Archive for the black dog and the hole at the heart of the world

Towards the Stage VIII: A Reminiscence, a cry for help

Posted in Comics Pages, performance, romance, Sound with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 17 May, 18 by cantocomics

The lights have been turned off, my dear reader. The stage has been swept free of seeds and violently destroyed vegetables, the properties struck and the actors are long since departed.

All photos except for the last one by Renee Rosensteel

It has now been roughly a month since the last performance of Büer’s Kiss at the New Hazlett Theater, and I have to say that I am still reeling.

The show turned out so different, so much better than I ever could have imagined. The actors and technicians worked their tails off, the audiences were receptive or at least polite, and the theater staff were gracious and most effusive with their assistance.

All photos except for the last one and the ones of FOR SALE ORIGINALS by Renee Rosensteel

The public reception of our little pantomime has been overwhelmingly positive: nothing but positive vibes and interest in the show and the strange fusion of art forms that we presented. David Bernabo, local musician, documentarian, and all-round Nice Man, posted a positive review of the piece as a part of his Recital project, which you can read here, among other places, which has served as a pretty decent resource.

All photos except for the obviously amateur ones at the bottom by Renee Rosensteel

Additionally, if you would like to see some of the show I’ve been writing about all these months, cliquez icí, svp.

I’ve not been idle since we last spoke, dear reader, oh no. Having lost my day job in the lead-up to the performance, I have been working hard on a variety of projects: one, the launch of cantocomics.com, a real and proper website with like pages and stuff; two, preparation for touring Büer’s Kiss (which, hey, chum, do you work in the Theatre? Holler at me (cantocomics at Gmail)); three, arranging a small performance and installation at the Urban Arts Space in Columbus (SATURDAY!!); four, grant closeout stuff, which is its own immense undertaking; and five, wedding preparations (see below).

Now, I find myself facing down the next step in the year’s travails: getting married to my beloved Sophie!!

Those of you who are married will know what a huge project marriage is, and what an expensive proposition the Big Day happens to be. For this reason, as well as the fact of my unemployment mentioned above, Sophie and I are running an art sale in attempt to alleviate some of the expenses accrued in these preparations.

There are over 200 reasonably priced pieces of original art on sale, both from my ouevre and my beloved’s, and I hope at least one of them will be enticing enough for you to purchase from us.

These pages from The Black Dog and the Hole at the Heart of the World measure 9×12″ and are handsomely matted on black matboard, ideal for framing.

ANY AND ALL OF THOSE CAN BE YOURS, MY GOOD CHAP, AND NONE OF THEM ARE OVER $100 IN PRICE

I will attempt to update you on wedding progress as it unfolds, my lovely, but as you know, my time management skills are not the greatest and weddings are HARD AF.

Photo by Renee Rosensteel!

Ryan, ever in character.

Meantime, please do watch that preview on the YouTube, read David’s review, and please, if you’ve ever enjoyed my comics output, consider buying some of my or Sophie’s original pages! It’ll help us a lot.

Thank you for having come on this journey with me, dear reader, and I hope you will accompany me on the road ahead.

Until next time, my friend.

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Backgrounds and the Hole at the Heart of the World

Posted in existential, hipster, romance, tbdathathotw with tags , , , on 24 March, 13 by cantocomics

A friend of mine complimented me on the backgrounds in the Black Dog and the Hole at the Heart of the World pt. 2 this week, which naturally swelled my heart. So I thought I’d talk about drawing on lived experience to create environments.

Most of which comes from my recent tenure in Austin, TX, a city at the center of my home state and heart.Courtesy of freeaustinfun.com

As has been observed by countless vapid music and technology journalists, Austin has a pretty unique character: an island of liberalism in the middle of God’s Country, Austin boasts one of the liveliest music scenes in the US, a sizable visual art community, and reasonably functional public transit.

Which looks similar to this.

So the city in Black Dog and the Hole at the Heart of the World is basically Southeast Austin.

Part 1, Page 14, Panel 1

Courtesy of CitySearch.net

(Above: East Oltorf, more or less. I used to live in an apartment complex a little off the main street here with my brother. Shout out to Eric!)

I didn’t have a camera when I was living there, and I wasn’t really drawing as much as I should have been, so all I really have to go off of is my memory and Google, which serve nicely when I can remember what neighborhood on which I want to base the location.

I’m not using Google as much as I am my memory, though. I know that if I were to attempt to slavishly reproduce every neighborhood I want Caleb and Gabi to visit in this book I’d probably lose interest faster than your grandad diving into W.G. Sebald’s Austerlitz. So I’ve been trying to evoke an emotional likeness to Austin rather than a photographic likeness, which is, I think, more accurate.

(Do you remember what the bus stops looked like near your first apartment? Or do you remember what happened there?
Do you remember the logo of the pho place near Gordon’s house, or do you remember the first time he asked you out?
Do you remember the precise name of every business on South Congress Ave., or do you remember talking with Becca about how fitted jeans are a corporonormative fashion? Do you remember making up the word “corporonormative?” )

From Part 2, based on South Congress Street in AustinWe don’t remember specific details about our environments until they’re made important to us by emotional involvement,  I think. Which is why it’s so easy for cartoonists to draw only the barest suggestions of their characters’ surroundings, and why I can get away with only using one-point perspective most of the time.
I guess the Black Dog and the Hole at the Heart of the World could really be set anywhere; but because I lived in Austin for a while, it makes more sense to me to reference those spaces with which I am familiar.

Of course, some of my referenced locations aren’t actually in Austin; some are a bit closer to my current home in Vermont:

Outside 2DOGS BARCJs at Than Wheelers Tavern

(They’re pretty similar, trust.)

There’ll be something new in the store tomorrow! Keep your eyes peeled.