Archive for September, 2009

I Am the One in the Center

Wednesday, September 30th, 2009

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I can’t wait to post all about our successful SPX adventure, but The Man is putting me to the grindstone this week. In the meantime please take a gander at a collaboration I did with the very talented Jeff Zoet. He should get a medal, since I am classically unphotogenic. Josh says I have to be experienced in “live action” to be “appreciated”.

I assume “live action” refers to my falling down a lot.

Jeff gifted me the raw file and I did the photo retouching. It is by no means flawless, and I learned a lot (like plucking one’s eyebrows before a photo is a great idea). If anyone’s got any pointers on retouching humans I’d love to hear them.

I told the monsters they looked sexy as-is. Francis isn’t even wearing make-up.

G20 Wickedness

Tuesday, September 29th, 2009

It’s a good thing my 9-5 moved us from Downtown to Oakland. Protesters destroyed windows in several businesses just a couple of blocks away from our Oakland locale the first night (on Craig St). On the flip-side, lunch was catered and I had the best turkey sandwich ever in my whole life.

My cube was also across from a television personality that I love, and he was all sorts of adorable and nice. At least, he sounded adorable and nice from where I sat eavesdropping on him.

Also? I am not religious, but if you point me in the right direction I can offer praise and thanks be to ________ that I no longer work in a cubicle. It has been 8 years, and I had forgotten how spoiled I have become. I am excited to be back in my home sweet home at work, even if I do mourn the loss of future magical turkey sandwiches.

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My impression was that the city was locked up tight and abandoned. Three out of four of my commutes were the easiest I’ve ever had to and from work. When I left on Friday, some of the CMU frat houses had put out signs that read “Go G20″ and “We’re Protesting the Protesters”. I suspect they also might have been protesting sobriety.

And there was a guy with a fake Stanley Cup? And some “Here We Go Steelers” chants? Only in Pittsburgh.

The broken windows and damaged property have been attributed to those pesky Anarchists. They came, they made a stink and then, for most part, left. Friday was uneventful — when Josh and I left town on Friday night, there had been thousands of people (although I never believe the initial crowd estimates of the news) and zero arrests. That is wonderful, since I never had a problem with the protesters and I wanted to hear what they had to say. I do not, however, want to pay for them trashing my city, the jerks. It sounds like there were a few bad apples, but most were peaceful and the city escaped unscathed.

And downtown looked beautiful on all those national/international new channels. “Hell with the lid off,” indeed. I love this city.

Head Explodey

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009

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One of Kate Beaton’s beautiful SPX banners. Check her out!

 

Oh MAN. Have you seen the list of exhibitors coming up this weekend at SPX? Hot diggity-dang. There’s some good stuff in there. I’m sure I’ll be discovering some New Favorites in this list and in person. It’s going to be so super rad.

As far as meeting artists, I am particularly excited about Scott C and John Allison. I am hoping I will be able to say something intelligible to them, but if last year is any indication of meeting specific people, I will probably: vibrate nervously in a corner until I make up my mind to greet them, cautiously circle their table for ten minutes… then make my move, at which time they will already be deep in conversation with someone incredibly interesting, on their way to the potty, or (in at least one previously documented case) hung over and missing.

As far as the whole thing goes, I’m also hoping for an education. Josh and I are possibly planning to get part of a table at SPX in 2010, so I want to see what all is there and how people handle their stuff. I also anticipate having business cards, but due to my flailing excuse for socializing, I anticipate bringing most of them home. Because that’s how I roll: secretly.

Regardless, it’s going to be a Class A Roadtrip. I am not only traveling with a couple friends that I never seem to hang out with as much as I want, but we are also staying with more friends that recently moved to Baltimore. After the craziness that is the G20 here in Pittsburgh passes, you can be sure I’ll be ready to decompress away from the city.

There will be comics and there will be friends. There will be an adorable dog and there will be wine. And if my math’s right, there will be copious amounts of fun.

