Monday, August 27, 2007

Pulled another all-nighter this morning getting four pages out by noon. I have four more to go and should have them done soon. The pages took longer because of all the characters involved. Not to mention a few distractions like...

Leonard Wong's annual Comix and Stories show went on yesterday at Heritage Hall. Always a cosy event with lots of local talent it was fun to stop by before slogging back to the office. We met up with friends in the evening for a lovely dinner and chat at a nearby Phillipine restaurant called Rekados (mom showed up too). The curry chicken pina is my favourite dish there, goes great with rice.

A friend from out of town was with us so along with Vic we headed back home for a slideshow on the computer of our last couple of trips to the UK and Europe. He's a big fan of architecture so amazingly, his eyes didn't glaze over!

After that we left Vic at the apartment to play the final levels of Bioshock while my friend and I headed to the office where we met up with Ian, Roger and David (they took off for the arcade after the meal) I had trouble focusing on work which was more about stress getting the pages to work than everyone else playing Guitar Hero 2. Usually I can tune others out when I get into it, just wasn't getting into it.

We cut out around midnight, friends headed home, I packed up the pages to work on back at the couch. We got in to find Vicky reaching the final boss round which wasn't as big as I thought it would be but still pretty. The game is annoying in that it's basically four elements repeated over and and over: fight Splicers, fight Big Daddies, fight automated turret guns, and the same puzzle 'hack' game to break into machinery. That's it. And it goes on for hours! The repetition drives you crazy after a while and that's not even playing, that's listening while others play. The big redeeming quality of course is the beauty of the design but only just.

Eventually everyone headed to bed and I tore into work.

The out of town friend was having car trouble yesterday, I hope everything worked out at the garage this morning, haven't heard back from him yet. Probably should have left the phone on but I was exhausted. Had I answered a phone in such a state I'd have said something dream related, possibly very embarassing, or shouted rude epithets. For the best.

Tonight, a much needed shower and a bit of hand rest before diving back into these last pages tomorrow.

A car passed outside a second ago with a couple of girls screaming the lyrics to Life is a Highway out the window.

I really don't like that song.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Living in Vancouver has been very challenging this year due to several factors leading to a perfect storm of frustration.

The Strike
City workers have been on strike for over a month now resulting in community centers and pools being closed, garbage collection being halted and public venues for shows being shut down. Can't go swimming, can't go to the gym, the beaches are littered with trash and Stanley Park's sea wall is not getting fixed after last winter's windstorms so no biking or hiking around the park until later this year instead of this summer as promised. It's even tougher for the poor because food banks have not been able to give out food at community centers. People are going hungry here because CUPE workers and that fuckwit Mayor Sam Sullivan can't come to a bloody agreement.

The Olympics
The city has been turned upside down over this damn thing. Cambie Street, one of the main arterials into the downtown core has been a big hole for months so they can put in a RAV line to the airport that was pushed through council despite most people in this city not wanting it. Even worse, after it was forced in the line was changed from an unobtrusive tunnelling project to a much cheaper "cut and cover" operation which has literally destroyed a dozen small businesses down a once distinctive neighbourhood as the road work has made everything inaccessible to traffic and pedestrians. Fucking shameful.

Other road projects around the city have also strangled traffic and plowed through pristine woodland. Now they're planning to pave into Burns Bog for a new highway project.

But what really takes the cake is how everyone thinks that because we're having a two week party in 2010 every inch of real estate is suddenly worth three or four times than it actually is. Houses that went for three or four hundred grand five years ago are now being priced at over a million. Greed has run rampant as homeowners have started gutting, even mowing down beautiful single family homes, and building mulitple condos, basements suites are going for five hundred thousand. Condos in town, little boxes with little privacy, some as small as four hundred square feet are starting at three hundred grand. And that's not to exclude the skyrocketing rents where you can't find a crappy bachelor under eight hundred a month. It's insane. Yet another legacy of Mayor Sam's "eco-density" agenda to cram more people into the city.

And oh yeah, he's now saying these new condo developments won't be required to provide parking for residents in some lame ass attempt to get people out of their cars as if this were London or Paris (with a little help from hyperinflated meter and lot rates of course). He seems to forget that you need a car to get anywhere in the GVRD because Translink hasn't clue one how to provide for the people. The Main street bus used to go to the downtown core. We took that bus all the time until some jackass decided to end the line in the middle of nowhere in Chinatown. Now we don't take that bus anymore. There aren't enough cabs in this town because the city won't allow for more licences, how the heck do they plan to move hundreds of thousands of people during the Olympics?

I'm cranky today. There's more but I need some air.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Well grr, these four pages aren't quite done and I'm nodding off. I'll work on these tonight. It sucks to not make a FedEx time.

On another somewhat obsessive topic, I don't suppose there's anyone reading this out in Japan who can hook me up with one of Haruo Suekichi's jaw dropping, mindblowingly beautiful, handcrafted steampunk watches? I would totally make it worth that person's while if there is!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Four pages in progress. I'll send these out on Wednesday and finish the rest for the weekend. Want to make sure that last page's splash gets the attention it needs.

I've been watching Vic play Bioshock this evening and despite the occasional difficulties with the camera angles ("Fuck! Where am I pointed- I'm getting shot at! FUCK!") it's a pretty fun game. The 1950's designs and water effects are gorgeous. I like such things.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Just watched the Host on DVD and LOVED IT. My favourite (and very apt) description of this film is "Little Miss Sunshine with a monster". What makes it so damn charming is that it isn't just about a monster but a dysfunctional family coming together and finding individual redemption. It also crams in commentary on the unifying power of food, the impotence of bureaucracy, and of course the dangerous incompetence of the U.S. government. Brilliant and gentle while still packing a whopper of a visual punch, very impressive and very recommended.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Three roughed pages into the next batch, a movie and a trip to the PNE. An eventful weekend.

