I’m participating in Movember, the annual fundraiser for men’s health issues, including prostate and testicular cancer initiatives. I’ve never bothered to grow a moustache and this gives me an excuse to do so and do some good in the world at the same time. If you’d like to donate, just visit my team’s page.
I would legitimately love it if the Republicans offered up a genuine competitor to Barack Obama instead of the millionaire corporate raider whose lack of empathy and tone-deaf approach to matters of national and international import are the only true hallmarks of his platform. I would love it if they could get someone as passionate and intelligent as Obama to debate and discuss the problems our country faces.
I believe in competition. I want the engineers at Google to see what Apple is doing right and wrong on their phones and try to improve on iOS with Android and vice versa. I want automakers, restaurants, grocery stores, farmers, mechanics, builders and retailers to do the same. A competitive business landscape is a healthy landscape for consumers.
I want the Republicans to offer genuine budget solutions besides hand-wavy “tax cuts” for “job creators” that just mean more money is going into the coffers of people who hoard their wealth and don’t actually do anything with it to benefit any economical structure that is not their own. I want Democrats to do something besides offering a watered-down version of the New Deal for fear of losing working-class people who somehow think that Johnny Moneybucks having to pay an extra 3% on his taxes means that they now live in darkest Soviet Russia.
As it stands, the Republican party is no longer a party that offers up any kind of solutions. They only like to point out problems (or things that they perceive as problems) and ensure that the people who can exploit said problems for profit are given a chance to do so. The Democrats, on the other hand, are seemingly afraid to act as progressively as they should. The “left” in this country is anything but when you compare them to our friends in Europe. If I had my druthers, education and healthcare would receive the lions’ share of what we now spend on “defense,” but we’re now far too entangled in international warfare (thanks to a Republican president, notch) that making the shift is impossible, to say the least.
I’m voting for Barack Obama because he hews closest to my own views, even as he has kept Guantonomo open and steps up the use of drone warfare in the Middle East. I’d love for him to face a real competitor from a real Republican. A competitive political landscape is a healthy landscape for voters.
…then click this link.
Typing this on the iPad, something I’ve not done in over a year, thanks to the Macbook Air I finally bought after months of trying to live the dream of tablet-oriented future. I’m too old, too set in my ways to give up banging on a proper physical keyboard, and toting and iPad and a bluetooth keyboard to recreate an actual laptop seems a bit silly, especially as it’s only about a tenth as good for porn.
I’m in the air, heading towards Heroescon in Charlotte, NC, an event generally considered to be the most creator-friendly comics show going. I first attended last year and was immediately smitten; the crowd makes you feel welcome and the hotel bar is old home week, a place where you get to rub the proverbial elbows and chat up your fellow funnybook types. I’m a bit out of my depth, frankly, but comics folks recognize one another’s collective insecurity and you have to work fairly hard at assholery to not feel welcomed.
Ming Doyle – she of The Loneliest Astronauts and Boldly Gone – and her partner Neil Cicierega are a few rows behind me. Next to them is Erica Henderson, an artist whose smooth line and quality of character on the page makes me wonder why she’s not drawing a top-tier title for Marvel or DC. Neil’s going to have a few products related to his insanely-popular Potter Puppet Pals project as well as some flash drives filled with his music.
Ming’s busy in a way very few seem to appreciate, wrapping up her second YA graphic novel for Candlewick, getting ready to launch Mara with Brian Wood and working on other forthcoming projects that I’m not sure have or haven’t been announced yet, so I’m keeping relatively schtumm on those matters. She amazes me and I’m very lucky to have such a dynamo in my presence. She keeps me on my toes.
(For the record, this is nothing I’ll ever tell her directly. I trust she has a Google alert set up. And yes, we’re going to do a The Loneliest Astronauts collection. We just need to arrange things.)
Of course, I’ll be manning a table at Heroes with The Rack‘s Benjamin Birdie and recently-anointed Agreeable Comics associate editor Robin Kimball. I figured if I was going to pay for my friend to sit at our table, I should at least give her the courtesy of a proper title.
