Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas, Last Minute Gifts


Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, Festivus, etc.. Wherever, whatever, and however you celebrate, I hope it's a pleasant time with excellent food.

And remember, if you still need to do some last minute shopping, there may still be time to grab a Polypropylene Beard Net. (Thanks to Emily for spying this in Uline's catalog during breakfast.)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

"Jesus is a Raisin" : The Next Generation



Absurd strings of apple juice-centric Star Trek overdubs is beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Mind if I fuck around in your attic?

Apple juice.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

All These Eggs and Other Dance Moves

I just came across this in a sketchbook (and a nod should go out to Emily, with whom I developed these):

NAMES FOR ACTUAL OR POTENTIAL DANCE MOVES

1. Shopping Cart
2. Sprinkler
3. Screw In The Light Bulb
4. Dig The Trench
5. Look Both Ways For Traffic
6. What Am I Going To Do With All These Eggs?
7. It Turns Out The Piano Was Hotter Than I Thought
8. Oh My, This Butterscotch Is Adhesive

Psychedelic Air


I'm infinitely far behind in posting things of interest that I've come across over the past couple months (I feel a series of batch posts coming in the near future...), but having just seen this yesterday, I thought I'd start here.

I love this... somewhere between The Yellow Submarine and The Dot and The Line.

Home (Be)for(e) the Holidays


It's great to be back in Chicago, albeit briefly before flying back out for the holidays. A million thanks to everyone who came out for the east and west coast events.

The Seattle and Chicago events were a perfect one-two punch to end the whole tour. I've just received an e-mail that some video of the final Chicago event should be posted sometime in the near future, and I'll link to that whenever it's up... but for now, enjoy Jonas Seaman's photos from the Seattle event (the ridiculous one of yours truly is below, signing above). The colors are delicious.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

One More Time, With Wind


Thanks to everyone who came out last night to the gala at the Fantagraphics Book Store. It was a great way to cap the west coast leg of our book tour, which has been phenomenal. It's been a pleasure talking with everyone and spending time with art geniuses like Jesse LeDoux and Jason Munn along the way.

We have one last event in our dual tour, which I've completely forgotten to post previously. We'll be heading directly from the airport to Home Room's 101 Lecture Show at the Hungry Brain in Chicago to give a final slide show presentation, answer people's questions, sign books, and try to get the feeling back in our toes after re-embracing Chicago's chill.

Here's the information about the event:

The 101 Lecture Show
The Hungry Brain, 9PM
2319 W Belmont
Chicago, IL

Thanks again to everyone. We'll hope to see some of you on Monday.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Giant Post-Its


Jay Ryan and I will be starting the west coast leg of our tour tonight at Giant Robot in a rainy L.A. If you're around stop by (and check out the Post-It Show, in which I (and about a million other people) have some work).

And if you're not available tonight, stop by and say hello tomorrow at Nomad. Both events come with roofs, the deluxe version of the umbrella.

The details for this non-sunny, non-California dreaming tour are:

Mon., Dec. 7, 6pm
Giant Robot
2062 Sawtelle Blvd.
LOS ANGELES, CA

Tues., Dec. 8, 7pm
Foundation Editions@NOMAD
1993 Blake Ave.
LOS ANGELES, CA

Wed., Dec. 9, 6-8pm
Giant Robot
618 Shrader St.
SAN FRANCISCO, CA

Thurs., Dec. 10, 7pm
D. King Gallery
2284 Fulton St.
BERKELEY, CA

Fri., Dec. 11, 6pm
Goodfoot Gallery
2845 SE Stark
PORTLAND, OR

Sat., Dec. 12, 6-9pm
Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery
1201 South Vale St. @ Airport Way S.
SEATTLE, WA
*Fantagraphics Bookstore's 3rd Anniversary party*

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Different People, One Neck



Two variations on how I've sounded in public over the years, to differing degrees of embarrassment: the first is the above video from the good people of Quimby's of my recent reading/signing there, where I read some voice overs for non-existent movie trailers. The second is me yelping with my old band Arks on the Inkstuds radio program, played as part of their latest funding drive (that episode features tons of music written and performed by cartoonists... Arks is around the 49 minute mark).