Superbad was great and felt oddly... Vancouver-ish. There are still moments where I laugh out loud remembering some line or moment. Rogen and company are brilliant.

There was a trailer for this hideous looking movie coming up though, some piece of shit Dane Cook vehicle. My god how awful does that look? See, unlike good stuff like Superbad, Knocked Up or the Office Cook can't bear to look like an idiot and in so doing comes across as a total asshole, and not in a funny way either. Why would anyone waste two hours watching such a crapfest? It's like the producers are counting on a reviewer to call it "offensive" just to get reactionary teens who don't know any better to show up in droves. But oh yeah, it probably won't be shown for critics right?

Wow, I'm all Meeee-ow over that, aren't I?

Anyway, the PNE was the usual fun with the added special bonus of mini golf in the rain. By hole nine we had to stop keeping score because the sheet was too wet to record any numbers.

Back home now, warm and slowing drying out. Tomorrow, back to work.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Five pages out today, seven more to go for issue #59.

The closed Storyeum theater is auctioning off all their stuff in the morning. Might be good to check out for things like costumes and props for upcoming shows, office equipment for the studio. Tempting. We'll see how awake I am.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Those 5 pages just need backgrounds. I'll have them finished tonight.

While working this morning I've been watching When the Levees Broke, an excellent documentary about the hurricane Katrina disaster, before, during and months after. It's stunning to see all these aspects of events everyone has seen on the news over the last couple of years condensed so you get a much clearer view of how bad it's really been, unfiltered through Paris Hilton claptrap and reality shows and shit that just doesn't matter.

And after watching this I can only say, and I'm sorry if you don't like to hear it, but if any of you voted for Bush's buddies after this fiasco you're a fucking idiot. Plain and simple. Fucking. Idiot.

Shame on you.

Monday, August 13, 2007

A weekend full of drawing a re-drawing panels and still not getting them to work ended with a drive out to Third Beach for a viewing of the meteor shower. Four of us sat on and under blankets gazing up at an impressive show of flares, flickers and the odd satellite racing by overhead, we joked about sand fleas and making wishes, giggled whenever a group of stoners down the beach Ohhhhed and ahhhhed with every bright flash. We jumped at the strangled cry of what sounded like a duck or goose on the water and wondered aloud whether it had just been made a snack by a hungry seal. Finally the hypothermia started to set in and we retreated to the car and its blasting heat vents.

Monday it's back to work. I have three pages nearly there and two in roughs. I should have these done by Tuesday with the remaining for #59 finished next week.

Tonight the script for issue #60 came in. I've been crying on and off over the last couple of hours. Whether it's the cold, being tired or just overwhelmed by the milestone I'm not sure. I'm not letting it all sink in yet, too much to think about.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Three weeks, including a visit to geek central where plot leaks loomed like Death Eaters around every corner, and not once were we spoiled about how Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows ends. We finished the final chapter today and holy crap what a wonderful cap to an amazing series of books.

From the first night, burning through a hundred pages along with must have been millions of readers around the world (can you imagine that?), through the tears and the exultations, to the final pages that blew our minds along with our expectations, it's a beautiful, worthy accomplishment.

Bra. Vo.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

The weather forecast is looking ugly which means movie night is cancelled this weekend but office tolerability is perfect for working. Four pages almost done so far.

Found info on the upcoming SUBCON in beautiful Dublin. I'm really looking forward to this show, especially since Ian and Vic will be there too. Yay! We're taking a few days afterwards to tour about Wales and England which should be a lot of fun. Great motivation to work my ass off.

And I hope to meet many UK Y readers! See you there!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

And then it became downright chilly.

This morning started with some lulling rain and overcast skies that caused the temperatures to drop into what felt like the teens. In other words, it was great. The office, usually about ten degrees higher than outside, was actually tolerable and I got into a fantastic groove, two pages nearly done. Here's hoping the cool stays for a while.

The long weekend was wonderful, even if crazy hot. With Treehouse pages out last week and Y pages sent to Florida on Saturday I was desperate for a work free day and Sunday was the day. We met up with friends at Locarno for an afternoon of barbeque and an evening of movies under the stars. Diana had rented a generator and speakers for use with our digital projector and at sunset the portable screen was set up. The night started with some Don Hertzfeldt cartoons which got everyone warmed up for the feature

Raiders of the Lost Ark! And it was a blast! A spectacular sky, shooting stars, friends riveted to a movie with very little suck in it. We attracted a few spectators through the night though most fled by the end, probably due to a combination of the clear night chill and unrelenting mosquitos. Best of all, the beach cops seemed to be okay with it!

This saturday, JAWS! Woo! Must remember citronella candles!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

After some last minute fixes, the Treehouse of Horror story is finally done! Holy cow but that was a rough set! Today I finish up Y pages.

The one advantage to working nights is sleeping through this crazy hot weather. Wouldn't be so bad if the city workers weren't on strike resulting in the local pool being shut down. Yeah, the pool that's only open for couple of months in the summer, the one everyone in the neighbourhood waits all year long to open. Normally I would support union workers but this just makes them the bully in that Ray Bradbury story set on Venus where the kid gets locked up in a closet on the one sunny day of the year. Thanks a lot guys, you suck.