I finally heard back from Prometheus, the publisher of "Slaughterhouse" (I'm hoping to create a graphic novel adaptation of Gail Eisnitz's powerful & provocative novel). Basically, they said I'm welcome to go ahead with it, but any publisher that wishes to publish it will have to pay royalties to Prometheus since they own the copyright. Gail herself seems excited and helpful. She's sent a huge pile of interview transcripts which I've been upsetting myself with.
Comics do not, as a general rule, make much (if any) money. Therefore, the cards are stacked against me getting this published. Publishers already have to contend with the printing, distribution and advertising costs, so I'm sure they'll be delighted to hear about an additonal royalty having to be paid out. Ah well, I'm going to draw a few chapters to submit and see if I get any positive reactions or offers. Wish me luck!
Hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving. We went to Karen's cousin, Nomi Silverman's house. She always makes way too much food, and she always makes a gazillion different dishes (she obviously loves cooking, so I suppose to her it's not too much or too many). I brought along my requisite Tofurkey, non-dairy garlic mashed potatoes and wheat-free (for Karen) stuffing.
We got to look at a series of Nomi's new work for a show that opens this week in CT. It was very powerful, graphic b&w etchings and lithographs dealing with Matt Shepard's beating & murder at the hands of two homophobic men that happened several years ago. She used the stations of the Cross as image inspiration and metaphor.
Tuesday I finally finished up the portrait of Tatum's (deceased, R.I.P.) Scottish Terrier. I also continued work on Wilfredo the Chihuahua and started a new commission of a lop-eared rabbit wearing a pirate's hat. It's times like these that I thank whoever/whatever's responsible for my being paid to paint Pirate bunnies. It also reminds me of my own childhood bunnies, Dudley & Kimper and their little duckling pal, Gomer.
While waiting for the affadavits, photos & interviews from Gail to start the Slaughterhouse graphic novel I started on a less serious comic. I've always loved collecting notes, letters, grocery lists, etc. that somehow find their way onto the public sidewalks and streets. I have a huge file in my file cabinet full of these treasures. A few years ago, I stumbled upon a magazine called "Found" that collects such detritus and publishes the most interesting every so often (they've also put out two books of 'greatest hits'). I kept meaning to sort the wheat from the chaff of my own collection to submit to Found, and I finally did so. However, rather than just send them along, I thought I'd include a comic detailing the circumstances in which I found each item. So, without further ado, here is the first installment.
I'm intending to add some other drawings in that expanse of white space in the journal pages, but here's what I have so far...
(Click on the thumbnail images to enlarge)
The portrait of the Scottish Terrier is almost done. I thought it was finished, but there's something not quite right with the background....it's a little too sparse. I might scumble in some texture or something.
I started working on a new portrait of my first long-term girlfriend's current girlfriend's chihuahua. I was getting very frustrated with the face because Wilfredo (the chihuahua) has a very cute & expressive punim that I just couldn't capture correctly. I rubbed out his face several times, and I think I at least got the proportions correct this time. I'm going to let it dry for a week and try again 'cause it started to get muddy.
We went to a couple of our friends' art openings on Saturday. The first one (Anne Hall's) featured a creepy dude wearing a laytex mask that was a replica of Anne's face. He was writhing on the floor amongst a bunch of cloth tentacles when we walked in. Pony did NOT like it (see video). The next show was curated by the legendary Jay Pluck/Dunlap and featured animation shorts by one of my favorite Utrecht workers of all time: Stephen Key. He also happens to be from my home town in Georgia, so he gets bonus points for representing the dirty dirty South. There were other Utrecht old-timers there as well, although some of them didn't cram into the photo here.
In other important news, Karen and I watched an amazing documentary on monkeys on PBS. I think it was just called "Nature". There were a bunch of weird primates I'd never seen (and believe me, I keep close tabs on the primate world). My favorites were these guys that could literally flip their (huge) flaps of skin over their gums up to expose their (huge) gums. It was simultaneously terrifying and delightful. I got so excited during the program that I had an impulse to throw the TV out the window (it doesn't make sense, I know).
Man, oh man! I was very disappointed to not get that job doing 1,000 illustrations for the South Korean textbook, but I received very amazing news today:
Gail Eisnitz, author of the incredible book "Slaughterhouse" has given me permission to adapt her expose into a graphic novel. Now I need to get permission from her publisher (so I suppose I shouldn't get too excited just yet). I can only describe my mood as "giddy".
If you haven't read this book, please do so immediately. It's incredibly powerful. Most books I read about animal welfare issues (and I read a lot of them) tend towards being dry and factual. "Slaughterhouse" is informative yet highly gripping...it's hard to put down. I would imagine that if I weren't already vegan this might do the trick.
Oh man, Karen and I finally made it to The Village Pet Store And Charcoal Grill art installation by Banksy. It was the last day (halloween, appropriately enough), so I don't know if the capacity crowd was an anomaly. If you missed it or don't live in NYC, I highly recommend visiting the website to watch the videos of the exhibits posted there. It was a series of animatronic scenes dealing primarily with animal welfare issues in a humorous yet thought provoking manner. Truly amazing.
The proximity of my favorite restaurant, Red Bamboo, was also a nice bonus to the day. Oh yeah, and we ran into the halloween parade led by a gay & lesbian marching band precluded by around 150 cops. The sheer amount of police lined up was so overwhelming that I had to run back and film them. I walked at a normal pace, and it took me around 38 seconds to reach the end of the line of cops (they were packed together 3 or 4 deep!).