Friday, September 29, 2006

Halfway through pages 16 and 17.

Picked up a CD the other day called She wants Revenge based on the recommendation of a third party. After listening to it I've decided I should stick with a two party system in the future.

Yeah, I'm up late again.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Another frustrating week. I was up early this morning and hit the board to get the 11-15 batch done. There's an action sequence in there that needed more attention than I could give today and was only able to get 4 pages into the FedEx pack this afternoon.


I've had to adjust to the new sleep schedule where I've been getting up at 8 and 9 in the morning. I'll probably be back to staying up 'till dawn before long but right now it's just one of those weird flip floppy phases I go through, and the work schedule has had to follow along.

The upside being that we've been able to check out more stores open during their business hours. Picked up the Spike Jonze collection on DVD (awesome!), Loco Roco for the PSP (Wowie!), and the new Barenaked Ladies CD (ehn). Also walked around in a lot of sunshine (nice!).

No comics yet because some wimp-a-licious border guards decided to walk off the job the other day in protest for not being able to carry guns thereby backing up customs a whole day. And here I thought Quebecor shipped books out of... well, Quebec. Huh.

Another project for this week (besides hauling ass to get the last batch done) is to find Vic a car. She needs one for school and work and I need to learn how to drive and get my damn licence already. Do a lot of 34 year olds take Young Drivers of Canada courses these days?

Monday, September 25, 2006

The auction went well. Didn't place but the can nabbed $125 for the charity. Afterwards we grabbed some dinner, checked out some art supplies on the Island and then headed home. I was surprised how beat I was. The spot I worked in under the tent was chilly and it just went right into my bones. I suppose with all the Canwest events of last week and the Fringe the week before that, it was probably inevitable that at some point I would turn into a total zombie. I passed out early and now here I am at 9am, awake and ready to hit the office.


I'd like to get this batch done by tomorrow, I have 4 pages in process and I'm waiting on some paper for the 5th page (the paper order didn't come in Friday but it's probably there now). It's more realistic that I'll be done on Wednesday and then have the remainder of this issue done next week.

We'll see what today brings.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

On Friday I got into the office early and started pages 13 and 14. Afterwards I met up with Vic and we headed over to the Cultch for more Canwest shows, the first was the Best of Canadian Content followed by Tinkle with David Cross and a whole bunch of other stand-ups. I was fighting the urge to doze off through most of the evening mostly due to weird sleep and not the fine talents of the performers.

Today I'll be back in the office but first I'm off to get some paint for Sunday's Garbage Can Art Contest and Auction on Granville Island. This is a charity event I've participated in over the last few years to raise funds for BC's Children's Hospital.

20 Artists are given a standard garbage can and have 4 hours to transform it into art to be auctioned off for children's art therapy programs. This year I plan to keep it simple with a Spider-man theme so if anyone wants something quirky and iconic for their kitchen or garage, come on down to the Island and help out the kids. Artists start at 11am, judging at 3pm and auction at 3:30pm in the market courtyard.

See you there!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Pages 11 and 12 are started up.

Going to a Canwest show tonight, Brian Posehn is one of the stand-ups! His cd was kickass!

Finally got caught up on all the episodes of LOST we missed last year. Nice cliffhanger too. I have so many theories but I'll save that for another time.

Exceeeept... anyone else notice the Peter Gabriel song Hurley wanted to play for Libby (In Your Eyes) is on the same album as the song titled We Do What We're Told (Milgram's 37) about the infamous pyschological experiment?

Pretty eerie, huh?

I love this show!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

5 pages done and away.

Got to sleep at noon on Sunday. Up at 7:30pm and out the door a couple of hours later to see the last Canadian Content show for the festival. Afterwards we went to the Fringe club for some unexpected dancing. I should do more of that, lots of fun. So by 2am we went to the office where I set up at the desk and worked through the morning to get this ugly batch out the door.

The panels that were driving me nuts continued to do so until a few hours before the 3:30pm FedEx deadline when I stopped trying to rework them and just grabbed the eraser.

It worked out okay in the end. Hopefully I won't be giving Jose too much grief with some of the rougher patches.

