Thursday, February 26, 2004

Aliza didn't get back from California until this morning. She came in at 5:30 and woke me up. I must have been in the middle of a dream or something, because I apparently was all freaked out and all like "whuzzat? whauzzat??". Then she got into bed and I pinned her down with my arm to stop her from disturbing me further, and went back to sleep.

Monday, February 23, 2004

APE (in San Francisco) was a good time - I browsed more than I usually do, and I bought a reasonable amount of things.

One thing I noticed was different at APE than at the East Coast conventions I usually go to, were that there were less people trying to give you the hard sell. At SPX you sometimes feel you have to rush around the convention hall with your head cast downward, so's as to not make eye-contact with someone who's going to try and push some crummy comic on you. Maybe it's a West Coast/Laid Back kind of thing, or maybe it's because the corridors between tables are actually kind of wide at APE, which gives you plenty of room to walk without coming too close to a table if you don't want to.

I actually don't think this is a good thing - some of the people I was hanging out with didn't sell as well as they do normally, and I don't like to see them lose money. I also actually think people should be pushy and obnoxious with their wares, otherwise why bother even making them, or even coming to the convention if you aren't going to get them into somebody's hands?

Sunday we went to Napa to tour winerys with an old high school pal of mine and his wife and newborn. I had a great time, and was also very impressed at my friend's seeming ability to have a child and still maintain an active social life. It made me feel very optimistic about a future that may involve having a family and still having friends and interests.

I can't sleep well on planes, so I feel like crap today, so I'm going to go home.

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

I put my President's Day to good use and worked all day finishing up the new comic. The downside of this was that I burnt myself out and need to take a few days off from the drawing table. So really, nothing was gained.

Valentine's Day was the best Valentine's Day of my life. We went into the big city and spent too much money on a meal. We either showed up too late for our reservation, or we looked too scruffy, but we were seated at one of the two crappiest tables in the house. It was like a little card table, and we both had to sit on the same side of the table otherwise one of use would be blocking the narrow aisle. I hate sitting this way in restuarants, it feels totally unnatural, as if we were eating our dinner on TV or something where we both had to be facing the camera. Aliza got too tipsy and started talking too loudly about the people sitting near us. This is a cute thing she does which gives me a heart attack, because I will be the one who has to deal with the hand-to-hand combat that will most certainly be the results of whatever Aliza has to say. But despite all this we had a blast.

My parents came to Brooklyn to be shown the new place. We made them a nice brunch of bagels and lox, and eggs and lox, and pickled lox, and smoked and kippered lox. Turns out my Dad hates Salmon, so oh well. I didn't realize my Dad was a finicky eater before, I just thought my mother was an unimaginative cook.

Friday, February 13, 2004

I went to see a musical last night (Wicked - a prequel kind of thing to the Wizard of Oz). Because I am a cheap bastard, I bought us crap seats in the very last row. We could see everything fine, but I think we may have been just a little too far away from the show that it was a little hard to get properly sucked in.

Anyway, I was sitting next to a high school girl, and her high school friends, and before the show they were gushing about how much they love Wicked, and how they had already listened to the soundtrack a million times, and were so excited to see the two main stars because they are so awesome. So, from this, I gathered that Wicked must be the new hot show for high school theater nerds to be into.

I remember back in my day - when I was a big theater nerd - Les Miserables and Miss Saigon were the shows to see. I already knew all the words before I went to see it, I knew the names of some of the actors in Miss Saigon, and I saw both shows on numerous occasions.

A few years later a friend of mine was dating a girl who was unsuitably young for him - and her and all her high school posse were all into Rent. I am pretty sure I took a snooty dismissive attitude towards Rent, mainly predicated on the corny commercial for it that used to run on TV (gang of thespians walking towards the camera singing "No day like toooo-dAAAAAy!" then cut to someone else seriously emoting "How we goona paaay the REEEENNNTT???!" - I dunno if it actually went like that, but that's how I remember it). Anyway - Rent must have been the hot show for a while there too.

Shows like the ones that were big when I was an impressionable high-schooler are very out of fashion these days. Nobody wants overdone melodrama anymore.

I liked Wicked quite a lot. But I was shocked when the high schooler next to me started bawling when the witch died - because while a downer, it wasn't that bad. I felt glum, but I didn't feel like crying. One thing is for sure, this girl wouldn't have been able to handle the shows from my day - that's for sure. Like when that little kid gets all shot up and sings "Short people" in Les Mis, that shit is sad. Or when Eponine sings "All by myself" and then dies too - this girl would have fallen to pieces.

I guess my point is that teenage musical theater lovers seem to have gotten soft, and I don't like it.

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

New, short and sweet, interview with me and Chris Radtke can be read by scrolling to the bottom of this page.

Also, a roundtable discussion that I participated in on comics commentary site Ninth Art. It's very insular, so may be of little interest to the non comics literate.

I feel pretty good about most things said (except I definitely didn't say that I didn't like the comic book Hate, because I love that comic), though I must admit though to a certain nervousness about having all these comments available for public consumption. I hate the idea that I would have to back up any stupid thought that came into my head when drinking in a bar with a bunch of rowdy cartoonists just because someone taped it, transcribed it, and posted it on a website. Luckily I don't say too much, so I don't have too much to worry about.

Wednesday, February 04, 2004

It turns out that I actually don't mind the new commute so much. It's long enough that I am doing more reading (almost finished a book called The Rotter's Club this past week), but it's also short enough that I'm not totally miserable.

Aliza and I ride in together, but we are both enjoying the reading time, so it has worked out well. It wouldn't work if she wanted to talk and I didn't, because I could force her to not have a conversation with me, but I wouldn't be able to concentrate on my book because of all the guilt I'd be feeling.

Tuesday, February 03, 2004

Gabagool! #5 is listed in this month's PREVIEWS, on page 288, next to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles again. I like being next to TMNT, it gives me hope that somebody might notice our comic as it's buried inside the catalog.

I was actually working on the new comic tonight, but started to feel burnt out, so I decided to write in my blog instead, which I almost never do from home. I am in the midst of the climax of the long-running (for me) HEDONISM storyline that's going to run in Gabagool! #6. Just a handful of pages left to do, and it'll be finished. I will be glad to wrap on this project for two reasons. One being that despite how filthy it is, I think it's the best thing I've ever done. Aliza read it, and admitted she thought it was kind of off-putting, which doesn't mean she thought it was bad, it means she thought it was less funny ha-ha, and more funny creepy. However, I think the story has some truth to it, and hopefully other people will agree with me. And the creeps will think it's hilarious I'm sure. The other reason I'll be glad to wrap on this is that I've been working on it for a year now, and I'm excited to do some new things.

One thing that I think I will do on whatever the next project is, is work on bigger paper. I need a little bit more room to breathe on the page. The way I lay out all my pages is in a basic three row format, and I've been careful in the past few comics to make the rows with identical heights throughout. I think this makes the pages look better when facing each other in the book, and gives the comic a sense of rhythm. The problem with this though, is that it is sometimes hard to draw a whole person standing up in the height I give myself. I find that I am sometimes forced to make the characters more squat than normal, or cut off their feet. More often than not, I just do their upper torsos, it's easier. I wanna cut this out, and give myself the space I need.