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Project rambling

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I don’t know if you noticed that I have a few comics listed on the site that haven’t really started yet.  It’s kind of a commitment to the project.  If I tell someone I’m going to do it, then I have to live up to my side of the bargain.  That’s what this is, I’m going to ramble on about all these great ideas I have and that will mean that I’ll have to follow through eventually.  I am actively trying to limit myself to how many running projects I have at any one time.  I found that the relief and pride of getting one of them done is too good to delay by adding more commitments to the mix.

I will be finishing a couple more things before I get on with it, I mean with the other things I want to do.  The other stories I want to write.  Did I tell you that I usually think of my characters first and then make the story around them?  Maybe they aren’t completely thought out, but they’ve got flesh.  I’ve got so many stories racing through my head, gathering up so many characters, that I felt bad about abandoning them to dreamy memories.  So when I drew them I had to figure out a container to put them in so they wouldn’t get lost.  That container is a highschool.  Yup, at some point in time they all went to school, sorta.  Anyway, once I get some things scanned I’m going to start building an online (and expandable) yearbook so ya’ll can see the people who fall out of my head.

And in the midst of thinking up a highschool for all these people to live in, I figured out a great flashback story for Levi Levi.  It will explain how Annie became his book-keeper/office-manager type person.  And it will feature the time traveling twins Clement and Rosalie Skitt.  They’re up on the characters page, but did not yet have a story of their own.  Technically Levi Levi’s next chapter isn’t their story either…so I came up with one.  It will be a choose your own adventure type alternative format comic – which means I can’t put it up anywhere until it’s mostly figured out and drawn.  I mean, choose-your-own adventures don’t happen linearly so they can’t be doled out once a week.

And none of this has anything to do with my next huge comic idea:  The 22 Lives of Marcus Trapp.  This one actually requires research, so it’s slow going.  Just writing about all of these makes me excited about them all over again.

Levi Levi pg 69

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Email from my sofa

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So…remember when I said I’d be updating all my comics (that’s three + the drawing board, so four technically) once a week?  I suppose you noticed that I failed big time on that goal this month.  I have been away from my sofa, the place where I do all my drawings, sitting cross legged with a stack of sketchbooks on my lap and NCIS playing on the TV.  Instead, I have been spreading the good message of longer resource sharing due dates.  And yeah, I know that makes no sense to people not in the business.  But I gave 1/3 of a presentation at an international conference!  I manned poster session at another conference!  I made great improvements to my resume!  I’ve been traveling way too much!

But enough excuses!  This past weekend I was able to spend some quality time with my sofa.  I have finished the first chapter of No Evil.  I will scan this and get it running here for your pleasure and then I will concoct the next chapter with the story telling help of doomedmoviethon Richard.  I have made great headway on the story of Ramone, Joy, and Gee (that’s Flip Side to you) as well as Levi Levi (which is also winding up a chapter).  They will be back in force.  And I finished a sketchbook.  That means that I’ve got a whole bunch of newly scanned artwork just dying to worm it’s way into your eyeballs.  Are you ready for all of this?  Well?

Levi Levi pg 68

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Levi Levi pg 67

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I’m playing with the style a little in preparation for Levi’s next assignment/storyline where we’ll flashback to how he met Annie.  You can’t wait can you?  I know I can’t.

 

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Reading Mark Twain

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Like so many other pre and teenagers I had the wrong idea of Mark Twain imposed on me from a young age.  I mean, I liked that thing that Tom Sawyer did where he tricked his buddies into washing the fence for him.  But the standard primary school Mark Twain is just not as fabulous as the man could be.  It is no where near as fabulous.

So, at some point in my early teen-dom I made the this-is-how-fabulous-Mark-Twain-really-is discovery when I picked up From a Pen Warmed in Hell.  Of course I was going to pick it up.  I was immature and it had ‘Hell’ in the title.  Thumbing through it, there could be no doubt that it was something wonderful even though it contained sundry writings from a guy who wrote stories about precocious southern boys (i.e. not my bag).  The more I read, the more I needed.  Pretty soon, I had developed a full on love for Mark Twain.

And that is why, when I was trolling Project Gutenberg for stuff to stock my e-reader with, I downloaded Christian Science.  I started reading it recently in waiting rooms and on planes.  I’m not near done.  But already I can’t stop talking about it.