Met up with Ian for a spot of lunch (breakfast? Dinner?), took advantage of being up when everything was open and did some banking, got home at around 6pm and crashed.

Up again at midnight and spent time with Ian watching episodes of Lost we missed last spring. I really love this show. Amazing pacing, good teases and excellent characters. Haven't got to the end of the season yet but we can't help but come up with theories.

Oh and really great news from DC. A poster of the cover to Y #23 hits the shops this week. This one is a beauty and I can't wait to get one up in the office.

Now if we can convince the folks in PR to put together some action figures...

Sunday, September 17, 2006

After spending the night drawing and re-drawing the same shit over and over again I can't help but hear those words running through my head: I suck. I suck. I suck.

I know I don't really suck. There are batches that go smoothly and there are those, like this goddamn little batch right here, that make my life miserable for a spell. And it has nothing to do with the writing, the writing is spot on as always, it's me drawing myself into a corner or not plotting out space properly or a crappy sleep schedule or restlessness and wanderlust or who knows what the hell it is. It just is.

I'm sure there's so much more I can learn to make this job go easier, techniques that can keep me from being needlessly complex or whatever... But here's where I am right now. The harsh reality of the 'dream gig', the sucky bits and the struggle and the parts that make you want to throw heavy objects out of windows.

And sure, I Could Byrne it up, cut corners and backgrounds and character, suck the very life out of the script but I'm just a stickler for good storytelling I guess.

Christ I'm a cranky Pia this morning.

Off to bed.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Having a slow week here. 5 pages are still rough but they're coming along. Saturday? I hope so.

Found this link on the bendis Board to a lovely YouTube mash-up: Tron vs Depeche Mode

Finally received a response from the Omni Hotel: I'll be getting my money reimbursed. Woo!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Great quote from Touring Cassandra about a recent trip to the Vancouver Aquarium:

We found Cassandra's soulmate there. When we were looking at the crocodiles (which were terrifying by the way) we suddenly heard this voice over our shoulder saying something like, "he approaches the glass cautiously, ready to jump in and overtake the silent beast" in a bit of an Australian accent. And then we turn around and it's this 9 or 10 year old little boy who then smiles at us, and as he strikes a fist to his chest says, "Tribute to Steve Irwin" and walks away. It was so funny.

No matter how dickish some people (*cough*Byrne*cough*) will be about Irwin's death, It's heartening to see those words will never really affect those most impacted by the conservationist.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Pages 8 and 9 are underway. I should have this batch done by Friday.

Addicted to MySpace.

Just got word that the first Y trade, Unmanned has gone into its 6th printing (Wowie Zowie!).

Vancouverites! There are two Fringe shows you absolutely must see this week: A Little Life presented by the Stretched Mouth'd Rascals and of course, Canadian Mounties vs Atomic Invaders presented by Canadian Content. Go see them!

More info at

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Pages 6 and 7 gotten started.

After coming home this morning I decided to finally get a MySpace page set up. Friends have been pestering me to get one and if Brubaker can do it... The address is so go on over and check it out. You may have to hit refresh a few times, MySpace is all wonky today but the page is there. To make things extra weird, Blogger won't let me hyperlink the address (yeahbuwhaa?!) so you'll have to cut and paste. Code drama!

Civility has gone out the window in our neighbourhood. It's 7:45 am and the house across the street has a roofing torch blaring as well as a radio with some crappy morning show and the house next to us is hammering and oh yeah, that dog from the house over is barking again.

God, I live in a damn zoo.

And that reminds me... Still no response from the Omni Hotel for their total douchebaggery. I'll be e-mailing them again soon.

On a very cool note, I found a copy of Making Comics by Scott McCloud at Chapters the other day and completely forgot that I had a quote in it! Scott e-mailed me several months ago for advice about tools. On page 209 you'll find a little paragraph about favourite pencils! Woo hoo!

Oh and it's an amazing book too! Anyone wanting to work in comics needs to read this. An absolutely priceless reference.

Monday, September 11, 2006

5 years ago this hour (4:30-ish am PST) I was sitting at my computer and I was happy.

