Thursday, December 31, 2009

South Beach sketches, part two

More sketches from our Miami Beach vacation. I screwed up a little bit on the last drawing, the one of Jessica sleeping. I was trying to show the part of the bedsheet that was covering her mouth, but it ended up looking like I was drawing her frowning.





South Beach sketches, part one

We just got back from a short vacation in Miami Beach, South Beach to be exact, and here are some of the drawings I did in my sketchbook.

On the first sketch where I put the info in word balloons, I'm reminded of when I was taking a drawing class in college and I put a word balloon on my drawing of a bull's skull(I had the skull say, "ooh, my nose hurts") and the art teacher was furious with me and told me to never ever do that again.





Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Monday, December 21, 2009

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Wrestling Action Comics part three

Here are the last two pages from Wrestling Action Comics.


Wrestling Action Comics part two





Wrestling Action Comics part one

I did this comix zine about 17 years ago. I can't get all the pages on one posting, so I will break it up. Here is part one.





Tuesday, December 8, 2009

English Countryside

I have this dream project. To have a genuine American country music band do an album of country songs that were originally written and performed by British rock n’ roll bands. The British artists wouldn’t necessarily have to be rock n’ rollers. The main criteria is that they be from England (Ireland and Scotland are acceptable as well) and be known for some form of music besides country music. I would call the album “English Countryside.”

I got the idea when I began to think of how many popular British bands did a country tune on at least one of their albums. Some, like the Rolling Stones and the Beatles, have done a few.

Seeing as how I can’t play a musical instrument, don’t know any country music bands well enough to approach with this idea, and have no way to bankroll such a project myself, I’m sure it will remain a dream.

Instead, I have put together a partial list of the songs that would go on “English Countryside.” I would prefer to have at least twelve songs for a complete album, but only came up with six so far. I decided there should only be one song per band so even if a British band did many country songs, I only put one of their songs on my list.

Here is my album listing (so far) for “English Countryside”:

“Don’t Pass Me By”
The Beatles

“Far Away Eyes:
The Rolling Stones

“Has Anybody Here Seen Hank?”
The Waterboys

“Different Finger”
Elvis Costello

“Country Comfort”
Elton John

“Muswell Hillbilly”
“The Kinks”

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Five Questions about Invisible Sisters



Learn even more about the book you should buy right away. Author Jessica Handler answers five questions about "Invisible Sisters."

Sunday, November 22, 2009

A Fart Joke

Ed the cat walked into the room where we were watching TV, farted, and then walked out. Before he left, he said, “I’d stick around, but it stinks in here.”

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

SAVE THIS BOOK



Jessica needs to sell more copies of her book “Invisible Sisters” and she needs to sell them now. “Invisible Sisters” is a wonderful memoir about growing up with the knowledge that you will be the only one left. Jessica is the oldest of three sisters and the only one living. “Invisible Sisters” tells the story of how she lost her sisters to illness and how these tragedies damaged her family and forced Jessica to redefine herself without her sisters in her life.

So, please buy Jessica’s book. Here is the Amazon link. Buy one for yourself and as holiday gifts for family and friends. You’ll be glad you did.

Monday, November 9, 2009

A guy walks into a strip club

It was an early Friday afternoon, my wife was out of town, and I had some time to kill, so I went to a strip club. I feel no embarrassment about going to see naked women dance. I don’t mind letting my wife know that I went. I don’t go all the time, in fact, this was the first time I had gone to one in at least ten years. I know nothing is going to happen beyond spending some money and seeing a naked woman. I’m not going to have sex or develop a close relationship with any of the dancers.

I picked out the strip club for two reasons: one, it was in the area where I was doing errands and two, there were only six cars in the parking lot. I wanted to walk into a low key situation, have a couple of drinks, spend a couple of bucks tipping dancers, and then go home.

I went in and the two stages were empty. No one sat at the tables. Everybody was at the bar, so I sat down in the first empty stool I could find. Checking out the other patrons, I saw that the dancers outnumbered the customers two to one.

