Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Music IS nostalgia.

Taking a brief break from Detective Commons. I just vomited this onto the page last night. There's no real point to it, just getting stuff out of my head so I can have more room for Mr. Commons. Enjoy?

- C!

Music is important. Music is so much more than just notes and tones. Music is nostalgia. Music is memory. There isn’t anything, except maybe scents, that bring back lost or forgotten moments in time the way a good song does.

I think that may be why I like certain soundtracks so much. The Doctor Who or Torchwood scores by Murray Gold, or any of the numerous Danny Elfman works, in particular, really speak to me. When I hear them I swear I can close my eyes and re-run the show or movie in my mind in its entirety. They bring back not only the scenes, but the emotional weight they contain.

There are certain songs that take me back to my childhood, for good or ill. If I hear early Madonna or Michael Jackson I’m suddenly seven years old again, back in my parent’s backyard, playing G.I. Joes in the sandbox. Weird Al Yankovich’s “In 3-D” takes me to the greenbelt in my childhood neighborhood, where I would pick four-leaf clovers for my friends, because I had an uncanny gift for finding them. “Wish”, by The Cure, brings back the tears of my first break-up when I was fifteen years old and it seemed like the end of the world. It’s still the best break-up album of all times, in my humble opinion. When I was in eighth grade my best friend and I dreamed of becoming real life super heroes, literally building costumes and creating personas, and every time I hear the song “Waiting for the Night” by Depeche Mode I’m right back there, cruising the streets as fourteen year old vigilante “Nightfall”. Music is childhood. Music is love, and loss, and giggles.

And even still, every day, music is tying itself to new memories. Even though I had listened to it for years and loved it, Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here” and its meaning changed one day. Now, every time it starts playing I’m instantly reliving a bad ecstasy trip in an ex-girlfriend’s bedroom, late for work and unable to move, and wishing it would stop all over again. Or when Mother Mother’s “Oh My Heart” starts playing it’s Monday night, and I’m at work after hours, putting out new product and giggling stupidly with two of my favorite people on the planet. “Polarity” by Haujobb transports me to the back alleys of Low-Town, the fictitious city in a comic I created a few years ago that that particular album inspired. Sometimes music creates its own memories, I suppose.

And I hold every one of these songs close to my heart to this day. They will never lose their importance in my life. Right now, I’m listening to Billy Bragg’s “A New England”, and thinking that maybe one day “that” song will take me back to “this” moment. Then again, maybe not. But it’s still a great song.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

The first part of the first draft of my first novel...

If you read this, please comment. I am still tweaking, especially the dialog towards the end. This is my first novel, and only the second thing I've really written, so I could use some guidance. I am looking for any constructive criticism you can give. Please be brutal. Okay, not brutal, but at the very least be honest. I'm not looking for a wank here, but I'm not looking for a kick in the bollocks either. :)

-Chapter One-

It had been a long day for Jeramy Scragbat. Well, no longer than the usual, if you want to get all literal about the subject, but that would be rude and just a bit boorish and you know it. Jeramy was rather tired. Not exhausted, mind you, just a bit worn out. He had spent the best part of his day, just as he spends most of his days, arguing with stupid, feeble-minded, short-sighted, and obnoxious people. The money was quite good though, so he slept very soundly most nights. He chose this profession for one simple reason, Jeramy is a bit of a bastard. He loves to wind people up, arguing with anybody about anything. He figured he might as well get paid for it. Now, why people pay for this service is another question entirely. Jeramy usually played the Devil’s advocate in these matters, not getting too involved with his clients. They primarily wanted to argue about subjects that Jeramy had very little to no interest in, which made it easy for him to do his job without exerting too much energy or thought. Today, however, the argument was about a personal favorite subject of his.

Restrooms. Specifically, the nicest, cleanest, most beautifully kept restrooms in the universe. Jeramy was, and still is I suppose, a bit of a connoisseur of water closets. He has always had a strange infatuation with them, ever since he visited the one in Flaglemoore’s Rest Stop and Sushi Bar on Beta Ghibli RU486, in the outskirts of the Yuggoth Nebula, when he was just a lad.

