Showing posts from June, 2008

Big Barda is colored!

About two months ago I got the black outline done on my Big Barda tattoo. I was hoping to get it done all in one session like my Promethea tattoo that Dirk Vermin did for me two years ago (which took three and a half hours), but I was glad Dirk wanted to let the black heal first because it hurt much more than I remembered and I didn't want to be the one to call off the session.

So last night was color time, with Dirk Vermin again bringing on the pain! I closed my eyes again almost 93% of the whole session because I didn't want to see how much was still left to do and Kate took funny photos of me being a drama king and telling me that my face was going to freeze that way. Dirk expected it to take two hours to color Big Barda, but he did it in just under one and a half hour. I was partly surprised he didn't take any breaks, but while part of me wanted to make the pain stop for a few minutes, the other part of me just said don't bother the artist, he's in a groove, the…

art in San Fran pt. 2

The Museum of Modern Art in San Francisco was having a Frida Kahlo exhibition, but they didn't allow people to take pictures (I can understand that) so I took what I think is a cool photo outside of their gift shop.
Cool Frida dolls at the gift shop. I thought the Frida exhibit was impressive in how it presented an overview of Frida's art and life. Fortunately Kate and I got there right when it opened because this got crowded in a hurry!

This is part of the exterior of the new Contemporary Jewish Museum (just two weeks old!), a very amazing museum. And you don't have to be Jewish to visit (I'm not)!

Through September 7th, the Contemporary Jewish Museum is having a William Steig exhibit. Steig had done cartoons for The New Yorker for 70 years (!!), wrote many beloved childrens books such as Slyvester and the Magic Pebble (Kate had read many of them as a child - I somehow was deprived), and created Shrek! of which three movies were made of course and a Broadway musical is …

art in San Fran pt. 1

These first three photos were taken inside the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco. They were amongst my favorites. The Asian Art Museum is totally worth visiting, but I think my energy level was low ebbing so I didn't enjoy it as much as Kate did, it probably would have been good to have known that this museum is as big as Asia before undertaking this excursion!

Okay this photo doesn't fit this entries theme, but what good would posts on San Francisco be if there wasn't at least one photo of the fog!? This was the view outside our hotel window (top floor!) Sunday morning, but by 11am it was all gone.

Yerba Buena Park pt. 2

Beautiful buildings also surround and amplify the beauty that is Yerba Buena Park in San Francisco.

I love waterfalls and water fountains, doesn't everyone?

Sunday morning Kate and I had brunch at the Samovar Tea Lounge, which is the eatery attached to the park.

As you can tell from this yummy photo, San Francisco loves vegetarians.

Seriously, if you make it up to San Francisco, try to spend some time at this park, it was worth the price of the trip alone for me!

Yerba Buena Park

Behind these waterfalls Kate is standing by, there's a walkway with walls covered with quotes by Martin Luther King Jr. This memorial is within the Yerba Buena Park in downtown San Francisco.
A fine example of the wordsmith that MLK Jr. was (click on photo to enlarge).

This photo is taken looking through one of the little wateralls.

Actually the gulls and ducks think that Yerba Buena Park was built for them, but they let us humans visit and take pictures of them.

This small park was such an amazing space and was a glorious way to start our day.

Rory Root's memorial

Saturday night Kate and I attended Rory Root's memorial, which was held at his store in Berkeley. Rory had been in comic book / gaming retailing fo almost 30 years, with almost 20 of those years as the owner of Comic Relief The Comic Book Bookstore.
Rory was a pillar of knowledge on many things as he was a voracious reader and from stories people told at the memorial, he'd always find a comic that any person who wandered into his store, would love.
This hat is one of the ones that Rory wore all the time. It was sad to see that hat without its "owner", but even sadder to hear from Todd (long time manager of Comic Relief, now the big guy, as he was handed the torch), that the hospital lost Rory's silver coffee mug, which was also always with Rory.
The turnout of people who showed up for Rory's memorial was every bit as big as I thought it would be because he truely was a giant in this industry in addition to being well-loved.
Kate and myself. I'm wearing a hat …

Schindler's List

Schindler's List is Steven Spielberg's 1993 Academy Award winning Holocaust movie based on the true story of Oskar Schindler who saved 1100 Jews from the ultimate fate of the concentration camps. Oskar Schindler, a German businessman working within the Nazi Party, told others within the Nazi Party that the people on his list were skilled craftspeople who he needed in his quest to aid Germany in its path to victory (not the words he used and fotunately that scenario didn't play out the way the Nazis hoped, but they bought Schindler's story). The movie doesn't portray Schindler as a saint, because he wasn't, but he did what he did knowing the risks involved if his real ulterior motive for employing his Jews (as they were called) was discovered.

