Archive for the Diary Category

Rejected Vows, pt 1: Voltron

Posted in As if you cared, Diary, not comics, romance with tags , , , on 8 September, 17 by cantocomics

My younger brother Eric did me the great honor last month of not only choosing me as his best man, but having me officiate his wedding ceremony. I’m proud of the kid.

That’s him on the left there, next to his patient and lovely bride.

The hardest part about this was writing an Officiant’s speech that gave the occasion its proper respect. Not that I don’t respect my brother, but yo, it’s hard to be serious when you and the groom have been laughing at each other’s farts for 25 years.

I went through two drafts before I got to one that we we’re both happy with.

Here’s one of them: 

Dearly beloved, affectionately acquainted, and total strangers with whom I hope to exchange names in the near future, I bid you welcome.

We are gathered here today, sheltered from blinding Texan sun, to celebrate the union of my little brother Eric and my soon to be little sister Shannon.

How came we here, friends? What wild-ass string of unforeseeable events brought us to this pass, where these two unthinkably attractive young people, one with eyes of winter crystal, the other with the cascading locks of Ceres framing her comely visage are about to forge themselves into one mighty weapon of matrimony?

I’ve had the great privilege of knowing Eric his whole life, from tiny baby to Young Bobby Hill to the strong, willful, intelligent and often hilarious young man you see before you today. I am honored to have had the opportunity to see him grow, to share in his joys and sorrows, to see him metamorphose from lowly caterpillar to razor-winged murder moth.

A large factor in Eric’s maturation over the past few years has been, in fact, the bride herself. I haven’t had the opportunity to get to know this beauty as well as I have my brother, but seeing the effect of her patience, good humor, generosity, and kindness have had on him I have no doubt she must love him deeply and passionately. I anticipate getting to better know this goddess of compassion, whose smile is the light in my brother’s eyes, and watching the two of them grow together over the decades to come.

The bond of marriage is one of great power, my dear friends. These two will in a short while possess a strength far greater than that which either of them have separately. Like Voltron or the Megazord, they will combine into a force to be reckoned with.

But with great power, as Uncle Ben once said, comes great responsibility. The road ahead will not be without bumps or windings. In order to maintain the bond we assist in forging today, these two must work together–moving as one through thick metaphorical jungle, soaring through storm-tossed metaphorical skies, blasting through the metaphorical voids of metaphorical deep space. They must shore each other up against the unceasing onslaughts of the enemy–who must surely also be a metaphor, because how could anyone have ire against these two beauties?

My dear and patient bride and groom, please now profess your devotion and make your vows to one another, so that we will know the strength with which you cleave together.

(They would have said their vows here)

Eric, do you take Shannon as your copilot, in sickness and in health, to wind the starship of your love through asteroid fields, to have and to hold, to share in the plunder of successful campaigns, until the heat death at the end of the universe?

Shannon, do you take Eric as your sidekick, for richer or poorer, to stare down evil, to clench the mighty fist of Justice and plunge it through the gankity-ass grill of crime, forever and ever, until death do you part?

By the power of Grayskull, I now pronounce you Husband and Wife. You may kiss the bride.

I was okay with this one, but the bride and groom were not. Understandably, I think. Weddings are, like, important or whatever.

I have another draft of the same speech as an extended nautical metaphor if you’re interested in reading it. But that’s a matter for another post.



Posted in Conventions, Diary, Sketch with tags , , , , on 12 December, 11 by cantocomics

This weekend at Dragon’s Lair Comics and Fantasy in beautiful Austin was the third annual Webcomics Rampage mini convention!

It was a great little show–a wide selection of webcomickers showed up to hawk their wares and hold panel discussions in the back room. The one pictured above was a general-interest discussion, kept lively primarily by the witty banter of Joel Watson of Hijinks Ensue (5th from R), Jeph Jacques of Questionable Content (house left of Joel), and R.K. Milholland of Something Positive(blocked by a blond giant). It was pretty inspiring to hear these folks talk about their work and how devoted they are to their craft. It was a bit of a kick in the pants for ol’ Carl, who hasn’t really been working as hard as he could be on this whole comics thing. To be remedied.

