Blog comic con

Emerald City ComiCon 2014

seattle-rain2 seattle-rain seattle-pike-placeSeattle brought the rain this year, as promised. It also brought a much bigger convention than last year. The crowds swelled first thing Friday at 10am and didn’t ease until Sunday afternoon. Even the absence of Captain Picard this year didn’t keep fans at home. It seems that a bunch of indie cartoonists can be a draw unto themselves. (Excuse the pun.)

My sometimes-tablemate Reid is doing his convention victory lap this year. He has been accepted into a fancy college for science illustration and will trade his cartoonist brush for an illustration brush this fall. (They are actually the same brush.) We honored our shared history by taking lots of photos of our table decorations and ourselves.
josh-reid2 josh-reid1 josh-reid4 josh-reid3What could possibly top a three day convention high? Only the 39th President of the United States!

Jimmy Carter came to Elliott Bay Books on Monday to sign his latest book, A Call to Action. I, along with a few hundred old hippies, waited amiably in line for the chance to meet one of our greatest Commanders in Chief. As readers of this here blog can attest, I’m a big fan of President Carter. Since I was wearing my Carter t-shirt, I got interviewed for a local paper. Unfortunately I take a lousy picture, and it turns out I was semi-incoherent after meeting my hero.
jimmy-carter4 jimmy-carter3 jimmy-carter1On our way home, Reid took me to the best pizza joint in Olympia, Washington: Old School Pizzeria. It wins at delicious thin crust pizza and at being a time machine to 1986. Most importantly, it features a mural of all the superheroes you could ever need in a dicey situation. I felt very safe eating at Old School.
olympia1That about does it for the first convention of 2014. Next up: Linework NW right here in Portland, Oregon!

autobiography Blog

morning ablutions

Sometime mornings, when I’m getting ready for the day, I like to give myself a little puzzle to work out.  Not a brain-teaser.  More like an exercise; something to think about while I put in my contacts and eat my oatmeal.

This morning I wondered, how can Miley Cyrus and Jimmy Carter be connected?  I didn’t come up with anything meaningful, but it did lead to this:

What if the Nobel Peace Prize looked like the MTV Music Award statue?
I consider this morning’s exercise a success.

Blog history

Obama ’36

malia-obama-2036Thanks for voting America! This blog, along with approximately 69,492,376 Americans, buoyed Barack Obama onto the throne of democracy. Are we done? Heck no. We need to begin to plan for that sad day when President Barack will no longer be constitutionally able to serve as Commander-in-Chief. We must turn our thoughts to the future. Not the near future, but a date more distant: the year 2036.

Malia Obama, whose interests include soccer, dance and drama, will be 35 in time for the Presidential Election of 2036. What we need in 2036 is someone who will lead us toward an even better future.

The years 2008-2016 were very good for this country. Then there was the historic election of 2016, in which elder statesman Jimmy Carter was finally allowed to serve his second term of office. After four years President Carter stepped into a time machine and sent himself 30,000 years into the past, where he helped nomadic tribes in what is now the Middle East prevent the warfare that would mark that region for all of human history.

In 2020-2028 Chelsea Clinton became the first woman President, making our country the first to manufacture and export hover cars. As the daughter of a former President, she would be compared to another child of a former President who was also President himself. She was thankfully superior in all respects. It is said birds alighted upon her shoulders and sang their sweet melodies as she prepared to sign the historic worldwide energy treaty that would, in essence, eliminate all pollutants from the air, sea, and land.

2028-2036 would provide an interesting twist to Presidential politics, as the first non-American-born citizen became Commander-in-Chief.
Arnold Schwarzenegger.
A name begging to be in large, bold type. With an impressive resume including Terminator 2, Kindergarten Cop, Total Recall, Twins, Junior, Predator, Conan the Barbarian, Pumping Iron, and Jingle All the Way, the Prezenegger brought a new brand of justice to the executive branch of government. He may have played by his own rules, but you can’t deny his effectiveness. When an evil alien brain sent an army of oversize spiders to control the planet, the Prezenegger was there with a hand-held nuclear bomb. He tossed it at just the right moment to blow that alien brain right back to hell. And when the Supreme Court was about to criminalize all methods of birth control, the Prezenegger blew them up too. Take that, John Roberts! You evil bastard.

President Arnold paved the way for a different kind of President. By the time 2036 rolled around, the country was ready for peace again.

Malia Obama was born on July 4, an apt date of birth for Commander-in-Chief. Although some would question her relative inexperience, she would soon prove all the naysayers to be nothing more than whiny little nobodies.

