Dec 31, 2012


Long story short, I was miserable, I moved, and now I'm not.  It took a while and a lot of work but I got here.  I had been trying to do this stuff for three decades so hard work and dedication and relentlessness and ignoring assholes was always the job.  And being really good was always the goal.  I have never prescribed to the idea of being just good enough and making a living at this stuff.  No, it's actually a talent contest.  And you can never be the best, because there isn't a best, just different(I have a story that really kicked my ass about that, I'll get to it in a moment).

You have to keep trying and keep getting better and never stop.  So I did that.  But sure, I almost stopped.  And it almost killed me.

Actually everything is going great.  Now.  But, unfortunately you get here from encouragement or discouragement and I got here from the latter.  And lots of pain.  I'll get into all the fun stuff but the road there was the hard part(why I haven't been talkative for so long).  I'm just saying all this because otherwise you'll think this ends really badly.  It hasn't so far.  It's going good again, I guess.  But here's how I got there.

Art Or Death

I couldn't write.  I could barely draw.  I had no one to talk to.  I lost hope and my lifelong belief in me doing art, acting, or writing.  In the end, I had a horrible few months and I reached out, non dramatically to talk to anyone, or at least the people who said they were there for me, and the only thing I heard was complete ignorance of who I was or what I was doing.  And the people I called never called me back.  I was as unimportant to the people around me as I could possibly be. I wasn't even worth a phone call.

So I admitted it to myself, if anyone ever cared about me my life would be completely different.

What's the solution to that?  Meet people who give a shit about you.  Who actually care about what happens to you.  Who see something in you.  Who care that you exist.

People think saying they are there for you means anything.  It doesn't.  It's not being there.  It's not knowing someone.  It's bullshit.

There were friends who I was not close to who I feel bad I left, but I had to cut that place out of my life.

Because when everyone thinks you are nothing, no matter what you have done, it makes you think you are nothing.

And that day I reached out, and wasn't worth the call back, I knew I needed to meet one person in my life who understands me and cares(besides my sister who is the best ever).

I started to really see that no one understood the basics of what I was doing(making a career and life). In fact I had nothing to offer them, and really, they had even less to offer me.

I had wasted my life and the proof was I had no one to talk to about anything.

And that day I booked a room and started moving. Knowing I'd rather die anywhere else.

Some more bad shit happened.  Other people, closer to me showed how unimportant I was to them.  Talking to people became impossible.  When I said I was suicidal I heard I don't care, when I said I was working hard to make art, people asked why, when I helped a friend and did all I could do for her I got treated worse than any white asshole, which was the norm for me there.

It was good to know the truth and not get sucked in by people who say they care but are never there for you.  My friends didn't even see I was hurting as I was slowly degenerating in front of them.  That was what I knew of caring.

I could feel myself dying.  I could feel the need for drugs and drink.  I could feel the gun not far enough away.  And no hope.  No one believed in me and my belief, my fire was barely even a pilot light anymore.  No art, no life.

And no one had fire.  No one cared.  No one tried.  And they hated me for doing that.  For being that.  Make movies, make comics, adopt a kid, sell a house, do your dreams for a living, shut up who cares.  But even if I sucked at it all I thought I did some good things, shut up who cares.  That's the people I knew.

And that was it.  That was what was killing me.  No one liked art like me.  No one was on fire like me.  But they are out there.  People like that. I believe in that.

The Promise

I made a promise to myself a promise of survival.  Of hope.  Of something I never had.  There are people out there who feel the same.  I just didn't know them.  They were out there.

I had a muse for a reason.  It was a stand.  It was an irredeemable statement I felt on a gut level.  Something so stupidly unrelenting about me.  A feeling.  I didn't know what it was.  Maybe a look.  No.  Something else.  And my life was so shitty that the ghost of attraction between me and someone was more than anything I'd felt in many years.  So, even to me it seemed really fictional.

But then something was confirmed.  There was something.  It was there.  Some recognition between us.  Like we spoke another language.  Some secret language.  And my frustration was that no one else did.

And it took moving to figure it out.

It was fire.  The kind that eats you up inside to do something.  To live and love life.  To not slow down.  Slowing down kills us like it does sharks.

And there it was.  I was a shark.  And people ten years younger than me were getting married and having babies.  No.  That shits for afterwards.  I need to move.  I need to make.

I promised myself I'd never lose my fire again.  I promised myself I'd never slow down again until I'm good and fucking done.  And the woman I want with me would have to be just as fucking intense.

That was the language.  That was what we saw in each other.  Fire.

And now I will never see her again.  But I won't forget the fire.  I won't lose it in me again, so it takes one person in the world to see it.  I'll throw gasoline on it and let it explode instead.  And I'll find someone to share that with.

The long vacation

I used my savings to move into a long term hotel and put everything I ever own into storage.  It was two miles away from the beach cities of south LA.

