More events in a sequence.

Stuff I did today:

I joined a hashtag going around on Twitter. #fourcomics that were important to you as a creator/fan. I couldn’t keep it down to just four so I posted twice:

Asterix, Little Nemo, Mage, Particle Dreams Amethyst, Krazy Kat, Hellboy, Atari Force

Thrice, actually, if you count me wondering if the Smithsonian Book of Newspaper Comics counted as one. Because man that really shaped my interest in the wild stuff done at the beginning of the 20th century back when people were making up the rules with entire broadsheets to play with.

And then I sprawled on the floor of my studio reading some of these, thinking about how more than a few of them were larger formats than the standard “comic book” size the American industry has settled on. Even the Howarth example I chose was slightly oversized, and had some beautiful examples of full-page designs going on, especially in the “Mad Empress” stories. This lead to pondering page formats for “Drowning City”; I’ve been trying to find the right shape for it, and I think I have arrived at “8×12 book, held sideways, so you see one big page at a time”. I shot off a quote request; if I can get that with lay-flat binding in paperback at a reasonable price, then that’s the shape of what I’ll be spending the next few years working on. (And I am kind of amazed that I’m casually making decisions like that. When did I start taking that long a view of my work?)

Ultimately I keep coming back to the thought that the climax of the story involves falling, and I want to be able to do some very vertical compositions to work with that. I scribbled down some other ideas of things to do with a One Big Page At A Time aesthetic that I think will contribute to the story; I even have ideas on which parts of the story I want to use these for. I may post some of these (plus some of the various doodles in the current Drowning City sketchbook) soon.

(Part of me wants to do something even bigger but (a) expense and (b) man it’s really hard to READ those full-size Nemos. Part of it is due to the way they were written to be read once a week, part is due to the fact that McCay’s plot and dialogue are really just excuses for him to draw whatever crazy architecture he’s obsessed with at the moment. But part of it is due to “holy shit this hardback book is half my height”.)

Discussion on someone else’s four comics post turned me on to Nicolas de Crécy, who I think I need to check out. Foligatto and Celestial Bibendum were suggested as entry points to his work.


I then went out to the dentist and had a little bit of drilling and filling, and a lot of cleaning, happen. Did you know that if the light’s just right, you can see a wisp of particulate tooth enamel coming out of your mouth when they drill? Did you know that it has a uniquely unpleasant, slightly burnt scent? I did not know this until now.

And then I wandered downtown to have a late lunch and hook up with the exes for a movie. I had an hour to kill so I wandered through Barnes & Noble, and picked up a couple of books on Celtic myth, which I may be mining for weird little bits and bobs for “Drowning City”.

And finally, the movie. “Inherent Vice”, based on the Pynchon novel of the same name. We all enjoyed it; Nick was a bit worried because he’d noticed that it had the fewest stars of anything playing at the theatre, but all the reviews were bad in a way that suggested it was simply Not For those people. We were perfectly prepared for a stoner noir picture that never really laid out the crazy conspiracy running through it; if you go into that movie expecting to actually understand the labyrinthine affairs of the Golden Fang, you will be disappointed. But if you expect a bunch of really kind of insane people wandering around 1970s Los Angeles, you will get that. In spades.

I had a few moments of LA nostalgia. Unsurprising, really. Living in LA was complicated and stressful and kind of horrile in some ways, and I’m nto about to go back down there and try to hop into the animation industry again, but it can be gorgeous.

Anyway. Guess it’s about bedtime.




Yesterday I got the second printing of Rita 1. All 600 books.

This morning, I put them all into the shelves I store my merch on. These shelves are now pretty much completely full.

I am kinda worried about what happens when 400 copies of book 2 arrive. It’ll go down to about 200 once I ship them out, and removing the two boxes full of first-edition copies of book 1 that were sold to backers of the second Kickstarter should help – but I am pretty sure my studio will be annoyingly full of boxes for a few days. Ah well. That’ll motivate me to deal with the shipping sooner, I guess.

Some comics-making friends of mine are talking about sharing a warehouse downtown, both to store our various books in and to have a place to work that is Not Our Homes. I will be delighted to have this happen, as it will mean I can have my closet back!

What else. The other day I sent a photo and brief bio to a tumblr called “We Are Comics”, whose aim is to make a statement about the perception of the old superhero guard that comics are By Men And For Men. Here’s the photo. If you can identify all that stuff then you are cool.


Most people seemed to just go with holding up signs (or word balloons) that said “I Am Comics” but I felt like being more elaborate. So I raided my library for stuff that was Important to me as a kid growing up, and threw my own books in the pile as well. All SF and fantasy and strange worlds; screw the corporate-owned superdudes.


Then I was all, hey, I need to put these comics away so I have my studio back, but before I finish I think I’ll have lunch with an old friend I haven’t visited in a while.


Oh yeah. Still as utterly amazing as it was when I was five.

Anyway. Now I should take a shower and maybe get some drawing done before Nick comes over. We might go hang at a friend’s boardgame night, or we might just chill around the apartment, because he’s driving me to a con in upstate WA tomorrow. And then there’s the Glitch Mob show on Sunday evening, which I’m also dragging him to. BASS! DANCE! WHEEE!