Sunday, July 24, 2011

40 and last

40 years ago today, July 24, 1971,  I got married in Tennessee for the first time. Alex & I were together almost 6 years. I was 19, he was 23.  Too young, I think.

The link below is the only evidence I have of his existence. In the video, someone's trying to make him out to be a bad guy, but I remember him as an environmentalist. He 'turned me on' to the natural world -- a love I have retained to this day.
one of my 'ex'es on the job

Last year on this date I sat on Odin's throne at the San Diego Comic Con, 2010.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


I realized perfection today. I saw the moment squarely and thanked Buddha for the concept.

I had made a screen door. Was putting the bead moulding around it out in my parents' back yard in flat Indiana, on a cement patio. Green everywhere else. Wide open prairie all around. Surround. OK, so there was a Cubs/Giants ballgame on the radio, coming out of the garage. And the sound of the table saw. Dad's making a rolltop desk out of his stash of old-growth walnut. (Who old growth? - He 92!) We got thirsty and so I cut open that watermelon from the refrigerator. So ripe and ready, it split completely open without much convincing.

Slurp eating cold sweetness in the grass there on the prairie with the game and the saw and the screen door in perfect evening light. That was it.

Thursday, May 19, 2011


I just checked the weather of every zip code I ever lived in and am happy to report that every thing is just fine.

Now, back to crosshatching.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Baby draws comics

It won't let me post videos here, so I had to put this one on FB. My dog Baby has decided to quit getting into garbage and become a cartoonist:!/video/video.php?v=1683562940722&comments&notif_t=like

Friday, May 13, 2011

Those frikkin' towels

I love baseball. I love listening to it on the radio as background to whatever I'm doing. And after a long time away, I started attending Reds games last year down at Great American Ballpark. Beautiful place. That is, until the crowds started waving those towels. YYYKKKKKK  I HATE that!!!

Waving towels never produces results except to give doofus goofuses something to do. Towel waving does not belong in baseball!!! If people kept scorecards with those little pencils like they're supposed to, this wouldn't be happening.

I hate it SO much, I'm not going to the ballpark again until it burns out, or they designate 'towel-free' games.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

LA Fully Loaded II

In front of Berlin Wall sections on Wilshire Blvd. This was just before leaving, after everything official was done. Joyce Farmer gave me a ride to put my toes in the ocean after we finished our panel. I was there as a guest of the good folks at the LA Times Book Prize.  Honored to be a finalist.

LA fully loaded last hours

 The last best thing was the authentic taco. The dude standing there said it's cause unlike other taco trucks, at this one, they make their own tortillas. MMMMMgood!

Or it was the light, the Saturday sun making all the chrome and glass do that awesome two-tone thing. You know, blue and gold.

Or it was the Korean driver who took me to the airport. Said he's been driving a cab for a year after he lost his life savings with his brother-in-law in a scam of some sort. "How much did you lose, if I might ask? $30? $50 thousand."

"$750,000. But it's OK. I'm happy now. No more sleepless nights."

LAX here looks like a picture I would have drawn of the future with my crayolas.

I had sleepless nights in LA. Both of them. One from anxiety, one because of the red-eye flight back to Cinci. I love sitting up half the night in an 'under construction' space. It's the fluorescent lights that make it so awesome.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011



I will be in LA this weekend. But first I have to finish building the fence, planting flowers, penciling page 30, taking in the dress, getting a spray tan ---
Wait a minute. I'm not getting a spray tan. It won't cover the bug bites (yard work). Besides, I blew my budget on my hair, covering the grey.

Here is a picture taken the last time I was in LA. For a Twisted Sisters Exhibition at Billy Shire's Gallery. Early 1990s. This is me & my then boyfriend on Sunset Blvd.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Found with the receipts

It's tax time. Here's something I scrawled on the back of a receipt, dated 10/19/10:

Riding up with a young girl in dank elevator at the art school where I teach.
She's unaffected and bottle-blonde pissy, grip-wrinkling an expensive sheet of bristol paper.
Chomping chips comatose.
Strapless cotton print dress -- one nude shoulder leans back onto the brushed chrome - cowboy boots crossed at the ankle, key dangling on a lanyard, angling

So dreadfully bored
in the good 50 seconds we have left together.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

The Call-Up

Gonna be hard to work this week with Ken Burns' Civil War series being rebroadcast each evening.
I missed its first time around (kid to raise).

Friday, March 25, 2011

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Them's fightin' words

There has been a popping up of the term "frames" in reference to what are known traditionally as cartoon panels. I'm irked by this. In a conversation with a friend this weekend, use of the word frame came up again in reference to cartooning.

Scene 1 begins when the fighting words rolled off his tongue: "Frames, panels .. same thing."

Next frame: "What - did - you - say?" She was all up in his face with that, there at the bar. "You are wrong, buddy. Dead wrong."

Frame #3: He brays the rhetorical question back at her: "No, missy -- you're wrong," pronouncing 'you're' with cadence like a little lamby-sheep would do.

They both knock back a shot of house whiskey.

4: She inches closer, getting toe-to-toe, eye-to-eye, moment-to-moment. Beads of sweat forming, gloves off. "Let me clarify, flank-steak. To say frame means you're referencing film or have read comics 'how-to' manuals . . . .  which means you're there looking at that."

Frame 5: He jeers across his rotten crowns right at her with another rhetorical question. "What's wrong with that -- Lady Purist!" One of his caps is almost pure motherlode gold-plated. 

Frame 6: He spits and reaches.

Frame 7: Quickly outdrawn, she's gets him down at heel.

8:Towering over him, all statuesque and lovely, she states gently and yet emphatically, as if she were a glowing apparition of truth: "It's called tradition, my friend. Real cartoonists make panels."