Thanks to all the great cartoonists who came out in addition to those linked above: Josh Lesnick of Girly and Slipshine (Dr. Voluptua is even sexier in print), Bill Williams of Lone Star Press and Side-Chicks, David Willis of Shortpacked! and Dumbing of Age (Sorry if I drew your head weird, dude), Rob DenBlyker of Cyanide and Happiness, Danielle Corsetto of Girls with Slingshots, and Nicholas Gurewitch of Perry Bible Fellowship (Sorry I didn’t draw you in there, I couldn’t see you. I know you look like Jesus or Charles Manson, though).

I’ll post solo images of these folks on the tumblr later today. Stay warm, amigos.


Posted in Comics Pages, Diary with tags , , , , , , on 6 November, 11 by cantocomics

In addition to figuring out how to color in photoshop, I started a tumblr.

Also, I moved to Austin, TX. Probably you knew that.

HORNS UP, NH!; Zé do Caixão

Posted in As if you cared, Diary, Sketch, Sound, Unsettling with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 26 June, 11 by cantocomics

Friday night, Jess took me to a show in Newport, NH, at which there was much moshing, metal, and mayhem. Some really great local metal bands played: TEETH, Rumors of Betrayal, Ballast, Twisted Legacy, Wake the Sleeping, etc.

I’m an almost complete newbie to metal. I was scared of it till recently, okay?

The covers of the records have death and stuff on them and a lot of the vocals sound like a low blood sugar Cookie Monster. This shouldn’t have made much of a difference to me–my favorite band sounds more or less like a bunch of Germans having a pipe fight in a sheet metal factory*–but a difference was made nonetheless. So this was my first ‘real’ metal show, aside from having seen Meatsaw play in Manchester not too long ago.

Consider me a convert, dudes.

There was such great energy in that little club that my drawing style changed from the normal curve-and-hatch approach (seen in the pics above) to this angular, energetic, cartoony approach which I guess has more in common with Jesse Mead’s stuff than anything I normally do.

I kinda like it.

More on the show so that I can place the rest of the images without resorting to creating a slideshow: Jess and a few of her friends noted that the crowd had really changed in the past year or so. Upon hearing this, I looked around and saw that there were dozens of high school or middle school-aged kids throwing ‘bows and jumping around like most of the other patrons. What does this say about the youth of today?  That they are unsatisfied by the overproduced pop confections offered them by mainstream media? That they have deep seated angst and antisocial tendencies? That they like double-kick drums? WHO KNOWS WHAT LURKS IN THE HEART OF THE AMERICAN TEENAGER?

I kept mostly to the back, being somewhat ill, intimidated by the mad press of pubescents toward the stage, and in the middle of a very important beer. And then another beer. And some drawings.

Everybody I spoke with was somehow involved with the bands, or knew someone who was involved–Seth Rogan Bro was a member of one of them, I think. I wish I had gotten the dude’s name instead of just being the creep drawing him from the back of the room. Sorry, Seth Rogan Bro. I didn’t mean to seem pervy or whatevs. Here’s some drawings of you on the internet.

Towards the end of the night (I think during TEETH’s set, actually–you can see all of it on the YouTube), the aforementioned youngsters’ parents showed up to whisk them away to their comfortable domiciles. You could tell that these people felt incredibly out of place–there was a man with a well-groomed salt-and-pepper mustache who looked like he had just found a mummified finger in his oatmeal. I guess they were waiting till the end of the set before they grabbed their young ruffians by the ears and dragged them to the car whilst spouting invective against that ‘devil music.’ I’m exaggerating, of course–these were probably people who were blasting Black Sabbath and Zep in the middle of the night, much to the chagrin of their parents, who had done the same thing with Chuck Berry and Buddy Holly records a scant few years prior. We all know how it goes.

