Sunday the 20th
Number two son texted me and to alert there was a Substantial Golden Age Comic that he had the chance to buy but he was on his way to work at a comic con for his employer and he did not have the time or ability to make a decision as to whether to buy it. As a note, it was a $12K book, so he was also asking if I wanted to go in on it with him solely as an investment.
The book itself was a bargain at $12K— per the price guide if it was actually the grade it was listed as it was a $35K book. On top of that if the book was under graded which was also very possible it could be worth upwards of $95K — so that seems like a no brainer, right?
Nope. Not at all. Because if there was something wrong with the book, i.e. it has restoration or there’s something wrong with it then it could be a dog. The book was on the other side of the country and after looking at flights and needed travel to get there it would be a 16 hour flight and then rental car drive to just get to it. Before today I would have thought there was nowhere in the United States you couldn’t get to within eight or nine hours. So traveling to see it was an expensive proposition but when you’re looking at spending the equivalent of a Kia Rio on a comic book it’s not a bad idea.
I brought in some expert friends to look at it— guys with far more knowledge than I, and there were mixed reviews, but in the end we decided to pass on it.
Something told me to go up to my studio— which I don’t normally do on weekends. I quickly logged in and saw that iMac #1 (named Enterprise) had done an automatic update which is all good—except now it wasn’t communicating with iMac #2 (named Gallileo Seven) and WORSE— it wasn’t talking to my Wacom Cintiq tablet.
When I went into System Preferences and to my tablet settings lo and behold there was NO tablet installed. That’s bad.
This has happened before but not for some time.
In the past I've had to reinstall drivers but this time around...
1- I panicked.
2- I went online to see what others recommended and panicked more because they were suggesting I take the Wacom apart. Yeah I'm not doing that.
3- I unplugged everything from the tablet to the iMac.
4- I restarted the iMac.
5- Nothing worked.
6- I did it all again then restarted AFTER I'd plugged everything in again.
7- All was right with the world. Drivers were back, everything good.
We did our usual Sunday errands and made a stop by The Christmas Tree Shop to pick up some needed stuff for the yard and a few plants and flowers for the front of the house. Regular readers will know I’m not a fan of shopping but this is a place I seldom go to and I like it there because it makes me feel like I’m back on Cape Cod when I shop there— The Christmas Tree Shop is based on the Cape.
We brought everything back home and enjoyed a beautiful sunset on our deck as the weekend came to an end.
Monday the 21st
We opted to lay out the pages for Blackwood #4 together. We bounce a lot of layout ideas off each other. Our mutual love of film brings a lot to the pages. Its fun as we gather around the kitchen table, coffee, tea and various food snacks all around us, pages, paper, ink spread all around us we go through Evan’s great script and then figure out what the best shot is. You have to take into account a few things when you are figuring out a panel.
What are we trying to show here?
What are the lines of dialogue the characters are saying? Does their body language reflect those words?
Are the other characters reacting correctly to those words?
Does the background adequately show us where we are?
Is the lighting conveying the right mood?
Are the actions in the panel clear?
You didn’t know that much went into it did you? That’s why we only got to page 13 in the layout stage.
Sones #2 and #3 came by to talk our final decision for that golden age book (#3 son had ponied up quite a few dollars towards the purchase price as well).
Tuesday the 22nd
We got up and got back to the page layouts with the intention of us finishing the layouts and getting the PDF of those layouts over to Dark Horse for approval by Thursday night. We really got on a roll and managed to get the roughs finished by 3pm which was perfect because we had to leave for Jordan Peterson’s lecture in Boston at the Schubert Theater. #2 and #3 son came along and we started the night at a great little Chinese Restaurant (Gourmet China) in Chinatown before the show. We opted to park at South Station so Chinatown falls between it and the theater district.
We over ordered and over ate and then stumbled our way over to the theater and the huge crowd. If you’ve not listened to Dr Peterson and only listen to what long dead outlets like The New York Times say about him you’re doing yourself a great disservice.
By the time the show was over it was after 10. Boston is such a grimy place now. We were amazed at the amounts of hoodlums that were just hanging out on corners as we walked back to the garage. Like Portland last year, we didn’t see a single police car in our 30 minute each way walk to and from but hey if cops make you nervous I understand why you keep them away. It’s not beneficial to a neighborhood which is why I don’t live in either of these places.
Getting home, we live in a very quiet neighborhood that watches out for each other. There was a car that had been slowly circling a nearby construction renovation and two of our neighbors were standing outside our house and filled us in with this odd behavior. I walked the dog down towards where they were driving and the passenger said hello to me as I walked by, then they drove away but not before I snapped a pic of the license plate and called the non emergency Po Po number. The officer who arrived on scene a few minutes later was great. She wrote down the plate number in her report and promised to keep an eye on the area.
Wednesday the 23rd
I usually clean my studio between projects but Blackwood has been one issue after another with no breaks. I also need to “prep” it for the Summer season— i.e. put in the air conditioner. So I carried that juggernaut up the stairs to the attic, then when I opened the windows to put it in I realized how much more comfortable it is with just the breeze, so I’m going to set the AC unit off into the other half of the studio and just go with the windows for the time being. I’m sure, it being New England, that we’ll soon be knee deep in the hot humid weather that only baby spiders and CJ Kennedy enjoy and at least the AC won’t be too far away.
Back to the studio the books and other collectibles I usually throw up on eBay are really piling up so I need to organize all of this, I also need to prep for class tonight so it’s a busy day.
