Colin's Comment

Friday, October 27, 2006

You say you're going to get a lot of work done. Is that COMIC work? Can you fill us in on what will be coming from Upton Studios in the future? Us googly-eyed red monsters need to know!”

Damn, you googly-eyed red monsters sure are demanding (and there's no need to shout!)! Check out my recent blogs and you will see I’ve come out in the last month with seven friggin new mini-comics and new 2 collections! Plus all that interviewing for the radio show, small press festivals, comic jams and check out the Fall issue of the Vancouver Review for my one-page history of that Vancouver institution, the Nine O’Clock gun! Okay, I took a sicky week and it’s time to get back to work! Here’s the list:

“A Short History of the Longest Undefended Border” Revised edition
This began as an 8 page mini-comic about the times that the United States has invaded Canada that was a big hit at Word Under The Street. Since I did it I’ve been learning of more nefarious American plots so and I’ve decided to expand it to a 16 or 20 page digest sized comic to improve legibility (larger type size) and include incidents I’d never heard of before, like the Aroostock war of 1838 when Maine declared war against New Brunswick!

The Armoured Car Zeppelin thingie
I’ve been commissioned by Jim Ramsey to work on another 3D card model, this time of an armoured car airship combination that he built. I’ve decided on making it into an armoured car/airship of the Don Cossacks Grey Wolf Division of the White Russian Army during the Russian Civil War. I’ve just been staring at it for a couple weeks now, thinking about what exactly I’m going to do with it… just about ready to get to work…

“The Graphic Novel”
I’ve been procrastinating on this, the graphic novel I’ve been talking about for a long time about my sister‘s car accident and eventual death, it’s about how it effected her, me and my family . I started writing and pencilling a few months ago but put it aside, I’ve got to get back to it… don’t expect this anytime soon, I’ve got 70 pages written and roughed, should be over 100 pages when it’s all said and done.

I’m working on a mini-comic on the dangers of apples…

"Colin’s Comics”
I have enough stories for two more 24 page collections, one of my funny animal comics including the infamous “The Fur Flies to France” from the controversial furry fandom satirical comic, “Skunk”.

Oh yeah, there’s an outside chance I’ll be writing a documentary short film about the history of underground comics but we’ll have to see if anything comes of that…

Also trying to line up interviews for the Inkstuds Radio Show with Roberta Gregory, Diana Schutz and Dennis Eichhorn amongst others…

Gotta rebuild the web site…

Is that enough for now, googly-eyed red monsters!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Chester Brown at the Writers and Readers Festival, Vancouver

Welp, I’m back… on Friday I went to the Writers and Readers Festival on Granville Island for “Worth a Thousand Words”, a talk being given by Barbara Reid and Chester Brown. The last time Chester was at the Writers and Readers Festival he was presenting a section of “Yummy Fur” where the head of Ronald Reagan appears on the head of a man’s penis, leading to a walk out by a school group from Abbotsford, B.C.‘s bible belt. I arrived, as usual, way too early, took a stroll… another lovely fall day in Vancouver. I was on the guest list (as “Cecilia Upton”) legitimately as press because I’m on the radio show, Inkstuds, but it still felt like sneaking in! I was shown to the “Reserved” section for the first time in my life, which was kind of creepy as the place filled up and I sat alone, but finally they opened up the “reserve” area for the latecomers. I’m beginning to think that reading is becoming a largely female pastime as I looked around the room and saw perhaps a half dozen men in the audience primarily populated by middle-aged women. Do boys read anymore, or has it become “totally gay”? Barbara Reid is a children’s illustrator and author, her books include “Subway Mouse” and “The Fox Walked Alone. The Illustrations are crafted in plasticine and are quite remarkable.

