THIS SICKNESS 8 from Bottomless Studio, featuring John Linton Roberson, Emily Kaplan, Chad Parenteau, Charles Alverson, Gianna Ratto, Chris DeWildt and a cover by Molly Kiely. 100 pages! Available in print & Kindle at Amazon!
I Didn't Write That!
27 February 2010
  LULU Week 8



Saturday. LULU. Chapter 1, page eight.

Though I am being hindered (for the moment) by those scum at Cafepress from bringing this to you in print form just yet--and This Sickness #6 is totally finished and would be in your hands if not for them--they can't stop me from putting my "inappropriate content" on the web. So have a look at what Cafepress thinks they should not be associated with. Oh, it's so very shocking. Click below--if you dare!

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  New Oil Pastel Nude (NSFW)

Here's a recent painting(I use the term loosely) I did earlier this month, from life. Actually, it's more properly oil pastel, ink, and color pencil, on Crescent illustration board. All non-digital, and the third such piece I've ever done.

Also, however real, it's an extremely dirty picture, so you'll have to click this itty bitty thumbnail someplace besides work to see it properly. While the new THIS SICKNESS (no, this wasn't included) may be R-rated, this painting is definitely X.

Okay, by now I think you've been sufficiently warned.

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26 February 2010
  Cafepress Are Nazis and I'm Not Working With Them Anymore

To all those who were trying to buy my books, I'm sorry for Cafepress being censorious pigfuckers and disappointing you. Deeply. I have, after dealing with them for a week to no avail--and being treated insultingly, which is why I have no problem insulting them--canceled my Cafepress shop. So I'm sorry to say my entire back catalog, of This Sickness at least, is no longer available. I cannot say when it will be again, but I am working hard on it. But I see no reason to do business with a company that treats me and my readers like something you'd scrape from your shoe.

I apologize to you all, and am deeply grateful for your support. If it were up to me you'd all have your books now, and this makes me livid--I would never treat any customer the way these people have treated not just you, but myself. They are censors, they are evil, and they tolerate merchandise that calls for the murder of the president, but somehow my stuff is wrong for their site. After, I re-emphasize, two years of it being just fine with them.

Boycott Cafepress. If you are a creator, do not use them. Let them starve and die.

Yes, I'm angry. As would anyone be under these circumstances. Being censored, having my trade restrained, these things tend to enrage me.

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25 February 2010
  The Development of Lulu (PDF)


A five-page article I put together, chock full of sketches(which are pretty much all NSFW, be warned), on the creation of my particular design for Lulu. Which was a daunting challenge because we're talking about a woman who(however unwittingly) leads at least three men to their pathetic deaths. Anyway, download it at this link. (PDF, 3mb)




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23 February 2010
  Cafepress Censors Me, But Had No Problem With Psalm 109:8 Merchandise

Well, it looks like the pigfuckers at Cafepress win, and I lose. The relatively tame content of LULU--by comparison to my work the past few years--in this issue of THIS SICKNESS is not to be allowed on the pristine webpages of Cafepress! I'd complain if I were you.

At the end of much cold intractability on their side and mine, the spokesbot speaks:

The interior of your PDF files IS something that we review and it HAS to abide by our policy. In file sickness_06_v2_opt_BODY.pdf we find your use of nudity problematic.

As previously stated, we cannot have your content on our site.

Margene H.
Content Usage Associate
(650) 655-3104 (O)
(650) 240-0260 (F)

(do they realize how their e-mail--cup@cafepress.com--sounds when you spell it out? Why not call them up and ask)

Look, I know that perhaps you'd have a point with the previous five issues, almost. (Which, you'll be shocked to hear, they also took the opportunity to strike from the site, so whoever has copies of the first 5 issues, congrats, you now have collector's items. But which they also have allowed there for some time) That's if I believed content restrictions were at all valid. I have even--begrudgingly--adjusted cover designs in the past, because those images would be seen on the site, and a cover is a promotional element. But the interior? I'm not changing that for them, or any printer.

