Thursday, December 31, 2009

Al'z 2010 Resolutions

A Dirty Wish
Portage Ave., December 30th, 2009.
  1. Sweating the Small Stuff: Yeah, it's incredibly clichéd, but you and I both know this is unhealthy behaviour. The last thing I want to do is sound like the Serenity Prayer, but there are things – big AND small – you just can't fucking change. Once you realize that, just move on as quickly as you can. And when I say "you", I mean me. Obsessing over tiny, annoying things has kept me from being awesome, and 2010 is all about being that.

  2. Health: I proved to myself late in this year that I can change my eating habits. Christmas festivities have derailed things somewhat, but I plan to get back on that horse after the Minneapolis trip. Me and the Y need to spend some quality time together, too.

  3. Eat More Bacon: I fully realize that this one is in direct conflict with the previous resolution. Shut up.

  4. All Things Creative: I'd say I've made some strides this year, the biggest being the launch of my portfolio site. However, there's always room for improvement, and that will only come from drawing everyday, including the things I find challenging. Also on the agenda: posting the rest of the Japan photos, taking better photos at shows, and writing more blog posts. Got a project underway in regard to that last bit, but I don't feel like revealing much.

  5. T-Shirts: I plan on buying a lot of 'em. I'll start with this one.

I'd say that's a pretty healthy list. What are your resolutions? All the best to you n' yours, by the way.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Worst Kept Secret

"Honestly, you without an iPhone I found funny. Now I can safely say that almost everything is right with the world."
Nestor Wynrush, from an e-mail conversation

So yeah, I have one, as does my wife. We got 'em for each other for Christmas, hence the title of this entry. I guess this ends my long-standing anti-cellphone stance. Come to think of it, was more of an anti-asshole cellphone user stance all along. For the longest time, I shunned them, thinking they were fostering a legion of jerks, when all the cellphone was doing was amplifying the ugly traits of a handful of crude beings.

Allow me to deflate my cranium and get off of this here high horse: if you see me having an inappropriate and loud conversation on the bus, or if I interrupt our dialogue for an incoming text (highly unlikely, but I do have the technology to make this happen) – bring it to my attention. I will be suitably ashamed, as there will be no excuse for my behaviour.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have apps to download.

P.S.: Don't talk to me about cellphone plans, or the one I've got. That shit makes my head hurt. Let's talk about the weather instead.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Hey...Merry Christmas!

Polo Park lot
Running Here n' There
Polo Park: December 20th, 2009

Whether you're down with Jesus, celebrating solstice, chillin' with the fam on Kwanzaa, or just trying to make sense of it all, I hope you're havin' a great time. I hope you get tons of cool useful/useless stuff, and that the culinary delights are plentiful.

Happy holidays, y'all. Be easy.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

December 28th at the Lo!

Go to this poster's flickr page to see it a little bit bigger.

This will be one for the ages, people. Fifteen years of P & C goodness. Be there!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Portfolio Screenshot

Looking back on my short list of resolutions, I'd say I handled 1 and 2 with varying degrees of success. With mere weeks to go, it's time to shovel some dirt on the grave of number 3 with the launch of my portfolio site.

I was building one with Squarespace a little while ago, but I couldn't get it off the ground for some reason. Believe me, I wish I could articulate why I wasn't feeling it. All I know is that Indexhibit – the platform I ended up utilizing – has been just user-friendly enough for me to dive in head first. It didn't hurt that my man Mark has been down with Indexhibit for a while, or that fellow member Scott Campbell has put together a fine site with it.

No, I can't say it's done, but it's a start. A long overdue start. I still have to fix all of the links to open in other windows, and I need to figure out that "previous/next" navigation thing to display the posters I want to put up. And I'm sure I've broken something in the process of making this thing. I'm far from an HTML or CSS guru, so it's good that Indexhibit has a forum where people have asked most of the questions that are on my mind. W3 Schools has been mighty helpful, too.

While the site is simple (like its owner), I wouldn't mind sprucing the joint up a little. I've been thinking about putting to use the collapsing menu bit that Scott and a few other Indexhibit customers have been messing with, and a few other things. Maybe you have some suggestions. You do, don't you? If you do, don't hesitate to drop me a line (my address is on my "Bio/Contact" page).

Did I mention that I like orange? Such a fetching color.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Among The Decade's Best

Gritty goodness.

Last month, I was asked by Stylus editor Jenny Henkelman to write about my favorite local rap release of the decade (hey, y'all can yell in my ear all you want about how the decade will actually end when 2011's too short to care about that). Without hesitation, I told her that it was John Smith's Pinky's Laundromat, and I'd be happy to write about it. For those of you that aren't near enough to the city to pick up a copy of the December/January issue, here's what I jotted down:
The best MCs have the ability to tell a vivid story. In John Smith's Pinky's Laundromat, you get 13 of those, touching upon themes like sex, drugs, violence, hard times and love. There aren't enough good rap concept albums, and Smitty ties the affair together via his interactions with the patrons of the titular laundromat. Unlike many rap album skits, there's no need to skip these, as they never cease to be entertaining, and they're breezy enough to not wear out their welcome.

For me, this album marks where Smitty found his voice and true rhythm. Where he'd previously cram a lot of info one line, here he paces himself and weaves compelling tales about crackhead pot dealers ("Taxicab Confessions"), aggressive short-order cooks ("Iron Chef") and less-than-lovely lovers ("Bumpin' Uglies"), all within the confines of this fine city, particularly the North End. My favorite track: "Bible Belt Babylon", a moody ode to Peg City on par with Nas' "N.Y. State of Mind". It's that dope.

Not only is this a great lyrical achievement for Smitty, but unending kudos also goes to mcenroe – the album's producer – for providing the gritty sonic landscape.

Up-and-coming rappers should aspire to make something this good.
You can purchase Pinky's from Peanuts and Corn directly, Phonographique, eMusic, or iTunes (if you're a Canuck, you can see the five-star review I gave it, where I also compared "Bible Belt Babylon" to "Streets of New York". I still stand by that).

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Welcome to My World

Thanks to Google Street View, you can see some of my favorite spots in town, including the one above. You might have seen some of the pictures I've taken of the place.
On Friday nights, Sarah and I can be found here, more often than not:

Man, I love this thing!

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Minneapolis Jaunt 2010

Electric Fetus 1
Gift Shop

Top to bottom: Electric Fetus, Walker Art Center Gift Shop, self-explanatory, Grumpy's. All shots taken in 2006.

Sarah and I are heading down to Winnipeg's big cousin for a short spell in January. So far, the hotel has been booked, and a list of dope places to eat has been cobbled together (shout-out to Steve St. Louis and DJ Hunnicutt). On the way back, I'll be quietly pondering the start of my 35th year on this planet...hopefully at the Texas Roadhouse location in Grand Forks over a shitload of ribs.
This is gonna be fun.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

If asked to make a list of favorite music videos from this decade...