We had spent several months getting Y ready to go; sketches, character designs, plotting and an ad campaign that would include a poster of Yorick standing on a veritable mountain of dead men. Early buzz was starting to generate and we were so damn excited. On Monday, September 10th I had finally gotten the okay to get started. I spent the whole day scouring books and magazines and googling all over the internet for reference images: Brooklyn apartments, streets, cars, a straight jacket, capuchin monkeys, Australian landscapes, a satellite cell phone, cages, guns, ambulances, cop cars and uniforms.

A few hours earlier I was on the phone with Brian going over some notes. I remember mentioning that I was having trouble finding reference for NYPD police uniforms and I wasn't sure which ones to go with; light blue short sleeve shirts or the dark navy ones. He said he'd do some digging since he had done some work as an auxiliary officer.

At around 5am (nowish, I'm a slow typist), I was wrapping up. I took all my printed refs and script and set it by my drawing table. I was listening to the new Bif Naked CD and digging it. I should have turned in earlier but I was too awake. I went online to the Bronze message board to see what the Buffy fans were chatting about. A few friends were on so I posted about the CD I was enjoying, that I was feeling pretty darn good and not wanting to turn away, I shut it all down and went to bed.

Later, when I went back to the board to check on east coast Bronzers I noted that just as I was putting in my ear plugs and turning out the light a post reading "Something's going on at the World Trade Center" directed everyone to check the news.

The earplugs were to cover up the noise of the Mountain Equipment Co-Op's very busy parking lot right outside my window. In recent weeks the racket had become unbearable, lots of SUVS and car alarms and I was losing a lot of sleep. The plugs were working nicely.

That morning my sleep was restless with dreams of urgency and noise. I awoke at around 10:30am to the cats jumping on my legs. I was used to Charlie being a spaz but there was something weird about this. I looked down to see both cats at my feet staring at me wide-eyed and pacing in agitation and there was a faint ringing going on.

I pulled out my ear plugs to hear the phone ringing by my bed. I answered to the sound of my mom sobbing on the phone. My first thought was that someone died.

"Mom, what happened?"

"The Twin Towers are gone. They hit them with planes and thousands of people are dead, they said twenty-five thousand people were in there."


"The US is going to war Pia and I can't get through to the family there"

"Slow down, I don't understand-"

"Are you watching this? I've been trying to call you for hours."

"I've been asleep, I had earplugs in. What do you mean there's a war?"

"They hit the towers with planes and now they're gone and they're saying we're at war and I can't call Helen from here. Her husband is a cop remember?"

"Holy shit. I'll go and see."

"Call Helen, my long distance is out and I can't call them."

"Okay, give me their number and I'll call from here. I'll call you right back."

I wrote down the number and hung up. I just sat there in bed stunned. I looked out the window and was struck by what I saw. The Co-Op parking lot was empty. It was totally quiet. The sun shone on the city and the north shore mountains and it was absolutely spectacular. I considered turning on the TV but felt a powerful urge instead to find Ian. I threw on a sweater and sandals and ran out the door.

It was a short run to the neighbouring apartment building. The weather was beautiful, cool and warm at the same time the thick trees casting perfect shadows. And no one was on the street. Totally quiet. My mind was in a panic like I hadn't been since I was a kid when things like war and nuclear annihilation were very real fears. Holy crap, who could have done this? Not the Chinese? Does that mean missiles are going to be flying? No, wait, that's nuts, it has to be that guy, the terrorist who blew up the Cole and that embassy. What was his name?

A part of me was hoping mom was just exaggerating like she did when Seattle was hit by an earthquake a few months earlier. She had called me then to tell me buildings had collapsed downtown and she was so glad I wasn't living there anymore. It turned out to be only some minor damage, a few facades shaken loose but far from the major disaster she made it sound to be. Maybe it's not that bad. I started worrying about the relatives, my cousin who got me into comics and of course his sister's husband, the cop.

I leaned on the buzzer knowing Ian usually ignored it in the mornings. When he answered I yelled for him to open the door.