Anyway, the metal scene in New Hampshire is, it would seem, incredibly vibrant, and taking on new recruits just as fast as the old tyros must retire in order to take care of their kids or whatever. I’m really thankful that Jess helped me get over my fear of metal–it’s not something I ever would have done on my own.** \m/

Tangentially related: at a recent Movie Night, Steve Bissette showed a couple of José Mojica Marins’ Coffin Joe films, including 2008’s brutally uncompromising Encarnaçáo do Demônio/ Embodiment of Evil. I’ve been watching the other films in the series over the past couple of weeks, and each one has given me weirder dreams than the last. So I decided to do some more PS coloring practice.Thank god for Google translator.(It was also an excuse to look up words in Portuguese, a language about which I know next to nothing, aside from the fact that it favors accent marks and using Ç’s.).

More to come, sooner rather than later, I hope.

*Also, I  listen to MERZBOW, for chrissakes.

**There are also some drawings of Matt Verdine, the vocalist of Twisted Legacy aquí y aquí. I could only barely see him from where I was standing/drawing/drinking,  and the rest of the band was obscured by adolescents. Sorry dudes! Holler if you want me to draw you, I guess.

HOSPITLOLZ; Yoke and Crown art preview; MoCCA Recap, all too late

Posted in As if you cared, CCS, Comics Pages, Diary with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 14 April, 11 by cantocomics

True story. I guess that might be offensive to rectal cancer sufferers, but my reaction amused me, even though it was a horrible situation.

Sorry for having been gone so long. Things in the personal spectrum have prohibited me from sparing the time for this internets thing. I know that when a blog or webcomic I’m following doesn’t update for a month or so I start to debate deleting the RSS feed from my bookmarks. I rarely do, but that impulse–of breaking a fictional tie to what is, in these times, essentially a fictional person, simply for the fact that maybe they’ve been too busy to put free things online for the gratification of my peepers–it’s not one that I like. Obviously, nobody would notice, and even fewer would actually care, but these are the nature of my anxieties.

I’ve been, since we last spoke, working REALLY HARD (probably harder than I’ve ever worked at anything) to finish the Yoke and Crown. To the exclusion of much of my responsibility as a grown-ass man, unfortunately. It looks okay, though, so I guess that’s worth something. Here, have a sneak peek:

Those of you who immediately assumed from the panel layout that the Yoke and Crown is a comics version of The Brady Bunch Movie are woefully incorrect. It’s actually an adaptation of A Very Brady Sequel. 6 is Jan.

I’m about ten pages of inks and forty pages of letters away from being done with this mug. I hope to have it finished before my Thesis at the Center for Cartoon Studies is due on the 2nd. We’re down to the wire here folks, and tensions are high. You’ll probably not hear from me again until that thing is done with.

Also, I went to MoCCA Fest in New York this past weekend, where I was fortunate enough to trade with a wide assortment of fantastic individuals, including, in no particular order:

  • Josh Bayer, from whom I received an incredible ROM, Spaceknight tribute comic
  • BORT, perpetrator of a multitude of small mindbending comics
  • JP Coovert, CCS alumnus and author of There Must Be More
  • Agent Agnes, executioner (not a typo) of a wonderful ero-guro story about botflies in Nice Guts volume 0 (probably you should not click on that link until you get home)
  • Ken Wong, who tells stories through folded paper, which is significantly more interesting than that description would entail JUST GO TO HIS SITE
  • A bunch of other people whose work was equally appreciated, but isn’t in from of me at the moment

I was tabling with my cohorts Andy Christensen (Giving ‘Stag Party’ a horrifying new meaning since 2010) CJ Joughin, whose webcomic City of Cards debuted in time for the show. Go read her comic. GO.

