Can't Sleep, Clown Will Eat Me

So I woke up this morning at 5:00 AM, which is about an hour ago. That wouldn't be so bad if I hadn't gone to bed at 2:00 AM. Who am I kidding? That would have been bad no matter what. But I'm anxious about stuff and for whatever reason I couldn't get to sleep. I kept having weird visions of Hungarian activists criticising the layout of the various comics I'm working on. That is no doubt a direct result of having spent 6 hours last night working on posters and business cards with Neil. Layout and graphic design always takes so much longer than I think it should. So today I have to go and get said posters and business cards printed. Then I have to meet with Augie about State of Fear. Except I've been sick and have only written a few more pages of script. So that's what I'm doing with this unexpectedly early morning - working on State of Fear. Except right now I'm typing this blog thingy. Ok, back to work with me...

Feeling Sickly

Well, I'm a bit under the weather just now...something that hardly ever happens to me, and yet somehow I've managed to catch a cold. So I'm trying to get some work done, but I'm also all about curling up with a good book and some orange juice. Right now I'm reading John Le Carre's new book, Absolute Friends, which is quite good. I reccomend it to one and all.

The Duellists

Duelists.jpg On my brithday a few weeks ago I bought myself three DVD's: Casablanca, JFK, and the Duellists. I'd seen this last film only once, over ten years ago, but it's always stuck with me and when I saw it on the shelf, I snapped it up. It's a really great film, beautiful to look at and engaging to watch. Plus it's got lots of sword fighting, but sword fighting that's done in a very realistic way. It also happens to be the very first feature film made by Ridley Scott, which makes it something of an historical curiosity. Check it out!

Passing It On

My friend Augie (who I'm working on the forthcoming comic State of Fear with) is also tutoring my brother on how to improve his drawing. My brother has always been able to draw, but hasn't had much formal training - especially when it comes to anatomy and figure drawing and methodologies and so forth. Anyway, we were over there this morning, going over State of Fear pages and talking about politics like we always do when the subject turned to teaching and expertise. Augie said something to the effect of, "You've only really mastered something when you have the ability to pass it on to others." He went on to say that even then you still had to keep working to keep your skills up, but that ultimately being able to teach - like Augie's teaching Matt - is the way to show true mastery of a subject. I'm not sure that's always true, but it seems to make a lot of sense in the arts. Plus, it sounds nice.

Democratic Partying

This evening I went to a meeting of the Sarasota County Democratic Executive Committee. There were close to 100 people there, which was pretty cool, but aside from my friend Augie's 12 year old grand daughter who sang a couple songs to open the festivities, I was the youngest person there. That's Sarasota for you. I signed petitions or forms for two people who want to run for the Democratic nomination for the House of Representatives. Whoever wins that race will be running against the hated and evil Katherine Harris, my current congresswoman and personal midwife to the Usurper Presdient's Appointment to high office. Whoever wins the nomination, I'm all for them, but the guy I like most right now is a very charismatic fellow named Cj Czaia. I saw him speak at another function several months ago and I was very impressed. All told though, the meeting was pretty boring and I left before it was anywhere near being done. It was great to see so many people excited about Democratic party politics, but the meeting quickly bogged down in procedural mumbo-jumbo. Got me thinking about forming my own little political action group again though. Maybe reviving the old Creative Arts Action Front idea and making it more political and less performance art oriented. That would be fun...

