2306152 Existence Is
A yearlong blog experiment...
Monday December 31st 2012, 9:53 pm
Numbers. Thats what I’m thinking about vaguely today as I write this final blog post of the year. I had set on this year long blog experiment not really knowing just what it was about, just knowing I wanted to capture some idea of my daily life and surroundings, a self imposed exercise. And also in defiance of the doomsayers and the end of the world pushers that 2012 was so inappropriately linked with, through the will of creation ignore all of that and welcomingly embrace the here and the now, to claim a continued reality. And I knew that I wanted to have some sort of countdown aspect, hence the number being the title of this blog excursion. The idea was to cross the year date with the number of days in a year’s span, and to end up with only the year date left mixed with zeros. So much for that! Somewhere along the way I must’ve mis-numbered some of the posts and never caught on, as clearly evidenced by this last post being the number that it is. Math was never my strong suit. And here I thought I was being oh so clever. The joke is on me. Or is it? I suppose it could be a subconscious message to myself, that the blog shouldn’t end at all, this reality goes on. This is something I’ve been considering for quite some time, especially when hearing from readers asking so very kindly for it not to end, that some of you out there have been enjoying this little journey of mine. A journey that had brought scrutinizing details of the ordinary things we sometimes take for granted. Then came other things, a few dabbles in weird poetry, surrealist dream accounts, celebrations of comics, moments of anger, expressing drudgery, politics, frustrations on the art process, forgetfulness, a strange serialized pulp story, verbalizing images, self analysis, gratitudes for the people in my life, to name some, but all coalescing into one pure message: Honesty Of Mind. Ultimately, this seems to be the point of it all. To, in some small meandering way, present an honest picture of thought.
So with that said, I feel I do wish to continue this blog, but not necessarily in the same manner, its time for it to transform into another experiment. I’ve been mulling over a fiction blog that has one simple connecting theme. But I’ll need time to prep this idea, so everything will be on hiatus as I develop this concept a bit more in my head. And when the blog returns to life once more it most likely will be roughly a once a week thing, as what I’m thinking will be slightly more ambitious longer reads. Ones that I hope all of you who’ve been reading these little indulgences will come back for.
Now the day draws close to an end, the chill of the winter air penetrates my feet, and I wait for the calendar to shift into a new year, symbolically gestured by watching via television the flashing lights of a glittery glass ball descending in the middle of Time Square, with hopes for everyone to keep their dreams alive.
Its quiet, oh so quiet. My eyes lazily drift, blearily gazing upward and to my left. Focusing deeply on the little black protrusion that extends sideways off the trunk of the tallest earthy wooden post that any little floating dust particles could ever hope to find. They gleam and flicker in the single dim white yellow light, tiny stars dancing around before softly gently settling down on the long grooved cylinder plastic appendage. My fingers clumsily clasp it, and with a turn and pushed twist there is only the sound of the familiar click, and almost simultaneously it all goes blissfully dark.
December 31st 2012
Monday December 31st 2012, 1:36 am
Piles and stacks, everywhere. Clutter and disarray, the chaos mess that has become my office these past months while having to work everyday, its all just accumulated, books, papers, scripts, comics, reference materials, art supplies, dust. Only half a floor can be seen. Been entirely too busy to deal with the piled and shoved and tucked. The routine each day has been to get up, try to get some email answered and then get to drawing or writing. But today there was a scurrying about, rolling around thumping up against my legs, wrapping and flopping at my feet. Little bright green eyes full of love staring up at me, the most delicate sad little cries before insisting on climbing into my lap as I sit in my work chair, demanding to curl up all warm and cozy, shiny black fur nestled into an absolute ball of sweetness. Clearly thinking I’m spending too much time toiling. This was quite unusual for him, Bhangra normally is terror of the house, bully of the kingdom, monster of cats. But this morning was such a still little oasis, in the middle of this debris from lack of organizational commitment, in this tossed room of work pathos, he became this overgrown cuddly kitten so desperately needing to just sleep blissfully in my arms. There was no denying, I had to stop what I’m doing and just be, just for a moment.
