G A N Z E E R . T O D A Y


Got the latest “booster” the other day and my body did not take too kindly to it. Out of commission for the day which frustrates me to no end. Trying to read and failing, may end up having to be a slutty TV day. Let's see what I can find.

On another note, my latest piece:

It's called POWER DANCE PATTERN, hand-stamped on 300 gsm acid-free paper, 9”x12”. The variation in stamping makes each one completely unique.

#journal #art #work

Quite into Amazon Prime's adaptation of William Gibson's THE PERIPHERAL despite it standing on a rather shaky premise that demands a huge suspension of disbelief: That people in the future would easily be able to transmit data to the past, to the point where they could transmit the data necessary for the manufacture of devices that allow for the transmit of data from the past to the future. The how is never explained, and all the characters in the show seem to just buy into it. When confronted by this information, the characters from the past (which is still in our future) do have a holy shit moment, but that's the extent of it. Even the obligatory “nerd” doesn't seem to geek out about the science involved or anything. It's kind of frustrating.

But there was a bit that resonated hard; when it is explained to the main character from the past inhabiting an artificial body in the future what “the jackpot” is. Or was rather. A mass extinction event resulting from a trifecta of severe climate change + global pandemic + nuclear war. I watched that particular episode just one night before the Arctic Blast hit Houston, weather plummeting to well below freezing temperatures and losing power and all form of heating in the house. I had also just read a report on recent pandemic statistics; an all new high with something like 400-related deaths a day? You wouldn't know it because of the lack of pandemic-related restrictions/precautions though. Seems like the only thing missing is a nuclear war, which I guess we're far from actually living through. Although this batshit crazy headline appeared on the WSJ not long ago: The U.S. Should Show It Can Win a Nuclear War.

#journal #watching

“And it is absolutely inevitable that when a tradition has been evolved, whatever the tradition is, the people, in general, will suppose it to have existed from before the beginning of time and will be most unwilling and indeed unable to conceive of any changes in it. They do not know how they will live without those traditions that have given them their identity.”

From an essay by James Baldwin titled THE CREATIVE PROCESS. A dear friend sent it my way the other day, and it has stuck with my since. It stuck with me in my dreams all night, and this morning too upon my awakening. There's a gem in every sentence really, but it is the bit quoted above that embodies the key to it all. Or perhaps more accurately... the lock. The act of unlocking it is what really represents the key to the creative process, at least for me. It is artists who help herald a turn in the social tide, who suggest a way of being and doing that is other. I should say that when I say artists, I don't mean it in the crass definition often accepted by today's standards. There are artists who are visualists, and those who are musical. There are lyrical artists, as are there literary. There are those who work with fabric and the human body, and those who construct habitats for human dwelling, and those who explore the sciences of the natural world and posit various uses for them. There are artists in all known field and endeavor and there are many who operate in these areas who are not artists at all but are of no lesser importance.

It is artists though who push the envelope, and are thus often reviled, feared, and ridiculed by society at large. Until—as is often the case—long after they're dead when society finally catches up with their ideas and propositions. Of course, there are artists who achieve mass acclaim within their lifetimes. Anyone can likely name a handful alive today who might fit the bill without thinking twice. I would like to posit something somewhat controversial though, and that is if indeed an artist has reached a degree of widespread appeal after having gone through the unpleasant business of social jeering at the onset of their practice, then one might say that that artist is surely lucky to have lived to witness the kind of seismic shift their art had always hoped to affect. However, if what they continue to do thereafter is being met with social glee, then chances are they have ceased to push the envelope beyond that initial push and are probably likely doing much of the same work they had done prior. No longer producing work that might suggest an alternative to established tradition, it is at this point that their work is no longer art and they no longer artists. There might be a great degree of craft involved, a great degree of skill involved, but craft, skill, and art are not one and the same. To be an artist is to be revolutionary.


Lovely biking to the post office today, where I dropped off a couple packages. I'm reminded why it's so nice to stay put during extended national holidays, because you get to enjoy the city without its usual frenzy of angry traffic. I learned this as a young boy after spending many a national holiday doing things that would never at all occur to me to do had I not been pressured into it by family and society at large. When I was finally old enough to make my own decisions about how to spend my days, I jumped at the chance to not do what everyone else did, and instead spent that holiday time doing what I genuinely enjoyed doing.

I don't quite get that kind of luxury now, as there is an awful lot of work on my plate. But it is the kind of work I enjoy, so there is that. Actually, I lie, it isn't. It certainly could've been the kind of work I enjoy, but a couple of these projects involve other parties who are nitpicky and “micromanagerial” in a way I haven't experienced in the 18+ years I've doing this kind of work. Perhaps I've grown too accustomed to being asked to just do my own thing with little to no interference from anyone. It is for this reason that I'm typically extra careful about assessing how much of a control freak the people who approach me are before taking on any gigs, but it seems my assessment powers are waning. And now I pay the price by having very little will to live and in fact wishing I was off doing some redundant holiday nonsense in some godforsaken frost town that was never intended for human habitation to begin with.

Part of the frustration I suppose stems from one's inability to assess a project's production timeline. If say, you anticipate a project might be done in X amount of time, that can easily be botched by the interference of another party who can result in it taking 10X the amount of time, and thus affecting other projects you might have on the docket. Like, say, THE SOLAR GRID for example, which of course I am terribly behind on and will be immensely depressed if I don't get Ch.7/#8 out the door before year's end. Which is uh, soon, way too soon.


As much as I may have bitched about working on these 19th century scenes in TSG, I'm quite pleased with the results.