9: Triumphantly, she steps across him, walks through the double swinging doors and bee-lines it back to the drawing table.


Monday, March 7, 2011

Your Ticket to Cool

Sure has been fun inspiring the next generation to keep journals and make comics out at Amelia High School. The experience has been a very real source of pleasure. Nice bunch of kids and the teachers/administrators made it easy. They ended up inspiring me.

The worst part about it: getting up at 5:30 AM Monday mornings to be on the job at 7 -- a major adjustment for this committed night person. (5:30 is often when I go to bed!) Regardless, I loved every minute of it.

In the pic: That red teacher sweater: My Monday Morning Jacket for Valentine's Day!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Homeroom Hottie

Alex & CBR -- You ROCK!!  Here's a link to an awesome just posted interview. Coming on a day when I'm having a Foreigner marathon in my studio. Double Vision, Head Games, etc. Hot Blooded, Cold as Ice. Hair rock that I didn't really listen to but couldn't avoid hearing back in the day. Inking music.

The T-shirt in the pic says Homeroom Hottie  :)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

He walks through the Bardo

Sorry to hear that my friend Jigme Norbu was killed two weeks ago while on a Free Tibet walk in Florida. He was a ball of energy for the cause.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Sleep Well, Doughboy.

Frank Buckles passed away. Feb. 27, 2011 at 110 years old. He was the last surviving US Veteran of WWI.

From out of this world: something happened to me about him on the very day of his passing that convinced me once again that in doing this book about soldiers, I am but a conduit. Stay tuned. But right now there are no words except these: Thank you for your service. Sleep well, Doughboy.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Friday Night

Remember in like 7th grade or maybe even Sophomore year the importance of Friday night? School was officially done for the week, so either it would be pizza with friends or a sleep-over or a dance at school. Or bowling. Or a 4-H club meeting. Or maybe there would be a party and the guy you had a crush on would be there. Homework and other maladies could demon stay gone for 2 days.

Also, for just about every family in my working class town, Friday was payday, which explained the free spending on pizza and Cokes and 45s. I'm not trying to suggest that those were the good old days and I miss them but . . .

I was surprised some years ago, how Friday night came to mind when putting together reasons why in my adult life I sometimes felt such aching emptiness. What was it about Fridays, since I still occasionally eat pizza and go bowling -- not much though. I concluded it was that sense of completion coupled with a 'job-well-done' payday, neither of which I've really had yet because this graphic novel trilogy is not yet finished. True, there have been pleasantries along the way for Books I & II and believe me, I am truly grateful. But  . . . . . . . .

Sometimes it seems like I'm still back at Monday morning, although in reality I know I'm pulling along a slow Thursday. But I want so much for Friday night to come. And to help bring it home, I've called in Coach Taylor from that excellent series "Friday Night Lights". 

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Just like the cowboys

Dad -- 91 years old and the subject of my trilogy, has a dislocated shoulder. Apparently, he pulled a tarp off a pile of termite ridden old oak during a sub-zero snowstorm, wrestled the damn thing indoors and into the basement to dry out but fell while attempting to throw it over a 114 year old cast iron bathtub. His shoulder slammed onto a protruding rocker of an antique rocking chair.  He dislocated his shoulder, but the wooden rocker prevented a fracture, which would have happened if he had hit the cement floor.
This happened on a Monday. So he went upstairs and complained a little to my Mom about it and she did nothing but tell him to put ice on it. All night he didn't feel right. Next day, he told the visiting nurse. She put ice on it and suggested he let my sister know. She lives nearby. Wednesday my sister looked at it and said she thought he needed to put heat on it. That night he started really complaining. By Thursday, his shoulder had swollen up with a knot the size of a cantaloupe. That's the first I heard of it by email through my sister, who thought he would be OK with rest, ice & heat.
So I called Dad with the message GO TO THE ER NOW!!!!!!! "No, but I'll go over to the VA."
He waited for Justin to come the next day (Friday). Jud drove over in my place because I was under the weather. He & Dad (who insisted on driving) went to the VA (in Danville, IL) where they discovered he had a dislocated shoulder with torn rotator cuff.
Dad thought that wasn't nothin'. That we should just put a foot into his armpit and pull, like they do with the cowboys. Only he's 91 and they won't do that to a guy his age.  So, "The doctor put me in a goddamn straight jacket (put him in a sling). To hell with that!"
So now he sits there with his arm out of its socket, watching westerns, kicking back an occasional shot of whiskey and waits for the season to change. Just like the cowboys.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

half Full & half Empty

Half full: Walking home through frosty wet snow and winter beauty. No class today, hooray, more time for drawing. Many songbirds. Feet and hands are warm. Good. The layering technique worked. Love getting the exercise. Trying out new wool army issue socks -- they only itch once in a while. The outside world is spectacular. I can never get enough of it.

Half empty: Trudged through a snowstorm on foot a mile and a half to find that classes had been canceled. Damn! What a waste of my time. Shit is dripping out of my nose and I don't have a tissue. Pay no attention, people, to that old babooshka scuffling by. Wait a sec. Nobody's out here but me. And it's miserable cold!! Can't wait to get home and take a nap.

Or vice versa.

"Form is Emptiness, emptiness is form." -- Heart Sutra
"You're full of shit. You're all full of shit" -- Chuck Tyler

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Winter Antidote

From one of my favorite movies. Click on the link below the poster to hear what Jeanne Crain is singing about.
A sentiment I can agree with.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

I'm a Loser

I'm out Five Bucks to Mega Millions. How much did you fork over to the demon?

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Just found out

Thank you Douglas Wolk for rating YNK Book II so favorably (#3) on the Best Graphic Novels of 2010 list!