I ran up the stairs and hurried into Ian's apartment, telling him to turn on the TV because something terrible had happened. When he picked up the remote I remember feeling a rush of panic over what we might see so I asked Ian to put it on the CBC instead of CNN because the American networks would probably be crazy and we wouldn't get a clear idea of what was going on.

CBC had live feeds of the Canadian ambassador and several other representatives at a press conference announcing they will be sending whatever support required. I told Ian what my mom had told me while we waited for images. When the press conference started focusing on military action we had gotten really frustrated not knowing the facts so we braced ourselves for the CNN feed.

The first sight was that of the towers, still standing with gaping holes in their sides, smoke billowing out. Our shock spiked sharply as the images cut from that to the giant blooms of pulverized concrete falling to the street below. The jagged spire of the North Tower tilting in the smoke was a like a knife in the heart. We both burst into tears.

I remembered that I had to call Helen and grabbed the phone. All I got was a busy signal and would continue to get it for several hours when I finally got through to Queens. Helen's husband actually answered. It turned out he was home sick with pneumonia. I chatted with Helen who I hadn't spoken with in a few years. She told me that everyone was okay. Cousin Pat worked in midtown and walked over to her house when the city cleared out. One of our other cousins who worked around the corner from the towers was out of the country on vacation so she was okay. The grand aunts who lived uptown were also out of the country. Uncle Lou had a friend from work who was missing though. I passed all the information on to mom.

We spent the day in front of the TV, in shock. At one point we decided to quit the carnage and went to Future Shop to pick up a digital cable box so we could watch something other than the endless coverage. The employees were making a point, kindly, to keep their channels off the news and it was a welcome break.

Later that night I visited a friend's place nearby and talked over everything we saw. At one point I recalled the last time we were in New York and visited the towers. It was late, just before closing, the city lights were beautiful and the observation area was empty. I bought some goofy souvenirs from the gift shop. An old guy was polishing the floor with a buffer machine, singing as he worked. He laughed about how the outside deck was closed because of wind and if we went out there we'd be blown clear off. And then he continued singing. At the tall windows there was a bar you could stand on for an amazing view straight down. I remember standing there and thinking how terrible it would be to fall from such a height. And then I remembered the brass grout on the floor tiles in the lobby, this little detail, and I just lost it. All of sudden it had become real and I was a big puddly mess.

It would be a few days until I heard from Brian who had been called in to direct traffic in the auxiliary. He watched the towers go from his rooftop in Brooklyn. I talked to Heidi who lived in the medical district of Manhattan. She told me how she saw all the hospitals prepare for casualties, gurneys on the sidewalk, staff prepped at the docks only no one was really coming in.

When it was clear that the Taliban was involved we had to take the first issue into re-writes because of a scene set in Afghanistan involving a shoot out at a Taliban roadblock. No one was sure if the firefighter scenes would work or even if the book would still go ahead because it was just so dark a subject for so sad a time.

We've come a long way since then and man does it seem like so much longer sometimes.

Right now there's live coverage on CNN of the NYC memorial services and Marsallis is playing on a trumpet. When he stood up to play I thought it would be yet another round of taps or some patriotic bullshit but instead this wonderful jazz. Down By the Riverside.

As it should be.

Saturday, September 9, 2006

I worked through Wednesday night until about 10am Thursday finishing the costumes. I had gotten some drawing done but was still behind. Got to bed by noon. That evening I was so wrecked from the all-nighters that I just stayed home. Felt like crap. And you know what feeling like crap needs to make it even more of a crap-fest? Waking up to find the wound on my lower lip had decided to stick to my upper lip. BLEAHH!

When Ian came home he was also quite roasted physically and emotionally from all the running around to get the show ready. We both crashed for the night. I woke up at 6am for no reason. Now overslept I couldn't get back to sleep but I was still really tired. Sat around the house for a few hours then crashed again at around 11 am. Woke up at 4pm and decided it was high time to get back to work.

We spent Friday evening in the office and I just whipped through the pages. We took a break to see one of the other Fringe shows over at the Waterfront. Unfortunately it ran long so we were unable to see Riels's show (the Stretched Mouth Rascals) at Midnight across the street. Grr. The Waterfront show was really rough too. Double grr.

