So I had to go to the Post Office in Hayward today and took an Uber back(well, and to as well) because I live way up in the hills and there wasn't much in the way of buses before Covid 19, but now, some hope. As you may imagine, I've been quite isolated since March; I could count the number of times I've left the house since then on one hand, give or take a finger. So I always see something that shocks me anew when I go down there. I remarked how surprised I was to see so many people at outdoor restaurants, and not one wore a mask.
The driver said, "Well look at it from their point of view. They see you walking down the street in the open air and wearing your mask and they think wow, he's not really living."
And I said, "You know what's really living? Staying alive. I don't care if I have to wear a stupid little mask."
"Man, it's sad to see people that way."
"Well, if you ever want to see people again they should grow up and do it. For the sake of being careless in one stupid conversation at one stupid little meal, it's worth death? You think that's 'really living?' THAT'S sad."
Hey, the Blog's Back? YES! AND LULU BOOK 2 IS OUT NOW!
As those of you that have been following me on Patreon, where along with my Twitter account has been mostly where I've been while finishing my latest project, know, I just finished the second book of LULU! Below is the cover.
I'm wrestling with getting the print version out now. It's not so much an issue of censorship this time(thank God), as it is formatting issues, which are still being resolved. But while the Comixology version is also pending still, you can get it right now in digital at Kindle, Google Play Books, and even directly from me! In the latter two cases, DRM-free.
And this one, following from the excellent introduction I'm grateful the late Martin Pasko wrote for Book 1 (may he rest in peace; he was a fine man and one of the best writers comics ever had, on a level with Steve Gerber) has an introduction from the equally legendary DONNA BARR! And I'm incredibly grateful for this as well. Buy the digital version now!
The problems I was having with the formatting here meanwhile at Blogger appear to be resolved by an old version of the code I uploaded, so at least everything's not at the bottom of the page now. This happened when Blogger accidentally updated me to one of their "new themes." I will be using my OWN very basic theme, thanks. It's served well for a long time. So please excuse all the outdated things. I will shortly be updating all of that and restoring old links.
In the meantime, I will let you know when the print version is out, and will be spending more time here again. So add me to your Feedly or whatever, and keep coming back!
And please let me know what you think of LULU Book 2 in the comments. Thanks!
March 22: Happy Birthday Angel Wherever you are, today's still your birthday and you're still one of the fondest friends in my memory. Have a happy one. March 1989, and the only Catholic Church near Pisgah National Forest, where we were camping. She needed the palms for some kind of Brazilian spiritual ceremony that I still don't understand.
Our idea of Spring Break from Chicago was the wet Smoky Mountains in the deepest part of the forest. But right next to a roaring waterfall. And a lot of Neil Young and Sandy Denny on the box. And Siouxsie & the Banshees, which she liked and at the time I did not.
Any adaptation of Dracula will always be one removed from the original, because the original is an epistolary(told through journal entries, letters, and that kind of thing). So when Dracula is adapted, one is forced to interpret, and usually those are quite different than the novel. Sometimes this ends up good, like with both versions of Nosferatu. Other times it's mangled, like most of the 1931 version or Coppola's pretty debacle.The most usual thing is for Lucy and Mina to either be switched or merged, and Quincy Morris and Arthur Holmwood are either eliminated or, as in this version, merged.
This one manages to be closer to Stoker than any other version. And is quite scary. Also kind of hot. This film has been somewhat of an obsession for me since I was a kid. You may disagree, but for me, this is the best non-Nosferatu version of Dracula.
It's BBC 1970s, which means it's film outside, video inside. But like many, I think horror works better when it looks cheaper, and in any event they do a fantastic job with the means they have. I certainly prefer it to the American-clean way a lot of BBC looks now. And I actually like the cheesy video effects too. Also excellent are Frank Finlay as Van Helsing, Judi Bowker as Mina, Jack Shepherd as the best Renfield since Dwight Frye--and maybe better--and my first movie crush, the incredibly sexy Susan Penhaligon as Lucy Westenra. To this day I have a thing for chokers or ribbons about the neck thanks to her in this, which is why I draw them so often on women. Quincy is played with the worst American accent you've ever heard, but try to look past that. (as well as the Portuguese subtitles, unless you speak it, in which case, bonus!)