...this one would be near the top:

For the record, this list will never happen. The less meaningless pursuits I partake in, the better! I'll leave that to Pitchfork and the A.V. Club (because they get paid to do this stuff), then complain about the obvious omissions, just like everyone else. HA!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Brother Ali on Thanksgiving (via Twitter)

Brother Ali 2
Brother Ali at the Pyramid Cabaret: October 10th, 2007

The Minneapolis emcee sums up how I kinda feel about the Yankee holiday (and the Canuck version) in a handful of posts: (one/two/three/four)
So, in other words, quit yer bitchin' for one day and take a moment to appreciate everything that's amazing around you. Now that's what Thanksgiving is all about to me.
I know I'm one to talk, but being thankful about life in general everyday is a step in the right direction. Happy Thanksgiving to all of my Yankee homies.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Off the Wagon

Shaw Remote
Here comes trouble.

My wife and I were offered two months of free cable by the good folks at Shaw – no strings. We said, "sure." As I had mentioned in a previous post, I kicked TV out of my life three years ago, or at least TV in my own home.

Now it's back. And I'm somewhat uneasy. I shouldn't be. I mean, I'm able to exhibit a certain amount of self-control...for the past three or so weeks, I've quit energy drinks and excessive snacking. So far, so good. Procrastination, however, has quite a hold on me and I'd hate for TV to be an additional agent of distraction.

Even though I'm chained to the internet, I've gotten way more done over the past little bit without TV around, and I aim to keep it that way. Personally, I'm sticking to three things TV-wise:
  1. Wrestling. Well, duh. Thanks to Figure Four Weekly, I realized I missed all of the good shit WWE was doing via RAW in 2005, and I often cursed myself for cutting my TV service. Time to play catch-up and see how horrible some of these newer folks on the roster are. Hell, I'm even going to watch the continuity-challenged TNA! I'm that committed to "the sport".
  2. Food Network. Utopian TV. Unless Ramsay is yelling at some hapless fucker, or Jamie is reaching out to troubled youth via cuisine, there's nothing wrong in the Food Network universe. Famine, war, racism – non-existent. Who needs drugs with type of action? Plus, any excuse to watch Nigella cook is a good one.
  3. Discovery Channel. Mythbusters (Oh, Kari...), Daily Planet, and Cash Cab. 'Nuff said.
Time to dust off the VCR (shut up).

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Random Thoughts: November 22nd, 2009 – Lucky Number Seven!

Lucky Number Seven!
Feelin' that seven year itch.
  • November 8th, 2002. That's when I started this blog, with only a rather vague notion of what blogging was and what it was capable of.
    I'd say that this blog has pretty much stayed true to its roots: it's about me, and the stuff I like! I still mention my personal struggles, but I'm complaining a lot less. I did enough of that in my 20s. One thing I know for sure, is that I really enjoy writing, and I hope you kinda dig what I'm putting down. I thank you very much for reading The Place Where Al Dwells... Here's to another seven years (God willing)!
    I need to give this place a face-lift before that anniversary comes around.

  • Still Bill. See this film. I implore you. Never will you see a man more sure of what he wants in life and how he sees things. He's the epitome of soul and wisdom. Props to Scott Campbell for hooking up the Winnipeg premier poster.

  • Eating healthier. I'm making little changes: smaller portions, healthier snacking – not to mention less snacking, more water, and switching to Diet Pepsi and Coke Zero. I haven't had a sip of Amp in three or so weeks, which is quite a change from ten cans a week. Now I just have to do something about that exercise thing.

  • Jonas Bergstrand. Totally blown away by his work. Kudos to Grain Edit for putting me on to this man.

  • That's pretty much it! Bedtime. Truthfully, I should put an end to this turning-in-at-5:30/6 AM thing, but it probably won't happen. I'm stubborn.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

I needed this bit of awesomeness in my life.

View this joint a lil' larger by going here and click "all sizes".

This beauty that I picked up from Harajuku resides between my computer and drawing desks. I hope it serves to inspire me for years to come. By the way, if you haven't read the translated Rockin' Jelly Bean interview on Juxtapoz, you should.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Dream Recollection 5: November 7th, 2009

Just had a dope dream. Forgive me for rambling...I just woke up, and I'm trying to remember everything.
I was part of a WWE event in a stadium. Strangely, I never saw a ring, and there was WAY more talking that there should have been. Even more strange: there was a children's choir involved, with WWE talent interspersed. That talent included me and some giant black dude I had never seen before. Things started to take off when I decided to quit in the middle of this convoluted angle, convinced that Vince McMahon – who was on air with us – was "playing the race card", and I wasn't having it. So, I angrily ripped off my tie (?) and confronted him. Naturally, he was pissed. I can't remember if there were cheers, but I'd like to think there were. I think there was security intervention, too. I was then demoted to "tarp layer" ("This is your job now," spat Vince.). Did I mention it was raining? Looking at this large bag that had tarp with ads on it, I decided that it wasn't for me. Besides that, folks were already putting tarp out on the field.

So, I decided to leave. While choosing an elevator, Lil' Wayne appeared. Of course, "A Milli" was playing in the background, and he jokingly smacked me on the ass with a wad of cash. Y'know, just to say "whut up?"

From there, things get a little foggy. There was a cool 90s soundtrack, probably based on some of the stuff that Co-op was spinning at the Art of Storytelling last night; plus these archaic, scratchy, yet color-saturated filmed vignettes of dating tips for girls.

So now, we're either on the second day of taping, or coming back from a long-ass commercial break, but Vince is making the rounds of the stadium, surrounded by cops. Somehow, I'm able to get close enough to trade middle fingers with him rather passionately. Getting outside of the stadium, I saw real-life WWE road agent Rick Steamboat, running in the rain, yelling something into the headset he was wearing. Me and some disembodied voice admired him, as we both knew that "he's still got it".

From there, a riot broke out, possibly stemming from my firing/demotion, and two runaway escalators injured and/or killed people. One of these escalators had jaws, and several people were released from its grasp. One female victim of the mouthed escalator breathed a sigh of relief, only to find that large, clean, cartoonish chunks were taken out of her. Death was imminent but it didn't come for her while my mind's camera was on her. She was comforted by folks nearby, one of whom told her that she should wear a certain outfit in her coffin, as she would look really hot. Macabre? Yes. But she seemed happy to oblige.

Cut to another dating vignette, then to a party, where The Rock – temporarily out of retirement – is practicing a promo. There's much slow-motion revelry and confetti, plus a great, poppy Sonic Youth/Choir Practice-sounding track in the background, melding my 90s nostalgia with something present. And I totally scooped the girl at the end. My line: "You haven't had any cake yet!" I think she was a combo of this girl I went to college with (ain't naming names) and Penina Segall from the 80s sitcom Sister Kate. How's that for obscure? She's the cutie in the wheelchair.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Random Thoughts: November 1st, 2009

Darren Merinuk
King Merinuk! Taken at a Dirtbombs show in 2006.
  • In the Rubber Room. I'd like to take this opportunity to give my man Darren Merinuk some shine, as he's one of the reasons I'm doing posters. Basically, I just wanted to kick as much ass as he has in the service of good music and all things cool. Lately, he's been tooting his own horn via his blog, In the Rubber Room, and believe me, it's a been a long time coming. As much as this dude does stuff on an international level (record labels and magazines throughout the US and Europe have utilized his talent), he's a rather quiet fellow that isn't known as well as he should be in his hometown, IMHO. Go to his blog, and get familiar. You won't regret it.

