastic Four show up to clean up Nitro's mess. Black Goliath and Falcon also show up. Apparently, not being invited to another of these shindigs was the straw that broke the camel's back for the black heroes. Actually, I'm not sure Falcon is even there since he seems to have been cut and pasted in from somewhere else. Catain America and Iron Man, surrounded by 900 dead children, stand around being all proud they never invited the New Warriors into the Avengers.

There's some business about firemen liking mutants and mothers being scared of them.

There's a memorial with a priest who calls super heroes fools, then a woman spits on Tony Stark and then the Human Torch gets the crap beat out of him for being a VIP at a club before he can make it to the champagne room.

Then all the usaul super heroes meet up in someone's apartment. Like the Young Avengers? And the Black Cat? And Shiny Spider-Man. Thanks for making it new-reader friendly, Marvel!

Man, even the Invisible Woman didn't read her comp copy of Civil War #1, because she's forgotten that her brother just got the living snot stomped out of him because everyone knew his name! Somebody says super hero registration is the only way to prevent super villains. What? Falcon, still recovering from being cut-and pasted earlier, strains every vein and tendon in his neck to say, "But masks are a tradition, bro." Hey, Nighthawk! Boy, did he pick the wrong day to quit not showing up in comics. The Thing complains that Wolverine is scary. Dr. Strange cares about the proposed legislation! Does anyone understand these characters? Check it out! Daredevil broke out of jail just to tell us that his extra weight is the straw that breaks the floor.

Captain America versus not-Nick Fury and her SHIELD stormtoopers! Cap, gets all ideological and refuses to arrest super heroes who won't comply with a non-existant law for people with potty mouths. Potty mouth, the phrase that broke my back. Then he jumps on a fighter jet flying in midair! Get Ron Lim, stat!

President Bush! "Laugh it up, Mr. Secretary. This is serious business and an issue of nuanced complexity." You tell him, obvious Skrull impostor! I forgot about Larry King! He appears AND is name-checked in the accompanying editorial. Larry breaks straw with She-Hulk's cameltoe.

The Watcher shows up to show us how important it all is. Only the third time Congress has altered reality itself, it seems.

Who will stop rogue Captain America and his symbolizing self in order to protect the integrity of Senate Bill S-1929475382? None other than Iron Man (my personality is that I talk about things like I'm at an AA meeting), Yellow Jacket (I miss my red jump suit, Hank Pym) and EVIL Reed Richards. Seriously. Check that guy out. That's the most evil Reed Richards ever. I like the fact that Iron Man and Richards conveniently forget that the only reason they ever have problems is because people know who they are. And YELLOW JACKET? Oh no! Yellow Jacket's comin' to get me! And he broke my camel's back! With straw!

This is awesome! I can't wait for more. Marcos was wrong. It makes sense, but it really shouldn't. It was boring, but really fun. Really. It was fun in a back-braking by way of straw sort of way. Poor Camel-Man.

3 BUSINESS DAYS

This is three business days without blogger font in Safari at work. Argh! We're not supposed to use IE, and the formating goes out the window, but at least everything reads as english instead of @#$%^&*()(*&^%$!. It's incredibly annoying, but even more annoying is the fact that I only thought of it now.

Watched some movies, Donnie Darko (which I can't remember why it seemed so complicated the first time) and The War Within, which was pretty great. Also watched the second disc of Life As We Know It, that tv series with Ozzy Ozbourne's daughter, done by the guy who did Freaks and Geeks, which is still awesome. It's sad that the next disc is the last.

Reading The Push Man and Other Stories. Fantastic little comics poems on working-class men and the whores they shack up with. As much as I like these eight-pagers, the flopped art is actually bothering me. Yes, I'm turning into one of those people.

Feeling like I got kicked in the head with the pollen boot.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

SLAMMITHOME 3000

Page 2 panel 7 full:To print:
On the page:
You may not know it from lookins, but I need a break.

YOU ONLY NEED THE EDGE

Panel 6:Print size:
Blammoes:

Saturday, May 06, 2006

AW, HELL

And here's the first five panels together:

ONE PANELS

Here's panel 5 for page 2 full:
Aaaaaaand the print size:
Were gonna need a bigger brush.

