Kamis, 29 September 2011

Peeking Through The Blinds

I am thinking that today is a good day not to be a young sports fan in New England.  Last night, the Boston Red Sox managed to lose their 20th game in the month of September, and in the process, relinquished what had been a 9-game lead in the American League Wild-Card Race on September 2nd.  I can remember when I was almost 9 years old, and watched Bucky Dent's 3-run homer land in the net behind the Green Monster from the television in my family's apartment in Virginia. The result was a one-run loss for the Sox to the New York Yankees in a one-game playoff for the American League East Title during another season in which my favorite baseball team had a similar late-season meltdown.  I don't take these letdowns to heart as much as I did when I was younger, surely not to the same extent as I did before I started my coaching career, and became much more invested in the successes and letdowns of my own players.  The people that I feel for today are the kids who are old enough to understand how much of a lead the Red Sox had in the playoff race, and who had the misfortune of watching most of the games that the team played this season, only to witness this collapse.  Of course they have a support group, their parents and other family members who are there for them, nodding and saying, "yeah, been there, done that"... 

One of the reasons that I am posting again so soon is that Texas has been blessed with more rain, which has been a rarity this summer.  I usually sleep throughout the afternoon on Thursdays in preparation of working until almost 4 a.m., but an actual THUNDERSTORM kept me awake.  The apartment complex that I call home is set up much like some hotels that I have seen, where the rooms (apartments, in this case) are set up in a rectangle which all face a swimming pool in the center.  I moved aside the thick blanket that is hanging over my front window to keep out the sunlight, and looked through the blinds to check out the rain, and across the way, saw a couple who was sitting outside, enjoying the rare rain.  Well, the couple saw me, so after a few seconds of surveying the situation, I closed the blinds.  I hadn't done anything wrong, and I wasn't spying, etc..., but I started wondering if that couple would keep looking at my window, to see if I would show back up behind the blinds (something to occupy my mind as I tried to go back to sleep).  After about another half-hour of unsuccessfully trying to sleep, I looked out the window again, having completely forgot about the couple, but there they were, and again, they saw me as I scoped out the rain situation - question answsered...  :)  Have you ever done something that wasn't wrong, but that might have looked bad because of how someone else perceived the situation?  We can get some t-shirts printed up or something...  Have a good one!  ;)

Geeks and Sluts

Some assignments are just too good to be true. I got a call from the Las Vegas Weekly a couple weeks back to provide an illo for a story wistfully recalling the days when the porno film industry's AVN Awards and the high-tech Consumer Electronics Show shared Sin City for a weekend each year, and the colorful hotel bar interactions that the pairing provided. God bless us every one.

Rabu, 28 September 2011

Opening Day

Welcome to the first of what I hope will be many blog entries from Bikini Hill.  Bikini Hill is actually the nickname for a stretch of grass on the nearby university campus where many local townspeople, college students, and visitors enjoy the river that runs through campus (moreso when the state hasn't experienced the hottest summer of any state in any year since weather records have been kept).  The View From Bikini Hill was chosen as the name of my new blog after being the only prospective name that didn't already exist as somebody else's blog name, website, group, etc..., when I ran it through the internet search engines.  I plan on posting entries at least twice a week if my schedule allows me to do so, and more often if I have the opportunity.  My weekday posts will likely cover a wide variety of topics, while my weekend posts will more often be sports-related.  This is the first blog that I have ever set up, and I did not realize how much time would have to be dedicated to just that aspect of it.  For any of you who ever plan on starting your own blog, this site will allow you to do so for free, but be prepared to have a name for your blog, the time to set up the design for your blog page, the time to read the user agreements, etc, etc, etc...  I have spent over an hour on that part of the process, but it seems like the page is good to go...  The page allows you to leave comments, so please feel free to do so.  I promise to bring more in the future, but I didn't want someone stumbling along this page today, and leave thinking "that didn't have anything to do with bikinis, or hills, or even views"...  ;)  I hope that y'all have a great day, and I'll see ya this weekend, if not sooner...

Selasa, 20 September 2011

Caps Couple

I did this up recently for a sweet couple who also happen to be huge Capitals fans. Congrats and safe travels to the new bride and groom, and here's hoping their blessed union lasts longer than the average Caps playoff run! (just kidding, guys!)