I went to the beach almost everyday.  Made a tradition out of drinking Irish whiskeys and Guinness at sunset while I wrote and tried to figure out what the hell I am doing.

My sister helped me with the move which was really hard, plus I have my cat Oliver and my new pet, given to me by my sister, a ferret named Monkey.  I was feeling a little better, but still a little aimless from how quick it all was.

Acting was now a memory.  I had worked on writing my comic for more than a year but my life gave me zero motivation to actually do it.

Of course people here are different.

Bizarro World

First off everyone was nice.  Especially the women. I had said before and no one gave a shit in the Bay Area, but in LA they always treated me the same, really well(even when I was way heavier).  But all this time dreaming of moving here, I kind of assumed that I had made that shit up.  No.  It's true.

At the same time I guess it helps that I don't bother with shallow people so I'm only meeting people who are nice, super intelligent, or super talented, and because I have been lucky, they have usually been all three.

Sure I was alone, but now I didn't feel like a non person.  I was more alone where I grew up and no one cared, than I am here.  And I was just starting so now I had hope again.

I started taking 2 yoga classes weekly because being an artist isn't a physical profession and truthfully I am going to have to take my clothes off to act at some point so I need everything to get tight.  And it's been working better than going to the gym.  I've been slimming down for two years(I've lost about 40 pounds or more) and I never wanted to keep any bulk, but I did want muscles and Yogas been the best.

I then started figuring out the new game plan.

The Art Plan

No one really gave a shit about my art or me doing art or anything approaching the curiosity one would have towards art.  But I still remembered the art and stories that had inspired me.  The artists and actors and writers and directors.  To me they were all one thing, creators.

And if there was anything I believed in it is creating things.  So, follow my gut and feel it out.  Feel everything, embrace myself for all my flaws and whatever I can do.  What my true potential is.  I went back to my foundations.

I relearned how to sketch.  I brought back my lifelong goal to make a science fiction epic that has some sort of intelligent thing to say.  I read science articles everyday for more than a year.  I made a hundred page wikipedia(only on my computer) of every idea and character and just whittled it down to some realistic structure and then added and subtracted.  By the end of a year and a half(I had started this last year) I had a solid ten chapters with beginning middle and end, and promises of what will come in the next volume.  I was in love with my characters and started drawing.

I did make it a goal to somehow use going to Morrisoncon, a comic convention in honor of the great comic writer Grant Morrison, as a way to help kick start my comics work.  It was more intimate than other conventions, everyone there was creative in some way.  Me being shy as hell and never having the pleasure of talking about art with anyone for very long(outside of friends from the comic book store I used to work at a decade ago) it took me a while.  I had just really let myself go with these pages, just vomited my art onto those pages.

Art Like Sex

I had tried to force a sort of lust for art in me in order to draw.  That perfect feeling of making art(no matter the medium, acting, music, painting, ice skating), where your brain is totally devoted to it like sex.  It was in that state I made the pages I show here.

I felt if it was as lustful and done by the gut as possible, I could reach something honest.  And my art changed.  It became more me.

And then that's when I learned the most wonderful, masked as horrible lesson.

I finally got to see the original art of some of my favorites.  And guess what?  With all my hard work, all the mental effort I put into these pages, they looked nothing like my idols.  Not even the basics were similar.  I was crushed.  How could I have tried so hard and not make anything that looks like my favorite artists.  I sulked back to my room at the hotel I was staying at(where the convention was being held, the Hard Rock in Vegas).  I decided I needed to take a good hard look at my stuff before I show anyone, because it clearly didn't do whatever those guys did(look perfect).  I took out the pages, looked at them, confused because they still didn't suck.  They were just chaos.

But maybe that was me.  Maybe that was what I had to accept.  I had to accept it to draw the pages, I had to accept it to make the complicated story, to even decide to draw all that shit.  To let it just be there in my mind before I draw it. I couldn't hold back.

The next day I showed my favorite artist and he kind of stopped for a second, didn't say anything, then looked at me really seriously and said I really like this.  This is really good art.  After that I was so happy I was almost crying.

I met other people.  Artists.  Writers.  Movie makers.  I saw the fire again.  And other people had it.

I needed more.

The Movie Plan

I had momentum.  I had hope.  And maybe a little more than hope.  Maybe this is now reality.  So it was time to test it.  Stretch the rare luck I just found.

Who knows, maybe it isn't luck.  Maybe it's three decades of work.

So I applied to a great acting school.  I walked in told them I am going to act whether I have to make a movie myself. I already did that. I just want to be as good as possible.  I got in.

It's really intensive and dedicated.  I've met the most talented, intelligent people in my life here.  Some of them working actors, some like me with experience, but basically an amateur and some who were new to it.  But my teachers have pushed us to become real actors.

What I consider real acting, isn't putting on an act, it is seeming to be as natural as possible in front of the camera no matter what you are doing.  So I picked this school carefully.  It helped that the only training I was familiar with was from David Mamets book True Or False(seriously David fucking Mamet wrote an acting book I read like fifteen years ago).  I think he went to the New York version of the same school.