Friday, May 05, 2006

THERE ARE ONLY ONES

Whatever you do, don't click on this link. Really. GREEDY WHORES PREFER DICKY MONSTERS TO HUMAN GUYS!

"There are few people all over the world who has had contacts with aliens and there are only ones who had been nailed by them! This cute blonde was really shocked at first but just after some minutes she got supernatural pleasure!"

There are only ones...

Thursday, May 04, 2006

DOSE

Drinking another Sauvingnon Blanc. "Man" from South Africa. Even I'm a bit ashamed. Or am I? I'm sure the politics are fucked. Oh well, my clothes were made in Asian slave-labor sweatshops, so I might as wll go full-boer. It's a bit sweeter than the Chilean.

The first page of Kaiju Jugoruma was my first thought on the project. Yes, I actually think in sequences of panels sometimes. So, that was a page as thought. The second thought (I'm sure the time separation is almost immeasurable, but it was a second, distinct thought, like turning the brain page) makes up the first four panels of the second page. When I originally envisioned this, I was thinking in terms of a 12-panel grid. I realized that was even more impractical than the niner I'm using, and managed to rework the first page accordingly. I'm keeping the fourser for these panels because A) I think it still works with the bigguns words stacked like jugs and B) I was already reworking the thing to the nines when I found the next series of panels.

For the first panel, I printed out a font somewhere on my fonts list near Times New Roman and 'traced' it in brush on a templated piece of printer paper (rather than measure out new rules each panel, I'm doing full-size layouts on pre-bordered bright white). I kept it Lou's.Panel two was sketched on the template and light-tabled for Bristol, but I forgoned the pencil transfer and did it in straight ink. Eddie Campbell, the fuck, was still in my mind, and I actually tried to sense-memory the posture.Originally, the third panel was intended to be the one revealing the details, but I decided that the tier read better with the silo. I'm still trying to figure out if I'm right. Straight from layout to ink on this one too.Apparently, I'm the dumb, because I didn't upload the full-size fourth panel. Oh well. Here's the four-panel sequence. The fourth panel is actually closer to my brain-envision than my thumbnail was. My thumb was more 'Ta-DA!' and the final is more 'soakin in it'. There's a whole section of The Cheese Monkeys that gets into a college design assignment where the students were asked to illustrate a word. I had that in the back of my mind, even while I just went standards with it (Damn you, Chip Kidd, you're no better than Eddie Campbell). There's a whole Die Brucker/hiphop thing that was in my head when this sequence appeared too. "What happened to that?" I ask myself flipping through the next twenty pages.
The THIRD thought doesn't show up until the first page of chapter 2. After that, the chronology gets muddled in drafts, both paper and lager.

Hopefully, my workputer will recognize blogger fonts tomorrow. All day, I could read nothing and my images came out as bold cyrilics.

A BORG, WITH S'MORES

Drinking a Sauvignon Blanc from Santa Ema in Chile. It's very light and whimsical (why not?) much like Mr. Eddie Campbell's work. Or, at least, his latest, The Fate of the Artist, his latest 'Alec' book and his first book from new imprint, First Second (an imprint of Roaring Brook Press). First impressions were 1) I thought these were supposed to be hard cover books (I don't know why I thought this, but I did), 2) what's with all the prose?, 3) why is it so small?, 4) I'm so giddy, I'll start it on the train and 5) I ought to get some hwine. Also acquired, new Hino and Infinite Crisis #7 (finishes just as ridiculous as it began with some truly awful art in many places, more characters than anyone could recognize, inexplicable motivations, a half-assed attempt to make you care about characters no one should know anything about — t-shirt Superboy? Bartflash? Wonderbra? Green Lanterns you can't even see dying? — but it does have Mogo and is crap ina ll the ways crap should be crap... fun crap!).

Fate is funny, warm and in COLOR. It lacks the notorious big, fat line of delineation I love im me Campbell, but his standard line seems more lively than it has in a while. Truly, no one has a better line in all comics than he. Many will call it impressionistic, but I call it quantum (if 20th century criticism can drape itself in 19th century terms, surely we 21st centurions can use the leftovers from the 20th). It's like watching someone try to pin down a point that can only be approximated. Campbell goes about his business like a master physicist, finding a likely set of potential points with his uncanny eye for body language. It's very much body language as writing with a supple, energetic penstroke. If there's any disapointment, it's that the text pieces lack the flick of his agile wrist (although they are enjoyable).

