Well, that was a bit longer of a break than I anticipated, and for that, I apologize. I can't thank enough all of you folks who emailed me these past few (...okay... SEVERAL) weeks. Once I'm away from the drawing board for that long, it's so difficult to get back to it. Your kind words of encouragement were the biggest motivator.
So what did I do during my little vacation? (If you could care less than two poops, just skip ahead two paragraphs) Well, during Christmas, my brother and I went up to Boston to go visit the 'rents. And for New Year's, my sweet girlfriend, G-Lo, and I eschewed the wacko Times Square scene and celebrated with a romantic apple curry dinner and "Notorious C.H.O." You can't get more traditional than that.
Then, last weekend, I made my first visit to "The South" (not counting my 3 trips to Orlando): Atlanta, GA. Granted, Atlanta is more northern-friendly than some southern states, but I was still a little nervous. I carried a pillowcase with me in case I needed an emergency disguise. But I'm happy to report that everyone in Atlanta was just unbelievably friendly. Even the White folk. So I now have new mental associations with "The South." Just don't expect me at any functions in Mississippi anytime soon.
What a perfect segue into the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Day links. Enjoy:
So anyhoo, thanks for bearing with me, folks. And keep them emails a' comin'. Them's good eatin'. *ptu*
Well, folks, the Super Bowl's over, the Australian Open's over, and I couldn't care less. You know why? Because thanks to my buddy, Eric, I finally have a steering wheel controller for my Playstation. And now, my life, which was once all about "Gilmore Girls," "Joe Millionaire," and "American Idol" is now all about "Crazy Taxi." I think a round of applause is in order.
So last week, I made some cracks about people in "The South." I didn't think much of them until I received an email from Andrew which offered a very convincing point:
"I read your journal thingie today, and you were talking about the South. I happen to be from Columbus, GA (which is downriver from Atlanta), and I found it very humorous... you display your prejudices concerning the South very openly, and this is funny because they're so wrong. It's a little disturbing, though, because they are so open. Because they are acceptable."
Making fun of The South and perpetuating stereotypes is pretty mainstream stuff in the media and Northeastern chit-chat, but, true, that doesn't mean it's okay. So, I offer my humble apologies to all that would accept it.
Now, back to my taxi shift. Keep on truckin' folks.
I've been without my cell phone for two weeks now. You see, I'm supposed to be taking care of my friend's apartment while he's away in India. Instead, I've locked myself outside and my cell phone inside. I'll admit that wasn't very responsible of me (anyone need a babysitter?)
But, you know, being without a cell phone hasn't been that bad. Overall, it's been quite relaxing, magnified by the fact that no one's calling me anymore. Isn't that odd? People must be calling my cell, hearing my voicemail message that says "try me on my home phone instead," and then choosing to end their pursuit right there. I don't know whether to feel rejected or appreciative.
Hey, make sure you check out Comixpedia! It's a new site devoted to Web comics. You'll find interviews, reviews and lots of other non-Dilbert content. Now THAT's a worthy VC investment.
My girlfriend and I agreed that we wouldn't exchange gifts this Valentine's Day. We prefer to live without the pressure. Besides, the gifts I want these days are just way too pricey. Electronics, electronics, electronics. Thank goodness she's not a gadget freak as well or else we'd have to have two of everything.
My first flight on JetBlue this past weekend was fine, however I was a bit disappointed by the channel selection. My saving graces were VH1 Classic, where I finally got to watch a Cure video, and Game Show Network, where I was re-impressed by the panache of Gene Rayburn and Peter Tomarken. Game shows back then had the best theme songs, didn't they? Brass, brass, brass, and a smidgen of funk guitar. Makes me swoon.
Big thanks go out to Mr. Wellman of 3rd Dementia and Mr. Wright of Taking Up Space. They alerted me to the embarrassing fact that the online mail forms on many of the "past episodes" pages were screwy. The forms have since been fixed... but my pride... *sniff*... has snot...
So if anyone has e-mailed me via one of those handy gray boxes, and hasn't received a response, I apologize profusely. I try to make a point to respond to everyone's e-mails. So, if you can remember what you said, please e-mail me again. Or, hey, dream up something new. We can, say, speculate on who's going to replace Lisa on "The View." I'm putting my money on Justin Guarini...
Okay, I big- boo-boo'd this time. I went to California for work and vacation and when I came back, I was completely out of the comic-creating rhythm. But, hey, I'm back and I've got three weeks worth of e-mails to catch up on. So if you've written to me lately and haven't received a response yet, be sure that it's in the pipe now.
While in California, I stopped by the comic book store and picked up "The Land of Nod Treasury" by Jay Stephens. I highly recommend it for those that enjoy lines like "AAA!! That mongo earwig is going to sup on our bones!!" and "Snow is good. Pee is warm."
Okay, gang. I'm back. These past few weeks have been a bit paralyzing but, hey, there's nothing a good, swift smack in the tush can't solve.
I was on the subway yesterday and saw a young lady fascinated by a small flyer stuck behind the clear plastic protecting a hair styling gel ad. It was the type of flyer you see all the time sticking out of crevices on the train, some advertising quick weight loss, some promising $1000 a week working from home on your computer. This particular flyer advertised simply $25/hr jobs at a "studio" and provided a phone number.
The young lady asked the nearest stranger (in a surprisingly loud voice) if she could borrow a pen. First she shoved the pen behind the plastic and tried to pry the flyer out for a good minute. When that didn't work, she asked the same stranger for a strip of newspaper so she could write down the number.
It got me all depressed to watch this. I mean, how do you find real opportunities if you don't even know where to start looking? And what if you live in a world where your friends and neighbors don't know either?
Now actually, I don't watch much television these days. But you'd never guess by looking at the list of show I do choose to watch.
Segue to my latest TV vice: "Extreme Makeover." Such a horrible, horrible show, and an unabashed advertisement for plastic surgery, but the curiosity factor it creates it sooooo high. You only really need to watch the final 8 minutes of each episode, when the people's new looks are revealed. But darn-it-all if I don't always get suckered into watching the entire hour. What is the matter with me?!? Is it low self-esteem? Lack of self-control? Or a veiled prayer that someday I might win my very own extreme makeover...?
Hmm... I joined a gym again. Now I spend at least half an hour each day trying to think up excuses not to go. It's quite taxing.
All of you Web cartoonists out there, be sure to register for, and vote in, this year's Web Cartoonists' Choice Awards. It's a nice way to support your peers and introduce yourself to some new comics.
Well, I have good news, and I have bad news. Neither piece of news has the urgency of an "American Idol" update, so you can put off reading this till later, if you want.
First, the good news: Comixpedia has just posted my first official interview! Learn about the origin of Skinny Panda, what happened to the "Inner Duck" cartoon, and waaaaay too much more. Copious thanks go to Mr. David Wright for the serious one-on-one action.
The bad news is that I won't be able to post any new strips this week or next. I'm away at a conference for the rest of this week, and then off to California for my girlfriend's Boalt graduation next week. So, for all of you folks who just discovered this site via the Comixpedia interview, yes, my timing is sucky, but I hope you can forgive me, and please enjoy the past eps. Thanks. You're peaches.
Well, congratuations to my sweet girlfriend (aka "G-Lo") and her "controversial" posse (aka "G. Crew") on their exeunt from law school. Their debut album, "Groovin' on the Public Interest Tip" will be out as soon as they pass The Bar.
And congradumatriones to my Danish lovelies, Eugene (who now goes by "Yooj" because it sounds more Scandinavian) & Eva (who now goes by "Evian" because it sounds more French), who married in a castle in Sweden last week. Unfortunately, I couldn't make it over, but I imagine the whole thing looked like "Joe Millionaire." Darn it.