Here's the score, which makes heavy use of not a theremin, but a different early electronic instrument called the Ondes Martenot, which Radiohead fans might recall as an instrument Jonny Greenwood is very fond of. You start hearing it about 0:45 in--it's a bit like a theremin in that it sounds like it's singing, but in a much warmer way. After is the full film.
Trump is far more like Stalin than like Hitler. In his conviction only he should make any decisions(and thus government only does what he's interested in, which is very little that has to do with American interests); he rewrites facts that don't suit him and ejects anyone who knows more than him from the government.
And Stalin thought Hitler was his pal.
Till the invasion of Russia, Stalin was happy to deal with Hitler and rather admired him, as they shared many of the same goals and prejudices. So it was both nations that invaded and shredded Poland. Stalin was thrilled because of all the additional land and resources and the chance to purge party members he disliked and slaughter Polish army officers (see: Katyn)
And when Hitler did the obvious thing that he'd done many times before to others, which was fuck him over, Stalin was genuinely shocked, and paralyzed with depression for a week, realizing he'd purged all his best generals.
Oh No, Martin Scorsese Said Something Bad About Movies that Gross Billions All of you jumping down Scorsese's throat for speaking the truth: where are you when actual innovative films that need your support go under? Why do films that gross billions need you to defend them? People who want Marvel movies to be called real movies: 1. Don't ever tell me to "turn off my mind, it's just fun" when I point out their flaws. If it's a real film it can handle criticism like any real film. 2. Does it occur to you that largely they do no more than IMITATE real movies? WINTER SOLDIER knocks off from THREE DAYS OF THE CONDOR and was praised for that. The Ant-Man films cribbed from Ocean's 11 and again, praised. They're fun but they are faux and would have not have much most would go see without their grafting from other non-superhero films. That's how they get the masses to accept it. 3. You may have forgotten, because of Marvel's imitation and replacement strategy, what real movies are like. 4. They're all basically the same plot arc. RAGNAROK isn't and that's why it sticks out--it defies all that. And that's why it's to be undone.
Thor and Hulk Resolving Eternal Issues of Human Relationships
Really clever of Trump to taint the GOP's backup Normal Republican this way. He ensured Pence was part of the same plot, so they don't dare help impeach unless they're willing to lose the whole office. To Nancy Pelosi. Who's in the line of succession after Pence. Seriously, if they'd had any sense they'd have at least made sure Pence was involved in no Trump decisions at all. Otherwise, what was the point of him? I'm guessing that once they got one more Supreme Court Justice, and the country softened for the GOP by all of Trump's draconian policies, they'd have cut him loose to have Pence with a country made easy for him by the sacrificial Trump. I think that was the hope. And then they'd say Trump was never a real Republican at all. They managed to muddle the memory of Dubya fairly well, why not him? But we saw them, how they are when they fear no loss of power for making America suffer; how much they enjoy the permission Trump gives them, and how little they ever meant their crowd-controlling talk of their perverse 50s view of Christian morality they themselves would never follow. And we will not forget.
New Art: Crazy Jane Inspired by the rather nifty new DOOM PATROL show, and especially Diane Guerrero's stellar performance, I drew this piece of one of my favorite characters ever, Grant Morrison & Richard Case's Crazy Jane. (click to enlarge) Drawing her was both easy and difficult, because as I drew her I realized I'd been using elements of her in female characters all this time without realizing it. I didn't realize how much my style owed to Case.