When Chester started his presentation on “Louis Riel” (with the use of an overhead projector) I figured I should take some notes, at least look like a proper newsman… the notes soon turned to doodles, birds mostly. Chester’s talk was illuminating, particularly how the drawing of Louis Riel changed over the series, under the influence of “Little Orphan Annie” creator Harold Grey the heads shrank and the bodies got bigger, so much so that he later went back and redrew the first third of the series to match the latter drawing style when he collected the series into a graphic novel. In Chester’s first drawings of Riel he had a big nose. He also showed some other work, a story about Huey Long that was to accompany an article in the New Yorker that was never published. He talked about the trouble he had with the art director and estate of Dylan Thomas when doing comic book covers for “Lady Chatterley’s Lover” which will be coming out from Penguin. After being interviewed (it was odd to see Chester being treated like a young readers author, if they could only see his other work I wonder what they’d say… of course Chester didn’t have an age group in mind when he wrote the book) and a question and answer session it was on to the book signing. Chester was generous with his time talking to his readers and sketching in their books. It turns out the woman sitting beside me during the presentation was “Gerbil”, a friend of Chester’s that appears in some of the autobiographical “Yummy Fur” stories! She lives in Vancouver now. We parted ways and I walked on the seawall as far as Spyglass Point but as Olympic construction has closed the seawall at Cambie I took an Aquabus to Science World and then walked home.

At war with the Turks!

I just had enough time for tea before I was picked up by Al and we drove out to Burnaby for the monthly meeting of my Trumpeter wargames club. I had a splendid time playing “Age of Reason“, 18th Centaury Austrians against Turks! The Austrian horse turned tail and withdrew when they saw the elite Turkish heavy cavalry coming at them in full armour (with barding) and lances, leaving my infantry brigade to stop them from rolling up the Austrian army’s flank. This I did rather well, when the cavalry charged I hit them with a thunderous volley from three batteries of artillery and a battalion of grenadiers inflicting over 50% casualties!

"You ain't No Dancer" #2 launch and comic jam

The next day was the book launch of “You Ain’t No Dancer” #2 at R/X Comics, which was packed as usual with the finest from the Vancouver comics scene. The monthly cartoonist jam at the Jolly Alderman afterwards was fun but not as productive as usual, never is after a signing. People just don’t seem to be in a drawing mood, or maybe it’s because they’ve already been drinking… it seemed quieter without Don King who was at a party. Don pissed is always good for a laugh. Anyway, had to get to bed at a reasonable hour (2AM) the Canzine West…

Canzine West #2 report

Ah, the second Canzine West. I didn’t make a great effort for this, only had one new mini-comic, after all those comics I released a month ago at Word Under The Street are still fairly fresh. Another nice day so I walked it carrying an impressive amount of stuff, backpack full of display units & tablecloth, pens & papers in my haversack, a portfolio stuffed with two CD cases I’ve converted to mini-comic display units with foam core and a granny cart full of over 100 comics titles! That’s TITLES, not books! They moved Canzine to the Welsh Hall so I have even further to walk, uphill! I ran into Tim the Poet outside, we went for brunch at a Vietnamese Pho place down the street. It takes me about an hour to set up. Fortunately the new venue is just as cramped and claustrophic as the time before. I was crammed between my table and a staircase in a chair that when I stood up tried to come with me. The tables were wider this time (at the first Canzine West I swear the tables were two feet wide!) and once they saw how much I’d brought they gave me a little more room… normally it 3 exhibitors to an eight foot table! I shared my table with a nice woman, a poet from Victoria, who thought I was funny… she gave me a loaf of bread. Near me was Don King, Phil, and some other cartoonists I know but it was so loud in there I couldn‘t hear them. Sometimes I couldn’t hear the customers, just wish they’d speak up! Nobody has a problem hearing me! It was busy, but for some reason not as busy as the first time and I made less money. The cramped conditions in the room meant that sometimes the customers couldn’t reach my table, I think it‘s a real problem! Now that they’re charging $5 at the door (that may have affected attendance) you’d think they could get a bigger hall. I swapped for some books, mostly with other cartoonists. By the 5th hour it was winding down, I was bored and tossing rolled up bits of green tape at Don… that maniac threw a magazine at me! Good thing he’s a bad shot! Then, all of a sudden, the crappy chair that had been punishing me all afternoon began to sink. Slowly, it buckled and I disappeared from view as I sank gently to the floor with my legs sticking out the front from underneath the tablecloth. When I could stop laughing I called out “I’m alright! Help!” The poet from Victoria pulled the table away so I could scramble to my feet, holding aloft in triumph the chair I had killed by sitting on it! I asked if I could take it home as a trophy, it was beyond repair, but they said no. This seemed to be a message to wrap things up so started slowly putting things away, the place was virtually packed up an hour early. I got a lift home from Jo Cook, I was grateful as I didn’t want to have to make the journey back… it was fun, but my back is still killing me…

Friday, October 20, 2006

Canzine West this Sunday at the Cambrian hall,
215 East 17th Ave. (near Main)
Admission $5 (and you get a copy of the latest Broken Pencil)

Last years Canzine West turned out to be the surprise of the year, I went with low expectations 9i hadn’t seen much in the way of advertising) but it proved to be a packed event with tables groaning under the weight of comics, zines and art books. I urge anyone who can get there to attend, I’ll have a table along with many of Vancouver’s best small press talents!