It was a fantastic, yet bewildering place. It was much, much larger than any restroom had any right to be, yet seemed so cozy and inviting. There were elaborate fountains, and famous works of art from all over the universe adorning the black, marble walls. Breathtaking, hand made rugs from the Windsor Province on Giger’s moon, Shimura, were placed delicately under foot as you walked, and then burned to ash to never be used again. Every customer had their very own roll of only the softest, yet most durable, toilet paper available in any of the nine hundred thousand and six known systems, as well as their own stall and steward, which were all ejected into space immediately after use. Each patron is massaged and anointed with delicate oils and petals from the rare and beautiful Scaris Celestia blossom, by the six armed Courtesans of Cleef, while they do their business.

Flaglemoore’s knew how to treat a weary traveler, to be sure. Jeramy had never, in his young life, felt so special. It was the first time he cried, a single tear running down his cheek, coming to rest on his lapel before being completely absorbed by the fine silk. Jeramy has never washed, or worn, that shirt since. It lay in a box full of other precious keepsakes, like his first edition book of death sonnets signed by it’s author, Rygel Emerson Finepants III, in his attic, in a corner all by itself.

Where were we? Oh yes, Jeramy’s client was trying, very ineffectually, to convince him that the restroom in the sky mall on Antares 3 was in fact the nicest in the universe. Jeramy, as well as anyone with an IQ higher than that of a dust mop, knows this is simply untrue and a quite laughable statement. Antares 3 USED TO have the nicest washroom in the universe, at least according to Galaxy Basin magazine, until the new owner decided to use substandard bog roll. Since then, Galaxy Basin magazine, and anyone else with half the brain of an Onsolenese Space Worm, has given this prestigious status to the lavatory inside the gift shop of the Royal Canadian Embassy on the planet Albion Minor. Jeramy was becoming more frustrated with this particular client’s special brand of stupidity with every slowly passing moment. Then, just as Jeramy couldn’t stand anymore and was about to launch himself across the table, closed fist at the ready, the client stood up, bowed, thanked him for a wonderful session, and calmly walked out the side door into the night.

Once home, Jeramy had his usual dinner of a double Strontium Bollocks, which is a lot like a whiskey and cola that kicks you in the throat on the way down. His head began spinning almost immediately, and he lay down on the little faux leather love seat in the corner, and tried to put the day behind himself. He grabbed, almost blindly, for his remote control, and began mashing buttons until the Holovision finally turned on. Jeramy began listlessly flipping channels, stopping only for a few meager seconds on each one, just long enough to see it was crap, then moving on to the next. He finally set the channel on INN, the Interstellar News Network, a subsidiary of Fox Galactic Broadcasting, out of pure boredom, and closed his eyes. He lay there for a few minutes, half listening, half inside his own head.

He was so lost in thought that he just barely heard the announcer mention the word “Flaglemoore”. It took a few microseconds to sink in, but once his alcohol soaked brain processed the information, and he realized what was being said, he shot up! He rubbed his eyes with both hands, let out a yawn, and strained to find focus. He flailed in the dark for the remote, knocking his beverage over right into his left shoe. Jeramy turned the volume way up, to the disgust of his neighbor who began pounding madly on the wall they shared. “Will you shut the fuck up, you daft bastard! I’m trying to hear the news!” Jeramy screamed at his stupid, stupid neighbor.

Jeramy couldn’t believe what he was hearing. “So this will be the last week Flaglemoore’s will serve it’s devoted public. It is a very sad day for this quadrant indeed. This is Harmonica Asshat, live from Flaglemoore’s Rest Stop and Sushi Bar. Back to you in the studio, Bill.”