It’s true, her allergy to animal dander, which almost resulted in her and her sister to be dogless back in 2009, was a worry for foreign policy wonks. What if she were to meet a camel in Cairo and sneeze all over it? Or a cow in Dehli? These worries were soon put to rest after a successful visit to the Middle East and Europe in Spring 2037.

Furthermore, her training in soccer, dance and drama proved exactly what was needed for domestic affairs of the day. It may not have seemed obvious in the hazy days of 2009, but in 2036 soccer, dance and drama were just what is needed for Leader of the Free World.

This blog is a proud supporter of Obama in 2036.

Blog history

Feline Farewell

SOCKSI am greatly saddened by the loss of the National Cat, Socks Clinton. He passed away at home on February 20, 2009.

The age of Socks is under some dispute. One article claimed he was 18 at the time of his passing, but the Wikipedia article on him says he was 19. Either way, he clearly lived a long and happy life, dying in the arms of his owner, former Clinton secretary Betty Currie.

Though Socks will always and forever be remembered as First Pet of the Clinton Administration, during his term in office he came under attack by a large and annoying dog the Clintons adopted in 1997. Buddy, likely a Cuban spy, took the White House by storm and nearly ended Socks’ reign three years early. Fortunately, Socks’s popularity and military acumen ensured his power would not be usurped by that slobbering canine.

The Clintons, for reasons unknown, decided to keep Buddy and ditch Socks after leaving the White House in 2000. As always, Socks landed on his feet. Mrs. Currie, a woman who should have a highway named after her, took Socks in his fruitful post-White House years. Like a popular former President, Socks continued his good work even after the national spotlight shone elsewhere. Unlike Bill Clinton’s checkered record after office, Socks stuck to his ideals. According to Mrs. Currie, Socks “love[d] to be in the sun and love[d] chicken.”

Socks, we will miss your catlike reflexes, your engaging Press Briefings, and your beautiful white whiskers. The world has lost one of the great cats of our time.

autobiography Blog

get back, jojo

jungle+book_01 The Author, pictured here in an undated photograph with man-cub Mowgli.

The results of the haircut poll are in! According to my unbiased fan base, the animal I most resemble due to my haircut is a polar bear. In case you’re curious, I’m posting both an old photograph of myself (above) along with a real, actual polar bear. The resemblance, I admit, is shocking. Thank you all for voting.polar-bear-sleepingI will be on vacation in Arizona this week, so posts may be few and far between. Fear not, dear readers, for I hope to still provide Friday Robots on the day that falls between Thursday and Saturday.

What will you do in the meantime? I assume that all of you out there reading this are either 1) at work, looking for something to read that is not pornography or 2) somehow unable to make this page not your default home page. In both cases, may I suggest following a few of the links to your right. Many of my friends are expert bloggers, and their fanciful musings are filling the internet with joyful noise. You can also read Jimmy Carter’s Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech. It is both concise and relevant. Then of course you’ll be able to watch the Inauguration on Tuesday, which promises to be both warmer than actually being there in person, as well as historical. For those of you not so politically minded, there are plenty of cat photos to be found somewhere online.

Of course, you’ll still be able to get your daily fix of Welcome to Falling Rock National Park by simply clicking the link in this sentence, or the other twelve bazillion places I’ve linked to it on this page.

Do not strike this blog from your daily to-do list, however! When I return we will get right back to schedule. How will I grow my fanbase in Sweden and Armenia? Will I ever find my blogger nemesis? How many more members of my family can I publicly alienate? Answers will be forthcoming.

To be continued…!

Blog fiction

my sad dad

Beneath his sunny disposition, my father is a deeply troubled man. He has tried to do everything right: he went to college, fought for his country, married a redheaded woman, always worked to support his family, paid his taxes. He bought the right kind of car to transport his family rather than the sporty car he always desired. Yes, my dad has sacrificed to bring happiness to others. Why, then, couldn’t his only two sons return this kindness to him?

When my mother gave my father two strong redheaded sons, he was delighted. What man, in his heart of hearts, doesn’t want other men to carry on the paternal blood line? What man doesn’t want to see his sons take on the world and win? My father, although he would never say this to anyone, is one of those guys.

Sadly, neither of us – me or my brother – did the things my father secretly, fervently wanted us to do. We let him down in every way imaginable, and now he must find a way to cope with the pain. Why were both of us such screw-ups?

-In spite of a long family history of being good at math, neither of us have pursued a career in mathematics or math-related fields.