  • RAW! My homies DJ Brace and Birdapres recently put their heads together and created the dopeness that is RAW. Bird on the beats, Brace on the cuts. Such a simple formula; RAW is an apt title. You need to experience this, so get your ass on over to so you can see what I'm fussin' about.

  • Peter de Sève interview. This is simply the most entertaining interview I've heard with an illustrator, and the fact that the subject is one of my illustration heroes doesn't hurt at all. Props to the guys at Sidebar for asking all of the right questions. Get it here. Hey, while you're at it, read Peter's blog!

  • Bed time. Peace.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Finally. (Part 2)

Salarymen Walking
Shinjuku, May 10th, 2009.

Hi! You may have noticed that I have a few photos up. Well, there's at least 20 times that much that I still have to wade through. So, I appreciate your patience. Many thanks, y'all. Y' might wanna throw this link into your favorite feed aggregator (I'm a Google Reader user), so you won't have to hit up my photostream all the time. Peace.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


My view
Wingin' it to Vancouver.

Yes, the Japan photos are going up. After a long bout with inertia and a couple technical hiccups (fixed by Mr. Marsh – thanks again, dude), I've got the gusto to edit/post these things. Bear with me...there are many. Peace.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Eric Haze

The home page in my home!

Thanks to Mr. Dante Ross, I just found out that Eric Haze has just revamped his website. I may have already mentioned this, but Haze has been a big influence on me, and it all stems from his work on the Beasties' Check Your Head album design. It showed me the power of handwriting, and I consider his handstyle one of the dopest of all time. When my man John Smith asked me to put together his Double Bacon Genius Burger artwork, what I did was pretty much a Haze homage. The vibe was right for it, and I consider it just a little shout-out to one of the all-time greats.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Hard Knocks on School

Reference material, 2004. There's more where this came from.

I felt compelled to write this due to the dismissive tone a certain thread was taking on. A relative newcomer to the site innocently kicked the hornet's nest that is the discussion of higher learning. The motley crew that is the GP membership comes from various walks of life (I hold down the black Canuck demographic – BWAHAHAHA!) and many levels of education – total novice, book-learnin', self-taught, blahblahblah. Anytime the topic of university/college comes around, there's a vocal bunch, usual lead by Frank Kozik – someone I admire, by the way – that'll tell you not to waste your time. Then other folks will chime in, defending the school route, and what it did for them. It goes back and forth like any argument, until folks are tired of typing the same thing over and over.

Me, I needed school. I've never had a stellar history of self-starting pretty much anything. Between 1998 and 2000, the series of lame-ass jobs I was working amounted to a grief lump in my throat and a shitload of whining. Having put time in two trade/business schools made it all sting that much more. I looked at how well my homie Jeope – a Red River College graphic design grad – was doing, and decided to take a stab at this "problem solving" shit.

I got in, failed twice, cried a lot, stayed up late, and met a lot of people in the process. I wouldn't do anything differently if I had to go through it all again. Almost five years after finishing the Advanced Diploma program, I've got solid employment.

In addition to my post-secondary adventures, I can easily say that the assorted yahoos and assholes (I say that with much love) that populate helped mold me into what I am today, and what I aim to be in the future. The vets that have been making posters and other cool shit for a dog's age basically helped me to take criticism and not to take design so damn seriously all the time...not everything needs a fucking rationale. Sometimes, something looks cool, just because it does.

So what am I saying, really? I guess it boils down to this: do whatever works, and don't be a fucking dick. Work all the angles, man. Whether self-taught, a bottom rung print shop employee, or someone that needs the hallowed halls of learning, glean all the knowledge you can, and get yours. I figure that's advice that works anywhere. I went to school and asked people "in the real world" via about all sorts of things. I had it pretty damn good.

Now that I have the school thing behind me, and a bunch of folks I can ask stuff, I finally have the confidence to self-start, and maybe, someday, take it to the next level...self-employment. It's not impossible. Plus, with podcasts like Big Illustration Party Time, Escape From Illustration Island, and Freelance Radio, and forums like Illustration Mundo and others, there are many resources available for a dude like me to take it there.

Whatever works, man.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Net Clutter

My iMac, surrounded by junk, as I was getting ready to move. April 29th, 2008.

Just got my now healthy-iMac – see last post – back from Powerland Computers (shout-out to Brian Marsh), and I couldn't be happier. Isn't that sad?
During the five or so days that Brian was repairing it, I went to bed earlier, read more, and began re-evaluating my eating habits. Life without a computer was good for me, and now it's back. I have to admit that I've been having far more fun on the web than in real life, and the problems my iMac was having kinda fucked all of that up.
It seems I really have to kick the "balance" thing into gear, finally. A little bit of web life, and a lot more living, because it don't last long.
With that said, time to clear my 1000+ entries in Google Reader, my RSS reader of choice (I use the Helvetireader theme, because I'm a nerd):
  • Adult Stuff: While inessential, the links are often entertaining and quick to read. Currently at 0 items.
  • Art Sites and Blogs: In total, 195 items. GigPosters New Arrivals, Juxtapoz and OMGPosters are the must-reads. Let's see...there's 11 posts of John K. presumably angry about something. DELETE.
  • Comic Blogs and Comic Creators: 165 items. Well, anything from Brandon Graham is worthy of reading (and in the case of this post, re-reading). Also essential: Hark! A Vagrant, Jess Fink, and Comics 212 (partially because of the daily FUN! strips by Evan Dorkin)
  • Comics: Yup. Just web-based comics. 15 items, quick read.
  • Design: 204 items. This will take some time to read through/eradicate. Kitsune Noir is a quick and good read, and often gives me desktops and mixes for my trouble.
  • Friends' Blogs: 285 items...255 of them from one person. Luckily, they're tumblr-based, therefore a fast read.
  • Illustration and Illustrator Blogs: 143 items. Jim Mahfood is a dude I admire, so yeah, he's gonna get read. Charlie Allen and Thom Glick are also on tap. Plus, I have some stuff at Drawn! that needs to be watched and/or read, plus I just noticed that Coop has some new posts on his blog, which I thought he abandoned.
  • Japan: 44 items. Easy peasy. Jean Snow, Tokyomango, and Japan Pulse.
  • Miscellaneous: 184 items, and pretty much inessential, although I will breeze through the Erostika posts.
  • Music: 441 items. This one's Exclaim's news, delete everything else. Idolator, while fun and occasionally informative is endlessly catty, so I can often take or leave their coverage. Rap Radar often boils down to talking about boring new rappers/new rappers that aren't boring, who dissed whom, who's fucking whom and the occasional dope joint among the detritus. Fun, right? Hells yeah, but at 200 items, I can pass that fun up for a week.
  • Tech Stuff: Out of the 23 items on board, I'll probably just wade through Blogger Buzz, Gmail Blog and Twitter Blog.
  • Winnipeg Blogs: 103 items. I think I'll update my social calendar via SubCal, see what the man behind The Rise and Sprawl is pissed off about, and check out what Mr. Scott has captured on his blog Winnipeg: Love and Hate.
  • Wrestling: 16 items. Just two sites are here: J.R.'s Blog and Strong Style Spirit. While these posts would be quick to digest, I think I think I'll just hit Figure Four Weekly/Wrestling Observer for my news hit.
Well, my work is cut out for me.
I think I'll clean the bathroom instead.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Random Thoughts: October 5th, 2009 – Wedding Anniversary Edition

atrium shot
Taken in the RRC Downtown Campus Atrium, October 4th, 2008.
Photo by the superawesometerrific

