I'd like to thank those of you reading this who attended the Strip Show reading this past Monday, it was a blast. I know of at least two people who were coming who didn't get in because of there being too many foilks on line, which is cruddy, but at least we didn't have a ghost town for an audience. I had a really good time, although when I arrived I was sweating bullets and sat in a corner at a table with my back turned in the side room/bar outside the performance space. I just felt very awkward, older than everyone else there, and not knowing anyone, and I reverted to high school/early convention deflection/aversion mode. Part of that may have had to do with the fact that I really don't go out anymore, rarely to bars, and I really felt out of place. I did get to park on 3rd street across from the Hell's Angels building, by the Edge bar, so that was sorta old home week, I have walked out of the Edge whacked a number of times, darts in pocket, head in dark clouds. Anyway, after about ten minutes Bob Sikoryak came by and I was happy as hell to have someone to talk to, I don't know Bob very well but he's a heckuva nice guy besides being a friggin' ace cartoonist. He told me about his latest project for a magazine, and I yammered a bunch of crap at him.
Eventually we did the reading. I kept myself to one beer, enough for nerve steadying, not enough to hamper the drive home on the BQE. I thought all the cartoonists/presenters put their material over well, the audience seemed to have a good time, and there were really few dead spots. I laughed a lot during the readings, and I'm a fairly hard sell, everyone had some very funny stuff. I read a flurry of four panel Fun strips, one-panel gags and a six panel short bit, all set for Dork #11, with a pair of strips Todd threw in from the last reading as anchors because they did well. Todd and Bob, who organized the show, said I went over really well, but it's hard to tell what's happening when you're on a stage. That's not aw-shucks BS, Todd, who does stand-up regularly, says he can never really tell if something's going over. I couldn't really tell, I was concentrating on reading and not stumbling and not saying anything too stupid. You can tell if you're bombing, because it's dead, or killing, because it's crazy, and I didn't bomb, and I can't say I killed. So I split the diff and figure I went over pretty well. It helped that this was a smaller audience than the last time, Mo Pitkin's is an "initmate" venue. "Intimate" meaning "small". About 70 people or so, from what I was led to understand. A hell of a lot more folks than you get, okay, I get, at a comic shop signing, so intimidating enough. But I discovered early on that if I looked sort of sideways at the screen and didn't really look on the audience often I could handle things pretty okay. I got some laughs, and a few groans, and not many dead spots. So, not bad. And now I know some folks found sonme jokes from Dork #11 funny. Good deal all around, made me feel a little more confident about the next issue and what I've been doing for it.
I got to talk with Michael Kupperman a little before the show and a long while afterward, which was really very cool. He read a Pegas strip during the show and we cheered Pegas like football fans. Pegas is a great character, go read Tales to Thrizzle #1 and be hep to the Pegas jive. I want a Pegass vinyl figure. Thrizzle #2 is done and will be out, well, I dunno when, sometime soon. I don't work at Fantagraphics, sue me. I traded books with the other cartoonists, except Nicholas Gurewich, who didn't bring any but said he wished he did. I got a copy of Inside Vineyland from Lauren Weinstein, and a Lulu Eightball collection from Emily Flake. I enjoyed both books quite a bit. I wasn't up for staying out for drinks because of work, the baby, and my beimg a dullard, so I drove home and got an emergency White Castle late dinner which I instantly regretted. All in all, a very fun night, except for the fact that I kept worrying about deadlines and the White Castles made me sick. Old times!
Non-HOF weird music news:
Have you heard of Devo 2.0?
What? You haven't?
Neither did we until yesterday. What is Devo 2.0? Why, can't you guess? It's the five members of Devo re-recording their songs, with a group of energy dome-wearing teenagers singing over the tracks. And it's a Disney project. Get off the floor, there's more! The video for Devo 2.0's version of "Whip It" is on-line. I think it's on the Disney Radio site, Sarah showed it to me earlier today. All I can say is -- Holy WTF?!? Crazy-ass money-grab sell-out, or brilliant final de-evolution scheme? or both? I'm headachey. It is sorta brilliant, re-envisioning your own band as a teenybopper Disney pop product. I guess We're All Devo after all, or at least a hand-picked group of scrubbed white kids are.
There's also a video of "Whip It" done by some high school kids, who go all-out to cheaply but endearingly duplicate the video. The Devo-tees wear the black shirts and energy domes and their parents watch from the wings. I hereby call on Sarah to post the links in a reply down below or something. She's asleep right now, and as you already know I am lost without her.
Sorta HOF weird music news:
Sarah and I were watching the local leased-time Japanese programming a few weeks ago, because we follow the dramas they run subtitled. Anyway, before the drama they always show a video. And they showed a Puffy video (okay, okay, Puffi Ami Yumi. Fucking stupid Puff Daddy and his lawyer posse). And there's a clear shot of Sarah and I in the center of a tight crowd shot from the Irving Plaza show they did about three or four years ago. It was freaky as hell to recognize yourself in an obscure video you didn't know you were "in". Even worse when you recognize how awful you looked. But for a brief moment Sarah looks swellegant. How kooky, this world, and us in it.
Any actual HOF news?
We sent out the Milk and Cheese vinyl figure sculpts with what should be our final set of notes and revisions, so we should have a final sculpt fairly soon, fingers crossed.
Sarah and I finished up a one-page strip for Mad Kids last week.
I'm finishing up the Book of Monsters script, it should be out to DHC early next week. Oh, please, please, please...
After that we have a spot illo to do for Nickelodeon Magazine, and I am probably doing a layout job on an 8-page licensed comic script for them as well.
I've got a Mad pitch that's close to sold, if I can only work out a revised ending to the strip that's to their liking. If not, well, then not. And phooey.
I got the okay on another 12-page Bart Simpson script for Bongo Comics.
I've been told that the contracts on a new DHC project I'm involved with are finished.
We're still waiting for the Adult Swim contracts for the pilot. Steady, nerves...
We're also still waiting to hear about an anime series rewrite job, the process of selecting the writer(s)has started and re-started and we've pretty much given it up for dead. It's easier to deal with that way.
Sarah and I did a very quick, practically last-minute pitch for a develoipment job on a proposed U.K. cartoon series last week. We didn't get the job, but we were happy that we actually got something cobbled together as quickly as we did and got it in on time. At least we tried.
Sarah's started rewrites for another new Tokyopop manga series.
I finally turned in my revised cover sketch for the second Punk Rock Holocaust film from Doug Sakman (a man who has two Milk and Cheese tattoos, god bless him, devil damn him). Chynna Clugston did the first one. But I got to draw two severed Aquabat members heads, so, yay.
In reprint news, the Mad Classics Yearbook Special ran the Star Wars piece Sarah and I provided artwork for, which was neat. I received Spanish editions of Hellboy: Weird Tales vol 2, as well as The Dark Horse Book of Hauntings and The Dark Horse Book of Witchcraft. It's fun to read your scripts in Spanish, I even understood about 6% of it. Planned for later this year is a Spanish collection from El Cupula of the Eltingville Club strips that are currently in print.
After the Book of Monsters script and the Nick work is wrapped I'll be back to Dork #11 stuff, Dan and I are discussing a June release for the next issue. I might also be doing some Milk and Cheese strips for an anthology or two. And I want to get Biff Bam Pow! back on track asap. I am doing my best to ramp up cartoon production this coming year, for practical reasons and because I am royally pissed off at myself about how relatively little I've gotten done these past few years.
Will the master plan work out? So far, so good. But one never knows, do one?
Stay tuned, gang. My Live Journal account is paid for another year.
Consider that a warning.