On Saturday at 7PM (I think) at R/X Comics (Main near Broadway) will be the launch of the second “You Ain’t No Dancer” comics anthology published by Ed Brisson (Who also published Jason Turner’s graphic novel, True Loves). After the launch we’ll be going to the Jolly Alderman for the monthly cartoonists jam!

Hullo you lovely, lovely people! Once again it’s been a busy week in my otherwise aimless existence! A couples weeks ago I was incapacitated with the first serious cold I’ve had in years, hating myself for my indolence and causing me to miss thanksgiving at my mum’s place in Sechelt (for our American friends, Canadian Thanksgiving is a month or so before the American one, I can only imagine because the growing season is shorter up here in the Great White North) Thanksgiving is after all, a harvest ceremony). My brother and mother kindly agreed to postpone thanksgiving for a week so I could attend so last Friday I, still feeling the lingering affects of my cold, took the three bus rides and a ferry voyage to Sechelt just before it turned cold and wet. It was so mild I sat on the open top deck of the ferry the whole voyage, taking in the breathtaking scenery. Had a nice relaxing time, helped mum to understand her computer better, showed her how to send E-mail and I bookmarked this here blog for her to visit so I have to be careful what I say. Hi mom! Talked about the usual stuff, art, politics, family, history and crosswords… I helped her with her crosswords in my sleep. While I was napping on the couch mum was wondering aloud “Derek and the …?“ and I cried out “Dominoes”! Mum even had something nice to say about her own cooking! My brother Leslie joined us on Saturday, just in from his job at the stamp store. I had to go Sunday night, it was so cold and wet I feared I might easily relapse into a cold but duty calls!

That duty was to speak at Julian Lawrence’s cartooning class at the Emily Carr College of Art And Design, something I’ve been doing for a while now along with Robin The K, another fine local cartoonist and one of the many Robin’s in the Vancouver comics scene.
I went done early, beautiful Fall day, picked up several of the play Mobil Specials that just came in (although why the Gladiator figure was armed with a generic broadsword and not a Roman Gladuis (short stabbing sword) is beyond me). I had tea at my favourite local café, the one under the Granville Bridge that no one else seems to know about. I had quite a search to find Julian’s classroom but I got there in time.

I talk about my life in comics, tracing the development from comics I read as a kid, to the undergrounds, alternative, European and Japanese comics that have influenced me. Robin talks about developing and promoting her “Clip and Save” weekly strip. I was in particularly good ramble that night, with an (hopefully) entertaining mixture of reminisces, anecdotes and onions. It’s so hard to know sometimes if the students are really engaged with what we were talking about but we had a lively Q&A session so I think we must’ve done well. By the end of it I was feeling a little dizzy. Robin kindly gave me a lift home after a visit to Kinko’s.

Tuesday I was at a play with my mother and brother at UBC’s Student Theatre, “By The Skin of Our teeth”, not bad although I thought the play rambled in parts. My mum is terrified of being late so we met for dinner at UBC two hours before curtain! Mum than came over to my place to stay the night, always tricky because she and I are world class snorers but I managed to get a pretty good nights sleep. The next day I made breakfast and we went to Best Buy to exchange her I-Pod like thingie for a real I Pod. There was nothing wrong with it, it’s just that she and the people in Sechelt she hired couldn’t get it to work. As you can imagine this took forever but she did it. I saw her off on the bus to the ferry and went to meet radio show host Robin at R/X Comics. The jammy bastard had just returned from New York and SPX (East Coast Small Press comics convention) to promote Inkstuds the radio show, with stories of what he’d seen and who he’d talked too. I’ve only been to SPX once but I know it’s a great convention!! Robin brought back a lovely Ivan Brunetti print! I bought the latest collection of Yoshihiro Tatsumi stories, “Abandon The Old In Tokyo”. Tatsumi pioneered adult stories in Japanese comics, creating grim and moving portraits of people surviving in the harsh conditions of post-war Japan. Recommended.