After a round of sushi we returned to the office, worked for a few hours and then I packed up the remaining two pages to finish at home.

So here I am on Saturday afternoon, Fed Ex has just picked up the batch and I'm in a very awake phase (I'm sure that will correct itself once my head hits the pillow). On the very bright side, Canadian Mounties vs. Atomic Invaders got a nice review in the Sun. I can't wait to see the show tomorrow night. The feedback on the costumes has been really positive and I want to see them in action.

Oh, that reminds me, I still have to make some dwarf hats for the Snow White scene. *g*

Off to bed.

Wednesday, September 6, 2006

While trying to get Megatron's chest piece to hold together this evening I unthinkingly placed a strip of packing tape I was struggling to keep straight to my lip to free up my hands. Not even a lot, a tiny little corner and when I realised what I'd done and quickly tugged it off the tape took a good quarter inch square of skin off my very dry lip.


Bleeding and suddenly very frustrated I decided to call it a night. I'll catch up tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 5, 2006

Pages 3, 4 and 5 are started up. Couple more days and this batch is out.

Now I just have to figure out how to make a decent Optimus Prime and Megatron costume for Ian's Fringe show (starting this Thursday). Being married to an actor is not a lot different than having an 8 year old kid it seems *g*. But then New Comics Day turns us both into 12 year olds so I really can't point fingers.

Some nice news came in over the weekend, I was invited to Wondercon 2007 as a guest! Woo hoo!

A signing and panel schedule should be coming in soon for October's V-Con. They gave us a list of topics to choose from and damn if the discussion on SETI and the Drake Equation didn't tempt me. I'll probably be talking comics and portfolios so if those areas interest you go and get some tickets.

Monday, September 4, 2006

The barbecue was great and upon seeing our host's young daughter and how much she had grown since I last saw her I resolved to finally get to work on the dollhouse I promised when she was born.

We took the shell I found a while back out of the storage locker and I set to stripping it down. The previous owner it seemed was quite insane judging by the many layers of tacky wallpaper and globs of glue and paint everywhere. The new detail sander worked well at smoothing out the rougher patches (and the noise did a nice job of covering up the racket coming from the neighbour's family reunion party that had been going on since this morning) but most of the evening was spent soaking and scraping at the wallpaper and glue with a sponge and exacto knife.

It was very relaxing.

Tomorrow it's back to the office.

Saturday, September 2, 2006

Pages 1 and 2 of issue 51 are halfway done.

And here the summer is nearly done. Damn well worked right through it. We'll be trying to make up for lost time this long weekend starting with a barbeque at Patrick's.

Bit of a shock the other day while looking over my credit card bill. It turns out the Omni Hotel charged me for their screw up after all (see July 22nd post for details), and it's dated a day after the manager promised I'd get my money back. I've sent their headquarters another e-mail, their auto responder said someone would get back to me within two business days. That was last Monday. Now that I think on it, they never did get back to me about the first e-mail I sent after we returned from San Diego.

What a terrible way to do business.

Friday, September 1, 2006

Spent the last two days off, a rarity with my late habits and totally welcomed. Yesterday we took another trip to the PNE, this time with our nephew Kyle, a four year old with seemingly boundless energy. After the kiddie rides he wanted to go down the Super Slide with his auntie Pia. We climbed up the stairs with our burlap sack, took a moment to admire the view and then got on the slide for a terrifying ride to the bottom.

The coolest part was getting back on my feet, heart pounding like crazy and looking up to see Kyle halfway across the fare ground running full tilt with Ian struggling to catch up. The little guy was just so excited by the ride, so charged up that the only way he could direct it was to run as fast as he could in the first direction he pointed himself at. Pretty entertaining.

Once he had settled down we made our way to the petting zoo where among other animals we pat a fluffy, white, baby rabbit named Marshmallow.

Today I spent the day in the office doodling for fun (another rarity). Had a good time.

First part of 51 came in tonight, cool scene too. I'm on it tomorrow.