  • October 4th, 2008: I married the love of my life on this day, and I'm still the happiest man on earth. I seriously couldn't have found a better lady to spend my life with. I'd like to give a shout-out to all of our family and friends that shared that our wonderful day (and kick-ass weather). Our slightly-delayed thank you cards are comin'!
  • TV-less existence: Over three years ago, I canceled the television portion of my cable service. Truthfully, I'm surprised I didn't write anything substantial about that at the time – believe me, I searched – as it was a hard decision to make, as I was the dude that put TV above everything growing up.
    I was obsessed. I made myself a new Saturday morning viewing schedule every Fall. Remember when the major networks aired specials to announce the new cartoon series? I'd be right there, glued to the screen. And as a wrestling fan, there was a glut of programming available for me, and I watched it all; UWF, WWF, AWA, Stampede, etc. Hell, I even watched Memphis and WCW stuff via scrambled signal, as there was no way Mom was gonna shell the bucks out for more channels.
    Fast forward to September of 2006. TV was boring me, and I was broke. So, I gave it some thought...and gave Shaw a call. The day after, I listened to the first day of the Ring Cycle on CBC and never looked back. Actually, that's a lie...if I'm watching TV, it's at Sarah's parents, or if we're away (like Japan, eh?). I do kind of miss it, really. However, I get a lot more done now, even though the internet has taken up the distraction slack. Curse you, Google Reader. And Twitter. And other web-based distractions.
  • Overhaul. Some changes need to come to this here blog. Mainly cosmetic. I've been experimenting, so we'll see what happens.
  • Technological Update: Yes, I haven't posted any Japan photos, but I soon as I get my iMac repaired (audible sigh). Things have been acting up, so I'm taking it to my man Brian at Powerland for a look-see. On the flipside, I recently purchased a 2 TB Western Digital MyBook for essential back-ups. Peace of mind means me putting up pictures soon. We'll see what develops. In the meantime, here's something I did manage to upload: the logo for UWSA's Freestyle III.

I loved doing this. The kids involved in the program were terrific. Shout-out to Ted Turner and Pip Skid for getting me involved. Here's the non-dated color and grayscale versions.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Random Thoughts: August 28th, 2009

Painfully cute, eh? I drank so much of this in Japan. If Qoo came to Canada, I'd die. Of diabetes.
  • Yes, still no Japan photos. I'll get to 'em. In the meantime, look at my wife's (assorted sets are to the right)! Bonus: check out Coop's Japan photos (in glorious black and white)!

  • Making Good on #5 (again). Just under a year ago, I was attempting to handle a New Year's resolution. Fast forward to now, and I'm messing with Indexhibit instead of Squarespace, and things are going very well. I need to make some aesthetic decisions, as well as what work is going in it, but I very well may be able to launch this portfolio site before the end of the year. Other folks that use Indexhibit – my man Mark and fellow GP member Scott Campbell.

  • 1643 "tweets" in five months. I guess I like Twitter. Really didn't think I would. It's been equally entertaining and informative. I just don't like referring to my posts as "tweets". It makes me ill.
    On a related note, this tag is killing it as I type this: donttalktomeabouthiphop. If you need the truth in that regard, look no further than noz of Cocaine Blunts: noz's donttalktomeabouthiphop updates.
    Essential folks to follow: Phonte, Questlove, Dana DeArmond, MyFonts, LetterCult

This man and his store makes me happy.

  • I think that's it. I should go to bed or draw something. Peace.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Give Your Money!

A book you need in your home as soon as possible.

Sometime back in 2001, I was visiting the Tijuana Bibles site (sadly, the band and the site are no longer around. Their MySpace page, inexplicably, survives) and found a link to this lil' ol' site from Calgary called Back then, it looked something like this. I became transfixed by the amazing work and the lively conversation, so I became a member a few days after 9/11 and never really looked back. (and its helpful denizens) reinforced and augmented my college booklearnin', and it also helped me suss out my life mission and motto: I just want to make cool shit. For all of that, I am eternally grateful to the site, and the man behind it, Clay Hayes. Now, the site and the man could use a little help from you and me (don't fucking love posters).

So yeah, go buy some merch, which will not only help the site, but it'll also enrich your flaccid life. What, you think I'm joking? Dig live in a cold climate, right? You need a knitted cap (or "toque" as us Canucks say)! And if you don't live where it gets "nipple-y", I guess you'll just have to settle with looking bad-ass in one. Don't need a cap? GP's got three different decks of playing cards for your gamblin' ass. These are easily the sexiest cards since the ones you stole from your dad, and these ones you can actually play with in mixed company, you pervert. Need proof? Here's a big ass picture of the deck I'm involved with.

All kidding aside, this site is dope, and it's a great resource for postermakerlovers both young and old. Do my man a solid and pick something up, or drop a lil' loot into the bucket via the "Donate" button at the homepage if this site has brought you any measure of joy over the years.

A-ight? Good.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Well, look at that!

A whole month without blog posts! Japan pictures posted! Wow. WTF, I know.
I guess I didn't have anything to say. And my dwindling hard drive space provided a mental block once it came to editing the over 2000 photos I took on my vacation/honeymoon/trip of a lifetime.
I still haven't resolved that memory issue.
At any rate, I'll do my best to keep y'all better informed, that is if you find my tawdry lil' life interesting.'s something I did last month:


Please, come to the show. It'll be fun.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Your Stomach and the Ballz In It

Dope li'l vid for Ghettosocks' "Ballz In Yo Stomach" from his I Can Make Your Dog Famous mixtape, featuring Timbuktu and my homie Pip Skid.

Look familiar? It is, 'cuz I made it, sucka. Recognize.'s been a while since I heard a sex rhyme I like. Pip likes big girls as much as I do, if not more. And props to Jason Levangie for hookin' it up visually. The stealth use of porn footage? Thumbs up, sir.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

R.I.P. Mitsuharu Misawa

Photo by Adam Etheridge.

This is devastating. What can be said, really? He was one of the greatest. I bought an All-Japan match comp on tape from RF Video several years ago, and it had a number of his epic matches with Toshiaki Kawada and Kenta Kobashi. Watching one of those was like listening to jazz: often a slow burn with some amazing highs and lows. Pro wrestling in Japan will never be the same after this.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Journalizing Japan: Home

So yeah, we're back. Mixed emotions, as expected. As great as it is to be home, I'd give anything to be back in least another week. I'll get to posting the photos as soon as I can. There are many.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Journalizing Japan: Live from Vancouver

It's hot as fuck in here. That is all.