December 30th 2012
Saturday December 29th 2012, 10:58 pm
Intentions behind the movement of every line and brushed dab of black against the white surface of the board. Intentions to imbue the images with something intangible, attempting to capture unseen energies and emotional resonance, to evoke something, anything beyond the superficial. Something that is alive inside the image itself, but can be transferred across invisible threads of connecting one idea to another, across vast distances to anyone who seriously looks, to anyone who sees through ink and paper to a morphic field. This is what I’m after, linking author-illustrator to the viewing audience, reaching somewhere within them in defiance of time and space.
Does It Translate?
December 29th 2012
Friday December 28th 2012, 11:40 pm
In a darkened room somewhere behind a dilapidated door lost in a maze of wet mildewed brick alleys, the stillness is deafening. Through a haze of tobacco smoke, just a stone face with blank eyes staring forward coldly, anciently. Then a faint hum strums to life, a sudden gust of steam interplaying with clanks and clinks, the shifting of hidden mechanisms as the seams reveal the themselves, the seal is broken. Its almost as if there are gasps of rushing air filling the space, pushing at the lung choking cigar smoke, it billows and puffs. Hydraulics seemingly as old as history lift and shove puzzled pieces like numerous small hatches being released, creaks and cracks of carved ornate stone filtering through the heaviness of it all. And inside death awaits to be woken, death the emptiness of white.
December 28th 2012
Thursday December 27th 2012, 11:15 pm
Flashes of supposed insight, but really based on bias and spread like a plague. Especially in this “information” age. I find it fascinating, and increasingly disturbing, that in this time where open and free communication is so valued that there seems to be quickness and rashness to quell any view that tends to be disagreed with, even in the instances where the subject isn’t to be taken all that seriously. There seems to be an eagerness rising to wholeheartedly bash someone for the slightest interpretation of an idea that is disagreeable, and this usually comes in the form of throwing around terms like boycott. And the sad part of it all is that in most cases the quickly angered seem to not really look deeply at the subject being railed against, therefore missing the message entirely or skewing it beyond it’s real intentions, causing a false sense of offense, a faux outrage. With so many avenues now open to share in ideas with each other, to extend thoughts on a variety of subjects, some thought provoking, we seem to have devolved into “its my way and if you disagree I will crush you”, instead of thoughtful debates as we should be doing as a supposedly intelligent forward thinking society. So there is a bit of paradox at work in that while developing new ways for us to reach other, we have begun to not really hear what someone might actually be saying. Its almost as if some just want to be angry, and so look for anything to be angry about. And instead of focusing on the real issues of the day, real horrors to be upset over, it gets directed toward more frivolous pursuits in the guise of “don’t want to be preached at”. I’m not quite sure why there is this misdirection of anger taking place, why true hard problems are glossed over in favor in the trivial, but from what I see, this is where things are now…
December 27th 2012
Wednesday December 26th 2012, 11:22 pm
Rearranging. Reorganizing. Placing my thoughts into a new order is just what I need to clear out the sticky dusty cobwebs in my brain that I always seem to have after the holidays are over. I never can quite understand why I get this sensation of feeling all wobbly tired and out of it around this time of year, especially considering that I tend to be rather unproductive during the break. But it does happen to me every year. Maybe its that knowing the cycle is about to reset with the new year approaching, a sort of shutting down and transition into the next phase. And so I’ve also set out to do something with the next Batwoman issue I’m drawing to reinforce this concept of reshuffling the thought deck, re-stacking things in a new order to place crisper cards on top. I’ve always, always, drawn every issue I’ve done in page reading order, always built the progressions from first page forward. But for some reason my gut is telling me not to do it this way for the final issue of this story arc, that I need to draw it out of order. As example, today I’ve drawn the last page first. This must-do inspiration being such a new thing to try shouldn’t come as a surprise to me with needing to reset my brain in general, but it does. It’ll be interesting to see how it all works out, I am a bit nervous about it because I’ve never ever done things this way. But my gut is telling me this is how it must be, its never been wrong before, and so…
Doing The Brain Shuffle
December 26th 2012
Tuesday December 25th 2012, 9:06 pm
Littered with shreds of golden jewel toned debris everywhere, pops of bright reds, and pinks, of metallic silvers and blues, like a floor of covered in colorful enticing candy. The remnants of tight wrappings that hid numerous brown paper boxes of all shapes and sizes. It seems no matter what age I become, how much I supposedly mature, their is a giddiness that comes over me when diving into gifts. The temporary mystery of them being solved as the sound of rips and tears fills the room captivatingly. I believe the trick to it isn’t really in what the items are, but in the fact that someone dear put care into choosing them, and this in some small way is hopefully how we can show our love and honor of those we hold close in our hearts. As the saying goes “Its the thought that counts”.
