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

journal

Third day in a row to wake up with a migraine. Beginning to think that the culprit lies in my new supplements.

In other news, my TBR pile has grown rather unruly.

Some of these are partially read (a terrible habit), and that's not even taking my Kindle titles into consideration. I also have a borrowed copy of Rushdie's THE SATANIC VERSES coming in from a friend. Will have to move onto that one so I don't end up holding onto it for too long, and then I think I'll get going on Thompson's FEAR AND LOATHING which I have actually yet to read but am kind of dying to after watching the film adaptation for the first time a few weeks ago.

It's a hot, beautiful day here in Houston, Texas, temperatures soaring at 26 celsius just asking for one to kick back and linger but I cannot turn off my brain from the great many to-do`s on my plate, whether it's continued work on some of my ongoing projects or the resuscitation of things I've been neglecting like the website and newsletter. I've also been putting off accounting for way too long now, and there are a number of houses things to tend to.

Also thinking about how to best maneuver work stuff with the summer month I'll be getting to exclusively spend with my kid (a first for me). Was initially thinking of planning a trip for us to Egypt during that month, but there are time, cost, and logistical considerations to take into account.

No wonder my head hurts.

#journal #reads

My instagram feed seems to have become populated by more targeted ads than content from the actual people I follow, a less than surprising development, I s'pose. Many of the ads seem to be hawking solutions for dealing with extended fatigue, which I have indeed been suffering from lately. Is this something that just happens in your 40's?

I've never been much of a drugs or supplements person, but it may just be time for that to change. Unless I've been brainwashed by advertisements to believe that that's exactly what I need. It's hard to know for sure anymore.

#journal

One time I went to pick up my kid from daycare and the minute he saw me, he started crying. Not because he didn't wanna be with me, but because he was in the middle of putting a puzzle together and he wanted to see it through before leaving.

I saw that and knew exactly where he got it from. Working on this last THE SOLAR GRID script and finding myself incapable of stepping away from the thing and doing other very necessary things, like, y'know eating or exercising or going through my inbox or, or or.

Terrible habit.

Smoking is another one I seem to have picked up in recent months, which is funny because everyone knows it's something you start as a teenager, not in your 40's for fuck's sake.

#journal

On page 30 of the last THE SOLAR GRID script & thumbs. Need to wrap everything up in 10 pages or less (I never did abide by corporate comicbook specs, potentially to my own detriment). Feeling good about it though.

Temperatures dropped drastically the other day and hot water still isn't running and I need to drop something off at the post office and also box a bunch of things up in the old garage.

A ways into book 2 of Isaac Asimov's THE FOUNDATION TRILOGY, and enjoying it a great deal. Finding aspects of its ideas to be quite ahead of its time (and in some ways ahead of this time even) except for the fact that it has so far been a big sausage fest. Seriously, not more than one female character appeared in the entirety of the first book, and even then only in a couple pages.

But I do appreciate the long view of the story, unfolding over several hundred years with no character appearing for more than a single chapter or two. Quite unconventional in that way.

#journal

Huge LED artwork I had manufactured just arrived. It feels significantly larger in my small abode than I had anticipated. Between the piece itself, the box it came in, and the plant I knocked over during the unboxing process, the serenity of my space and the writing I have been embarking on have thus been sufficiently disrupted.

Reminder to self not to make or buy anything new at all until I'm done with my godforsaken graphic novel.

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Winds so strong I woke up to find the back door of the house blown wide open. Subzero temperatures expected next week, the annual freak weather incident apparently. Will have to bring all my plants inside, some quite large, and live like a crazy plant daddy for a while.

Scripting/thumbing what may be the most difficult 10 pages of comix I've ever had to conceive of, the last 10 in the very last chapter in THE SOLAR GRID.

I recall upon releasing the very first chapter way back when, and it was considered strange and eccentric. I think this last one will make the first one seem hella conventional (and maybe even boring?) by comparison. Shit gets weird, not because I want it to necessarily, it just kinda happened this way. Will try to wrap these up today, eager to get back to penciling pages.

A few years ago, I was so attracted to the idea of developing comix the same way one might've gone about making a French New Wave film; conceiving of the story as you're working on the actual pages. In essence, thinking of the making of the comix page itself as part and parcel of the writing process. Comix as writing, there's something quite sexy about that. But now I wonder if it might be better to actually write the whole thing out first. Not outline, but properly write the whole thing.

Not so sure about scripting it out though, that might be too boring and time-consuming of an endeavor. Perhaps write it all down in prose like one might go about any prose story. I'm sure there's an argument to be made that if it's a good prose story, it must be good in comix (with necessary adaptive measures employed). Although the opposite isn't necessarily true; can't imagine MAUS or SCOTT PILGRIM or anything by Chris Ware working strictly in prose. And that's a good thing, doing with comix what only comix can do. Which probably means that by going prose first, you're likely to come up with something that may not tap into the full potential of the comix medium.

But it would be the safer thing to do, having your entire story fully locked in before drawing anything.

#journal #work #comix

Another thing that stood out to me from HITCHCOCK TRUFFAUT; apparently, a great many films from the silent era were based on plays. That is fascinating, because dialogue tends to be the core story engine of playwriting, whereas silent filmmaking is concerned, you have to do without dialogue altogether, save for a handful of title cards.

It's got me thinking about adapting plays to silent comix and all the different changes one would have to make along the way. Changes that would inevitably alter the plays rather drastically I think.

#reads #journal

Woke up in the middle of the night and decided to crack open the volume of HITCHCOCK TRUFFAUT that's been jeering at me unread from my shelf for a while now. A few pages in and I was prompted to beam Mernau's DER LETZTE MANN on the projector, which both Hitchcock and Truffaut express their admiration for. First minute into this 1924 silent film and I was hooked! The framing and shots are just absolutely gorgeous, and the story intense, told entirely without words got me thinking about the big vacuum left unfilled by the absence of silent visual storytelling in today's world. The potential to reach people across borders regardless of language or culture is immense, especially if phones/social-media were to be utilized as the delivery mechanism. But that would necessitate coming up with short ultra-condensed narratives of about one minute or a minute and half tops. Which in itself is something of an attractive limitation.

#journal #reads #film

Have yet to crack how to balance all the things. Managed to boil down all regular tasks into daily, weekly, and monthly, but it's the weekly ones that make maintaining the others particularly difficult. Because sometimes each one of those weekly tasks can take up a full-day, in which case that's an entire week gone right there, leaving little to no room for the dailies or monthlies. And that doesn't even including things like parenting, tidying up, laundry, or a semblance of social life.

I gotta say, being over 40 and still trying to figure out effective time-management is kind of depressing. Certainly the eternal struggle that never ends, and the one thing they never bother to teach you at school.

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What a joy it is to see Deena Mohammed's SHUBEIK LUBEIK end up on so many TCJ contributor's Best-of-2023 Lists! So happy to see that book get the recognition it very much deserves.

#journal #comix