11/01/02 - Hope you all had a great Halloween. I'm actually writing this on Halloween night right before going to see Ani Difranco, so I'm looking forward to a pretty fun evening. :)
11/02/02 - I know, doors open inwards. I knew this and even looked at my door. but no, my door is not backwards, merely my head is.
11/4/02 - Hey, so I had dinner last night with Damiana and got drunk on manhattens. And even though I lettered and pencilled in the characters for Monday's bruno, i feel not quite able for finishing it tonight. So I will be up and finishing it in the morning before work, so it will be up... hm... I leave for wark at... notice I'm stumbling here... umm.... 11:30 a.m. EST (New York Time).
Kudos moi. Dinner was good. Good talk. etc.
11/5/02 - So I'm fairly well recovered from drinking Sunday night. Today was a bit weary, but nothing too bad. I did have a gum-surgery follow-up appointment, but it was short, relatively painless, and he removed the stitches so now the gum doesn't feel that constant throb I've been plagued with for the last two weeks. AND I was told that even though I had my gum surgically receded (which they euphemistically call a crown lengthening) in order that my dentist can actually fit a crown on, that the gum, like a star-fish will grow back! Is that cool or what! Unless traumatized or receded due to poor health, the gum has a short-term memory of where it's supposed to be and regrows. This made me very happy. In fact, I felt like such a good patient, I went out afterwards and got a donut (and no, i was not lost by the irony).
So this past week I saw Ani Difranco perform on Thursday and Joan Osborne on Saturday. And it's weird, but I think my tastes are slowly changing. Or actually, possibly quite quickly changing this past year. But how do I explain... you see, the two concerts were polar opposite. I mean, they are both strong women who have self-produced and funded and who have donated tons of time and money to help the underpriveleged. But their performance.... Ani is a total geek, a poet, someone who makes herself vulnerable. She takes her power of being a celebrity and uses it to support moral and political ideals which most artists only seem to feel BEFORE they start making money. Well, maybe they still feel it, but are too afriad of risking career or what-not, who knows. But Joan, her performance is about cool. Her strength has always been soul and in particular doing covers. And so her last album was a cover album from the 60s and 70s, as was her performance.
So, what's changed in me? I guess that in the past i would have gravitated more towards Joan. I mean, she gives one incredible hell of a concert. She struts and you'd swear she's on cocaine or something by her edge of cool superiority (I have no idea if she is, and am certainly not implying it), but her cool is addictive. It's sound-bites. It's marketing and everything i grew up surrounded by.
And now, it kinda' bores me. I mean, I loved her show through the first 3 or 4 songs, and it may have been the best performance to date that I've seen her perform, which is saying somehitngb because I think she's a stellar performer. but after that, i just kinda' didn't care. It felt empty.
Not that i've been exactly chipper lately, i mean, everything has a bit of an empty feel to it. but I think even that aside....
But Ani... Ani was lovely. It's true, sometimes musically she doesn't excite me, which takes something away from the performance for me. but she is so much herself up there on stage, and is so geeky and unafraid. Watching her was really inspiring.
So what does this all mean? Who knows. It's does feed in a little to thoughts I've been having a lot lately about publishing. As someone posted on the bulletin board about bruno:
I was actually surprised that she wrote a novel first, before establishing herself as a writer through short stories published in literary journals. My writing teachers all tell me that that is the way to go :>
And you know, if you want to make money, that's the way to go. I mean yeah, I am so frikkin' poor, and money problems depress me more than probably anything else in life, I worry a lot. But I love art. I love it. And I don't like short stories. It's not about being "purist" or some high-brow crap. I love art. And to create it in any way other than from in me, something that i value and cherish, dampens and ruins it for me. I have a job as an illustrator for two years and have done a fair amount (and still do) of freelance. And it's no good. i really think one of the worst thing that's happened to art in this country is that the really good artists go into writing movies or television, or the good artists go to marvel comics or disney. I think that only the exceptions, not the rules, have been giving the real breath of life to most of today's mediums. Yeah, fine, the Sopranos is a good show. But I can turn it off without any remorse. I can't say that about reading Horricks' "Hicksville" or watching Miyazaki's "Totoro". And every person who tell you that this is "the only way", means it is the only way they can imagine to reach a certain goal. First, there may be other ways, and second, they may be imagining that everyone's goal to be the same as their own.
