6/4/02 - There aren't perhaps any English or Comparative Literature professors in my audience who would want to give my novel (a farce) a lookie-over before I go to press with it, are there? (6/7/02 note: I have helpers lined up who have offered, thank you all so much!)
Also of note, the press I use has told me that book#7 is ready and in the mail to me, so I will be releasing it on Monday. Yay!
6/7/02 - Bruno's birthday. Twenty-eight years old. Yes, I know her birthday is today, but here's the plan. Since Bruno and Judi have packed up the car and taken a trip out to the coast for "the weekend", I will be handling it as this: this week, of June 3rd, every strip is and will be dated 6/1/02 (such as today). Next week, of June 10th, every strip will be dated 6/2/02. The following week, of June 17th, I will date the strips in line with June 3rd, meaning that monday will be 6/3/02 and tuesday will be 6/4/02, etc. So Bruno's June 7th birthday will, in physical time, fall on the 21st. June 24th will resume as 6/24/02 etc. So there will be a "gap" of sorts in dates from 6/10-6/21.
06/10/02 - Book #7, entitled "Lebensraum" (front cover above) is now available, and at a reasonable time this year (June, not November), Yay! The foreword was eloquently written by Kip Manley, discussing a range that includes setting bruno against Scott McCloud's comic standards to detailing a night on which I had Kip and others over for dinner, where I served spanikopita and crepes. See more of Manley's work at "Lead-to-Gold"/kipmanley/. The book contains strips spanning the year 2001, throught the dream sequence, physical therapy, Europe, Susan and Lenny revealing their relationship, Stanley revealing his intent to adopt, and the list goes on.
The title of this book "Lebensraum", according to the American Heritage Dictionary, means "additional territory deemed necessary to a nation for its continued existence or economic well-being." I think it is a very appropriate title as I think in the year 2001, not only did I have her "conquer" new countries and new universes of dreaming, but I also managed to bring Bruno into a new level of something-or-other. Not sure what exactly it is, but it filled out a lot, became suddenly richer. I know doing the two-and-a-half month dream-sequence seemed to take down a lot of fears of mine and allow me to move forward with the strip, but as well much better sourcing of backgrounds, experiments with including other languages (yes, the translations of French are in the appendix), Stanley's adoption, and even having to do the strips just post-September 11th. I think that all of these things have helped me in continuing to realize this project for what it is and can be, and have kept it fun for me to do. Dat fun, which is very very so much important.
So yes, buy the books because they're just really pretty and great to have, all the strips in high-res beauty. And also do it to support me doing Bruno! I work really really damned hard at this, and you all know it, and if you appreciate it, try to support it how you can, if you can. Thanks!
6/12/02 - A note on the title of Bruno book#7 "Lebensraum". Since i have released the book a couple of days agao, it's come to my attention that, especially in germany, the word is pretty much ONLY associated with nazi policy. That even with using that world stand-alone, I will be evoking images of Hitler, etc. Now, obviously that was not my intent. Period. But, at the same time I am not displeased with my choice of title. I mean, simply by reading the definition in my American heritage dictionary or even Merriam-Webster, I know that Nazi policy is "usually associated" but is not the actual definition. And so, in a way, I'm working to reclaim, what i think is an amazing word.
One of the reasons i think the word is so important to reclaim, is because it's so horrible. It was horrible when US settlers viewed Native American land as Lebensraum (hell, we still do sometimes), it was horrible when England viewed most of the planet as Lebensraum (the empire where the sun never set), and it was obviously pure eveil when the nazi's employed it. But one can even go further. I think the policy of religions promoting the having of children, in order to expand the chruch, that the children are a form of Lebensraum. And I think the US corporate policy of "a company isn't healthy unless it's expanding" is a VERY VERY dangerous form of lebensraum.
So yes, it's a dirty word, meaning generally bad bad things. Which makes it an imoprtant word, because one must use it in order to say, with accuracy "THAT'S what they're doing".
So, you're probably wondering why the first thing I'd use it on is my own creation. Well, firstly is the irony, her form of "conquering" is blindly casting about Europe wondering if she'll find a place to sleep each night. But more importanly is that she needed to expand as a "person" (and the creation needed to expand as a work always in progress) in order to keep vital, alive. And that's the curious thing about this word, the thing that fascinated me about it in the first place. The definition states that it's "additional territory which is deemed necessary" which generally means "annexing" or "conquering", but if it is taken to mean "experiencing", it actually suddenly (in my mind) becomes a word of beauty. I believe in learning, experiencing, growing. It's one of the most important things about life to me. And in THAT sense, the world is MY lebensraum.
So even though I am not displeased with my choice for a title, that doesn't stop many people from likely having the strong Nazi word association. For those who do, I hope I have not offended. If I have hurt anyone in that way, I do apologize. THAT was not my intent in any way.
