Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Self Portrait No.1

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I've been flipping through the archives at Angel Interceptor again. I was gonna do Inteceptor as my first Examiner review but just as I was preparing to write it, Ira Marks up and stopped posting comics there. It's too bad. He's got a nice style. Kinda long, spindly appendages. Cartoony but with a little bit of creepy, spidery twist to it. His ink work was good but I especially liked when he switched to just pencils like in The Coward From Where. Very much a "hand written" style. Immediate and personal like Jefreyf Brown and Anders Nilson meet, I don't know, Edward Gorey or something. The story where I fell in love with his pencils is, alas, no longer available online. It was a kind of human-raised-by-animals fairy tale with a "futility of social justice" motif. Incredible page design where all the smudges and scratches seemed to make sense. He even had lines of dialogue crossed out and re-written right there on the "finished" page. It was so fuckin' cute.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

I Thought I Had Lost My Cat Today

We couldn't find Rufus this morning.

I was feeding Sophie her morning bottle and Rachelle had gone downstairs to feed all the animals. We feed our cats twice a day. They know the schedule and when they're fed, they all come running. When Rachelle had filled their bowls she noticed that one was left standing without a cat anywhere near. Sophie had just about finished her drink when Rachelle burst back in with a panicked rush in her voice.

"I can't find Rufus!" she said.

You may remember Rufus from my timeline comic My Life With Pets. He's the big orange cat about halfway down on the far left, just above our dog Chi Chi.

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Rufus was one of our Humane Society rescues. When we first brought him home we already had four cats. Normally, a new animal brought into such a situation would range on the caution scale from a little nervous to quick! finds me some place to hide. As soon as we opened the carrier Rufus hopped out, took one quick tour of the house and plopped down on the couch, just as calm as could be. It was just as like he'd always belonged here. I don't know what it is about Humane Society cats, maybe they're just grateful to get a home, but they always seem to make the best natured pets.

But this morning he'd disappeared.

All of our cats are indoor-only pets, but the dogs go outside to do their business. Some of the cats, being curious by nature, try to escape through the open door when we let the dogs out. Usually we see them get out and usually they don't get far (although, trying to chase down a black cat in the dead of night isn't always a whole lot of fun). A search of the whole house did not reveal our missing cat this morning. This time we must not have seen Rufus go.

Rachelle did a quick walk around the house, calling his name (later she said she kind of felt like an asshole, walking around the yard in her bathrobe yelling "Rufus... Rufus..."). I put Sophie down and pulled on my shoes and coat to go canvas the neighborhood. The last time I had let the dogs out was the previous night. Rufus must have gotten out then. He had been out all night. He could be anywhere. I took a step out the door, expecting at least a long search. Honestly, though, I really feared what what I would find laying in the ditch alongside our road.

Now you might say, "Tim. You've got (let see... onetwothhreefour) eight other cats. Really is one less gonna make a difference?" But you have to understand something. Of course we are what you might call "animal lovers." You kind of have to be to pile up that many pets. But more than that, I think it's pretty safe to say that Rufus is our favorite pet of them all (they're not like kids, you can pick a favorite). Ever since that first day we brought him home he has been nothing but love and warmth and acceptance. Not just to us, but to all the other animals and people we have welcomed into our home. When we fostered the three kittens (Libby, Stripey, and Miko), Rufus was the one who really adopted them and raised them like his own kin. He comes up to see everyone, and I mean everyone who comes over. But, unlike Macio, he's not overly friendly and knows not to push his welcome. He's a big, warm, friendly teddy bear of a cat and quite possibly the best cat ever. So I was afraid and saddened at the thought of never seeing him again as I left the house this morning.

I took one step out the door. I heard a meow.

Rufus was right outside our front door the whole time. Cowering between our steps and the remains of a rose bush, scared out of his wits. I only spoke his name once and he popped up the steps, through the door, and back inside our safe warm home.

We were lucky he had the sense not to wander far and we were lucky that last night didn't get as freezing cold as it has been getting lately. But we were all glad to have him back safe, it seemed Rufus included.

In celebration of Rufus' return (and because I haven't released a comic in so long) I give to you a sneak peek at the Welton Colbert epic I have now returned to preparing. So for Ryan Estrada on his birthday, and for you (for making it all the way through this post), I present part one (the prologue) of The Welton Colbert Show.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Tree City officially down the drain and Colbert wins... This Time

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More spinning my wheels as the unfinished comics keep piling up.

I'm shelving Tree City. Part Three is all drawn up. I'm not completely happy with the way it turned out (which is about par for the course with most of my comics) but that's not why I'm putting it away.

Tree City, as I've envisioned it, is a very drawn out and involved story, and it really doesn't make much sense except as a whole (or serialized into the six chapters). I'm averaging about six to eight months per installment (each chapter is eight to ten parts) and it's just not a story that can adapt to that kind of schedule. I certainly wouldn't want to read it like that. It might all be well and good (though not ideal) if I had the time to focus exclusively on it and dribble it out piece by piece, but there are too many other avenues I want to explore right now. Tree City wad kind of an accident. I never intended to serialize it on the web. I was just using it to play around with the infinite Canvas program. I'm pretty sure it's a good story, though, and I may return to it if I ever have the freedom to devote to it the time it deserves.

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The comic I've been spending most of my time lately on was to be for Ryan Estrada's Welton Colbert Guest week. You may remember Colbert turning his withering gaze in my direction in the pages of Comixpedia. His strip was basically an "attack" on infinite canvas so of course my response turned into a massive nine-part Infinite Canvas epic (okay, "epic" might be stretching it.But it is nine parts.) Alas, I bit off more than I could chew once again as it now appears there is no way I'll be able to finish it by anywhere close to the deadline. Which is too bad. I think what I have finished is some of the best cartooning I've ever done and the script would have been very compelling (in my opinion). I thought about sending him just the first part (of the nine) 'cause it's done and it could conceivably stand alone. But it really makes a better comic when grouped with the rest, so I've decided it's all or nothing there, too.

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So where does that leave me?
Well, I've got a ton of short standalones piled up and I've started work on a story called "I Lost My Voice"

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And I've got something else up my sleeve that, if I can work it out, means you'll be seeing a lot more comics from me on the internet next year.

I will make comics again, someday...

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Well it's fixed now

Stupid Blogger. I'm thinking of switching services anyway. Big plans. We'll see...

Anyway... Sophie's very first Halloween.

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Thassa big pumpkin.

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It's cute, but it's not, like, Ann Geddys Cute. (I hope)

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Like I said, thassa big pumpkin.

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And the two loveliest ladies in my life.

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