I hadn't watched Schindler's List since first seeing it in 1993, as this isn't an easy movie to watch with its stark power and a subject matter that is almost unbelievable (The Holocaust) in its horror. Schindle…

The Number

A couple of weeks ago Fantagraphics Books released another wonderful Thomas Ott hardcover volume, The Number. Thomas Ott is a cartoonist from Switzerland and all of his comics feature stories that are wordless and drawn in a beautiful scratchboard style and have a Twilight Zone quality to them.

The Number is about a man who's on death row who gives a piece of paper with a number on it to a guard and as the reader experiences The Number they see how that number (73304-23-4153-6-96-8) affects different people who come in contact with it.

Incredible Hulk the movie

No spoilers following:

Kate and I saw The Incredible Hulk movie this past Sunday and really enjoyed it. People coming into my store have said across the board that they enjoyed it also, but you wouldn't know that from looking at the Rotten Tomatoes site, where compiled reviews have it at only about 64% favorable. I think what's happening with this Hulk movie is, one it followed the Iron Man movie which everyone loved, and two, it's another Hulk movie, which for a lot of people who didn't like the Ang Lee one from a few years ago, this (Hulk) isn't a character they felt the need to revisit.

The Incredible Hulk movie doesn't reinvent the wheel (or celluloid for that matter), but neither did Iron Man. I believe the factor that's got Iron Man ahead is that it's a comic book super hero we haven't seen on the big screen before so it seems fresh, unlike the Hulk which has been done as a movie twice now and was a live action tv series. The Incredible Hulk isn…

Doktor Sleepless revisited

Doktor Sleepless is, as Warren Ellis the creator / writer of this series, has said the new Transmetropolitan, but I prefer to call it an extension of Transmetropolitan. Doktor Sleepless, the comic and central character, is best described as being our tour guide / examination of what happened to the future we were promised in science fiction books, movies, and tv. There's only one issue left in this first story arc (which will comprise eight issues) and I don't know if there'll be more Doktor Sleepless after this story concludes. However that scenario plays out, at least we'll have one complete Doktor Sleepless story to revisit (kind of like how we "only" got one great Desolation Jones from Warren Ellis and J.H Williams III).

What is the reason for the existence of art (be it books, comics, music, theater, etc.)? Well the first answer a lot of people would provide is that art exists to entertain us / provide an escape from our daily routines. The other big answ…

Burnout - new Minx!

This week Burnout arrived, a new Minx graphic novel written by Rebecca Donner and illustrated by Inaki Miranda.

The Minx graphic novel line is an offshoot of DC Comics and was created to attract more of the female, young reader audience. I think the really good Minx titles such as Plain Janes and Good As Lilly (and now Burnout) cross reader demographics and it's great that writers and artists new to the comic book medium have another outlet and audience to share their stories with.

Burnout's central character is Danni, who, due to a move brought on by her mother, develops a crush on her soon to be stepbrother, Haskell. Burnout isn't about how odd getting into a relationship with your stepbrother can be, rather it's about ecoterrorism, with Haskell being on the side of nature who also believes that he and others should do things to companies that are encroaching upon nature's beauty through violent means if necessary (such as tree spiking). Danni starts out helping H…

TokyoPop, what happened?

One of my very favorite mangas (and actually all around favorite comic) was Kare Kano by Masami Tsuda. Kare Kano ran for 21 volumes and was a 26 episode anime called His and Her Circumstances here in the U.S. His and Her Circumstances was great as an anime, with great animation and great voice work, but because of creative differences between the anime director and the original creator of Kare Kano, the ending wasn't all it could have been and the manga goes well beyond where they left off in the anime and there's things that happen later in the story that would have been very powerful had they been part of the anime series also.

