The big day of the benefit 24 Hour Comic event to raise money for S. Clay Wilson’s medical expenses is less than two weeks away. Last November, the legendary underground comics artist suffered a severe brain injury in a fall. He spent a week in intensive care and faces a long recovery. Even with insurance, Wilson’s expenses are beyond his ability to pay and have made him and his family paupers. For those of you who may not have heard of it, the premise of the 24 Hour Comic challenge is that an artist attempts to complete 24 pages of comics within 24 hours. I am soliciting pledges from friends and comics fans for each page I complete. Assuming I draw at least 24 pages, the pledges I have so far amount to over a thousand dollars, and I know my fellow cartoonists Kevin Cross, Joshua Kemble, Mike Getsiv, Tony Morgan, Josh Fitz and Ben Sarnoff have been soliciting contributions as well. It’s not too late for you to contact me with a pledge.
Continue reading Checkered Demon Update
I’ve been meaning to get Anapest strips up more often, but life intervened, not to mention paying jobs. Anyway, the long wait is over and there’s a new strip for your enjoyment on my comics page. For this one I’ve strung together lines from disparate songs which just happen to form rhyming couplets in an anapestic cadence (sorry if the type is a little tiny; here’s the text: So listen up Buster and listen up good/Oh Lord, please don’t let me be misunderstood/ If one of those bottles should happen to fall/ Don’t stand in the doorway, don’t block up the hall/She once swept an admiral clear off his feet/And the rhythm of life is a powerful beat!) I have been wasting more of my precious time on this earth than I care to admit lately running lines from songs in my head to see if they fit that Dr. Seuss meter (da da DUM da da DUM da da DUM). Some songs, like Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds and The Lady Is A Tramp, have nearly all their lines in anapest; others have just one or two. Here’s a collection of random lyrics that all just happen to rhyme: Continue reading Anapest: The Mashup.
There are a few images seen early in life that I can call formative; an early Crumb panel glimpsed in an issue of Newsweek, a dark painting of a brutish bartender answering an old-fashioned wall telephone, framed and mounted for unknown reasons on my grandmother’s kitchen wall, which frightened me for years until I examined it closely and found it to be a cartoon by Jack Davis- and a drawing in dizzying curvilinear perspective of a group of bizarre buglike creatures climbing up and down unsupported staircases and curling themselves into wheels to roll down long corridors, which I saw in some Time/Life science book when I was about ten years old. It was only years later that I learned the name of the artist, M.C. Escher, when I saw the drawing again in a collection of his work. I made many attempts to draw pictures in the style of that image, but I could never manage to get the perspective right. Continue reading Escher: the Bowling Ball
l recently got a package of comics in the mail, the collected works of Steve Peters. My favorite of the batch is Chemistry, an autobiographical tale of lost love cleverly told in backwards chronology. like the movie Memento. Of particular interest will be the jam comic Rabbit Hell, collected in Awakening Comics #0. Yes, that’s my self-portrait yawning in church next to the Tick and Felix the Cat. Also appearing in this story are Shroom and an early version of Mugg from Welcome To The Zone. Other contributors to this eight-page opus include Pete Bagge, Dan Clowes, Evan Dorkin, Kevin Eastman, Howard Cruse and Sergio Aragones. Apparently it was drawn at the 1993 San Diego Comics Convention, but I have no memory of drawing it. One of the pages I contributed to is viewable here.
Comics fans have lately had distressing news about underground legend S. Clay Wilson, best known as one of the original Zap Comix artists. Last November Wilson suffered a severe brain injury after attending the Alternative Press Expo in San Francisco. He spent a week in intensive care and faces a long recovery. Although he is not as well known as some of the other pioneer undergrounders like R. Crumb and Art Spiegelman, Wilson looms large in my own artistic development,. Despite its dangers (flying beer bottles, venomous snakes, penis-shaped cannons) Wilson’s world was in many ways a friendlier mirror to the one I navigated as an adolescent growing up in 70’s countercultural Portland- like mine, it was full of shaggy drunks and spiky lesbians in leather- (though in contrast to the real-life lesbians I knew who fully embraced the man-hating, buzz-cut stereotype, Wilson’s dykes were no more menacing than the biker gang in Frankie and Annette movies.) Continue reading Calling All Checkered Demons.