I got everything almost put away in the studio as class began, this was the first class on Lettering and Coloring and I thought it was great— can’t be sure what the students think yet. Lettering is the most important part of the comic creation process and lettering can really make or break your work.
After class we had dinner and turned in early, but around 4am I was just awake enough that the birds who like to make a lot of noise at the pre dawn hour completely woke me up. I got up, went to my studio and cleaned for a few more minutes, composed an email and then went back to bed as they settled down.
Thursday the 24th
Got up around 830 made myself a coffee and then grabbed a couple of waters and went outside to do some yard work. It was nice and cool but sunny so it made for a pleasant work load. I wrapped that up about 11 and Veronica made me a nice breakfast of bacon and eggs (we’re taking a break from all breads, flours and sugars for a while) and I ate it outside on my deck.
I showered and got into the studio and started work when Veronica called for me. The biggest raccoon we’d ever seen showed up. You can read more about that in my June 14th blog.
Veronica had a n AMA at Reddit and we headed out for a carwash at Ernies and a coffee at Cumby’s before heading back. It’s such a beautiful day. Short work day for us as we met friends at a nearby Mexican Restaurant for dinner. It was a beautiful night with some nice company so after dinner we tried to enjoy the outside as much as we could with some ice cream.
Friday the 25th
I got up at 630 to meet #2 son at the garage— he was dropping his car off for an oil change and today was our normal haircut Friday. We get our haircut about 10 miles outside the city where the woman who has been cutting my hair for twenty years now works. We usually make a morning out of it and we do this every 2-3 weeks having breakfast on our way out. This time around it had been about nine weeks since he’d had a haircut with all the traveling he’s doing and I ended up going to a nearby barbershop where he literally gave me an all over buzz cut like I was heading out to Afghanistan. When you keep your hair short you have to go a lot because if there is no hair on the sides in a short week or two it’ll start to look like a chia pet. Anyway, it was great to have her do the sides (there was still very little on the top) but just a quick cleanup and my hair was looking like it was supposed to.
She opens the shop up a half hour before normal time for us which is nice, but lately people have started showing up before the shops normal open time. The shop doesn’t take appointments because its a barber shop but since she and I go back so far she takes the extra step for us.
Because My haircut was just basically a buzz along the sides and then some cleanup to make it match I went first then I waited while #2 son had his hair cut. More people started coming in including a couple of kids with their grandpa. She was instantly on them— asking them if they were sick. It would never occur to me that this was a school day and what would they be doing here— because if my kids were sick I definitely wouldn’t take them to a barbershop.
“I’ve been sick since MCAS and he’s been throwing up all night.” He said as he gestured to his little brother.
“Are we going to have our own rooms?” He asks his grandfather.
“No…”. Says the little brother.
“Shut up, Matt. Are we going to have our own rooms at the lodge?”
It was Memorial Day weekend so apparently they were all going fishing.
“If someone tries to take my phone away while we’re there I’ll kill ‘em. Kill ‘em.”
Between the germs and the scintillating conversation they were having I decided I’d wait outside for Joe to finish.
Joe’s Car was ready as we left so I brought him back to the garage— Greasy’s on Hamilton Street— Pete and Thom who run the place are the best mechanics in the city and even more importantly you can trust them. I’ve been with them for about 15 years and even if my car is brand new I still take it to them.
As we pulled up there was a sweet vintage Camero in the lot but next to it was an absolutely drop dead gorgeous 1960 Thunderbird. I snapped a few pictures and then went in to ask them about it.
It turns out it belongs to a celebrity (a real one mind you) who happens to live in the Worcester area. Boy was it a stunning car. Looking at the inside made you realize how much car manufacturers don’t care about making a car unique anymore.
I got back to work shortly after that and was able to wrap up the last page of the independent project I’ve been working on.
Since the lettering script for Blackwood #3 came in late last night I got a jump on it.
Saturday the 26th
It was hot— but with a nice breeze so it wasn’t terrible. I stopped wearing shorts in public some years ago. I don’t think a grown up man should wear short pants. Hey if you do, good on you— I don’t. But that means you have to be smart about pants. Usually that means linen pants no socks with boat shoes but because I had a lead that a sweet pair of Sperry’s Boat Shoes was at Nordstrom Rack I wore a pair of socks.
No luck on the Sperry’s in my size (11-12 in case it matters) but I found a pair of summer shirts— one with a fish pattern and one with crazy palm trees. As I was in the dressing room trying them on— sizes vary man, as much as I don’t ask directions when I’m driving I’ve accepted the non-manly act of trying on clothes whenever I can. Nordstrom Rack is a really great store— and some of the prices are not insane— anyway, as I was in there trying on the shirt I notice a coffee stain on the left pocket of my favorite seersucker pants.
This is no fresh stain— I remember when I did it and of course I never thought to do anything else about it so it was set in. It was the kind of stain you could only see with strong dressing room light—OK you can see it everywhere else too but these pants are SO comfortable unless I sit down in chocolate ice cream I’m NEVER giving these up.
I bought the shirts and raced home where I used a liberal amount of Hydrogen Peroxide with a very minimum amount of water and an old toothbrush to try and get out the stain. I said I was going to do it very slowly and gently but I was lying— I worked that thing like the ship was going down and I had to get the deck spotless and now I had a big wet stain instead of a coffee stain, but when it dried it looked perfect!