new untitled graphic novel


here it is… in the rawest of raw forms… the next project that will throw some more grey in my hair and make that hole in my stomach just a little bit more annoying.

i’ve never really storyboarded a book like this… not this methodically…

after seeing this sea of post-it notes, my non-religious, talking squirrel drawing butt felt the need to say a prayer… the shepard’s prayer… astronaut alan b. shepard to be more precise:

“please, dear God, don’t let me screw up…”

it has been noted, in various sources, that shepard in reality substituted “screw” for that four letter swear word that rhymes with “truck”. still other sources suggest that he never said that. either way, it’s attributed to him and, in this situation, completely appropriate…

i’m not sitting on top of a rocket… but it sure feels like it.

Categories: grad school life

tools are everything…


tools are everything.

tools make tools.

yesterday i got the greatest christmas gift a cat like me could get. tools.

not the “i’m-a-he-man-can-cut-wood-build-an-ark-power” type tools. artist tools.

the thing about an artist tools is that they are special. very unique… like fingerprints or dna; both start out the same, are built with the same raw materials… but through use (how much and how hard) and just time, they develop their own unique appearance and personality.

looking at another artist’s tools, holding them in your hand is almost more descriptive than an interview or a photograph. you have a moment— especially when you know that artist will never do anything with those tools again. in all likelihood, those instruments were with the artist more than any other person—spent more time with him/her, were more intimate with him/her— intimate on a plane that no other separate human could be. they can love you or they can hate you.

the tools you use hear your thoughts. they allow you to move forward and can send back packing your bags. a new expensive tool is no substitute for an experienced mind—it’s those old, work out, off the rack ones that move me… that give a level of comfort no easy chair or tight, warm embrace can do.

tools are cool.

Categories: life

nietzsche, nietzsche, nietzsche…


” …the path to one’s own heaven always leads through the voluptuousness of one’s own hell.”

nietzsche wrote that over 120 years ago. i think that his eyes were somehow opened more wide than others. we spend our days toiling away at something in order to get something. some learn to love the toil…the process of toiling, the feel of toiling, the sound and smell of toiling— in order to get themselves through the day… to start the process all over again. are they working toward a goal? and if they get to that goal, then what? another goal? when does it end?

when do the goals that we set for ourselves cease to rule our existences? how would we think and act if we as a species were not goal oriented? it seems as though that without goals, without problems that need to be solved nothing would get accomplished…diseases wouldn’t be cured, bridges wouldn’t be built, food wouldn’t be produced.

we’d all become house cats…waiting for someone with a thumb to work the can opener.

Categories: life



many of you may not know that i’ve rather recently become an avid gormand of american history. for some reason i can’t get enough of it…my dvr is chock full of history channel programs i have yet to watch and my bookshelves are literally overflowing onto the floor with books that i have read and are on my list to be read. mostly, i just like trivia. i’m not terribly concerned about exact names and dates…

i want to know the little stuff…

like for instance, i was tickled to read that andrew jackson, the 7th president of the US, was the first president to have an assassination attempt be made upon him. the dude that was going to shoot him had two pistols… he walked up to jackson only to have both pistols misfire. so, jackson, being the stone cold badass that he was, proceeded to beat the hell out of this guy with his cane… people had to come to pull the president off this guy! that’s the stuff i dig.

today, we rise from our beds to the dawn of a new era in american politics. the first africanamerican us president. damn. i honestly thought i would never see this moment. i just assumed that america was going to stick to what i knows… white males. thank goodness there was a change.

i’m a very cynical sort of guy. i always think the absolute worst, that way when the outcomes roll around i’m never completely disappointed. i’ve been swimming through the stories of this presidential campaign for two years…he’s up, she’s down… blah, blah, blah… i became so jaded witht he whole process that i stopped doing editorial cartoons… i had been doing them for almost ten years without a break. this election just burned me out. i couldn;t do it. didn;t help that i have a daily comic strip, a new house that always seems to need fixing and added graduate school on top of all that. i just was stretched too thin. i had to focus my energy on my strengths…and, frankly, my heart was just blackened by it all…nothing ever changed, no one ever learned from their mistakes…ever. what was one more cartoon that would be forgotten minutes after it was seen do to change that? not much.

as the campaign wore on, obama grew on me. i’m always a sucker for a well delivered speech. having the ability to speak effectively before a group of people is one of the most invaluable tools a person, not just a politician, can possess. the dude’s speeches moved me. he’s good. very good. and that’s what won me over. he made me, for the first time in my adult life, have faith is something.

now, i’m not getting all mushy on you. i’m also a devout realist. if history has taught me anything it’s that saying and doing are two different animals. you say what you need to say to get where you want to go. politics has, and will always be at its core, pure theatre. if when you get there you do some of the things you said… awesome. if you try and can’t because of immovable objects in your way… that’s fine too… it’s the machine. it’s theatre.

will obama, accomplish everything he says he wants to… maybe. will his ideas turn the country around? who knows. are we hurting enough right now to listen? sure. is he the right person, right now for this monumental task? possibly.

it’s all theatre. today begins the first act of the new production. we’ve all had a chance to choose the playbill and the main characters. take your seats and hope someone taller than you doesn’t sit in front of you.

now we just have to see if it’ll be a comedy or a tragedy.

Categories: life