These people had fire.  And all my teachers want is to get that out of me.  As much as possible.  And that's all I want.  To let loose with complete abandon.  There is a point where you feel so naked but at the same time you don't feel it at all, because you are so in the moment that the emotion is real, and whatever is happening around you doesn't matter at all, just that feeling you have with the other actor.

I've seen people do things that I've only seen only award winning actors do.    I'm not there yet, but I've touched it.  I always call it make up sex, because its the same satisfying feeling afterwards.  But I've noticed that when I have felt it its almost been like losing control, or feeling an imaginary feeling so intense it gives you a physical and emotional reaction.  Once I had to act afraid and my face was doing all the work by itself because I was in the moment, not trying to pretend something, just losing control to the feeling.  Haven't had sex lately but I'm sure that will be a little more intense.

Anyway, this is by far my favorite learning experience. And I now truly see that there are sort of levels you get to.  Things that you can now do.  Things you see you can do with just a little more effort, practice, and push from the teachers.

One more thing.  I'm not a big fan of authority mainly because most people I met are fucking stupid.  But my teachers at this school are so impossibly intelligent and on point second by second I can only wish to one day be that perceptive.  They probably have no idea how much I admire them.

And the women...

Yes, the women here are beyond gorgeous.  In fact, its weird, because you have to be so talented and driven to do this stuff that looks really don't matter.  I'd be offended to reduce any of these women to how they look. They are way beyond that, and now I can really see.

And I have met many women out here with passion and fire. People with that much fire can sort of see it, so we got along.  I'm not looking, I'm just waiting for the girl with as much fire as I want(all of it), and while these girls got a lot, I'm not sure if they have enough.  Except for one or two who I'd be stupid to ignore, but I'm keeping mum on that, because holy shit, so awesome they sound made up.


I just moved into a nice studio that isn't small and somehow I fit everything in there and still have nice floor space(wooden floors!).  The hiking trail two blocks behind my place is the best in LA.(to the left of the sign) That was luck, because this was the only landlord who wasn't a flake.  I didn't even know completely where I was moving.  Sure it happened to be one of the most famous streets.  But I'm within five miles of half the attractions in LA.  I have a ten minute drive to get to the valley.  I could take Sunset straight to the ocean(the Californians). The best comic store here is like five minutes away, the best 2 theatres are five minutes, or a ten minute walk.  Every place you'd ever want to shop is within 15 minutes of my place.  Its nuts.  The neighborhood is nice and somehow even though I am 2 blocks from the main strip the traffic on my street in front of my apartment isn't so bad.


So I have the science fiction comic almost ready for the proposal stage.  I'm working on an 8 page Thought Balloon Man story about letting loose and drawing the science fiction comic, all the drama that was going on in my lonely head that month. It's self contained, but could be used as a transitional chapter in the TBM graphic novel.  Which would be about ending that life and starting another, that was always the ending so technically that story is either done, or whatever is happening with me now is the end, I'm rooting for love strangely enough, even though I find it horrifying now.

I'm thinking of writing some new stuff to direct now that I know a bunch of actors.  That is technically the next step.  Or someone can give me money to make a Brooks Laughton movie.  Believe me I only hinted at about a quarter of where I was going with that. The screenplay I got a third of the way through had almost none of the stuff in my shorts or that commercial(that stuff was all later in the story).

Anyway, I'm happy.  And I'm just starting.


Mar 5, 2012

The Bloody Nine

The First Law

I finished reading Joe Abercrombies The First Law Trilogy.  First off I loved it.  I think it's the best dark fantasy since A Game Of Thrones(And I read a lot of good ones actually: The Name Of The Wind, The Warded Man, Mistborn, Jonathan Strange And Mister Norrel, Perdido Street Station, the Scar, The Thunderer, The Etched City, Banewreaker and it's sequel, and others).  But aside from Game Of Thrones, nothing else is what I was looking for personally, more than The First Law Trilogy.

I first started reading fantasy again in the mid 90's after a customer at the place I was working heard me ranting about how trite I felt it all was.  He suggested A Game Of Thrones and then I loved it so much I got nearly twenty of my friends personally into it.  This one though, this one is a little more complicated, suggestion-wise.

I love the tropes of various genres, but not the restricting expectations.  I've always felt that Fantasy was almost the opposite of Science Fiction/Speculative Fiction.  SF focused generally on future complications of todays world.  Fantasy had nothing to do with todays, tomorrows, or lots of times even yesterdays.  It was pure freedom.  At the same time pure freedom can sometimes lead to thousands of massive tomes about elf/orc conflicts, or more unicorn nonsense or some shit.  I had no interest in stories that had no philosophical correlation with real life.  A Game Of Thrones did.  It felt real.  It felt realer and more honest and more brutal than any historical drama.  And it covers a medieval time when people had to live much harsher lives.  It presented hard truths about life that we have long forgotten but still echo in our own behavior.

