Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Making Comics Real

The University of Minneapolis has a DEGREE in comics - and a lot of it is the marketing and networking that makes it possible for young comics folks to make a living, and not have to be team artists, but real creatives. 

A good friend got me together with the San Diego State University to help build the comic book and art collection in the Love Library Special Collections. I am so exceedingly proud that my name is on the entry hall, and that my collection - for fund-raising - is now valued at a quarter million dollars - and I'm getting my name on the wall of major donors to the university. We helped hook up the universities to make comics reconizeable as the art form they are. 

When Booksurge was being bought by Amazon to make Createspace for books, we small publishers and authors were called - on THEIR DIME - and asked for up to an hour what we really wanted. Which is why Createspace works as well as it does, and has direct support we can contact, and that is truly helpful and patient.

I've never worked for team companies. I never drew any of the major characters. Like so many of the wonderful young people found in Artist Alleys today, I worked to develop my own line, ideas, characters and stories. I hope I've made it possible for them to have creative freedom, and to be paid for it, even in the smallest way. 

I like to think I assisted with some of the nuts and bolts of making the form something everyone could admire. I'm still making that work with my Clallam Bay Comicon, too, where rural attitudes toward comics are slowly turning around. No longer will they believe that superheroes or Manga are the only chance they have as comics creators, or genre fan texts as authors. I couldn't do it without the assistance of other truly original comics authors, who bring their work and ideas to share and teach. You have your own voice. Come share it.

You all count, and you're all recognized. If you even have one loving fan, you have your reward. At one time, that's all I had. I never meant to share my work, but that woman laughed and wept and adored my work and persuaded me to offer my work at a sci-fi convention, and to accept publishers who liked what I offered. I've always held her title of First Fan to be among the most honorable ones in the pantheon of the people who have encouraged me. Without her, I'd still be just drawing at home, and while this is an honorable goal, too, it shouldn't be the only one.

If what I've done has helped built the structures that make things easier for today's kids, I thank all the fellow creatives and fans and one very perceptive university library I've known and who have backed me up for the opportunity.

Thank you all.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Sol Duc Hot Springs Birthday

I'm going to the Sol Duc Hot Springs on Washington State's Olympic Peninsula, on August 13. It's my birthday, and I want to swim and soak and get a massage for these tired bones!

Come join me. Bring a swimsuit and towel, and flipflops or other swimming shoe. The pool entrance fee is very inexpensive. The pools range from mild to very hot, and the pool is a delight. But hide shiny stuff - ravens fly overhead!

They have food at the pool, including the Sol Duc Resort restaurant and a snack bar. No eating in the pool area, of course, but direct access. Gorgeous walking trails, to Sol Duc Falls. 

There's cabins and camping, too. If they don't have them, try the Last Chance Camp and Equine Rest Stop in Forks. Which means you can bring your horse.

Come join me. If you can't, I'll be doing this every year!

Friday, June 2, 2017

Old Shadow Fading But Happy

Old Shadow with Betsy the Stove

Our old Shadow cat is finally fading. He has renal failure - but of all the cat deaths we've dealt with, when this one is controlled and monitored, it is far less painful than many of the others.

Shadow keeping warm
Shadow's sister, Fearless, passed away last year, of heart failure, after a long life of thyroid problems. She was a tough little thing. 

Both of them were called the Potatoes, because when they were very little, and held in one hand, upside down, their little bellies looked like potatoes.

So we have one last Potato left. He's also the last of the Bremerton cats. 

He's happy, he's doing okay. And if we get a cat all the way to renal failure, we win. Because we all die of something, and renal failure has always come late. He was born in something like the autumn of 2001, so that's not bad, making it so far in 2017. 

I know we'll get good wishes - and huge thanks to all of you, who extend them. They are much appreciated.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Just For Joy

Found this artwork while going through old files on disks before I send 'em to San Diego State University Special Collections. 

I think it might be an old commission. But it's been a tough week for a lot of my friends.

So this is just for joy.

Blessings on all of you.

Share as you please.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Olympic Collectible Expo 2017

Hope to see everybody at the Olympic Collectible Expo on Saturday the 29th of April! Just think - with free admission, you can save your money to buy all the goodies at the show.

Here's all the information in a neat little postcard ('puters cut the edges off stuff - but you've got all the info, here).

