Archive for September, 2007

Which is best?

As I left the house this morning my cat stared at me, as she so often does. And seeing her sitting in the dark, her eyes glowing from the light in the hallway outside our apartment, a question overcame me. How cool would it be to have glowing eyes? Not just glowing eyes, but great night vision as well. I think that would be very cool.

But then I thought, what about talons instead of feet? I could have giant eagle-like talons, good for gripping. Also, I wouldn’t have to wear shoes.

Finally my sensible side kicked in. –You can’t have both, said my sensible side. –You’d only get to pick one or the other.

That would be a tough decision to make. Talons or glowing eyes? I think that glowing eyes would be my choice. It would be scarier, because in normal daylight nobody would know about them. I’m also not sure how well I could run with talons. Trail running would definitely be easier, but road running? I’m not convinced it would be better. And what if the talons began gripping things uncontrollably? I’d tear up the couch, probably. Friends wouldn’t invite me over. My social life would be over. So, glowing eyes it is.

Now I just need to figure out who to submit my proposal to, so I can be fitted for some glowing cat eyes.

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Concerning the Rumors Online

The time has come to address certain falsehoods circulating on the World Wide Web about me. I have, for a number of years, shrugged aside the untrue accusations because I felt they would go away if I didn’t respond. Well, they haven’t gone away and so I’m going to put them to rest. They are all maliciously spread and completely made-up, every single one of them. I don’t want to name names, as my enemies have with me, because I’m above my enemies and I won’t sink to their slimy level.

I will say that the people, the urchins, the bottom-dwellers, who fabricated these rumors are all unfit to inhabit the same earth as the rest of us upstanding individuals. I would recommend they be sent away to some distant ice planet, but the cost would not justify it. Instead, I will let it be known that those spreading rumors about me are terrible, lowly slugs and they should look out for the Salt of Justice.

The following rumors about me are false:
– My real teeth have all been removed; I have a set of wooden teeth.
– I scream like a baby girl when I see, or am shown a picture of, a sea cucumber.

– I eat endangered sea turtles for dinner every night of the week.

– There are Hebrew slaves building a statue of me that can be seen from space and will later be outfitted with WiFi.

– I retro-fitted my car to consume three times as much gasoline as necessary, just to use more oil.

– Jimmy Carter picked me as his running mate for the 2008 Presidential Race. [this is the only rumor I wish was true. -ed.]

– I compare myself favorably to Rosa Parks.

– I sleep in an oxygen tank, I don’t have a nose anymore, none of my children are my own, I own the entire Beatles catalogue and license the songs out to any company with enough money.

– I always begin mass emails with the salutation “Friends, Romans, countrymen,”

– I mix up forks and knives.

– I mix up left and right. (Variations of this rumor state that I mix up right and left.)

– I have a partially developed, non-functional ear growing out of my back.

– My epidermis is showing.

– Jim Morrison is living in my guest room. [this rumor is easy to disprove, as I don’t have a guest room. -ed.]

– I lied about my age on my birth certificate.
I’m sure there are more rumors by the time I post this, but I honestly don’t want to take the time to list them as they come up. Suffice to say, disregard all the bad things you hear about me over the internet.

Thank you for indulging me, and I hope you will spread the word that I am what I am, and I’m not what I’m not.

Saturn on Fire

When I look back at my comics, even the ones I think of as weirder than the rest, I see a high level of autobiography. Whatever I’d read, or seen, was exactly what went into the comics. It’s kind of surprising.

Comics are commentary on society, so I’m basically doing what comics are constructed for. Editorial comics comment on politics, and regular-comics can pretty much do as they please. I love the broadness of topics you can cover with comics – you can even decide whether you want to go in depth or stay skimming the surface of a particular idea. Looking back, though, I always concentrated more on getting surreal moments into the comics than references to the book I was reading at the time.

Surrealism is something I’ve always enjoyed. In high school I loved the paintings of Dali and Magritte and the poems of ee cummings. I loved that they were so full of ideas, and that they could juxtapose them at will. Bob Dylan, too, with his albums Blonde on Blonde and Highway 61 Revisited. Those albums fascinated me. There was structure, but it was not a well-worn narrative. I did a lot of strange drawings in high school.

Adapting Surrealism into a four-panel comic strip is not as hard as it sounds, although going all the way would give you a comic less like mine and more like Zippy. I find that, if I stick to my characters, and make sure there is a joke at the end of the road (and hopefully a few funny lines along the way), I can sneak in a few moments of the surreal.

Some time-honored comics traditions are already pretty surreal. The changing landscape of Krazy Kat made Coconino County as animated as the characters themselves. Whenever you see a character in motion, with arms and legs flailing every which way, that’s pretty surreal. Same with the eyes. When you see a character turning quickly so his eyes appear to have multiplied, that’s pretty surreal. You’re accustomed to looking at those pictures as movement; but take a second and look at it as a static drawing (which is what they are after all). It wouldn’t be out of place in a Dali.

To get away from all conscious meaning is really something. I enjoy it for its own sake; but then, I’m entertained by things that are puzzling to others. To take that ethic and turn it into a four panel joke, well, that would be a pretty neat trick.
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Two Movies

There are two movies I’d like to make.

One is a ghost story set in a ghost town in Arizona. Has this been done already? It seems like an easy fit. You walk into this area that was once a thriving community. Now, however, it is nothing but a few broken-down structures. You might see a chimney or a general store. All around you is desert. At night, the stars come out. There is no glow from electric light in the streets or on the horizon. No other people around… I’m giving myself goosebumps just thinking about it.

The second would be a montage. I’d like to recreate all the famous monster sightings. There’s the Bigfoot film, where you see a large furry human-shaped beast walking through a forest clearing. I could also include the Loch Ness monster picture, but add a bit of narrative. The clip could begin with a wide shot of the Loch, then zoom in to where there is a disturbance of the water. The monster’s head would rise up, you would see the monster swimming for a few meters (we’re in Scotland, so there aren’t feet and yards), then slowly dip back under water. I imagine it would be around twilight. I would have to include dozens of UFO sightings. Strange lights that flicker briefly overhead then disappear, saucer-shaped objects moving in ways that airplanes cannot, things that fly fast then stop quickly, then go behind some trees, never to be seen again. Are there any well-known films I’m forgetting?

It would be so much fun making movies like this. All you need is the equipment, the staff, and a couple million dollars. Why doesn’t everyone make a movie?
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