Saturday, February 27, 2010


I drew this during my booksigning in Lyon. They are characters from a short story that I have in my head, which, someday, will be drawn, combined with some other short stories I have in my head along with my solo portions of YBIL that I wish to reprint. I will probably use this image in some form or another as the cover to the anthology.

This story is kind of a quirky odd couple fellow is kinda retro (he likes scooters) and the other is a little old fashioned (he likes Mozart).

I was particularly proud of the Vespa here. I merely glanced at some photo references and did a quick sketch in my PM. And this is the masterpiece that ensued.

I happy to part with the line art (9"x12") for $50. :-P

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


I always get lots of ideas after comic conventions and festivals; my recent visit to Angouleme is no exception!

I've been brainstorming how to finish BABY MAKES THREE and researching historic settings for some pitch art. Also in my brain is how to reprint some good older work that is either out of print (YBIL) or soon to be out of print (CAVALCADE).

And of course, the thing I want to do most, a compilation of my travel sketches. I've gone through all my old sketchbooks, finding some old gems, and last night I drafted this cover. I would like to print this the same height as all my other TPBs, but slightly narrower—which happens to be the dimensions of my little pretentious Moleskin sketchbooks.

Let's not jump to conclusions—first, I've not actually asked Xavier to translate my annotations. Nor have I actually selected sketches or annotated them (ok, sure, maybe I have some drafted from the sketchblog, but far from all).

And, of course, I have yet to go to Brazil and Argentina, which I would really like to do for this book. Research trip and all... So, lots to do before this project becomes a reality.

What do you think I should pursue? Baby Makes Three, reprinting older work (perhaps with some new material), pitches to publishers, or travel sketchbook?

Saturday, February 20, 2010


My last day took many unexpected turns. I was drenched while doing some light shopping, spoke French to some clerks, then cleared out my work email.

After the weather cleared, Xavier and I hiked up one Lyon's steep hills looking at the stunning views, in search of the jazz bar I had been to before. That evening's program called for "electric jazz" so it was on the "maybe" list as electric isn't my fav.

We ended up at this lesbian lounge, where shoes-off is the requirement. The place is filled with slouchy pillow-y seats and a very funny and nice lesbian owner. By the time we left, she had dressed herself up as Elvis. It would be a great space for a presentation. They served outrageously huge (non-alcoholic) drinks.

We next met some of X's friends at a geek game cafe, where we played Dutch board game "Finster Fleure" (I think). Each player gets 4 tokens; each token has a different character set on them. My character set was the dog, the scared boy, the fat kid, and the skinny Asian boy.

Later, dinner at a fancy pizzeria and then drinks at a gay bar. A patron was obsessed with Xavier's jacket (he was pretty wasted).

Oh—the cougar pictured here I saw the next day at the airport. Au revoir, Lyon.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Lazy Lyon

After my signing on 2/3, I definitely slipped into full relax mode. I slept in late, and then took a walk along the Quay, enjoying the sunshine and the views.

Usually comic conventions inspire me to think of ideas for new projects, or how to ramp up things as a business, etc. This was no exception, and on this day, my mind was scrolling through many ideas for next steps.

In the afternoon, Xavier and I grabbed a hot cocoa from his favorite cafe where his friend Charlie was hanging out. Charlie lives in London and was very happy to practice English but his real love is actual English accents.

That night, was an early night in for us, and we talked about comics, looked at comics, and then talked about comics some more.

It was a very good feeling this day, to be so lazy.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Tourism with a capital T

After an amazing 4 days of the festival, Abby and I spent an exhausting day doing the tourism highlights, as she had never been to Paris before. The path was determined by the pastry shops she wanted to check out and not the monuments.

Not sure why I didn't draw this bit: That evening, we met up with Jeff for dinner and ate in the Japanese section of Paris. We tried to get into a Karaoke bar, but were denied. We think it was a front for a brothel for Japanese business men. It was fun listening to Abby talk in Japanese and awkward as the madam at the door scowled at us and funny again when we were denied entrance.

The next day Abby left for NYC and I left for Lyon where I discovered I had lost my drivers license and had more than 700 work emails to wade through. That night, Xavier and I ate a gay owned cafe, where the owner warned me I wasn't allowed to leave until I eaten my entire plate. It was a charming chastisement.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Les Gens d'Angoulême

Not all, actually.

Let's see...clockwise from left is a Brazilian reporter (cuter in real, not as wide-eyed); woman carrying around her dead-looking baby; androgenous...boy? dunno; shaggy, scruffy, freckly guy Abby liked; skinny waiter from Lyon; cute Bastille waiter who gave me and Abby fresh-squeezed OJ gratuis; very tall guy at the festival with a very pronounced mono-brow.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Admittedly, I was not prepared for the severity of the weather in France—yet I opted for a day excursion to Versailles. I loved all the portraits and statuary Louis XIV commissioned of himself. The crazy hairdo and the leg-stance were just priceless. The opulence of the palace was a bit overwhelming, and not surprising that there was a revolution against the excess. Despite the lack of flowers (or sun) I walked through the gardens and along the grand canal growing increasingly cold.

I was wrong in yesterdays post: my dinner with Jeff was later this evening. But when I did, Xavier informed us of cancellations to our party to Angoulême. Since our accommodations are all in private homes (the village doesn't have enough hotel space for all), it was important that we find replacements or pay the bill ourselves. Jeff suggested I pump out drawings from the start of the convention to help pay the bill. I did, and because we partially filled the space, everything turned out alright. It was only a mild kerfuffle.