Journalizing Japan: Final Thoughts Before Boarding the Plane

  • Narita Airport WiFi = not free. Sucks, but whatareyagonnado? I'm writing this with the "Notes" program.
  • I'm missing the silly-ass/cute commercials already.
  • There's a Lawson location here. May need to pay 'em a visit. I was really stoked to go to the Sevs out here, but Lawson became my favorite kombini chain. I love their blue, white & pink color scheme, the milk jug logo, and their chicken nuggets (cute packaging included). The selection of stuff is pretty cool, too.
  • Sarah is here with her sushi. I'm off to Lawson. Peace.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Journalizing Japan: Sayonara.

  • Our last day in Japan. Did I mention that I don't want to leave? I don't. Really. If I didn't love Winnipeg so much and had no real ties to it, I wouldn't come back. I'm sure Sarah would have something to say about that, too. Life is gonna seem a lot slower.
  • We're in suite 902 of the Citadines in Shinjuku. This is one fine hotel, and I hope to return.
  • I oughta have my head checked for coming back with so little manga. I have, however, found some kick-ass illustration books and magazines. And yeah, I've barely drawn anything while in this country, but I have many photos that will provide years of inspiration for drawing.
  • I was planning on going to the Animate location in Ikebukuro to pick up one hentai title, but opted to hang out in Shinjuku and Shibuya. For some reason, I'd feel like a bit of a perv for having a filthy Japanese comic in my luggage. Can't put my finger on why.
  • The next time I go to Tower Records Shibuya (if there is a next time), I'm just gonna give 'em all of my money. The bastards. I need the entire seventh floor (books and imported magazines) in my living room.
  • At Tower, I picked up the new soso & Kutdown album, which is available through Japan's Hue Records. Gotta support my homies.
  • I listened to healthy portion of the new Eminem album at Tsutaya in Shinjuku, just to form an opinion of it. I now have one: it's mediocre.
  • Vinyl heads: if you didn't know already, the Osaka location of Tokyu Hands has a ton of second-hand vinyl. Some jazz, a lot of 70s rock, some classical. I suspect that the Tokyo location has the same, if not more, but I missed that section.
  • Bed is where I should be.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Journalizing Japan: Koyasan and Random Japan Thoughts

  • Went to the town of Koyasan today. While a place like Takarazuka is described as a town in Lonely Planet: Japan, I'd prefer to call it a suburb. Koyasan is a town in every sense of the word, in my opinion.
    Koyasan possesses a huge Buddhist cemetery (Oku-no-in) that has to be seen to be believed. Again, Sarah was way more into the whole thing than I was. As a person that has trouble confronting his own mortality, I was kinda down*, but still fascinated. Koyasan is a mountain town, and they have the tallest trees I've ever seen in my freakin' life. I was asleep for a good bunch of the trip to Koyasan's outskirts , so when I had to suddenly awaken to transfer to a cable car, it was rather jarring. Moving to an uncomfortably packed bus to get to the cemetery/temple wasn't exactly the most fun moment, either. I did, however, get to enjoy the slow and winding ride back. Such dense, lush forest. Truly amazing.
  • A note about the Kyoto Manga Museum's hours: they're open until 8 from July to September. We were mistaken about them, and got there at 5:30, leaving us with only 30 minutes to view the goods (Sarah reasoned with a staff member to let us in, as the final admission takes place AT 5:30, and we were a couple minutes over the line). We had enough time to blast through the new Moebius exhibit and view most of the geisha illustrations that were on every floor of the museum, each by a manga luminary.
    You must see this place. It used to be a primary school, and you can read the titles that were donated to the museum. There's tons of 'em. If I didn't know better, I'd swear the museum was a lazy college campus, complete with students chilling on its (fake) lawn.
  • While looking for the elusive Ring Soul Cafe in Kobe, Sarah and I came across these folks lining up outside a butcher shop. Turns out this shop was selling fried goodness out of a little window. Chicken, beef and pork cutlets, plus deep-fried shrimp. Naturally, we got in line. I don't need to tell you how good this stuff was. I was going to come up with a naughty simile about how our taste buds were pleasured, but this place is worthy of better praise.
  • At the Kyoto temple where we ate soba noodles, we were given kudos by one of the shop's staff over our chopstick use. Sarah and I felt rather proud at that moment.
  • I've got a shitload of Facebook birthdays to catch up on. I've just been doing the occasional status update. Don't get me started on Twitter and Google Reader. Or my e-mail.
  • The trip is winding down. We're spending the last day in Tokyo, doing our own activities (shopping). I'll probably hit Books Kinokuniya and Animate one more time. I clearly don't have enough manga, or hentai. And Freshness Burger is calling me.
  • I bought the new Tanya Morgan and DOOM albums here. Y'all can't say I don't do my indie rap shit on a global level.
  • We went to a killer Italian place for dinner in Kyoto. Best Pasta Carbonara I've ever had. Don't knock the idea of eating Italian in Japan. We've had some dope French pastry here, too.
*I slept badly, and bumped my head rather nastily on a low ceiling overhang that morning, so that contributed to my whiny/cranky pussy baby mood. I fully acknowledge my lameness.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Journalizing Japan: Kobe and Kyoto

  • One correction and two disappointments: The Tezuka Museum is Takarazuka, not Kobe, like I had mentioned previously. It's described as a town, but it doesn't seem very town-ish. The first of the disappointments? It was closed. Looks like it may re-open on Monday, so we might make a little trek back there. The second disappointment was that the wrestling/MMA-themed second floor of the Ring Soul (Rinso) Cafe in Kobe was closed. I'll get back to that later.
  • Before heading to the Tezuka museum, we decided to get some Mister Donut goodness at the mall across from the Takarazuka train station. Sarah and I aren't in the habit of talking to strangers, but we ended up having a nice conversation with an expatriate English prof from the U.S. named Mike over donuts and Fanta Melon Soda. Of course, we talked about the extreme politeness and order in Japan, and just how refreshing it is. Admittedly, it was also kinda nice to speak English for a fair length of time with someone other than ourselves. When we were done with the donuts, he walked us to the museum, since it was on his way home. Nice dude.
  • We spent ages looking for Ring Soul, only to find that the second floor wasn't open (as I had mentioned), and that we couldn't read the menu. Our kanji skills are wicked poor. I suggested that we go to a steak house that we passed during a walk through Kobe's Chinatown. This may have been one of the best decisions I've ever made. At Ruke, Sarah broke her bad steak streak (long story), and I had one the best steaks of my life (top 3). This place was perfect; from the design of the joint, all the way down to the music he was playing (Aaron Neville and Marvin Gaye).
  • Funny story: I told Ruke's owner that we had passed earlier in the day, and that I made sure that I remembered the name of his place. He said he saw us. I guess we're pretty memorable.
  • In Kyoto, we hung out with my homie Kenji, who chauffeured us to three of the city's many, many temples. Sarah is quite interested in Buddhism, so this was quite a treat for her. I've never climbed so many fucking hills in my life, but the sites were worth it. At one temple, we partook of some zaru soba, which really hit the spot. Later, we had some tonkatsu at a mall, which was great after a day of climbing a ton of stairs. Kenji rules.
  • We also had Sukiya for breakfast, which made me feel like myself again (we started too early for my brain to properly function).
  • Tomorrow, more Kyoto!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Journalizing Japan: Kobe!