Post-Road, Pre-Turkey


Happy almost-Thanksgiving to everyone. And thanks to everyone who came out to our various readings/signings/slide shows on the east coast and in the Midwest.

This tour was filled with more people and events than I can possibly summarize in the little time I have before heading out on the road to ingest too much stuffing... so I'll give it a pass. But on the musical front: we saw The Jesus Lizard in Boston (as I previously posted), and wrapped up this leg of the tour by seeing Shellac in Louisville. Not a bad couple of acts to catch in a single tour.

While The Jesus Lizard has always been one of my favorites (their song "Thumbscrews" was the opening song to my briefly lived radio show in college), the Shellac show was far more poignant. Shellac, Shannon Wright, and The Web were all playing as a benefit for Jason Noble (of Rachel's, Rodan, and Shipping News fame) who was recently diagnosed with cancer. If you've ever enjoyed work from these bands, or just have a little extra in your wallet to help out an artist in need, please visit his Caring Bridge blog and donate.



Let it not be said that Jay Ryan closes a tour poorly: As pictured above, Jay took the stage with Shellac and whipped the crowd into a frenzy for half a song. I love Jay's band Dianogah, but the world is missing out on one formidable punk frontman in Mr. Ryan.

Thanks again to everyone who came out, and we'll be looking forward to seeing everybody else on our west coast tour starting in early December.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Lizards, Rocketships, and Robots


Thanks to everyone who has come out to see Jay and me thus far on the tour. We've had great events in Chicago, Milwaukee, Boston last night, and Brooklyn's Rocketship tonight, and hope to continue things with our event at Giant Robot NY happening Monday night.

The details for tonight:

Monday, Nov. 16, 6-8pm
Giant Robot
437 East 9th St.
New York, NY

Hopefully I'll get a chance to post a more detailed account of some of the tour's events in the near future, but in the meantime, you can read an interview conducted with Jay and listen to my reading of "The Spoils of The Fair" during our event at Wholly Craft in Columbus.

Also, I will report that our favorite overheard line from the Boston Jesus Lizard show we attended was a man insisting "I didn't hump anything! I'm not a humper!" (Though nobody – humpers and non-humpers alike – beats the ever-inimitable David Yow (of whom I grabbed the above shot, as he dominated yet another crowd).)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Animals and Sundry Tour: Tonight, Chicago


Tonight Jay Ryan and I start the Midwest/East Coast portion of our tour at our friendly neighborhood Quimby's here in Chicago. If you'll be anywhere in the area tonight, stop by. I think I'll be reading "Beginning Paragraphs to Stories I'm Not Going to Write" and "Voice Overs for Non-existent Movie Trailers." Jay will be tall and affable as always.

The details for tonight are:
Wednesday, November 11, 7pm
Quimby's Bookstore
1854 West North Ave
Chicago, IL

Tomorrow we'll be on the radio before our Milwaukee event at 4:30 on WMSE 91.7FM. You can listen to it live online, or it listen to it once it's archived here.

The details for the Milwaukee show are:
Thursday, Nov 12th, 7pm
The Sugar Maple
441 E. Lincoln Ave
Milwaukee, WI

From there, it's on to Columbus, then the coast. I'll do my best to make posts along the way, detailing the events, our on-the-road hysterics, and the disastrous amount of rest stop fare we're sure to consume.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Strange Tales and Lip Balm


The interview I gave (conducted by Sean Collins) for the third issue of Strange Tales is up on Marvel's web site. I digress about everything from British mysteries to ALL detergent. Sort of. My apologies for the inaccuracy in the interview: when the interview was conducted I had planned on Wolverine being the recipient of the lip balm, but for reasons that escape me and hopefully everyone else, I transferred the chapped lips' ownership to Cyclops. I've also never won an Eisner award as the lead-in states, but I will accept this pretend award with hypothetical pride.