Best Wishes To All On This Day
December 25th 2012
Tuesday December 25th 2012, 3:04 am
There is something rather calm about today. Not quite sure as to why it feels this way. I mean there was nothing overly different than any other Monday. Ran an errand, came home, had some lunch, and got to work till about 8pm. But yet everything just felt calm, mellow. As if there were a quiet reserved ease. A casual serene that is unidentifiably perfect.
December 24th 2012
Monday December 24th 2012, 3:20 am
Ooohh STENCH and ick, such ick. Having pets can bring absolute comfort and joy. The goofy running around and odd behaviors, expressive fuzzy faces, and distinct personalities, you can’t help but love them. We adore our littlest family members, they keep the atmosphere alive in the house, and we can’t imagine things without them, honestly. But every now and then, you get greatly unwelcome events, when the other side of the equation rears, and suddenly, at least for a brief moment all of the cuddly cuteness rapidly evaporates. There is nothing worse than a cat with diarrhea. Go ahead, let your imagination run with that… yeah… I guess we can consider it fortunate that the “trouble” didn’t happen last night during our christmas party.
Stepping In It
December 23rd 2012
Sunday December 23rd 2012, 3:49 am
The glittering pile slowly dwindled as the directions and attentions moved from person to person, spread in a circular tribe into our relatively small living room. A round table, if you will, of dear friends sharing laughter and food and drink. Oh those stories! The evening was warm and easy, and yet momentous and joyous. Bright shining faces happy as we each with eager anticipations tore open colorful cheery packages doled out in honoring friendships. We always pick one night close to the holiday itself to get together with people we cherish, members of our adoptive family.
This Is A Good Life
December 22nd 2012
Saturday December 22nd 2012, 12:37 pm
Metallic blue stripes of ever so subtle varying shades and widths, divided by nice even white lines. There is something appealing about stripes. Why is that? Then to give a balanced interest within the stacks there are a plenty of silver and snowflakes, and jeweled reds and warm oranges, shiny tightly delicately constructed ribbons popped and fluffed atop most of them. It all almost glows and sparkles with stupendous mystery, at least the ones that sit there that I have no idea of their contents. But ultimately, as I liberally measure and attempt to cut straight, finding the perfect shapes, I can’t help but reflect on how it all makes me feel. There is care in every fold, and in every smacking of tape, care in how all of it is arranged so that that eyes climb upward and over the pile as they glance across, care that this all represents in some very small way a showing of appreciation for those we hold dear in our lives. Each package hopefully containing a token of joy for it’s holder.
Wrapping The Presents For The Big Day
December 21st 2012
Thursday December 20th 2012, 11:27 pm
Sluggish and brain-numbed. Dragging my mind through a murkiness, like an ocean of thick. Oppressive overwhelming sleepiness is the order of the day. Not sure why, I think I slept somewhat well. But sometimes I’m just drearily sleepy. Leading to a creative output made of frustration as the construction lines refuse to cooperate. I do very little sketching before going straight into ink work, no finished pencil work, but those sketches have to be just right for it all to work out properly. And this energy suck that hangs over me today makes it to where those sketches just aren’t working. I hate this feeling, I’ve experienced it before, sometimes when I’m this kind of tired its almost as if I’ve forgotten how to draw. And its always on something that should be simply done. I think I sketched the same figures five or six times per panel before they took some form of decent coherency.