And thats what The First Law does.  But in the darkest ways possible.  Abercrombie lives by one of the characters golden rules, "You have to be realistic."

This is one of those books where there is no way of saying how great it is without mentioning some of the characters.  There is Logan Ninefingers, the lost barbarian from the north who has all the makings of a great hero, except his past is so bad he may never be anything but a villain, and that may be the only way he can ever win or lose.  Jezel, the most vain character I have ever read.  A handsome swashbuckler, and at the same time his character arc was surprisingly deep in very unexpected ways(not the cliched ways). Glotka,  the merciless, nearly crippled torturor who was once a great hero, and now is way beyond evil, but is surrounded by people who are worse.  Strangely enough, one of the most hilarious, cunning, sympathetic and unsympathetic characters I have ever read.  I have never feared a characters decision making as much as this character.  Not because it was irrational, but because it was coldy rational, and brutal, yet somehow, many times, laugh out loud funny.  My humor must be in the morgue because I laughed at these books more than any other I can think of.  There were scenes that were so brutal I couldn't believe I thought they were so funny.  And then other times where stuff got so hairy my hands were practically shaking they were so ready to turn the page and find out what happens next even if its the worst thing possible.

Other characters of note is the extremely lethal woman, Ferro.  The military captain in the worst situations ever, West.  He really was working on being one of my favorites, but I think I like "The Bloody Nine" the most, even above Glotka.  The scary and manipulative legendary wizard Bayez.  Fenris, The Feared.  Dogman was an unexpected character I liked.  All of the Named Men were pretty cool especially Black Dow.  The treacherous yet casually honest mercenary Cosca was hilarious.  Ardee, totally my type of girl, tragic, dark, feisty, sexy, and hard as all hell.

These characters are some of the most fascinating I have come across in any genre/non-genre.  These are original characters, with conflicts I just hadn't seen before.  It's funny because it does all seem like it would be predictable, but Abercrombie hates you for thinking that and proves you wrong in the most delightfully hateful ways.  He twists the knife.  This is not for the squeamish.  Everyone is villainous in it comparable to our modern day culture.  But that's what makes this so much smarter than the fantastical ways we build up heroes.  The heroes in this are usually heroes of circumstance.  It never forgets the real stories behind heroes are much darker and fraught with tragic mistakes than we like to remember.  Killers are rarely perfect.

These are reviews for each book in the Trilogy.  I left out spoilers, and the stuff I mentioned so far really gives little clue to what happens.

The Blade Itself

I only read this book because I was writing a lot of villains in a story and they had very different motives and personalities.  At some point in the writing it became about all the different reasons one would end up being a villain and how those old reasons would lead to unexpected present catastrophes.  I read The Name Of The Wind(an excellent book) to see someone's original take on the makings of a great hero.  And the word of mouth seemed to be that The Blade Itself, the first in the First Law Trilogy might be a good thing to read to get a good gauge of how to write dark characters.  And I was more right than I could imagine.  In fact after reading Joe Abercrombie, I just need to up my game.  In these three books Abercrombie convinced me he was a master of characterization.

But that's where I have my flimsy(in retrospect) complaint.  This first book, while amazing, and breathlessly paced once it starts going, only shows the tip of the iceberg where the grand plot is concerned. It's all there.  But only after reading the third book did I really understand all the things that happened, and why, in the first book.

But, think if it this way, I finished reading this book in love with the characters, scared for their lives, not knowing where the hell this was all going, let alone what a third book would even be about, and hungering for more.

The same day I started reading the next book.

Before We Are Hanged

This may be the ultimate middle book in a trilogy.  So much happens in it, at the risk of so many lives.  Wars are fought, great distances are travelled, nothing you expect happens and just in case you expected that, he adds on many more layers of unexpected stuff.

I actually liked this book more than the first.  It was way bigger, and the sense of scope and total despair of the situations on a constantly changing basis left me forced to read nonstop.  Every decision was a lethal one.

It was so big and so good, I almost had no idea what the third book could possibly have in it.  So I had to read it.  I think I held out a day.  I don't like reading books by the same author or in the same genre in a row, because I think it's good to diversify, but these books were so entertaining it was like being a kid and watching Star Wars and then being told you could just pop in the sequel Empire Strikes Back.  If you never saw those movies and you still didn't want to watch the next one, you were not a boy with a soul.  It's just like that.  At this point you are all in with these maniacs, you have to see them out of this world, whether it ends badly for them or not(and at this point, in the books, things were looking far from good).

The Last Argument Of Kings

I remember buying the first book and seeing this title for the third.  As I read the books I wondered what in the story would warrant such a grand title.  Even with all the war and the epic vastness of this little world, I didn't know.  And boy does Abercrombie back up that title with huge plot twists.  There was a point about half way through the book where after so many consistent answers and awesome climaxes, I thought it was over.  But then things kept going and twisting.

