Saturday, June 30, 2007

MoCCA, etc.

I took Friday off so I could meet Carlos, Bowie, and Lynne for lunch at the Olive Garden on 22nd Street & 6th Ave at 1 PM. They wanted me there earlier, but my sleep is kinda fucked up (which you all knew already). The food wasn't as horrible as I'd heard, but not great, either. I can, however, recommend the chocolate gelato. Brain-freezing deliciousness.

It was good to see folks whom I was starting to forget what they looked like. Carlos went home shortly after, and the rest of us went up to Jim Hanley's Universe and picked up a few books. We then parted ways, and I brought Lynne home to check out her Cintiq.

I want one. Maybe in a few years. It's $2500.

We talked for a while & got sidetracked. I was supposed to meet a couple of CBR friends before heading out to Brooklyn for a pre-Rocketship party dinner. A few CBR folk came in from Chicago, Reno, Bismark, Philly, Wilmington, and small towns in Pennsylvania and Indiana for the MoCCA Art Fest, and I got to meet most of them for the first time (and a couple for the second).

RAB of the blog Estoreal had injured his back, and wasn't able to meet with us that night.

Anyway, I called up Merey and told her and the crew not to wait for me at West 4th. I departed Lynne's house and went straight to Brooklyn. As I was approaching my destination, I saw Joe Rice waving his monkey hands in the air, facing the opposite direction, indicating to his sister-in-law down the block where the party was.

I stepped inside, made my way to the back, and met everyone with the standard Rita's greeting:

"Howdy, fuckers."

Many of these people haven't seen me since before my makeover/nervous breakdown, so there was kind of a "wow" moment. It felt weird being there, but I quickly overcame my discomfort. We stayed a bit later than we meant to, as the Rocketship party started at 8, and we showed up at 9.

I picked up a few books and was very good at not spending whatever credit I have left. The social aspect of the party was okay. I didn't even try to slut it up or anything ridiculous like that. I wasn't approached, either, which was fine by me. As the party wound down, my unease arose. We headed out to a bar down the street for an "after-party," which had the most obnoxious music blasting. We retreated to the lounge in the back and scared off all the normal people. I showed a few people the beginnings of my book and got some high praise. The music was too loud for me to talk over. And it's been a while since I've talked to more than three people in a day, so I was losing my voice, and my throat was sore. I was popping cough drops like Rush Limbaugh popped OxyContin. Since no one was around me, I just started writing for a little while. I started to feel useless, and disappeared just before midnight without saying goodnight except for the two people who actually noticed me. I got home a little before 2 AM, and crashed a half hour later.

I woke up late on Saturday and made my way for Little Italy. I found CBR poster Winslow, his wife & two children, and another CBR friend Matt Bib seated outside at an Italian establishment. We talked for a while. Everyone else ordered a hefty lunch. I had just eaten breakfast before arriving, so I ordered a chocolate cake, which was excellent. I stayed with them for a little while, and left to meet Lynne at the Puck building, where the Art Festival is held.

I made my way inside, went over to R Stevens' booth (a friend of his used to be a roommate) for a quick chat, wandered around a bit, and met Lynne. We walked around to Vanessa Satone & Becky Cloonan's booth, then Euralis Weekes', then Kensuke Obayashi's, then up to the 7th floor for Celia Bullwinkle's, where Carol Mehaffey was also hanging out; SVA alumni all. Trish Van Whatever also had a table, but hell, she doesn't remember any of us anyway. Then we ventured over to First Second's booth and I took advantage of their buy-two-get-one-free deal. Later on, we crossed paths with RAB who was flying on meds for his back and had a pleasant chat for a bit.

We came outside for a bit of air to find all the CBR folk congregating at the entrance. I introduced Lynne to everyone (she's met Lena & Mike before) and we generally shot the shit. Out of the corner of my eye, I spotted Khary Randolph, so we talked for a while. He showed off his new Black Book, and I showed him a few pages of mine.

It was at this moment when I felt a chill and watched as the pool-playing veggie chick and a friend of hers walked right past us and into the building. She didn't notice me until they came right back out and I called her name.

"Hey, these are my friends, Khary, Lynne, and...well, nerds," as I gestured to the CBR crew. They were out jeans shopping for her (male) friends' hot date that night, and so, had to go. I reached out for a handshake, and she hesitantly obliged. When she was out of ear shot, I explained who she was. Khary said, "wait, she dumped you?" Ed Cunard called her a cunt and left it at that. Lynne said, "You're prettier than she is."