This is nice. I rarely get to write for the sake of writing anymore. On top of the nonstop Agreeable Comics I’ve a secret creator-owned project that you’ll find out more about in early July, working with a fantastic artist by the name of Grace Allison and old associate Josh Krach doing the lettering. It’s part of the first wave from a venture that I think is going to change a lot of things about comics and I am excited in a way that is difficult to quantify for someone as cynical by the comics “scene” as they come.
Did you guys know that they now have powdered lemon on airplanes? I’d never seen the stuff before and it’s managed to turn this seltzer into some weird Crystal Light Lemonade kind of thing, sans sweetness. It’s the sort of thing that wouldn’t seem out of place in A Clockwork Orange.
We’re on the descent now, so I’ve been told to knock it off with the typing. So knock it off, I shall. Let’s see if I can upload this in a timely fashion.
I woke up this morning to find out that my local comic shop (for whom I occasionally perform computerly and/or retail duties) had won the Boston Phoenix’s Best Of Boston 2012 award. That’s great and they really deserve it.
Unfortunately, the photo they used (of my friends Neil, Emmy and Maris digging in the $2 back issue bins) was taken by me and used without permission or attribution. Every three or four months somebody comes along and asks to use a photo I’ve taken for something or another and I’m always happy to give permission, as long as they’re not selling prints or anything and as long as I get some kind of attribution. I’d certainly do that in this case, as I’m actually pretty happy with the entire set that I shot that night. (In fact, The Pulse in Worcester, The Roanoke Times in Virginia and I Am Korean magazine all used photos from that night and I asked for not one dime.)
I know that it’s the web and “What can you do?” is the prevalent attitude most people have about this sort of thing, but the fact is that if you like my work enough to use it, you should like my work enough to give me credit for it.
Edited to add: Apparently they thought the photo was “from their archives” and will remove it.
I’ve been neglecting this blog lately and I’ll just avoid the usual apologies that people who write blogs do and jump straight to giving you reasons to hate me.
Agreeable Comics And Other Things I Done Wrote
If you haven’t noticed, we’ve been kind of busy. I’ve got another webcomics series with Max Riffner in the works and the first collection of The Line will be out just in time for the Boston Comic-Con, along with the Nan Bu Nan collected edition of She Died In Terrebonne. Part of me wants to crank out a quick-and-dirty bootleg version of The Loneliest Astronauts just for the show, but I’d hate for anyone to get mad when we’re finally able to put together a bigger, deluxe package.
If you’re like me, you’ve abandoned RSS feeds for Tumblr and Twitter and so you might want to know that there’s an Agreeable Comics tumblr that we update pretty frequently. There is also a Facebook page if you’re comfortable with Facebook and a Google+ page if you’re using that at all. You’re probably not.
In July, there will be a collected edition of Space Warped, the Kaboom! title that I provided Americanization on. If you like Star Wars and great French cartooning, it is only $10 on Amazon.
I am currently pitching projects to a couple of companies. I feel very strongly about them as they have my personal politics embedded deeply into their DNA. We’ll see if they pan out. One is future-shock sci-fi, the other is present-shock sci-fi. Neither of them is very funny, unless you laugh a lot at Breaking Bad. (I will admit that I do, sometimes, so.)
Comics That I Ain’t Wrote
I recently dropped all Marvel product from my pull list and will no longer be supporting the company. This pains me, especially as several people I consider friends are doing great work for the company and I actually enjoy Marvel’s titles more than most DC books of late, but this Steve Bissette blog post crystallized a lot of the feelings I’d had about the company and its continuing dismissal of Jack Kirby’s place in its history.
I understand that this is likely the lawyers and not anyone on the editorial side talking. In fact, Everyone I’ve met and talked to from the company has been gracious, smart and seem to genuinely believes creators and their role in Marvel’s history. That said, any money I spend with the company is mostly going to a behemoth of a corporation that is hell-bent on ensuring that the brands are more important than the creators.