Marvel has a couple pages from my story accompanying the interview, or you can see those pages (in a bit easier to view format) along with an exclusive peak of one of Jeffrey Brown's pages for the same issue on Publisher's Weekly's comics blog, The Beat.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween (Shirts)


To celebrate Halloween here on the blog, I'm posting a few (thus far unused) drawings and designs for t-shirts from this year and last year. These may see the light of day at some point in the near future, as I have plans to launch a t-shirt site sometime soon. But for now, enjoy some monster graphics free of charge.

Have a great time tonight and please remember to listen to my all time favorite Halloween song, "It's Halloween" (seriously, this is amazing: go to songs>It's Halloween (last song on the list)... you won't regret it).




Sunday, October 25, 2009

Your Weekend Deets



Semi-unlikely Sex Symbol and fellow Chicagoan Charlie Deets recently released this amazing video. You owe yourself a listen and watch.

Charlie's a phenomenal musician and a brilliant photographer, but I was unaware of his talent for being rubbed by portly men.

Friday, October 23, 2009

"The Spoils of The Fair" Today on CellStories


Today you can direct your smart phone's browser to cellstories.net and read "The Spoils of The Fair" from All and Sundry, for free, at your leisure. CellStories is headed by my pal Dan Sinker of Punk Planet magazine, and like anything Dan does, this is another well-conceived and well-executed undertaking.

I'll confess that reading short fiction on a cell phone is something I thought I'd find abhorrent, but after downloading Stanza, perusing manybooks.net, and reading "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" some time ago (not Fitzgerald's best, but quite short), I was an instant convert.

Novels on a phone? No thanks. But short stories have a surprisingly perfect home on your hand held device.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Animals and Sundry Tour


Poster artist, fellow Chicagoan and all around nice guy Jay Ryan and I will be hitting the road in November and December promoting the releases of our respective collections, All and Sundry and Animals and Objects In and Out of Water. Jay printed (the above) posters featuring a collaborative drawing we did and we're getting materials and presentations ready for the tour, which will kick off in Chicago on November 11th.

If you're in or around one of the cities we'll be visiting, stop by and say hello. We'll draw something in a book for you and ask where the bathroom is.

Here are the dates, times, and locations:

Wed., November 11, 7pm
Quimby's Bookstore
1854 West North Ave
CHICAGO, IL

Thurs, Nov 12th, 7pm
The Sugar Maple
441 E. Lincoln Ave
MILWAUKEE, WI

Fri., Nov. 13, 7pm
Wholly Craft
3169 N. High St.
COLUMBUS, OH

Sat, Nov 14th, 4 to 6pm
Million Year Picnic
99 Mt. Auburn Street
CAMBRIDGE, MA

Sun., Nov. 15, 7pm
Rocketship
208 Smith St.
BROOKLYN, NY

Mon., Nov. 16, 6-8pm
Giant Robot
437 East 9th St.
NEW YORK, NY

Wed., Nov. 18, 7-9pm
Atomic Books
3620 Falls Rd.
BALTIMORE, MD

Fri., Nov. 20, 7pm
Carmichael's Bookstore
2720 Frankfort Ave.
LOUISVILLE, KY

Mon., Dec. 7, 6pm
Giant Robot
2062 Sawtelle Blvd.
LOS ANGELES, CA

Tues., Dec. 8, 7pm
Foundation Editions@NOMAD
1993 Blake Ave.
LOS ANGELES, CA

Wed., Dec. 9, 6-8pm
Giant Robot
618 Shrader St.
SAN FRANCISCO, CA

Thurs., Dec. 10, 7pm
D. King Gallery
2284 Fulton St.
BERKELEY, CA

Fri., Dec. 11, 6pm
Goodfoot Gallery
2845 SE Stark
PORTLAND, OR

Sat., Dec. 12, 6-9pm
Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery
1201 South Vale St. @ Airport Way S.
SEATTLE, WA
*Fantagraphics Bookstore's 3rd Anniversary party*

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Kennedy and The Magnificent Moots


There is a snippet of these drawings in All and Sundry, but on his blog author James Kennedy goes into greater detail about his novel-in-progress The Magnificent Moots, from which he recently gave a small preview reading (and for which I'll be doing more illustration/comics).

