The Bald and the Bananas
Went and saw Craig Thompson speak the other day. Craig's a nice fella who I enjoy hanging out with, but Colleen and I were mostly unable to speak with him, as the reading was attending by a bevy of young and pretty things who provided Craig with a bulwark of protection. They were as skinny as Craig, but more pretty.
Had two dreams concerning injustice. Two nights ago I dreamt that I had taken command of a World War II gun emplacement complex, a huge underground concrete complex, and from there was successfully defending against a horde of undead. But then their leader, Frankenstein's Monster, showed up. The monster was able to penetrate our defenses and kill several of my compatriots before I woke up. This is completely unfair, as Frankenstein's Monster is NOT undead. In fact, the declaration of "He's alive! Alive!" is one of the most famous moments in all movie making history.
My dream this morning was that an English Bulldog was standing on my ceiling, happily explaining to me that there was no need to get up early. That dream was dissipated by my alarm.
Upcoming, I have both jury duty and a root canal. And now it's time to clock in for work.
Hmmm...it's been a bit since I've done an update here. I'm sorry to say that in the meantime I've become addicted to myspace, so writing here, now, on Livejournal, has a little bit of that feel as when you tell your girlfriend you need to run down to the corner drugstore in order to pick up some thumbtacks...
Instead you hook up with the librarian who you met the other day when you had that nice chat about "Harper Lee and the price of writing" and she just wanted to have some coffee together but the coffee turned into wine and the chat turned into a bedroom and the bedroom turned out to be pretty much the only place you would be for the next month solid. Now I'm staggering back home and I smell like another chat list and the locks on my old apartment have been changed (I couldn't remember my password) and I either have to be honest about where I was or else hope my old girlfriend won't ask any questions when I say, "Whew, sure was a long line at the drugstore, but I got those thumbtacks."
And then I hope she doesn't notice that I don't have any thumbtacks.
So....well, what have I been doing the past month. It would be nice to say I've been in bed with a librarian (who are justifiably reknowned for both their knowledge and their bedrooms) but instead Colleen and I have been doing other nice things.
We went to the Emerald City Convention in Seattle. Purpose? To hawk Banana Sunday.
The very next weekend we did APE (Alternative Press Expo) in San Francisco. Purpose? To hawk Banana Sunday.
And then four days later we did a presentation / signing at Powell's Books, here in good ol' Portland. Purpose? Yeah....Banana Sunday.
It's all such a blur that I'm not going to recount our steps in some "Con+" report, but here's a few pictures. Unfortunately, it's just a VERY few pictures, because Colleen and I are absolute crap at remembering to take pictures.
For instance...before we get to the pictures, here's a few things we DIDN'T take pictures of:
1: Marc Erickson...at the Seattle convention my friend Marc showed up out of the blue. I haven't seen him in over a decade. Ten years. And there he was and we had a great time. We went to a great Indian buffet and spat up all our food while laughing over his "coming out" story. But, it never struck us to take his picture.
2: Dave Haddy....Mr. Haddy is pretty much my best friend in the world, and he lives in Minneapolis and I haven't seen him since Colleen and I left the midwest for Portland, a span of nearly two years. It was fantastic to see Dave and Amy (Dave's wife and shoulder-puncher) and Dave gave me a disc of the novel he's working on, which I devoured when I got home. It's quite good. A subversive children's book. I took not a single photo of Dave. Never crossed my mind.
3: Pretty girls...There were an enormous amount of pretty girls in Seattle, and the Alternative Press Convention in Frisco is a bulging packet of incredibly cute alternative girls. Alas, their sweet smiles and my camera lens were distant strangers. More fool I. When I am old and doddering, when the drool seeps from my lips onto my "Howdy Partner" bib, those photos of my youthful indescretions would have been treasured memories.
But, enough of the Photos Not Taken, here are some that were.
This is a shot of Seattle itself, taken as Colleen and I were walking back from the convention on Saturday. It's a pretty skyline, and it was the first time either Colleen or I had been to Seattle, and so there were all sorts of place we would have liked to have gone. But, it was a "working" tour.
Here's a shot of our friend, Steve Lieber, pretending that he wasn't aware that we were taking his photo. Artists have it easy: they can "pretend" by drawing. Writers such as myself have to stare absently into space, pretending to be crafting words in our mind, and not just contemplating whether the ambient noise of a convention is loud enough to cover our upcoming farts.
I should note that Steve was also part of our presentation at Powell's Books, our anchor in many ways.
Well...that's pretty much it for the Seattle convention. Yep. Two whole photos. Aren't we clever with a camera?
In San Francisco, on the evening before the convention, we met our friend Jeremy Tinder at the Last Gasp warehouse party. The place was quite cool, with all sorts of vintage posters on the wall, and the look and feel of one of the "cabinets of curiosities" that used to populate this fair land before the blanket of "good taste" smothered eccentric museums.
This photo has a section of one wall, and it includes a statue of Bruce Lee. If you "tilt" the pinball machines, you are in for a Bruce Lee Ass-Whoopin of Cataclysmically Cosmic Proportions.
Here is a shot of our friend Jeremy Tinder, whose graphic novel "Cry Yourself to Sleep" had its debut at the convention. Here, Jeremy is trying to pretend that wisdom is his sister, and knowledge his brother.
One of the scariest of all German fairy tales is that of Zippy the Pinhead, the Fallen One who claims unwary children on the eve of their graphic novel debuts.
This is a shot me (looky! me!) at the Last Gasp party. I call this photo "A selection of bald heads."
Continuing the "Jeremy Tinder" sightings, here is Jeremy at the Top Shelf booth. A transaction has just been completed, and Jeremy's graphic novel now nuzzles male ass in this gentleman's back pocket.