Hell, if any of you have created a body of work which you have pursued out of beauty and love for it, and feel it would be welcomed by not enough people to ever get "seriously" published, feel free to send me a copy, maybe i'll do it, or maybe help walk you through it and help sell it. I don't know. Just, if you draw comics, and love it, fuck marvel. fuck disney. Eat rice and beans and give the world something worth reading.
And most of all, don't listen to a word I've said, because I've been nothing but discouraged and depressed lately about ever escaping my 9-5 due to creating something "beautiful". Bruno will never make me a living, and nothing else so far seems to either. There's a joy I've only felt in that freedom of creating something which means SO MUCH to me, but it can also carry a hell of a price. And if life is (among possibly a few other lofty goals) to be happy, when does the misery of poverty and no free time to enjoy life catch up to you?
11/8/02 - You know, I must be a glutton for punishment. the second I ever start to feel caught up on things, i throw myself a punch which lays me out again. I was doing so well getting on top of things this week, and then I thought, hey, I finally have a good opporuntity to draw the orrery. Sure it might take a little bit longer (the big one took about 7 hours), but what's a little sleep loss? Right? Right?
Anyhow. So news. I washed the pants. Since I first posted about them, I've wore them only a couple times. but finally I did it. Slightly different than planned. Soaked in vinegar and water, not just vinegar. The detergent I used was perhaps stronger than it should have been (the grocery within close walking has nothing but strong bleachy detergent. but I promise to go the long haul soon). And I let them go in the dryer on low heat for a half hour with a whole mess of other laundry, so it wouldn't be dripping. And since it wasn't dripping, I hung it rather than flat dried it. And you know, it all worked out just fine. Spanky!
Ummm... jeeze, you know. I had all sorts of things to say today, but i don't remember a damned thing. Ummm... Barry thanks for the link and kind words.
11/10/02 - Monday: So yeah, no strip today. And it's odd. Friday night I arrived home at 11:30 at night and managed to get up a strip, but today, i got home by 9:00 and just can't seem to do it. I mean, I guess i've been pretty wiped lately and I had a very emotionally heavy weekend (private topic i won't go into) and Saturday I was comotose and Sunday I simply helped Kip and Jenn paint their living room and then had sweets and hot chocolate at the pied cow with Madison. And I got home and I just can't do it. Not due to lack of sleep, just can't emotionally do it. Today it's just too much and I can't do it.
So of course I intend to have two strips up on either tuesday or wednesday. I'll do my best to fulfill that.
11/12/02 - Okay, so I woke up yesterday (monday) and just wanted to roll over and decompose. And I got to work and felt no better. I did feel really hot and really famished. I ate a huge burrito for lunch and then felt sick and famished. And depressed. I hated work. i hated myself. I hated almost everything I saw. I was a bit dizzy. And I planned then and there to just come home, tuck myself into bed, and doodle, likely doodle myself stumbling about and commenting on my life, the usual muck-ruck. Scan it in, and go to sleep.
But sometime around mid-afternoon at work, I started to feel better. By the time I got home i felt fine. In fact, not only did I have two in-depth lengthy phone conversations, but I finished one strip, and finished writing the next three.
So what's up with that?
The only thing more frustrating than depression, is not being able to figure out what the hell made you feel better so you'll know how to better deal with it next time.
11/13/02 - Like I needed to alienate any more readers. To all you of religious persuasion, I mean no offense. I'm not apologizing, just saying that these strips are about my philosphy and thoughts, and not based on any hatred towards those who have found a religious path. And I only mention this because these are particularly harsh and bitter. And actually, i do feel a little bad for calling god a "frustrating fuck", but the first draft was as vulgar, and when i tried to take out the vulgarities, this new version came out as offensive, and i realized that it needed to be written that way to express the moment correctly.