This book is one of the best conclusions to any trilogy that I am aware of.  It has some open ended things.  But as there are two more books out in the same world after this, and I think I heard something about a second trilogy someday(I assume with only a few returning characters in a different epic story).

In fact the reason I bought the first book besides to read some good villains, was because Abercrombie wrote a book called The Heroes about a single battle over three days for one hill.  And it was set in this pitch black universe.  Now, having read the trilogy, and understanding the basic idea behind what that battle will be about and how it will all be written, it is my most anticipated book to read.

But next(chronologically), I have to read Best Served Cold, a way bigger stand alone novel than I would have expected, about even darker mercenaries plotting revenge.  I think I'll either love it or it will be too depressing(but I loved the Road by Cormac Macarthy, so I doubt it will be too dark for me).

Joe Abercrombie is one of the few people I look up to.  He is that good.  Him, Neil Degrasse Tyson, Loius CK, George R. R. Martin, etc.  People whose skills are high and would be very hard to surpass.  So, in other words, my highest recommendation, as long as you don't mind getting a little blood on your hands.  For real, these are violent, dark decisions in these books.  If you ever rooted for Stringer Bell or Omar on the Wire this book is for you. If your favorite characters in A Game Of Thrones are Tyrion, the Hound, Jaime Lannister, and Theon, then congratulations, these will be your favorite books ever.  Not for the faint of heart.

The Bloody Nine

The drawing is of the Bloody Nine, a character(my favorite) in the novel who has a horrifying dark side.  He is the dude, not the big monster dude.  That's Fenris The Feared.  This was practice I do to get better skills.  I actually drew this on the back of a half inked page I didn't like.  For some reason I really loved the way the great narrator Steven Pacey portrayed one character who kept calling the Bloody Nine the beloved of the moon(like that meant he couldn't lose).  It was loony, endearing, and catchy.  I listened to the audio book while looking for apartments in LA and doing the drive up and down.  Pacey was excellent.  I tried to make him as savage as he is in the book.  Those are tattoos all over Fenris's non armored half.


This one girl called me up yesterday and told me she had mono.  I had hung out with her a few months back and then last week(on my fucking birthday) got really sick.  It was just extreme allergies but she got me all paranoid.  I'm fine and don't have it.  She told me I could have gotten it from sharing food or drinks with her. With our history, I couldn't help saying, "sure, but no one was ever going to believe that story."  I included the epic song Mononucleosis by Ween.

Humanoids Of The Deep

I basically watched this because it was one of the weird first horror movies I remembered from my youth. I basically remembered it because it had naked boobs and some chick gives birth to a seaman(ironically).   First off, its straight up crap.  But I have a serious obsession with pretty little sea side towns(like when I spent time in Pasadena just a few weeks ago).  And Humanoids Of The deep is all about that.  I lived in Pacifica on the coast near San Francisco and I loved it there, so movies like Goonies, The Fog(the original of course, and that one I like because it features the town Inverness which is beautiful, and my favorite place Drake's Bay), and this one were of that time in that similar kind of place that felt most like home to me.  Its still a shit movie.  But whatever I just wanted to see any 80's horror movie in a place I like.  Although there is one scene worth mentioning where this ventriloquist's dummy talks a naughty girl into stripping.  That part was raaaad.  I mean, in terms of wild shit that ventriloquists dummies pull, I thought this was pretty smooth.

The Last Exorcism

I liked this found footage horror movie.  It's about a documentary crew following this guy as he does this exorcism of this little girl.  He is a famous hot young reverend and he is going to expose the truth about himself, he is a fraud.  He doesn't really do exorcism, he doesn't believe in god, and he knows these yokels with their possessed children are just stupid and confused.  Except of course he is wrong.  And so things get creepy.  It was an entertaining little independent horror movie and it was a slow burn so it actually worked pretty damn well and it ended with a big payoff.

Now I'm reading Vernor Vinge's Rainbow's End.  He's a great futurist and he's wasted no time blowing my mind already.


Feb 8, 2012

Labyrinthian Five Minute Mini-Epics

I was working on a painting today and I added some oil paint and then I looked at my "clean" carpet, covered in paint stains, and remembered I wasn't getting my security deposit back after they see those.  I then remembered back when I was doing most of my oil paintings back when I was losing weight and not leaving my apartment at all(I barely leave now, but back then I sequestered myself in my apartment and forced myself to not even be around tempting food.  After a while it got so I didn't eat that much when the diet ended, but I was like a wild beast.  I kept my hygiene up, but other than that I was covered in oil paint, shaggy, half insane with passion from having been stuck inside so long focusing on art and theory.   I think that was when I stopped looking to meet anyone because all I was looking for was that crazy passion in people.  They either had it or they didn't.  It made other people seem boring.  I felt like the half naked, paint covered insane guy high on art(and not eating, and also a lot of pot) all the time.  I really still do.  And it was how weirdly vague and blurry those oil paints were.  Losing myself in the transparent way I would have to build up the opacity of the paint over time.  Lost in that time.  Just trying to build up the colors, like bringing them out of a mist.  Or just putting a gelatinous blob on the canvas with a bold stroke.  Not blending at all, just letting the color stand on it's own brilliance.