James' previous book, The Order of Odd-Fish (I drew the paperback's edition cover below), is nothing less than ingenious, so I'm expecting more of the same greatness in his sophomore effort.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Pekar Pusses


I contributed my (above) take on Harvey Pekar's noggin to Smith Magazine's Harvey Heads, collecting versions of Pekar's face from dozens of artists. It's a great exercise and amazing how varied the solutions are.

My only encounter with Harvey was sitting at a table in a break room with him and Jaime Hernandez (we were all speaking at UC Riverside) while Harvey told me about a football player whose last name resembled mine in between cramming brownies into his mouth and chasing them with Sprite. Having no idea how to incorporate that fully into a portrait, I went in another direction entirely.

Monday, October 12, 2009

ICAF on Presocratic Philosophy


This Thursday through Saturday, if you're looking for an intellectually driven fix of comics, ICAF (The International Comic Arts Forum) will be hosting a series of talks, panel discussions, and artist presentations here in Chicago at The School of The Art Institute.

One of those panel discussions will be "Presocratic Philosophy and Hornschemeier’s The Three Paradoxes" with Toph Marshall of The University of British Columbia. I won't be in attendance (for obvious reasons I'd feel awkward being in the audience), but if you're in the area and feel like attending, the panel is from 9:30 to 11:00 am on Friday, October 16 in the SAIC ballroom.

You can see the full schedule for ICAF 2009 as well as more information on the forum and organization and the guest artists on ICAF's site.

(Thanks to Diana Schutz for passing along the news.)

More Things Like This: More of Everything


I recently received my copy of More Things Like This from the good people of McSweeney's (though the book was published by Chronicle), and I was trying to figure out how to summarize it. I can't. But at the very least I'll say it's overflowing with work by people I grew up admiring, and seeing a cartoon of mine on the same spread with Shel Silverstein's art is humbling (to put it mildly).

The book is an expansion of the aforeposted gallery show and catalog Lots of Things Like This and includes works from Marcel Duchamp, Kurt Vonnegut, Edward Gorey, Henry Darger, David Mamet, David Byrne, Basquiat, Leonard Cohen, Robert Crumb, and too many others to list. Fellow Holy Consumptionites Jeffrey Brown and Anders Nilsen are in there as well, on pages 199 and 187 respectively. Pick up a copy at your earliest convenience, then buy another when you damage the first from passing out and falling on top of it, ruining the spine and dog-earing the pages.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Hello Mome 17, Goodbye Mome



In Issue 17 of Fantagraphics' anthology Mome, Life with Mr. Dangerous will conclude in a thirty-one page installment (two pages of which is below). For this issue housing the end of the story (and my tenure at Mome), I drew the cover (above) and the back cover.

A million thanks to editor Eric Reynolds for not murdering me as the installments for this book trickled in over the past few years. It's been great being a part of Mome, and I'll be looking forward to future issues.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Carré's Moving Water Man and Friends



From Lilli Carré's excellent blog, Kettle of Fish. Visit immediately to see her various animated creations and works in progress, including her recent, superb poster for the Chicago Underground Film Festival.

Toluca Talk and Weakness



A civic round table from the reliable urine-catalyst Patton Oswalt. If you haven't already, be sure to pick up/download his new album, My Weakness is Strong, which offers another installment from his always brilliant wordsmithing as well as cover artwork from Chicago's own Ivan Burnetti.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

SPX-less, More Tour Dates

Just a general announcement: while All and Sundry will be at SPX, I will not. In light of the upcoming tour schedule and the fact that I'll be appearing in the Baltimore area in November, I won't be making the trek down in September.

Count me jealous of all the incredible mini-comics and silk-screened wonders you'll be finding if you attend, and hopefully I'll see you at our Baltimore event at Atomic or one of the other tour dates (which I hope to be posting soon).

Friday, September 4, 2009

Jarvis and Murakami Brand Animation



I just finished watching this (above) new video by one of my favorite artists, James Jarvis, and the video – conceived by Jarvis and sponsored by Nike – reminded me of those relatively rare examples of artists teaming up with corporations to make projects that end up being undeniably personal. Specifically Jarvis' video reminded me of this Louis Vuitton video by Takashi Murakami that I saw while walking by one of their stores in Berlin.

