Thursday, March 29, 2012

A Fifth of Suspense Cover

As I've previously hinted, I've been busy drawing and editing a collection of new and old comics for the first issue of A Fifth of Suspense. It will contain some old Mome submissions as well as some of the newer stories like Eel Mansions, Tales of Abstraction House, Claudette, and Doomin. Pretty much all the good stuff. AND it'll be in color and black and white. The main point is to try and bring about a collection of stories that work together despite their differing styles. Here's a preview of the cover in progress....

Monday, March 26, 2012

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Enough Astronaut Blood To Last The Winter (update)

This morning I finished selecting the last of the artwork and short stories to make the final cut of the Astro Blood book. The final page count is 360 pages. It's rather mammoth, yet a very accurate document of the NYC years 2007-2012. That's who I was at that particular time. If you've read and seen Journey By Ferry To Celibate City or Thigh Town, it's a peculiar transition art and story wise. Definately informed by the change of location and situations.

Now, I'm on to complete my move to Minneapolis, start several new books and a new series of oil paintings.

Here's the latest in a series of cover designs. I change my mind alot, but trying to determine what's appropriate representation for a book of drawings, photographs, and short stories is rather troublesome business. Here's yet another stab. This one will be on the dummy copies being sent to publishers next week.

Oh yes, included in the book is THE most crazy six page choose your own adventure story ever written, entitled Hazzard A Guess With The Three Bean Machine. Ridiculous. A must.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Donat Le Blanc 1922-2012

I come from a pretty tight family and when I heard my grandfather was having some trouble, I came back to Detroit to see what I could do to help. Unfortunately, just a few weeks after arriving, he passed away at the age of 89, due to heart complications.

Don was born in the village of St. Leon in Manitoba, Canada. After his mother died, he lived with his grandparents, and later joined his sister and father in Detroit, MI.

With the outbreak of World War II, my grandfather joined the Army Air Corps (later renamed U.S. Air Force) and served as a military policeman, guarding airfields, and keeping pilots out of various cat houses in England, France, and Germany. After the war, he met Nola and the two of them eventually married and settled just outside of Detroit in Inkster. They had one daughter, Dayna, and she had my sister and I.

My grandparents provided a sanctuary for us while we were coming of age. They stayed in the same house while my sister and I traveled from location to location, switching schools and leaving friends behind more times than we would have liked. It was comforting to know that there was something to hold on to, a family and home that would be there for us.

My grandfather was the most easy going person I've ever met. "Take a break" he'd often say. I never saw him worried or distressed during his healthy years. He liked more than anything to hang out in his garage with a cool beer, play cards, garden, go bowling, play horseshoes, cook steaks, fish, take vacations, eat cookies, and hang out at a tavern or two. I've been to more than a few bars with him growing up. My sister and I always admired his aesthetic, heart, generosity, and effortless charm. Truly that man was a fantastic human being.

Friday, March 2, 2012

(New Fiction from the Astronaut Blood book) Where The Red Fang Grows


I had another fight. Yeah, you know, with Ruth. She was born with that name. Ruth, short for Ruthless, the irritable daughter of Genghis Khan.

Grabbing her purse and a small black crocodile suitcase, she turned to face me before opening the front door.

“I’m leaving for the airport, you can finish your baked asparagus and goddamn garlic mashed potatoes by yourself.”

“What, now?”

“No, in two years. That’s when I’m leaving you. I just wanted to give you a heads up."

“Yeah, okay, see you then.”

She slammed the door and I put Trogglodynamite by The Troggs on the turntable. It’s been my devil vapor fumigator for years.
I turned to the kitchen and poured a couple fingers of whiskey. There was some Budweiser in the fridge but I only feed that to the dog.

They say artists and business people don’t mix. I’d say they’re right. While the sex was always good, my seemingly laidback career as a painter and househusband was secretly making her batshit crazy and her new evil role in the downfall of the United States was increasingly offensive to my morals. This was supposed to be her celebration dinner. Ruth moved her manufacturing plant overseas three years ago but had now moved it back to the U.S. She hired back her old employees at half wages with no benefits and was awarded a medal from the Mayor for bringing back jobs to U.S. soil and for being a hero and all that shit. She had received local and national news coverage and so on.

One of my friends worked at that plant. When I told her he couldn’t survive on what she was offering, she called me a communist. Every time she calls me a communist I start singing folk songs. Labor songs and the like. The songs of Woody Guthrie make her really mad. But now our experiment in love and terror was at a close. I poured our dog Mavis another beer and leaned back in my chair. I’d pack up my things after the record was over. I had some friends in Minneapolis. Perhaps I could have an exhibition there.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

(New Fiction from the Astronaut Blood book) Wifeboat


Snap fingers to a four count with a little swing.

“Get your feet off the wifeboat, Tony”
“All hands on the wifeboat, Tony”
“Leaking crude on the wifeboat, Tony”
“Shore leave cancelled, on the wifeboat, Tony”
“Man the guns on the wifeboat, Tony”
“Abandon ship, on the wifeboat, Tony”

My principal folded her hands and stared into my eyes.
“Where exactly did this….song or…poem come from?” she asks.
“Made it up” I blurt.
“I see”
“Do you know why I called you down here?”
“You have no idea why I called you down here?”
“I see. Today in class you were asked to write down your thoughts regarding a picture of a sailing vessel, is that correct?”
“And you couldn’t help but inadvertently turn this exercise into another display of your father’s angst towards my having divorced him?”
“Is that what it means?”
“You know damn well it is!”
“I just made it up, I didn’t know what it meant.”
“I wish I could believe you.”

We both stared out the window. Things were much better out there. My friends were playing soccer on the grounds. Lunch time was almost over. I was going to miss everything.

“Tell you what. Jimmy, do you know what a Western Haiku poem is?”
“That’s the five seven five syllable stuff, I think.”
“No, it’s easier. Forget the math part. You don’t have to sacrifice words to fit any superficial meter, but you still have the three line structure. The first line of the poem is usually about time, morning, night, Fall, Winter, dusk, whatever. The second line is an action, and a descriptor should be in there somewhere. In other words, describe the action. The third line of the poem is the consequence. But it should have some resounding conclusion. Make it simple. How does it make you feel? What does it possibly mean? Channel all these things. Now, I want you to write a Western Haiku everyday about something your father does. Everyday. And then, at the end of the month you’re going to hand it over to me okay?”
“Ah c’mon, mom!”
“ You’ll do what I say or you’ll be here with me every lunch period. I’ll even make you read all the goddamn magazines the secretaries leave in the office. There’s a nice piece in Glamour this month about eyelash extensions. Turns out you don’t need to employ fake lashes- but I don’t want to tell you too much, as I don’t want to ruin it for you”.

can’t control the afternoon
friends don’t see
my trouble