Jeramy leaped off the love seat, nearly tripping over his laundry basket ,which he kept meaning to move to the bedroom, but never quite got around to. He knelt in front of the Holo, right in a puddle of something sticky, and stared at the image before him. “This isn’t right,” he mumbled to himself. He pressed a button on his neck, to activate his phone plug-in, and grunted, “Work”. The phone rang three or four times, as Jeramy waited impatiently. Just as he was about to hang up and try again, he heard a gruff, “Hello?”

“Hey Steve, it’s me, Jeramy. I’m going to need a few weeks off.”

“Jeramy? This is sort of last minute, don’tcha think?”

“Steve, listen to me. This is important. I’ve got at least three weeks vacation time saved up, and at least a week of medical leave.”

“Jeramy, this is simply not like you. I want an explanation. You know we’re a family here, right?”

“You just wouldn’t understand. I’m sorry to spring this on you last minute like this, Steve, but I need at least four weeks, maybe more. I’ll see you soon.”

“Just wait a second here! I can’t replace you on such short notice. Jeramy, be sensible! If you do this, I’ll be forced to fire you!”

“You know what, Steve? Fine! Fire me! I have to do this.”

“Do what?”

“Steve, I’ve got to go to the bathroom.”

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

San Diego Comic-Con 2010, Long Beach Comic Expo, Gallifrey 21, and other stuff...

So, Comic-Con is just around the corner again! Just like last year, I have a story in Tales Of The Supernatural that will be available at our booth. This one is actually a rerun though. This is a story I had published in another anthology 4 years ago or so. Mike Colbert and I were never quite satisfied with how it turned out, so I am re-scanning, re-coloring, and re-lettering it. I have grown by leaps and bounds as an artist since then, but I am still really proud of this little redneck horror story. It's only six pages long, but it has an incredibly cool ending you'll never see coming! Here's a sneak peek!

In other news, last week was Long Beach Comic Expo. I didn't go, unfortunately, but it's gotten great reviews! Mike Mignola (Hellboy) called it "cute", I think in a good way. :) If it was half as much fun as the Long Beach Comic-Con they put on a few months ago, then it must have been great!

This weekend is Gallifrey! It's the 21st annual Los Angeles Doctor Who convention. I went last year, and had a blast, so I am really looking forward to this year's festivities. Thursday night is the Podshock meet-up, which means a lot of drinking and nerding out for me! There will be panels on Doctor Who, Torchwood, sci-fi, comics, etc. Georgia Moffat (Jenny - The Doctor's Daughter) is one of the guests of honor, as well as Sarah Sutton (Nyssa), Katy Manning (Jo Grant), Joshua Hale Fialkov (Elk's Run, Punks: The Comic), Graeme Harper, Phil Ford, Tony Lee (Doctor Who comics), Paul Cornell (Family of Blood, Captain Britain & MI13), Marv Wolfman(Co-Creator of The New Teen Titans), Mark Waid, Bob Baker (K-9 Creator), and many more! It officially starts on Friday, so if you're a fan, and you're in L.A., you won't want to miss out!

- C!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Eggcream and other stuff...

So, years ago I had a dream. From this dream comes Eggcream & Pantalones! Do you like sneak peeks? Well, do ya!? Here is the character sketch for Eggcream, and 5 panels from the first E&P story. It's a seventies buddy cop comic. Think the Beastie Boys "Sabotage" video, but way more fucked up. Gaaaaaacy! It's basically a place to put any ideas I have that don't fit anywhere else. Plus, some Halloween doodles I have never posted before. Click the pics to make them BIGGER.

- C!

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Dr. Strange and commissions...

Here is a commission I did the other night. I was really happy it was the good doctor, as he is one of my favorite characters. Anybody want a Creeper, Metal Men, or Doom Patrol piece?

I have been doing 8 1/2 x 11 pencil/ink drawings for $25.00, or 11 x 17 for $50.00 if anyone is interested. Any one character with full background. Doesn't even have to be from a comic. Have a favorite TV or movie character? Actor? Athlete? If it's one of my favorites, well all the better then. Help me pay my bills until I find more work. :)

I will be updating with a full color version by tonight.

- C!