Monday, August 31, 2009

All and Sundry: In Stock, Autumn Tour


All and Sundry is now in stock at Fantagraphics. The wait for U.S. Grant appearing alongside cartoonish deities and Anderson Cooper is finally over.

To promote the release of the book I'll be heading out on the road in November and December with that Emperor of Rock Posters Jay Ryan (whose book Animals and Objects In and Out of Water will be appearing in stores around that time). I'll post more dates as they're confirmed, but for now, here are the stops we'll be making:

wed nov 11 - chicago - quimby's
fri nov 13 - columbus - wholly crafts
sun nov 15 - brooklyn - rocketship
mon nov 16 - new york - giant robot
wed nov 18 - baltimore - atomic
fri nov 20 - louisville - carmichaels books

If you're around when we're around, stop in and see us do whatever it is we're going to do. We promise to make the events more substantive than that preceding sentence.

Spider Mouse


On one level this is just a huge company buying another huge company, which happens with frightening frequency. But on another level: Disney's buying Marvel? This is blowing my mind.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

46 Million Art Auction


Inimitable Cartoonist and Fine Human Being Anders Nilsen has pulled together some great artwork for an even greater cause: health care reform. The participating artists are:

John Porcellino, Genevieve Elverum, Chris Ware, Ivan Brunetti, Dan Clowes, Phil Elverum (Mount Eerie), Jeffrey Brown, Paul Hornschemeier, Todd Baxter, Sonnenzimmer Print Studio, Adam Henry, Kevin Huizenga, Jay Ryan (The Bird Machine Print Studio), Lynda Barry, Lilli Carre, David Heatley, Kyle Obriot, Stephen Eichhorn, Buenaventura Press, Sammy Harkham and the organizer, Anders Nilsen.

The proceeds will go to Democracy for America and Health Care for America Now, two national advocacy groups running television ads to push the Public Option in democratic swing districts and offering support to congressional members who take a stand for the policy.

My art for the auction (from Beasts Volume 2) is here.

And you can (and should) see all the artwork up for auction by searching for 46 Million on eBay.

Please bid on something. If you're feeling really generous, feel free to buy me that Todd Baxter photo. It's amazing. But nowhere near as amazing as people finally having affordable health coverage. So bid now and bid often.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Moments



A beautifully constructed video featured on the WNYC's RadioLab podcast and site. Inspired by their recent programs on moments of death, filmmaker Will Hoffman produced this about moments of life.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Health Care: Inside and Out



If you've been watching the news, or generally been anywhere other than a completely secluded bunker, you've been bombarded with various talking points for and against health care reform. While I don't tend to be overtly political on this blog, I felt the need to at least post a couple items I thought were well-reasoned and well-put.

First, to respond to a couple pervasive worries with some facts: one of the main rallying cries I hear for resistance to reform is that "America has the best health care in the world." Or the more damningly "specific" generality: "you never hear of people flying to other countries to get health care, they come to America to get the best in specialized treatment."

As for having the best health care in the world, the World Health Organization, an entity of the UN with no discernible left or right agenda, ranked the U.S. 37th in the world. Not first. Not in the top ten. Not even in the top thirty. 37th. Remember that number, remind people of it. I think people don't hear it often enough. Other reports ranking fewer countries (Australia, Canada, Germany, New Zealand, U.S.A., and the United Kingdom)— ranked the U.S. system next to last in terms of: quality, access, efficiency, equity, and healthy lives. The only figure I have ever seen ranking the U.S. at the top is in the amount we spend on health care, not the quality of care we receive. Ours is the most expensive system, by all figures I've seen, but it is certainly not the best.