Small consolation, but I got a chuckle from it.

Lynne and I were growing hungry, and the other nerds couldn't decide where to go, so we split for a pizza place on Prince & Mott. That's where we got some Jerry Springer-style entertainment.

A woman was there with her five year old son. He was on his scooter in front of the place, and the mom wasn't paying any attention to him. A couple from the neighborhood was walking around and the female started taking pictures of him. You know, cute kid. The mother came barreling out at the pair, tried slapping the camera out of her hand, hitting the guy in the face with her purse, shoving them around. The guy shoved her back. I overheard "you don't hit a woman."

Now, while I generally agree with that statement, it's bullshit. A) You don't hit anyone, and B) I am an equal opportunity ass-kicker.

Not that I've ever kicked anyone's ass, but self defense is self defense.

Basically, the mother handled the situation improperly, but the shutterbugs should have asked for permission first. I was ready to dial 911, but everyone dispersed before I could hit "send."

"Tages," a CBRian visiting from Reno wandered into the shop looking for directions to MoCCA. He was lucky that I was there, and so I helped him out.

After a while, I gave Mike a call to find out where everyone else was headed. Lynne and I walked up and over, and after some miscommunication (as in, I'm a dumbass), we found the place. As we had already filled up on pizza, we just sat & talked until desert time (more chocolate cake). Lynne started drawing Wonder Woman on her napkin, and the fellow sitting across from us just looked on in awe.

After the check was settled, we made our way up and over to a bar for one of the many after parties. We found a couple of unreserved tables in the back and relaxed. Many nerdstuffs were spoken of, not just comics. My right eye began to sting for an unknown reason. Lynne got me a couple of wet napkins as a compress, which helped out a lot. The music got louder and more difficult to talk over.

Ed came over during one of his many non-smoking breaks, and innuendo was bandied about. The tension was so thick, and poor Lynne was stuck between us when we grabbed for a mock-kiss. We just don't know how to quit each other.

At this point, plans for karaoke were up in the air. I wanted to go, but Joe Rice called Mike and said it wasn't happening. That would change after our departure.

Around 9:30, Lynne was already tired, and I was beginning to feel like I was losing it, so we headed home. We hopped on the N train at 8th street. At Times Square, Brian & Merey got on directly across from us. They were coming from a wedding reception for her friends. I re-introduced Lynne, and we all talked. I mistakenly informed them that karaoke had been canceled (it's Brian's favorite thing in the whole world), and they let slip that it was Brian's 28th birthday. The reached their stop, and Lynne's was next. I walked her home, and we sat together for a while. Then I walked home, read for a little while, and crashed.

On Sunday, I got on the train and started writing in my book; two stops later, Das (a CBRian) boarded. She was headed out to the Gay Pride parade with a few friends, and probably skipping any MoCCA related events. I ventured forth once again to the Puck building to meet my friend Morts and his six year old daughter "Tot." They're two-thirds of the family I helped move last Labor Day weekend. Morts' wife was in Queens visiting a relative. Tot dragged us all over the convention floors and she broke a lot of hearts. We went upstairs again to sit & relax away from the crowds. Morts took the opportunity to go to the bathroom & talk with a Kristen, a CBRian he hadn't met yet. I sat with Tot and we drew pictures in her little notebook. Morts returned, and I got in line for the Bill Sienkiewicz (pronounced sin KEV itch, for you non-nerds) signing.

We waited for over an hour, and he didn't show up.

Kristen's boyfriend Gus showed up, as did Mike and Alex of Rocketship. The show was beginning to end, so Alex took off to do some shopping for the store, and I took advantage of that time to pick up a few things I had missed on Saturday.

The six of us (Mike, Morts, Tot, Kristen, Gus, and I) departed for a kosher restaurant. I passed around my sample book and received accolades, from Mike, especially.

"I hate you. You're going to win awards for that."

He's referring to the Christina's World homage.

We stuffed ourselves, had a good conversation, and left.

Here's where I should remind you that Sunday was also the day of the Gay Pride parade. Now, if you didn't know us, what does this image say?

(Left to right: Gus, Mike, Morts, Tot, and me. Photo courtesy of Kristen.)

I'll let Morts fill you in here.

We made our way to the subway, where we all began to part ways. Kristen & Gus went back to their hotel. It was already past Tot's bed time, so they headed out for Jersey. Mike walked with me to the N, and then headed home.