The bartender was a blonde woman in a bikini top and a short black skirt. She was busy texting someone on her phone and it wasn’t until the manager and two of the dancers yelled at her that she finally realized that there was a customer waiting to be served. She came over, took my order, and flashed her tits. They were nice tits and I felt that was a pleasant way for her to apologize for not noticing me. That is, until she flashed her tits at somebody else. She just enjoyed flashing her tits. I liked her immediately.

I was sipping my Jack and Coke when a dancer asked if she could join me. I knew the drill. She would flirt with me until my wallet was empty. I wasn’t in the mood and I didn’t have much cash on me anyway. But since there were so few other guys, I told her that I would love her company.

Right away, she proved to be different from what I expected. She was older than the other dancers, probably in her forties. She was attractive and in good shape. She said her name was Libby, but one of the other dancers called her by a different name.

Libby acted like a friendly hotel hostess, which she said was her job when she wasn’t dancing. There was no sexy flirting, just friendly conversation. She asked if I would buy her a drink, which I did. She then asked if I would buy the bartender a drink too.

“Melissa has been through so much, she really deserves it,” Libby explained. “You know, she’s the famous Melissa Wolf.”

Of course, Melissa Wolf. The Mansion Madam. I’d heard that she was bartending at this strip club, but completely forgot it until Libby reminded me. I recognized Melissa now. She was a former Penthouse Pet. “North America’s Most Published Centerfold,” and was busted in 2007 for running a prostitution ring at her mansion. She’d been all over the Atlanta media during her trial.

“I got your autograph at Dragon Con,” I told her.

The year I saw her at Dragon Con, there had been a row of adult models selling photos and autographs. I had never heard of any of them, but I loved the idea of these hot women selling nude photos of themselves to geeky teenagers. I couldn’t resist joining the crowd.

At that convention, Melissa had handed out post card invitations to a Halloween party at her mansion. The pitch on the invitation was that you paid admission to the party, which included food and booze, and the opportunity to photograph a group of nude models, including Melissa herself. Apparently, and this info was not included on the invitation, for more money, you could do more than photograph the girls, which is what Melissa got busted for.

I didn’t bring up the Halloween invitation. I didn’t have to. Melissa did it for me.

“You know, I got more of the kitchen staff at my Halloween party from Dragon Con, that I did from the people who went to the convention,” she said.

I don’t know why she seemed so surprised by that. Dragon Con is about fantasy, not reality.

So, Melissa was interesting and I was glad I had a chance to talk to her, but it was Libby who really blew me away.

After buying Melissa and Libby a second round, Libby said, “Years ago, I danced in a burlesque show in Canada. They did the traditional show with comedians and dancers. I got to work with Morey Amsterdam and Pinky Lee.”

Traditional burlesque? Morey Amsterdam and Pinky Lee? My opinion of Libby, which was already quite favorable, shot through the roof.

“You got to work with Morey Amsterdam, Buddy from the Dick Van Dyke Show?” I said.

“And Pinky Lee,” she said.

I didn’t know who Pinky Lee was, so I googled him later and found out he was a famous baggy pants vaudevillian comedian.

“What was Morey like?” I asked.

“Ooh, he was so sweet. Like a father to everybody. And he traveled with his wife. She was as little as he was.”

“I understand that burlesque is not like this,” I said, indicating the strip club.

“No sir,” Libby said. “Burlesque stripping is an art form. The whole show is so precise, the way the comedian comes out and does his part, then the dancer, then another performer. There’s no fooling around. And a dancer didn’t just take her clothes off. These girls today don’t understand. It wasn’t all about showing your ass. Burlesque was something special.”

I agreed. Burlesque was something special. Burlesque is having a resurgence, but there wasn’t much chance it was going to replace strip clubs. If guys could pay naked girls for lap dances; what chance was there of them paying to see a woman only show complete nudity at the end of a performance?

The really weird part of sitting there talking to Melissa and Libby was that I kept thinking that I couldn’t wait to tell my wife about this. She loves a good story as much as me.

So, a guy walks into a strip club to see naked women and ends up leaving with a story. Not much of a joke, but a hell of a nice way to spend the afternoon.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Slutty Halloween Costume Suggestions

For many folks, Halloween is the time to dress up as your sexiest fantasy. And every year I see more and more ads for women's costumes that start with the word "slutty." So, you can be a slutty this or a slutty that. Ladies, if you still haven't decided what kind of slut to dress as this year, here are some suggestions.



