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

journal

I've worked on 4-story high murals before, which I can pull off in 5-6 days easy. But for the past 3 months I've been working on a series of murals much smaller in scale but far more complex in their “construction”, hence my absence from writing for awhile.

My days have more or less looked like this:

6:30am – Wake up, feed Moony, make coffee (the wife and I will sometimes alternate the “feed Moony” and “make coffee” parts).

7:30am – Breakfast (typically a granola bowl or somesuch). Also, put out birdfeeders (racoons get to them overnight).

8:00am – Shower, shave, look human.

8:30am – Moony's off to daycare (usually handled by the wife, but this coming week will be all on me).

9:00am – Exercise.

9:45am – Cut stencils and/or pickup supplies and/or other preparatory things (also, fill up birdbath).

11:30am – Head over to the Baker Institute at Rice University (where the murals are being painted).

12:00pm – Paint murals.

02:00pm – Break for lunch and coffee.

02:30pm – Continue painting.

04:30pm – Stop painting.

05:00pm – Pickup Moony from daycare.

05:30pm – Prepare dinner + feed Moony

06:15pm – Bathe Moony.

06:30pm – Slip Moony into PJs, bedtime reading + milk.

06:55pm – Tuck Moony in crib.

07:00pm – Kitchen cleanup and bring in birdfeeders.

07:30pm – Play dead in front of TV (A short show, some Youtube, or Cathode TV).

08:00pm – Fall asleep (actually).

If I'm really tired (and I usually am) I sleep right through to 6:30am the next day, but sometimes I'll wake up around 1 or 2am and read for a bit before I doze off again. These days it's DUNE.

Tonight however, I was only able to doze off for half an hour before snapping awake again. I hope that writing this will put me back to bed.

And I'm also hoping to wrap those murals up by next week.

But, I also told myself that last week, so...

#journal #work

I was quite excited about the child starting daycare. That is until he brought back some of the ghastly sicknesses of his cohort. I may have to take to wearing a face mask at home now.

Hey, it beats getting sick for a couple days out of the blue.

Y'know that sci-fi trope of the astronaut stumbling upon cute little alien children that actually turn out to be vicious monsters out to kill you? (Also adapted for a scene in the first Jurassic Park movie) Yeah, now I know where it comes from.

#journal

I don't remember the first time I watched LA JETEE, but I do remember almost every single frame. It helps, I'm sure, that it is a film comprised entirely of stills. In fact, it's one of the reasons LA JETEE is regarded a landmark of storytelling. It is able to explore themes of war, post-apocalypse, scientific experimentation, and time-travel all through a series of still black and white photographs shot in 1962! The technique wouldn't have mattered of course had the actual narrative not been so compelling. Indeed, if you were to take the narration as stand alone text, even that would've been a revolutionary piece of text that would still hold to this day, as is the case for any compelling true work of art created anytime.

This Saturday, September 18, I get to virtually sit down with film aficionado supreme Walter Chaw to discuss Chris Marker's LA JETEE and also another film: Lluis Quilez's GRAFFITI (2015).

The latter I discovered only recently by complete chance. While browsing Kanopy's listing of Science Fiction films (a bit of an obsession of mine), GRAFFITI stood out to me as an oddity of a title for what we understand to be science fiction. Upon watching it, I certainly wasn't disappointed. In fact, I readily consider it to be one of the smartest films ever made. I do love that it's one of the few films (if not the only one?) that utilizes graffiti (another obsession of mine) as both a communication tool and window into the psyche, which is the best a worthwhile graffito could ever accomplish. The fact that it all takes place in a frozen-over post apocalypse? * chef's kiss *

“Attendance” to our virtual discussion is free, but registration is required: here.

Chatting with Walter about all things sci-fi (or all things in general really) is always engaging and illuminating, and I'm really excited to be able to dive into two these great gems with him and see what other fascinating facets we may uncover.

Talk takes place at: 10:30am PST / 12:30pm CST / 1:30pm EST

#journal #event

It's been awhile since I journaled or newslettered or anything of the sort. Much work and travel in the past month (NYC and Seattle) that has stirred up much thinking but no time to jot it down or attempt a recap. Still quite busy; yesterday was a full 7 hour workday on foot with no sitting down to speak of whatsoever, in addition to whipping up a home-cooked meal (oven-roasted chicken drumsticks and mini potatoes with a side of salad) and bathing the toddler.

Still no time to sit down and write (in fact, my timer just went off), but still want to use this space so will likely turn it into a very practical daily to-do list of sorts. And maybe also a very dry log of accomplished tasks maybe. Something I typically do anyway on paper, might as well do it here.

Today: – Watch Moony for 2 Hours – Exercise – Fill birdfeeders – Email Rohan – See Aida – Cut stencils – Sift through ceramic tiles

#journal

Six years and some 250 pages later and I'm still on my bullshit.

In the final 30% stretch though, so edging closer to finishing this godforsaken project.

Off to New York tomorrow. Buncha things to do there, but compared to the amount of busy I've been lately, it's the closest I'll be getting to unwinding for a while.

Also, excited to be making a public appearance at Desert Island in Brooklyn on July 29th, 6-8pm. It'll be the first in-person public thing I've done in long long time!