That's what oil painting reminds me of.


My sister bought the cutest Chinchilla ever.  Plus it looks a lot like my cat.  I asked her if she only like gray furry things, because she also was the one who brought home my cat Oliver who is the exact same weird gray color.  I have to admit the Chinchilla was softer.  But Ollie is smarter, so there.  Anyway, my sister showed me the Chinchillas favorite thing, it's dust bath.  Yeah.  The moment she put it down the guy ran into it and started flipping over in barrel rolls.  And then stopping and sneezing.  And then whipping itself around in this little clear box with fine dust in it.  I was laughing so fucking hard.  It was beyond adorable.


I got to do an interview today. Wow, how my ego has waited for the moment people started asking me questions.  Because all my answers are labyrinthian five minute mini-epics.  A kid from highschool needed to profile someone who does comics.  I technically do(as in I will be published very soon).  Anyway, he asked me questions like what got me into comics and why I chose it as a profession and what kind of education one would need to do it(like learning not to make run on sentences or putting everything in parenthesis, and proper punctuation, all of the things I wish I learned).  The thing is I think about this stuff all the time for years.  So that was fun.


I have started drawing on a good schedule and finishing pages on a regular basis.  Right now I am pencilling 5 pages a week and inking about five(I am beihind schedule on the inking so I'm not inking the same pages I finished penciliing.  Basically when I get that all on schedule I will start drawing Thought Balloon Man pages on the side.  And after Talented(the work for hire comic) is done I'll probably finish August, then start my science fiction comic and do the rest of Thought Balloon Man on the side(August is a chapter of it, it covers about five years of my life with every bit of weirdness and fun and awkwardness thrown in).

I've spent almost a year working on my next project.  It's really science fiction heavy with an emphasis on futurism and how that affects crime/society and our humanity(but yeah there is a bunch of punching and shooting, too).  I specifically wanted to make some unique and fascinating characters with pasts that reflect their futures.  I felt everyone was being lazy in their writing and not producing the graphic novels I grew up with.  Just bland copies or sequels, or worse yet prequels(I'm looking at you Before Watchmen).  Making shitty derivative work that doesn't spark imaginations is not how to sell your book or make fans.  I want to do something new.  And I may have found that something new in this story.  So I'm really excited about it and I love writing the main character.


I went to this place and there was this girl working.  And she looked a lot like an ex girlfriend. She was working at this place.  And when I ordered I just looked at her like "Don't you recognize me?  We totally used to do it.  We're good.  Remember?"  Of course she didn't since she had never seen me before.  But she must have wondered why I had that look in my eye.  So then every time I went in afterwards I would look at her like that.  Eventually she got it that there was some weird communication going on.  Finally we started flirting, I couldn't help it, I felt that sensation like why are my hands not all over your body right now.  I must have been just pheromoning the shit out of that room. Finally one day I saw her with her boyfriend(or some dude) and I was like, nah fuck this shit.

I'm just thinking about all this because this sharp eyed young girl flirted with me today and it just confused me because I was probably too old for her but then again she was exactly what I like.  I think she immediately caught me being strangely flustered when I saw her.  I was only flustered for like three seconds, but I think she thought that was how I am, which is true, but at the same time, I am really flirtatious now a days(a pleasant by-product of not giving a fuck).  But after a minute I thought she looked really young and even though she was totally hot, I started thinking that flirting with her may be wrong or something, plus all her co-workers know me so it's weird.  God, I'm bad with women.  I mean, we're not even talking about kissing let alone sex, or even a relationship.  Just flirting.  Pathetic.  Whatever, I'm moving anyway.

I went out with a friend one night.  She was talking about her boy troubles and I was giving her advice.  She asked why I wasn't interested in anyone(we were around people at a bar).   I said because as far as I know, after 30 years of memory, 95% of it in northern California, girls up here, really don't like me.  She didn't believe me.  And after all my advice about these other guys she finally asked me, if all guys are like that, then how come you aren't coming on to me.  I did say all her problems was because she was attractive, and guys act stupid, so she must have been wondering what I was thinking.  I told her that truthfully, I would be doing everything in my power to get into her pants right now, if I wasn't moving, and the next thing I was going to say was "and because you don't like me enough", but that sounded like I was looking for sympathy or some shit so I said, "and because you're fucking that guy over there."  She laughed because it was actually true.  A few minutes passed and a girl I had a crush on many years ago walked in.  I was happy to see her so I went up and said hi, after all it's not like my affections are secret and anyway it had been years since I'd even seen her, but we knew each other for a long time.  I tried to talk  to her but she wasn't paying attention and she everything I said got a reply of "yeah" or "oh".  She was so uninterested in my very existence, regardless of how much I had changed and grown, regardless of how much weight I lost, and even regardless of my personality(which good or bad is at least hard to ignore).  I was less than nothing.  She introduced me to her gorgeous friend(who is friends with like 5 girls I know from completely different, and lots of times weird places).  But I was so deflated by the whole thing I just said hi to the friend and looked at this girl like, this is all you got, this nothing, that's all you got to give, and said, "Okay, see you whenever."  I walked back to my friend, sighed with a sad smile, took a bow, and said, "That's how much women in Northern California like me."