I didn't sleep well Sunday night, so I took Monday off to rest & relax.

Here's my combined Jim Hanley's/Rocketship/MoCCA Fest haul:

Go here for more photos & articles:

Rocketship 1

Rocketship 2

The Occasional Superheroine

The Comics Reporter links to many, many photos & reports

The Comic Book Resources Community Forum's MoCCA Thread

Beaucoup Kevin's
Flickr Journal (Kevin is responsible for the term Fuckton.)

Cartoonist Dean Trippe's MoCCA report

Ed Cunard's MoCCA report

Publisher's Weekly article

Thursday, June 28, 2007

MoCCA Report in progress

Don't get your crotchless panties in a twist, I'm working on it. There will be photos & many links, humorous tales, and statements of woe.

And shame on you fuckers that couldn't make it out for this.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Giving up.

I seem to have fallen out of favor with the jazz-loving sculptor. My social retardedness made our conversations tense and awkward.

"When was the last time you had a girlfriend?"

"Honestly? I haven't."

"Really?! Why not?"

I chose not to provide reasons. I caught myself from saying, "because no one has loved me back."

"Because I hate myself."

Yeah, present tense.


I just said "I have issues. I've had to deal with a lot of stuff, and just couldn't handle dating."

"Like what?"

"Look, I haven't even met you, I'm not comfortable talking about it with you yet. Hopefully another time?"

How do you tell someone that you haven't even met yet about having a sense of worthlessness beaten into you at a very early age? And how that worthlessness has been reinforced by virtually every attempt at socialization? How I chose isolation over intimacy because it hurt less? And now that the loneliness is plunging me further into depression every day, when I try to combat it, I have no clue how to interact with people?

You don't. You can't possibly lay all that shit out without scaring the hell out of them.

I'm too incurious to initiate conversation, and sure as hell can't carry one. I never have anything to say, or know what's being talked about.

So screw it. I give up. There's really no point in trying anymore.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

MOCCA Reminder!

Friday, June 22nd, 8PM, Rocketship (the greatest comic shop in NY, nay, the USA) will host a MOCCA pre-party. The place is expected to be jumping. Much nerdery & hipness will be found. I will take the day off from work. If anyone wants, I can meet you in Manhattan beforehand, and we can cruise down there together. We can probably grab something to eat before we go. A few CBR folk will be flying in for the festivities, so I'll be all over the place.

Bring money, you cheap bastards.

The main event is the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art's Art Festival on Saturday & Sunday, details of which can be found here. Many of our fellow SVA alumni & Tribe pals (wow, remember that?) will be there, some with tables, some just schlepping through (like me).

Oh yeah, and motherfucking Bill Sienkiewicz will be there. That certainly deserves a "Holy Living Fuck," just like the moon landing did.

Friday, June 08, 2007

A couple of thoughts.

I've figured out a better structure for my book. Most bio-books & movies are too linear, too much of a sequence of events instead of an actual story. That's kind of what my book was shaping up to be, and that's not good. I pondered how to make it better, and while I was on the train a couple days ago, it hit me: I'll use a date as the framing device.

Speaking of dating, I'm feeling lower about the whole thing than I thought I would. Not horribly miserable like I was a few months ago, but it feels like maybe I shouldn't be doing this.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

"Bad design makes me want to throw up..."

"And maybe crap my pants."

My good friend and Hetero Life Mate (kinda like Jay & Silent Bob, for those who don't know), Mike is the utter genius who asked, "What does Lisa Simpson giving a blowjob have to do with the Olympics?"

And that's all I can see, even though I know that it's just a heavily-distorted "2012."

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Welcome to Dumpsville...

Population: Me.

TBVPP wrote me today (yesterday for you folks who work 9-5-ish), saying how dating wasn't really working out for her, and that she'd still like to hang out with me.

This is #9 of the 17 variations of "Let's Just Be Friends" the English language has to offer.

I was just beginning to get comfortable with her.

Oh well. It was very nice while it lasted.

I told her what my deal is (very briefly), and that I'd need a couple of weeks to adjust before we go back to having my ass kicked at pool.

There's still the jazz-loving sculptor, with whom I had a decent phone conversation with Sunday night, who wants me to call her back this week.

And then there's MOCCA in a couple weeks, where I may be slut-supreme.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

The Precious....

We wants it...

Anyone have $350? My old system (basically an older version of this) is buggin'. Not reading CDs, scratching them a little, skipping like a four year old on a warm spring day.