Rabu, 14 September 2011

X is for Xenops

Backup debut date for the Animal Alphabet mini-sketchbook is October 1 at Crafty Bastards. I'll keep you posted.

Selasa, 13 September 2011

Dylan Williams

My friend Dylan Williams passed away last Saturday, after battling cancer for years. I wasn't super-tight with Dylan...and as I always suspected and as the outpouring of love and respect that has cascaded through the comics world over the last few days has proven, Dylan was friends with dang near everyone he ever met. But I had to just say a few words.

I first remember hearing his name way back in the mid-90s...picked up his Reporter comic somewhere, which I'm pretty sure I read about in Jeff Levine's Destroy All Comics magazine. We finally met in probably 2002 at the SPACE convention in Columbus, Ohio, by which time his Sparkplug Comic Books publishing concern was up and running, putting out all kinds of awesome stuff. We had dinner at the same restaurants if not the same tables, always chatted a good bit and it was always so enjoyable. He was so funny, so gracious. I'd see him at shows all over...Dylan was a road warrior, spreading the gospel of comics...and every minute I spent with him made me look forward to the next time I'd see him.

In 2008, Dylan emailed me, asking about coming to the Richmond Zine Fest. Knowing how Richmond events sometimes go, and knowing that he'd have to come all the way from Portland, I actually sorta warned him against it, thinking he could be wasting his cash. But he decided to come, and in the end I was glad he did. The show was pretty good...we hosted a panel on doing mini-comics, and blabbed about anything and everything all day, and then went to Ipanema for dinner. It was so great to finally get a chance to hang out and just shoot the breeze with no responsibility to selling books at a convention table...it was just like I always thought it'd be.

I didn't even know Dylan was or ever had been sick. I found out about it just a few weeks ago when the entire internet came together to implore folks to purchase some books from Sparkplug to defray Dylan's medical costs. I didn't even buy any, figuring that picking a few up at SPX in a couple weeks instead would serve the same purpose. I got back from the show, and somehow, he was gone. And I still just can't believe it. I just can't believe I'll never see him again.

Anyway, I'm sure there are still bills to be paid, so if you would, consider heading over to Sparkplug and spending a few dollars on some fine comics. I recommend everything there, but some particular favorites are Diary of a Mosquito Abatement Man by John P., Rambo 3.5 by Jim Rugg, Tales to Demolish by Eric Haven, The Natural World by Damian Jay, Watching Days Become Years by Jeff Levine, anything by David King, and Reporter by Dylan Williams.

Rabu, 07 September 2011

This Weekend: SPX and More!

Whew! I've been so busy preparing for it that I've had nary a minute to mention that the Small Press Expo is coming up this very weekend!

But first...

I was invited to take part in a comics roundtable discussion at the University of Maryland this Friday, September 9, from 1-3PM. It's called Bleeding the Narrative: Comics in Art and Culture, and I'll be there along with other panelists Jim Rugg, Monica Gallagher, Alexis E. Fajardo and Carolyn Belefski, who are all super-cool...it should be a really fun and likely quite hilarious time. I'll be talking about my comics and illustration, my techniques and methods, and how godawful the Terps football uniforms looked the other night.

It's open to the public at the Michelle Smith Collaboratory for Visual Culture, which is on the 4th floor of the Art-Sociology Building. Love to see you there.

The next day, I'll be at SPX, bright and early when the show opens at 11. I'll have at least one new book, the new Old-Timey Hockey Tales, and maybe a new issue of Teeny Bikini if the stars align correctly. I'll be splitting a table with my pal Bill Burg, whose new book March might end up being the book of the show. It's really that good.

We'll be right up front at E-15, right across from the CBLDF...be there or be squared!

Senin, 05 September 2011

W is for Wallaby

As I was working on this drawing yesterday at the coffee shop, I discovered that one of the gals who works there was raised in Australia! How random is that?

Jumat, 02 September 2011

Earthquakes, Hurricanes and Kids, OH MY!

It was a busy as hell August, what with raising kids, surviving natural disasters and living without electricity for the better part of last week. But I did wanna post this little sneak peek of what I've been working on, set to debut at next weekend's Small Press Expo!