-I failed to make varsity football in high school, and my brother threw away a perfectly good basketball scholarship to an NCAA school (hint: it rhymes with “nuke”). His graduate thesis, “Folk Singing in 1930’s rural Mississippi,” sits unread on our bookshelf at home.

-In spite of my young age, I failed to vote for Jimmy Carter in 1980.

-As of this writing, both brothers have refused to take on multiple wives.

-My brother shows no remorse for having shot a man in Reno just to watch him die.

-We aren’t “ethnic” enough for him.

-My gambling addiction forced my father to sell his most prized possession, a bronzed parakeet the Archduke of Lebishstein-Upon-Ainsworthy gifted him for protecting the commonwealth.

-After a promising childhood, my brother turned into a hideously ugly adult.

-My brother and I both laughed at his one attempt to write historical fiction. “The Meadows of Brunswick,” a coming-of-age story set in Southern Maine about a group of boys who set off to see a dead body, just seemed too familiar. All major publishers agreed with us, but this didn’t take away the sting of having been rejected by his sons first.

-Neither of us contracted a horribly disfiguring disease like elephantitis.

-My brother, while playing in the backyard, accidentally stepped on my father’s favorite anthill. In spite of our best efforts to rebuild, it never looked the same.

-There was the time I spat in his face and called him a lousy cheat.*

-After brief forays into elementary school musicals, neither brother took up singing professionally.**

We have, of course, let my father down in many ways I cannot bring myself to recount here. Suffice it to say there is slim likelihood of a reconciliation. Next time you see my father, show a brave face. He’s suffering under his big smile and gentle demeanor.

*I have no recollection of his incident.
**My mom is more sad about this than my dad.

Blog history

parting shot

jimmy-carter-says-yes-graphicThere are people – Republicans, mostly – who claim Barack Obama will be a rehash of the Carter Administration. It’s true, our country doesn’t exactly pine for the salad days of 1976-1980. What I don’t understand is the special kind of hatred conservatives reserve for Jimmy Carter. I do agree with them, to a point. There are Jimmy Carter qualities in Barack Obama. Of these shared qualities, what is it Republicans don’t want?

A President willing to stand up to the auto makers and raise fuel efficiency standards?
A President fully engaged in the peace process, willing to bring the Middle East nations together in unprecedented agreement?
A smart, charismatic President to follow one of the most disastrous (and, ahem, Republican) Administrations of all time?
Are these bad things?
Jimmy Carter says “Yes!” to peace, environmental protection, a progressive energy policy, and housing for the homeless. So does Barack Obama.obama-carter-08
Brought to you this Election Eve by Obama/Carter ’08.
Blog history

the dream is over?

carterobama08 As many of you have no doubt heard, Barack Obama chose his running mate over the weekend. Joe Biden, US Senator from Delaware. Joe Biden has voted on a number of bills since 1972, when he was first elected to the Senate. It’s amazing how many things you can vote on in 36 years.

I’m not going to mask my disappointment here. While Biden seems like a great guy, a good running mate, and has a beautiful smile, he is not the person I would have chosen for Obama.jimmycarter5
What about the Man from Plains? Ol’ number 39? Is a Nobel Peace Prize not good enough for you, Mr. Obama? How about bestselling author? Habitat for Humanity? Do none of these qualities strike you as fitting credentials?

I shouldn’t be too hard on the man. Maybe Obama asked Jimmy Carter and he refused. After all, Mr. Carter keeps a pretty busy schedule as it is. Being Vice President would cramp his style.

But a guy can dream. After all, the theme of Obama’s candidacy is “hope.” I “hope” Obama will read this blog one day and realize he’s made a huge mistake. In the meantime, do not let this minor burp sway your position on Barack Obama. He’s still a great candidate and worthy of your vote. I’ll do some research and find out if there are any similarities between Joe Biden and Jimmy Carter.

Does anyone know if you can write-in a vice presidential candidate on election day?


Blog history

Meet Your Next President

OBAMA / CARTER ’08 brings you photos of the next President and his VP, both taken in Portland.
Top: Obama in 2008, bottom: Carter in 1976.obama-in-pdx jimmy-carter-portland

Blog history

obama carter ’08

We live in a special time. The future is knocking on our door. The winds of change are a-blowin’. We cannot back down, we cannot turn away from our destiny.

And what is that destiny, you ask? I used to be in the Carter/Obama camp. Yet until today that was only a dream. It’s funny how sometimes you dream something, then you wake up and it comes true but in a way you never expected. For me, that means flipping those two names. Welcome to the Official Blog of Obama/Carter ’08.

Look, I even made a new logo for it.obama-carter-08
Welcome to the future, babies.