Smilin' Strange (diello) wrote,
Smilin' Strange
diello

Official End-Of-Month update (a little early, since I have no plans next week).

November began with comics, death, and a new job, all of which I talked about in [this post].  I finished my Nightmare piece for the MCC Comic Anthology for Fall.  You can see it [here] or students can wait til the issue comes out and be surprised.  This was the first time I used my Copic markers exclusively in black & white.  Pretty cool (if you clicked the link, feel free to check out my other recent art, including a 10-year visual summary of of my artstuff).

I am an extra in an RIT thesis movie called "Here or Two Go," which might screen as a rough cut in early December, but I doubt it (anyone who wants to should see the RIT film student screenings anyway, as they're generally pretty good fun).  And Jeff plays a cameo role as a very audacious superfan.  The scene we're in is set at a diner, where I and half a dozen others play crazed fans of a returning former child-actor.  It was a two-day shoot, and I made the mistake of wearing the wrong shoes (couldn't change them because of continuity).  When I arrived on set, the first person to greet me was an older woman (dressed as a very old woman) who fondly remarked on my dress.  I returned the compliment to her sweater, and she replied "thank you, it's called being old." and I thought she was funnily remarking on her age (I later found out it was all makeup and costume, and that she is not really that old).  Even later, I found out who she is:  as I sat alone at a table in silence, as I'd gotten there earlier than the other extras, and was waiting to be called to the shoot, I started feeling pretty lonely.  I was about to text my friend Ron, who I'd heard was going to also be an extra, to see if he was coming, but before I could, the door opened and in walked my friend Jill (from the good ol' days of late nights at Jay's Diner)!!!  We both dropped our jaws in silence and embraced.  If you could see us, you'd be able to hear glee in our actions, without even making a sound (because they were shooting in the other room, of course).  I was SO HAPPY I wasn't all alone on this shoot :D  We went into a far corner and caught up with each other in tiny whispers til they called Cut and had a quick break, and then Jill introduced me to the woman who greeted me when I got there.  THAT'S HER MOTHER!!  And come to find out, she's been in other movies with Jeff!  I'm always happy to see how small the world is.

There was a mini comic convention near Syracuse, at the Bryant & Stratton College out there (just outside Liverpool, actually).  Charles and I specifically were invited by one of the instructors back when all the graphic designers of both campuses bussed to NYC together (the Syracuse people scheduled a tour of DC comics, while Rochester went to shitty MoMA for the billionth time).  I begged to go to DC, but the instructor couldn't get a hold of the reps in order to approve one extra.  Eh, whatever (I skipped MoMA anyway).  Anyway, we went to the comic thing.  There was a DC rep there, Suzanne Beason, but as outgoing/friendly as she was, she gave me absolutely no hope for ever breaking into comics (though my best friend is a successful comicker for smaller presses, so while there's no hope for me landing a gig at DC, I think if I shoot low, I'll still land where I want to end up.  Her keynote was based solely on DC's curriculum (probably Marvel's too), but in no way incorporated any other options for aspiring artists.  Really, who you know will get your foot in the door tight.  But publishers like IDW, Slave Labor, Avatar, and even as big as Vertigo, they all have a much broader array of talent, and there's honestly real money in these.  So if you draw like Kirby or Stan Lee stuff, go for the big-wigs, why not... but if you have a truly unique style or story, hell, shoot for anything you want.  Basically, what I learned from talking to Suzanne, is if I'm not drawing beefcakes and babes with heat vision or whatever, if I'm not rocking purely digital, then I'm not gonna make it.  But I also know about the small press side, in my personal life.  And I know she's just talking about her company.  And I didn't feel discouraged or anything.  I felt like, okay, I'm not going to bother sending stuff to DC.  No big deal.
I also won a raffle for a $25 Amazon gift card, along with a little gift bundle, which was half Bryant & Stratton swag, and half comics/candy - the comics are Xombi, and Demo.  I was excited for both, especially Demo, even though I hate Brian Wood [for good reasons], but I do love the artist Becky Cloonan (who I had the extreme pleasure of sitting next to and dining with, at a signing with her, Francis Manapul, Ross, and others).  I actually thought it was kind of a joke that a Brian Wood comic would be in there as a giveaway (presumably because he might have [ruined himself] with his shit-tastic actions).

My animation podcast has reached its first milestone. [Animatic Attack], which airs every other Friday on the [Audioshocker], ended its latest episode the way it began its first episode: by talking about Nickelodeon's Legend of Korra (and also incest, which has nothing to do with Korra, don't worry).  Nick, Justique, and I began this podcast with the inspiration of talking about the show's second season (while referencing the first season, and the original Legend of Aang / Avatar: The Last Airbender, as well as say, an animated feature film, or a couple episodes of another animated show), and this last week, we reviewed the final five episodes of Korra.  They yielded some lovely screencaps (viewable from the links in the show notes).  For now, we're going to be working our way through reviewing episodes of the anime Welcome to the NHK (and the next episode will also have a review of ParaNorman!).