What freaks them out here? As you'll see soon once she enters(click image at top of blog), there is some mere nudity that is entirely part of the plot. That's it. I will confess the next chapter will be going somewhat further, but this one, not so much. The truth is that their choosing this one to act upon has more to do with the cleanouts they often do when a holiday is coming up--in this case St. Patrick's Day--and they're afraid of losing any of that sweet t-shirt money.

I don't begrudge them the money of green-clad drunks, nor the need of said drunks to ask people to kiss them because they're supposedly Irish; if they're drunk enough they certainly need a shirt to say it. Even drunken douchebags need love.

I just think it's interesting that they take such a stance on a bit of non-gratuitous nudity in an adaptation of a 115-year-old German play, and yet I find that they have no problem with some downright creepy anti-Obama and Tea Party merchandise, most infamously their reversal of their decision to remove the Psalm 109:8 merchandise.

That's the stuff that's making a coded reference to hoping for the death, and replacement, of the president.

And the e-mail they cite is from the same stinking Margene H. that I argued with over the past 48 hours, and you'll find the numbers above already there too, which is why I leave them in above. I had no idea I was arguing with someone so battle-hardened already. Because there wasn't the slightest trace of courtesy in her approach. I felt like I was arguing with Dana Perino possessed by Mary Whitehouse.

A woman's body, seen in a story, is not the kind of thing they want. But stuff calling for the death of the president? That was just fine with them. How typically, I hate to fucking say it but, American.

I am currently looking into another solution. In the meantime, I apologize for the delay. It's all ready for printing, but Cafepress, as I said, are pigfucking Nazis. At least I can say as I like here. And show what I like as well. But it will see print as well. And you will see plenty. Because frankly this makes me want to offend.

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  Louise Brooks Society Notices LULU (Mine)


How cool. I got a mention over at the Louise Brooks Society blog today(and many gushing thanks to them for that). Read it here.


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  Keepaway

I wonder why it's taken Obama this long to realize the GOP is just fucking with him. Surely he's faced bullies in school.

They are only trying to gum up the works and delay, and will change their position to suit that which creates the most frustration and inertia. And they know that one thing stalling jobs is all the businesses waiting to hire after the health care matter is resolved, because of the changes in employee policies that may occur.

So the longer they delay it, the worse the economy gets. This, they think, will help them come November, because they expect the blame to not come to them for wasting the nation's time, but to Obama.

And Obama doesn't seem to realize letting it come to him would be very bad for him.

There is no down side, for him, to fighting the GOP, and in truth they are a paper tiger. And there's no way to win them over; their voters will not become his; and his voters, like me for instance, want him to. Why the cowardice?

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22 February 2010
  This Sickness #6 Ready, BUT Cafepress Won't Let You Have It!

You have a very angry cartoonist and publisher here today. Cafepress, whom I've been doing all the issues through till now, suddenly decided to be pigfucking fascists and banned the new issue. Please take note, everyone who might be thinking of using them: they even censor content that's barely PG-13ish.

Complain to them here: cup@cafepress.com

I am currently fighting with them over this, but the upshot is that the new issue, featuring LULU, will be delayed, maybe further should I end up canceling my Cafepress shop, which I'm just one bad customer service experience away from doing. I am not changing my work to suit what is, after all, my printer.

Tell me: what is objectionable about this?


And here. Here is a picture of how much contempt I feel.

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20 February 2010
  Meet The Most Famous Lulu: Louise Brooks

Some of what inspired me in my own current version of Lulu. While I have gone to some trouble to make my Lulu very un-Brooks-like, I have to confess that if it were not for her performance in Pandora's Box, I might never have gotten interested in adapting the plays to begin with.

So to show you what I'm on about, here's a massive playlist of Louise Brooks. Including: "Lulu In Berlin," an interview with the elderly Brooks; the TMC "Looking for Lulu" documentary; and all of G.W. Pabst's PANDORA'S BOX and DIARY OF A LOST GIRL. Also various odds and ends, including a scene of her in a talkie.


