the calm


Hello,

Here’s a Kitty Pryde drawing I finished this morning.
More Wolverine penis to express my continuing outrage at marvels addiction to shadow crotch.
I should make t shirts about it.

It’s for the KP themed art show that Floating world is putting on in Portland starting may 7th. It should be a cool show. I won’t be there. I think it’s like 6 months until my Immagration ish is cool and I can travel like a free man again.

I’ve been drawing lots of and reading lots of CAMIX. It’s a big change up for me.
SO last time I wrote on here Kiel West suggested that I read Naoki Urasawa’s Pluto
on onemanga.com. I read that so far and now I’m 140 something chapters into Urasawa’s
20th Century boys:

DUDE! I’m so Impressed by this stuff.
Michael Kaluta once said that Moebius was the kind of artist who taught you how to draw
just by looking at his stuff, I think Urasawa is like that with storytelling.

My main problem with long form manga is always been how it feels like they’re trying to
string you along for as long as possible. This stuff is Massive but it’s good enough where it doesn’t have to drag anything out –it’s all good. Each chapter is entertaining by itself. Which is always the goal from my side of the paper.
I know half the comic reading worlds already on this and I’m just slow to catch the boat
but DUDE.

I need to get these on paper now.

The other stuff I’m reading this week:

Miss Don’t tough me is good stuff. One thing that really struck me about it was how likeable in just a couple pages the main girls older sister is–who dies starting the main story–
One thing that always hits me in stuff that I think is bad writing is a lack of work to make
you like the characters. I just watched some of the lady death cartoon and was disapointed. I don’t know what I was expecting.  Did you guys know that lady death is swiss?

And Conan is Cimerian– I’m sure I’ve said this before but It’s a rare creator that can get a conan right. I have strong feelings. Roy Thomas is the best at it. Big John Buscema don’t hurt none either.

Also also, My pal Justin "moritat" Norman or Vodka and Elephanmen fame came to town and brought me the new Moebius book.

It’s pretty cool to see some new Major Grubert and the whole thing feels like it’s
printed on water color paper. Thick as theves.
One thing that struck me about this book was how much the dates at the bottom of each page jump around from like 98–to 08 .

This one’s interesting.

He drew the middle part of the page in 03 (dated at the bottom right of the floating head thing) and then the rest of the page is dated 07.

Another thing I’ve been all about this week is this interview with KRS-One’s younger brother
about the time KRS ran up on PM Dawn.
http://www.unkut.com/2006/09/the-kenny-parker-show-part-1/
I guess the who thing started when PMD was quoted in a magazine questioning what KRS was a teacher of. And after the whole deal hapened and everyone was pissed at KRS he was asked about it "I answered his question. ‘A teacher of what?’ I’m a teacher of respect."

I love that shit.

I spent a couple days at Stokoe and Marley’s new place with fancy heated floors watching that fine film The dangerous lives of alter boys and as many Illuminati, 911 conspiricy, the govornment is lizard men, the moon is holllow and the landing on it was fake crazy documentrys as we could find. I’m like a crzy addict now.
At some point James made this Twitter contract.

Also Mr Barnaby ward drew me this cool picture of Sexica and the cat.
in trade I’m going to make a one page comic for his 16 miles to merricks book.

That man draws a pretty lady and makes good comics.
you can read his book here:
http://www.somefield.com/merricks_online/

And speaking of all those things, here’s an unused Elephanmen cover sketch that my sweet Marian
drew awhile back.

She’s like a week away from done on her 3rd Elephanmen issue.
Her first one comes out in april. Mr Richard Starkings was nice enough to make her a font based off her hand writing. So now she can letter her Beast book with it too.

My stuff is going good. Here’s a shot of some newish 2 page spread from my werewolf epic
while I’m messing with it in photoshop.

The next couple of weeks should be great. Me and Marian are moving into our new place on the 1st and it looks like next week I’ll have some good comic book news to report.

Here’s some random crap out of my schetchbook.

Oh and here’s a short story my mom just wrote that I really enjoyed.
My mama writes science fiction ya knaw

Grandpa and the Dragonsnail

 

Billy snuggled under the covers, and his mother tucked them under his chin. Did you say your prayers?

Yes, he mumbled. Would you shut my window?

Shut the window? His mother glanced at the window open on the broad lawn fading into darkness, lit only by the faint gleam of the porchlight. Youll boil in here, its going to be a hot night.

No, Ill be fine. He could feel the fear starting to creep up his spine, the cold starting to clutch at his stomach. He grasped the blanket tightly and tried to steady his voice. Please, Mom. I dont like it open.

Fine. She pushed the window down, came and tousled his hair, and went to the door Good night, honey. Sweet dreams.

Gnight. He waited until the door was shut, then scrambled from the bed, pushed the window sash down hard, and jerked the lock shut. Then he bounced back into bed and buried his head under the covers.

Sweet dreams, he thought. That would be nice. Lately, hed been having nightmares that he didnt dare explain to anyone. They would think he was crazy. Dreams about a dark deep swampy place, oozy and smelly, thick with greenish slime, and crawling out onto grass, prickly green. He kept going, though, because he could see a house in the distance, and in the house was something tasty. Something tender and delicious, pungent with terror and innocence. And somehow he knew the something was himself.

