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.

Friday, January 30, 2004

TGIF!!! Am I right?!!!! TGIF!!! Seriously...

Big end of the week plans that include, but are not limited to: A Moving Party tonight for my friends who are moving; Looking for a New Couch at Crate and Barrel; Buying a Vacuum Cleaner from Bed Bath and Beyond; Going Drinking Somewhere in Brooklyn; Doing Some Yoga In Brooklyn; and possibly doing some drawing of some kind.

I actually get less work done on the weekends in terms of comics than I do during the week. It's weird. I guess it's just easier to schedule an hour or two on a weeknight because there are no other options most of the time. Also - I don't mind staying up late drawing on a weekday, it makes me feel productive. If I stay up late on a saturday to sit at my drawing table I feel like a loser. It was worse if that ever happened when I lived on St. Mark's, because there was always a steady stream of youths walking past my window out on the town having an awesome time.

Thursday, January 29, 2004

Now I live in Brooklyn. No longer will people be impressed by my street address. No longer can I go buy a bottle of water at one in the morning. No longer can I bore people by pointing out that I live across the street from the building on the cover of Led Zepplin's Physical Graffiti, no longer do I get to walk by the obnoxious nouveau punk kids lingering around on St. Mark's Place and snapping flyers for tattoo shops in your face.

The move went as well as a move can go. I both loved and hated having movers come. I loved that they did everything. I hated having to linger around while they did it, faced with the imminent threat of having to make small talk with them. I can be pretty small-talky when I want to, but I was tired and grouchy, and didn't feel like being chatty. Luckily they really didn't seem to give a shit, so at least they won't be going home talking about how the move went well and all, but that guy who's married to the boss-lady was so stand-off-ish...

One thing I like is taking a subway that goes over the Manhattan bridge. I am like a little child in that I get a thrill about riding on trains that go over bridges. Wheee! I am sure I'll get over that pretty soon once I've commuted ten million times.

My Study is almost all set up. I love having a Study. I feel like I should get a Great Leather Journal and use it to write my discoveries in, and I should store Interesting Curiosities on the many shelves. And I should force Aliza to knock before entering, so as to not disturb my Important Thoughts.

I was home waiting for the Cable Guy to come all day tuesday, so I had a nice day getting acquainted with the new place. I drew a lot, I ordered Thai food for lunch, and I found out where the place to drop off Laundry is. I felt like telling the women at the Laundry place that I'd just moved in next door and they'd be seeing a lot of me - but similarly to the movers, I don't think they gave a shit.

Tonight I am going to go and pick up my clean clothes, so perhaps I'll attempt to be a little neighborly then.

Another things that I don't like about Brooklyn is that you have to wait until certain days to put your garbage on the street. I liked it in Manhattan when I could just throw out bags and bags of garbage around the clock. This came in very useful when we were clearing out for the move, so maybe that's why I think it's so important. Perhaps I won't actually fill fifteen garbage bags full of old 'zines and bits of paper every day like I was during that time.

Friday, January 16, 2004

One annoying thing about the cold weather is that I have to wear my snow boots to work. They are very cosy, but also very big. I feel foolish tramping around the office all day in these big moon boots. But, it gives me a certain spring in my step that could be confused for good cheer - so that works to my advantage when I am seen by bosses and higher-ups.

Aliza and I both have sweaters with the Scottish Lion Rampant on them. Hers is pink for girls and mine is blue for boys. She put hers on today, and I decided to wear mine too. She got mad because we might go out tonight for dinner or something, and we will look like idiots who're trying to be "twins". I think it's cute, I don't mind people thinking we're idiots.

No drawing these last two days. Wednesday I played D&D with my brother-in-law (I was the winner, 7 - 3) and yesterday I spent a good part of the night fiddling with my home computer. It was so messed up with viruses and adwares (from Aliza looking at online porn I suspect) that I decided to wipe the whole thing and return it to it's orginal factory condition. It works like a dream now, I am psyched.

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Conventions I am going to this year:

APE - San Francisco. Don't have an official table, but I know enough other people who're attending that I will have places to set up a base. Then I plan on circulating the whole weekend and seeing who I know. I went to APE once before, in 1997 or so. It was the first time I met my now close friends Alex Robinson and Tony Consiglio.

SPACE - Last SPACE I got into a big debate with my pal Gary about whether or not I was emotionally ready to have children. He felt that I was not ready, whereas I maintained that I was. I may have just been being contrary though, I don't think I'm ready for kids. I am too selfish with my time, and they require a lot of attention. I would never get any drawing done if I had to play with the baby all the time.

MoCCA - The highlight of the year to come, I am always very excited about this show. It's funny to think back years ago when my friend Kristen was asking around if anyone would be interested in a comics convention in New York. The answer seems to have been a resounding "YES". She did an awesome job of putting together the coolest thing in the city. This year it is two days long. Sadly though, I will have to commute to get there, because I will be in Park Slope by summer.

SPX - SPX is the one I've been going to the longest. I enjoy it, though I found three days of conventioneering to be tough last year. It's funny, I really look forward to going to cons, but they wipe me out. I think two days is my prefect length. One day is too short, and three is waaaay too much. I dunno what will happen if I ever get nominated for an Eisner, because I don't know if I'd be able to handle five days at the San Diego Comicon.

Thursday, January 08, 2004

Last night I went to the comic store, but didn't buy anything. The one thing I was considering picking up was a box set of the new 3.5 D&D rules. You get a Dungeon Master's Guide, a Players Guide, and a Monster Manual, all for 85 bucks, minus my discount. There are two reasons I balked: 1) I'm not sure I even like playing D&D yet. I think I will play next week with my brother-in-law who is starting up a new game to see how I like it. And 2) I was going out to a book release party afterwards with all sorts of cool people in attendance, and I didn't want to be laden down with 90lbs of nerd paraphenelia (these books are only available in hardcover) in a packed trendy bar.

I bid on e-bay recently, and I am getting the Expert Rules box set from 1984 sent to me from England. This is the set I used to play with when I was a kid. Friends of mine who are more in the know tell me it was a badly designed system, which may account for the fact that I could never figure out how to play properly back when I was younger. I just couldn't understand how you were supposed to fight, so I ignored that aspect of the game and just spent all my time drawing maps. I didn't have anyone to play with anyway, except Kim Fox from across the street, and I knew he wasn't really into it. He was a bit more of a jock, while I was a big fat nerd with a squeaky voice and an english accent. We didn't stay friends for very long.

Tuesday, January 06, 2004

The landlord approved us, we are Brooklyn bound. Aliza has been instructed to buy one of those laundry baskets with wheels that you see the old women in Brooklyn trundling around all the time. She has to use it in lieu of her normal purse.

Monday, January 05, 2004

We have decided to move to Park Slope in Brooklyn where all young Newlyweds in Manhattan go to die.

The apartment is really nice. Assuming the landlord approves us, it will be a sweet spot to move into. The major perk of the new apartment: A REAL extra room to put my drawing table and computer in. At the moment I draw in the bedroom, and compute in the ridiculous upstairs room where you can't stand up because the ceilings are only 4 and a half feet high. In the new place I will be able to stand upright to my heart's content as I waste my life surfing the internet and looking at rude pictures.

Speaking of rude pictures, I am mere weeks away from completing Gabagool! Number SiXXX, the all-sex issue. I am in the midst of the climactic final nude hot-tub battle - it's very exciting stuff. I have drawn more naked hairy men in the last few weeks than one would think possible. I just know the fans are going to go crazy for this one...