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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Good (unique) blowoffs.

Well, the first one is pretty standard, but I hadn't heard it in a long while:

"No one here would be interested." Now, the presumptiousness of the statement is pretty self-evident: she's talking not just for herself, but "(every)one." She probably knows them all pretty well, so, it's pretty certain it's true, however, maybe not...Why not just say "I'm not interested," rather then chiming in with the opinions of folks not present?

The next was the classic "graphic illustrator" thing I've spoken of before. The man looked at me and said, "No," then he continued, "I guess (my italics) I'm a cartoonist too."
"Oh really?" I said, a bit skeptically, since he didn't even look at my stuff.
"Yeah," he said, " I worked for Disney/Pixar."

Yeah, right buddy. You're a cartoonist. NOT. What that dude was was a derivative illustrator, nakedly enhancing someone else's work. I seriously doubt that he even came up with a single original character, joke or gag. More then likely, his technical ability landed him the job, his actual lack of creativity probably served him doing it!

The word "guess" sums it up. Here's a guy that got paid to do illustrator work, yet, he still is "guessing" about whether or not he's an actual cartoon artist. Frankly, as far as I'm concerned, if you have to guess, you aren't one.

New Year's Resolution

Well, I actually am living pretty much the way I had resolved to two years ago, but I've decided that I'm going to change it up. I am going to work longer hours, and, if all goes really well, I will ratchet this up to another level entirely.

I'd just like to thank everyone who has supported me through this evolving cartoon/career experience.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Good luck (and good riddance)

Of course, most of the time that I knock on a door, I get rejected. No problem. If everyone said yes, there would be a million cartoonists selling door to door. I make about 13 an hour, maybe a little less or a little more, but I'm a special case, and I'm not clear how well others would do with such an esoteric job.

One of the things that really gets me is when folks who have said "no," then follow up with "good luck." Now, in some cases, this might be heartfelt, but, way more often, it really isn't. For time I've been doing this (which is creeping up on a year and half now), I have heard folks saying "good luck" so many times it became like chinese water torture. I literally heard it 10 times an hour from folks that had no intention of ever helping me, and, logically, from my perspective, hoped that either a.someone else would (which is a cop out unless you are under extreme financial distress since I'm only asking a buck!) or b.Someone else WOULDN'T. I think in 9 out of 10 cases, when a person says to me "good luck," what he or she is really saying is "Rude &*&%," and is really telling me that he or she does not respect me enough to help or even look at my work. Fine. I'm not that upset, just making a point as to what it started to sound like to me hearing "good luck" every 7 minutes 3 hours a day.

Finally, I decided to counter this euphemistic blow off (which i determined was often designed to despirit me and my intention). Now, I say GOOD LUCK first! I always tell everyone "good luck" who says "no." Often they desperately attempt to "wish me luck," but, like a dog that has tried to startle you and who fails, this "good luck" they come back with is weak and useless against me emotionally. You can see it in their eyes sometimes: they are bummed that I wished them luck first, that they can't twist the "I won't help but 'good luck'" knife in. They are neutralized.

Sometimes my good luck is even more then a counter, and can become sort of nasty (though I would never reveal this to my rejecters). My "good luck" might be "good hell, where SUV'r's who don't have a dollar "anywhere" go. Or, "good the upcoming depression, where what you gave is what you will get.(a fantasy, but satisfying)." Or, "good luck..with that lousy lying attitude you have." Other times, if the person is unemployed, I really mean "good luck," and hope that they are soon able to feel financially set again.

More cartoons soon.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

San Leandro is a very interesting town with a lot of nice folks

I'm sometimes amazed at the little pockets of heaven on earth, and I'd have to say that San Leandro is way up there in terms of places where a lot of good folks live who have at least some sense of humor. I know my gig is a little weird, and I really appreciate folks that have made this life happen.

I did think, that with maybe one or two exceptions, that is was funny how the folks with the biggest christmas displays were the least likely to even look at my work so far.

I like the quaint, unique nature of each little house in SL, it's a lot like Boulder, where there are many houses of different designs in the center of town and extending out about a mile.

Certainly, at least at some point, there must have been some sort of art/architecture competition of some sort going on, because a lot of the houses are extremely interesting compared to houses in say, Albany. I mean, sure, there are a lot of similar houses in SL, but there are quite a few daimonds among the coal, so to speak.

Well, it may be a little while before I can post toons again, as I have to do another set of inking sessions, and that is a taking a bit of time with some of these complex lines. A lot of folks don't realize how much time all of this takes on the creative side. I'd say, to be conservative, it takes at least 40 minutes from four box strip concept to fully realized four box strip. Sometimes it takes two hours. so, each page of two has at least 80 minutes, others 4-6 hours on them.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The artist experiences poverty and a slashed state budget

Well, I went to the emergency room, and they were quite nice. They gave me a prescription, but the medicine is very expensive. Due to my condition at the time, I was unable to work to make any money. They gave me some stuff at the emergency room that calmed down my asthma, which was exacerbated by my cold, but, unfortunately, the clinic to get the stuff cheaper (or free), was closed! When I finally could get to them, I had, luckily, somewhat recovered, though my condition is still dicey. Now, I've lost the 'scrip, so I couldn't go in when they were open, which is only two days, in the morning, a week!

How many poor folks die of this condition I don't know, but the state of California's medical system is in a shambles, and clearly, some die due to this. I'm lucky so far, but I do have a dangerous condition, and, due to the economic times, I'm under a lot more pressure then I was before.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Artist gets Sick

Well, despite having taken both an H1n1 and a seasonal flu shot, I'm still sick as a dog. Living outside, in a tent, while coughing and fighting a fever is no picnic, especially with the ice rain the other night. I imagined that the droplets were the jackboots of storm troopers, trying to get into my tent. I stayed warm, but I kept thinking: what if I get sicker? I can't really leave the tent under the present conditions..... My heart actually started racing a few times while I lay there, contemplating the rain getting in, maybe a cop appearing to make me get out of my tent (highly unlikely, as I am situated in the deep woods), etc.

I generally like my present lifestyle, but this is one situation that I am not especially pleased with.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

More toons

Doing doors

I'm ok with doing doors, it's my job. But I often blow off certain doors. Sometimes I wonder if I'm being a bit of a racist, because I often blow off doors whose outside exterior makes the folks inside look either chinese or black, and I don't do well with those groups overall. I'm not saying that some folks from those groups don't buy my art, but overall, these two ethnic groups, at least in this city, are hard to communicate with as a door to door artist. The chinese often don't speak english, and the blacks are very suspicious. I'm NOT saying that all blacks are like this, nor am I saying that there are no suspicious whites, what I AM saying is that these two groups have a disproportionate amount of either suspicion or non-english. Even the hispanics can usually speak a little english, but not being able to speak it makes communicating very difficult. If I see the markings of a probably non english speaker asian, or a house that is surrounded by detritus in a poor neighborhood, with a big iron gate on the door, I will avoid it.

I also avoid, among other things:

Angry dogs in yards,
steep stairs,
people talking outside their house to others,
Old people watching tv next to walkers,
Houses where I can hear the baby crying,
Houses where I can SEE the folks eating dinner,
Houses where there is a dinner party of some sort,
Musical recitals/practice,
Ominous looking apartment buildings,
Long walk driveways,
Hard to figure out front gates,
Dark houses at night,

and a few other things.