Thursday, July 15, 2010

Feeling Animated

First order of business: R.I.P Harvey Pekar
The Cleveland-native comic genius behind American Splendor passed away this week. Infamous for his late night shenanigans on the Letterman show and his self-deprecating Cleveland based comics, Pekar is a legend to say the least. If you don't know about him, you should. Check out the 2003 film entitled "American Splendor"--starring Paul Giamatti as Pekar and also the real Pekar, and also some really awesome comics.

Having become very dear friends with Chris Monday, I've deepened my interest in the world of comics. We draw them at work, between waiting tables, and have this excellent game called "switcheroo." If I ever get a scanner I will upload some of our games of switcheroo. Essentially you start with a picture, like a bug. Chris sees the bug and has to think up another name that you could call it. So in Chris's mind he says "that bug is a bee." Then Chris draws something that rhymes with the word bee. So I drew a little bug and now, next to it there is a tree that Chris has drawn. I have to then figure out what the drawing is and what word he chose to get there. With bug and tree its pretty easy, but you should have seen the game that went from Fat Kid to Arachnid.... genius. 

Since this post seems dedicated to the celebration of all things comic, let me direct your attention to some of Jed and Chris's work. These guys are good friends of mine and amazing artists... and piss-your-pants funny. Jed has been drawing a daily comic journal for 2010 called CHAMP-- it's following his journey to being alcohol-free for 1 year. He is six months along and it's agonizing, hilarious, and insightful. (Disclaimer: it's also addictive!) So thanks Jed for keeping me entertained daily with your misery. 

Jed and Chris have teamed up on a comic project that I am ridiculously excited about called "Bad Advice for Bad People." It's a comic advice column and it is spectacular. The first installment just came out on Society6  and it shows some major promise. I can't wait to see what they come up with next. Chris Monday does all of the background work on this comic (props to the Cosmos frame!) and Jed Collins draws the people. Together they give the worst advice, from the worst people, to equally awful people. And yes, the questions are real... people actually ask this shit... and not just our friends either!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

These first few hours are unbearable.

I tried to drive to the lake and sit 

in the yellowing mist of the sun 

going down in the rain and 

listen to Neil Young on the warm 

hood of my car

but now I have returned

to the house because there is nowhere

left to drive

and all of the recyclables in the bin

by the door are yours, along with the

towels and I couldn’t get you to take

the macaroni and cheese with you 

so it's sitting in the cupboard staring 

me down accusingly

I know

I know

but it insists, along with the spot

you cleared in the garden. 

If those plants ever come up,

they will say the same thing

look at me the same awful way

that the ash tray-- empty-- on

the back steps does

I know

I did this 

and I've done it before

and it's easier to blame you for leaving.

The rain tapping on the leaves 

should comfort me but I’ve heard 

too much today

and you are still in motion 

with places left to drive

headlights and wipers beating 

searching for a heart of gold

and I have no idea if I will see you again. 

The dog needs to go out into that rain and 

you are not here to take him

so I will sit in the dusk with the

beetles buzzing up and slamming

themselves into the porch light,

beside the ash tray and imagine

your car pulling back into the drive

you rolling a cigarette with a grin

your legs crossed at the ankle 

a heart of gold

and I will rehash every awful thing I’ve ever said to you

Monday, July 12, 2010

Summer things

 In truth, I have not written a word since I finished my thesis and my attentions have been completely devoted to the summer, my new garden, and job searching. So now what do I write?
The legitimate fear of becoming a washed-up hyper-dramatic personal journal writer definitely lingers in the back of my mind. But I also have this sneaking suspicion that there are still important things out there that I've not yet written about. So until I figure out exactly what those things are, and how I am going to start the revolution by exposing them to the rest of the world... I will just keep updating the blog with things I am thinking about, reading, watching, and listening to.

Its Brew Week in Athens, and my oh my is it wonderful 

Last night Mike and I watched The Cove-- an oscar nominated documentary exposing the horrifying truths of the Japanese dolphin industry. This was one of the best documentaries I have seen in a very long time (better than Food, Inc. which we just watched last week). Something about this documentary took it beyond the usual documentary formula: blow the top off a big public cover up, expose the terrible realities of the industry, etc. This movie is the Casino-Heist film of the Ocean-Rescue world. Covert missions, threatening Japanese guards, high-def, high-tech military-grade equipment. It was riveting, entertaining, eye-opening, and terrifying. In two hours this film turned two people from Pescatarians to straight Veg.
Seafood lovers beware you are in serious Mercury denial.  

Re-reading Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, a book that makes you deconstruct your daily notions of the world around you, confront the ghosts of your past, and desperately want a motorcycle.