Was finally able to hang out with Ross on Friday! I haven't been able to do that in about a month!  And what an agonizing month for us both!  Aside from working on the new TMNT comics, he'd been depressed, and my own job+death+comics (see first part of this post) AND weather AND reaction to Ross's gloom had me spiraling down the depression hole FAST.  It sucks when your best friend is an introvert and you're a social person, and so when you're both depressed at the same time, you're reaching out for help, and he's recoiling, even from you.  We have been texting, though, which helped immensely for both of us.  Well on Friday, he texted me and asked me out to the comic book store!  It's funny, my pull list is so small, even though we haven't been there in over a month (come on Fairest, one issue in how many months?? This is insane).  We (Ross, Aaron the comic book store guy, and I) talked about Walking Dead, Brian Wood, Brendan Graham (who tweeted the best: "Brian Wood can retweet my middle finger."  ahahahahaha), and anti-depressants, among other things.  Ross took me home and I gave him lots of good tea, a big handful of Prismacolor markers I didn't need anymore, and we tried these awful brownies I attempted to make for him the night before.  These brownies, ugh.  I thought they turned out so bad because I got the package at the dollar store.  Nope.  These things REEKED of ROTTING FISH!!!!!  I had to research it... the canola oil I used in the mix turned out to be the culprit!  Can you believe that?  Apparently, it goes bad pretty fast, and it smells like fish oil, plus, they often-times use a deodorizer chemical in the processing to make it so you can't smell it so soon.  I had no idea!  Anyway, we were dumb.  I didn't throw them out right away like I should have.  I thought they'd air out, like it was maybe the stove or something (I researched the next day at work), which did happen, they did air out and smelled like brownies again.  We each took a bite off one.  Tasted like a brownie. But then we got the aftertaste.  Ugh!!  Then it just DROPPED in our stomachs.  We downed a bunch of soy milk to help disperse the awful  taste and hopefully save our guts.  But at least he got tea and markers, and at least I got to hang out with my best friend before he disappears into the unknown again :)

I attended my first E.A.T. Feast at Ron's house.  E.A.T. stands for Early Annual Thanksgiving, and it was awesome.  Ron gets people together and has a whole Thanksgiving feast at a nice long table (in his super nice, finished basement, this year).  Charles and I brought roasted asparagus, and homemade mac & cheese, which was a big hit (no one cared about my veggies).  I managed to stuff my face while avoiding too much gluten (that saved room for dessert gluten, which didn't seem to bother me).  We cooked, we prepared, we ate, we listened to music, we chatted like crazy, we watched Ylvis videos, and we left (I also helped clean up by scraping and rinsing any plates I could find and stacking things neatly).  Nothing too crazy.  It was a nice party with lots of great people, and I hope I'm invited next year.

Tony Vinci is in town. My beloved SF/Horror/Fantasy Writing teacher from days of old.  And I haven't seen him yet.  He's in town for I don't know how long, but he's been here a couple of weeks.  He said he'd get in touch with me to hang out soon.  I really hope he does, because I didn't get to see him last time he was in town.  Charles actually saw him the other day at Starbucks and they chewed the fat for a good while, and I was so jealous to hear it.  When I went back to Facebook to grab some contact information, he'd left a group message regarding a reunion of sorts, for Sunday.  I was delighted, but quickly sent him a private message as soon as I saw who'd also be there (one specific person), declining, and asking if we could meet up one-on-one sometime.  He understood, as I'd talked about this person's [extremely sexist rape culture bullshit] to him before.  I hope he gets in touch.  I haven't heard from him yet, though.

Work is going okay. It's much better than the first couple of weeks.  One of my co-workers is kinda odd, though.  I'm not sure if she's attention-seeking or acting out just to seem interesting, or what, but she says or does something odd almost every shared shift.  For instance, at the end of my first week, another co-worker and I had to explain to her what bullying is, how it's different than domestic violence, abuse, and she claims she's never been bullied, and never been exposed to bullying.  Sorry to say this, but if someone with teeth as gnarly as hers lived through grade school, she was bullied.  Or maybe she was home-schooled, which would explain some things.  We also had to explain to her what Herpes is.  That's right.  And how could I forget the day she had her first cup of coffee EVER?!?  Let me tell you, it's EXACTLY like it is in cartoons.  And the next day, she'd had 2 cups before 8am.  And drank it from a solo cup, which is kinda weird, but whatever.
In other work news, I abandoned the book I started reading when I started the new job (Horns, by Joe Hill) since it wasn't holding my interest, and instead picked up Warm Bodies, by Isaac Marion, and I finished it in a week.  It was so delightful!  Now I'm reading Warren Ellis's Gun Machine.

I need a vacation.

See you, Space Cowboy.
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