Although, it is interesting, that Bruno is going between yelling at god, the universe, herself as god, and at the same time, almost yelling at me, for not allowing her to be happy. Strangely, i am the god of Bruno's universe (although I try tnot to interfere with her choices and emotions). and then on top of that, the strips are written by me, and is me railing at god or what-have-you.
Anyhow, i'm sure all that was transparent, but just wanted to mumble it.
What else. Oh, on the way home from work a guy, of a rough possibly homeless demeanor, almost tried to beat me up for looking at him the wrong way. Essentially he threw a fake punch at me as a joke and walked away, and I stood there for a moment, staring back at him in just wonderment, and then i walked on. But his buddy told him that i was looking at him funny, and so he starting coming after me. I simply kept walking and he decided I was either a wimp or not worth it. But I hate that. What is it about intimidation and force? Why would anyone want to do that? I guess it's learned, probably especially on the street, because there you have to do that to get any respect from anybody. But it just made me sad and feel horrible and i forgot to get tomato soup at the store and so grilled cheese was far less appetizing as a dinner and so i made hard boiled eggs.
Overall, just to report, my mood and spirits were fine today, outside of that incident and some speicific frustrating junk at work, all was okay, nothing much to report.
11/14/02 - Recording how I feel daily, see if I can track it all down. I felt fine again today. Work was boring (as ever). I've now been not biting my neals for 9 days (since the 5th), which if you know me, is unbeleivable, and is only due to wearing shiney light blue "117 Ocean Breeze" colored nail polish which is pretty but really gross to eat. I've been using my 10,000 lux light box for a half hour every morning at 7:00. Not sure if it's helping, both because I began using it before it got cloudy so the change would come on subtly, and because there have been so many rough patches lately that who knows if it's clouds of what-have-you. I want to start exercising again, but I'm not sure tomorrow if it'll fly.
At home I did find a half empty bottle of "SoBe Lean Sugar Free Diet Cranberry Grapefruit Flavored beverage", and haven't the foggiest idea how it got there. Jessica? Mom? Madison? It's strange when you can count on one hand the people you recall having been n your apartment in the last 3 months.
11/15/02 - okay, fine again today. Feeling decent. There was some crap at work, I feel like I'm becoming this rabble-rouser, just because I am always questioning things at work. Which I probably wouldn't do, but 50% of the time i seem to be right. But still, I keep thinking that they gotta' hate me. I'm such a paranoid nut-case.
11/16/02 - Okay, I feel okay today, but I'm angry.
I've worked for outsource agencies, I know that at an outsource agency you have no decent amounts of security, no decent insurance or retirement, and your pay is crap while the expectations from management are high. It is a humiliating experience, and you know you're replacing people who worked there for years and years and who've now lost their pensions. People who are old and no good at working any more because they aren't as fast as some idiot like me. And Bush wants to outsource half the government. Fuck Him.
The government is now a corporation. Hide things the white house does so that you have higher ratings. Stage a call to war for your popularity. Use Floridian nepotism to get hired for the post of USCEO. And now outsource half the government.
Yes, bush, you fucking fuckhead, it will definitely save the government money. Duh! Well sure, on the side, it may treat people like inhuman cattle, but why not? But still, Bush, you are so way off, so behind the times.
Bush, listen to me. Send the government to China. You realize how much cheaper we could run the whitehouse if it were in China and that the carpets were cleaned and plants trimmed and your cock sucked by sweatshop workers as they make your nike shoes and Mcfuckle truck ceramic shirt plugs?
Rather than that, for chirssake, tax corporations and the rich and even the middle class, just a little more, I mean, considering that we have some of the highest standards of living on the planet and some of the lowest taxes. I'm poor as shit, and I'd give $200 dollars right now on the spot if you would not do this.
