Friday, October 19, 2007


Please forgive a 33 year old's girlish outburst of emotion, but……


I have some seriously great news to share. Do you recall way back in my blog dated March 1st how I was in the process of creating some sample greeting cards to submit to Recycled Paper Greetings? Well, it's been seven months since then, and admittedly, I was getting a little disheartened about my odds of getting a reply, let alone published at all. With my wedding coming up, I was preoccupied enough to not think too much about it, but it was still in the back of my mind.
So tonight, as I walked into the apartment, full from a nice dinner with Laura and anxious to watch "Deathproof" which I just rented, I decided to check my e-mail, if only to delete the influx of spam I've been getting from my website's forwarded e-mail. That's when I came across this interesting and unexpected correspondence:

Hi Jay,
I realize that it has been several months since you sent Recycled Paper Greetings art submissions for consideration. I apologize for the extreme delay in responding to you. I actually just joined the team in September to help stay on top of new submissions.
Enough rambling though, I showed your card submissions to our Art Director and he really liked two of your birthday cards in particular (the devil & the woman plucking herself bald), as well as your Halloween dentist card.
Would you be available to schedule a conference call sometime next week to discuss your art further? If so, please let me know the best days & times you would be available to chat.
Best regards,
Liz Sacks
Art Department
Recycled Paper Greetings

My first response was disbelief. I was like, "Oh, that's nice. I got a reply." But then, slowly, it started to well up inside me until the realization reached my brain that, yes, THIS WAS REAL!!!! They honest to god like my work and want to talk about publishing me!!! I walked, flabbergasted, into the living room where Laura was on the phone. She looked at me, later saying I seemed like I was going to puke, and told the person on the other line to hold on a sec. She asked me what was wrong. I choked out, "Recycled Paper Greetings wants to buy some of my cards." Needless to say, she was as elated as I was, and still am. So I let her get back to her call, and I got back to a quick response to Miss Sacks, which went like this:


Thank you so much for getting ahold of me! I'm very excited to hear that your art director has interest in some of my card samples. During the week I'm home after 4:00 pm Michigan time (I can't recall if Chicago is an hour ahead or behind us) if that would work for a conference call. Otherwise, I'll be home all day next Thursday, October 25th if that would allow for a better time to talk. I'm so anxious to engage your company in discussion, and I am truly thankful and appreciative of you for contacting me. I look forward to hearing back from you soon to schedule a time to talk. Until then, take care, and thank you again. You've made my day!
Jay P. Fosgitt

Folks, I am so very, very excited about this. The Dead Duck deal at Ape Comics is still warmly percolating and now THIS!!! I've been in such a mad panic about the idea of Laura having to marry a penniless cartoonist, how I'd support her, would I ever have a career, and all that access baggage. But I'm seeing my dreams come true before my eyes, and just in time to see me get married! My life is beginning!!! I'm just bursting with happiness here, and had to share the news with all you guys, the people I love. I'll be sure to let you know what the next step in all this will be, just like I promised you way back on March 1st, so never let it be said that I don't keep my promises! So much love, people, and more news to come very, very soon!
Oh, and for those interested, here are the cards that Recycled Paper Greetings are interested in publishing. They're three of my favorites of the bunch, too! Hope you dig 'em!


Saturday, October 06, 2007


So I sit here at six in the a.m. on a Saturday morning, a victim of unseasonably warm October weather with resulting sinus congestion to show for it. And as I sniff and struggle to shake the cobwebs out of my head (No, spiders haven't laid eggs in my ear. It's a figure of speech), I find myself reflecting on my lost youth. Y'see, today's my birthday-by-proxy with Laura (tomorrow being the actual date of launch), who's the love of my life. And drifting back twenty years or so, I begin retracing some of the steps (of the female persuasion) that got me to where I've always wanted to be:

In 1981, I was chubby, insecure and an incurable doodler. Sure, that sounds like a euphemism for masturbation, but I liked to draw. Clean it up, potty minds. The first grade is an intimidating place. As Dan Akroyd reflects disparagingly in "Ghostbusters", "They expect results." Bullies, math, and forced physical exertion (I refuse to call it education) didn’t hold well for me. But one girl, Mara Mueller, who would become one of my first friends and just as importantly, my first realistic crush (or as near as I could assume to have at that age, a good five years before puberty kicked my ass), kept that period of my childhood from being an absolute bust. The fact that I fell for a girl who had religious values far flung from my own (Jehovah's witness) and who could draw horses way better than I could made the crush even less likely. You may note that I referred to Mara as my first "realistic crush." That's because just before Mara caught my eye, I was won over by a freckle-headed vixen of the big screen who's unshakable belief that the sun would come out tomorrow only made her more appealing. Aileen Quinn's performance as "Annie" would forever be etched in my mental black book as my very first serious celebrity crush, and of an older woman, no less (she had me beat by four years).