He closed his eyes. The window was locked, he told himself. He was safe. Nothing could get in. But the squelching, hungry creature drew closer each night, then faded into obscurity in the dawn. Closer, across the lawn.

 

Grandpa, have you ever heard of a thing that eats, well, kids? That lives in the woods, maybe?

He was leaning on his grandpas chair, watching him whittle a bear out of a piece of pine. Grandpas hand shook a little, but his eye was accurate and he could carve creatures that looked almost alive. And he knew more about the wilderness than anyone Billy had ever met.

You talking about bears, Billy?

Not bears. Something that no ones heard of . . Something different. It might live in the water.

How about crocodiles? But of course theres no crocs around these parts.

Not crocs either.

Whered you hear about this critter, Billy? His grandpa fixed him with a mild blue eye.

Oh, no place. Kids at school were just talking about stuff. One of em said he dreamed about a hungry thing that kind of scooted on the grass. I just wondered if it was real.

Well, said Grandpa, you never know, of course. And there is that lake over yonder, that the old factory used to drain waste into. Heaven only knows what kinds of chemicals they tossed in. Could be six-legged fish and glow-in-the-dark salamanders for all we know.

Really? Billy felt a familiar shiver. So there could be something. . .

Grandpa looked at him. Kiddo, have you seen anything like that?

Uh, no Billy looked down at his sneakers. But I had a dream too . . .

What kind of dream?

Billy knew his grandpa wouldnt laugh at him, or brush it off, or make an appointment with the doctor to talk it over, which was most likely what his parents would do I have it every night. Its this slimy thing, and it gets closer and closer to the house, and it can see my window. Its . . .hungry. He looked anxiously at Grandpa.

Grandpa nodded seriously. Have it last night?

Yes.

How close did it get?

Im not sure — its got a ways to go, cause it moves so slow. But – he squinted across the lawn Maybe as far as that big oak there.

Okay, said Grandpa Ill keep an eye peeled.

But your rooms on the other side of the house, Billy said.

Yes, but I dont have to sleep in it. Grandpa winked at him. Maybe we should keep this under our hats for now. Your mom can be nervous at times.

 

That night after his mother tucked him in, Billy sneaked out of bed to the window and saw the dark bulk of his grandpa sitting in his chair on the edge of the porch, moonlight gleaming on the barrel of the weapon across his lap. Wow, Billy whispered to himself. He really believes me.

The next morning when he went outside, he saw Grandpa stumping around in the grass over by the edge of the woods, peering at the ground. He went over and joined him. Do you see anything? he whispered.

Not too sure, said Grandpa, squinting. Squirrels, raccoons, the usual suspects. Pretty busy place after dark. But look there. He pointed at a silvery track in the dew, nearly two feet wide. Now what would make that, do you think?

Billy swallowed. Uh, maybe its a tree shadow?

Never saw a shadow that color. Grandpa stared at it awhile longer.

Maybe we should tell dad, said Billy, glancing toward the house.

Well, now, maybe not too fast, said Grandpa.. Your dad already thinks I mightve mislaid a screw somewhere. We dont want to give him any ammunition.

Okay, Billy said. But what can we do?

Gotta give that some thought. But I suspect its time for breakfast.

 

He was supposed to be taking a nap, but he could hear his parents in the next room. Hes worrying me, said Mother. Sitting out on the porch most of the night, cradling that rifle of his. What if he decides to start shooting?

His dads voice sounded tired. You heard what Dr Felig said. It starts with forgetfulness, then gets worse — odd quirks, non sequitors. Paranoia.

He wouldnt tell me what hes watching for. But theres another thing. Her voice sank. The beers disappearing.

What do you mean>? asked Dad.

It was one or two out of a six-pack before. In the last few days, its been 3 or 4 at a time. But I never smell it on his breath.

Hes too smart for that. Probably gargling with mouthwash.

Its not funny, Matt. His mom sounded worried.

Try not to worry, baby. His dad kissed her. Well just keep an eye on things. If he gets so he cant take care of himself, theres always Sunnycrest.

But you know he hates the idea of that.

You gotta do what you gotta do, said his dad.

 

Grandpa hunched over the computer screen, gazing intently

Whatre you looking up? asked Billy.

Snails, said Grandpa. You know theres a kind of large slug or snail thats native to these parts? Scarcely ever seen especially in the last several years. But it can grow up to 5 or 6 inches long.

Thats not scary, scoffed Billy. I could just step on that.

True, said Grandpa. But what if one of those got a whiff of those chemicals they been dumping into the lake, and got itself all confused about how big to grow? It could grow into a king snail, a dragonsnail. What if being bigger than normal, it decided it needed something more nutritious than little bugs to eat? And what if its brain power grew too, so it could send and receive waves, or thoughts, or something. So it could tell where to go. . . Just a thought, he said, looking at Billy.

Billy shivered. That is scary.

So if you hear me scuffling around at night, dont give it a thought, he said. Ive got a plan.