The Internet: The Bottomless Pit

Friday, September 11th, 2009

Once upon a time, Josh made a cute little computer ninja illustration and put it on his blog. Last year, a college student contacted him to see if it would be okay to use the little ninja on some shirts they were printing for the school. He said yes, and they sent him a shirt.

By chance, Josh saw a new student wearing a shirt that also featured this same ninja, albeit altered to be holding a baseball glove and from an area high school. Nobody asked that time. How many people have used that little drawing without his permission?

At least it was for a simple T-shirt design — chances are no one made any money off of it.

I am familiar with the feeling of seeing your work used for a purpose you did not intend it for. It’s a “Hey, waittaminute!”, with a flush of anger accompanied by a sour, sick sensation in your stomach. It is not a nice feeling.

It makes me think hard about 52ills.com, one of my ongoing illustration projects. I’m basically putting artwork out there for anyone to steal. Please do not mistake me: I’m not under any delusions of grandeur here. There are not a lot of uses out there for an illustration of a fish on a leash or zombie pigeons. But it is a concern. I put a little signature on each of these images, but I’m not going to obnoxiously watermark them. I keep the quality at a level where one could print it out and hang it in a cubicle or locker if they wished, but would need to contact me if they wanted a print of any quality. I think that’s fair.

It doesn’t do much to soothe the mind, but there you go. Support your local artists… because someone out there could be ripping them off.

spoons and syringes

Monday, September 7th, 2009

I have taken some time off from writing. I took way too much, actually. I am still waiting on my first Editor’s comments to the remaining 2/3 of the current manuscript, and I’m hesitant to start the third and final book until a) I’ve corrected most of the grammatical/story errors and b) filled some plot holes.

Blah, blah, excuses, excuses.

Instead of continuing to wait, I spent a couple of glorious hours on Labor Day straightening some things out.  I have two dream sequences to add, and got through the more serious of them before it was BBQ o’clock. There are still holes, but I’ve got a list of optional things I can do to wrap things nicely. It felt good to get back into it, and since I’m waiting on other parties for my non-David task list… I may as well work on things I want to do.

And writing disturbing dream sequences about heroin addicts is apparently a part of the Want To Do equation. Yes, I wikipedia’d “heroin”, and I’m assuming certain people on YouTube will not be pursuing a future career in politics (or any other kind of future, for that matter). Good grief.

I hope you had a nice Labor Day. I will never eat again.

Culinary Catastrophes = Science!

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009

Jalapeno peppers are spicy in your mouth, right? Awesome! They are also spicy on your hands. I was excited to use some of the peppers from our home grown plant, so I picked one and made a quesadilla the other night.

Please note that I am not really good with spicy stuff. I enjoy “mild” salsa. I always get a “1″ when ordering Indian/Chinese food. I use the wimpy Taco Bell hot sauce. These are instances where other people do the preparation of said spicy material… They know what they are doing. Me, not so much. Me handling a jalapeno was apparently akin to a baby gnawing on an atom bomb — I didn’t know what kind of fire power I was messing with.

I sliced a pepper and popped those slices into my cheesy creation, vein and seeds and all. After some research after the fact, these are the most potent parts of the plant. Most recipes call for the pepper to be de-seeded and de-veined before using. In the end, I ended up picking them off and eating a ration of 1 part quesadilla, 1 part sour cream in order to get it into my belly.

The kicker? The oil from the pepper, called “capsacin oil”, got all over my hands, my face, my ears… it burned everywhere, and kept burning for almost 48 hours. It wasn’t excruciating — as some similar reports I found online called it — but it was enough to wake me up several times during the night. The worst part was my thumbs, of all places. That was the last place to calm down, I’m assuming because some of the oil was stuck under my nails (though I washed and washed).

Lesson learned. Josh and I made salsa the other night, and I very delicately de-seeded and deveined one of the little jerks, handling the pepper with a plastic bag over one hand. This delicate surgery resulted in exactly 0% burning flesh and tasty dish for nachos. Success!

Fear the pepper!