And for the rest of you, here was the fruit of some email discussions I've had the last couple days in semantics.
If anyone wishes to discuss it more, I've opened up a thread, stating the same thing I said here, on the bulletin board.
on 6/13/02, I put this strip up because I'm pure evil. It was quite fun. The "link here" pointed to the graphic link to the MoodyCow Convenience Store
6/17/02 - hey, just a bit of news. Where to start? First, I guess, I will be posting more drawings for sale, including the entire Yachats/ocean trip (well... except for one). I will be posting them one-by-one Tuesday evening, starting around 9:00p.m. NYC time. I can find no way on ebay to do a mass release, so... one-by-one. The link (to a page on my site) to see what will be for sale is now at the top of the page, or here.
Also, sales for book#7 have been good, thank you all so much!
I know I had more stuff to say, but i just spent far too long to web page site update things, and am exhausted. I'm sure I'll think of them tomorrow.
6/18/02 - So tonight, around 9:00pm NYC time, Tuesday, I'll be posting, one-by-one a new batch of Bruno strips for ebay.
6/19/02 - Original hand-drawn strips for sale have been posted either on ebay or with all the pics together on my site here.
Okay, can i tell you one of the reasons that Portland's a cool place? Cinema 21 is currently showing "2001: a space odyssey". Now, I've seen a lot of movies, but I still somehow have a vast array of glaring holes, movies I "should see". This was one of them. And from what I'd heard, it's a movie to see on the big screen. After seeing it, I cannot imagine it any other way.
It was a beautiful spectacle, and when I left the theater, my senses felt heightened. I'm sure this was partly due to the fact that the movie got out after midnight on a dark wet Monday when the town was dead, times like that I find often heighten awareness. But the movie was a large factor, it just put me in one of those silent-inside-myself moods. I could hear everything, and feel everything. Very peaceful. Very elated.
Of course, despite the wonderment, I think I would have had to have been on LSD to have had any idea as to what happened in the movie. But is that any way to judge a film? If it were, I don't know if I ever could have enjoyed any Russian movies. It SEEMED like it made sense somehow. Plus, HAL is brilliant, in a very very dark way.
I think one of the things that impressed me the most, was that it HAD to be a movie. How many comic books couldn't be a book or movie? How many books couldn't be a movie or comic book? How many movies couldn't be a book or comic book? Not a lot these days. Not that it should always be a factor. Bruno only has some minor uniqueness: the timing and pace not only in the strip but from day to day, the feel of the drawings perhaps, the span of it's life of showing such a long steady progression of her life in such small snippets. But still, it could be translated to a movie or book with not a lot of difficulty.
I guess the thing that impressed me about that was that marketing has imbued our psyche. When you write a book, it's hard not to think "well, this might make a good movie too". Possibly even making some writing decisions to make it MORE possible to become a movie. Is this immoral or bad? I don't know. But I think it loses something. I don't think projects need go as far as "2001", but I applaud it. Especially since it's wacked out beautiful art classical music visual feast, but is easily digestible at the same time (not that i didn't fidget at times in my seat).
I've been thinking a lot about a few projects I'm working on. Two of the projects I'm playing with are a new novel and a comic book. Two seperate projects, not related. And so I've been investigating ideas and plots and themes and worlds for both of them. But it keeps coming to me, that my ideas could as easily be either format. How does one choose? Do I just keep on searching until i come up with two ideas I wish to do, and then decide which medium they'd work better in, and then do the opposite? And not only do that, but then make them so uniquely imbedded in their own medium, that proper extraction would be nearly impossible without heavy differences. How does one push a medium and make it NOT do what one already expects it to do, and always has done, and also make it digestable?
Anyhow. Late night ramblings of a contemplative cartoonist.
6/20/02 - A couple things on my mind this morning. First is that I have a very nice mention in an article on webcomics and blogs (like me blogging here, I am I am) in the New York Times here, written eloquently by the journalist and unsolicited pundit, Glenn Fleishman.
Second is regarding yesterday's rant about "2001: a space odyssey", in that several people pointed out that it was a book first. But actually, the fact is that Clark and Kubrick created the story together, and Kubrick suggested that Clark write it sort-of in novel style, because scripts are very tedious to write. The script was the book's rough draft, and then both went somewhat their own ways in regards to finishing, and then the movie came out first. But it was a movie they were writing.
But interesting, I've read a good chunk of it today, and I'm still in awe of how Kubrick took the story in places where a book cannot go. The movie creates a feeling, a visualness and a sound which books cannot. And it pushes those things to a limit I've rarely seen.
Now, it sounds like I'm promoting the movie, but I'm necessarily even recommending it. Some might like it, some not; but I'm just fascinated by the use of the medium. Of using a medium in ways that are unique and powerful to the medium.