How to Be an Artist was very much the insider's view of the "graphic novel" movement that never quite happened when it was supposed to. After the Snooter found the cartoonist most ahead of his time finding time had caught up to him a bit too late. Egomania and his "History of Humour" seemed a bit lost and focusless as Campbell tried to figure out his new place in the schemata. Fate is Campbell's first real 'post graphic novel 'graphic novel'. All of the above were great (or had their great moments, in 'Humour's case), but Fate zeroes in on the self-loathing, introspection, humor and personalities around him and in his head like no book sice giving up the 'Alec' monicker. I think it helps that Campbell is missing in his own story, and it gives him and us a chance to laugh at his foibles. Without a Danny Grey, a mispent youth of his artform or various romantic liasons in his life, Campbell needed a new subject of tragicomic-epic proportions and found the one we've all been busy building a pedastal for: himself.

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Ah, there's the drink. Anyway, between that and ohmygod!!!Lost, I didn't get that much done except finish building that page in the previous post. Well, it's a bit more finished now:
I'll be looking at this a lot at work and seeing if it's what I want it to be. If it is, then it's on to page 2!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

SLAMAPHONE

There we go. Click'ems for bigguns.

Panel 8, fullons reality. Switching to the brush for the lettering and liking it.Panel 9, let's getting ready to rumble!!!
The page so far.
More to go. There's some stuff going on in between panels. I'll try to do that tonight.

CHECK IT AND SEE

Most informative Comics Journal Thread ever?

Minimalism and Cape Fear return in TCJ #276. Also, find out what happened to The Best Minicomics of 2005 AND learn Jog's true name! It's not Jog at all!

LOCAL BOY MAKES GOOD

"You don't know your Dickens from a hole in your crotch."

I just needed somewhere to put that.

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NEW Dogsbody! How you like that. Anyway, Jersey City's own Randy Chang is going from distribution to publishing in his drunken plan to conquer the world. Randy and Dave Kiersh are interviewed about the first book. This is the store.

THIS GUY

This guy in the freshmen dorms used to go home every weekend. Lots of people do. He was one of those guys that would reset his alarm every morning after waking up. Probably not the worst habit to be in, but it never occured to him that he shouldn't reset the alarm on Fridays. He was just waking up. Who's thinking about other people when they're just waking up?

At least one of the girls downstairs just changed her schedule and is now getting up at 6:30 in the morning. She keeps her alarm clock on her windowsill. With the window open. I like to sleep with the window open myself, especially when it's relatively nice out. Both of us sleep with our heads near the window (at least I think she does). She must be an even heavier sleeper than I am, because she's got an industrial-strength, four-speaker, air-raid alarm clock. If I were her, I wouldn't want to be around when that thing went off either.

So, this morning I woke up two hours early to find out that she must never have come home last night. She didn't come home within the next two hours either. I tried shutting my windows. It helped lessen the volume to about the same as my alarm clock. I tried figuring out if I could fall asleep again and still wake up when my alarm went off. It didn't matter, because I wasn't falling asleep.

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I'm still awake. I should be awake anyway, as I'm at work, but I should have also slept for six hours instead of 4. I like six hours of sleep. It doesn't seem as wasteful as 8, but it's a million times more refreshing than fucking FOUR.

I thought about scanning the two panels I inked last night, but my scanner isn't the quietest thing in the world and it seemed hypocritical to be running it while complaining about the neighbors.

Thought about listening to the new Tool — but mutterfucking TOOL is TOO GOOD to make their album(s) available for download on iTunes! That's right. They're not too good for FREE downloads off the filesharing sites, they're too good for SELLING THE FUCKING THING. They join Metallica, Garth Brooks and fucking RADIOHEAD in their perverse existential terror of the the present. Thanks, guys. Maybe all these bands can tour together in the nationwide "OUR ASSHOLES ARE THIS TIGHT, AMERICAZ TOUR." Everyone likes tight assholes.

The Analord album isn't on iTunes either, but at least some of Aphex Twin's backlist is. Now I have to buy the cds if I want to listen to music by groups NO LONGER IN THEIR PRIME. In addition to going out of my way to buy music that isn't supposed to be all that great, instead of letting my computer do all the work, I'm also stuck with a bunch of physical objects I have no use for and will only be added to a landfill coming to a town near you.

