With nearly everyone confined to quarters for the foreseeable, everyone has a quarantine story to tell. This is mine.
I was leading pretty much my normal life up to the week of March 9th. On Wednesday the 11th, I had lunch with my publisher- ordering actual food from a restaurant- and had a studio visit from a friend’s high school-age son in the afternoon. Thursday I had a date to go to the theater to see a performance of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time with my sister Teresa, but had one wary eye on the headlines- schools had already been closed, and the governor had banned gatherings of over 250 people. I checked the theater’s website that morning to see if the show was cancelled, and saw that a planned matinee was going ahead, but that the status beyond that was uncertain. A few hours later they cancelled the rest of the run.
I had my usual Friday visit on the 13th with my hangout buddy and sometime assistant Jacob Mercy, in which we were careful to avoid standing too close or god forbid, shaking hands, but that is the last social interaction I have had with anyone not in my immediate family. The store my wife Eve manages was slipping into closing by degrees- first, closing one day a week, then taking a planned two week holiday, then shutting until further notice.
Our daughter Rebecca flew home from LA on Tuesday the 17th- classes at UCLA had gone online, but she had intended to stay in the dorms through finals week, but we were worried that flights might be cancelled altogether. The three of us stayed in the house together, apart from a two-day trip to the coast, for the next ten days.
David Chelsea is reading: The Last Cruise
by Kate Christensen
This coming weekend I’ll be making a rare public appearance- signing copies of all my books and giving away copies of some of them this Saturday, May 6th, from 1 to 3 pm, as part of Free Comic Book Day at Cosmic Monkey in Portland, an annual event which takes place at comic shops across the country. With me will be Jacob Mercy, co-star of the documentary 24 HOUR COMIC, and co-creator with Pete Soloway of Barkles, America’s Favorite Dog.
David Chelsea is reading: Wonderland: How Play Made the Modern World
by Steven Johnson
Last night was the long-awaited theatrical premiere of 24 HOUR COMIC, the documentary film directed by Milan Erceg, in which I appear along with seven the other artists including my daughter Rebecca, drawing– what else?– 24 hour comics. The premiere at the Laurelhurst Theater in Portland went well; we had a near-full house, the audience laughed in all the right places, and there was a lively question-and-answer session afterward. My fellow participant (and ARE YOU BEING WATCHED? colorist) Jacob Mercy still refuses to watch the film, but showed up for the q and a and seemed to have a pretty good time despite his misgivings. Rebecca (thirteen at the time of filming, seventeen now) was unfortunately barred from attending due to restrictive Oregon Liquor Control Commission rules, but she will be on hand for a matinee showing today at the theater at 4 PM. If you missed the first time, even if you didn’t, I urge you to attend.
24 HOUR COMIC matinee with Q&A
Friday, 4-6 PM,
2735 E Burnside St, Portland, OR 97214
l’ll be on KBOO-FM radio today at 11:30 am PDT to talk about the film with Milan and KBOO host S.W. Conser. Listen in Portland at 90.7 FM, or worldwide on the web.
David Chelsea is reading: Absurdistan: A Novel
by Gary Shteyngart
I believe I have mentioned this before, but 24 Hour Comic, the documentary in which I appear, along with seven other cartoonists, is about to have its Portland theatrical premiere. In the film, 8 Artists confined to a comic book store partake in Scott McCloud’s 24 Hour Comic Challenge. Each attempting to write, draw, and complete a 24 page comic in 24 hours. The film is the debut feature from filmmaker Milan Erceg, and features, among others, Paul Guinan, Rachel Nabors, Sera Stanton (now known as Opal Pence), Jacob Mercy, Pete Soloway, and Tom Lechner, and also has some delightful footage of my daughter Rebecca at 13, making her first attempt at a 24. Special guest appearance by comics guru Scott McCloud!
David Chelsea is reading: Fante Bukowski Two
by Noah Van Sciver
Milan Erceg’s terrific documentary about a topic close to my heart, 24 Hour Comic, is releasing July 11 on iTunes. The film follows 8 artists as they try to create 24 pages in 24 hours. It features me quite prominently, as well as my fellow cartoonists Paul Guinan, Rachel Nabors, Sera Stanton aka Opal Pence, Jacob Mercy, Pete Soloway, and Tom Lechner, and also has some delightful footage of my daughter Rebecca at 13, making her first attempt at a 24. Special guest appearance by comics guru Scott McCloud! This is the debut film from a very gifted filmmaker who happens to be a dear friend.
David Chelsea is reading:The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life, One Night at a Time
by Ariana Huffington
Another episode of the ongoing podcast I do with Jacob Mercy just dropped on iTunes. In this installment, Jacob and I talk shop about the virtues and drawbacks of several computer drawing programs, most notably Adobe Illustrator and Clip Studio Paint (the software mysteriously formerly known as Manga Studio). We also get a preview of David’s new instructional book PERSPECTIVE IN ACTION, a discussion of cartoon dogs and what makes them funny, and some incidental chatter about Winsor McCay’s possible influence on Peter Max. Geek out!!
Well, it’s come to be that time of year again– February, when I make an appearance at Wizard World Comics Convention. My appearance will be briefer than usual this year, because of a schedule conflict– the premiere in Washington, DC of 24 HOUR COMIC, the documentary in which I appear along with seven other accomplished cartoonists: Paul Guinan, Sera Stanton, Tom Lechner, Jacob Mercy, Pete Soloway, Rachel Nabors, and my daughter Rebecca, at the DC Independent Film Festival.
Therefore, I will be in Artists Alley at Wizard World only on the first day, Friday, February 17, from 5 PM to 10 PM, signing copies of my books and meeting the public. I’ll have two books that weren’t available last year: SLEEPLESS, my second collection of 24th Hour Comics, and SNOW ANGEL, my all-ages superhero collection.
David Chelsea is watching: Black Mirror – Season 1
Ever wish you could eavesdrop on the chatter between me and my sometime assistant Jacob Mercy? Well the first of what promises to be many episode of our new tandem podcast is up on iTunes. The talk ranges from Tim’s Vermeer to Milo Manara to Thomas Eakins’s habit of tracing from photographs, but the overall stress is on comics. Lend an ear!
David Chelsea is listening to: The Kingdom of Speech
by Tom Wolfe
A 24-hour comic is a 24-page comic book written, drawn, and completed in 24 hours. As I have mentioned before, I believe myself to be the World Record Holder in number of 24 Hour Comics completed, sixteen in all. My last 24 Hour Comics session was in May 2013 at Things From Another World in Portland (I’ve been busy, but I hope to draw at least one more later this year), which was recorded for posterity by documentary filmmaker Milan Erceg (who in a prior life served as assistant on my book PERSPECTIVE!), in his long-awaited documentary 24 HOUR COMIC. Three years in the editing, Milan now has a fine film ready to send out to the festival circuit, and you can have a preliminary look by viewing the trailer at the official website here.
David Chelsea is reading:
Harvey Kurtzman: The Man Who Created Mad and Revolutionized Humor in America
I posted the latest page of my serialized webcomic ARE YOU BEING WATCHED? on Patreon yesterday. In this installment, Mugg is managing a comic shop on the Reality TV program Cellar Dwellers, and has decided to make some changes in the store, inspired by a visit from a fetching female comics fan (Mandy in her nerd girl guise). Mugg’s partner is dubious:
David Chelsea is reading: Severed: A History of Heads Lost and Heads Found
by Frances Larson