It’s been a long time since I posted a blog, so I guess I have a lot of things that have been going on & to talk about. First off is some stuff from some conversations I had with other creators at the SMUDGE comic convention up in DC.
So on my merch table I always have stuff available for a dollar. I always want people to not have an excuse to not buy anything. I do this with bands & comics. All the people I’m friends with seem to generally have the same philosophy. But I was talking to this guy at the convention who I respect as both a creator & businessman & he intentionally puts nothing on his table priced under $10. He said that by having nothing under $10 he can have a decent day without many sales & that people that think his stuff is cool & just want to show a token of support are still in for the $10 price point. It makes a lot of sense & I know I am undervaluing my work & effort with $1 items. I mean, making $100 on $1 items can happen, but it’s hard to do & the reality is I really need to sell $300 a day to actually cover all of my expenses to actually make an event worth doing. So I should probably move my one dollar items to being a fourth of my table instead of 90% of my table. Something to think about for my upcoming events for sure.
Andrew White (Just A Man & REH) was at SMUDGE & I got to meet him in person for the first time after probably five years of collaboration. He was talking about a new book he’s working on & I told him he should put it on Kickstarter because I’ve had a lot of luck with comics on Kickstarter. He said the reason he didn’t want to do a Kickstarter was he felt like there was a limited amount of money available to people from Kickstarter & he didn’t want to take it from people like me who are really trying to make things work when he knows for him it is essentially a hobby. I get where he’s coming from & it’s noble or whatever, but I don’t think he understands that a lot of the Kickstarter money people are spending is money they want to go to support the best things that they care about & so you should offer good projects up. It is worth noting that I still think Kickstarter is a fad in general, but for comics it is the thing that is getting people honestly excited about independent comics for the first time in almost 20 years.
As a lot of you know I’ve been working on the SPACE Anthology for the past few years. I talked to a guy at SMUDGE about how hard it is to get people to do stuff for anthologies & he told me that he looked at anthology appearances as five pages of his own work he wouldn’t be able to get done. Then I’ve been having some problems with a couple of musical compilations I’ve been working on in a similar way, with people saying they can’t do something for a compilation because anything good enough to release they want to save for their album. I get it. Compilations/Anthologies don’t pay & the idea that they give real exposure is kinda of bogus as I know that I often don’t even listen to all the other tracks/read all the other stories on thing I appear on/in. So I know that I really need to do more with when I do something, it needs to be something people can get excited about. But I do feel like if people want to be part of a community, that anthologies/compilations are kind of an important aspect. I also personally feel like anthologies/compilations give an opportunity to experiment & reach outside of your comfort zone & an excuse to get content out. Now I feel kinda crappy for so rarely appearing in comps/anths that I’m not putting together myself.
February 24, 2014
I’m at a Low concert in a high school gym. In addition to Alan, Mimi, & Steve there are three women singing harmony with one of them on banjo & another with an upright bass & then a choir that looks like it was formed from the residents of a local retirement home.
I’m hiking on a gravel trail. The trail gets so steep that I have to crawl to go up & it gets even steeper so that I’m essentially on my belly swimming through the gravel & my arms are getting sore & tired. A woman walking down the slope drops a bolt snap with a key on it & I grab it & reach up & offer it to her.
February 26, 2014
I’m in the eighth grade in Sunday school. My friend Chris walks into the classroom with a woman walking behind him that I assume is his mother. As he walks by me, I see the woman is actually my grandmother. I say to her, “Ethel, it’s me, Brian.” She reaches out & puts her hands around my throat & starts to choke me.
March 6, 2014
I’m at a thrift store near closing time & I have a lavender tuxedo shirt that’s way too big for me & a shirt pattern in my hand. I guess I’m planning on modifying it. I decide it’s too much work & something I’d never actually do, so I just set them down & leave the store.
March 9, 2014
I’m a ghost in the studio where Guns N Roses are recording Appetite for Destruction. They do an incredible live take of a song as a scratch track & everyone high fives & then leaves for smokes except Slash who changes his high E string. He waits for five minutes & then leaves to look for the rest of the band. They aren’t on the studio steps smoking, so he walks down the street to a bar in line of site & they’re all in it already on the way to getting wasted. He says to them, “Come on guys, we’re paying for studio time right now.”
I’m working on a piece of art that is essentially varnishing a piece of wood after I’ve put in some mild accents to compliment the natural grain, like replacing knots with watch gears & integrated circuits.
March 11, 2014
I’m at a Three Brained Robot show, but instead of being dance music it’s fairly caustic noise. Sam is still using the same dance moves.
