In an effort to not be so damn egomaniacal, Birdcage Bottom Books will be publishing the next comic diary collection (2009) of Ben Snakepit! We will have it out by MoCCA in April, if not sooner. Here's a sneak-peek of the cover art...

If you're not familiar with his work, go pick up some of his past books available through Microcosm and maybe Young American Comics if they have any left. I guarantee you will be addicted, and that you will spend too much time on the toilet (where it is meant to be read).

I've known Ben since we went to college in Richmond together in 1992, and I've always enjoyed his comics and sense of humor. We also both lived in Austin for a brief period. Now that I don't see him on a regular basis, it's nice to be able to keep tabs on him via his diary comic.

Taking care of our new baby doesn't leave me too much time for drawing my own comics (although I do squeeze it in when I can), so I thought I'd put the profits from my first book to good use and publish someone else's work for a change!


Little things

Alec Berry, host of the Teenage Wasteland podcast gave an incredibly flattering review of "Old Man Winter & Other Sordid Tales" in this weeks episode. You can listen by going here (the review of my book is around the 14 minute, 15 second mark, but you should listen to the whole thing). I think I actually turned my feet inward, scuffed the ground with one shoe and said, "Aw, shucks" while listening.

Also, I'm one of the many comic artists that put in their two-cents regarding the last year in comics and what to expect this year on Heidi Macdonald's The Beat blog. For some reason, my artist photo (which was actually a drawing of me as a monkey) wasn't run, so my section kind of gets lost in the shuffle, but I'm in there somewhere. That, my friends, was the infamous "run-on sentence" your English teachers warned you about.


Tummy Time!

In an effort to ensure Lulu's future as a female body-builder, I insist on a regiment of at LEAST five minutes daily of Tummy Time. She doesn't like it, but I can see improvement in her neck muscles. In fact, just a week ago she didn't even appear to have a neck. Now she can get all sorts of nasty stuff festering in there!

Not to be outdone, Pony decided to show her how it's done. Look how far he can lift his head up!

Thanks to the good ol' Volkmars for the pink blanket (that so nicely offsets Pony's lustrous brown coat) and all the other great presents.

In comics news, I am very very slowly progressing on "Losers Weepers #2". I'm sometimes able to sketch out a panel in between diaper changes and whatnot. So far I've got about seven pages penciled in.


Food, Inc.

I don't think I've ever mentioned a movie on this here blog, but I found "Food, Inc." (which I watched last night) worth mentioning. My obsession with all things animal-welfare and vegan related began with my reading of John Robbins' "Diet For A New America" back in 1992. Since then, I am constantly reading any book that promises to both greatly disturb me and simultaneously renew my awareness of why I maintain a vegan diet and lifestyle.

Every so often, a book (or film) comes out that makes the jump from being read (viewed) by only the AR/Vegan crowd to becoming a mainstream phenomenon. "Fast Food Nation", several books by Michael Pollan and Jonathan Safran Foer's latest work, "Eating Animals" immediately come to mind.

I think "Food, Inc." has the potential to cross over into mainstream. The cinematography is both beautiful and compelling, and the editing keeps things moving along nicely. Most importantly, the film focuses on the environmental, sociological and economic impact of our food choices rather than the impact it has on animals. It seems to me that a great many people are too uncomfortable to continue watching when confronted with the horrible realities of how livestock are raised and treated throughout their journey to our plates. This film shows the human cost of letting corporations oversee food production unchecked.

That's why I think "Food, Inc." has more of a chance of being seen by more people. The information within will surely outrage the average American, perhaps enough for them to consider changing the way they eat. I become more "realistic" the older I get, and so I don't expect the vast majority to ever embrace a vegan lifestyle. BUT, I do think that informed people make more informed choices, and so I whole-heartedly applaud this excellent film. Go see it, folks!

In related (sort of) news, a security camera caught a man abusing his tiny dog in an elevator. Watching the footage made me physically ill. The most heartbreaking moments are when the guy calls the poor dog over to be pet only to kick him across the room. At first I was livid thinking about what an a**hole this man is. Then I felt sorry for him, for surely something in his past caused him to treat his dog this way. I hope he finds some sort of release or therapy, but mostly I hope he is never again allowed to care for a living creature.

View more news videos at: http://www.nbcnewyork.com/video.


A visit from Meemaw

Lulu's meemaw came up from Atlanta for a visit this week. She prefers to be called "Grammie Ro" or some such nonsense, but Lulu is sticking to her guns. For Lulu, no title can oust "meemaw". It's just the way she rolls.

In other "news", Karen insists that my super close-up photos of Lulu distort her face. Once again, Lulu is not having it. She tells me that she prefers extreme close-ups with no flash. It's just the way she rolls.


Old Man Winter & Supertalk reviews on Third Eye Comics blog

Both 'Old Man Winter & OST' and the 'Supertalk' anthology got nice review/mentions on the Third Eye Comics blog. It was in conjunction with Indy Comics Week in which lots of comic retailers that might not normally stock indy stuff are given a wonderful opportunity to do so (plus, Diamond Distributors doesn't ship any new titles that week). Supertalk even gets compared to the Beastie Boys!

You can read it here...you gotta scroll down a bit to find it (under the Indy Comics Week banner).