DC isn’t much better, of course, but thanks to Paul Levitz’s efforts in the Eighties, they at least have royalty structures in place that have continued to reward artists and writers whose works have found enduring success. Yes, I think Before Watchmen is a pretty silly idea and the company’s treatment of Siegel and Shuster is still the utmost ultimate in bad faith, but at least they seem to try, sometimes. I mean, they gave credit to Chuck Dixon and Graham Nolan for creating Bane in the end credits of that latest Justice League direct-to-DVD movie, for god’s sake.
For what it’s worth, I’m enjoying quite a few titles from Image, Oni and the like. If you follow me on Twitter, you’ve heard me talking about them pretty often. If you’re not following me on Twitter, that’s OK. I understand completely how obnoxious I am as a human being.
The sidebar has been mentioning it, but I thought I should point out that Disco Potential is now on Tumblr at it features an ongoing stream of disco and dance records I like, along with links to mixes I’ve made. Here is where I insert a flyer for the club night I’m hosting at River Gods in Cambridge, MA next Monday.
If it proves popular, I’ll be doing it every month, hopefully. I would like it to be popular enough so I can do that very thing.
The word count for this blog post just rolled over into 666, and I think that’s a good a reason to stop as any. I’d say I’ll try to do this sort of thing more often, but you really don’t want to hear from me that much, do you?
So, a photo I took of Pet Shop Boys ended up in an exhibition on electronic music at the Science Museum in London.3 Comments | Posted: October 18th, 2011 | Filed under: Meta
The title says it all, really. Geoff from the museum contacted me and I was, of course, honored and eager to help out. I can now say my work has been shown in a museum! In London!
I made a little video. You can view it when you click here.
Tonight, instead of giving two tugs of a dead dog’s cock about Andrew Garfield (who seems very nice, yes) appearing at Comic-Con and delivering a (quite good) piece of nerd polemic at the panel for Sony’s The Amazing Spider-Man, I saw two women that mean (and will always, hopefully) the world to me, Sarah and Cathy. We talked about our mutual obsessions and interests, our highs and lows, our ins and our outs and most of all, we talked about real connections between people that weren’t based entirely on corporate-owned properties that we’ll never touch.
I am sure Garfield is a very nice young man; I’m sure the people who are making new movies on the things that you liked when you were 9 are decent enough, and I am sure that you don’t care about the stuff that I make, but I just want to say, to reiterate, how very lucky I am to have amazing friends who help me make things that are my own.
No offense, Andrew Garfield or Sony Pictures or director(…wait, who directed this one?) but I am happiest doing what I do, with people that push me and inspire me in ways that I can’t quantify. I just wish all creatives could feel the same way.
(Yes, I’ve been drinking. Suck it.)
I’m on the new installment of War Rocket Ajax. I am pretty awful. I ramble and digress and just basically make an ass of myself.
You’ll probably really enjoy it.
Me? I come home two weeks later to discover that I actually did buy that limited-edition Human After All remix disc with Kubrick figures of Daft Punk from that guy in Japan while under the influence of a perfectly indecent number of vodka tonics instead of just strongly considering it.
My friend Jackie works with Young Audiences of Massachusetts and they’re looking for a comics artist/graphic novelist to help them out with their programming. You should have some experience working with students and be interested in working in schools. You’ll also have to be available during the day (as you’ll be visiting area schools,) but they can work around your schedule. Young Audience Of Massachusetts is a good organization doing good work and I think that creators looking to expand their repertoire and earn a little extra bank could do much worse than talking to them about this opportunity. You’d have flexibility, resume fodder, and a chance to help make sure the next generation isn’t the worst generation.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to get more information.
It’s right here. I’m planning on linkblogging there almost exclusively, so don’t expect anything mega.
A bit over four years ago, I wrote this review of How To Make Money Like A Porn Star, a book that I was not kind to. In fact, the sole exception to my fairly nasty screed was a brief portion in which I talked about Bernard Chang’s art, which I said reminded me of a more varied Phil Noto. I also said that I wanted to see him draw comics that weren’t so aggressively stupid. To be frank, Neil Strauss’s misogynistic, mean-spirited script deserved worse than I gave, and Chang’s work deserved more praise than I could muster.