Yes, those are horse ears!
It's a lot of fun. Good people run it, and it's the first multi-focus show in Kitsap. Yes, it's pretty superhero, but they were very welcoming to me last year. And they love goodies for their auction. Come see what goes up for bids! Including my very silly protest hat: 

So treat yourself to the scenic trip on the Bremerton ferry, and run five miles north to the Kitsap Mall in Silverdale. Bring friends - free admission!

Lots of parking, too.

See you there! 

Lookin' good with Ka-Blam
And now it's over, I can say I had a lot of fun, and met some old friends, and added new ones.

The horse hat ended up in the hands of Amy Bradley, and then promptly on her husband John's hat. They came out to help me out with my IdeaPad, that John got me in exchange for art - and because he can get good deals! To hold me until I budget for a new Mac and proper capability, someday.
More good stuff -
Another table in the same block.

Here's me wearing my Ka-Blam tshirt - which I wear to shows to to earn more printing credit from this great little print-on-demand company! 

It turns out it was a mall show, so I have my choice - and I think I'm going to have to stick to the September show, which has its own room, instead of being in a mall. As nice as this show was, another dealer said, "Mall shows are just sad." 

I wonder if they've considered the Bremerton spaces? How about the Elk's club? NICE big space and a stage! They could put on all kinds of presentations where everybody could watch them. Pretty good parking, too. Although the massive parking at the mall could be a deal-breaker.

There are some really nice ones - and PLENTY of places to stay. I can vouch for the Super 8 - not very fancy, but clean, quiet, great breakfast, nice staff and - SCALDING HOT WATER. Just right for a long hot soak after a long dealing day. Freeway noises blocked by a bank and trees. Oh, and nice discounts at the DQ and the Denny's, right next door.

I'm going to make up a nice sign that says, "Must leave by 3:00 due to driving daylight - make contact and purchases before then!" People are happy if they're kept in the loop. I liked staying at the nice hotel - but I'm within the State, and can drive home if I can.

More and more, shows aren't about sales, but about faces. Which this one was. And I may have helped a kid get into being a cartoonist. OOPS. I hope that goes well!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Holocaust Center #IAreGoingToHell

And I am, too. In honor of Mr. Spicer, who said Hitler didn't gas anybody. Not anybody white and soldierly, anyway, in HIS mind. You know how the uniform fan clubs are - they think anybody outside their fashion parade isn't human - or living. Or there for any reason except to feed the fan club. Part of that "It was made for you - so rape it" mentality.

It sat on my desk a while until I got to a scanner and it just got worse and worse. With the help of my social media friends, who I could almost hear giggling.

One of them, upon finally seeing it, called it "Pure acid." She was born German - so she knows where we're going. As a member of the most moral nation on earth, now, she's one among a people who have been trying to warn us off for years. But why would it work? We're the ones really attached ancient and awful human activities to modern industrial methods for profit goals.

You note the uniforms of the soldiers - there's a REASON a certain accidental president mistook summer-camouflage SS. Because now our troops look almot exactly alike. Still fighting for oil - and hooking up with the Russ empire if their masters have to.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Sticks - because that' where we live.

Did these originally as a choice for Seattle's The Weekly. Click on it to see it larger.
I soon found out, dealing with them as I did with a letter to the editor with the Peninsula Daily News, what happens if you make fun of the logging industry. Or even talk about how many tax deductions it gets. 

They're both owned by the logging industry. You can hear the axe breathing down the editors' necks.

So I just posted this, here. If nothing else, it warns you of what driving with logging trucks is like. I swear, the way they stack wood, it's like they're drunk. The way they drive, it's like they're trying to get to Happy Hour.

BTW, I've noticed the Logger Culture, and who pushes it. You folks in Seattle want to end up being made fun of the way Cowboy fans get made fun of? Back when cowboys were prettied up, it was an argument about why they were the Good Guys and the Indians were the Bad Guys. Loggers have chopped down two state parks out here, clearcut a bear's home next to Forks so hunters in Forks could kill him when he came out starving. Guess what tone the papers took about the animals and parks. 

Hey, I'm not just picking on Sound Publishing. I just tweeted The Washington Post, and asked them who owns them. Jeff Bezos of Amazon, of course. Let's see - Amazon took shark-fin soup off their lists when their customers blew up over it. It's far more socially and environmentally responsible (no, it's not perfect - it's only human, and admits it). Guess which paper is doing better?