Looky! Looky! I actually DID manage to take a photo of a pretty girl. This is Jeni Yang, and we signed next to her and Corey Lewis (he of Sharknife fame) all through both the Seattle and San Francisco conventions….and I still only took one photo of her when I should have taken a million. In this photo she is being her usual adorable self while Corey is looking for more customers to pounce upon. Corey is REALLY good at being behind a table and getting people to look at his works. Quite an admirable fellow, and Colleen and I picked up a few tips from him. Jeni showed me her sketchbook, which had some really fun stuff. She does illustration art and I’d love to see a comic from her.
And that's pretty much it for my update. Note that I cleverly took NO photos of my signing at Powell's, as if a signing at the world's biggest bookstore is beneath my notice. When I am rich and famous I will need to hire a bevy of beautiful women who do nothing but photo-document the intricacies of my life, and another cadre of curvaceous women to edit those photos, so that I don't appear as the dolt that I am.
Today I got a comp. copy of the Banana Sunday trade, which is almost/just about/quite nearly/very soon to be in stores. Flipping through new works of mine always gives me a feeling of unreality. Best as I can describe it, holding the finished piece in my hands always makes me feel like all the WORK that went into getting there has now dissolved, so that there's been a skip in time, jumping straight from conception to completion.
Because of that, it just doesn't feel real.
In some ways, it's almost like a break-up. Like looking at snapshots of a love you once held. It's hard to focus on the beach-walking moments, or the endless revisions. The only points of interest are the moment of the first kiss, and the moment they walked out the door, or came up for sale at the book store. I'm mixing analogies here: you should know that I've only twice sold ex-girlfriends for profit at bookstores, and both times all the proceeds went to the Society for Paul Tobin Doing Things That He Wants to Do.
Christ. I'm supposed to be a writer, and everything above is just pure babble. I'm going to quit babbling now.
I leave you with a picture of my new "classic" comic plopped on top of some other classics from my collection. I also tossed in my new jackboots, because I'm very happy with them. For some time I've wanted some jackboots, but I could never find ones that came even cosmically close to fitting me. Last Friday I found these in a secondhand store, tried them on, they fit perfect, and then I saw the price was 12 bucks. Twelve bucks for new boots.
Oh, slap that money down.
Lately I've been throwing my mind behind a new novel, so I walk around like a dazed zombie (as opposed to all the super-alert zombies so prevalent these days) trying not to bounce off walls, fall down steps, or knock little girls into the river.
So, I ask you, if you are out walking and you see me, please direct me away from any upcoming dog poo, as I am in another world trying to figure out plot points. Please do not let me walk into open manholes, oncoming traffic, or "rough trade" bars, no matter how admittedly funny it would look on film.
May you give kisses.
Smell the pretty flowers.
To all the girls who read this, I blow kisses your way. Catch them on your lips or on your cheek, as you wish.
My mind won't shut up about a new novel I'm soon planning to work on. Normally, when I work on a novel, I really do like the titles to be as short as possible, but, the working title for the next piece is "When I Win the Lottery, I Will Use the Money to Ruin You."
The main character is Oscar Wilde.
It should be fun.
About a week ago I got bored and started a myspace account. Now I am addicted.
Today I was taking a nap, and was in that drowsy "laying in bed but completely separated from reality" state, trying to remember a dream where I'd been befriended by a warrior cereal box, when I felt the very distinctive motion of Colleen getting into bed. Figuring she would say something, I waited a bit, and then rolled over to look at her. She wasn't there.
Puzzled, I eventually decided to believe it was a ghost, the spectre of some incredibly attractive Asian girl who had thrown herself in front of a train because she didn't even live in the same country as I do, and who was now being united with me in her afterlife. Then I fell back asleep.
Later, I found out it was no ghost, but that what I'd taken for Colleen getting into bed was actually my bed shaking in an earthquake.
So, in conclusion, I have discovered scientific proof that all earthquakes are caused by the ghosts of Asian girls who love me.
Since all of my friends are constantly posting their art, I feel a certain sort of envy, and also peer pressure. So, here is what I do when I'm bored at work during an info shift. I scribble.
Most of these drawings are done on the back of Powell's info cards, and the art is created with the finest of drafting tools...Bic pens.
Often, these little drawings become part of shelf-talkers. They're all small enough to fit happily on shelf-talkers....about two inches high, maximum. They're all on different papers, but I've glommed them together here for ease of loading. Actually, I had Colleen do all that while I watched television.
A long time ago I wanted to be a cartoonist, and it would still be fun, but the reality is that I just don't have enough time. My scripting and writing devour any and all available hours, and so I can't possibly devote time to learning how to draw and working on a solo project. I keep trying to get around to doing a mini, but even that is too much on top of my other stuff.
As per news on the "scripting" front, last night I finished the script and layouts for an original graphic novel that Colleen Coover and I will be working on. Currently, the working title is...
"FRECKLED FACE, BONY KNEES: And other things known about Annah."
Colleen wants me to change the main girl's name. She doesn't like Annah. I'm considering a change, but not yet sure what I'd like for a different name. The work is the most complex script I've tackled to date, and I'm fairly proud of the results. I'm also glad to have it done because Colleen has been going bat-ass-crazy without a script to work on, and I was thinking of paying someone to kidnap her for a while, so that I could get some peace.
Enjoy my little drawings.
Today I saw a young boy, maybe three or four years old, wandering the aisles here at Powell's Books.
When I asked if I could help him he said, "I gotta find my daddy! He's GOTTA get me to place where I can poop!"
Ahhh. Childhood. When life was simple, and needs were small.