But, in preparation for the festival, I had to do laundry and buy some paper and pens (a bit of an adventure to find shops at addresses that didn't quite exist—or at least, not where I looked...). My errands took much less time than I'd expected (thanks to Jeff!) so I had about an hour to kill, so I walked to the islands and into Notre Dame. I knew up front the cathedral is a tourist trap, but it was 1000x worse than I'd anticipated. At least it was warm.

I grabbed my bags from the hotel and met up with my party for lunch before heading out to Angoulême!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Obrigado Lisboa—Bienvenue a Paris

I awoke early on the 24th to enjoy a harrowing cab-ride to the Lisbon airport. I meandered through the maze-like terminal, checking in, passing through security, and arriving at my first—first one there! Lisbon is very hilly and there was a solid 10 minute drive from the gate to the plane on a little transport bus, up and down the uneven landscape. Must have been a feat to build the airport there.

I arrived in Paris, and lugged my bags up to the 6th floor—will save my hotel commentary for later—and ultimately arrived at Paige Braddock's signing at Les Mots a la Bouche. Paige gets oddly stressed out about signings and boothings, but she did great and had a nice turnout! The next day, I bummed around town, did some light shopping, hit the Pompideu Centre and people-watched. I had dinner with Jeff, too, but that sketch is on the next spread. Until tomorrow!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

É os gays de Lisboa!

After days of hiking up the steep streets of Lisbon, taking in stunning vistas, photographing pretty tiled buildings, esploring museums, and eating lots of pastries, I checked out the Lisbon nightlife. Or, tired to. Most bars even if they say will open at 10, don't really open until much, much later. My actual first attempt to a jazz bar then a gay bar was thwarted by my tired-ness in conjunction with the late opening times. The next night, Roberto and I did grab a drink at a great mixed crowd lounge, FBA (friends of Bario Alto), one of the few interesting places open before midnight.

Anf the next night, I checked out Trumps, a gay disco. It was almost empty at 1:30 AM, but then suddenly filled to the max with a line out the door, in time for the lip-sync show. I stumbled home and got up early the next day to meet Roberto for breakfast on my last full day in Lisbon.

Along the way, I observed many gays. Trumps, like the George in Dublin, was a bit of "all things to all gays" with all ages and types intermingling.
Local fashion nearly demanded you tuck your tight pants into your high footwear, and open your shirt up.

My favorite guys were the normal looking from the shoulders-up but very fat from shoulders-down dancing fool. He took center stage often and had a style similar to Rerun from What's Happening. Runner up was the scruffy petite fellow wearing the beret, oversized cardigan, bowtie and tight jeans. very "classic student of painting" look.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Utilizing Lisbon's transit

The next morning was sunny and cool, and my day of tourism with Roberto began with a busride out to Belem to see the monestary and cultural center. After soaking in the special exhibit (in which I delighted in seeing some Cindy Sherman photographs), we sat at the center's outdoor cafe looking out to the river, drinking coffee, sketching and talking. He then took me to a cafe well-known for yummy pastries. Rather, the only thing they served was one type of pastry. So good, their entire business thrives on it. We Metro'd our way to the site of the expo eating a traditional Portuguese late lunch, walking along the river, and taking care of a few errands roberto had to do. I ducked into an internet cafe and also the Pepe Jeans shop to take advantage of the sales (yes, I know I spelled "sale" incorrectly).

The next day we started by eating a pastry-filled breakfast, hiked up to Castelo Sao George and took in stunning views of the city, chatting and sketching along the way. The wild kitties living at the castle were at first fun and cute...but the more that amassed, the creepier it got. Later, we rode famous tram 28 as it winded a crazy path through narrow streets and steep hills. Fun!

I also began meticulously recording how much cash I was spending in my sketchbook. I am so used to not spending money (as I save up for these trips) that when it comes time to actually spend, I am weird about it. It's not that I don't want to spend it, I just need to know how much I am spending.

Friday, February 12, 2010

An icy start

It's literal AND figurative!

After tourism-ing pre-Angouleme for the past 2 years, I'd hoped to tourism after the show this year, as the weather would be nicer. Especially as I have so much vacation time to use up, I would be away for 3 weeks. But that was not to be, and once again I did the bulk of my tourism before the festival.

My journey began with a sad farewell to my dog Aggie at my folks' house and a chilly bus ride from NH to Boston. The highway cuts through some cliffs which form beautiful ice waterfalls (as the snow melts and freezes down the cliff face).

At the airport, I mused sadly in the big blank space you see. I always get very depressed when I travel. I will miss those close to me, and sitting in the terminal, I think of ways to cancel my trip or cut it short. But then when I land at my destination, I am transformed and excited to be there. Wheeeee!

I proceeded to Lisbon via Zurich, encountering some extreme examples of manhood: the annoying man in front of me on the plane who was demanding more space and a better seat from the flight attendants (there were none to be had) and the tiny, slim, excessively pretty, scruffy counter boy at the Zurich airport.

My comics friend Roberto met me in Lisbon (where he attended university) and showed me around. I was a little appalled by the "traditional" Portuguese dish of a hamburger floating in some goo with the consistency of sour cream. The church bells lost their charm as I was exhaustedly falling alseep. Fear not, their charm returned.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Proper gentleman

I sketched this in my book some time ago and hated it, despite my love for Austen-ian men. Then one day in Lisbon, Roberto and I were grabbing a quick dinner at a cafe and I became quite taken with the texture on the serving trays. Grabbing my fat blue Koh-i-noor pencil, I rubbed the texture onto the coat and hat the man is wearing in this drawing. I loved the effect and decided to ink a bit of it. Now, I am again thinking of writing and drawing a gay story circa 1805. Will definitely require some research though, if it is to do what I'd like it to.

Tomorrow I begin posting sketches from my trip proper. I bet you can't wait. Until then, check out my photos on Facebook from the amazing festival at Angouleme.