In his very Mark Twain way, the author is managing to make fun of Christian Science while still somehow convincing me that he thinks its a really good thing.  At least that’s how he starts.  I’m just waiting for him to open up and start slashing it to pieces.  Though I will be no less satisfied if the subtlety continues.  His criticisms of organized religion floored me at my first read of From a Pen Warmed in Hell.  It’s not so much that I wanted to ride the coat-tails of his tirade, or wanted to share in his calculated deconstruction of Christian belief systems.  I found his wit and literary strategy invigorating.  I am enjoying Christian Science no less.

His criticism, on religion, literature, or government, always seems like an act of love to me.  Whether it’s those things he loved or just the human nature that put them in action, I don’t know.  Perhaps I am only projecting something of myself in the mix.  But consider.  How could he spend so much time with those concepts he criticized if he did not love them?  It’s like how we might fight and strain and whole-heartedly disagree with our parents while still holding them dear.

I think perhaps my own reading history had to do with my love of Mark Twain’s criticism.  His sharp phrases read like in-jokes.  I’m sure that, had I not read the books he referenced, studied the history he spoke of, or known the religion he laid bare, I would not have been as enchanted.  That said, if you’ve read The Last of the Mohicans, take a moment to check out Mark Twain’s Literary offenses of Fenimore Cooper as well.

Viva Project Gutenberg!

Levi Levi pg 66

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SLG and me

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Ok, so long ago and far away I took a trip to Emerald City Comics.  I was just getting into comics and I found the listing in the yellow pages while I was on my Summer vacation.  What I found there was a slightly fear inducing, utterly magical world of tables and boxes filled with stories and pictures.  This is where I found ‘Hero Sandwich.’  It was a collection of about six issues that comprised one story line.  I fell in love.

I can’t say if this was really in a time before the internet or if it was just a time before I was aware of it.  Basically, I had little access to finding more except for that same shop, Emerald City Comics, or the ad for a publishers catalog in the back of ‘Hero Sandwich.’  The ad was already old and I wondered, as I filled out and sealed up the request, whether or not I would hear anything of it.  A month or so later, I had mail from Slave Labor Graphics.

I gathered up my meager allowance savings and placed my order for a few titles including Milk and cheese, Library Bonnet, and Pirate Patrol.  My comic book collecting was slow in those days and everything got put on hold during the school year.  By the time I made my second order, I had found SLG’s online site and discovered Johnny the Homicidal Maniac, Rare Creature, and Lenore.  Eventually SLG publications started showing up in honest to goodness bookstores, and then in used bookstores.  This is how I found Rex Libris.  That bowling ball monolith logo was all I needed to see to know I wanted the comic it lived on.

Somewhere in the middle of this I got the idea in my head that I might create a comic myself.  I’m not even sure where this initial attempt ended up.  I think I can remember it being pretty bad, you know typical Mary Sue turned mutated super hero.  It was the idea of SLG’s open submission policy that made me even want to attempt comicking.  I was misguided, I know.  I have much better reasons for drawing comics now.

Levi Levi pg 65

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Levi Levi pg 64

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Little Heart: A Comic Anthology for Marriage Equality by Raighne Hogan — Kickstarter

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I am both happy and sad that Little Heart: A Comic Anthology for Marriage Equality by Raighne Hogan — Kickstarter project reached it goals and closed.  I tried my very darndest to be one of the people to help it get it’s remaining dollar needs and was stymied when I tried to complete the pledge through the amazon payments system Kickstarter is hooked up to.  My account is all square now, I think and now it is too late.  I am happy though.  Because if any comic project deserves mass amounts of people supporting it, it is Little Heart.

Blueprint to fix copyright

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So, you know how I like when people who know better than I do talk about copyright and privacy?  If you don’t then I’m sure it will sink in slowly.  Here’s a good, digestible one:  Why wait? Six ways that Congress could fix copyright, now.

Fairytale news

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So, did you hear?  Five hundred new fairytales discovered in Germany | Books | guardian.co.uk.  And I was only hoping that they’d been found earlier.  They haven’t even been translated yet, but if they were, maybe I could’ve used one of them to create my fairy tale comic submission for gurukitty’s ‘Once upon a time anthology.‘  Ah well, I did something else.  And if gurukitty doesn’t take it I will post it here for you guys to see.  I liked the challenge.

MakerBot Thing-O-Matic 3D Printer Kit

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This is a thing of dreams.  This is like the on-demand plastic injection parrot figurine machine at Sunken Gardens in St. Pete., FL.  I don’t think the machine is still around.  Ah!  Good memories.  But like that if it was hardwired to my mind in a bulbous, seeping Akira way.  I really want one of these by the way.  This is MakerBot Thing-O-Matic 3D Printer Kit – MakerBot Industries.

Levi Levi pg 63

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