It's hilarious watching papers scrabble around blaming "distribution" and social media for their loss of content - when they're in a choke-hold by the industries they cozied up to just to survive. It's like watching "Mainstream" comics losing it over webcomics and what they still call "Indies." (It's 2017, people! Not 1989!)

Look, newspapers are at fault that the books in the Library of Congress are crumbling to pieces. Do I HAVE to make the connection to "Forestry?" You all know it.

So, enjoy the cartoon. And TradJourns? You're not fooling anybody.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Black Lives Matter March - Seattle, March 5, 2017

Many great signs
All ages participated
On March the 5th, 2017, a good-sized Black Lives Matter march took place in Seattle, protesting the building of a new juvenile "justice" center.

It was an energetic march, and well-attended. 

Flyer and book table.
A good live report can be found here. It does a better job reporting the march itself, and getting live video interviews. 

This is so much different from the WTO marches, when media concentrated on a few marchers who attended for the purpose of making trouble, instead of on the thousands of marchers there to be seriously involved and to make a statement. 

You'd think the larger story would have been better Pulitzer bait. The media did a better job this time. Then again, when everybody there has camera phones, traditional media has to get its act together.

Me and Barbara
The pink sign around my neck says "Jews for Black Lives Matter." The woman passing them out said that, before, when they'd made signs for different groups, they ran out, and then everybody wore the Jewish signs. So she just made the Jewish signs this time. So I wore one. 

Pink is the color of Resist, of course. We all know why.

Barbara is a woman I met at the march. She didn't have a hat, it was drizzling, and I had an extra Nasty Woman Pussy Hat (my amateur crocheted hats). So I gave her one that fit her. I soon lost her in the march; I hope she's enjoying her wicked Resist hat! It's darned cute on her.

More signs

There were a lot of signs, and a lot of people. 

Of course, the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence were there, as they always represent for good causes. You can't become a full-fledged Nun in the Sisters until you've run your own charity event.

The march stopped at certain intersections, so individuals could give speeches and point out how many people in government and even the college had money in the detention center. The mayor and the college were outed for having monetary connections with the center.

The Sisters
One wonders how anyone can think anything's secret any more. I guess the same people who think emails are "secure?" The old Right-wing line "If you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear" is coming back to bite them in the butt.

The police were well-behaved. The vehicles were there to guarantee our safety in traffic, and the bicycle police accompanied us on one sidewalk. I told one of them I'd been in the WTO marches, and I liked seeing the police not wearing riot gear. 

Pause for speeches
After WTO, the best of the police knew they'd been had by the city and their commanders, and decided to do things differently. But we still have too much police action against POC and immigrants. Which was pointed out by the marchers. 

The march went down to Yesler and turned up the hill. After a few blocks, we were asking whose idea it was to trudge up a Seattle hill. But the march only slowed down for a couple more blocks before regaining its energy. It was up for any challenges.
BLM hoodie

A few masked folks showed up at this point and tried to escalate, but we pretty much ignored them. You'd think they'd know they've been outed by now. Masks and yelling, "Fuck the Cops!" - really? Like you don't think we know who you are, or what you're trying to do? 

The cops are a uniformed fan club, and if they're poked, they panic, especially when they're been cool. We know that now, and we're not letting anybody steal the thunder, no matter who they are. They know they're going to look bad, attacking nice protestors when there are so many cameras.

That doesn't mean the message was weak. The people speaking demanded better treatment of all Seattle's people, and pointed fingers at business interests in the prison industry, which concentrates people of color. 

As one woman said, we white people KNOW we have privilege, and standing up for these historically attacked groups - who were a major force in building this country, or victims of its expansion - is our duty. We need to not bite the hand that fed us.

Speeches - lots of folks
At about half-way through the march, I hit my second wind, and got pretty drunk on adrenaline, marching up the hill too fast, especially for the hard driving I would have to do the next day. Me and the stronger kids, leaving the parade behind. 

As we were near where I was staying, I left the march and took some final photos. 

The march continued on, energy unabated.
Up Yesler

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Gabriela Maya's Postcard Project

Gale Etschmaier
Rob Ray
While at the San Diego Comicfest, Mexican artist Gabriela Maya gave me a stack of her beautiful manga postcards.

She requested that I use them to send to friends, and to ask them to send back photos I could share with her.

I only send postcards to a couple of people. Neither of them has an email account, nor digital cameras. So it becomes difficult to finish the project with postcard people.