Anyhow, must sleep now. I'm certainly not making any sense. Enjoy a double-panel bruno today, I needed both some reasonable word-balloon solution to the criss-cross dialogue, and also wanted to give everyone two expressions (even Bruno's face-covered posture IS an expression, especially her hands in both).
6/21/02 - So.... a couple quick things, and then a story. Firstly, a couple days ago, I wrote in the margin of the strip, but wasn't sure if everyone caught it, that when Amy referred to "uncle Jason" she was talking about bruno's dad, who's name is Jason. Secondly, I know a good number of you, when I sent you to see photos of Jenn, Kip and myself a while back, became interested in Jenn's comic book "Dicebox" which she is slowly drawing and posting online. Anyhow, she's had server type problems, and the site was for the most part unreachable for a couple weeks, and so in the end, totally changed her domain. So those interested, she asked me to mention, it's called "Dicebox" and it's at Jenn's site at www.jennworks.com.
So a story. Tonight, I started bruno around 10:00, figuring that I'll be done midnightish. Funny how life just hasn't been working out that way. It took me about two hours to write, just kept dabbling about this and that and ended up studying some classical "other's people's" wit, and finally came up with this strip, which I like, because it has a lot of funny little tidbits and dynamics (well, i find them funny) but isn't in your face about it. And so then I drew Sean and Bruno. Then I needed a bar, but had not photo references.
So off I went. the Local bar, the "somethingorother saloon" was still open at 12:30 at night, but it's just too much a sports bar, which fits Sean fine, but I just would have felt out of place, stares and or questions about what I'm doing, doodling on my clipboard. I guess I was feeling shy (embarrassed as my brother would put it) and feeling like I wanted to be left relatively alone. And so I walked around, went into the Brassarie Montmarte, and it just wasn't doing it for me, and so I just wandered, thinking how much of an idiot I am. A cartoonist wandering the streets past midnight looking for a good bar to draw, too shy and poor to feel like really going in any, and so just carrying my clipboard with drawing and pens and feeling pretty damned silly. Finally I got to Jakes, which was closed, and I realised that from outdoors that I had a good view through the window, and there were stools near the window, so Sean and bruno would be realistically positioned. And actually, a tangental point I'd like to mention, the most difficult part of drawing a bar, is that if you show the character's faces, then you're drawing from the bartender's point of view, which is never where you're sitting. But yeah, so the only significant interruption (which cheered me a bit) was a gaggle of drag queens, the last one who, after asking me to sign her cock (or vice-versa, i forgot), looked at my drawing and told me that i was really quiet good. I thanked her, never know quite what else to say. "yeah, I know. I worked hard to get here. Drawing standing up on a street corner at 1:00 in the morning wishing I was in bed asleep. I always was a sucker for the glamourous life."
And now I'm back, picked up my own copy of the NYTimes on the way home at the local 24 hour supermarket. Strip scanned, and off to bed. I can hear it's soft padded sheeted sirens wailing my name.
6/25/02 - Funny how I get really talkie, and then suddenly feel really quiet. Watched a half dozen movies this weekend, lots of fodder in my head. Projects in work. Bruno... trying desperately to figure out every day what will happen next (well, with some grand plans as very vague general guidelines). Life is a slow, very slow, puzzle right now. Stuff... stuff.... stuff....
Oh, of the original Bruno strips/drawings I put up for sale a month ago (the first batch), those which i put up as a pair, since 30 days have passed, I've broken them up into seperate units. Anyhow, thought I'd mention, the "buy original bruno artwork" link is at the top of the page (look up).
6/27/02 - Well, tonight around 9:30pm NYC time, I will be posting these past two weeks of original artwork strips for sale. Come and see, nothing cooler than original Bruno artwork (except maybe paying rent).
Also, it looks like there's a fair chance I will be attending the San Diego Comic-Con International August 1-4. But I wanted to pose a question to all of you, my readers: are any of you interested in going halvsies with me on a table? I'm not sure I can afford one on my own. I'm looking at other options too, but since I know some of you are comic-artists as well, and possibly few of you are serious comic sellers, it was worth asking. Either way, if interested, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
6/28/02 - First of all, I have no idea who it was who linked to me this Monday (the 24th) but thank you very kindly, very noticeable in the statistics. And so yes, hello all you new readers! :)
So what's on my mind tonight, as I try to think of anything aside from that big comfy bed over there awaiting my reclining head? Hm. Not much I'm afraid. Slow day, not enough art, too much business side of things. I did have a nice lunch atop of a tall building. A perfect cool summer day for it.
I did get the rest of the ebay drawings up. Why such a rush? After I just posted some last week? It's con related, but more on that later next week.