1985 and the fifth grade held it's own brand of horror that would make first grade seem pleasant by comparison. Given a choice between two mean old bitchy teachers, I inexplicably chose the worse of the two for my homeroom. Mrs. Dankert hated me for reasons I can't begin to understand. I wasn't a wise-ass, I wasn't a bully, and I wasn't a know-it-all by any stretch. But she seemed to resent me, and found ways to inflect petty tortures that left scars significantly internal if not external. But a bright spot in my year of darkness came in the form of Mary LePeak.
Maybe crush is a bit too strong to describe my feelings for her, but she was certainly the truest friend I'd made that year, and I recall drawing a figurative white squall of cartoons about and for her.

1986 was a mixed bag. Sure, it was, up until that point, the greatest year of movies I'd ever experienced (Labyrinth, Little Shop of Horrors and Howard the Duck in the same year? Who'd been looking into my dreams?!). And it introduced me to the three guys who would end up being my best friends (mad props to Ray, Danny and Bill). But there seemed to be a bully population boom that year (the market was flooded, almost like a full page ad requesting twelve year old thugs was posted and the response was overwhelming), my hormones were off the charts, and I was a social misfit of the tenth power. And lording over the wasteland of my scarred psyche and throbbing libido was Jenny Masterovski.
In the truest sense, it could be said that she was my first honest to god, would face a firing squad for one kiss crush. Mara was good for the first grade, but Jenny was the real deal. In retrospect, she was a very kind girl given her social status (burgeoning popularity with the homecoming queen crown on the horizon). She actually gave me the time of day, so to speak, and did nothing to discourage my harmless flirtations in the form of the previously mentioned white squall of cartoons. But like most twelve year old boys who's decision making is marred by the mystery of where that hair came from and why does my zipper feel abnormally tight, I let me emotions get away from me and scared her off, albeit temporarily, but enough so to embarrass myself in front of the entire class. Hey, what's one more scar to the ol' psyche, anyway? Fortunately, a 6th grade girl's memory of such things had the lifespan of a fruit fly, and we were on decent speaking terms (a brief "hi" in the hallway or a polite acknowledgement of a drawing) after my obsession ran it's course. But I will say that there were much worse people to have around when puberty came a knocking.

1989, another great year for movies (Batman, Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade), and another great year for crushes. Actually, crush really doesn't pertain here. With the others, I'd harbored a fruitless hope of an actual "Wanna go with me?" relationship. But with Amy Royal,
I just wanted to stare awhile. She was a different kind of popular than Jenny: stuck up, a wee bit loose perhaps, humongous red hair and with a real cruel streak from what I could tell. So what did I see in her? Just the superficial. Great body, loads of freckles (I've had I thing for them since the days of Aileen), and that hair. Oh man, all that red, bushy hair. So I found that staring awkwardly in the hallways and cafeteria every chance I got was the best way to suffer my libidinous affliction. Ironically, by the time I had a class with her in my junior year and her senior, I got to know her and found myself as disinterested as could be. Her hair deflated, her snotty attitude was wearing thin, and I had other interests to pursue. I don't know if that made me shallow, but seeing as how it was fifteen years ago, I'm not apt to feel terribly guilty about it.

Which brings me to 2002, my second year at my third college (I'd attended Saginaw Valley State University for semester, spent a long and wonderful tour of duty at Delta College, graduated and went on to Central Michigan University). At the time, it seemed I was working towards a degree in not getting a date, and having maintained that area of study for the better part of 28 years, I was certainly overdue for my Masters. I'd about given up trying, actually. I didn’t even want frivolous "friends with benefits" type of canoodling. I just wanted to forget the whole idea of the opposite sex. Of course, that's when it all comes tumbling down upon you. A brief sojourn of non-exclusive dating with a girl who ended up a good friend gave me valuable experience (non-sexual, ya bunch of primates) in future relationship endeavors. So when by absolute whim of fate I met Laura, I had at least an inkling of how to treat a girl (I would have killed for an inkling back in 1986). What was great about Laura is that we started out as friends. Or more accurately, we started out less than friends, though not quite enemies. We were acting in a scene together, and she being the more experienced actor had little patience for my unintentional skill at stepping on her lines during rehearsal. She made sure I knew I screwed up, in short. So I was put off by her, which as we know is a sure sign you're going to fall in love with this person. Soon, it became evident that, through chance encounters and some not-so chance that Laura liked me, which was great, since she was a very attractive woman with a great smile. Yes, superficial at first, but a cute girl liked me. I couldn't afford wasting time reading her resume and doing a background check. Fortunately, when all research had been completed on my part, I found that we were highly compatible and that I loved being with her, which soon evolved to the point where "being with" fell off altogether, leaving "I love her" to stand on it's own merit. This did not take long, on my part at least, which I imagine intimidated her and understandably so. But that's the fun thing about relationships: they don't run on a time schedule. They're going to grow and spread in their own way in their own time. And ours did, into the beautiful blossomed garden that we'd planted together five years ago this month. Sure, that garden has a few bugs and weeds, but it's healthy, and it's going to sustain us well into our old age when such nutrition is most vital to a couple.