Bush, I've never felt this way so much towards a government, you are my enemy, I'd spit on your hand if offered to me, I hate what you're doing to our country (which I often disagree with as it is). I'd hate you, but you're not worth it.
ON LIGHTER THINGS......
My mom sent me some stuff from when I was a kid, including a drawing I did of what I presume was intended to be a person, and not a snowman. But anyhow, my art when i was 3, thought I'd share. It makes me happy at least. :)
Oh, and last thing, I just wanted to mention that I just finished watching "Legend of Drunken Master" (originally "Drunken Master II", I believe) again, and it's still as amazing as i recall. I mean, the humor is at best painful, and the violence is a bit more extreme than I remember it being. But still, it seems to be one of Jackie Chans more cohesive films, and watching Jackie Chan in this movie, is simply astounding. Fighting under the train, in the bar, and the final scene with the kicking guy (you've never seen anyone kick like this, his feet move faster than my eyes) I mean, I guess it's the beauty of the human body. At one point in the films, the martial arts friends of Chan's get the guns from the people they're up against, and Chan says "no guns". And so they use them as staffs for a moment, and then break them. That was so great. It reminds me of drawing Bruno. No computers, no computer lettering or computer cross-hatch-fills. Well, okay, I do some touch-ups here and there, but the point is, you get to see the craft, the beauty. When he's getting it right, Jackie Chan amazes me.
11/18/02 - Okay, so i try to be up and front with things here on my page, and I know you all know that a lot of the emotional stuff (though rarely the same actual things) in Bruno corresponds in some way or another with things I'm feeling in my own life. Well, specific stuff's been not well in my life, I've alluded to that, but it's important to me to keep some things private. I apologize. And I also apologize that this week may be a little rough (like todays "undrawn' background). I may have to take days off simply from not being able to draw. I cannot say at this point.
I try my best, really, but I'm afraid that part of getting Bruno is getting the author (who's messed up enough to write this strip) who comes with it.
11/20/02 - hey everyone, okay, feeling a bit more together. been spending time with friends and just focusing on getting myself back together. I'm guessing a normal strip will be done and up for tomorrow (thursday), but we'll have to wait and see. I still may be pretty emotinaolly worn down by the evening.
And thank you all, as ever, for the emails and bulleton board postings of support. It means a lot. I only wish i had the time and strength to respond to each one. But know that they were all very much appreciated. And I am doing my best to take care of myself.
11/21/02 - Okay, no more promises. I think bruno will go back to "normal" any day, but things are too volitile right now. Just got some devastating news yesterday about something totally different than what I'm going through, and it sent me spinning again. I mean, I'm fine, just not in any condition to do anything but dither around. Ddodling, cutting and pasting rather than being able to focus on an actual skilled task like drawing.
11/22/02 - So.... just a drawing today, forget sometimes that other mediums (this is a mechanical pencil) can be fun too. Maybe I am taking a week off, but am just in denial about it. I'm not sure. but yeah, sort of an anime type Bruno, although she's wearing pants under her skirt, so no undies show, which means I don't have to put in a giant robot.
I must say, it's weird having personal emotional issues really render me somewhat unable to concentrate enough to sit down and do Bruno (trust me, I've been trying). I mean, I know you're all okay with me taking the time i need, and for the most part are enjoying the things I've been putting up this week, but, it's weird, you're a huge community.
Meaning that even if i say, "I'm getting by, and taking care of myself", that basically, by inversion, i'm telling all of you that I'm going through a difficult time. I'm announcing on stage through a megaphone that I'm not doing so great right now. And one would only do that if one wanted attention, right?
And this is what keeps spinning in my mind, but I'm really saying, I'm okay. I am getting by. For all the bad of this week, remarkable good has come of it too. But i am not a businessman, I'm simply some guy who draws. And you come and care about this girl of inked lines who i care about so much as well. And when she's not here (in form) I wish to tell you why. And also to say, that depression is okay. Not ideal, heh, but it's nothing to be ashamed of. And sometimes, doesn't even need special attention, it just is.
