MoCCA Jews

Ha ha...I was looking on the internet for new reviews of my comic, and I stumbled on a Flickr photo set of "Jews at Mocca Fest 2009". I was giving away my "Matzoh Party" print with the purchase of two books, so I guess that gave me away. See all the jews by clicking here.


Ducks On The Pond

In an effort to be completely out of my element (i.e., anything requiring physical dexterity), I'm sort of art-directing a book on weird baseball phrases. It's been a lot of work, but fun to be in contact with a lot of great artists whose work I love. We finally got all of the illustrations for the proposal in, so now I'm just waiting to see if a publisher is interested.

I did a cover piece that I may have posted a while back for the phrase "Ducks on the Pond" (also the title of the book). It ended up looking like a childrens book cover, so I redid it (still looks like a childrens book cover, but that's my style!). In an effort to relieve the tedium of posting reviews of the Old Man WInter comic, I present to you, Ducks On The Pond:

Review in Bookgasm

A pleasant review of "Old Man Winter & Other Sordid Tales" by Rod Lott at Bookgasm.com (click to read it).

Chris Terry from D.I.Y. Punk magazine Razorcake also wrote a positive review, but it hasn't been published yet so I don't have a link.

I've started writing a new comic that I'm very excited about. It's sort of forming itself based on a loose framework I've set up. I'll tell you about it as it develops.


R.I.P. Michael Jackson

I remember vividly when the "Thriller" video first aired (all 14 minutes of it!) in '83. I watched it in my mom's room and was blown away by how awesome it was. I thought the album cover with Michael cuddling a baby tiger was a little weird (I had no idea what was coming!), but there was no denying the power of the music.

Yes, he got progressively more bizarre, but considering his childhood it's not all that surprising. Regardless, his work with Jackson 5 and albums from the eighties were undeniably amazing. A lady in the laundromat and I were wondering what would become of his kids this morning. I'm sure they're well provided for. I just hope they come out of all this somewhat emotionally stable.

Speaking of kids, Karen took the gender test this morning, and it indicated a boy. I don't think she believes the test (and it could be skewed due to her own hormone imbalance). I'll be happy with either sex, but I've warned K that a baby boy would skew the household to a male majority (including our cat & dog), meaning I can leave the toilet seat up.


Interview in Pulse

Wow, how boring is it that I just keep posting reviews? Well...here's an INTERVIEW to break things up!

Just kidding. I mean, not really...you can read the interview with Jennifer Contino of Pulse by clicking here.

I just finished a major project, so I'll have time to post (possibly) more interesting stuff in the coming week. For starters, Karen bought some new-fangled tester thingy that tells you the sex of your baby way earlier than the hospital will (we're not supposed to find out for another three weeks). It's around 85% accurate. I made her wait until tomorrow to pee on the stick because I had to work at Utrecht today. So, tune in tomorrow for whether we'll be calling HIM "Cosby" or HER "Cosby". Actually, I'm probably the only one who will call him/her "Cosby".


"Review" in Comics And...Other Imaginary Tales

Not a review, per se, but more of an extremely short discussion about whether or not they might like my comic (click to read it). I'm sending them a review copy to help them decide!

I've been trying to get my comic reviewed in animal-welfare/vegetarian/vegan themed publications as well, and Sienna Blake from Vegan Voice was kind enough to rack up an undoubtedly large phone bill (they're based in Australia) to interview me for a feature in her magazine. Thanks, Sienna!


Review in Comixtreme

Oops, I lied in that last post...there was actually a good review in between the two bad ones. I just forgot to post it. So, here's Andrea Speed's review on Comixtreme (click to read it). Now I don't feel quite as bad...thanks, Andrea.

Review in Pop Damage

Sigh. A second bad review for "Old Man Winter & Other Sordid Tales" hot on the heels of a particularly nasty one a few days ago. At least Andrew Wright, the reviewer for Pop Damage doesn't attack my character (click here to read the review).

In fact, I agree with him on most of his criticism. I do tend to be heavy-handed with my animal welfare themed stories. It's hard for me to tone down my emotion on the subject, so I suppose it can come off as overwrought. I don't think I come across that way in "real life" (I certainly hope not), but I need to find a way to communicate the horrors of animal abuse without coming across as preachy. It isn't my intention, but I can see how it could be received as such.

I'm glad I got so many positive reviews to counter these particularly painful ones. I know I shouldn't care what other people think, but I do.


Review in Sequential Tart

In the name of full disclosure, I present to you the worst review I have ever gotten:

Marissa Sammy's review of "Old Man Winter" (click to read it)

I know I should expect emotional responses to my comics that deal with emotionally charged issues, but I didn't expect the amount of vitriol slung at me by Ms. Sammy. I'm accused of creating "ineffectual holier-than-thou guilt trips", "privileged , clueless pontification" and even racism!