SLUTTY SUPREME COURT JUSTICE
"I've always wanted to lay down the law."



SLUTTY LUNCH ROOM LADY
"Let me be your mystery meat."



SLUTTY FARMER
"You are such a hoe."



SLUTTY SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA CONDUCTOR
"You can hold my baton any time you want."



SLUTTY GRIM REAPER
"You'll be the death of me yet."

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Telling Scary Stories


Time: 1986
Place: Atlanta, GA

One Halloween night, I drove to a cemetery with my girlfriend, Meg, and her little sister, Jen. Our plan was to sit among the graves, eat fast food, and tell scary stories.

We found a nice slab of concrete to sit on and were half way through our burgers when we decided that the location was a bad idea. First of all, it was too spooky. Every odd noise caused by the wind or a passing squirrel sounded much more ominous than it actually was.

We were also disturbed by this creepy old guy walking around the graves with a rake. He didn’t scare us because we imagined that he was a crazed killer out to rake his victims to death. He scared us because we imagined that he might be an employee of the cemetery about to pounce on us at any second to inform us that we were trespassing.

So, Meg, Jen, and I took our food and got into my car. Parked next to the cemetery telling scary stories would just have to do.

We took turns telling stories. On my turn, I told a story I’d heard on a camping trip when I was eight years old. Sitting around a campfire at night, a counselor had told us little campers the story of the Bird Boy. I’d forgotten many of the details over the years, but remembered the gist of it.

Seems there was a family that lived deep in the woods. The mother had passed away, leaving a father and four sons. They were a rugged group of men, except for the youngest son who had been the mother’s favorite. He was more frail and sensitive. While the father and the brothers loved to hunt, he treated the woodland creatures as pets, especially the birds. He had such an affinity for birds that the others nicknamed him “Bird Boy.”

To show their disdain for Bird Boy, the brothers trapped and mutilated a flock of birds and left their remains for him to find. Bird Boy was so upset, that he ran away. Months passed and no sign of Bird Boy. The father and the brothers were glad he was no longer a burden on them.

But then, one of the brothers disappeared. For days, the others searched for him. After a fruitless day of searching, they came home to find his corpse next to the house. He had been mutilated the same way that the birds had been mutilated. Bird Boy had returned and was seeking revenge.

The father and two remaining sons were not going to wait for Bird Boy to pick them off one by one. They armed themselves with guns and hatchets and went into the woods to find Bird Boy.

They tracked him down to a cave deep in the forest. The cave split into three tunnels. The father and each son took a tunnel each. Every ten minutes, they stopped and called out to each other. So, here in the story, the father calls out to each of this sons.

Father: “You there?”
First Son: “I’m here.”
Father: “You there?”
Second Son: “I’m here.”

But then during the next ten minutes, the father hears screams.

Father: “You there?”
First Son: “I’m here.”
Father: “You there?”
Silence.
Father: “You there?”
Silence.

We assume the second son has met a horrible death.
They continued down the tunnels for another ten minutes, during which the father hears more horrifying screams.

Father: “You there?”
Silence
Father: “You there?”
Silence.

The father is alone.

The tunnel opens up into a wide high ceiling cave. There is an underground stream. Anchored on the stream is a boat. There are hundreds of birds. A man comes out of the boat. He is covered in feathers and has crude handmade wings attached to his back. He has a wooden beak tied to his mouth. He is the Bird Boy. He sees the father and points. The birds begin to fly. The father is ready to fight to the death. And….

And this is where the counselor screamed.

And this is where I was going to scream, but I never got the chance.

Meg, knowing how these scary stories work, turned her head just as I was working up to the climax and looked out the back window of the car. She shouted, “Omigawd, he’s after us!” Then she screamed.

Jen screamed. I screamed and my hand jerked so hard that I covered the ceiling of my car with soda from the cup I was holding.

Jen and I looked out the back window to see who or what was coming after us, but there was nothing there. Meg was laughing her ass off at us.

“Gotcha!” Meg said.