I think the only time I feel alive is around women I like, so most of the time I just don't feel alive.  I'd say maybe it's just me, but then I think about it and why the fuck would being alone ever feel passionate, and worse yet, why would I waste my time with someone who isn't.  So I'll just remain passionate and hopefully I'll barrel into someone who courses with energy, because that's what I like, even though I have rarely met those people.


I think moving was worrying me a little(I will have a hold on a place by  this weekend, somehow or another, even if they then reject me) so I wanted to make sure my life was all in order because I'm not coming back(nothing here for me) and I don't want to be bored in Southern California.  Luckily I have been making movies and acting for a good ten years so I have contacts and got to speak with a casting agent who threw me a bone to get into her agency(so they could get me jobs acting).  In a funny way, acting isn't the most important thing because I need to leverage all the actors and production people I know to try to get my own production started(which is why I made those shorts and commercials for my own movies in the first place, so I could meet those people and know how to do it better than others).

You have to stack up all your potential advantages because we all know there are hundreds of things to get in the way.  I see many people have one plan.  I make several.

My other options are working on friends projects(my friends who are writers and directors).  Or if worse comes to worse I know people who can hook me up for pre-production movies and get me a union card.  And that's if I want to ignore my whole comic career.

I still have to do headshots and of course get that apartment to start this rolling.  Me and my friends even talked about making a new acting reel(because I was thirty pounds heavier in my old stuff).  But that would involve filming up here and I don't have enough people willing to act up here(even though all they'd have to do is say a line or two and nod their head).  A friend told me I should do a scene as a conquistador seducing a woman.  I really wanted to film that.  But I'm probably only going to do headshots because all that stuff would take time and I have to move this month.

But I think it's funny what other people would cast me as.


P.S.: Many years from now, after i've done my science fiction/futurist comic, I have to do Tooth And Nail(my samurai comic, with some weird tie ins), and finally I will do my fantasy comic, Red Sands.  It's a fantasy in two worlds throughout about three thousand years and ends in a Western.  I was drawing the sketch up there of the main character, Axl.  I thought that since he is black and I like the way the paper brings that out, wouldn't it be cool if the whole comic was done on tinted paper.  I've never seen a whole series done on tinted paper with painted highlights.  This idea is almost twenty years old so it's not going anywhere.  Maybe someday I'll do a tinted comic.

Jan 2, 2012


"A good storyteller stabs you right in the heart.  But a great storyteller twists the knife afterwards." A drunken Christmas rant from me that probably steals from some better quote.

I went down to LA for New Years and had a great time.  It is almost heartbreaking to me how different people treat me here.  They are very nice and sweet and women I am attracted to actually tend to like me back.

I hung out with a girl I once was seeing and she said how does it feel to be a small fish in a big pond?  And it was weird because the truth was I barely have my existence acknowledged in my home town, but down in LA girls treat me waaaaay better.  Everyone just seems to want to have fun, which is all I care about anyway.

I went shopping for new clothes because all my old clothes were now too big for me.  And they don't fuck around with the clothes here.  The women are dressed so fucking nice.  They seem to be into asses and legs as much as I am.  I saw jeans and high heels that were the best things ever.  And the shorts, oh the shorts.  They just prove my phrase from this summer about LA: asscrease is the new cleavage.  Seriously.  I have never complained to myself about seeing the underside of a bun in tiny shorts.

Later, I went to a French restaurant and lusted over the late forty year old owner who I declared my future wife would have to be like(French girls, sigh).

Then I hung out with that girl I mentioned, and as always she was entertainingly insane.  Somehow she ended up showing me the most pornographic pictures I have ever seen of anyone I have known.  Which is funny, because I'm just thinking, oh yeah I remember all that.  I could have obviously gotten laid but I wasn't feeling good(hung over) so instead I went home.  I mean, shit, I'm in LA, people don't hate me here, I can wait for someone who is more compatible(I did already go out with this girl, so I know).  But she's cool and fun to hang out with.

