I'm back, said the shoulder blades to the nipples.
Y'see, nipples would be front…..ah heh…..um…..yeah.
But really, I am back. After three exhaustive but fruitful weeks in our new Apartment in Ann Arbor, Laura and I are finally settled. And unlike the last two big moves in my life (Mt. Pleasant in 2001, Midland in 2005), I really do love it here. No offense to Mt. P., really. Lots of great memories of my CMU years, nice campus, great profs, met my lady there….but Midland, in all it's sheltered, polluted, conservative morality-driven lack of any real virtue can just suck it. The only things Midland had going for it were my friends Jason and Renee, the best apartment I'd ever lived in (with good landlords and a great across the hall neighbor, Dave), and the opportunity that living there afforded me in figuring out where my wife and I wanted to be in life. The answer, which resonated off the acidic Tittabawassee River as it flowed beneath the tridge: "NOT HERE."
Fortunately, the "here" we did choose is the most beautiful, friendly and artistic community we've ever experienced, one which embodies our own themes and ideals far better than the town that Dow built (I'm looking at you, Midland). Here's some pics of our new dwelling:
As you can see, it's visually similar to our old place, but that's due to our décor more so than the space. This is our library, which may be including a new bookshelf at some point (our books spilleth over)….
This is our nerve center: my drawing table, Laura's laptop and my PC. We had to jettison our old dining table so we'd have space to work in. Nice as it is, our new apartment is a third of the size of our old one (and yet twice as pricey).
And here's what passes for our entertainment center. Having no cable, we're making due with our piles of DVD's, videos and bootlegs to keep us creatively stimulated.
And in a cozy little pocket to the north east of our abode which specialized in antiques, we made our first major purchase since the move…
….a 1950's style bicycle. Ever since I first took in Pee-Wee's Big Adventure at age ten, I've wanted his cherished bike. And now, thanks to the persuasive voice of my supportive better half (love ya, hon), that bike is mine. And I guarantee if anyone ever tries to take it from me, I too shall question the Amazing Larry in my dimly lit basement while flanking a scale replica of an outdoor strip mall. Go rent the movie if you ain't pickin' up what I'm puttin' down.
On the job front, I'm trying to pull in as many art gigs as I can so as to avoid the drudgery of another thirteen years of dumping trash cans (or any other form of occupational drudgery, for that matter). I'm going to be 34 in October. I've had it with being a cartoonist on the side. I'm going full-time, with no day job to fall back on, end of story. As such, I'm in the midst of discussions with a major restaurant down here to draw caricatures for their patrons. I'd eaten there once and noticed they had a magician come in once a week, so I figured they might be interested in what I can do. We're still working things out, so more news as it comes.
And on the Dead Duck front, much, MUCH work has been happening on my end for the upcoming graphic novel. As soon as we had the computer hooked up, I hit the keyboard hard and began coloring the 100 + pages that I'd finished thus far. And after roughly three weeks of busting ass like a kung-fu proctologist, I'm almost 100 pages done. I'm estimating it that I have roughly thirteen pages left to color. I'm proud of myself, I won't deny it. It was (and still is) hard work. Once that's done, I have two scripts written and ready to be drawn, a script that's in the midst of being written, and a promise from Chris "Lilo and Stitch" Sanders that he'll have his pin-up done sometime in September. As always, more news as it comes!
So that's my update, kids. I actually have a blog I'll be posting immediately following this one which details my latest caricaturing gig, and why it turned out to be the most horrible experience I've dealt with in my 16 years of caricaturing. Check back for it. It's sobering reading. Much love until then, and thanks for sticking around to hear from me! I promise to make it worth the wait!