#journal #work #TheSolarGrid #comix

When I was a little boy I couldn't get enough comicbooks, this was before I could even read. Thanks primarily to my older brother who was an avid reader of the things, along with sci-fi and fantasy paperbacks and Dungeons & Dragons catalogues. I would just stare at the artwork of these things, unable to understand the stories but my imagination would make up its own conclusions and assumptions based entirely on the stunning art. The first burning desire I remember ever having in this world is being able to read, just to understand the seemingly magnificent tales depicted by the artwork of these comix and paperback covers. The second burning desire I ever remember having is wanting to make those things.

Eventually, I'd manage to fulfill that first desire and unlock the ability to read and understand those stories, some living up to whatever I imagined, some surpassing it, and some... well not so much. As time progressed I would acquire new desires; getting to know girls, painting murals, showing my art in museums, so on and so forth. And indeed many of these desires I would end up fulfilling, but the second desire I remember ever having in this here earthly existence? Yeah, not yet.

But now it seems like fulfilling that desire is inching closer to reality; I'm now working on the last 30% of my epic 400+ page sci-fi graphic novel! Earlier chapters of which are being released in single issues as we speak! And in less than 2 weeks time, I'll be doing my first ever comicbook signing!!

This is such a big deal to me. I'm filled with all kinds of feels that are difficult to describe. Also, I've heard much lore of the legendary Desert Island in Brooklyn where the signing is to take place, and I really can't wait to check it out and [likely] discover a few gems that have probably escaped my radar.

#Journal #Work #Comix #TheSolarGrid #Appearance

Don't know why I thought I could ink this double-page opener in a single day. Here I am 3 days later. The lighting is a bit tricky, because I have three sources in an otherwise very dark location, and I'm just figuring it out in inks as I go. Here's hoping I finally nail it today.

In other THE SOLAR GRID related news, I did a Twitter video-thread on TSG #2 which came out in print last month.

Also also, I'm doing a live video thing today on Booklyn's Youtube Channel called “My Favorite Book”. 5:50pm CST.

#journal #work #comix #TheSolarGrid

AC has been out for 5 days now. In Houston. It is lethally hot. Afternoon temperatures hover around 34C/91F these days.

A lot of people's AC units must be breaking down, given that it's taking the insurance company multiple days just to send someone to look at the damn thing!

At least one good development has come out of this: I've gotten into the habit of kicking off my days by spraying water in front of the house and setting out a couple chairs for the wife and me and our coffees. The water cools off the surrounding air before the hot hot son peeks out from behind downtown Houston's skyscrapers. A ritual I nicked off of Cairo's old shop owners who almost always start their hot summer mornings this way.

In somewhat related news, gave a studio tour over at Radix Media's Instagram Stories yesterday, some of which may still be up there.

#journal

There was one day in London I had designated as the comicbook day, whereby I'd get a crew together and we'd do a bit of pub and comicshop hopping. Due to scheduling difficulties, the crew however was narrowed down to Ahmed Raafat, James Harvey, and Isteshhad and the day became a couple hours. Nevertheless, it was still a highlight!

Got one pub in and two comix joints; Notting Hill Comics Exchange and Gosh!. Also made a little trade with James Harvey and got his latest, LUIGI MODE, which—judging by the first issue—is so very good in true James Harvey fashion. Nobody makes comix likes James, not visually, in tone, story, or anything. Such a unique, masterful, and most of all odd voice he is.

Only other thing I managed to read is one of those SPEAKEASYs, a British rag about the comicbook industry from the 80's and one that I'd never heard of before. The one I read, dated June 88, is evidently an important one! It reports the formation of the Eisner and Harvey awards after the dissolution of the Kirby Awards, the establishment of Alan Moore's Mad Love publishing outfit, and even newcomer Rob Liefeld's HAWK & DOVE debut (Rob Liefeld who within less than 10 years would be paying Alan Moore $10k a script for his stellar yet seldomly talked about work on SUPREME and others). The way history unfolds will never cease to amaze me.

Plenty of other gems in the issue, including an interview with even then obnoxious Howard Chaykin and a review of Bryan Talbot's ADVENTURES OF LUTHER ARKWRIGHT which I haven't seen in a good 20 years and probably need to restock on and reread but I have too many books as it is and need to remedy the situation by either unloading books first or moving into a bigger space but I'll be damned if I move anywhere else ever again goddammit.

#journal #reads

Not sure when I'll even get a chance to properly go through them, but here are some of the wonderous finds I made in London's bookshops, [absolutely essential!] research material for Chapter 7 (issue #8) of THE SOLAR GRID.

Those in addition to REBELS AGAINS THE FUTURE by Kirkpatrick Sale make up the research for that single chapter! (and a bit of Ch.8/Iss.#9). Probably not entirely necessary. Could've cheated my way through the thing, but I do believe all this research material will add much authenticity to the installment.

Sale's book is in fact wholly essential to THE SOLAR GRID's development in a weird very indirect way. You wouldn't know it if you've read both, but I know it and I like to wear my influences on my sleeve. I hadn't heard of Sale prior to picking up the book some 3 years ago, but I was interested in his subject matter. Interestingly enough, Sale's name came up a few months ago in a pretty fascinating story in Wired. Truth be told, he comes off as a bit of a dick, but I will nevertheless owe him a great deal for writing that book.

In related news, today sees the print release of THE SOLAR GRID #3!

#journal #work #comix #TheSolarGrid