Yeah. So anyhow, what's going on. I know none of you expect me to share, but you're involved, or else you wouldn't be reading this. How far can i go without sharing with you, as you watch my crumble? it's almost unfair not to. It's a bizarre relationship with a readership. But I'm fine with it, it's just strange.
Basically I've been in a relationship for a while, and it nearly ended. Or it in fact did end and has been revived or is being reviven. Everything in my life is being questioned (by me), and this turmoil has provided a lot of clarity, as pain and turmoil often does (unless the turmoil is in excess or at length, at which point it becomes merely oppressive and empty). And I've actually seen several friends during the week and I've been in really high spirits. I feel very alive... just not very good at concentrating. So yeah, devastated and unsure footing, some hope now, confused, feelings of failure, loneliness, now hope, a lot of things. Perhaps too much.
The other thing has been money. I've been working full-time for a year now, while trying during a lot of it to maintain a relationship, plus do bruno. I'm exhausted. Amazingly, even i have my limits, and they're about reached. And so, the big beat-down came, where i found out that on top of a 2k dental bill that i've paid in the last month or so, I just found out wednesday that i have an additional 6.5k of work to be done. My stomach gets tight even saying it. But yeah, I'm looking into options. returning to school for a semester (they have a great dental plan) or simply putting it off and doing it tooth by tooth. But yeah, after the trauma of it, I now feel pretty okay. It's simply too big and unobtainable to worry about it. And of note, no need to buy things as a result from this posting, that is not what i'm asking, and might even feel weird if you do. Seriously. A few orders won't solve it, i have to actually find a viable solution. Maybe a loan, maybe school, not sure yet. It just is.
So yes, that's all where I'm at. Been puttering at a long comic-book I'm trying to write. Waiting to hear back from syndicates on a submission i sent in a month or so ago (got 3 rejections so far). Yeah. Doing okay, even feeling strong, but life's dealt some hard blows. And I'm just weathering them out.
11/23/02 - Well, I feel kinda' bad that this is all I have to share today, being that you've already read this one. I had hoped to get two done, but it was a struggle just to do this. But it does feel good to be back on track.
Oh, and Jenn and Kip gave me a beanie-moose, I really gotta' get a computer camera, so i can take a picture of it in a mug and post it. in fact, if anyone out there has updated their computer camera and have an old one that is mac compatable with either... umm.. hold on, let me crawl under my table.... either a scsi, din-9, mini din-4 connector (my computer is an old Mac G-3), I might be willing to buy it off you. Or maybe I'll go shopping this weekend, or even finally update my computer for firewire. It'd be an investment anyhow since I'd save so much in film developing costs for background references. Who knows. Anyhow, back to point, thanks Kip and Jenn!
Oh and thanks to everyone who wrote me this week. too many to respond too, but you're all so great. Thank you.
11/25/02 - First of all, camera situation is in hand (although still two in the bush for a week or so). Secondly, for all you Portlanders, can anyone recommend a good yet affordable dentist on the bus line where I might look into getting a second opinion?
So, Bruno, two strips.... so last week I wanted to sum up the sentiment with a second strip. If I had the strip on the bus as Monday's strip, it would feel too weird as the following strip.
So the small strips, there are actually three reasons for this.
1. That I've been too willing to knock myself to get Bruno done despite being overhwelmed. This will allow me to do smaller strips from time to time to help ease the amount of work I have to do, plus if I'm having a rough day, I can do it specifically to ease work for me on that day.
2. I think that, just as there are places where I like to do double-sized strips because it feels necessary, I think there are as often cases where I am simply filling up space where it's not needed. I've actually been thinking about this for a little while now, and was thinking of waiting until new years to implement it, but due to reason #1, it's kinda' needed now.
3. I forgot what I was thinking of when i wrote "three".
And for your bonus, as I kinda' decided to try this mid-strip, the "bus" strip with the outside partial-drawn: