Friday, May 31, 2013

Clips from the Past

It's been a while since I went through old files and did a thorough cleaning (2007, in fact) so I've been working on getting rid of stuff this week.

And I came across plenty of old papers. Like this. I looked around for a better copy or for the original, but didn't have one. Was I so lazy I couldn't be bothered to position the article correctly on the photocopy machine? Too lazy to write on the clip that it was from USA Today, I think from 1995?

Ridiculous. And did I really feel the need to tell the world I'd defaulted on my student loans? (Marvel paid them and I paid Marvel over two years.) I've put a close-up to the right.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Our New Bridge

We got this beautiful new pedestrian bridge over the Morris Canal Big Basin last week. 

(What's a Big Basin? Read here.) 

Denise and I walked over on Sunday night to check it out. We're all pretty excited about this downtown. Otherwise, you have to walk or cycle all the way up past the end of the basin and then back. This shortcut is how every non-fossil-fueled park-goer in Downtown JC gets to Liberty State Park. 

The old bridge was pretty rickety but it was the only one we had, so we were all worried when Hurricane Sandy washed it out. 

But the bridge came back, right in time for Memorial Day weekend. 

As Denise and I checked out the new bridge, a jogger ran over, smiling and holding both arms in the air to show victory. Then two cyclists whizzed by, and one of them yelled as she pedaled. "Fuck you, Sandy! You got nothing on Jersey City!'   

Monday, May 27, 2013

Paring Down

This shrink-wrapped 1997-Hong Kong-handover Monopoly set has been taunting me for 15 years now.

"Why did you buy me if you never planned to open me?" 

I don't know. I guess I thought it might be fun to play Hong Kong Monopoly when I bought this at Toys R Us in Ocean Terminal mall. I took it home and put it on a shelf and promptly forgot about it until I was putting all my stuff into a storage unit pre-MariesWorldTour 1 in 2000. And then my only action was to pack it up. 

The next time I saw it, I would have been unpacking the storage unit in 2003. I would have put it into my marked space in the shared basement in my last Jersey City condo. 

Our next adventure would have been into my garage, then I finally brought it upstairs a few years ago and thought "I better just sell this on eBay." But I couldn't figure out how to price it, so it went back into the garage. 

I've gotten it out of the garage again, and this time, I'm getting rid of it one way or another. 

Thursday, May 23, 2013

A Look at Grand Central

On my knees, I leaned back from the open window four stories over Grand Central Terminal and then tried to stand. But I was in an awkward position, scared as I am of heights, and I stubbed my toe.

I still managed not to drop my shoes or my camera onto the Apple Store below.

I was on a two-and-a-half hour tour of Grand Central, as part of its centennial.

I'd signed up on a whim and didn't expect the tour to be all that interesting. I'd nearly not bothered to go late in the afternoon when I fell behind on things.

But when I got there, not only was the guide utterly engaging, but he told us all kinds of trivia and he took us on one of the glass walkways high above the main hall.

Amazing. And terrifying.

Here are some photos of the tour. 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Full Circle

I got an impending-FedEx e-mail notice from Marvel yesterday. This is always a mystery...what will I receive tomorrow? The results are sometimes expected and sometimes out of the blue, since I worked on a lot of books over the years and don't pay close attention to what is being reprinted at any given time.

This reprinted Fantastic Four Marvel Masterworks showed up in my mailbox a few minutes ago.

And took me right 2005, I color-reconstructed six issues of this book from my iBook while alternating living in Murchison Falls, Uganda, with Bunga, near Kabalagala and Kampala.

I fled some unpleasantness to Swakopmund, where I finished the issues in Namibia. I spent every afternoon in the town I-Cafe uploading files. Slowly, slowly. The Internet wasn't so fast back then. I celebrated finishing by going to see an FF movie in the town cinema. I was the only one cackling when Stan Lee was on-screen.

If any of this sounds familiar, that's because we did all this here on the blog. I don't know how many readers from 2005 are still with readership suffered a precipitous drop once Facebook and Twitter caught on, but here we were, in 2005. Making comic books from our laptop in Africa before heading to Kuwait to make more comics. 

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Moe and Erik

My buddy Erik, who just got his first piece published on the National Geographic* site, was getting his floors redone, so he came over to JC to stay with our friend Moe for a few nights.

Somehow, he convinced Moe that he needed Magic Eraser right now, so after I dropped off an Aerobed for Erik and we ate at Skinner's Loft, we headed to the drugstore.

Here's the proof.

*which is great though he and Anne-Marie both wrote articles reminding me of a reviewer who went after me for saying gorilla tourism had improved the situation. Which it, uh, has. Annoying people. Did I say it saved the world? No. Did I say the cause was finished? No. Did I say gorilla tourism had helped save mountain gorillas, even as it complicates the situation? Yes, I did, now please quit trashing me for your own need to prove you have an expertise and superior knowledge, thanks.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Fired Up

I got my mug! Remember the pottery class I took a few weeks ago? I left my clay mug there to be dipped in whatever random color they used and then fired in the kiln.

Here it is. I am really not an expert at this—it's my first mug. But it didn't break, so that's all right with me. I'd like to take more pottery classes. I hope I can get into one at SVA in the fall.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Sunrises with Amanda

Amanda was in about a month ago, and during that time we were talking late into the night in her little room in the Larchmont. A long time ago—maybe 1995—I'd been in Morocco and met two men who had stayed in New York on their way to Morocco.

"Where did you stay?" 

"We stayed in Greenwich Village, in a little unknown place called Larchmont. It's like a European hotel, a tiny room with a sink and the bathroom down the hall. Really cheap. We always stay there."

I remember going to take a look after I got home, and so when Amanda was looking for something affordable for a night following a conference, I mentioned it. Unlike the other 20 people I've mentioned it to, the bathroom-down-the-hall part didn't scare her off. She booked it. 

I'll do the bathroom-down-the-hall thing when I'm traveling and there are other factors that make it the best choice. Like money. If it's a lot cheaper in a place where hotel rooms are expensive, I'll opt for that. Bath-down-the-hall is a negative, no doubt. But it's not a deal-breaker, and in this case, wi-fi, price, and location trumped walking 20 feet down a hall in pajamas while asking "Did I bring the key to my room."

Thursday, May 09, 2013

My First Google Hangout

You can watch me not make TOO much of a fool of myself here if you'd like.

I kinda like the horn coming out of my head.

Saturday, May 04, 2013

Had Enough Iron Man Yet?

Iron Man is just everywhere at the moment.

Including here, at a gallery in Soho, where me and a buncha perfessionals talked a lot.

I talked more than I expected to, but not as much as the others. 

Thursday, May 02, 2013

Round-Robin Racism

I saw the most messed-up interaction at the Seventh Street laundromat on Sunday.

I was standing on the stoop, waiting for the washing machine cycle to finish. A young, black family went in. I noticed them because the couple lifted their stroller up the steps and into the laundromat. This was odd because the laundromat is only slightly larger than a shoebox, and I wondered how they were going to fit the stroller inside. They had a baby in the stroller and a kid walking alongsode, a little girl about six years old. The little girl took a seat by the front door and the stroller stayed just inside. I didn't notice the adults until what happened next.

About three minutes later, they rushed out, stroller and all. The man was yelling back into the laundromat.