I haven’t sent anyone a letter in ages, but back in the pre-digital day l used to send and receive mail all the time. My friend Geoff Seaman is moving, and in an effort to lighten his footprint he just gave me a sack of correspondence I sent him during the years we lived in different cities, from the mid-70’s to the mid-90’s. I’m far too self-conscious to reread any of the old letters, but I am pleased by some of the decorated envelopes, and I’ve posted an album of them here. Continue reading Pushing The Envelope: Letters To Geoff
To her other talents- paper sculptor, flautist and radio actress– my nine year old daughter Rebecca can now add High Priestess. I have just posted two essential documents of Rebecca’s self-created religion, Cowism, or the Cult Of The Sacred Cow, which already has a considerable following among the third graders at Buckman Elementary. Cowism Or Bust lays out the essential doctrine, while How To Draw Cows instructs one in the proper iconography. Continue reading 3 by Rebecca
One of my very occasional moonlighting activities has been acting on the radio, often reading Damon Runyon stories in my best Brooklyn accent for KBOO-FM’s program Gremlin Time. The program’s producer, Matt Clark, alias Fortunato, has a posted a number of audio files of past programs here. One of Fortunato’s quirks is that he insists that actors perform under aliases containing a color; l have two- “Naples Yellow” for Runyon stories, “Paynes Gray” for everything else. My personal favorite is “Johnny One-Eye”, a grim tale of a gutshot gangster who befriends a stray cat, in which l perform with my daughter Rebecca (“Sky Blue”).
For Independence Day, we have a new President, once more painted in black and white by Ben. James Garfield’s Presidency was short (shot in 1881, four months into his term, he lingered on for another two months before succumbing to infection), but he left a considerable mark on American culture: his death inspired a section of Sarah Vowell’s book Assassination Vacation as well as The Fatal Bullet, a fine graphic novel account by Rick Geary, New York stage actor Julius Garfinkle took his name to become the Hollywood star John Garfield, and perhaps most importantly, cartoonist Jim Davis also gave his name to the lasagna-loving cartoon cat beloved by millions. Would Garfield mean as much to us if he had been named Fillmore or Van Buren- or Heathcliff?
My twelve year old son Ben began an ambitious painting project three years ago in a school art class; when the teacher gave him a choice of several pictures to copy, Ben picked a portrait of George Washington, which he copied in black and white. This is the result- pretty accomplished for a nine year old, even if it’s not quite an accurate likeness.
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.