Monday, October 12, 2009

A world disturbed into brilliance


J was part of a book festival in Nashville. Her session was held in the Senate Chambers of the Tennessee State Capitol. She and her fellow panel member stood at the head of the chamber and the audience sat at the Senator’s desks facing them.

I took this photo of this simple sentence written on the blotter atop one of the Senators’ desks. “A world disturbed into brilliance.”

I don’t know if it’s a quote or a line from a book or just a moment of inspiration. I looked online and found nothing. If someone out there knows the origin of this statement, please let me know.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Facebook

I recently got a small notebook. It's so small, I can only fit the faces of people I draw. J nicknamed it the "facebook." When I mention the facebook, I have to refer to it as "my facebook" to keep from confusing it with the online social network Facebook.






Saturday, September 26, 2009

Jekyll Island






Just got back from a week long vacation in Jekyll Island. We practically had the beach to ourself.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

A Real Friend

Time: 1987
Place: Atlanta, GA


I met Joyce at a Jewish Singles party. She was a compact woman with a helmet of hair. I imagined that when she was in high school, she was the saucy girl who looked cool wearing glasses. When I met her, the sauciness had been replaced with bossiness and the glasses had been replaced with contacts.

I didn’t approach her, she zeroed in on me. I’d always been passive at mingling parties, so I was easy prey for aggressive women. After a couple of drinks, I found out all about Joyce. She was older than me. How much older she wouldn’t say. She was divorced. She had two sons. The oldest was less than ten years younger than me. The younger son had some kind of medical problem that kept him in the hospital for weeks at a time. I will call them Tyler and Jefferson.

Joyce wasn’t Jewish and I figured it was just my luck that I would hook up with the one Gentile at a Jewish Singles party. Joyce’s best friend was Jewish and she had tagged along to the party with her.

Sex with Joyce was okay. I definitely did the lion’s share of the work in bed. She acted as if it were my job to please her. She never let on whether she enjoyed our couplings or not, but she did insist that I keep coming back for more.

When I went to hang out at her apartment, I felt like I was going to visit somebody’s aunt where you weren't allowed to relax and enjoy yourself. She never played music in the apartment. She kept the TV on CNN all the time. Tyler and I discussed bands like U2 and the Talking Heads, bands Joyce had never heard of and had no interest in listening to them.

Once when I came over, Jefferson, the frail son, was there. He was a cheerful fellow, though he was pale and had a vague feeling of sickness about him. Joyce fussed over him like he was a Ming vase.

When Joyce and I were alone, her favorite topic of conversation was her ex-husband Irving. She complained and complained about Irving. It was like being stuck in a bad sit-com. Irving this and Irving that. I couldn’t get her to change the subject.

The main lesson she learned from her painful divorce was that she learned who her real friends were. They were the ones who stuck by her after Irving baled. Those were her real friends. The people you could count on.

When she said this, I thought how I wasn’t one of her real friends. I didn’t see myself as a friend at all. I was her gigolo. I don’t think we even liked each other that much.

The breaking point in our relationship was when I stayed over on a Sunday night and got up to go to work Monday morning. I was used to a light breakfast and wanted to leave so I could have time to pick up what I wanted at a grocery store. But Joyce badgered me into letting her make breakfast for me. She prepared some kind of sweet pastry that came out of a box in the freezer and was warmed up in a microwave. She gave me milk to drink and wouldn’t share her coffee with me. I realized she was treating me like I was another son.

As I drove to work afterwards, I thought about the time I had spend with Joyce and decided I didn’t feel like spending any more time with her. I was supposed to call her the next day, but I didn’t, and I never called her again.

At least a year later, maybe more, I came home to my apartment and my roommate told me that he had answered a call from a woman named Joyce. She was looking for me and would he take a message to give me. The message was that Jefferson had died, but not to worry about her. Her real friends had been there to comfort her.

My roommate gave me a disappointed stare, as if to say how dare me for being such a shitty friend. I filled my roommate in on my background with Joyce and said that though I was sorry to hear about Jefferson, I had never been Joyce’s friend, real or otherwise.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Attack of the Hungry Hungry Caterpillars


Came upon this horde of caterpillars devouring a leaf in my yard. Kinda creepy and kinda cool at the same time.

You can click on the photo for a really close look at the little buggers.