Today on the radio show we interviewed Chester Brown who is in town for the Vancouver Readers and Writers Festival! Chester of course was on the top of our list of interview subject and I thought it went splendidly. I learned about some of the things that had left me puzzled about “Louis Reil”, especially about the emotional detached depiction of the characters. Afterwards Serena, Chester’s “minder” from Raincoast Books gave us a ride back to my place and Robin, Chester and I enjoyed a round of ice water (neither of my guests drink tea and making tea is about all I know how about being a host). Robin had to go and Chester and I gossiped about cartoonists we know and had a good conversation about attitudes and ethics which I won’t get into here but it was interesting and often challenging. Tomorrow (Friday) Chester will be doing a presentation on “Louis Reil” at the readers and Writers festival and Serena got me a press pass so I’ll let you know how that goes… as you can see from the header it’s going to be another looong weekend in the Vancouver comics scene!
I go sleep now…

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Here's a couple odd images I found on the web. The first is from the tour diary of one of the Soft Boys on thier reunion tour. The Soft Boys were a strange bunch, they were a neo pscycodelic band when England was being ravaged by punk rock. It was this band that launched Robin Hitchcock's long career and to see them back together and playing live was unimaginable until it happened! That's me, the large object on the right in a photo taken from the stage by one of the band members!

This is my "Grudge" model from the opening of Jim Ramseys show I talked about earlier. I treated my "Grudge" more as a model as opposed to an fine art piece. I made it into a Canadian Army Postal van on the Italian Front in WW2. It was fun to do but I wish I'd taken another crack at the "sten" gun clipped to the side, as it is just too big!

Reformatted Mini-comics Collections!
Because of the sheer volume of self-published mini-comics I have produced over the years (over 100 self-published titles I figure, not all remain in print) I’ve divided the mini-comics collection into two parts. First is the “Colin Upton’s Mini-comic Classic Collection” the mini-comics I published in the 1980’s as a struggling cartoonist before my first comic book series, Big Thing, in 1990. Including “Socialist Turtle“, “Happy Ned” the homicidal Christian, “Self-Indulgent Comics” and many, many others! 67 mini-comics and digests only $25!

The second is “Colin Upton’s Nova New Nuevo Mini-comics Collection” which are the mini-comics I began publishing around 2000 after my other comic book series "Buddha On The Road, was cancelled and I returned to small press publishing. The package will be updated over time as new mini’s come out, presently it has 23 mini-comics including “Shitman”, “Samurai Clown”, the “9-11” series and “Motherfuckers”.

As I don't have Pay-pal I do accept cheques or money orders, send too:

Colin Upton
#223 440 East5th Ave.
Vancouver, B.C.
V5T-1N5 Canada

Please include an age statement and 20% postage!

Friday, October 06, 2006

Oh, by the way, this is the cover of that Hell passport I did that I was telling you guys about earlier. Did the whole thing in Chinese brush.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Colin's Comics collect stories I've done in various anthologys over the years and are magazine size (81/2 X 11) with 24 pages each! Much of this stuff is hard to find! Volume 3 collects stories from Murder By Crowquill, Sockamagee!, Loompanics, Cimena Sewer, the Trumpeter Newsletter and others! Includes previously unpublished material!

Volume 4 collects yet more storys from Drippy Comics and more including previously unpublished material!!

This is the third of the con sketches collections I talked about before, I like the spontenaity of the drawings and brusqueness of the gags. never let anything go to waste!

Some whimsical wierdness with a military miluea, sometimes things appear in ones sketch book demanding to be put in a story and it's dangerous to say no. One of the comics I wrote in my "TV sketchbook", a sketchbook I draw in while waching TV, if the storys are promising I rip the pages out of the book and ink them up. A great way to tap into ones subconcious.

Police parody starring the hardboiled Swedish-Japanese-Canadian detective Olly Osaka on a case of Vancouver herbacide ripped from the headlines!

"A Short History of the Longest Undefended Border was a big hit at the Word Undetr the Street, proving once again that Canadian history is NOT BORING and Canadians CARE about thier history. It briefly tells the story of every time the Americans tried to "liberate" Canada from British tyranny whether they liked it or not!