Pages fully scanned in, now working on assembly, colors, and letters, in addition to a couple work-for-hire gigs. One in particular I'm really excited about because it just couldn't be more up my alley. Between the queer punk rock vibes and strain of revolt all effortlessly fused within a speculative fiction yarn... I mean c'mon. Could I even hope for anything so perfect?

#journal #work

New print drop from my Halal Pornography series. This one is called Drip.

House has been vibrating non-stop from 7:30am to 7:30pm due to serious construction around the corner. Houston public works. This has been going on for days, and today we received notice that come next week they will be starting on our street. Driveway and pretty much any access to our house will be non-existent for some 40+ days, in addition probably to even more intense vibration. Sadly and very quickly looking into potential co-working spaces to utilize in the meantime.

Co-working spaces however don't quite lend themselves to analogue artmaking (paper, ink, paint, the works) which will throw a wrench in my usual practice and force me to focus on the digital-only components of my projects for a while.

Luckily, TSG Ch.7/#8 is at last fully inked. Will scan pages in tomorrow and start assembly/screentones/colors/letters, all digital work. A couple other analogue things pertaining to other projects on the docket though, may have to rush through them over the next few days.

#journal #work

There has been a sudden influx of subscribers to my newsletter despite it being on hiatus right now and I'm not entirely sure what the source or reason is.

The last stroke on the final page in the latest TSG should be going down today (easily a month behind schedule) after which I scan in the entire chapter and begin the digital part of the job (screentones, letters, colors, and assembly).

19% into STARGAZER: THE LIFE, WORLD, AND FILMS OF ANDY WARHOL by Stephen Koch which I am thoroughly enjoying. Started it just to get an idea, but now I'm hooked and cannot put it down despite a handful of inaccuracies I've noticed. It's okay though, because it's not the historical play-by-play facts that are important. It's the theoretical insight gleamed from the observation of the general happenings explored in this excitingly written text.

Recording live on the Afikra podcast tomorrow, which anyone can “attend”.

#journal #work #reads

New print drop, this one's been a long time coming. The original artwork it is based on was created back in 2019 when I was living in Denver and experiencing an acute case of homesickness. Since then, many a homesick person have expressed desire for an affordable print edition, which makes sense because us homesick immigrants can only afford so much darnit! Anyway, finally got around to it.

I posted something earlier, but it seems to have not posted and vanished into oblivion. I hate technology sometimes (most of the time). It's more bugs and troubleshooting than anything.

Going live on the Afikra podcast in a few days. Anyone can RSVP and attend and potentially partake in the audience Q&A that is to follow.

#journal #work

If I were to describe my usual go-to line-art style, I would say it probably falls somewhere between the Toth and Toppi schools of mark-making. Lately though I've been working on a couple pages in the latest TSG (Ch.7/#8) set in the early 19th century, which has prompted me to mimic the general illustration/printing style of the era. This has called for a fuck-ton of crasshatching and over-rendering, whereby each stroke has amounted to a stab by hairpin straight to the heart.

I would typically include an image with a post like this, but I've come to the decision to forego images altogether in this here blog (for the most part), primarily because it involves a couple of less-than-seamless steps that I'd like to eliminate. Most pics posted here are taken with my phone, before being transferred to my computer from which I upload to snap.as. From there I snag an embed link which I paste into my post. That's 5 steps just to include a picture, which has resulted in something of a barrier in my resolve to post regularly. It'd be nice to live up to the “.today” in the blog's title, and by foregoing images, all it'll take is rolling my chair over to my computer and typing away. Should be easy enough.

Instagram lends itself better to image-posting (snap+post), so that's likely where my journal-like picture-taking will live (at least for now, as I do loathe that it is owned by Facebook and bombards me with shit ads). I hear Tumblr is making a comeback since lifting their nudie censorship. I was very much a fan of Tumblr back in the day, especially because its app allowed you to microblog with ease from your phone onto a webpage that could be highly personalized. But I wouldn't be able to bring myself to trust them again.

I also will have to put Ganzeer.Reviews on hold, because that's a whole process that I just no longer have the bandwidth for. I might have to resort to folding my reviews into this here blog, sans pictures, and likely taking the form of micro-reviews.

On which note, just watched COCAINE COWBOYS from 1979 by Ulli Lommel and thoroughly enjoyed it. There are bits in there that didn't at all need to be in there, and bits that were not in there that could've been in there, but overall, I dug it. Jack Palance is really good in it and I found Tom Sullivan to be rather captivating. Andy Warhol has what could be initially assumed to be a cameo, but is in fact a role that is so absolutely central to the plot, which I really loved, especially that he plays himself. Such an odd but really special film, brought to my attention thanks to The Video Archives Podcast which is now my new favorite fix.

Friend of mine has been talking me into doing a podcast together (Yes, another project because time is in abundance obviously), the thought of which amuses me. Lack of a theme, however, has me unsure whether or not this will actually happen. Also, I'm not sure there's much of a vacuum in the current podcast-scape that needs filling, and I'm only ever drawn to vacuum.

There is an abundance of unread books taunting me from my shelves, yet my Thriftbooks cart is filled with 16 books which are also taunting me. I'm convinced I have some kind of terrible illness.

#journal #review

Succumbed to a ghastly sickness immediately upon my return from Dearborn/Detroit where a gathering organized by the Arab American National Museum took place. Saw snippets from a couple plays-in-development, attended readings as well as the Arab American Book Awards, and participated in many a thoughtful workshop. Feeling inspired and grateful to have connected with so many awesome souls, in addition obviously to feeling weak and miserable (see: ghastly sickness).

On the docket is: a handful of comix pages and a few posters.

Eager for the time to dream and meander in thought.