So I stand on the precipice of the future, and casting a look over my shoulder to the past, I close my hand around Laura's and signal my appreciation for the experiences that brought me to where I am today, by her side, in her heart and anxious as that awkward twelve year old to profess my love on the alter and make her my forever bride.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

I've been meaning to tell you this....

So you want some news? I mean some real, sink your teeth in and let the juices squirt over your lips and run warm down your neck into your shirt collar news? Alright then. You asked for it. How about this...

After five years of dating and two years of engagement, Laura and I are finally getting married.

Now, to some of you kids who read the inane surveys I fill our on Myspace, you've probably pieced together this info already. But for the rest of you out there who haven't been privy to the constant hints and references, the truth is out. On October 27th in Bay City, Michigan, Miss Laura Beth Tanner will become Mrs. Laura Beth Fosgitt. And me, I'll just be the same ol' schmo who drew pictures in the back of the class since day one.

Now, I'm sure there's more than a couple of you out there saying, either to yourselves through inner monologue or perhaps out loud in a grocery store or public restroom: "Hey! Why is this the first I'm hearing about this?? And where the damn is MY invitation?!?"

The answer is simple yet regrettable. Laura and I, with some assistance from her family, basically had to scrape together the money and resources to put on this wedding all by ourselves. While this enabled us to do things entirely our own way, it limited us to the amount of people we could afford to invite. The resultant guest list, after much number crunching and no shortage of headaches, is a cozy fifty people, all immediate family members. If you wonder what that amounts to financially, think back to what you probably spent on your first car and subtract a thousand. That might come close to our wedding budget. In the end, we are very happy with the way the wedding plans are taking shape, and thus far, it looks like this will be the best possible wedding we could hope for.

That doesn't, however, make it any easier that we couldn't invite every friend we've ever had, or even a quarter the amount of every friend we ever had. For this, I can only hope that none of you will hold it against myself or Laura, and will be able to wish us your best with the understanding that, in an ideal, financially independent world, you would all be there, and will still be in our hearts.

If you're still with me at this point, I'll be happy to share the details of what the day will hold in store.

Laura and I will be wed at The Bay City Players, Michigan's oldest running community theater where Laura grew up and where I've been creating some great memories of my own in the last few years. We'll be married on their stage by Bay City's own Judge Tim Kelly, himself a regular performer in several Players' production. The reception will be held in the Players' lobby, where we'll enjoy some great food, music and just sharing the day with our families.

So that's it, folks; the biggest news I've had to share in, well, ever. If you have any thoughts, positive or god for forbid negative, don't be afraid to share 'em with me.

In other news, just a couple weeks prior to my matrimony, I've got a birthday coming up. This Sunday, actually, on October 7th. I'll be a perpetual ten year old trapped in a 33 year old's body. And what's on my birthday agenda? Well, not as much as you'd imagine. This Friday night I have a gig at Buck's Run in western Midland County where I'll be drawing caricatures for a Dow Corning event, Saturday night Laura and I will be doing something together, and Sunday, the day itself…hell if I know. Maybe nothing. As I'll be working the following Monday, it hardly seems wise to party on the Sabbath.

As for the rest of this report, I'm still in talks with Ape Comics, who still seem interested in Dead Duck and are assessing how best to market my comic. Their comment, and a very complimentary one in my opinion, was that "There's nothing else out there like it." That may make it hard to market, but it makes me proud all the same.

I've had a caricaturing gig last Friday at an Elementary school here in Midland, and I've got three more lined up this month (the one at Buck's Run, one at Northwood University here in Midland, and one at Twelve Oaks Mall in Novi after my birthday). So that's good, at least. I sure can use the money and exposure.

More news as soon as there's any to report, people. My best to you, and the hopes that we all converse very, very soon. Oh, and as an early Happy Halloween to all you guys (and because it's my favorite holiday ever), I hope you enjoy these caricatures I drew of golden age horror actors Bela "Dracula" Lugosi and Boris "Frankenstein's monster" Karloff.