Reflecting on my obsession with books and reading despite being a late reader due to dyslexia and difficulty with school.

My fifth annual 9-11 comic, this time dealing with the wars of "liberation" and "freedom" that resulted from that tragic day.
My yearly chance to vent my political spleen.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

This is "Shitman", just one of the quality comics that debuted at the Word Under the Street (along with The Longest Undefended border, Self-indulgent #15, Colin's Comics #3 & #4, Colin Upton Comics #3 & #4 and the Littlest Gunne) and is now available! I'll post some others soon, I did this more or less as an experiment, I've been having trouble posting images but I think I figured it out!

Shitman is $.5o plus 20% postage, minium $1.00

Colin Upton

#223 440 East 5th Ave

Vancouver, B.C.

Canada V5T-1N5

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Hi, this is me again at the Word Under The Street last week, this picture was taken by Marcus Rogers, a local filmmaker who's excellent documentry on contemperary pop art is going to be on Bravo. He's taken an interest in Underground comics... we'll see what transpires...

Notice the sketches on card board backing board taped to the wall behind me, I do these during the event because I find people it easier to approach my table when I'm drawing rather than starring out at them balefully waiting for them to hand over their cash. I post signs to warn away the children, not that I don't like children, not much, it's just I don't want to be dealing with any outraged parents. Later I put 8 of the sketches together into a mini-comic, the circle of life from comic to convention to comic again. it's like the salmon swimming upriver to spawn. Kinda...

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Hey, I'm on the Fantagraphics blog as part of a report on Joe Sacco in Vancouver!

That's a picture from the blog of me at Word Under The Street. Notice many comics on the table. Verlag is the table next door with Joe Cook and Owen Plummer.

I do look odd... I think I'm on my way to becoming an outsider artist, one of those excentric loons that become famous after they're discovered by some antropologist/art critic ... might be a good career move...

Wow, I’ve been away for awhile… sorry about that, I’ve been so busy lately and then I just had to crash, I was totally burnt out. Saturday I barely budged from the couch, watching CFL football (I find it so dull and relaxing that I fall asleep watching it… not what the broadcasters had in mind I’m sure) and wondering whatever happened to good sportsmanship… really, the way the players carry on whenever they do anything right is just unseemly. It had been an active week…

I’d been running around for weeks getting stuff ready for Word On The Street and applying for a Canada Council Grant, I had to miss that month‘s cartoonist jam. A week ago Saturday I was at the Circus Art show opening at The Lucky Red, some really nice work on display and it was a great turnout. Rot brought his completed “Gothic/punk Road Warrior from Hell” car he’s been working on, I chatted with a couple young women who swore I looked like I was 36 and not 46, awww gee, clean living I told’em! There were a couple of dominatrix s in clown make-yup and strap on dildoes… an unsettling combination. I had to turn down an invitation to go drinking with a White Russian because I had the Word on the Street to do the next day. I took a detour to pick up bus tickets at the Tinseltown 7-11, walked through hordes of girls dressed like it was the Junior Hookers of Canada Convention, I asked a waiting parent in the parking lot what it was about. Maria Carey concert… ahhh, no wonder.

At the Lucky Red I also found out someone I knew back in the days I was hanging out at the Helen Pitt Gallery in the 80’s and 90’s but I hadn’t seen in years had committed suicide about a week before. Stan Lake, or just Lake after the sex change operation. He appears in Buddha on the Road #1, the guy at the opening talking about getting a sex change. I knew Stan back in art school, probably the first openly (wide openly) gay person I’d ever met. I liked Stan, he was funny, vain and outrageous but he could also be a sweet guy. I once did a caricature of him as a Conan the barbarian type (he always had this big mane of hair) for a poster for a show he was in “Surrey Metal”, which I hear he was quite annoyed with. Like I say, I hadn’t seen mush of Stan in awhile and anything I could tell you about him in recent years would just be repeating rumours. Still, it’s a kick in the teeth, hard to understand why someone would do that. Poor Stan… what an art wank thing to do…