But what of this other claim, that people fly to America from other countries and not the other way around? It sounds right to Americans, we've heard stories of these sorts of things, so it's a particularly useful tactic. I've watched clips of Glenn Beck and other Fox News talking heads employing this as gospel, and I've seen man-on-the-street interviews showing that this message is resonating. And there is some limited merit to this, people do fly to America for procedures; but this only means that we have high levels of technology and research for specialized procedures, and says nothing of general health care. Again, we're 37th in the world. This belief that "people only fly to America" also completely ignores the budding Medical Tourism industry (in doing research for this post I even came across the site medicaltourism.com). Specialized care doesn't speak to the health care system in general, and yes, people do fly (and drive) to other countries to receive care.

I would honestly think this would be less of a debate, but it's clearly as contentious as anything can be. So I would ask you to please do something:

Call your representative.

Let them know how you feel. If you have a personal story about health care (as most of us do), share it with people. It's easy to dehumanize this and make this into simple political talking points. But this isn't a political debate. This is an ethical and moral matter, and as such I think it only makes sense that even some otherwise conservative religious groups are embracing the message: it is morally imperative that in one of the wealthiest nations on earth we have affordable, quality, persistent health care for the people of that nation.

For two great discussions on this, please watch the above video of Bill Moyers' interview (thanks to Anders Nilsen for passing this along) with a former Health Insurance executive and, for the somewhat lighter side, the below video of Stephen Colbert's interview with Sick author Jonathan Cohn. Both are eye-opening in their own right (though the former more so than the latter).


The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Jonathan Cohn
www.colbertnation.com
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorMeryl Streep

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Marvel Strange Tales, Issue Three


Stan Sakai will be covering the third and final issue of Marvel's Mini-series Strange Tales, and his samurai Hulk looks great, as one would expect. Robot 6 has the full press release for issue three (for which I contributed the aforeposted "Nightcrawler Meets Molecule Man" story), but here's the line up:

Peter Bagge, Max Cannon, Chris Chua, Becky Cloonan, Nicholas Gurewitch, Paul Hornschemeier, Jonathan Jay Lee, Corey Lewis, Stan Sakai, Jay Stephens and Jhonen Vasquez.

An odd mix, and one that I'm looking forward to reading. (I'm particularly excited to see Nicholas Gurewitch's take on the Marvel realm.)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Two Clowes Interviews

The first of these, on McSweeney's site, I came across via Drawn & Quarterly's blog. The second – a 2000 Bookworm interview (below) with Chris Ware and Chip Kidd about the release of Jimmy Corrigan and David Boring – I have absolutely no clue how I came across. Occasionally a bit stilted of a conversation, but interesting and insightful nonetheless.

Sampson Wrestles King Khan


Johnny Sampson, who I had the pleasure of meeting briefly at this year's Pitchfork Music Festival, does amazing work about which I've posted before. And I'd be remiss in my duties if I didn't link to his posting of his new album artwork for The King Khan and BBQ Show (with another post for the insert art and back cover).

Schlock weds perfection.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Poodle Palates and Other Creepy Secrets



From the ever-reliable blog You Ruddy Guys: two of the best videos I've seen lately. And by "best" I mean most thoroughly frightening. How are they getting the dogs to do that? CGI? Electro-shock?

And no, sir, I really don't want to have your secret.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Sendak on Jonze




For those naysayers or worriers who feel that the trailer of "Where The Wild Things Are" indicates an upcoming perversion of their childhood, none other than author Maurice Sendak gives his (overtly positive) dissection of Jonze's (and Eggers') creation. A better blessing you couldn't get.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Portraits and Their Keepers


It's been a while, but I believe I originally spied both of these on Boing Boing, so a tip of the hat to them:

First (above), portraits of television and film families by the curator of the great book Life of The Party, Kirk Demarais. I think the portrait from The Jerk may be my favorite, but, alas, Paul Sheer already nabbed it. (While you're in the neighborhood, be sure to poke around Demarais' site, Secret Fun Spot, there are tons of amazing things there.)

Second (below), absolute perfect color and stoicism in the form of Guardians of Russian Art Museums, a series of photographs from Andy Freeberg. Of these, I can't decide which one is my favorite. Always a welcome problem.

Monday, July 27, 2009

I'm Drawing a Shoe: San Diego 2009



My pal (and venerable Chicago journalist) John Huston made the trek with me to Comic-Con this year, bringing along his video camera and an eye for the ridiculous. The (above) result is – I think I can safely say despite any bias – quite perfect. Chubby, self-effacing Skeletor? What's not to like?