Yesterday, I approached Chang’s table in Artist Alley at the New York Comic-Con and said that I liked what I’d seen from him lately. Chang told me that he wanted to kick my ass and that “if I were you, I’d leave right now.”
Today, Bernard Chang was announced as the new artist on Supergirl, working with Nick Spencer, a writer whose work I’ve very much enjoyed.
Bernard Chang, I hope you treat your peers better than the people who have praised your work in the past.
Despite the best efforts of those who went back for another day of crowd-dodging and slow, grinding terror, I opted to spend this Sunday in New York fairly quietly, spending time with some of my favorite human beings: Deb Aoki and the Horns: Paul and Darlene. Brunch at The Spotted Pig (note-perfect, across the board) and leisurely consumerism that grew to a fever pitch once Paul and Darlene went off to the convention and Deb and myself were left to our own devices with a fantastic chocolatier and Jack Spade store within easy walking distance. I’m pretty sure that my banker will give me a look with no small amount of askance once the charges roll in.
Yesterday was, despite the overbearing crush of humanity, a very nice time at the convention and afterwards. Pal Robin (who ably takes on the role of Filthy Assistant in a bit I’m swiping wholesale from Saint Ellis of Blighty and no I don’t care if he sends Suicide Girls to trim my bits,) and myself made our way onto the floor and got to spend a decent amount of time with a nice swath of friends, collaborators and creators whose work we enjoy. If I try to name them all, I’ll leave someone out and I’ll hear no end to it, but there were several Agreeable Comics types, a Korean rapper, more than a few writers, a teenager that should know better than to hang out with us, and Chris Sims involved in the shenanigans and I had an absolute blast.
The best part of these shows is spending time with people I genuinely like. Without a table or product to sell, there’s only so much for me to do. I attended the (very funny and smart) Comics Alliance panel because it really is the best comics site out there, but I can’t imagine sitting in a room full of people who think that Stephanie Brown is real and hearing them complain about how Grant Morrison changed Jason Todd’s hair color and not wanting to look into a way to make an aerosol version of Chinese Syphilis to unleash on the populace.
Another vodka tonic (Grey Goose because mother raised me right) and a cab ride to the train to Boston and then back to real world. I had a terrific time, New York City, and my only wish is that I could have spent additional time with more of you.
Heading to New York City on the Acela, the closest thing we have to a high-speed rail here in the US. I understand that in Japan, they have trains that bend light in front of them and have been known to arrive at their destination before they depart, but America is America and loves its individual conveyances and a lack of tentacles in our pornography. The Acela is sixty bucks more and it gets there a whopping thirty minutes ahead of a conventional train, but it’s comfortable and offers amenities like legroom, clean air, a “café car” serving up the finest in microwavable cuisine and full-release massages for the business traveler. Yes, the bus is much cheaper, but I steadfastly refuse to ride in the myriad array of torture chambers on wheels that comprise that particular option. While I may have to worry about a derailing caused by wet leaves on the track (yes, that is an actual thing they’ve warned us about via signage at South Station,) at least I’m able to stretch my legs and savor air that isn’t 35% fart.
I’ve had the Adam WarRock album in my iPod since about 5:30 yesterday morning and I’ve yet to give it a listen. I suppose this makes me the worst of friends, but there’s something about Euge’s delivery that demands your attention. I told someone it was like the first time I heard Kanye West’s Graduation and had to sit down and pay attention to the album three or four times before I could do anything besides listen to that album. Hopefully, I can use this train time to get around to rectifying this particular matter.
While I was at the train station, I had a microphone shoved in my face and was asked if I wanted to be on Channel 7 news. They wanted to know what I thought about Amtrak’s more visible security presence, with sniffer dogs and armed guards wandering the terminal. I babbled for a moment or two about game theory’s applications to anti-terrorism efforts, security showmanship and how private security forces make me a bit nervous. If they use any of it, it’ll be a miracle. I imagine they could string the “ums” together to create a polyphonic arpeggio suitable for an underground dance track, but it’s more likely that they’ll cut it so I say something like “Armed security guys…make me…feel safe.”
See some of you in New York. There’s a new post up at The Rack, but it’s basically about how there’s not a strip today and why.