  • Turns out we have Internet here. I'm over the moon on that.
  • We're off to Kobe for a short spell. The Tezuka museum is there!
  • Hiroshima kicks ass, but I can't say I'm all that jazzed about nearby Miyajima Island. It's nice, but it's mad touristy. Can't say I blame 'em. The torii gate, which Sarah wanted to see, was pretty amazing.
  • The deer on Miyajima are rather aggressive. One tried to eat Sarah's map.
  • There's a new anime series with a heavy Jamie Hewlett influence starting, and I can't remember the name of it. It's killing me. I was so taken by the ad, I forgot to write down the name. Fuck.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Journalizing Japan: An Erostika Tale

If you're a Rockin' Jelly Bean fan like myself, and find yourself in Harajuku looking to pick up some of his cool-ass products, don't follow the directions to Erostika in Tokyo Underground.
Sarah and I found ourselves following conflicting directions in the book and the ones we got from Google Maps. We got to the old place, and saw a bunch of discarded "we've moved" fliers. We also noticed a final move date within July, so we thought we were out of luck. We doubled back and used the newer directions once we realized that the move took place last year. I would've been pissed to get back home and realize that I missed the place completely.
I totally got this here poster, man.

Journalizing Japan: Okinomiyaki

  • I've decided: okinomiyaki is now my favorite egg-based dish. Y'all can keep yer omelets and souffles, sucka. Okinomiyaki is the shit, Holmes. My friends Hiroe and Steve introduced Sarah and myself to this delicacy, and we've some kick-ass servings here (props to Rokutsubo-ya, the place where we had it Hiroshima-style, with noodles. They have a fine selection of manga and men's mags to read while you're waiting for your order) and in Himeji. Where can I get this awesomeness in Winnipeg? Shit, it may be up to us.
  • There's a lot of dudes out here with big hair around here. Like, Hanoi Rocks-big. I just kinda pulled their name outta the air, but it fits.
  • In Tokyo, we don't get stared at, but in Osaka, we get a few.
  • Today, outside of the A-Bomb Dome, we had a small class of grade five and six students ask us questions about ourselves in English and take pictures with them. That was kinda sweet.
  • The A-Bomb Dome is rather sobering, but the surrounding area and Hiroshima itself is quite lovely. It's a testament to being able to pick up and start all over again. Hiroshima is one fine, bustling city.
  • As much as I love home, I'm gonna miss seeing characters everywhere.
  • Everyone reads comics here. Everyone. It's refreshing to not have comics written off as mere kids' stuff. That's fucking heaven to me, thank you very much.
  • Our running around has often left me too tired to draw, but my mind is churning creatively, and it feels great. Plus, I've been able to hunt down these Pilot Drawing Pens that I've loved for years, but haven't been able to cop in Peg City for way too long. I also bought a couple of these Pilot hard brush pens that the awesome Scott C. uses. Regrettably, they aren't refillable.
  • Every second person we come across in Osaka is wearing a mask. Neither of us have felt compelled to do so.
  • Looking forward to sleeping in a Western-style bed for a night. Our backs aren't really suited to traditional Japanese bedding, but we've survived, despite some fitful nights. Still, I wouldn't change a minute of our experience. Our constant sight-seeing movement and the resulting fatigue usually negates any discomfort we might feel. Sometimes.
  • Tomorrow, more Hiroshima exploration!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Journalizing Japan: Hotel Granvia Hiroshima Edition

We just checked into the Hotel Granvia Hiroshima, and we're severely under dressed. This place is swanky. The control panel by the bed is straight out of the late 60s - early 70s and it comes with a Seiko digital clock. I just turned the air conditioner to 18. Heaven. I don't want to go outside...but we will.
I'm watching some sort of detective series, and Sarah is eating cola-flavored Mentos. Be jealous right

Journalizing Japan: Hiroshima!

I'm typing this from the info desk at the station (free Internet is among the greatest things ever). Gonna take the tram, get ourselves a hotel room, then see the sights. I need to cop some Hiroshima Carp trinkets before I leave.

Journalizing Japan: Change of Plans

We got back to Izumi City crazy late last night due to a train accident (not our fault), so we decided to get some shut-eye and head to Himeji for the day. Well worth the trip, and healthy hike to reach the castle, which is an amazing structure. You must pay a visit before you die.
I'd also like to mention that the ramen house mentioned on page 400 of Lonely Planet: Japan is everything it says it is. If pork is your thing, Ramen-no-Horyu is the place.
Five minutes left at this stupid @Station terminal. Off to Hiroshima...fingers crossed.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Journalizing Japan: Nara Niceness

Hi! This is Al (duh), feeling beat like a rented mule yet elated, comin' at you from Nara, where sacred deer have the run of the place.
The Todai-ji temple is a must-see. Not only is it a dope structure, it's got a shitload of school kids hanging around, taunting the deer...and the foreigners. Actually, they were really cool. I was one of three black folks I saw all day, so I could easily say that me and my white wife stood out easily among the many tourists. We were kinda treated like rock stars. I could get used to that.
Off to bed, then Hiroshima!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Journalizing Japan: Osaka Internet Kiosk Edition

Hi. Sarah and I are having a blast. Just got out of the Osaka Aquarium and off of the Tempozan Giant Ferris Wheel. At an internet kiosk with eight minutes remaining. I'm out of 100 yen coins (for the moment). All y'all need to know is that we're alive and eating. Yo, Kenji! I got yer number, homie! I'll try to reach you.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Journalizing Japan: Sensory Overload

  • Our time here so far in one word: overwhelming. But in a good way. There's so much...stuff. Lots of it.
  • Just came back from a jaunt that included New Japan wrestling merch, a sumo tournament, and the amazing Shibuya crossing. We're crazy tired. Not as tired as yesterday, though. Yeah, we're taking a ton of JR trains and Tokyo Metro subways, but we're also hoofing it quite a bit, trying to find these obscure/not-so-obscure places to satisfy my esoteric jollies. Sarah's been saying that I'm getting my revenge for all of the estrogen-laced shopping excursions I've been dragged to.
  • For the record, Brad Pitt is your gaijin-to-go-to for SoftBank, and Beyonce is representin' Crystal Geyser. Apparently, it's "her water".'d have to watch the commercial. It's kinda boring.
  • I just watched Lily Allen get asked somewhat personal questions in a 2001: A Space Odyssey-type environment by a disembodied voice. I wanna get that famous. I fucking love this country.
  • If you're wondering why I've been stingy with the links, it's because I'm faster at placing those with a mouse, and I'm using a Eee PC. Me and the keypad don't get along very well.
  • I spent 98 bucks on an issue of Arkitip (that Evan Hecox issue). I don't feel bad about that at all. Domo arigato, Tower Records Shibuya!
  • I fully recommend a trip out here to anyone, but if you can't handle cuteness, well...I don't know what to tell you, jack. Japan has an endless supply of it. Characters and mascots are everywhere. If you can't deal with that, I suggest visiting a country where things are less kawaii.
  • I'm surprised at the amount of black people I've seen out here. It's not like I was expecting to be the only black Canuck among the nihon-jin, I just didn't plan on seeing more than 20 in my first couple of days.
  • For the record, there's no fade-to-black between commercials or programs out here, so what you get is a non-stop barrage of television. I find it strangely comforting.
  • I've been drinking everything under the sun, mainly because I can, but also because it's hot, so there's a method to my usual madness.
  • In Tokyo, vending machines are pretty much everywhere. It'll be interesting to see how Osaka compares.
  • I've got some e-mail to write. Peace.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Journalizing Japan: Healthy

I forgot to mention that we were thermographically scanned before getting off of the plane. We were each given a yellow paper certifying that we were free of hog cooties. I shall celebrate by eating bacon.

