Wednesday, February 28, 2007

We have a tonne to do before heading out on Thursday. Cleaning up the apartment, export permits, Cali tax permits, incorporation paperwork, travel insurance, sorting through pages for sale, business cards... and hopefully a load of laundry in there somewhere.

Finally had a moment to figure out why the hell my computer kept defaulting to Quicktime making it impossible to save audio files without downloading some expensive and useless upgrade. After getting it all sussed I felt pretty silly for not taking the time sooner. So simple a fix and it would have saved me a lot of annoyance.

Spent the last few hours saving the rest of Deja Vu for the trip and getting the Dr Who theme converted to mp3 so I could get it sent to my phone. I'm not sure it worked but it was worth a go.

It's snowing outside, a thick wet slush that will probably be gone by sunrise. A few hours ago two skunks were furiously going at it under our window, a lusty swirl of black and white and angry squeaks. I'm sure the snow has cooled them right off.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

7 pages out today. Wow, I feel pretty good about getting more than expected done.

After listening to the Luther Arkwright CD a few times and being immersed in a state of concentration I haven't had in a long time, the kind that gets you really deep into the right side of the brain and creatively charged like nobody's business, I went online to find more to listen to.

I was hunting specifically for audio dramas but ran into a lot of rambling podcasts about drama by people who could not start a session without saying how sorry they were it had taken so long to get a new 'cast out. Ugh.

I found an old time radio site and listened to a few episodes of the Shadow. There was a Dr Who audio fanfic that was scary awful (I could only take a couple of minutes before I had to switch off), another Falcon Banner thing that had better production values but sounded too much like Star Trek fic, couldn't get past the first episode.

And then I found a blog called This Writing Life set up by a new-ish author named Ian Hocking. He had recently published a book called Deja Vu, a techno thriller that had received some "critical acclaim" so I decided to listen to it, chapter by chapter posted on the blog.

And my god what an addictive story! It's the kind of sci-fi I really enjoy, set in the near future, dealing with emerging technologies and their implications. It reminded me of a cross between Wim Wender's Until the End of the World and Children of Men but less bleak.

It starts off a bit choppy, throwing you into the deep end of events without any kind of floatation device and then smooths out as you get to know more about the characters. The writing is stylistically elegant and engaging and it doesn't hurt that Mr. Hocking, who reads the book, has an easy-to-listen-to, velvety voice. It's perfect for work and very entertaining.

I'm at chapter 13 and am very, very hooked.

Monday, February 26, 2007

6 pages almost done. I'll have it out on Tuesday.

French architecture is a bitch to draw. Seriously.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Almost done with page 9, pages 10 and 11 are halfway there.

We've got an old keyboard at the office and there are vintage keys for auction on e-bay. Damn it's tempting. Maybe I can get away with brass sheeting and some specialty woods?


I should go and feed the cats now.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Pages 7, 8 and 9 are halfway there. Started page 10.

Brass Goggles reported on this wonderful mod for a steampunk keyboard.

If I had the equipment and the time I'd try and figure it out but as it is I'll have to wait until some marketing genius gets them mass produced so I can buy one and love it forever.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Page 6 is done, pages 7 and 8 are started.

When we got to the office this evening we found the Luther Arkwright cds in the mail pile. And then I became very giggly and happy. I played the whole set while working and holy cow what a fun adaptation. Some bits were taken out from the original story, the New Amsterdam reporter is gone and the Nirvana and baptism sequence is done in sound effects with no narration, but despite this it was spot on. Tennant was faaabulous as Arkwright, playing his restlessness and bravura just right.

One distracting, albeit amusing element was hearing Arkwright call fellow WOTAN agent and paramour by her name, Rose Wilde.

Recommended, even more so if you're a fan of the book.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Tenacious D rocked our fucking socks off tonight! We were in the 7th row right under these massive speakers and when KG and JB "went to hell" in grand Tommy-esque fashion our hair was literally blown back, threatening our very cardiac rhythms with thundering beats. The antichrist was on lead electric, Charlie Chaplin played base and Colonel Sanders kicked out on a devilish drum set raised high on a mountain of skulls. There were old favourites, a few new tunes from the movie and covers of Queen, Led Zepellin and the Who with a few appearances from Lee and the Devil himself.

And I think I lost a good chunk of my hearing.

I really don't care if we don't get Police tickets after seeing that. Wow. And wow.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

The first 5 pages of 56 are out today. Lots of challenging backgrounds in this set. Phew!

Now to get a few hours sleep before the Tenacious D concert tonight!

Wooo hooo!

Monday, February 19, 2007

I've got 2 pages done and backgrounds to finish up on the rest of this batch. It'll be out on Tuesday.

Just got the last half of the script for issue 56. After reading it I totally cried. It's starting to hit now that we're in the final stretch.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

5 pages getting worked through this weekend.

Saw Ghost Rider tonight. I really liked the character work, the humour and the easy cheesiness of it all but the actual plot was more distracting than entertaining. Kinda just wanted more of Ghost Rider riding around and stopping pretty crimes than the whole Blackheart's-after-the-big-bad-scroll thing.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Pages 1-3 are looking good.

