Thursday, December 30, 2010
Holy cow… where to start?!
Well, first and foremost, thank you very, very much for continuing to read either Galactic Gun or Stuff; or even both. The station has gone through a few changes, already, as it is. And the truth is that it’s still trying to come together. The learning curve has been… crazy… to say the least. As we press ahead, learning code and getting more Photoshop and Graphic Arts skills, look for bigger, better changes to come your way. Including, we hope, some merchandise and other special offers.
Again, thank you so much for hanging in there with us. We’re glad you’ve been enjoying what you’ve been reading and are working hard to make your travel with us even more exciting in the coming year.
Love? Oh, yeah… love. Looks like your dear old Conductor will end 2010 as he started it; heart broken. But the funniest things can happen when your heart gets dashed upon the rocks and busted into tiny pieces… It may get set free to grow, once more.
That’s how I found mine after being cast aside by the rough, tossed currents of passion. Empty, I found my soul filled with a need to create. Not just new comics, but illustrations, poetry, and music. I have a note book full of poetic lyrics (With one such piece appearing here.), I’ve dusted three years of neglect off my guitar. And I’m working on honing in my forgotten talents in rendering to bring to life some old visions I had long since put aside. There’ll be a gallery up at the station, soon. But, for now, you can always visit my Facebook page to see some, now.
I am, also, a lot less round then I used to be. Yes, I’m proud of that, but not so much that I ended up there, in the first place. Let’s just say it’s nearly time to go buy new pants and leave it at that, shall we?
I also want to take some time to thank all of my wonderful friends; without whom I don’t think there’d be a Neverland Transit Authority. From Lady J, NTA’s esteemed Brakeman, to Roger Niner and the Table of Awesome, the glue of 2010 has definitely been the bonds of comradery shared by these folks. I hope I honor you in my work as you honor me with your friendship.
2011 feels like the year things hit full pressure in the boiler and we get the pistons really cranking the drive wheels. Hopefully we’ll be ready for anything down the tracks…
Even old heart breaks that come back our way.
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
In where lies the artist?
It’s, I think, a question that is more prevalent than ever in the face of the growing scope of technology.
In where lies the artist? Is he in his brush? His pencil? Or a pen? Is he in his clay? Or does he sit on his canvas? Maybe a sheet of velum? Can he sit in a computer? Is it now, truly, fair to say that the term artist can now expand to incorporate a growing generation of users that’ll never touch any of the medium I grew up on?
Odd and still somewhat painful recent events have, in some strange way, reawakened this need inside me to reconnect with some of the old tools I have just recently put away. Busting out with the old HB pencils, water colors, and pastels; looking to recapture, somewhat, this feeling of being more than just a cartoonist, but to be – what I guess I consider – a real artist, again.
I’m not sure if I have the answers to what and where the line of definition of “artist” will fall as we move deeper into the 21 century. Maybe it’s good I don’t. Tomorrow’s creative people will probably have more wonderful, diverse tools at their disposal than I can imagine. I just hope there’s still some place for trusty old pencil…
Thursday, December 2, 2010
I once read an old interview by the musician Peter Gabriel who said that he always made a demo of his album for his car. He knew he was getting close when it sounded good just driving around.
When I get a new album, or put together one of the many NTA compilation give aways, it always gets a road test. And since I’m not a sound engineer, I won’t even begin to ponder, so much, why it is that music just sounds better blasting out of the dashboard down a curvy hill top highway; outside of the general aesthetics of the thing, I suppose.
Of course, when I asked The Dangermouse for a quote for this week’s Stuff he just gave me a list of what bands work good for what kinds of roads. His not so subtle way of telling me he’s itchin’ for a road trip…
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
I guess I can learn a lot from the recent bad timing of Jim Davis…
Our last “Stuff” had been written, drawn, and started some time back, and got dropped on the tracks as soon as it was completed. In that time, I had met, and begun dating, the most wonderful young woman. She could sing and play music, had an eye for art and design, a sharp mind, was lovely to the eye, and had an infectious warmth about her that I thought I could get lost in forever. Yes, she was, for me, the perfect woman.
Unfortunately, I was not, for her, the perfect man. It’s the same old story; boy and girl meet, start dating, boy falls for girl, girl falls for… other boy.
Love is a funny thing, I suppose.
So, yeah, that’s why there’s a dating Stuff immediately followed by… this. Ah, but not too worry; a little hydrogen peroxide, a couple of Band Aids, and I’m sure the old ticker will be good as new. Otherwise, I guess I’ll have to trade in my kilt for a brown robe and rope belt.