The beads of moisture dripping down my drinking glass and forehead warn that summer's almost here again. Ugh. My least favorite season. The muggy weather just leaves me listless. Plus, I haven't been to the gym in weeks. My skinny legs aren't ready for shorts yet.
If you're a Web cartoonist, make sure to vote in this year's Web Cartoonists' Choice Awards. And even if you're not one, check out the nominee list. There's a lot of great stuff there. You might discover a new favorite.
Well, I finally attended my first comics expo / convention / festival / event this past weekend. The MoCCA Art Festival in New York City. Hundreds of people and tons of exhibitors. Exciting, yes, but waaaay too much for me. I ended up breezing by just about every table in a beeline for breathing room outside. I think I need to hire a guide next time.
I did attend an interesting panel on newspapers and cartooning. Is Skinny Panda destined for newspaper publication? Ugh. Don't ask.
It seems that the conclusion to the "Sleepbathing" story garnered a 10 on the "Aww" scale. Here are some actual excerpts from your emails:
Sheesh, people. You'd think at least one of you would have said "Ohhhhh" or "Heeeyyy."
*sigh* It's the homogenization of culture. Pretty soon we'll all be talking like Snoop Dogg.
I have taken on the role of, what is called, the "Bar Widower." Meaning G-Lo, my girlfriend, is M.I.A. from my life because she is thoroughly preoccupied with studying for The Bar Exam.
Actually, that's not entirely true. Recently she chose to come to New York City to study in my apartment as her family home produces too much distraction. Now, in order to show my full support, I have allowed her full reign of the living room.
This is a non-trivial fact, folks. It means for the next two weeks, I am without television, Playstation and my computer. I have had to occupy myself these past few days by (*shudder*) reading.
And so now my head hurts. Owee.
I've finally thrown in the towel in the war against spam and changed my email address. I couldn't go another day sorting through hundreds of messages promising cheap medication, larger appendages and photos of sexy grandmothers.
I mean, come on, how many more of these photos could I need?
Last week I picked up The New Oxford American Dictionary, which prides itself in focusing on actual-use American English. It was a tough decision but it won me over with it's extended commentary on the word "fascism":
Fascism tends to include a belief in the supremacy of one national or ethnic group, a contempt for democracy, an insistence on obedience to a powerful leader, and a strong demagogic approach.
This dictionary truly does have a handle on America.
And lest I forget, good luck to G.Lo, The G-Crew, and all the other poor souls taking The Bar Exam this week. Just remember: if lawyers can pass it, so can you.
Well, it's been a long time, so I've got a lot of news, with none related to the blackout...
I hope you all enjoyed your holiday. I attended my first day session at the U.S. Open this weekend. The weather was perfect except that I forgot to bring adequate sun protection. My girlfriend brought facial sunblock, but it wasn't quite enough. Yes, folks, for the second month in a row, I have burned myself. This time, along both forearms, the back of my neck, and along a little "V" under my chin where my shirt was open.
Okay, folks. Back to labor.
Was it really Labor Day last we spoke? Really? Ugh. Then please forgive me. I caught a case of Mad Creative Cow Block disease and have been head-ridden ever since (been working on the puns, too).
Well then there's so much for us to catch up on! If you couldn't care less about what I've been up to, just skip to the last paragraph. Otherwise, here's my fourth quarter wrap-up...
Thanks to everyone who wrote-in these past four months. Your e-mails really help get me back on track. In fact, without them, I'd be like a sailboat without a track. **shudder**
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May 19, 2008
Sorry for the inconsistency with the posts. I am trying to stick to a M-W-F schedule. However, getting to sleep at a reasonable hour is a high priority these days.
When Skinny Panda first started nine years ago (PUNG!), I had no problem getting through the workday on 3 hours of sleep. But now that I'm old and crusty, I need at least seven or else my gizzards fall out.
So why did I decide to "go color" these past few weeks even though it adds hours to the process? Ho ho ho... stop asking silly questions, you silly munchkin...