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Vader, Please Don't Hurt 'Em



Will the attendants of this year's San Diego Comic-Con be treated to this type of choreographic display? We can only hope. Regardless, it seemed the perfect opener for the next few days in the belly of the bespectacled, pocket-protected beast. (Thanks to Boing Boing for the clip.)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A Whale's Vagina

Looking forward to counting the Elvis storm troopers with you...


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

San Diego: All and Sundry and Four Face

This Thursday through Sunday, I'll be joining the sea of sweat and often unnerving enthusiasm that is San Diego Comic-Con. I'll be signing All and Sundry – the collection from Fantagraphics that will be debuting at the show – as well as selling copies of the limited run of Four Face.



Four Face is a series of fifty unique books, each containing four original cubist-esque drawings of, you guessed it, faces. No book will have the same contents as any other book, no faces will be repeated. Come by the table and select your favorite (or request yourself cube-ized if I haven't wrapped up the series by then), take it home, hack it apart, hang up the pages if you like. No one can stop you, no one! (cue wringing of hands, maniacal laughter).

Here are the hours we can stare at each other and try to figure out what that guy who just walked by is supposed to be dressed up as... (a hairy smurf? A sentient turd? Wayne Gretzky in a blender?):

FANTAGRAPHICS, BOOTH 1716
Thursday: 3-5PM
Friday: 11AM-1PM
Saturday: 11AM-1PM
Sunday: 12-2PM


See you in San Diego. And remember: spandex probably wasn't a good idea.

Millionaire God's Drinking Frustration



Via the Fantagraphics Flog, Tony Millionaire is God, quite literally, in this hilarious short film. I'd never hope to see Tony abandon his ingenious cartooning, but he's clearly got a promising career in acting waiting for him, should he choose to embrace it.

Morstad, Case, Elephants



Via Drawn and Quarterly's blog, take a gander at this amazing Julie Morstad video for Neko Case. Absolutely gorgeous. And the fact that it's accompanying Neko Case's voice (which is second to none) doesn't hurt.

David Lynch's Interview Project


I've been meaning to post this for a while: if you haven't yet stumbled across David Lynch's Interview Project, be sure to watch a few. They're beautiful in their simplicity and completely addicting, typical of Lynch.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Interactive Muppetpedia


Clicking around this interactive guide to The Muppets from Sesame Street brought up some great memories. One of my favorites was the Mr. Johnson and Grover restaurant bits (one of which is below), the perpetual competition to see who could be more frustrated.

(Thanks to Emily for passing this along.)

Monday, July 13, 2009

Pre-order: All and Sundry


The collection All and Sundry – featuring pieces spread through myriad publications and projects over the past six years – is now available for pre-order from Fantagraphics.

And I'll be signing the book in a couple weeks at San Diego Comic-Con. When I have the signing schedule, I'll post that here.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Big Fan



In his leading role debut (with the vocal exception of Ratatouille), Patton Oswalt looks like he's put in one hell of a performance. When I heard about the film some time ago, I had my reservations... but now that the trailer's surfaced, my fears have given over to head-nodding anticipation.

(Thanks to my pal John for passing this trailer along.)

Abstract Ditko


Keeping with the Spider-Man connection: Over at Blog Flume, Ken Parille has a great examination of the abstract comics work of Spider-Man co-creator (and one of my major influences growing up) Steve Ditko. As usual, Ken's writing is thoughtful and thorough. And any excuse to take a closer look at the warped world of Ditko's art is a welcome one.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Just Like Flies, Etc.



Ah, the classic 1967 Spider-Man animated show. That theme song. Those flat colors...

I'll admit to having suffered through every last one of these episodes on DVD over the past year (a feat I do not recommend as the repetitious nature of these, particularly toward the end of the series, is too much for one lifetime, let alone one year), and was glad to see that they're available piecemeal from Marvel via the magic of the internet. So watch the evil kitsch that is Doctor Noah Boddy (above), or visit Marvel's site and peruse the nostalgia.