The next day I was up bright and early, 8:30 A.M. (which may not sound early but I’m usually asleep until 11 or noon after working into the night before). I was carrying a full backpack, haversack, pulling a “granny cart” full of comics and carrying a portfolio containing the two CD racks I scrounged from a dumpster to turn into mini-comic display racks with a little foam core and glue. Display units, art supplies, tablecloth, art stamps, comics, mini-comics, digests, etc… As usual I was carrying far too much but I hate the thought of missing out on a potential sale! Fortunately for the first time I and my travelling companion Robin Bougie were able to take bus’s from virtually in front of our door to the library, last year we hiked it! We descended into the bowels of the library, down a long flight of stairs. You see, we are part of Word Under the Street , were they put all us nasty small press cartoonists, zinesters and poets who aren’t exactly “child-friendly” into a subterranean room to wallow in our own filth. What they really do is put a sign on the door warning parents that the stuff inside is potentially damaging to their offspring’s mental health, which of course doesn’t mean the place isn’t full of kids running about trying to look at your copies of “Shitman”. You try to warn them away but you can’t swat them as much as you might like to. Almost everyone was there, even Nardwuar the Human Serviette! I did really well this year, made nearly $200, although I know people in the far corner of the room (they have to change the table layout) did less well. It was busy almost the whole day, I saw plenty of people I hadn’t seen in ages, including that looney with the tennis racket who hung out in front of my table for 20 minutes without buying anything and this old guy who started talking about all the woes of the world, from global warming to homelessness and seemed to be looking to me to provide the answers. Then was the guy whose faces lighted up with joy when he saw “Shitman”, stood there reading the whole mini, laughing all the while, puts it back, gives me the thumbs up and walks away without buying anything. Yeah, your thumbs up means more to me than the money, douche bag. The mini I did about all the times the US has invaded Canada, “The Longest Undefended Border”, pretty much sold out. And they say people don’t care about history!

The weather was good, the Ink Muffin’s (a cheering squad that performs cheers for small press comics made up of local cartoonists Robin, Step, Terry and Laura… I kid you not), signs pointing people downstairs, the fact that Joe Sacco was there signing his new book “But I like it..” and I think the fact that Word Under The Street has been down there for so many years now that people come looking for us added up to a successful day for, well, most of us! Laura gave me a hand taking the bus’s back, I was so bushed…

I got to say hello to Joe Sacco briefly at WUTS, I’d seen him around conventions for years and we once were guests at a comics convention in Porto, Portugal years ago together with Roberta Gregory and Dave McKean. I once had a signing at a comic shop in Joe’s home base of Portland, Oregano and the only ones who showed up to see me were Joe and David Chelsea, bless‘em. I always found it interesting that as far as I know he and I were the only cartoonists to release comic books about the 1990 Gulf War. I hadn’t seen him in years as I’ve been a drop out from comics but I’d always been a big fan of his work, we share a interest in military history and politics. I think what Joe does is incredibly brave and he does it so well.

Fortunately on Monday Robin and I got to interview Joe at the Shaw Towers (yet another ugly building, a retro 50’s apartment building on top of a retro-50’s office building, that spring up in Vancouver overnight like weeds) after he’d appeared on a local morning show the next day. Yes another early day. The interview went well, we got into some pretty interesting stuff about the dangers of comics reporting. Joe was surprised our focus was so “comics orientated”, like when Robin asked what kind of pen he used to ink with. I guess the broadcast media don’t ask these sort of questions, but we are INKSTUDS! He had to rush off, Eric Reynolds was worried about the border (Joe has spent much of his life in the United States but remains a Maltese citizen) and Joe had a signing in Seattle that night. I wanted to talk about our Osprey book collections. Joe did say our interview was the highlight of his trip.