Now, anyone got a pair of pliers big enough to pull this thing out of my back?
Sunday, November 14, 2010
Yes, lost in the great vault of Grand Central Station comes this gem from the old NTA Comics site in which The Dangermouse and I got hopelessly lost in The Diamond Heights district of San Francisco, ended up at the wrong party, and managed to make a total arse of myself with a Monty Python line.
At least now I can say I know my way around Diamond Heights, and I actually sang The Finland song to real Finnish folk. So, that’s something, right?
And life dining on Noodle Yum can go pretty far and isn’t all that bad… once you pass your first kidney stone, that is.
Thursday, November 11, 2010
It seemed like a good idea. I was fresh from having weathered rough romantic waters, and was eager and excited to find love, once again. So I turned to my trusty friend, the Internet…
In just a few minutes I was torn apart by ad after ad of women fixated on the hunky, young, tall, chiseled, motorcycle riding, tattooed bad boy. Or, the suave business professional with the large bank roll and opulent need to flaunt. I was reduced, in just a few mouse clicks, to a dumpy, old, boring geek. I was too small, too odd, and too poor. I was ugly.
No, worse than that; I actually began to not only feel ugly, but started to convince myself to bear the mantle of some sort of social reject for being… me. I began to talk myself down, trying to fit myself to this new role. It was only after some work, and some input by friends, that I realized that something was, indeed, wrong, but it wasn’t me. And once I got my head clear, and took a look around, I was left with one question; What the Hell is wrong with us?!
At some point we got the whole notion of the fantasy world of TV and movies mixed up with the reality of being a real person living a real life; myself included. Hollywood showed us what “the ideal” was, dressed up to sell us the latest star, product, our hip trendy slogan or icon fashioned for its selling appeal. We started to compare ourselves to this idea of what was sexy, beautiful, and attractive; looking for guidance on how to live our lives, feed our faces, and conduct our relationships. And if we didn’t measure up, then there was something wrong… with us.
But the reality is something different. Life happens, it’s not scripted. It doesn’t have sponsors to appease. It’s not going to cast you because you’re beefy or curvey enough. You don’t have to drive that one, fast car. You don’t have to have that super career. There’s no need to live a flashy life. And there’s no ratings family to tell you when you’re doing it right, or wrong; or that you need to change your marketing strategy.
We are all substantial, unique people that the world took time to create. In fact, you are a testament to the craftsmanship of the very power of the Universe. That should be the reason we live the lives we do, love who we love, and be the person we best feel we are. Not because some cheap, propped up, hollow Hollywood facade tells us how to get, rich, popular, or laid more.
It’s like there’s this wonderful gift put out in front of us, but we’ve become completely enamoured by the wrapping paper that we’ve totally over looked the gift it covers. We’ve been fooled into forgetting that what really counts is, in fact, from withing. Oh, sure, muscles and tight bodies are attractive. But so, too, is sincerity, humour, compassion, wit, and confidence.
As for me? Well, I’m not too tall, not so hard bodied, or financially well off. But, I’m an honest, caring, fairly healthy guy who loves life and all it has to offer. So yeah, I’m heading out there, again, back into the big, scary dating game. I think I’ll do just fine.
Peace and Grace be with you. Stop fretting over the ribbons and bows and just open the bloody box. You may find the most precious gift of all in there… a fulfilling life.
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Life. If you don’t get it, you don’t get it. And, you won’t find it in just any ancient text. Nor will you find it with a telescope and a Bunsen burner, alone.
Somewhere between the heart and the hand there needs to be an understanding. The universe is so much more than we have ever dreamed. Probably more than we can ever. (Hello, dark matter?) The concepts presented by the desert dogmas, or the older, preceding pagans myths, seem to lose weight when one considers the larger scope of the cosmos on both ends of the scale; from the macro to the micro.
And while reason will undoubtedly point to any mythology as not standing up to the rigors of science and history, neither can they produce a model of anything that not only shows us how, but why.
Religion tells us we were scooped up out of dirt. Science tells us we are composed of the very essence of cast off stellar matter. Either way we are all an integral part of existence. The drive to live, grow, and prosper that drives all creatures great, small, and – presently – undetectable.
Maybe, instead of trying to make stories suitable for our personal and limited agendas and understanding, or dismissing the greater creative forces that we still don’t understand, at hand, we should, instead, look quizzically into ourselves, and our small world, to discover the true nature of the cosmos, and the mighty place we tiny little things hold in it.
Peace and grace be with you; I greet and praise the little universe you are.