Friday, July 31, 2009

Every Year We Say Never Again...

The crowds, the parking nightmare, the shuffling/shambling walk made necessary by the shear mass of humanity in the convention hall. Ah, yes: San Diego Comi-Con! 

Every year Gabriel and I make the trek down from Los Angeles. And every year we see the huge mass of people spilling across Harbor Drive and wonder what the heck we were thinking. But then we get inside and notice that along with the glitz and media hype there actually are some comic books. Not only books, but creators too. And lots of wonderful folks that we haven't seen since the previous Con. 

This year was a little different for us, since we were signing copies of our book Heathentown at
 the Image booth. Thanks so much to all of you who dropped by! It was a busy weekend in general, since Gabriel was also on a panel focusing on film illustration on Saturday in between signings. 

It was great to meet up in person (sometimes for the first time) with "virtual" friends. A big hello to Elton Pruitt, Ken Marcus, Brian Winkler, Joyce and Trevor Goring, David Gallagher, and everyone else that we only get to see a couple of times a year due to the fact that Gabriel and I tend to hide out in our respective studios, at all costs avoiding doing anything that might actually help promote our book. Hmm, maybe I shouldn't admit that last part...

On Sunday we finally had a bit of time to relax and sight-see. My favorite costumed character, 
Number Six (from The Prisoner) seemed to be missing this year, but I did spot a young woman dressed as the 4th Doctor, so that sort of made up for it. At the APE Entertainment booth I picked up Sullengrey: Sacrifice by Joceyln Gajeway and Drew Rausch, which belongs on the shelf of any horror fan. Do yourself a favor and get a copy! Drew was kind enough to do an awesome sketch for me too.

The plan was to leave early and get back to Los 
Angeles in time to pick Camila Pup up from where she was being boarded, but the traffic gods had other ideas. So when we had only made it about 20 miles in the first two hours we decided to cut our losses and head to the beach instead. It was rather surreal to lay on an almost empty stretch of sand, in the shadow of that fertility-goddess-shaped power plant, the traffic crawling by on the bluff above our heads, reading a Jonathan Lethem novel.  Oh well, all's well that ends well...

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Meet the Red-handed Tamarin!

Is it a bat? A tiny gremlin? It's so tiny, it can't be a monkey! 

Wanna bet? Meet Saguinus midas, one of my favorite animal charges. These tiny primates are natives of the Amazonian forests where they live in groups of four to 14 members. Highly territorial and ferocious despite their small size, they will rush to the defense of any threatened group member. Like hummingbirds and chihuahuas, they seem to think they are much bigger than they really are. Just how little are they? Less than a foot long, and most of that's tail! A really hefty female might weigh a smidgen over a pound. Still, they're known to jump distances of over 60 feet!

Their name of course derives from their colorful feet, which are red on our tamarins only if you really squint. They are also called, perhaps more aptly, Midas tamarins. 

Only one female in each group will breed, but the father does most of the work after the (usually twin) babies are born. Other group members also help care for the young. 

In the wild, they eat fruit, flowers, lizards, bugs, nectar, and assorted creepy-crawlies. In captivity, ours get a special tamarin diet supplemented by fruits, vegetables, mealworms, and crickets.  Oh, and belly rubs from their caretakers. That is something that is never found in the wild, except perhaps from other tamarins.

Unfortunately, the wild that these guys inhabit is disappearing. No Amazonian forest means no red-handed tamarins. Hopefully if we all work together there will be forest enough left for our great-grandchildren to catch sight of tiny gremlins in the wild.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

To Comicon We Go!

It's that time of year again! Time to head down to the San Diego Comicon, something Gabriel and I have been doing since, well,  let's just say we have gone annually for quite a few years.  Ah, but this year is different! This year, our book Heathentown was published by Image/Shadowline. So this year, we will be signing books as well as buying them. Won't you drop by and see us? 

We'll be at the Image/Shadowline booth:
Friday. JULY24   5PM 
- 6PM
Saturday, JULY 25

And that isn't all! Gabriel will be on the Film Illustrators Panel too, with Heathentown movie news!  

Saturday, JULY 25



Not to mention the fact that he will be signing at the Ape Entertainment booth, from 1 to 2 Saturday afternoon. It's been a busy year!

I know there is A LOT to see at Comicon, but if you make it to the show, I hope you'll drop by and say hi!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Two Heads are Certainly More Interesting Than One

This is why I love flea markets!

So what the heck is this? It's a two-headed ceramic panther, silly! What's it for? I have no idea! What does it do? I'm not sure, but whatever it does, it's doing it now. 
Who made it, and for what purpose? I wish I knew! There is no "mark" on it anywhere, no country of origin. I tried googling it, and wish I hadn't. Take my advice, never ever google "two headed" anything. Just don't, and you will have a happier life. So I am just going to have to appreciate it for what it is: one of the best things I have ever found at a flea market. 
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