So I decided to send the photos to Special Collections at the San Diego State Love Library. I asked Pam Jackson at SDSU to give me a hand collecting photos, and she came through like a trooper! 

First up, we have SDSU Library Dean Gale Etschmaier.

Angela Risi
Anna Culbertson
Then Rob Ray, Head of Special Collections and University Archives (SCUA). I've corresponded with Rob for a long time, and he's been very busy making sure wonderful things happen with my collection for the school, the students and all my readers.

Next is Angela Risi, SCUA Foundation Employee.

Then Anna Culbertson, Assistant Head of Special Collections and University

Then Wil Weston, Head of Collections

Wil Weston
Pam Jackson
And finally Pam Jackson herself, and her own wonderful title, Special Collections Librarian.

But I have five postcards left. I should think about who to send these to. 

My only problem is, I have too many friends!!

Moan and La Groan.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

2017 Emerald City Comicon Report

Just The Thing For Spring
First of all, on the absolutely fabulous Artists' Alley on its OWN floor (the 6th), we have Carla Speed McNeil in one of the Nasty Woman Pussy Hats I've been freehand crocheting out of remnant thrift-store wool. She models it with her ever-so antique Hermes scarf. It's just HER.

Roberta Gregory says to watch for it on Jaeger in Carla's Future books. While drunk, probably.... or will Nasty Women march in Finder?

Touch it.
THIS IS HOW THIS STUFF GETS STARTED. Us writers are more like the party than most people think. We're more like the directors of Despicable Me, who giggle their way through their commentaries, and doing Minion voices.

While you're at it, you need to get her "No Mercy." One of the best and most horrible and true.

Now wait until Chris Pegg finds out about the Bible plot we have for him. He can play Jesus - or Joseph, who we KNOW must have been a hottie.

Time to Die!
Emerald City has a No-touchy policy on co-splayers - but what do you do when the Gang O' Deadpools and Harly Quinn show up and say "Spank that thang!"?

At sci-fi shows, the Klingons are the crackpots who do what they want any way they want. Looks like Deadpool will be taking over that roll at comicons.

RED DWARF! RED DWARF! Do not look upon me, oh Mr. Flibble of glary death. I
Queen of the Potato People.
used both these photos because I are a Dwarfer, of course. 

I dare yo.
And now more Deadpool nuttiness. Including Mashups. That movie may be faux X-rated, but it's a genuine clever silliness generator.

I don't know what this next character is, but her dad engineered the wings, and they fold down
Fly girl!
and outwards. Amazing stuff on the floors, every year.

Gotta catch up.
I love when the anachronisms of everyday life show up in fantasy. As in this gorgeous creature with her purple-and-scythe, texting away between photo-ops.

Of course, had to get a legit pose photo, too. One of my favorite costumes this year.

Stop me. I dare you.
More Deadpool goofiness. "I'm playing Deadpool. I'll do whatever I want! So there!" (Except during Lent?)

Speaking of able costuming, this woman with CatBus and Totoro had never made a costume before. I find that hard to believe! She has a career ahead of her.

She's discovering how hot it gets on the show floor, however! 

Passengers and all!
Back in full costume, in front of one of my favorite booths every year, Fez-O-Rama. Each year I am more tempted.
Long Day!

Poison Ivy is a great costume, but it comes with very high heels. An Ivy kicks back with the kimono she wears to get to her car in the Seattle rain or cold parking towers, and no shoes. I say she could get away with red flats. To match her hair.

And of course it wouldn't be America without lying religious assholes showing up.

These JeHos could have just posted, "We have a cool imaginary fan club, too! And books!" Instead, they couldn't help themselves.

Trolling for kiddies.
They're pushing cures for "depressed teens." One of their number showed up and said, "We need more kids!" 

Thanks a lot, you mental child molesters. I pity the gay kid tries to not commit suicide in YOUR fake-doctor hands. 

At least they're forced to be on the street with the ticket-scalpers where they belong.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Convention Art

While sitting at my table, between customers, panels and events, I do art for myself. Here are a couple examples, a Red Glowing Dragon, and "Awa' with the Fairies."

When I'm just doodling freehand original art like this, if you walk up with $50 cash, you'll be able to buy any sort of art like this, easy. So if you have ideas of what sort of doodles you'd like to see me doing, let me know. And because we all have Square, now, but it seldom works without 20 minutes trying to get connected, you bring your twenties, I'll bring my ones, and we'll do it the old-fashioned and easy way.