And why not give the Japanese Spider-Man a spin? (Hint: you will absolutely have your life improved in every way by watching this.)

Thursday, July 2, 2009

David Byrne, Ear Head, and Games


For the David Byrne-founded label Luaka Bop's anniversary compilation (Twenty First Century, Twenty First Year), I designed and illustrated the packaging, including a poster detailing the history of the company. You can now watch the animated poster, so to speak, on the label's website.

And if the site's animation's not enough to satisfy your cartoon/record needs, you can play a game (below) featuring all the characters I created to symbolize each of the musical acts on the poster. If you enjoyed the game Memory, here's the indie rock version.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Our Idiot Eyes: Color


Via the blog Bad Astronomy comes one of the more interesting color optical illusions I've seen, chiefly impressive for its subtlety. I had absolutely no clue what the illusion could possibly be.

So what is it that's strange about this psychedelic pattern? The answer elicits the obligatory disbelief and head shaking: the blue and the green spirals are actually the same color (and yes, in disbelief I pulled the graphic into Photoshop and tested it: they're identical).

The relative nature of colors has always amazed me (particularly in my brief foray into color theory in college), but this is one of the more baffling examples. Bad Astronomy has a more thorough discussion of the effect, so I'll leave it to him while I'm busy getting out my black light and having my mind, like, totally blown.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Yes, Sir! Hurrah!


Franken seated! Finally! Allow me to wave my little blog flag for a moment.

One only needs to read Al Franken's "Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them" to know this is some of the best news to come along in national politics in some time. More well-reasoned, fact-driven, nuanced brains in the senate? Thank you, sir, may I have another?

(Thanks to my mom for calling me with the good news.)

Monday, June 22, 2009

"Obscure Punctuation:" Hodgman Roasts Obama





If you haven't already watched John Hodgman's nerd screed at this years Radio and Television Correspondents' Dinner, please better yourself by doing so now. That he held the crowd as perfectly as he did with ever more obscure sci-fi references speaks to the depth of the true nerdiness present.

Whatever's End

Thanks to everyone who ordered drawings over the past couple weeks: the first waves of drawings are making their way to your doors, with more to come shortly.

The whole experience was a positive one (and certainly got me drawing things I never would have otherwise), so I won't rule out doing it again... but for now it's back to drawing what's inside my own head, as indefensible as that might be.

Monday, June 15, 2009

One More Week of Whatever


This Sunday (June 21st) will be the final day I'll be taking requests to draw your mom, or your mom with a stapler head, or a stapler dancing with Che Guevara while you mom looks on with jealousy. If you saw the previous post, you know the drill: $100 for a full color 7x 8" sketch, $50 for black and white. The first wave of orders will be shipping this week and on Sunday the doors will close for good (well, maybe not forever (since this exercise seems to have panned out well for all concerned), but certainly for the foreseeable future).

(OFFER EXPIRED JUNE 21st)

So look at that bare patch of wall and figure out how to fill it. You've got a few days left to make me scratch my head when I see what you've come up with.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Mother, Come Home's Soundtrack


Today Largehearted Boy posted my Book Notes: the soundtrack for Mother, Come Home, with thoughts about the story's creation and inspiration, cars in the rain, and hypothetical movie trailers.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Tonight in Brooklyn, MoCCA this weekend


If you're in town for MoCCA, or just in town to be in town: I'll be signing books and the brand new (above) print at Desert Island in Brooklyn this evening. And I don't know exactly what the below poster is all about, but it's got a lot of great names listed (including Secret Acres, who put out one of my favorite pseudo-recent books: Wormdye by Eamon Espey) and it's apparently after me, so I suppose I'll just have to saunter over to that afterward.

Then on Saturday and Sunday, I'll be signing at the Fantagraphics table at MoCCA. I'll be taking more orders for the aforeposted commissions (my favorite of the batch that came in today involved Patrick Swayze and raining bacon) and trying to remember what I was talking about three minutes ago. I'll be there from 11 to noon on Saturday and 4 to 5 on Sunday. Stop by and hand me a drawing of your mom.