Yikes, three weeks since my last post. It’s been a busy time, primarily concerned with the birthdays of the two people I love most in the world (Jack turning 10 and Nicole turning 25), driving up to Kingston, and driving back with Nicole and the cats. As I write this we are one small happy family together under one roof for the summer, with regular visits to and from Jack. I like traveling, and enjoyed the trains to Kingston, but I am glad to have the break. Regular relationship commuting resumes in September.
For now, Nicole is looking for summer employment and reading for her comprehensive exams in the fall. I am working as usual during the weekdays and spending my off-hours with family and friends, getting some drawing done, and trying to slowly pull the trigger on some long-overdue publishing efforts as described on the “In Progress” page. I’ve also been enjoying some gaming, from SSX, Rocksmith and Lego Pirates of the Caribbean on the PS3 to Temple Run on the iPad. I’ve also been enjoying an iPad app called Epic Win that combines the dry duty of a to-do list with rewards and levelling up in an RPG.
Thanks to Free Comic Book Day and the local library sale and other bits of splurging, my books-to-read pile grows ever larger, from Borges’ Ficciones to Jim Woodring’s The Portable Frank to an omnibus of mystery novels by Peter Robinson. I also downloaded a bunch of classic SF novels in audiobook form for the recent transprovincial drives. Maybe I am feeling sympathy pains for Nicole’s comps reading, but lately I have been feeling like I should be reading just a bit more in the way of literature, especially the classics, and not just genre stuff. I may try alternating between the reading pile and a Canonical Work of Literature in English. We’ll see.
Speaking of reading, I recently lucked out with a couple of impulse buys at the comic shop. The first was a thing called New Mutants Forever by Chris Claremont, Al Rio and Bob McLeod, a 2010 miniseries that picks up directly after where Claremont left off over 20 years before. It was quite a trip to be transported back to that version of the Marvel Universe, before all those horrible ’90s “event” crossovers. The other was the first collection of Locke and Key, by Stephen King’s son Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez; an above-average ghost house story for the YA audience and above. I wasn’t always on board with Rodriguez’ artwork but I would certainly like to read the next volume and see how it plays out. I hear good things about Hill’s other books too.
I was really bummed that I had to miss this year’s Toronto Comic Arts Festival (TCAF), it was just not possible to do with all the other stuff going on that week; I am determined to make it next year, which is coincidentally the tenth year, and perhaps even exhibit if I can get my shit together with the cartooning and the publishing and the flavening. In the meantime I will be appearing at the inaugural instalment of a local con called Harbour Con-Fusion in July. After a reasonably successful attempt at doing a commission for a friend, I will be attempting to add that to my rotation as well. Once I have a portfolio of samples ready and some rates worked out, I’ll add a page about it here.