And you get publishing rights with any art you buy. This means you can share it any way you like, as long as you don't manipulate it or get money involved. Personal cards and postcards are fine, so long as you don't sell 'em.

San Diego ComicFest, 2017

A couple years ago, the Dean of Special Collections at San Diego State University had invited me to lunch. 

I finally arranged a trip, with Roberta Gregory, to have that lunch, and to get Roberta's work into the Special Collections, too. 

Since I was going anyway, I was assisted in finding a San Diego convention to attend, to make the trip even more worthwhile - especially for southern California fans who'd been asking Roberta and me for years when we'd be back to a show. Pam Jackson of SDSU found us the San Diego ComicFest

(I take this opportunity to thank everybody - because there were so many of you!)

The lunch was such a success, and the subsequent tour. Soon, SDSU will be able to offer to students and the public Roberta's lifetime of fabulous art and comics. In the course of the SDComicfest, we hooked up other artists and writers to be included in the convention. Overall, a very successful meeting! 

Roberta Gregory, Linda and Phil Yeh.
Now for the comics fest: It's a small comics show, in a small hotel - and an absolute gem. 

The artists' alley was chock-full of artists solving their own artistic problems, and very little fully genre work. And actual authors - the people who have a single-vision comic and do it all. 

Comic Fish Studios had me in for a surprise teaching moment, where I taught the class how to write, draw a horse, and hold a comicon like mine. Thank you to all the students and their teacher!

Comics gang and Chinese food
The party room was fun, the funny superhero drinks names, like the Kirby Krackle, were tasty but dangerous (kudos to the junk food, despite the horrible French Fries). Roberta Gregory, and Phil and Linda made it even more enjoyable.

Chinese dinner on the first night, with a table filled up with old and new friends. 

Of course, I wore my Ka-Blam T-shirt, at least part of the time, so folks would know who do the best - well, really the only - almost-traditionally-priced print-on-demand floppies. 

They're as close to perfect as you can get in this industry. And if the price is a buck more per book compared to the '80's, the quality is ten times better, color or black and white.

We had lots of fun with big paper-mache and fiberglass animals on the floor, including a T-rex head, with which everybody was getting photographed being gobbled up.

T-Rex off the leash!
A giant tiki head loomed over the central lobby floor, and a King-Kong head and hand gave everybody the opportunity to act like they were endangered Fay Wrays.

Roberta Gregory and I were featured at a panel in which we discussed our life's work, and I auctioned off the remnants-constructed Nasty Woman Pussy Hat. Here's our winner! 

Huge thanks to Anina Bennett and the technical staff for making our little thumb drives work with computers and projectors. And thank you, Anina, for leaving a rose on the table I shared with Roberta Gregory. So thoughtful!

Nasty Woman Pussy Hat winner
Roberta and I ended the convention with a dead-dog party in the hotel bar, where missing ingredients and a helpful bar-keep named Mike reconstructed a modern version of the sticky old Desert Peach cocktail. 

Rose from Anina Bennett!
The new and much less sweet version is (in a big wine glass): A shot of Drambuie, a shot of peach vodka, top it up with champagne or other sparkling wine. Many straws let lots of people sample it safely. It was voted a winner. Thank you, Four Points Sheraton!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Pussy Hat for San Diego Comicfest

Hi, folks! I was commissioned to do a Pussy and the Brain hats for a fine fan and his wife. I had leftover yarn. 

So I made this Alley Pussy hat, the ears of which don't match because the yarn was different sizes. 

I'll give it away at a lottery at the panel at the San Diego Comicfest, Monday, 11:00 am, room Palm A, with Roberta Gregory and Anina Bennet, among others.

 And we did, and here's our winner! 


Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Help Fund Diana Kennedy's Trip to the Clallam Bay Comicon!

Aldo and John and travel plans
Note: We've made the full $400 to bring Diana to the Comicon! Thanks to all of you who exchanged your donations for our art! Here's the original post: 

"A French town's cultural organization and a French Lion's Club are helping long-time comic book author and illustrator get to the 6th annual Clallam Bay Comicon! But she could use a little more help for this very long, and quite ambitious trip, and we're doing it under the Creative listings at GoFundMe. For all the news, the story and how to exchange your dollars for her art - and mine! -  Here's the Link! 

Watch for future press releases and updates!"