I’m in an old house for a weekend party with ten other young people. I wouldn’t call these people my friends, but I would call them my peers. I eat some pizza & I can feel it’s laced with something before I finish a slice. I’d guess psilocybin & hydrocodone & who knows what else. It makes me paranoid & on edge. It also makes me realize I’m in a horror movie. I grab a pair of scissors out of a drawer in the kitchen & go to my room. On the way to my room I pass another bedroom where two girls with their shirts off are making out. I guess at least they’ll die before I do. I lie down on my bed which is just a mattress on the floor. I have the scissors clenched to my chest as I fall asleep. I wake up to a silhouette of a man with a machete in my doorway, but the drugs have made it impossible to move & I can’t even let out a proper scream.
March 12, 2014
I’m at a Kraftwerk concert in a large theater. The stage is way too large for their setup & they’re taking up just a small bit of it at stage right making them difficult to see from my center position. In addition to that they just really aren’t very good. I wish I’d never seen them at all over catching this show.
I’m walking down a flight of stairs at a mall & as I get to the bottom floor I notice I can’t feel my own weight on my feet & that I’m starting to levitate. I’m trying to will myself back down before I’ve lost control & draw attention to myself or maybe just find something to hold on to.
March 16, 2014
I’m at a live art event & the woman painting isn’t using paints, but fabric dye. Chelsea says, it may look fine tonight, but it’ll look like shit tomorrow.
My grandfather died & my grandmother gave me his car since she never learned to drive. It’s a 1960s faded lime green Cadillac. I’m driving it the 500 miles home & a car in the right lane starts shooting out huge plumes of smoke & the car behind him slams on his breaks & cuts into my lane & I rear end him. The dude in front of me’s car is clearly totaled, but it looks like all the Cadillac will need is a new grill & headlight.
I’m packing my equipment for a show & when I grab my pedal board I notice the bottom is bulging out. I guess I put too many pedals in it. I touch it where the bulge is & it gives a little & then something inside pushes back & I realize the thing is pregnant.
March 18, 2014
I’m staying with a friend at some kind of artist residency thing. He’s telling me a story about when his last relationship ended. They were splitting up the dishes & he had all of his sitting on the counter & knocked them off smashing them on the kitchen floor. I’m not sure if the story is about controlled anger & violence or just an anecdote about life.
March 15, 2014
It’s after the apocalypse & I’m living in an old high school with a couple hundred other survivors. I’m walking in the hallway & I see my grandmother with her walker & the ill-fitting baseball hat she’d wear when we sat outside in the summer. I run up to her & I pick her up, but I’ve gotten so weak over the years that I have trouble keeping my balance holding her & I spin & crash against a wall careful to only hurt myself in the process & then we both slide to the floor as one lump.
It’s 4am & it’s dark & snowing & I’m at work at the airport in my four layers of clothing. I have to use the bathroom & I hate the idea of how long it takes to get dressed & undressed to do it.
March 19, 2014
I’m using a Hot Wheels racing set that I had as a kid. When I was a child I thought the secret to a winning car was having a boxy back that fit well into the spring loader, but now I think the secret is just having a newish car with straight wheels & axles.
I’m walking & staring at the ground because there’s a nearly blinding light permeating the entire sky starting just a few inches above my head. I know exactly what the light is, but I fear it & hope by just ignoring it that I can somehow avoid it until it goes away.
March 21, 2014
I’m watching an old movie on this machine that has fist sized potentiometer dials on it to let you alter the appearance of the lead actors. I think the intention of it is to be able to make actors look more like yourself, but instead I use it to make the main actor of a noir film have huge ears & no nose & it seems off that people still treat him as a leading man.
March 23, 2014
I’m taking my grandmother on some sort of outing to a factory & when I manhandle her a little to get her to sit in her chair properly in the car, she tells me to stop being so fresh. When we get there they need to call on the radio to see if we’re allowed in because we have a mink on a leash that my grandmother has as a companion animal to keep her calm. I take the mink to walk on the lawn & it moves so fast that it’s pulling me behind it leaned back like I’m water-skiing on the grass. It comes to a sudden stop & I go tumbling over the little guy & I’m scared I’ve hurt him, but when I pick him up he kinda smiles & makes a little clicky noise. I go back into the lobby & the guy with the radio says all tours have been cancelled because of an upcoming snowstorm.
March 24, 2014
I’m in middle school & my dad is supposed to drop me off at school for 7:30am & he’s bitching at me that there’s 5 minutes to go & I should be doing yardwork in the meantime.