Fucknutz. Did Steve Jobs shoot a pony or something?

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You'd be cranky too. Speaking of bands that take stands for no reason other than to inconveience fans, Pearl Jam's new album... Pearl Jam IS available on iTunes. "It's their best album since Vitology," goes the buzz. I heard "World Wide Suicide" (ugh) on the radio and Saturday Night Live. It's pure genious. Here are the lyrics that accompany fairly standard-sounding 'rock':

sjkfghiuvdfjkbvdgegrudvdugnsdfgnWORLDWIDESUICIDE!!!
svjnijdsnvidndvdvuoiutginlzxczvhciWORLDWIDESUICIDE!!!
jcbiofcsbndcijscnicuvnrunvruvsopetWORLDWIDESUICIDE!!!

Previewing the album, it sounds like their best album since Yield or maybe the one after that. There's no deep throat action, no boombast, no epicure, no rolling rhythm thunder and I think they actually remade "Spin the Black Circle" and called it "Comatose." HA! Take THAT, "Spin the Black Circle"-haters!

Will no one save the musics?

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

I FEEL LIKE A TOOL

Or, I will, in about 6 hours. 10,000 Days today!

Tool is pretty much review proof, since I never know what the reviewers are talking about.
Pitchfork say
"Tool have made an...A Perfect Circle record." I didn't know A Perfect Circle was 'ambient', I thought they were pop metal.
"The lyrics-- the usual mix of drug references, conspiracy theories, tortured declarations of vague emotional trauma, and general doom-mongering-- won't do much to convince non-believers." What are the kids listening to music for now? Crazy.
"I find myself in the awkward position of trying to sell you on the merits of a deeply uncool band by telling you to go buy their last album instead." Ah, there you go. Lateralus is quite good, but there's only one song, "The Grudge" that really sticks peanuts—in fact, it's been the rhythm in my head for about a week now. I want to know what the Aenima fans think, besides this guy spends too much time trying to defend the band against hipsters. This does me no good! Hipsters are dumb.

Allmusic say
"10,000 Days was worth the labor pains and wait to deliver." THERE YOU GO! That's what I want to hear!
"if you're looking for the Tool whose passion and introspection is complemented by intense emotion, brutal honesty, and musical maturity, you'll be hard-pressed to find a better metal album in 2006." Yes, yes, yes, yes and wha—? Hmmm... worrisome. Musical maturity is like code. It gets me the nervous.

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Read All Star Superman 3. Quite good! In fact, better than the first two. I think the digital inking is actually starting to click with Quitely's pencils. Samson and Achilles, two supermen of past times with their famous weaknesses vs. Superman with his, but no heal, hair or home planet shenanigans, just wits and strength. If there is any justice in this world, the next corporate character Morrison and Quitely work on is Samson and his time-traveling dune buggy. Awesome!

JUST ONE PANEL

Two times.

Here's panel 7 of page one. I had to do some research on this one. I doubt it shows. I went looking for a car interior that was suitably modern enough that it would look like it could still be in use 12 years from now. I'm using a Lexus GS interior. I took the photo, converted it to greyscale, cropped what I needed (adding the top half of the window by looking at an exterior picture) and then traced the relevant areas on a separate layer. While I'm sure Lexuses (Lexusii?) will look different in 12 years, I imagine that low-end cars will look similar (based on no knowledge of cars). I printed the tracing then sketched in the figures and smashed window. Then I light-tabled that and figured out the lettering on printer paper. Then I light-tabled THAT onto bristol with an 8H pencil. Then I inked the damn thing (Mostly with a #2 brush) with Alex Toth screaming at me backwards in time from his spinning future grave (way in the future, hopefully).

Whew.

Here's the full-size image (well, click for full-size):And the print-size:It printed pretty nicely.

Those are deflated future airbags hanging from the steering wheel and glove compartment that I got the basic shape of from a car accident website. I also confirmed the basic look of the smashed windshield and window, but I pretty much remember what smashed and shattered car safety glass looks like.

OH! I also had to find out what Maryland State Trooper uniforms look like, but I did that yesterday. Again, I don't imagine much change in 12 years time (tomorrow, I expect their new uniforms to be headline news).
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