May 6th, 2004

smokin'

Shermy Lives

Picked up the first Complete Peanuts today, I'm so very happy. It was a good comics day all around, Sarah got the copy of Josie #23 we bought on line, I received several books I bought monster cheap online from Tom Spurgeon's listing on TCJ.com (inc. the much needed Pogo vol 4). Didn't see anything else out I cared for other than Cyborg 009 vol 5, but I haven't read the third book yet nor picked up the fourth. I almost picked up Buddha vol 1 but I have too many unread books and comics bedside right now. Reading a Roald Dahl collection, an anti-semite whose work I've admired.

Finished up the first three illos we're doing for "the corporation", hopefully those will pass muster and Sarah can send the final versions. Also inked up the SLG FCBD cover, FYI, BTW. Started penciling the cover for the second Bill and Ted volume, this one's so much more interesting than the first one, I wish I had designed this one first. Maybe it'll be fine anyway, the first cobver is based on the Bogus Journey cover so the readers can clearly see Bill and Ted, the second is a Gil Kane "floating heads around the heroes" kinda thing. I've alos roughed out 33 new one panel gags for Dork #11, or Mad, if they like any of them. Some of the batch aren't Mad-bound for a pitch, since they are either too obscure or too "blue". But it's nice to have done some doodling for my own purposes. I'm going to lay out several pages of Fun strips when I have the time, lately I've been taking short breaks from the "job" and knocking together a few gag rouhgs from my files. As soon as the new cover is done I have to rough out the Nickelodeon Halloween strips we're doing, then juggle the pilot script with the next DHC horror book script so Jill can get a start. It is, at least, all fun stuff, although I'm itching to get the Eltingville one shot back on track. But I feel pretty enthusiastic about doing thw work, which isn't the case, usually. Usually I like making stuff up, committing it to paper is where I bog down. But when I find myself going through these old Bill and Ted books, I can't believce that I once wrote and penciled a monthly. No work of genius, but solid. I need to gte back to that, espeically as I draw better than I used to. It feels really weird to be drawing Bill and Ted again, I have to say. Like a paper high school reunion or something.

Tomorrow I may play raquetball for the first time in a few years. I used to play regularly, usually against the Lawgiver, but I slowed down a bit after I slammed fac first into the back glass after going for a shot, and twisting my ankle to boot. We tended to not play a "finesse" game like the experts, who can send the ball precisely where they want it. Once we played an old guy we called Yoda because he was always giving obscure, odd advice in this monotone -- anyway, he has us running like lunatics while he stood stock still in mid court catching everything we shot at him. I used to run after everything and invariably hit a wall or dive and land badly. I know it isn't good form, but it was a great workout and I love diving for the ball. Anyway, if I do play tomorrow, I'm going to get my heinie handed to me, and I'm going to probably pass out, because I've been missing going to the gym for most of this year and my gut's back with a vengeance. So I'm in no shape to run around for two hours chasing a bouncing ball. I expect to break something. I don't even think I ever replaced my rackets, I went through a few after cracking them into walls, diving or just cracking them in chiildish behavior. Bad form, I know. Pre-medication.

Sarah got me an Advanced SP Gameboy for my birthday, btw. It showed up late because it's a special hoity toidy cut thing from the Pokemon Store in NYC. We're such babies, I love it. Officer Miller sent me a Gameboy game, serendipity factor 9. It's a Namco Museum thing, Galaga (I'm not so hot at it), Galaxion (I stink at it), Pole Position (I suck at it), Ms Pac Man (I'm very bad at it) and the immortal, "what the huh?" coin op classic, Dig Dug. I still can't figure out the exact point of this game, sure, I know you have to stick your hose into the little monsters and pump their stomachs up until they explode (!!!!), but...what's the story? Why the conflict? Galaxions fights invading a;lien forces. Pole Position guy races for glory. Ms Pac Man eats dots but is attacked by ghosts and must counter by her wiles. Dig Dug...they're just acting stupidly and childishly, breathing fire and pumping out stomachs and runnign away at innoportune times. I dig Dig Dug, but I don't "dig" it, you dig?

Can I just say the Bush Administration is making me do figure eights up the fucking wall? Thank you. I realize that is hardly astute political commentary but I just wrote a huge skreed and it was way too all over the place and I have a feeling most of you can figure out for yoursleves why Bush and the rest of the Sith Lords in D.C. make me want to tear my hair out. I just hope like hell he doesn't ever get to win his first election this November.

Are we ever going to have a President we can really, truly respect again? Have we ever? I should have paid attention in history class instead of drawing Spider-Man vs the Lizard. But the Lizard was so frickin' cool, and the Taft/Hartley act was so frickin' not cool. Maybe it Ditko designed it...

Back to comics, and radio, as well. Been listening to a lot of Inner Sanctum mystery radio programs from the early forties. Now, I've alwwyas read that Gaines and Feldstein were inspired big-time by this show and others like it (and Kurtzman did a Sanctum parody in Mad), the twist O. Henry-type endings, the domestic partners at each others throats, etc. But until I heard the actual shows, I never realized how much they ripped off the "horror host" schtick. After the famous creaking door audio intro fro Inner Sanctum, this goofball named Raymond -- who actually calls himself a horror host -- acts in straight out Crypt Keeper, Vault Keeper, Old Witch fashion, joking about corpses, uttering terrible puns about ghosts and torture racks and beatings and the like (then he segues to this "Mary" skirt who pushes Lipton soup and tea. Sometimes he's nasty to her, which is enjoyable). The inspiration, if not rip-off, is dead obvious. I've also heard a few stories on IS and Suspense, et al that were obviously used for EC horror spirngboards. Hey, they plagiarized/ripped off Bradbury to the point where they had to pay him, why not dredge up eight year old radio programs that almost never were repeated or re-performed, as the case may be. Anyway, it's been very weird and cool to finally hear the actual source material after reading about it in the Cochran EC books and the fanzines.

Okay, beddie bye time for moi. I'm getting up around 2 am but this Saturday I have to be up around 9 am for the Hawthorned show. And the following day we're going to my sister's in Manhattan for a family Mother's Day brunch. Hope there will be some neurotic jew arguments as usual!

Ciao, bellies. 'Til we type again, I remain your humble bumbling idiot.