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  LULU Week 7



Saturday. LULU. Chapter 1, page seven.

And to again remind you: Keep watching for the announcement of THIS SICKNESS #6. I'm just in the formatting stage now, so it should be available exclusively at my online store very soon, and 40 never-before-in-print pages, including my collaborations with Shane Durgee("Comic Shop Experience") and Janet Harvey ("Glass House"), and more. Keep watching.

You will click the image below now.



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14 February 2010
  For No Reason, Lily Cole

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10 February 2010
  No, Not An Edwards Sex Tape. Please, No.

Oh, happy friggin' day. A John Edwards sex tape. "Please god make it stop" comes to mind. But I have a proposal to save us from the horror.

In GRIZZLY MAN, rather than make us, or Timothy Treadwell's ex-girlfriend, listen to the audiotape of Treadwell's death, Herzog listens to it himself on headphones, then tells her to not listen to it and to burn it, and we never hear it because Herzog has class and actual compassion, as long as your name isn't Kinski.

So I say that's the answer: we should make Werner Herzog watch it, and then come out and tell us to bury it in deepest manure and napalm it.

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  Newt Gingrich Lies, Lies, Lies About Richard Reid

Last night on the Daily Show, in relation to the underwear bomber, Jon Stewart asked why the reading of Miranda rights to him was wrong, but it was okay for the Bush administration to do so with the shoe bomber, Richard Reid. Gingrich responded that Richard Reid was an American citizen, and Stewart(who's been very careless with some of his conservative interviewees lately, like John Yoo) did not challenge him on it. He did mention it briefly later, before the credits, once Newt was gone, but Gingrich was able to get it out there.

Gingrich is a fucking liar. As everyone knows, Richard Reid is not a US citizen. He was born in Bromley(better known to some as the home of the "Bromley Contingent," from which Siouxsie & the Banshees sprung), in England, and is a British subject.

Newt Gingrich knows this and is trying to spread a new talking point, using Frank Luntz' newly announced strategy of just lying about Obama. The idea of which, I'm assuming, is to make Obama waste time countering all the lies till he's overwhelmed. As Fox News and talk radio have proven(hell, this is Ann Coulter's only purpose), if you throw enough lies out there, and keep it up for at least two weeks, eventually people will believe most of them. Not so much really "belief" as "acceptance," actually, like dust collecting in the air and settling all over you.

Update: Gingrich tries to worm out of it, fruitlessly, claiming that he meant Jose Padilla. But the point he was trying to make was that the most effective way to deal with the underwear bomber, not a US citizen, would be to torture info out of him. Except that Padilla, a US citizen, was not Mirandized, was waterboarded, but didn't talk because of it. So any which way it's an argument that could only make sense on Fox News. Which will probably, at least on Fox & Friends, try now to keep claiming Reid was a US citizen or that Padilla talked under torture, because to Fox all facts are liquid, all truth opinion. But Gingrich, meanwhile, remains a fucking liar.

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09 February 2010
  Jenny Sanford: It Was Sure Nice Having Prisoners To Wash My Dog

Memo to Jenny Sanford(regarding her Daily Show appearance): it's all well and good to call Mark Sanford a cheap philanderer. Cool. But it doesn't help your case when you bemoan the loss of prisoner slave labor to wash your dog.(and then say that your dog is now filthy as a result) I realize, having grown up there, that this doesn't seem so strange in SC, but the rest of the country--as with this NY audience--thinks it is. And it really is. The look of utter bafflement on Jon Stewart's face, and his polite attempt to try to avoid a series of withering cracks toward her, are priceless.