It was announced in this week's solicits that Y would be going bi-monthly. The main reason being to allow for more time to finish the last issue which will be double sized. The alternative would have been to take a three or so month hiatus between issue 54 (out this week! Go get it!) and the final arc Whys and Wherefores and that just seemed a little too much to put the readers through.

Myself, I'm very happy about it. I've been getting more details about how this finale is going to play out and it's great knowing there will be time to give it the attention it really needs.

So excited right now.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

While browsing ThinkGeek this evening I came across an item that gave me the biggest laugh of the week:

Sonic Bomb Alarm Clock with Bed Shaker

Maybe I'm just a sucker for theater of pain but the idea of a 113 decibel alarm clock that makes your bed rumble really cracks me up.

And then I read the part about it having a snooze button.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Issue 55 is DONE. 6 pages just went out the door leaving five issues to go.

Holy crap.

Friday, February 9, 2007

6 pages almost done, I'll have them finished over the weekend.

Just an example of one of the many challenges of drawing this book: finding interior shots of the cargo hold of a modern German freight train.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Wondercon Schedule!

2:00-3:00: Cartoon Art Museum, Room 236
(there will be a reception that evening at the Cartoon Art Museum for their new Worlds of Wonder exhibit where you can see a few Y pages on display. I'll be in the corner getting drunk.)

4:00-5:00: Vertigo: Looking Ahead, Room 200

6:00-7:00: Vaughan, Harris and Guerra, Room 200
(This one is going to be a party so bring your noisemakers!)

11:30-12:30: Spotlight on Pia Guerra, Room 236
(Come and see me and my sister Victoria drone on about our oppressive childhoods!)

1:30 - 2:30: Gender and Genre, Room 236
(Hosted by the Browncoats!)
Pages 17-19 are almost done, page 20 is laid out.

Found the Luther Arkwright cd over at Big Finish and placed an order. Yay!

Programming for Wondercon is about to be finalised and I'll have a full list of panel/signing times posted here shortly. I am really looking forward to this trip. San Francisco is a fun town!

Charlie is back to his energetic, pooping, peeing, bratty lil' self.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

While doing a little Wiki surfing this evening not only do I learn that one of my favourite graphic novels, Bryan Talbot's Adventures of Luther Arkwright has been adapted into a full cast audio production available on CD but that it also stars David Tennant!


I came across Luther Arkwright in the early 90s when I was digging through the creaky stacks of 4th Dimension Comics in New Westminster. I'd been going to this amazing store since I was 15 because the older gentleman who ran the place knew my parents were fine with me buying mature titles. This was where I picked up the first issues of Sandman, Hellblazer and Helfer's Shadow relaunch, books that would have a profound influence on me. And then this little treasure.

Talbot's artwork immediately grabbed my attention and I bought what few issues of the Dark Horse reprint they had. After reading them I was completely blown away by the density of the narrative and the depth of artistic detail so rich it had appendices for reference at the end of each issue. This was the ultimate realisation of the marriage of words and pictures, the art didn't overshadow the writing and the writing didn't drown out the art and it absolutely charged me up about drawing for comics. I could be a participant in telling the story and not just the person who makes pretty pictures to go with the words.

It took a while to find the missing chapters and later I was fortunate to come across the full sized versions originally released in the UK. The detail in those were more visible and oh so brilliant.

Totally recommended, and now I have to go and hunt down these cds. Woo hoo! I can play these while I work! I am so psyched!

Monday, February 5, 2007

From Neatorama, this very lovely time-lapse video of the 2006 Reno Balloon Race.
3 pages laid out. Some interesting choreography to work out.

Charlie spent an expensive night at the vet's. It's not clear whether it's early pancreatitis or just an unhappy liver as a result of eating some spilled talcum powder the other day. He's home now and we're keeping an eye on him.

The little guy is gonna make me go grey, I swear.

Friday, February 2, 2007

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Almost done with this batch.

Ian, Vic and myself finally made it out to Stanley Park to see the devastation from the windstorms that hit town a few weeks back. Despite all the news reports it was still a shock to see so many trees down. And Prospect Point was almost unrecognizable. I hope that family of raccoons we saw there last summer were still okay.

The view down the stairs was even creepier with the absence of trees and brush. You can see all the way down to the still closed seawall, the parts that weren't covered in debris anyway. The fog was pretty, the air was chilly and we were all goofy.

After our little drive we headed over to the VAG for a look at the Fred Herzog exhibit of photos of Vancouver from the 1950's to the present. One particularly eerie picture was of a man wearing a short-sleeve shirt with a cheesy print of the Manhattan landscape complete with WTC buildings on it. He was standing with his back to the camera somewhere on the midway of the PNE. The photo was dated September 1st 2001.

It was interesting seeing Vancouver from earlier times, we're so used to seeing old photos of other large cities like New York or Chicago, and here were frozen moments of normal people going about their lives, drinking a coke, sitting on their porches, working on boats or watching a Chinese New Year's parade from their windows all in places that are surprisingly familiar. These were Herzog's neighbourhoods, rough and worn yet still brightly coloured and alive. There's a comfortable satisfaction in these pictures, knowing life does and always will continue on. As Ian put it, "In 50 years an old woman will walk out of a store with an ice cream cone."