Archive for December, 2009

…and Speaking of Google

As long as I had the privilege of helping to announce the original launch, I’d be remiss in not passing along the news that Google Chrome is now in Beta for Linux and Mac users (among which are probably 75% of the cartoonists I know).

Give it a try and see what you think.

The Free Flow of Credit

Today’s Google logo featuring E.C. Segar’s Popeye made me happy, though for a personal and kind of obscure reason.

I have this vivid memory of seeing the movie Annie in ’82, probably with Kurt Busiek and other friends. It was the year we graduated college and were seriously pursuing our hopes of making comics professionally.

Annie was based, of course, on the popular Broadway musical, and the musical was based, of course, on the famous long-running comic strip Little Orphan Annie by Harold Gray.

The movie was okay (we had low expectations in those days), but there was something missing. Something important that a lot of people in the audience were unlikely to notice, but which Kurt and I were especially attuned to.

The name “Harold Gray” was nowhere to be seen in the credits.

It still pisses me off that they thought to list the screenwriter, and the author of the book for the play, the composer, the costume designer, the frickin Best Boy, but they couldn’t take a moment to add in the name of the man who CREATED the characters.

So when I saw Popeye on the Google logo today, it was gratifying to see that instead of triggering a search for characters or companies or movies or toys, the logo simply took me here.

Some Favorite Lyrics

I couldn’t even tell you the lyrics to a lot of my favorite songs. I usually fall in love with the music itself, even if the lyrics are a muddled blur.

But there are a few songs I love for the lyrics. Below are fragments from some of my favorites. I’d be curious to know how many of you recognize them (without Googling of course) and I’d love to hear some of yours.

Hair blowing in the hot wind
Time hanging from a clothespin
There’s no sorrow that the sun’s not gonna heal

Bowel shaking earthquakes of doubt and remorse
Assail him, impale him, with monster truck force

Shooby Doo, rock steady crew
Find him an octoped ingenue

I killed my dinner with karate
Kick ‘em in the face, taste the body;
Shallow work is the work that I do.

Socrates and Milhous Nixon
Both went the same way—through the kitchen

I nuked another Grandma’s Apple Pie
and hung my head in shame

‘Cause this guy don’t dance
And word’s been passed, this is our last chance

He looks up from World War Two
Then you catch him catching you
…catching his eye.

They said you were hot stuff
And that’s what Baby’s been reduced to…

Everybody got their Black & Decker
Blood and fettucine everywhere

You can call me Aaron Burr
From the way I’m droppin Hamiltons

And you couldn’t see a city
On that marbled bowling ball
Or a forest or a highway
Or me here least of all

You can raise welts
Like nobody else

Write your letters in the sand
For the day I’ll take your hand
In the land that our grand-children knew

I’d Add a Zero

Jen Wang put some originals up at Etsy for ridiculously cheap prices (some recently sold pieces here). Looking for that one-of-a-kind gift? Better act fast. Fellow Pants Pressers Erika Moen and Dylan Meconis also have Etsy stores up with some great original pieces at insanely low prices (Dylan is even using it to support her favorite charity this year).

The direct selling of originals (especially during the holidays) is a trend I could see growing, but I really hope that talented artists like Wang, Moen, and Meconis can start adding zeroes as soon as possible. If they don’t, I’m sure the comics collector market eventually will.

“The Lost Cat,” a Lost Comic

Here’s one from the vaults. A one-page comic I did in 2004 for the short-lived Prophecy Magazine. Since very few people saw it at the time, I figured I’d share it here.

(Bigger jpg here.)

The Space Angel Question

Just to answer another frequently asked question: Yes, I am aware of Scott McCloud Space Angel, the primitive kids’ cartoon that ran for two years in the early ’60s, ending when I was only 4 years old. I distinctly remember thinking, “Hey! He has the same name as me!” (sort of — my legal name is spelled a bit differently) and “Wow this animation is terrible” but it’s been a long time, so who knows?

And yes, the great Alex Toth worked on the show, so the drawings aren’t bad, though the creepy mouths still look wrong, wrong, wrong (Space Angel used the same “Synchro-Vox” technique as on the equally terrible Clutch Cargo).

That these things are still out there on the Web, and might be forever, is both wonderful and terrifying. Click if you dare.