Amazingly, she seems totally unaware of this even when she hears the crowd reaction, despite that she was brought up in Illinois(but in the very toney and racist Winnetka) and worked in New York. You'd think she'd have been a bit less...well, tonedeaf, frankly. I thought at first she was joking, but as it went on it was clear this was no joke, it was a real complaint. Yes, Jenny, in the rest of the country people feel a little less chummy about involuntary servitude. Having worked in SC, a right-to-work state already, in a mere normal job(a music instrument warehouse, for about 5 months in 1995 before I just walked out one day in disgust), I can attest slavery appears something they get very nostalgic about, judging by all the overtime I was never paid then.

Like with Andre Bauer, the more one looks at SC and those surrounding Sanford, one realizes that, yes, he's filthy scum, but those around him in some cases almost make him look not so bad. I almost respected her till seeing this interview, but it's obvious she's just another clueless overprivileged Southern white aristocrat.

But then, this is the same woman who still went through with her renewal of vows even though her husband eliminated "faithful" from said vows. It's hard to feel much pity. Like with Elizabeth Edwards, her husband is so awful that you want to take sides. But the cold fact is that, the more you look at it, things aren't so black and white--though victimized, both these women are pretty bad themselves, having allowed the public humiliation of their families and dragged out trauma their children will deal with for years, for the sake of protecting their own power and status derived from their hubbies, which would have been--and was--harmed by simply leaving the swines they married.

And frankly, all this is very much a Carolina dynamic, and I can't really explain it to y'all. I can only say: see why people like me leave it? It's the sort of place that makes David Lynch seem realistic. Take it from a recovering Southerner: The more one looks at Dixieland, the more one wants to look away, look away.

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08 February 2010
  "This Sickness" #6: Four Possible Covers-Your Opinion? Also, Massive Attack

Just putting together the new issue(and the first in a year, sorry about that) of This Sickness, which will include the first chapter of Lulu in full, as well as sketches and notes about the project. It will also include the political-satire strip I began work on in 2006, The Man,(see sample at left) five pages of it. I'm preparing more material and think I might continue it in some form, because it appears the stuff I thought was a gross exaggeration back then is now reality. I have a few other things in mind, like some stuff that never ended up seeing print because of the abrupt way I ended Plastic, as well as some collaborations that haven't yet seen print. But let us see what fits before I announce that.

Watch here for the release announcement. It will be available exclusively through my Cafepress online store, as are the other five to date(which differ from this one though, in that those are all "over 18 only," while the new issue will just be "mature readers." Though will have some nudity), so go here to purchase. Buy several!

Right now I am also deciding on a cover design, one more of a type I've used a number of times before, which is abstract design+color+female figure. This time using a lot of pink, magenta and violet because I don't usually feel comfortable with those colors, so I thought I'd try them. And also, if you look back at the other five This Sickness covers, I tend to prefer monochromatic motifs on covers, and don't like to repeat anything till I've finished a series. I can't decide between the four designs below, but I'll be damned if I do that alternate covers scam.
So here they are. Feel free to tell me which you prefer. My own favorite? The kind of psychedelic/candy-looking one. I can't decide if it's too garish, or if perhaps I want to go for garish. Loud, yes.


***********************************************

Happy because the new Massive Attack album Heligoland is in my stereo. And it's really quite amazing. A large number of vocalists even for them, including Hope Sandoval and Damon Albarn. You should definitely get it. I think I've listened to it about 30 times since Saturday. Here are a couple of examples.

"Paradise Circus" with Hope Sandoval.


"Atlas Air"--This is live and it was called "Marrakesh" at the time.


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06 February 2010
  LULU Week 5


Saturday. LULU time. Hasn't entered just yet, but you do see a painting of her. I've been busy trying to put together a print version (which will be in This Sickness #6, coming soon and only purchasable through my Cafepress store--check here for release announcement), so my apologies for the week's gap in blogging.

Anyway! The fifth page of Chapter One is up, as the conversation continues between Schoen and Schwarz.

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"Eternity with Beelzebub, and all his hellish instruments of death, will be a picnic compared to five minutes with me and this pencil." - E. Blackadder, 1791
JLRoberson Self-Portrait 2005.
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