The animal welfare comics she refers to are meticulously researched. The events depicted in both "Roadtrip" and "Circus" are firmly based in reality. The vast majority of our livestock in this country is horribly mistreated from birth to death. If this makes you feel guilty for choosing to indulge in animal products, congratulations - you're human!

As for the 'Circus' comic, it was directly informed from a visit to the wonderful Elephant Nature Park (a sanctuary for abused elephants) in Thailand. The traditional 'breaking of the spirit' of elephants involves removing them from their mothers, caging them and beating them for days on end until they are submissive. Shamans overlook the proceedings, rubbing poltices on the baby elephants and delivering beatings with sticks about their most sensitive areas. In a response to an email from me, Ms. Sammy says my depiction of the Thai natives is a racist shorthand. She is incorrect. The outfits shown are from recent reference photos of the traditional cruel domestication process.

The only point I'll concede is that the pranks in "Logging Sanjay" may well have been construed as racially motivated by his family. Obviously we didn't mean it as such, but kids (especially two white kids) don't always have the best sense. I was at the butt end of plenty of teasing from my good friends Matt & Sanjay, but this particular line of pranks (as I admit in the comic) went too far. That said, I find Sammy's suggestion that I'm framing Sanjay as violent by begging him, "Please don't hurt me!" after my confession ridiculous. If she knew Sanjay and my relationship (we're still great friends), she would realize her folly.

Anyhow, besides most people hating the cover art, this is the first negative review I've received. I will try to take something positive from it, but I suppose I won't be using any of this one on my review quotes page!


I have a new nephew: Buzz Yost (not sure of the middle name yet)!

My mom's supposed to send photos, so this will have to do for now.


The Extreme Baby

This is a quick little drawing I did for a friend's baby shower.

The baby water-skiing with his umbilical cord is actually an old theme with me. I taught art at a summer camp in the Adirondacks one year, and the camp would have all of the teacher/counselors create a plaque of some sort to hang on the wall to commemorate that year. This way, campers could see the great history of the camp by looking at this wall. So, one of the themes of my teaching that year was recycling trash into something new and useful (it was a wealthy community that apparently didn't instill this mentality into their kids). So, for my plaque I fashioned a bunch of garbage I'd picked up around the camp into a baby waterskiing by holding onto its umbilical cord.

I'm told that this was the first plaque in all of their history that did not make it onto the wall.


Celebrate National Pigeon Day!

That's right, folks. It's National Pigeon Day.

Personally, I don't think our little dove friends get near enough love in this city. I am a reluctant city dweller, and one of the things I miss the most about more rural areas is the wildlife. Pigeons , squirrels and rats, although vilified by the vast majority here, are my only day to day connection to the undomesticated animal world. Personally, I can sit and watch pigeons strut around puffing up their necks, fighting over stale donut-holes and roosting on building ledges all day. I try to stick them into my drawings whenever I can.

You can call them 'flying rats' if you want, but I can't imagine the city without them. God bless the pigeon.

I'm working on a new dog portrait. You can see a few day's progress in the photos here. Not done yet, but getting there.


Review in Comic Related

A short and sweet review by Richard Krauss on Comic Related (click to read it).

Last weekend was my first time behind a table at the MoCCA festival, and it was an amazing experience. I still bought way too many books, but at least this time I was selling some to balance things out. It was so much fun to be able to talk to so many like-minded people and to meet a ton of artists I have so much respect for. My table-mate and I had such a great time that we've already reserved a table for next year.

My new mini, "Tales of Good Ol' Snoop Doggy Dogg" almost sold out, but I've still got a few copies left for sale on the Birdcage Bottom Books website. They're only a measly $three bones$, so step up!

Anyhow, I'm pretty exhausted and have a ton of work to catch up on, so I'll write in more depth later.


Tales of Good Ol' Snoop Doggy Dogg

Phew, I finally finished the Snoop Dogg themed mini-comic I'm debuting at MoCCA festival this weekend. Well, I still have to assemble them, but the artwork and layout is all done. I've hand-stamped each cover with a linoleum print to give it some color.

I'll put them up for sale on the Birdcage Bottom Books website and post some sample pages here after the festival, but for now here's a scan of the front and back covers.

If you are at all interested in indie-comics, you've gotta drag yourself out to MoCCA. I go every year to load up on new comics and meet some of my favorite artists. There's always interesting panels (Seth and Adrian Tomine are doing one this year, although I might skip it since I just saw them last night at The Strand). This is my first year actually selling comics at a a table instead of just moseying around buying stuff (although I'm sure I'll do plenty of that this time as well).

Anyhow, click on the link to find out more. If you do come out, please stop by my table (#701) and say hi.