Letters to Holly

Friday, February 13

Vee Dee

Your Sister has demanded in a most demanding way that we do nothing for Valentine's Day. I bought her nothing, I have nothing planned. I almost, almost bought her greeting card with an audio chip playing Lucy Van pelt complaining about Snoopy's post-kiss dog germs. But it would have violated the "anything" clause of her demands. I passed. This was at the Asheville Mall's B. Dalton store which closes tomorrow.

I did buy a book there called Watching the Watchmen by series artist Dave Gibbons. it's a coffee-table collection of preliminary designs and page thumbnails detailing the construction of the comic. Because the store is closing, they're holding a half-off clearance sale, and it was a bargain. Series writer Alan Moore is resolute that he will no nothing to help studios adapt his works, but he encourages the artists to cash in. Gibbons has done this and has been involved in the movie from the ground floor. I plan for this to be my last related purchase. I won't crack open any of the books or the toy until the comic is done.

And I'm close. I have 1/4 a page left to ink, some small black areas to fill, and some mistakes to fix with paint. Then I'll scan it, letter it, and apply spot grays.

Picture of the Day
If What's-His-Head is still being a doofus, please accept my Valentine's gift:

Happy Valentine's Day, Sis.

Wednesday, February 11

Being Nice Only Leads to Defeat

I thought I'd be a nice son and send my Mom a bouquet for Valentine's Day. I wanted to surprise her. I found a decent online flower service, and it offers a nice gift basket. Thought she'd dig it. She works at the hospital, and I know that it could be complicated to send the package to the correct mailbox/receptionist. I found the address online.

I then rechecked the flower service and realized it was a national service with ties to a shop I know from my hometown. I called that shop, hoping to save some service charges and maybe get the order delivered quicker and correctly. The store told me the bouquet I wanted was only available through the online service. They were no help. Pout.

I go back to the national website and prepare to enter the right address. I use the hospital site to find a number, and I call the front desk. I ask to talk to someone in my mom's department: neonatal ICU. It's a huge branch. Dozens of people. I knew that they would all know mom and could be trusted to keep this a secret until the order arrived in a few days.

So of course the operator patches me straight through to Mom's phone. And she answers. And I'm busted. Total happenstance. The operator had no idea who I was or why I was calling. Of all the hundreds of people I could have been routed to, it's Mom. So I tell her the truth. I even let her choose what type of arrangement she'd prefer. She picks the chocolate basket. We share a laugh. I just talked to her last night, and we're already caught up. Phone call over. Surprise ruined.


Picture of the Day
Dharma wallpaper. Lost is on tonight.

Monday, February 9

Who Draws the Drawmen?

We attended a "Celtic" concert on Saturday night. It was the Scottish group Tannahill Weavers, a group I swear we saw five years back. They've performed for about 40 years, and it was a quick, lively show. Your Sis got her first copy of their music in her senior year of college, but lost it. She bought a new CD of it after the show and had it autographed by the band.

The inking is flying by, and I'm practically half-way done. In one weekend. Granted, I shackled myself to the drawing board to motor through it all. I listened to NPR and horror-movie commentaries all weekend. I drew a few hours Saturday morning, ran against a bad wind, ate lunch, and drew some more. Then came the concert. Sunday was all inking.

I'll slog through a page and put it aside after a disappointed appraisal. I won't look at it for a few hours, and when I do, I find myself slightly delighted with it. It's not professional quality, but it's not bad for amateur work.

I am treading into dangerous geek territory over the Watchmen film. I picked up an enlarged, recolored copy of the original trade, and I found a toy.

Imagine if Lucas didn't produce toys until 25 years after the first film. That's what it feels like to see and hold a Rorschach toy on Friday. Now I don't want Watchmen towels or toothbrushes, but a souvenir like this is just tasteful enough. I don't need any other of the figures. As noted comic writer Grant Morrison said recently, and I'm paraphrasing, everyone likes Rorschach despite his insanity and violence because he is the lone undaunted hero. He gets the job done.

Picture of the Day
Here's a before and after for page three:

I'm documenting the progress for a Facebook album similar to my painting prodecural.