On New Years eve me and my buddy were supposed to go to one party but we couldn't find it, so we went to the next one, which was his girl and her mainly gay friends.  And I had a blast.  They were all so fun and two of them were going to the acting school I wanted to go to.  I think one guy, this gay male model was testing out if he could turn me.  I'm thinking the whole time, this is the most open minded do whatever I want portion of my life, and I'm just not feeling it and not because the guy was unattractive, but because men don't attract me at all.  I just knew if I ever wanted to do that this would have been it and I still didn't at all.  Seriously the thought of touching men makes my nose wrinkle involuntarily.  Not in homophobia, but just in I don't like guys touching me.  It was when he started talking about how sensitive his cock is that I was like, this dudes trying to test the waters with me and I can't even help it.  And I'm just straight.  I started to figure it out when his friends kept thinking something was happening because we were outside in the dark(see how fucking dense I am when someone is sending me signals, jeez).   But he was an interesting dude and he was telling me he almost wishes he was straight because sex with women is better(his words).  He had some opinions I had never heard.

So of course I immediately gravitated towards one girl.  She was about 5 foot three, curvy, extremely spanish, almost hot spanish soap actress looking, in a tight red dress with a flower in her hair, and with the sweetest most emotional eyes.  I was texting a girl, and really being hard on myself because I knew I shouldn't.  She's taken and I should move on with my life, but for some reason I just had to.  It was the simplest, most mundane text message but I felt like such an idiot sending it for some reason.  I kept writing happy new year, and then erasing it and closing my phone and saying to myself stop being a fucking idiot and let it go, but eventually I sent it anyway.  I have learned that obeying my gut instinct tends to actually work out with me because I'm not stupid.  Last time I trusted my instincts some crazy awesome coincidences happened(I mean cosmic kind of crazy).  But still.

I looked up, and basically this girl is doing the exact same thing.  We were both looking at our phones like, how stupid are we trying to talk to people who probably will never be in our lives.  So I started talking to her.  She told me about this guy in San Francisco who wasn't treating her good enough.  And I looked at her and said, I'm from there, and if that guy thinks for a second he can ever find a girl like you up there he is a fucking idiot.  Then I went a got myself a drink.  Figured she could ruminate on that for a bit.

Later on my friend mentioned she wanted to find out how to keep in touch.  Nothing happened, but we were into each other, clearly. We got to that party late so she was sobering up and I was like I can talk to this girl as I get progressively stupider and she gets progressively smarter and fuck this whole thing up or be a pussy and sober up just to talk to her, so instead I quietly got drunk  and danced and smoked.   I know I was dancing with her to Material Girl and we were laughing later on.  It was just a great time.

At some point I met this guy who was really shy and had a really funny awkward and subdued sense of humor.  But it worked and I thought he was hilarious.  I'm the kind of guy who is one of the loudest dudes at a party, but I also want everyone to feel welcome and happy, so since he was quiet I tried to kind of loosen him up(mainly because I saw a lot of myself in him).  I think he tried to get with my spanish chick, but luckily she was more into me after we talked a little, because later on I saw the dude was a ripped personal trainer(in the slim sense).  I told him I was moving down and since I already work out three to four days a week I might as well get a trainer and do it right.  He said the only thing is it wouldn't be in a gym.  And I said fine.  And he said it would be on the beach and in the mountains.  I said I am specifically starting my whole life over and my only requirements is that I am by the hills, trees, and the beach.  So I think we're good.

I woke up in a different apartment, on the couch sleeping under my jacket and feeling like I needed to puke.  I took the 45 minute drive home and was trying hard not to. Right now I am writing this from my hotel room where I'm just trying to get over this hang over so I can paint the picture(up above) on Zuma beach today.  I'm just not that much of a drinker anymore.


This is one of my favorite memories of 2011.  It was just an awesome day all around, but this one moment I had to draw now.

I was with a girl I really like and we were hanging out drinking a few beers.  She walked into a dark room and me, being alive and all, decided to walk into the dark room with the hot girl, figuring nothing disagreeable was likely to happen.  She sat down at this piano, I found a chair next to it.  She played this devastating sad song in the dark.  I could only see moonlight on her through the window.  It was a quiet moment in the dark with someone I like just feeling the music.  I felt calm like I hadn't in years.  It didn't even occur to me until later that the only time anyone played piano around me and I just sat and listened was when I lived with my sister and she would sporadically play our families piano.  I was raising her and I would always be doing something else, but she would come in and start playing.  And I would never stop her no matter what I was doing. Because it was beautiful.  And it felt like home.  This girl in the dark had no idea any of this would mean anything to me.  But it meant everything.

After a while it was those chords ringing out and the moonlit outline that was left.  My mind never really captured her, not even a portion enough to remember her right the next day.  I draw and I draw but all I can get out is the vague outline my mind can hold.  But, in the dark room, the silver blue light was like seeing a painting. Like she was a living outline of piano chords ringing the music into the dark.

I'm driving back up to the bay area after I look at a few apartments.  I'm pretty sure this is it.

- Adrian