June 2009


A very good friend of mine, Andy Deemer  (producer of Troma’s rollicking chicken zombie film Poultrygeist, international playboy, fellow graduate of my alma mater, consumer of adventurous foods, etc. etc. etc.) is living in Beijing at the moment.  And as he apparently needs something to fill his days, he’s participating even as I type this in the 48-hour film fest, which is pretty much exactly what it sounds like.  People who do it have 48 hours to write, shoot, edit, score and otherwise create a short film.  Having made a few short films in my time, I can tell you that this is a pretty ambitious schedule – but I am sure it’s a complete blast. 

I’m not in Beijing at the moment, but I’m still involved in a peripheral way – Andy asked me to contribute some solo acoustic guitar music towards the score for the short.  He only gave me the barest of details as to what the short’s actually about (his notes were something like “folksy, acoustic, good”), but I think I got what I needed from that.  I sent him five pieces of music – full confession, they’re all repurposed from another project, but they seemed to fit the bill so well that I don’t think it matters.  Here’s two of them:

48 Hour Film Fest Track One!!!!!

48 Hour Film Fest Track Two!!!!!

As I said, I don’t really know what the short’s about – apparently the guitarist gets his arm ripped off, though, and keeps playing – so there’s  that.  When it’s finished I’ll post up a link here .  The nice thing is, I can be 10000% certain it’ll be done by tomorrow or the day after, because of the nature of the project.  Polished?  Perfect?  Perhaps not – but finished, absolutely.  And personally, I think “finished” is one of the most important adjectives to attach to any creative project.

The Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art (www.moccany.com) hosts a small press/indie convention in NYC each year, generally known to the cognoscenti as “MoCCA.”  It’s a good deal like the STAPLE convention held in Austin, TX each spring, which I believe I blogged about a bit further down the page.  This year’s MoCCA was held in the old armory on Lexington Ave. at 25th St, which is a cavernous building right in the middle of Manhattan.

I shouldn’t suggest that the armory is abandoned, however – I’m pretty sure it’s still used for military purposes.  I know for a fact that it was about seven and a half years ago, in fact, because I remember walking past it (or possibly another armory very much like it a bit further uptown) in September 2001.  All of the doors were open, and the thing was FILLED with tanks.  It was a bit wild, actually, to think that I had been living in the midst of enough military hardware to level the entire city without really being aware of it.

Anyway, so, MoCCA.  It’s a convention designed primarily for people who make their own books, or create something art or book-like, to show off their wares and attract some interest from the sort of folks who like indie graphic novels and art.  Marvel didn’t have a booth, for example, and while DC did, it was focused on their edgy Vertigo line and interesting web-based Zuda line.  Top Shelf and Fantagraphics were both represented, but mostly it seemed like a chance for people to give themselves a chance.  A lot of the books were strange, unpolished or unpalatable, but there was also plenty of amazing work on display. 

For one, I didn’t spend as much money as I normally do at these things, because I brought a stack of Strongman with me and people were generally willing to trade books for books.  That being said, I did buy a copy of the first Northlanders trade from Brian Wood.  He gave me some good advice at a con a few years ago, so it was nice to catch up.  I got him a copy of Strongman, which he said he’d heard of (I got that a fair amount, actually, which was verrrrrry nice).  He then calls his Vertigo editor over, introduces me, has me give him another copy, and the dude said he’d check it out and get back to me.  Can NOT beat that.  I think of all this networking the way many people probably do – there’s not a person who’s bad to meet, talk to, remember, Facebook, Twitterfollow, email, etc. 

Also had a great chat with Tom Valente, who I worked with years ago on a short called Cockroach, Evan Dorkin (creator of Milk & Cheese and fellow SLG writer/artist), did a short update interview with Charlito from indiespinnerrack.com that should be up soon, reconnected with Monica Gallagher (who I met at Staple) and various other people.  Not such a bad way to spend a Sunday afternoon. 

P.S. I am going to start adding photos to these soon.  No one likes to read these days, after all.

Not much to work with yet – Allen Gladfelter just started drawing Strongman Volume 2 yesterday, but he did get me this great sketch:

First image from Strongman Vol. 2!

First image from Strongman Vol. 2!

Much, MUCH more to come, but this is a nice start.

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