Letters to Holly

Friday, March 11

Overthinking It

I'm trying to come up with a catchier title for the fundraiser, and the closest I've come is turning Pirates of the Caribbean into Pirates Who Are Caring Beings.

So, yeah.

I'll have sketches Monday. Sans title.

Thursday, March 10

Progressing in a Progressive Manner

The deputy is now able to sign "milk" with one hand. It's simple for us: You curl your fingers like you're milking a cow. But he's only recently built up the dexterity to do this with one hand. Before, he was bending his fingers with the other hand. Now, he stretches out his arm and signs away when he's hungry. He still has to master the appropriate audience for this, however. Last night, he was asking Conan O'Brien. I suppose he was confused by the beard.

He seems to be past the worst of the new teething. Neither of us had to give him Orajel yesterday.

We may have found our daycare center. There's one near the Asheville Sam's Club, meaning I can take him there and pick him up during my commute. Depending on the weather tomorrow, Your Sister will take My Mom there during their weekly visit.

+  +  +

I started sketching the golf logo, and I'll have at least two versions of the requested image. I'll see if I can break off some other designs for variety's sake. Hey, does this event have a name? I can maybe make a banner with the name in the logo design.

Picture of the Day
From Bad Astronomy comes this picture of sunspots. It's the beans.

Wednesday, March 9


Constant Reader writes:
Here is the actual idea, in the words of the committee chair (and feel free to jazz this up...whatever you would want to wear as a T shirt with maybe 2 colors of ink):

"So my idea was to have a pirate (and it doesn’t have to be peedee the pirate) swinging a golf club at a golf ball. The shaft of the club says ‘fights’ and the golf ball says ‘cancer.’"
That's doable. I'll work up some sketches through this weekend and send you them via email.

The inking slowed down a little as I redrew panels, including the schematic I mentioned yesterday. The latest panel was a birds-eye shot of an arena, and just thinking about making the perspective grids that made my eyes cross. I instead redrew a close-up of the caged ring on the arena floor.

The comic's biggest perspective challenge ended this weekend. I had in mind a specific shot of a skyline with the superhero HQ towering above it. I ran a similar image in last year's comic, but it was from below. That allowed me to limit the skyline and tower to one corner of the panel and use negative space for the rest of it. It was a lazy cheat I justified by saying it was an arty camera placement. This time, I needed to establish the city and the tower's prominence. Also, I wanted heroes flying about on their daily patrols. And it happened thusly:

This sketch is about four inches wide. In the bottom left will be an editor's note revealing the theme song of the radio show that bookends the story.

This is the pencil version. I laid down a perspective grid and sketched the structures and figures atop it. Who are these heroes? I don't know. Doesn't matter. I needed flying bodies.

Here's the inks. I randomly delineated building structures, but I think I got across the idea of a metropolis. But, of course, not THE Metropolis.

The convention organizers are promoting the revelation of this year's special guest. They'll spill tomorrow. I can't get too excited as I probably won't get a chance to see whoever it is.

I may have tried another perspective angle after watching the recently released police helicopter footage from 9/11. I saw it yesterday, and it conveys the incredible size of the buildings. As a lifelong country mouse, I can barely fathom structures that large and tall. The footage gets me dizzy, and I wonder if it somehow trips my brain's depth perception in a way little else does. It's possible I'm not afraid of heights after all, but those instances of vertigo are the lone times my brain actually computes depth.

Monday, March 7

Bossh Office: Social Network

The doctor said our deputy might have the diarrhea for another week, and it was normal. He suggested a diet to settle his stomach and sent him on his way. And the problem cleared up almost immediately. He's fine now. However, he's teething again, and we expect to see his two front top teeth any minute. He responds well to Orajel, and his sleep isn't affected.

We spent Friday night on the couch as we began a new routine of catching up on the 2010 Oscar nominees via DirecTV's PPV service. It was all her idea, and we kicked it off with Social Network. So let's bring in our blog movie experts to chime in.

Chipper Bossh: Social Network was written by Aaron Sorkin of West Wing and Sports Night. It was directed by David Fincher. The soundtrack was cowritten by Trent Reznor. I loved it before I watched it.

Surly Bossh: And it starred a whole bunch of nobodies and Justin Timberlake.

Chipper Bossh: Who were all great. I can see why the lead actor was nominated for an Oscar. He carries the film.

Surly Bossh: Yeah yeah. Now let's talk about what the film does wrong. It ends abruptly. Just as the lead character finally has to confront inconvenience and failure, the film walks off  and leaves him there. We get text to fill us in on what happened after, and that stinks.

Chipper Bossh: I gotta agree. The story reaches a truly dramatic conflict -- what would normally be the end of a proper film's second act -- and poof. Credits. But otherwise, the script is sterling. Even the stock bad guys --

Surly Bossh: Who are straight out of every '80s college comedy.

Chipper Bossh: Right. Even they are sympathetic. Likable even. Although one wonders why such allegedly smart business students left themselves vulnerable to losing their online creation by not drafting a contract with the protagonist. Still, the film flies by, buoyed by crackling dialogue and big doings (legal, technological, political, social) made very accessible. The movie earned my interest and kept it. If I wasn't so enthralled, I wouldn't be so bothered by the ending.

Surly Bossh: There are some who bitch about the depiction of women, all groupies and drunks.

Chipper Bossh: Not true. The film's two most important women bookend the film and tell the lead what he needs to hear, not that he'll believe them. They may be the most sensible people in the film because they refuse to be sucked in by the lead's enigmatic brilliance. 

Surly Bossh: Just saying, the film fails the Bechdel Test.

Chipper Bossh: But those allegedly unappealing women are what those guys attract. They are buried in their work and looking for pretty companions to bolster them. If you don't like the women, you have to consider they reflect the tastes of the men we're watching for two hours.

Social Network is about earnest folks, not folks with the best judgment. In fact, had the lead displayed even a touch more humanity, none of this would have happened. Like Fincher's Fight Club, this is a movie about a  smart manchild who can't bring himself to deal with his feelings for a woman and channels a successful, angry campaign based on that inability. Except he winds up richer than Lucas.

Surly Bossh: Whoa.

Chipper Bossh: Tell me about it.

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Your Sister attended a weekend GOP town hall meeting with great hope as she walked in and disappointment as she walked out. One of the two featured speakers no-showed, and the other had no interest in feedback from people, like her, who spoke in words other than talking points. Wisconsin has turned teachers into a polarizing profession, and she hoped she could bring an inside perspective to the state representatives and townies. But no. They were entrenched, and left her deflated. This meeting was set up to conduct official party business and rally new folks to the cause. They may have shooed her away. She made a crockpot bean dish for the potluck dinner, and she was at least happy that most people liked it.

"Of course," I said. "You used only white beans."

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I made headway on the comic, starting page five this morning. I need to pencil a panel again; it's weak and thoughtless. It's schematic of a robot woman, and I dusted off my anatomy book to approximate the muscles and bones which will be adjusted for a robotic undercarriage.

Picture of the Day
Behold, the taxonomy of rap names.