Tuesday, October 03, 2006

"Into The First Week Of October"



It appears that October is now upon us. My how time do fly! Honestly, this year seems to have just whizzed past me. I look back on what I've actually got accomplished around the house this year, tho', and it's considerable.

Like the 10 inches of insulation blown into the attic, all new panes of glass, new shingles and new siding on the side of the house that was damaged by last March's tornado & hail, all of the windows and trim and other places around the exterior has been repainted, parts of the garage have been repainted, and with new wood added to the back and a gutter/downspout added on one side, a garden shop storage building added on to the rear of that garage, remortaring some of the brick-work around the base of the house, a new window sill in the front, new shelves added to the bathroom, the living room painted, and other this and that's which needed fixing. I still have plenty more to keep me occupied with this old place, however; much of which is planned for the next year.

I've taken inventory on my comics and seen that I've added at least 1, 600 books to my collection so far this year, and completed some sets such as Animal Man, Doom Patrol, Bacchus, Shade (save for one issue) and almost completed a set of the '96 Supergirl series. I've picked up many silver-age books, too, mostly D.C. from the 1960-63 period. I've concentrated more on my "Legion" app.'s and added several early ones to that. I've also been able to pick up several old l.p.'s I've been wanting, and a few DVD's.

I've concentrated more on doing new artwork in the past few months and nearly have a complete story finished. But...that's not the whole story, here...

You see...way back in 1989 I was still producing "small press" booklets: minis and digest-size stuff. I was popping out several books because I had a lot of ideas, and was seeing which one might or might not work. This friend of mine was letting me use his copier and only charging me for the paper, and I put them altogether and stapled all of them myself so I had very little real cash tied up in any of it. In the process I was able to get a lot of copies of various titles "out there".

Then the copier went on the blink, and anywhere else I wanted to have my stuff run off it was going to cost just too much to do, and around that time, I also changed jobs so I had less time to work on anything serious. Finally I stopped pubbing small press completely. Looking back over that particular time, I see that I put out around 2 dozen minis and digests. There was 2 issues of "The Misadventures of Elmo", 7 issues of "Kelpie", a "1950's Man" special, a one-shot called "The Holistics", 4 issues of "Shirt Pocket Comics", 4 issues of "Mr. Mad", 3 issues of "Upperground" (the first of which was actually printed photo-offset), a "Krazy White Mud-Man from Y'ranus" special, a "Clown Woman" mini, and an issue of misc. art from various contributors caled "Hodgepodge" (I think that was all of them). I had also gotten artwork published in around 3 dozen minis done by other people, and started an APA (which lasted 3 issues before an new editor took it over), was a contributor to another APA, plus was doing art for a Kentucky sci-fi 'zine, and even had some articles published in a handful of professional magazines, and a few spot cartoons (and/or, designs) in various independent comic books. (Damn! I was pretty prolific back then!)

But I could never find that one strip, you know? The one that I could really stick with, keep my interest, and bring into a full-fledged storyline that I could continue. It didn't mean that I just stopped doing comic strips completely. On the contrary, I probably have well over 200 pages of artwork that I've done and never published since that time, plus several full sketch books. The fact that today's comic artists are 1/2 my age or less, 3 times as fast and 10 times as good never kept me personally from doing artwork, even if I was just doing it for my own enjoyment. (I just consider the unpublished "stuff" as practise.) And, besides, I've never considered myself a "great" artist; I work more on being a good story-teller.

And then, back late last year, an idea for a new strip began to take form. It contained aspects of several other strips I had around, and I began an outline for it. Eventually it progressed into a full tale, which is my current project. Over on that link I have titled: "My Unpublished Work" you can see a finished page from this new story. When you clink on that link, the art will appear and if you go down to the bottom, right corner with your arrow, a little grey & red "box" will appear. Just "click" on it and it'll bring the artwork up to a size you can read. You'll need to read this page of artwork "counter-clockwise wiuth the center panel last for it to make sense. (You can never tell; you just might find a little "Secret Message" in one of those panels!)

And... what else?

Got outside and raked my yard for the first time this Autumn, although within one hour afterwards, you could barely tell I touched it. Also got up on various parts of the roof with my extended prunners and cut back several over-hanging tree limbs, and then hauled all of that away. Plus I cleaned out my gutters. Raking and gutter cleaning with have to be repeated, probably, 5 times before that's finally completed for the year.

I've already had a few of the local candidates come by trying to get my vote for offices such as mayor or sheriff (or whatever). I think it "stuns" them a bit when I make them stay for at least 15 minutes and answer several questions that I have and ask them how they stand on some local issues. Usually all they do (or expect) when they come by to solicite votes is shake someone's hand, hand them a card and a free ink pen or some such thing and ask for the person's support. Me? I make them work for my vote. No promises; don't want them to tell me about anything they'll do (which most won't anyway). I just want to know how they really feel about what occures in local politics.

Listened to a copy of "Cheap Thrills" l.p., by Big Brother & The Holding Co., starring the vocals of Janis Joplin (of course), released back in 1967. Found an inexpensive & playable copy, and it was nice to have one again after selling my original in The Great L.P. Sell-Off of '82 when I was out of a job and needed the extra cash just to live on back then. This to me was Joplin's finest l.p., and it has one of my favorite jacket illustrations drawn by underground comix artist, Robert Crumb. Slowly but surely I'm restoring my old record collection, in fact, I'd say it's 95% complete of the stuff I truely would like copies of again. In many way, the recordings I have around today area much better lot than they were when I sold off 60% of them 24 years ago.

The new X-Men flick has been released, but I've yet to rent it. I haven't even seen "V for Vendetta" yet because everytime I go to rent it, it's already gone out, but with this new flick being a hot one I'm sure I'll get to watch VFV, easier now. Whenever I view either of them, I'll give my opinions.

I did watch the 2006 "Teen Titans: Trouble In Tokyo" animated film which showed on The Cartoon Network recently. I found it much edgier than the regular series. In fact, there's a sequence where Robin beats literally the bloody hell out of his opponent; even "kills" him! Now we do learn that this was not a human later on in the flick and that the blood was something else, but the appearance of such was there, as well as the violence, so it may be something one would want to pre-view before letting their children see it. (Just a thought.)

And this time I've covered my personal happenings, some comics, artwork, music and movies. Guess that pretty much brings me up-to-date.

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