Can I help? asked Billy.

Not just yet.

 

That night the dream seemed stronger yet, if possible. Darkness, hunger driving him, ignoring the prickly scratching under his belly as he humped his way along, oozing and sliding closer to his goal. Closer to the helpless, juicy prey waiting behind the thin pane of glass. It knew there would be cracks to slide through. There was always a way through. It was very old, older than anyone guessed. It only awakened after long years, but when it did it was very hungry.

 

We were thinking of taking a little drive, said Mother to Grandpa. Over to Sunnycrest, to take a look around. Wed like you to come along.

Thatd be fine, said Grandpa, with a sideways look at Billy. But Id feel bad leaving Billy alone by himself.

Marsha will be coming over, said Mother. Hell be fine.

Billy felt a shock of panic. Marsha never did anything but watch TV, talk on the phone and sleep. He could be attacked by a mob of zombies in his room and she wouldnt even notice.

Im sure, said Grandpa. But actually today my sciatica is acting up something awful. Afraid Ill have to take a rain check; I can hardly walk. But you two go ahead and have a good time. Maybe I could go along next week.

Well . . . Mother began.

Thats fine, said Dad heartily, Well just be gone a short while then. You two can hold down the fort.

Sure thing, said Grandpa.

As soon as the blue ford had driven out of the drive, Grandpa turned to Billy.

Come on. Nows the time. Ill get the wheelbarrow, you get the shovel.

But what about your sciatica? asked Billy.

Well, said Grandpa with a hand on his back, sometimes you just have to get to work anyway.

Billy started digging at the spot Grandpa showed him, while Grandpa hauled a barrow load full of beer cans and bottles out to the site. It was under the shade of the big oak tree, a little to the right of it.
After awhile Grandpa took over and dug the rest of the hole. It was big enough for Billy to lie down in, if he had wanted to, which he didn
t.

Grandpa put a sheet of plastic in and weighed it down with rocks. Then he started pouring in the beer. Here, he said, handing a bottle to Billy. We need to get done before they come back. If they see this theyll probably call the paddy wagon tonight.

It was nearly dark when they finished. The car lights came down the road as Grandpa trundled the wheelbarrow back and shoved it into the shed, pulling the door shut on it.

Now, he said, just go to sleep as usual. But if anything bothers you, you know you can come wake me up.

 

His mother stormed into the living room. Dinner was over, and his father was reading the paper, Grandpa and Billy playing a quick game of checkers before bed. But from mothers face, her lips tight and eyes grim, Billy knew the game had come to an end.

How could you, Father? she said. I thought you were doing so well. You swore you had quit drinking. Now this!

What is it, Jeanie? asked his father.

Hes finished all the beer. Every single bottle that I bought for the party. I cant believe it!

Sorry, said Grandpa.

Its not just . . . Not just you. Its Billy. Its a terrible example to set, and you may be putting him in danger. Its just not — we cant tolerate this. You wont be able to live with us, Im sorry, dad.

Grandpa didnt say much. He gave Billy a serious look, which Billy took to mean keep quiet, so he did. But he didnt like it.

 

Mother seemed distracted as she tucked him in that night.

Dont worry, Mom, he tried to comfort her. Grandpas all right, really.

I know you love him, dear, she said with a strained smile. But he needs his own place to live, where he can be taken care of.

He can take care of himself, said Billy. And me too.

She patted him on the shoulder. Go to sleep, sweetheart. Tomorrows another day.

 

Closer this night than ever before. Closer and hungrier. Billy lay trembling in his bed, trying to remember to breathe. Then he realized, he wasnt sure hed locked the window. Try as he might, he couldnt remember if he had tonight, or if he was remembering the night before. In the dead of night, he slid a cold foot out of bed, then the other. He crossed the floor to the window, a square of black night. It wasnt locked. He slid the lock shut quickly, breathing hard. Then he paused.

A sensation of ravenous starvation filled his mind, a sense of glee, a feeling of evil . . .then it was infiltrated by another sense, an odor of something pungent, deliciously sour. It was overwhelming . .then there was nothing.

Billy shook his head, stood by the window. Nothing. He went back to bed.

 

His mother was sweeping the kitchen floor when he went out in the morning. Eat your breakfast, she said. Your father and I are taking Grandpa for a ride, but Marsha will come over.

She glanced out of the window. Now whats he doing, she sighed in frustration. I asked him to come in and eat. She went to the porch door. Father! I guess Ill have to go bring him in.
She set off across the lawn. Billy climbed onto his chair and began on his rice krispies. He gave her about three minutes to cross the lawn, then . . .

She screamed louder than hed thought she could. He slid down from the chair and ran outside. He got within ten feet of the pool theyd dug before she caught him and pulled him back to the house. But hed caught a glimpse of it first: a greenish gray, lumpish thing, immobile snout down in the beer, with a serrated back . . .like nothing hed seen in any book.

Grandpa was just shaking his head. But he had a funny smile around his mouth too.

Does this mean you wont make Grandpa go away? Billy asked.

Oh Billy, His mother just hugged him. That looked like a good sign.

 

 

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