Sunday, November 22, 2009

Birthday comix

And now, as promised, the "exquisite corpse" comics jam.

Gavin had an odd shaped notebook that was perfect for a comic strip. We passed it around and each person added a panel, having only seen the panel immediately preceding it. It's a bit disjunctive, but there's a surreal flair to it that no one person could have come up with (I hope; if you are that one person, please seek psychiatric attention).

The artist/writers are: Gavin Grant, Chris D'Aveta, Maria Daniels, Ada Vassilovski, Pete Cramer, Julie and me.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Birthday comix

Peter Cramer and Ada Vassilovski, like Gavin Grant and Kelly Link (see Monday!), used ComicLife on the Mac to produce an adventure serial. Lots of cameos in here, including my dad, some of the contributors to this comix week, and an ass.

Don't forget, click to enlarge!

And tomorrow: the Exquisite Corpse experiment! Stay Tuned! Same Blog Time, Same Blog Channel!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Birthday comix

Maria Daniels did hers like a daily newspaper strip, albeit one with a "Life in Hell" funny animal vibe.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Mari at school

We interrupt "Birthday Comix week" to link to Mari's nursery school class blog:

She's identifiable in a few videos, most notably the swinging vine.

Birthday comix

This one is from Chris D'Aveta. He went for the classic one panel. There are some existential Donnie Darko elements, too. If it seems like an obscure reference to an unknown narrative, sorry, but that's the way it is. It makes sense to me, and I'm not going to explain it here.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Birthday comix

I'm 40 today. Over the weekend, we had dinner with some friends and Julie asked them to make comics for/about me. This week: Birthday Comix!

Each of these were made by a friend (or friends) and at the end of the week I'll post the "Exquisite Corpse" Comic made at the dinner party.

Subscribe so you don't miss any exciting issues!

First up, from Gavin Grant and Kelly Link. (I was told Gavin did most of the inside and Kelly punched up the cover). They use the basic superheroic format (and get a lot of mileage out of photos that appeared on this very blog!):

UPDATE: click on the images to enlarge to legible size.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


I understand assuming someone is innocent before guilt is proven, and it's a principle I support heartily.

That said, it's weird to hear NPR reporters refer to the "alleged gun man" at Fort Hood. I mean, there were hundreds of witnesses. He was not framed. He conceivably be found not guilty by reason of insanity, but he would still be the gun man at Fort Hood who shot people.

I suppose the reason it seems weird is that in situations like this, the gun man is usually shot dead and they just refer to him as "the gun man" without any qualifications.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Book Review: The Blind Side

The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game by Michael Lewis

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Beautiful book about the evolution of the left tackle in football and the biography of a young talent, Michael Oher.

The left tackle is the guy who protects the quarterback on the side that most right handers are not facing, i.e. the blind side. In the early 1980s, this guy was being paid peanuts, the same as the other offensive lineman and maybe half the salary of the guy he lined up against who was determined to knock the quarterback down. Today, he's often the second highest paid player on the team after the quarterback. More than the running backs, more than the receivers (and more than some quarterbacks).

The explanation of how this happened and what skills are necessary to play the position are intermingled with the story of Michael Oher. Oher is a huge black kid from the poor projects of West Memphis who through a combination of charity, fluke, guilt, and greed, ended up at Briarcrest Christian School in white, rich East Memphis. He attracted a lot of attention and especially the attention of Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy. They Tuohys buy Michael clothes, then let him crash on their couch, and eventually legally adopt the boy. This family story is told with incredible warmth and emotion and not a little humor. There are lines of dialogue in the book that made me laugh out loud. At one point, the NCAA is investigating to make sure the Tuohys didn't simply adopt Michael so that they could send him to their alma mater's football program. The NCAA investigator asks questions about Michael's education and Sean Tuohy tells her he doesn't know (his wife and a tutor they hired were in charge of that stuff). This leads to this exchange:

NCAA: ... you don't know if he's supposed to take English or math or science. That's the part that still baffles me.

Sean: Ma'am, I hate that it baffles you. But all you asked me to be is truthful. You didn't ask me to be smart.

One great thing about the story is that in real life I would never get to know a family like the Tuohys: millionaire, white Country Club Republicans obsessed with sports, but I got a lot of pleasure in getting to know them through the book.

Michael Lewis of Liar's Poker and other books, is a great writer with excellent comic and dramatic timing. You don't need to know football to enjoy this book. To put it one way: if you enjoyed Friday Light Nights (book, movie or tv show), you will love this book. To put it another way: I recommended my wife read this with her all women book group. I couldn't put this book down.

View all my reviews >>

Bad name

Today Mari said, "You know what would be a really bad name if you were a hamster?"


That was all the explanation I got.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Bad words

Yesterday Austin told me he knew a bad word.

"Really?" I asked, because just the other week he was giggling in the back seat with a friend about a bad word they had heard: "moron."

"It starts with an F," he said.

Hmmm... "fart" was a possibility. "What's the word?"

He looked over at Mari and decided to spell it out: "F. U. K."

I did not laugh out loud but I told him not to say that word in front of Nana because it's very rude.