New at Patreon: Suzy Spreadwell Chapter 3 p. 3 Final Color (Free!) Yes, my generous heart is allowing non-subscribers to get away with reading the new pages well ahead of the issue. Won't you have a look at the whole page by clicking the panels below, and please support this and other works for only $1? Right now your support would mean a lot, especially if you ask friends to support Bottomless Studio as well. Anyway, here's the new one! Happy Saturday!
But remember, some later pages may not be, as Patreon enforces upon me now, rather than banning me outright or locking down all my posts, the iron rule that posts that are more "adult" have to be patron-only now. So to be sure to follow the whole new issue in progress, just subscribe for $1 (or more if you like, I never mind that, I promise) to support the work and gain access to each page as it's finished, plus much more! Making indie comics these days is a real bitch, and your help, whether at Patreon or any amount you want to throw through the donate button below, helps this cartoonist in his 22nd year of independent cartooning not worry so much about eating. It also helps me put out free pages in the first place.
New at Patreon: SUZY SPREADWELL Returns! (Free!) I've begun drawing the new chapter of SUZY SPREADWELL, and while most of the finished pages will only be available to $1 patrons till "official" release, this brand new one's free, so click the image to see the whole page, and be sure to subscribe today to see everything afterward! (and more)
New (Old) Stuff Posted at Patreon: Two Banned Works Newly Up for Patrons I have resumed and (slightly) revamped my Patreon page, and now it's a very simple, streamlined pledge structure: $1 (or more, we accept more) for access to all posts except two things: ebook downloads and the really explicit stuff...
As you probably know, the orange cancer beast Trump, despite having shut down the government over his wall, and so no longer issuing earned pay to federal workers all across America, expects most of them to work anyway. Read more »
New Suzy Spreadwell Story Starts - P. 1 Pencils This chapter will be a little flashback to Li'l Suzy and her mom on a walk in Springtime many years ago. Note: No, her head isn't floating in the last panel. The pencils on Suzy's neck were too light for the scan to pick up.
Happy New Year! New Suzy Spreadwell Painting- "Lake of Fire." Also: My Art Now Available At Saatchi Let's begin our 2019 with the Devil in chains, shall we? This is what I did with my New Year's Eve till about 8 am today...
George Bailey In Jail (from the archives) So, after the end of IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE, you know George would still go to jail, right? I mean, just because George got the same town he'd stolen the money from to give him more doesn't change federal bank regulations.
Yes, I did another one of these things, after the ink you saw earlier this week. I'm not sure the scan really does justice to the color on the original. But anyway, this is more of me trying to get the hang of watercolors over ink.
I have always considered THE EXORCIST reactionary and overrated.
Let’s start with the overrated part. My issue with THE EXORCIST is that its scares are basic, childish: on the level of someone waiting round the corner and shouting BOO, or a nasty brother showing his sister his mashed up food on his tongue. “Did you hear there was an accident? HERE ARE THE VICTIMS GLAAA” — like that. It does scare, yes, but not in any substantial way. Pazuzu is basically just a prankster. I have always felt this way about it, especially since OMEN got me first as a kid(as well as a lot of other horror), so this seemed…so basic when I got to IT. What I gathered was this was a film designed to scare middle-class people who didn’t watch any other horror. Read more »
Censorship Update: Kindle F**ks With Me Again (UPDATED)EVEN FURTHER UPDATE: 10/30/18: They're back. Their system did this automatically, they claim. Now my books are restored at Amazon & Comixology. (which are now the same) But I still am having a phone discussion with them tomorrow to make sure this doesn't happen again. I don't care whether it was a mistake. I want to make sure this doesn't ever happen again, to me or anyone else. So I'm not going back and restoring all the links I scrubbed last night until this is not longer an issue. Still don't trust them, though. Read more »
"Eternity in the company of Beelzebub, and all of his hellish instruments of death, will be a picnic compared to five minutes with me & this pencil." --E. Blackadder, 1789 Questionable
words & pictures from John Linton Roberson