Thursday, September 8, 2011
I drew this poster for the Dylan Williams benefit. You can bid on a print of it here. You can look at a lot of other art for it here.
I got my copy of Catch-Up in the mail yesterday, and it's a really great looking magazine filled with slightly oversized, full-color comics. It's awesome. I have a 2 page story in it. Their site is here.
In other news:
- I have this recurring fantasy where I rent a storefront on the main commercial strip near my apartment. I decorate it to look like a dog grooming place and massage parlor. I don't spend much money doing this. I put up a sign on the outside that says 'Dog Massages.' I spend some money on the sign to get it to look as professional as possible. As I get a slow trickle of customers bringing their dogs in, I explain to each one that we don't offer massages for dogs. We offer massages for people performed by dogs. Then they leave while I slowly giggle through my asthmatic lungs. For the few people that stay expecting a paw rubdown, I explain to them that this entire operation is a front for a pretty bad joke. Then they leave while I slowly giggle through my asthmatic lungs. I feel like this is the only business I would want to get involved in at this point in my life.
- I haven't told this story to too many people partly because it's kind of boring, but mostly because the job that the antagonist seems to have and the job that I sometimes get paid to do makes it seem too obviously metaphorical and therefore completely fictional, but it did actually happen.
I was riding the bus into Manhattan a couple of weeks ago. I was headed to a job interview. I was wearing a suit. For half the ride I was sitting with an empty seat next to me. In an attempt to prepare myself for the interview I was taking up more room than I normally do to try to seem 'socially dominant.' I didn't go to business school, but I assume that all that occurs there is they just show students videos of gorillas for four years. Or maybe they study the movie CONGO. So I sat there, legs taking up as much space as possible, mirroring what I imagined one of those evil gorillas from CONGO would look like sitting on a New Jersey Transit bus, muttering "I'm not Amy, I live in a fucking volcano. Try to steal my giant diamonds, motherfucker."
The bus started to get crowded. A five foot tall, chubby, bald man in a suit with no tie carrying a plastic bag filled with papers sat down next to me. Because I was taking up the same amount of room as one of Rick Baker's monkey puppets, he sat on the bottom left side of my suit jacket. He immediately got on his phone while I tried to pull it from underneath him. He began a horrifying monologue.
From what I could gather, he was some sort of art director that was somehow involved in building 3-D graphics for websites. Most of his conversation though, dealt with his attempts to not pay the artists that worked for him. A lot of it contained the words "Fuck them, they don't know any better."
As I tugged on my jacket a little harder, I started to get angry. I've been those unpaid artists. My friends have been those unpaid artists. But most importantly this dude was totally unrealistic. If I were to create a completely fictional arch villain for myself it would probably be a talentless, tiny, art director that fucks people out of money and doesn't know how to act on a bus.
I finally said "Excuse me, you're sitting on my jacket" while staring at him. He said "Hold on" and gave me a dirty look. "You're sitting on my jacket." He sighed at me. I yanked it free. He went back to talking on the phone.
Then he shifted slightly and dropped his bag full of papers. They spilled all over our feet. He peered at me like it was my fault. After frustratingly gathering them all back up he put the bag on my left leg. By now I had shifted as close to the other side of the seat as I could. This act seemed insane to me. I slowly moved my leg and let the papers fall back on the floor. He glared angrily at me again.
After picking them back up a second time, he put the bag on the other side of us in the aisle. It was only seconds before someone else kicked it over. I felt like I was winning this social challenge. He was the bumbling Tim Curry character to my evil CONGO gorilla. As he finished picking up his belongings again though, my jacket slid underneath him.
"You're sitting on my jacket again." He said "Hold on," and turned towards me. "My jacket." He sighed in response, disgusted and went back to talking on the phone.
I began to wonder why we weren't communicating. Maybe he couldn't hear me. Maybe the person on the other end of the phone was talking as much as he was so there was just endless static noise in the conversation. Maybe I didn't exist, and none of this was happening.
We pulled into the port authority. He ended his phone call. He went to put his phone in his pants pocket and laid his head on my lap. I hit some sort of weird emotional intersection between angry, amused and complete confusion. I couldn't believe what was occurring. He struggled getting the phone into his pocket. He nestled his face on my crotch for about 20 seconds. In those 20 seconds I began to completely question my existence. The only realistic explanation for what was happening that I could come up with was that I was a ghost. "That's crazy," I thought, "But maybe I'm like an emotion that thinks it's a person, or I'm the bus seat and have attained consciousness, or people can't see me because I'm a living dream." I started to breathe heavily.
I said "Dude" as loud as I could. No response. "Dude! You're laying on my lap." No response. I shifted my hips. He was still trying to get his phone in his pocket. "Dude, what the fuck are you doing?" I said quietly. Nothing stopped him. He finally finished putting his phone away, got up and got off the bus to go on with his life. Leaving me with deep questions about myself and the nature of reality. I got off the bus. An earthquake happened.
(I did shoulder-bump him going down the stairs to the subway, so there was a small taste of vengeance.)