Sunday, August 26, 2012

National Dog Day

Today is National Dog Day. It's hard to tell around here since Camila makes sure pretty much every day is a dog day.

Camila is a rescue dog (you can read more about her story here) so you know that we are devoted to mutts.

Not as devoted as some folks though. Claudia, for instance, does more for the dogs of SoCal in a day than most people do in a year. She's especially keen for dogs that need extra help, like senior chihuahuas (remeber Pocita, who bummed a ride with us to San Francisco a couple of months back?) and pit bulls. Rescuing dogs like these takes hard work and can get expensive. But fear not, there's a way to help!

Claudia just opened The Rescue Shop and started selling super cute shirts. I ordered one right away and it arrived lightning quick. The shirts are good quality, fit great, and, best of all, $5 from each one sold goes to helping dogs like Pocita and Camila. Celebrate National Dog Day in style!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

What to do in Vegas if You're a Vegetarian Tiki Bar Loving Music Afficianado

I'm convinced this is an angry squid and a Tiki mug
There's really only one thing that gets us to drive for hours through the desert when the temperature is over 110 degrees, and that's the lure of seeing live music. We usually only have about 16 hours to spend in Las Vegas when we do, so we've learned to make it count. On the off chance that you might like  the same things that we like, here are some suggestions for a whirlwind trip that includes very little gambling:

Vegetarian Food
Hot tip! The Wynn  has secret menus at every single one of its restaurants. Actually, they have two! One is vegan, the other vegetarian. And, believe it or not, the food is good. If you order a veggie burger they even give you a chocolate almond milk shake with it for free. All you have to do is ask.

Tiki Bars
Good Tiki bars are hard to find. The last time we were in San Francisco we went to one that was so bad we left before even getting drinks. Imagine our surprise when we found Frankie's Tiki Room just a little ways off the Strip in Vegas. It's a new place, but it's perfect. The lights are low, there's goofy stuff in every corner, the drinks come in ridiculous mugs, and the bartender (and even bouncer) are friendly. We left with two fabulous mugs to add to our collection and a conviction to return to buy more. 

Good Coffee
Every single Starbucks I've been to in Las Vegas has been over priced and bland to bad. Coffee joints inside casinos cater to tourists so they don't have to be good enough to attract repeat customers. Not so with The Beat on Freemont Street. They make great coffee (espresso drinks included) and terrific breakfasts. Plus, they sell record albums and zines. It's a bit of a local hangout, something that most people don't see too much of in Vegas. It's also independent, so spending money there actually helps the local economy. 

So there you have it, three important things for any whirlwind vacation, at least in our book. Now, if we could just find a great Tiki bar in Seattle...

Friday, August 17, 2012

Black Cat Appreciation Day

Today is the day we celebrate miniature panthers. Why do black cats need their own special Appreciation Day when grey, orange, and tabby cats don't get one?

It's because black cats are often overlooked and even vilified. It's not uncommon for them to be the last kittens left when their litter mates have all been adopted. Some of this is because, being black, they tend to disappear into the background. They're notoriously hard to photograph in a shelter setting, and they don't have the facial markings that animate their tuxedo-marked friends.

None of which means that their personalities are any less varied than that of other cats, or that they make worse pets. But, unfortunately, there's still a strong undercurrent of superstition in the United States that makes some people afraid of black felines.

Even folks who don't actively admit to fearing bad luck from a black cat crossing their path sometimes hold back from adopting them. It's an odd idea, born of the middle ages, that associates color with virtue. White is considered pure, so the opposite must be... Yeah, stupid when phrased like that, but still pervasive in the culture.

In our house we have a tradition of keeping black cats around. Gabriel already had Lucy (a quirky, loving, male kitty) when I moved in with him, and several years later we found Fredo living off pizza crusts in an abandoned apartment. Turned out that the girl who originally had him moved and left him behind despite naming him "Hero". We took him in and changed his name, making him our very first rescue. He lived with us for 17 years.

After Fredo passed away last fall the house seemed like it lacked something. And so we got Vera in December, a kitten who had been dumped in a parking lot and was living off Christmas cookies (see a pattern?). We think she may have literally been dumped since she is missing a tooth-shaped piece from her tongue and has a notch in her nose as if it was broken from landing on her face. Fortunately none of this ruins her good looks and she's happy and healthy now.

Whenever someone asks "what's the harm in having a couple of little superstitions?" I always think of black cats. Superstitions and lazy thinking can do active harm when they make it culturally okay to mistreat or dismiss individuals based on superficial identifying characteristics. And if it seems like this is applicable to more than just cats, you're right.

Superstitions can be insidious. No one is free of them. But I can assure you that black cats are not bad luck. If they are, I'm pretty screwed. Because this is my latest tattoo.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Betrayal of the Planet of the Apes - The Trade

It's been out for a week already, but it's still exciting news to me: our BETRAYAL OF THE PLANET OF THE APES miniseries is finally a trade paperback!

All four issues, plus cover art, an intro by Ed Brubaker, and cool extras  bound up in one stylish package. You can find it at your local comic book shop or you can order it from Amazon. Want to see what others have to say about it? You can check that out on Goodreads. Need even more Apes action? Our latest miniseries, EXILE ON THE PLANET OF THE APES is available for pre-order on Amazon now too.

Can't stand to handle print books now that the digital revolution is here? Our Apes work is still all paper, but you can buy our horror graphic novel, HEATHENTOWN, from Comixology for just $3.99.  

And let me say a big thank you to everyone who has read our work so far! These books are labors of love for Gabriel and me. We're thrilled that so many folks have enjoyed them! Thanks everyone!
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