I don’t know when I’m going to table again. MoCCA and NYC were so overwhelming that even though CJJ, Carrie Griffin, Lindsey and I all went to see Kaiju Big Battel, I still came out of the con feeling drained and somewhat demoralized. When time to think becomes less of an extravagance, I need to reassess my goals with and approach to this comics thing.

I know, right? Existential crises always come at the most inopportune time. Call it a quarter-life crisis.

Thanks for reading all that flagellation. Here, have this thing:

Thanks for stopping in, my dears. I’ll have more things for you soon, I promise.

CCS Appreciation Week: NOPE

Posted in As if you cared, CCS, Comics Pages, Diary, Dream, Unsettling with tags , , , , , , , , , on 10 March, 11 by cantocomics

In honor of  CCS Appreciation Week, we present to you a 3-pager in what passes for our 60’s underground style:


SCARYGHOSTS aside, what can I say about CCS?

It has, genuinely, given me more practical information from two years of schooling than I got in the four years I received in my undergrad.

It has introduced me to some of the best friends I’ve ever had. There’s no denying it, we’re all a bunch of freaks. And us freaks gotta stick together, cos if we don’t, “they” win.

It’s full of people who are even more passionate than me (which is a weird thing, since I rely on said passion to see me through whatever project I’m working on), it’s populated with people more talented than me, and it’s jam-fucking-packed with cartoonists more social than I.

I completely fucking love CCS, and would not trade the time I have spent here for anything, even if it meant a book deal.**

So if you’re a cartoonist, and you’re serious about your art, and by some bizarre  happenstance you’ve stumbled across this post, APPLY TO TO THE CENTER FOR CARTOON STUDIES. You’ve got nothing to lose.


*It should be noted that I’ve played pretty fast & loose with the architecture here. Deal with it.



Shojo dishes; Cloudlight; Turn off the damn TV already

Posted in Comics Pages, Diary, Sound on 27 August, 10 by cantocomics


Click these suckers to read!

I think formalist self-makeouts are actually the logical conclusion of any and all autobio comic. /GENRE

Have you listened to ESKMO, dear friend? You should! His recent productions have been celebrations of twinkling swagger, filling-loosening bass, and admittedly terrible “I-just-dropped-a-tab-OMG-CLOUDS” type poetry. Really, if you listen to electronic music at all you should be able to turn off your linguistic centers enough to be able to appreciate the ridiculously tight production by which ESKMO’s work is characterized. Here, watch this and you’ll see what I mean.

A lot of people are classifying him as dubstep, which I guess isn’t too far off the mark–ESKMO tracks do focus pretty heavily on warbling bass and harmonic interplay (also, counterpoint. Look at me talking like I know something about music.), but the way his rhythms are constructed makes me think that his work has more to do with hip-hop and funk. The way that the dubstep scene has exploded in the last four years (what up, hipsters.) makes me wonder whether the genre label actually ever meant anything at all aside from rattling bass bins and a bunch of bros hopped up on black and tans pointedly swaying to warbled, LFO’d synths.

That said, I thoroughly enjoy well-made dubstep and have never had a black and tan. And regardless of what piddlingly specific electronic subgenre ESKMO’s low-end heavy tracks constitute, he’s pretty neat and you should probably check him out if you like that sort of thing. He’s got a really nice 75-minutes-or-so long mix of stuff off his ANCESTOR label you can get for free on his site, so cop that shit.

On an unrelated closing note, while I try to stay out of politics on blog/comics (there are more interesting ways to alienate my readership, thank you), since pointed me towards I’ve been imagining a world where I can order a freakin’ pizza without having to look at Bill O’Reilly’s unthinkable muck or hear Glen Beck spout hateful rhetoric. Sounds pretty good.

Also, you know, not having a racist propaganda station on basic cable would be neat.

OH! And one more thing. NASTY WAYS, which is Eprom and Boreta of LA’s Glitch Mob, did my new favorite remix, which is of NOLA’s inestimable Lil Wayne’s billboard-mudering Lollipop. Enjoy.