December 20th 2012
Thursday December 20th 2012, 1:04 am
Words. Words are quite magical. Language is magical. In that combinations of letters (glyphs if you will) combined in almost innumerable ways to form words in a wide variety of languages and dialects all around the Earth really kind of create our reality, create our world through definition of thought processes formed of language. And that entire imagined worlds can be brought forth into our minds that live almost equally as strong as the hard perception of reality that we experience and call “here”. What is so compelling to me is that first delving into of an admired book recommended and given to me by a dear friend, in this instance my esteemed colleague Todd Klein. That first immersion into another mind’s imagined world described and given to us by use of language, allowing me to explore, is a true gift. There is nothing quite like the feeling of those very first chapters of reading a book, especially one that I virtually know nothing about, did no research on ahead of time, my only knowledge is the appreciation of it from another person’s exploration of it’s virtues. Regardless of when it was written, its still new and exciting to my mind, this is how it lives and breathes, as each new reader discovers it’s structured telling, it’s world built of language conveying ideas. The sensation is one of elation and wonder as to where this new reality that I’m visiting will take me, what lays around the corner, down the road, what astounding vistas await.
Beginning To Read Nine Princes In Amber
December 19th 2012
Wednesday December 19th 2012, 12:24 am
Today was set to go with a very simple plan: Get up. Pick up comics. Get home. Have breakfast. Answer business email. Start work to finish a two page spread, handling washes and final touch ups. But that didn’t get to happen as the day quickly descended into getting packages together to be shipped before the post office closed. Only then to discover my email has been hacked. Bastards Of Chaos! So it’s been down hill from there with stress fires burning, mind reeling. Its now 11pm with only having eaten a granola bar today, that art still unfinished with no time to lose for the dreaded deadline of doom. But I’ve got to stop, clear my head, eat something. Oh yeah, and its my birthday, oh well.
Happy Insane Birthday To Me
December 18th 2012
Tuesday December 18th 2012, 2:59 am
Every now and then something peculiar happens in the work creation process. Writing scenes for myself to draw well in advance forces me to think about layout structures much further ahead than working with someone else as the writer, which has been the bulk of my career. Some scenes live in utter clarity within my mind and that is what goes down on paper for the written script, and this idea will exist in that form for weeks on end before I have an opportunity to start drawing it. Now having thought about exactly what I am going to do for a layout of a double page art spread so far ahead thoroughly, I’ll sit down ready to draw how I’d been envisioning it for at least a month or longer. But then on relatively common occasion something random happens, pops and sizzles into brain at the very last moment causing me to essentially toss the visual idea I’d been living with, so married to, completely right out of my head replacing it with something entirely new and this is what I end up going for. I find it a bit strange that this will occur, and almost in an unthinking way as well, but in most instances I find the new out of left field idea much more gratifying and engaging. And this is what I’ll draw up in a moment of spontaneous fervor. I’ve mentioned in many interviews that I design by my gut, relying on instinctual vibes rather than over thinking things. And what I just discussed is one example of what I mean by that.
Design On Automatic
December 17th 2012
Monday December 17th 2012, 2:40 am
With a complexion of plastic off blue the round fat body is squat small, sitting, smoothly awaiting a job to be done in still confidence. Showing only one unmoving arm curled to the side, thin and tightly melded rigidly in place, attempting to give a commanding presence, steady and sure. The nose is long and arcing enough to be considered a spout that some evenings pours warm soothing lightly salted water from a sloshing belly. A perfect blended mix bringing some sorely needed relief to my sinus infected self.
Thank You My Nettie Pot Hero
December 16th 2012
Sunday December 16th 2012, 3:16 am
Toes wiggling curling and rubbing fervently this late night looking for heat. I’m tucked into warm blankets watching the grey washes of old celluloid. Oddly, disarmingly charming, a strange little story centered around unexpected love, deceptions made of hearty good intentions, and food, savory delights for robust appetites. Dipping my spoon down into the thick vanilla sweet, meeting dark morsels crunching between my teeth pleasingly. I adore the sensation with a sigh. A cold treat that comforts regardless of this chilled wintery eve, in defiance of it.
A Christmas In Connecticut With Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
December 15th 2012
Saturday December 15th 2012, 2:45 am
I had thought about writing on feeling messed up by being disappointed in an art piece after working on it for days. Stepping back from it to see there is problems, and how its a fucked up sensation. Or I could talk about that I’ve got a sinus infection coming on, those are terrible and painful. But you know, after the horrific event today in Connecticut, all those families and their losses from a tragedy born of violent madness, my problems are nothing, insignificant. My heart goes out to those people. I truly cannot imagine the pain and suffering that they must be experiencing. But I do know that these types of shootings are becoming all too commonplace, and its disgusting, young children are dying, for god sake. There has to be action taken, somehow, someway, to end this. We have to get a handle on the access to guns, some form of middle ground needs to be met on this. Enough is enough already. I think I saw recently that in almost every state it is now legal to carry a concealed registered weapon. What is the point of this? It feels like insanity.