Kare Kano is a coming of age / romance story between Miyazaua and Arima, two high school students at the top of their class. Arima had a very troubled home life growing up and when we meet his birth parents later in the series, the sequences with his messed up mom are amongst the most dramatic passages I've read in any medium. Kare Kano is beautifu…

Springs Preserve 1 / UNLV 50

Sunday afternoon, Kate, my friends Camila, Evan, and Frankie, and myself went to the Springs Preserve one year celebration. There was maybe too many people there yesterday for my speed (especially when you're trying to get in tune with nature), but overall I think this new nature exhibit within Las Vegas city limits has the making for a good escape from the city if you don't want to drive all the way to Mt. Charleston, Valley of Fire, Lake Mead, or Red Rock.

The second photo is Camila trying to shield herself from the sun, while Evan swigs some water (Frankie's arm is on the right).

I'd say that the Springs Preserve will do all right once they bring down their regular admittance price and when they finish the state museum (opening in 2009) and open all the trails they have out there. Actually a person can go walk the trails for free after picking up a free ticket for that at the entrance. What little we saw of the exhibit buildings they have looked good (again though, t…

Starbucks week 5

Continuing my semi-regular updates on the progress of the new Starbucks that will be my new neighbor:

This photo was taken from the Bank of America across the street from my store. I'm happy with the speed that they seem to be putting up this building, but I realize that like any construction there may come a period of time where, for whatever reason, building slows down and it then looks like it will take forever for that building to open. Right now I'm thinking that however long it takes, as long as there's not a building on that spot, my store really stands out to people driving by on Maryland Parkway.

This is a semi close-up of the actual space that the Starbucks will be occupying. At this stage of development, without walls, it's hard to get a sense of how big it really is and my first thought is that it should be bigger (but then it would obscure the view of my store from the street so it looks fine as is!). Whatever one's views on Starbucks, I'm sure that …

Drink & Draw 6/5!

Last night's Drink & Draw, while not as well attended as the other ones I've been to, was still a lot of fun, proving that it's not the number of people around you that matters, but rather the QUALITY of the people around you.

This fun version of Epstein was drawn by Karla, a customer of mine (I also got a cool Epstein illo from Charles Hobert) and it was great to see her there as she's such a positive, happy, energetic person.

Besides Karla (and some other people I didn't know, but seemed cool), it was good to see my other store friends Cooper, Tory, Brent, and Shannon and they're all great artists (Cooper showed me some pages from something he's working on that looks really fun and different). Holly was also there showing off her artistic shops and representing Comic Oasis.

One of the lovely Alvarez sisters and a good friend, Martha, her boyfriend Edgar, and his brother Sergio (from right to left after my scary self) also popped in and we had a fun time…

Kick Ass does...

...Kick ass! Kick Ass is a new Marvel / Max title by Mark Millar and John Romita Jr. Issue #3 came out this week, but unless you've already been reading the title, you may have to wait for the collected volume as the first two issues are sold out.

Kick Ass takes place in a real world scenario, in which a young teeenager, Dave Lizewski, an avid reader of comic books, wonders why no one has tried copying what the super heroes do in the comics. So he makes a costume for himself, puts his body through a bit of a workout, goes out to fight crime, and the first thing that happens to him is he gets his ass kicked (actually his whole body). By the end of the first issue it looks like he'll never get out of the hospital, but he does and then he...

Kick Ass is for "mature" readers in that there's a lot of violence and cussing, but it's not as over the top as Millar's Wanted (which is also a lot of fun in the uber violence arena). John Romita Jr. (a big favorite art…

POS debuts!

After an extensive weekend that continued into Tuesday morning of entering in ALL of my store's inventory, I now have a fancy POS (point of sale) system set up in my store for better inventory and ordering management. Additionally I'll have a lot of data about my store available at my fingertips which should really streamline operations in my quest to find good homes for good comics, graphic novels, and manga!

Entering in the store inventory took WAY longer than I thought it would and my pillow has missed me all week. Thankfully Sunday I had Paul (my Sunday person) helping me enter the seemingly never ending volumes and issues and Monday afternoon my other good friends Camila, Evan, and Frankie helped me out for a few hours. Thanks troopers!

My new POS system (with software created and used by comic stores for five years now, by Mark Richman of and Ben of the excellent Star Clipper Comics in St. Louis) takes the place of my old dinosaur register and I now hav…