Injustice League

So today, for the first time in my life, I testified in court. About seven weeks ago I witnessed a horrible traffic accident. Some stupid young punk blasted through a red light and hit two young girls - both around ten years old. I was right behind him, stopping at the light like a sane person, and saw the whole thing. It was disturbing and awful. Mr. Piece of Garbage just kept right on going - just drove on. Now today in court the state trooper said he pulled over down the road and came back, but that's not what I saw. He ran off and got caught in traffic and one of the other witnesses chased him down and brought him back before the cops got there. Mr. Piece of Garbage admitted the entire thing - except the fleeing the scene part. I testified about what I saw, and there were three other witnesses there to back me up (although none of thems aid anything). Now aparrently the girls are alright - or at least out of the hospital and alive - but neither they nor anyone from their family was there. Anyway, Mr. Piece of Garbage said he was sorry and the judge seemed suitably horrified and sounded very grave as she handed down the sentence: $111 fine and a 60 day license suspension. That's it. That's nothing. NOTHING! I was so outraged, but there's nothing I could do. I vented my frustration to the state trooper, and he said that the only thing Mr. Piece of Garbage had done wrong was run a red light. What about Criminal Negligence? I don't even know what that means, but there has to be something they could have charged him with!!!! I'm so angry about this.... I'm going to go watch TV now....

Online and In Trouble

Well, I haven't done this in a while, but I'm not bound and determined to make a habit of it. And so, in that spirit, here I come again. Well, things are going into full swing for the new year, after a busy but distracting month of January, I'm buckling down and I'm all about the work these days. What was so distracting about last month? Well, most of the distraction came in the form of looking for and then buying a townhouse (or condo if you prefer). I've never bought a home before, and it's a fairly complicated and mildly nerve-wracking experience, but I'm happy with the results. I'm now safely ensconced in my two-story, two-bedroom, one and a half bath townhouse in Sarasota Florida, my home and native land. It's not huge, but there's plenty of space for me and a room for my office, and a cable connection to you fine folks out there in Web land, so it's got all I need. As long as people keep their goddamned Hummer 2's out of my parking space, then everything is just peachy. I'm not mostly unpacked - except for all my comics and books - and have been grooving on being a home owner for ten days now. Life is, all things considered, pretty good. More on the work and such later. For now, here's some things everyone should look at: Some interesting analysis of the usurper president and his national guard history. and a great site for keeping up on what's actually going on in Iraq these days...Juan Cole's Informed Content Enjoy!

A Page from State of Fear

View image Look kids, comics!

Creative Arts Action Front

I have this idea. I have a lot of ideas actually, but this is one that's been gnawing and clawing its way around my brain for quite a while now. I almost started to do something with it back in California, but then I didn't. Now I'm in Florida again and busy and not ready to give it the energy it deserves. Someday I'll do something with it, but for now I figured I'd write a bit about it and leave it up here for anyone who happens by to deal with. I call it the Creative Arts Action Front. In its fully realized form it would be an activist arts group dedcated to guerilla street theater, politically pointed publishing, and the organization of thought provoking interactive leisure events. If you wanna know more, read on. Experential Scavenger Hunts

Your traditional scavenger hunt has teams of people running about town (or wherever) looking for certain items. Sometimes it involves clues and puzzles and whatnot.

The Experential Scavenger Hunt involves running around town and having specific interactions with people. Each team recieves a list of experiences they have to have before the night is through. Ideally some sort of video camera or impartial judge would tag along to verify the experiences as real rather than imagined.

Some examples of interesting (in my view) experiences might be:

Find someone who believes we have found weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and present them with evidence to the contrary.

Get a Democrat and A Republican to agree on something they didn't agree with before.

Find someone who believes homosexuality is a sin and ask why they feel comfortable picking and choosing between sins in the bible (have they read all those rules in the Old Testemant?)

These are all kind of heavy handed examples. Part of my problem is I haven't spent much time on coming up with more playful and yet still poigant encounters. They whole idea doesn't have to be political at all. Indeed, I think more people would probably enjoy it if they didn't have to get up in strangers' faces about controversial issues. But I want to get in people's faces. There are lots of people out there who need their faces gotten in.

More to come...

Wrong Turn

So I just watched Wrong Turn, staring the Dushkulicious Elisha Dushku. Well, I guess I watched about 1/8th of it since I did most of my viewing in fast forward. There's really just not a lot to the movie. It's well made and pretty much sets out to do exactly what it's trying to do. But it's not trying to do very much. Overall, about all I can say is, "eh."