Sad Miserable Day
December 14th 2012
Friday December 14th 2012, 1:32 am
Lush fine strokes of what is deceivingly simple placed black lines. Though they’re fine there is something supple about them, and alluring in their flow. Mesmerizing in how they seem to so easily bring character and personality to life with a cherished whimsy. Then a touch of pop smooth colors, bright but never overstated. The palette choices also deceivingly simple in approach, but when examined are truly masterful and sophisticated, and just the right complimentary enhancement to so graciously composed drawings. There is no denying their ageless timeless vitality.
I Just Can’t Get Enough Of Carl Barks Duck Comics
December 13th 2012
Wednesday December 12th 2012, 8:45 pm
Two scorched orbs rolling around in burnt itching fleshy flaps, looking for coherency. Its there, somewhere, in the dark hot recesses of a distorted reality. Brought on by concert blasts that led toward attempting to find sleep at nearly dawn. Only to arise a few hours later to scape up remains of energy for work that needs to be done.
My Damned Eyes And Deadline Doom
December 12th 2012
Wednesday December 12th 2012, 5:05 am
Basking in a blistering hail of electric glory. Booms of the sticks against tight drums phasing into mind melting synths, thrumming pumping bass that pulses down into your very marrow, riffs so heavy gravity pulls it all down into a sonic lake of fire. Total and complete power. Commanding, no, demanding, the audience avail themselves in raw rock’n'roll bliss. They have no other choice but to obey, to give themselves up. Right now there is nothing else! This is all there needs to be.
The Sword Tears A New One Into The San Francisco Independent
December 11th 2012
Tuesday December 11th 2012, 1:22 am
Standing firm, rigidly proudly a mighty 7 inches tall. Sheen of royal blues and fire engine reds, and jet. There is something about the festive brightness of color contrasting in detail that is rather very appealing. You can easily find yourself staring blissfully at the little golden lattice and scrolling touches here and there, which clearly shows a craftsmanship from a caring eye. Although his stance is confident, he does so with the aid of a golden staff, as one of the oddest things about all of his details is that he is missing one of his little black booted feet. Escaping from under his domed crown of candy red and tinged gold is long frazzled white hair, and an equally frazzled white beard lines a face painterly swathed with bold black mustache and brows, balanced delicately to give the impression of amiable character. But somehow I feel there is an almost tamed wildness as well, like there is a mean dirty joke hiding within that tiny wooden head as his unblinking pop blue eyes stare forward, his mouth baring a thin line of ready to chomp teeth.
Introducing Peg Leg Paul (Our Nutcracker Yearly Guest)
December 10th 2012
Monday December 10th 2012, 3:02 am
Fried and fried again. Deep grease fried is more like it. And left as a burnt crisp, thats me. Marathon work sessions have left me pretty much braindead and brittle. So this is all I’ve got today. And you just read the total sum.
December 9th 2012
Sunday December 09th 2012, 2:58 am
Rooms dim with low light comfort, quiet, serene. Little blips of glowing beacons, warm cherry reds, iridescent creams, florescent greens, cobalts, violets and purples, fling along strings illuminating the far corners in slightly twinkling splendor. Pops of soft yellows and oranges accenting shiny ornate wooden soldiers in their golds and reds and puffy whites, bright almond eyes, their mouths flat and rigid in expressionless interest. Shapes of snowflakes and striped canes viewed from over the brim of a steamy hot cup of coffee.
Wendy Has Christmafied The House
December 8th 2012
Saturday December 08th 2012, 3:56 am
A yo ho ho, looking I go, but not for a bottle of rum. Yo ho ho, seeking I must go. Ho and ho and ho, Christmas shopping I go. Time to spend some dough, off I go. Winter bite nips and pecks at my toes, yip and yo I go. Looking under every digital shelf, around every pixeled corner, high and low. Searching for just the right goodies and things on the magical wide world web. Late, late the evening ebbs, ho and ho and ho I go. But I have yet anything to show.
Playing Santa’s List-making (For A Bit)
December 7th 2012