Journalizing Japan: Arrival!

  • We're totally here. It feels kinda weird. I like it.
  • Hunting for the right train totally beat the shit out of us mentally and physically, especially after the cramped limo bus ride.
  • A very kind, English-speaking elderly lady helped us find the right station, and told us how to purchase tickets. She ruled, needless to say.
  • Our room is all cute and cozy. We're watching some weird-ass variety show.
  • Just got back from the Sev down the street and a Lawson's location. The buying of exotic beverages has begun.
  • Bought a plate of sausage and wedges from the previously-mentioned Sev (or 7-I & Holdings). So far, not a mistake. My stomach is pleased. We'll see how the cheesy bread thing with the meaty bits and the sausage n' pasta fares in the morning.
  • Kirin commercials are fun to watch.
  • Bedtime.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Journalizing Japan: Vancouver Layover

  • Managed to kill an hour of our over 4-hour layover by eating and wandering. Thanks, Pizza Hut.
  • Sarah is off stretching her legs and buying something from Starbucks.
  • Watched The Wrestler during the flight over here. Air Canada tried their best to keep me from enjoying it by cutting out most of the violence and all of Marisa Tomei's nudity. Despite that, I thought it was great. The spot planning scene with Necro Butcher was hilarious.
  • Nap time.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Out of Office AutoReply 3

My wife and I are heading to Japan to see if Sarah Jessica Parker is still shilling for Diet Coke out there. Plus, I'm sure Nicolas Cage's pachinko machine commercials are WAY more humorous on home turf. Only one way to find out!
So, that means I'll be away from the 11th to the 29th of this month. [supervisor] and [supervisor] will be glad to assist you while I'm off purchasing manga and photographing vending machines. [supervisor and dude I work with] are your Naylor Net-issue folks.

Y'all thought I was gonna end with a Godzilla joke, right?

Nihongo wa wakarimasen!

Peace, y'all.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Random Thoughts: May 2, 2009

Citadines Tokyo Shinjuku (photo courtesy of the good folks at Citadines).
Can't wait to see this place for really real-like.

  • Japan-bound: Just sittin' here, listening to the last episode of Keep Risin' on 101.5, counting the minutes. Our first five days in Tokyo are going to be overwhelming, I have no doubt about that. I just found out that there's going to be an Audrey Kawasaki exhibit going on while we're there. Perfect! She's so damn good, and the chance to see her work up close must be jumped at.
    I finally put my Rebel together, and I'm enjoying using it. Of course, I'll be using that to document the trip along with my trusty Canon PowerShot A520 (pictured here).
    I also picked up a Moleskine Watercolour Notebook, inspired by Luis Mendo's Tokyo y Yo. We'll see how dedicated I'll be to this. I'm considering drawing everything I eat (props to Riki Takaoka).

  • A Pleasant Surprise: Apparently, my tea-drinking gorilla is part of an orphanage mural somewhere in Zambia! Hey, how can I be mad at that? Here's a closer look.

  • The Toronto Comic Arts Festival: If I wasn't going to Japan, TCAF would be my destination. Seriously...if you live in or around Toronto and you love comics, you'd be crazy to miss this. And it's FREE. I don't want to hear any excuses! GO.

  • Gone: Gotta go. Errands and projects to handle. And my laundry's done! Peace.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Random Thoughts: April 19th, 2009

Datebook Update
Taken a month before the trip was a sure thing (Sarah's vacation time wasn't exactly guaranteed).

  • Greetings: How ya doin'? It's been too long. Yo...your ass looks terrific in that dress.

  • Japan: Yup, we're going. To say I'm reallyfuckingexcited doesn't even cover a tenth of what I'm feeling. Not only is this a lifetime destination sort of thing, but I'd also like to think of it as my first true grown-ass man vacation. The cross-border jaunts Sarah and I have made over the past few years were as natural as breathing; visiting the U.S. is like spending some time with a neighbour that has a cool-ass candy dish. This here is a life-changing excursion, complete with a real deal, limit-testing, major leg cramp, over-the-ocean flight. My glee, to say the absolute least, is off the charts. How would you chart something like that, anyway?

    Much like a kid trying to steal peeks at a Christmas present, I've been multiplying my anticipation by searching Flickr for photos of Japanese Sevs, Freshness Burger, and anything Mister Donut-related.

    I'd like to take this moment to shout out my man Steve St. Louis, his lovely wife Hiroe, and my homie Jason Lapayre for their help in making this happen. And of course, my beautiful wife for doing...well, everything. This couldn't have got off the ground without you, lady.

    I'm not lying to y'all: I fucking need this vacation. I'm spent mentally and creatively, and I'm confident that this will be a life-changing and invigorating experience, even though I'm trying not to put any emphasis on that.

  • Joel Plaskett: I was just thinking – does anyone hate this dude? I mean, I certainly don't, but I find that folks who might really dislike him aren't very vocal. Truthfully, I haven't looked for any Plaskett dissent, because life is too short, and I'd rather look at naked women. Plus, I think such a pursuit would be fruitless. I assume a typical list of Joel-hater gripes would go like this:

    1. The CBC (especially Radio 3) has been all up on his dick from day one.
    2. That's it.

    Rather pathetic, eh? And that's definitely not a knock on The Corp. I figure they just know a good thing when they see it. He's just a charming dude that combines pop hooks, folky moments, and "arena rock" (a carry-over from his Thrush Hermit days) into one accessible package. Maybe that's his actual crime: being so damn accessible. But really, what's wrong with appealing to a lot of people? But of course, Nickelback appeal to a lot of people, and...y'know, let's just not fucking go there.
    For the record, I really didn't have a point to any of this.

  • Google Street View: I love this. Why it took me so long to get into using it, I'll never know. Without it, I'd never be able to visualize which Sev is closest to our Tokyo hotel.
    Shut up.