Afterwards I bought a book on manga, a 2 CD collection of Bob Marley and walked home. I kicked back awhile and then caught a bus to UBC to meet my mother, brother Leslie and Leslie’s best friend Darren to go to the first play of the year at the student theatre at UBC. A family tradition. I was pretty beat, can’t even remember the name of the play. It was okay, kinda funny and inoffensive but I’m beginning to think we need moratorium on gay coming of age stories, I’ve seen so many. I thought it all seemed a bit too easy and the ending trite.
Tuesday I got up even earlier, 7 AM, to meet Robin for breakfast and heading out to UBC once more to tape an interview with another comics giant, Jaime Hernandez over the phone! I knew him from conventions as well , particularly one we were at in France years ago. The interview was slow to begin with but soon picked up. We talked about how attached readers became to his character, he told us he even got death threats when Maggie put on some pounds! Finished that, went back to the ‘hood to shop for bread, fruit ‘n’ veggies, before flopping on the bed at home. I took a nap, a shower and headed down to Strathcona for Ole’s house warming party in quite a nice basement apartment. He had antiques everywhere and fabrics hung around he had gathered from his travels in the Middle East so it looked like a oriental bazaar! Ole has interesting friends, his band the Creaking Planks played (they wanted me to play a drum but I was just not up to it). I got a lift home, ran into Robin Bougie going to meet an acquaintance and I figure, what the hell, it’s only midnight! We went to Waves, a 24 hour coffee place nearby were I must’ve had my 10th cup of tea that day (by now it’s the only thing keeping me awake) and then walked this woman to the skytrain so she could go to Celebrities, a gay bar on Robson. We resisted her pleas to come with her, I don’t like clubs. I don’t like the noise, the crappy music and the drunk people. As we were walking by a crack whore waiting for the bus threw something glass at us, shattering behind our feet, no idea why.

Wednesday…no comics that day at R/X Comics, some sort of delay at the border… Finally get to do the laundry. It dawns on me that I’m supposed to be doing something for the Inkstuds flyer that Robin will be giving out at SPX, the lucky bastard! Time is short and it looks like if I don’t put it together nobody will. It’s not just me, it’s a matter of coordination. What format, how many pages, who’s in, what information to include? Robin Bougie, whose really good at lettering, will be doing the cover. Don King’s too busy, we’ve got a strip coming from Mike Myhre but nobody can tell me when. Time is short (turns out I had more time than I knew at … the time) and I was feeling burnt out and under pressure. I feel under pressure pretty easily. I need time to decompress. So I sat down and drew a one page strip “The Inkstuds Are On The Air” starring Don King, Robin and myself… drew it from memory, no time to think about how accurate my caricatures are, never been my strong point anyway. Pencils, inks, all in one go. I also pasted up a new Colin Upton Comics #4 mini-comic while I was at it…

Thursday. Rebecca Dart from upstairs is in the Harvey Pekar edited “best comics of 2005” collection! Hooray! R/X Comics has air conditioning! We could use it, although it’s nearly October in the sunshine it feels like a summers day! Go to office Depot to reduce artwork for Inkstuds flyer. Robin and I go to Dairy Queen for lunch… I gotta stop doing this eating out thing, can’t afford it. Run into Fat Joe Satan, he gives me a CD with a spoken word piece I spontaneously performed with his band once at a Lucky Red opening about a punk rock house I used to hang out at, “The Terrible House of Sickness“. Robin had just bought a Japanese mange, Corpse Delivery Service, which ironically is what Fat Joe does for a living. Came home with fistfuls of groceries I couldn‘t afford to buy previously as I‘d sunk all my money into photocopying comics.

Friday morning I was woken up by a call from my old buddy Alex Jansen who is a programmer for a Canadian film festival in Kingston, Ontario, I think it is. He was in town for the Vancouver film fest. We went to the Sunny Spot for breakfast, talked a lot about comics. After that I had more work to do for the Inkstuds flyer, borrowed the Inkstuds guest book from Robin to photocopy some of the sketches for the back of the flyer so back to Office Depot I go! Honestly, I prefer Staples copiers but Office Depot is much closer. Took’em home, realised I hadn’t reduced them by enough so I ran them through my 3-in-1 and pasted them up. This really isn’t that much of a job, although I really do need a break. Watch wrestling… ECW… wonder what that stands for? Extreme Championship Wrestling? That’s my guess… I'm starting to drift...

Saturday I totally flaked out, refused to leave the house. Robin Bougie dropped off the cover for the flyer, looks good, other Robin calls to say the Mike Myhre piece has arrived at R/X Comics but it’s a “bit square”. That’s okay, gives us space for contact info. It’s finally taking shaping … watched first two episodes of “Deadwood”… it’s pretty good, even if some of the characters are hard to understand. Look, it’s Lovejoy! Second season of the new Doctor Who begins soon on the CBC, I can hardly wait!

Sunday, feeling a little more human got the new material photocopied, shrunk down and pasted up, just getting final approval for the additional copy and we’re good to go. Take it to the copiers tomorrow, go to Robin’s place for an old fashion foldin’ party! Yippee!