  • Rebel. Gonna take this with me. Need to get a bag for it. I oughta take it out and use it, too.
It's bedtime. Gotta handle some freelance-y stuff in the morn. Peace.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Three Options

Tonight, I have three options for entertainment: Bonnie "Prince" Billy at the Pyramid, DJ Babu at Hi-Fi, and 48 Heures at the Lo.
  • I'm only slightly familiar with Will Oldham's work, as I saw his records in the "indie" section of Musiplex (where I worked oh-so-long ago), and occasionally heard him on Brave New Waves. If I were to go, it'd only because I thought his appearance in the Zach Galifianakis' version of "Can't Tell Me Nothin'" was brilliant, as was the entire video.
    And if I were to go, I'd be the only black person there. You'd think I'd be used to that by now.
  • Babu fucking rules. However, at the Hi-Fi Club, I have a feeling that I'll be hanging with folks that don't know who he is.
  • 48 Heures is a straight-up rap and drinking party. The name? John Smith wanted to see if they could do a show with only two days of promotion. And of course, there's this.
Fuck it...rap wins. Peace.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

A peek...

sneakpeek my piece for the upcoming Coloring Book, Vol. 2. I'll keep y'all posted.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Out of Office AutoReply 2

I'll be away from the 16th to the 20th, practicing the ancient art of Awholelotofnothing.
Until I return, [my supervisor] can help you out with whatever has you troubled/confused/flummoxed (circle one). NaylorNet matters pertaining to moi will be suitably handled by Sir [a dude I work with], Esq.

Peanut butter cookies for all!


Thursday, March 12, 2009


My current Twitter background.

I caved.
Almost two years ago, I killed any notion of joining Twitter. After listening to an episode of Freelance Radio, I decided to take the stick out of my ass and give it a shot. Y'know, for networking.
I like it. A lot. Many folks I admire are there, and they're constantly sharing knowledge and /or frustrations. It's rather uplifting. Not entirely sure why I hated on this in the first place.*

However, one thing I'm not giving another thought, is tumblr. Look, two of my friends are down with it, I enjoy reading Aqua Books posts, and this dude has the sexiest layout of the bunch, but I have no need for an account. I say whatever I want right here, at any length.
And with the existence of (name withdrawn, as acknowledgement gives the site owner reason to breathe) – the digital equivalent of a grade school slam book – I figure, why fucking bother? Life's too short for slander and libel.
So yeah, I don't need it. But I also said that about Twitter.

Some quick Twitter observations:
  • ?uestlove seems to have a fair amount of time between segments on the Fallon show. I appreciate his observations.
  • Q-Tip posts like craaaazy. And his tour seems to be doing well. To date, he's got 22,895 followers.
  • Luda seems to only want to know how you're doing and how you accomplished your goals for the day. He's like...a life coach or something. I dig that.
  • Reading up on Evan Dorkin's frustrations with inking is strangely...gratifying. I mean, his work is great, and at the same time, he's his worst critic. He's far more self-deprecating than I am. Remembering that the extremely talented have to stuggle like the rest of us puts things in perspective.

*I'm not really lookin' at this with rose-colored glasses, really. Just like every other social network thing that pops up, there's bound to be something that I'll hate about it, eventually. That's always a sure sign that it's time to go outside and do real things. Like talking to someone face to face.

Monday, March 02, 2009

A Lesson in Humility

Fedora and Comics
Top: Chillin' at the King's Head with my man Shawn.
Below: Loot from Comic Factory 4.
The Big Book of Thugs, The Big Book of Little Criminals, Evan Dorkin's Dork #5, Glenn Barr's edition of Sparrow, and Doug TenNapel's Black Cherry.

Saturday was a fine day, thanks to hanging out with Shawn. Comic and record shopping was the mission, and I think we grabbed some great shit. While looking at a second hand copy of 9-11 Emergency Relief at Comic Factory 4, I came across a story in there that I thought was sub-par. Anytime I see something in a comic store that I think is crap, I tend to go through a mental checklist that knocks me off of my high horse.
  1. Can you do any better than this? And...
  2. Someone in the world thinks this is the hottest shit ever, so there. Different strokes, man.
It's a good little ego check. I can't entirely dismiss something as "shite" anymore, it's probably just not for me. And I know fully that you can't please everyone. Attempting to do so amounts to wasted time and energy. In the end, all you can do is push yourself to do the absolute best you can and progress constantly.
I can't say that everything I do ends up that way, but the thought of doing my best is in the back of my mind every time.
I'm not sure what I'm trying to say, but I felt the need to say it.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Unsung Heroine

I've watched the trailer for Digital Playground's Nurses a couple of times. It's their latest "let's have all of our contract stars shtupping on camera" extravaganza. While I think a handful of the ladies are amazing (those ladies being the alabaster vixen Stoya, the dirtier-than-she-looks Jenna Haze, and media darling Sasha Grey), I'm really interested in the thick, middle-aged nurse involved in Stoya's scene with James Deen. Yeah, that's her up top. I like her!

Of course, being that this is a Digital Playground production, she's obviously comedic relief. I'm not condemning Digital Playground, because they gotta do what they've gotta do, and an unconventionally beautiful actor like the lady above doesn't fit into their business plan.
Hey, whatarey'gonnado?

It'd be cool to know her name, though. I'm betting she's done a ton of "legit" stuff, and this was just another gig.

Time for bed. Peace.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Second Annual LRD

Chester Brown signs my book
Chester Brown signing my copy of
Louis Riel: A Comic-Strip Biography, October 11, 2006.

Hey...happy Louis Riel Day to all of my fellow Manitobans. Plus, a hearty "hello" to everyone partaking in Family Day in Alberta, Ontario, Saskatchewan. I'm celebrating by avoiding responsibility at every turn. However, I may change that up by doing laundry and drawing something.
Here's a portrait of Louis by the super-awesome Kate Beaton.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

I didn't watch the Grammys®.

Actually, I haven't had cable for over two years, so I'm not watching a fucking thing. However, I did take in some of the Grammy® live-blogging via Idolator and my man Jay Boogie. Having read both, I feel like I was there!
I'm just bummed that Invisible Creature's nominated packaging didn't win, even though Death Magnetic's was pretty snazzy.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Random Thoughts: February 5th, 2009

Bacon Mints
One of my Christmas gifts. Strangely tasty.

This list is a short stack, kinda like a small amount of pancakes or a short, chesty girl. I recently realized that I've been doing something akin to the "25 Things" meme for close to three years or longer. For some reason, though, that list must've taken over a week to write. Crazy.
  • Speaking of crazy... You can't get me to stop talking about Scott Pilgrim Vol. 5. I must have this book in my grubby claws.

  • So the leopard's spots didn't change? Imagine that. I really wish folks would stop trying to convince John K. that rap has any merit (look here, here and here). No charts, diagrams or eloquent pontificating will bring him around, and why should they? There are millions of folks with that similar mindset, and they're just happy that way. God bless 'em, I say. If I ever get the chance to meet him or fellow animator/curmudgeon Mike " I don't like hip-hop or anyone who does" Fontanelli, music will not be the topic of conversation.

  • Wildsville. I love Derek Yaniger's illustrations, so I was blown away when I found out about his Wildsville book. It's outstanding, and you need to own it. The folks at Grain Edit gave it a nice once-over (you can see my capsule review among the post comments).

  • Atomos! Inkstuds has a nice interview with ex-Winnipegger Mark Atomos Pilon right over here.
Yeah, that's all I've got. Time for bed.