Boing Boing Nails Me Again http://tinyurl.com/q6bjbr
Airborne controversy has once again surfaced. Boing Boing discovered that the packaging has changed slightly! Readers here know that Dangle has been accused of deceiving America with my scientific renderings of germs on the boxes of Airborne. Some Americans were supposedly tricked by Airborne's lying package into believing that Airborne cures colds. I have maintained that Airborne does obliterate the exact germs pictured (but there are so many different kinds out there), and defied anyone to prove that it does not. I have also suggested that looking at the cartoons may prevent cancer.
I was asked to make the alterations to the box, but I have no knowledge why. Mine is not to wonder why, mine is but to do or die! Nobody mentioned that there's also a new "quality seal" on the box that looks like the America's Most Wanted logo. I actually designed a funky, friendly version that wasn't used. Anyway, hats off to the perceptive Mark Frauenfelder and the commentators over there at Boing Boing. It goes to show what you might discover if you have lots of time on your hands.
In case you wondered where my blog posts, sketches, and incessant twittering have been, I have been practicing the New Reticence. Yeah, it's something really new and cutting edge that I started and nobody else is doing yet. It's a real inward, mindful trend. I love it. Ashton Kutcher will be doing it soon.
I just got used to being home after New York and I'm back on the road again tomorrow. This time it's Vegas, that absurd wasteland of the human soul. The dancing fountains, the replicant architecture, the wrinkled gamblers dragging their little oxygen dispensers on wheels from casino to casino. The place where chubby midwesterners walk zombie-like up and down the strip sucking on straws sticking out of miniature Eiffel Towers and Empire State Buildings. Fear and loathing, for sure. And Vegas has become a thousand times more psycho since Hunter S. Thompson set his famous story there. His Vegas was old school. Now it's Walt Disney out of his mind on meth and mescaline skin poppers, straddled by a Coyote Ugly dancer on a bad PCP jag attempting to waterboard him with cowboy boot full of Tequila. Bad craziness!
I will be exhibiting again at the International Licensing Show, which is taking place for the first time in Vegas, where it really belongs. This year, just like at Surtex, I'm doing everything bare bones. I've got a room at the dirt-cheap Excalibur casino. I imagine that I'll be kept awake all night by the bells and buzzers of the slots and the stale cigarette stench emanating from the curtains and walls. Note to self: bring earplugs and noseplugs. It's 99 degrees but feels like 103 according to weather reports. You can't ever find anything as mundane and useful as a grocery store or movie theater, it's all David Copperfield Jack Daniels House of Blues Hard Rock Planet Hollywood. I never quite get what's going on when I'm in Vegas, can't trust my instincts. I never know the difference between a friendly face and a hooker, there's such a fine line. I'm never quite comfortable sketching for the same reason. I always expect casino security or some weirdo to sidle up next to me to find out what I'm doing. And then of course there's the overpowering odor of financial desperation everywhere. I'll be live blogging it. Tune in starting tomorrow.
George M. Cohan understood how Broadway audiences could be. I considered the possibility that my Sly and Snide Slideshow at the Tank would be too sophisticated for the rubes and it looks like I was right. Jimmy Chuckles was playing the Ha-ha Room, and Wanda Hooper was at Comedy Cellar, what I didn't count on was that I was going directly up against the big finale of American Idol. Kris Allen came from behind to win it all! I just watched two seconds of it on You Tube. Yeah, I can see why AI would be better entertainment for some than an hour of Dangle in perhaps my first and last performance in New York City. I understand, friends, I'm not bitter.
I want to thank the couple dozen hardcore Troubletown fans and old friends who came out to West 45th, and the winos, and the guys who mistook the Tank for Private Eyes Gentleman's Club (I'm sure they were disappointed.) The Tank seats easily 75, it's like a place the Ramones might've played in 1977, and there were plenty of tickets available even if you got there late. It wasn't like my San Francisco events, where the people view Troubletown as a national treasure as important as the Golden Gate Bridge or the soup that comes in a hollowed out loaf, and who pile in till there's standing room only. But those who made it out to see me Tuesday night clapped, and howled, and loved every minute of it. Just read this review.
As Gershwin and Roy Rogers knew, New York is a cruel lover. She'll tease and cajole you and then kick you in the ribs and give you a black eye for your trouble. But when she sings like a lady there's just nothing like her. And that's why we keep coming back for the acrid smell, the harsh glow of the Jumbotron, and, occasionally, the joy on the face of a guy or gal in the back row, for whom the show maybe, just maybe, brought moment of magic to their bleak and unfulfilled lives. That's show-biz, people.
I don't know much about Jacob Javits but he must've been an evil man. A New York Times costs $1.50 at a regular news stand. In the Javits it costs four bucks!
Tea: $3.25; bring your own teabag: still $3.25. Coke: $4.00. As the woman at the little store said, "This is an expensive area."
With the schools closed and people dying, Swiney, the brand, was not faring well. While Purrell stock shot through the roof.
It costs around $100 an hour for that little piece of Surtex real estate. When it's dead you feel the pain.
The crazy ass candy nosher
Here are my last sketches from Surtex. It slowed down to a horrible crawl on the third day under the sodium lights. Note the last day tally, artists and weirdos ran neck and neck with legitimate buyers once again but you'll see the numbers really trailed off. I still continued to make awesome contacts with the world's best manufacturers and sellers of stuff, and I tore out of there for my Sly and Snide Slideshow at 6pm feeling like I had done my job.
I thought I had been sneaking and eating a lot of chocolate from my neighboring booths out of boredom but then Holland alerted me to the crazy-ass candy nosher, a guy in a black baseball cap who was working his way down the aisles scarfing kisses, Rolos, Reese's, whatever he could get, without even making eye contact or glancing at the displays. With the right hand he made furtive grabs at the candy bowls while the left was busily unwrapping and popping them into his kisser. He was a chocoholic in full effect! The singularity of purpose was astonishing. I felt like a piker.
I've made it a custom to tally the number of legitimate buyers who visit my booth in contrast to the artists who wander the show and other non-art-buying ciphers who get in the way of real business. On day two as you can see the artists edged out the buyers fourteen to eleven. Now, I'm not saying that only fourteen buyers looked at my booth, that would be horrible! Fourteen is the number of those who stopped, exchanged business cards, and engaged in a conversation. Similarly I only count the artists if they stopped and blathered away wasting my time while people who could potentially put burritos in my son's belly scooted past untouched. Hey, I love artists! Don't get me wrong. You're beautiful and you make the world a better place! Unless you're illustrators.
And it's very confusing for me because my Sly and Snide Slideshow is at 354 45th Street at 7:30pm tomorrow (Tuesday) night. That's between 8th and 9th Avenues. Please come and see me at one or both places if you're in New York. If you're reading this in Illinois, never mind. Another time, maybe.
Surtex is a little slow this morning, but I keep adding to the contacts pile. Each business card represents twelve follow up calls before I ever speak to any of them again. My brilliant and alluring supermodel, Lara, is working the booth at the moment. She's so good at trade shows I love having her there. She also doesn't eat and never gets tired. She doesn't even require water. Me, I'm sitting there with donuts, sunflower seeds, a knish, two egg creams, a half-pint of Whiskey, chocolate, three different kinds of bottled water, pretzels, a beer, corn flakes, and some takeout chow mein. I'm high maintenance.
Last night I attended the Stationery Show reception at the Rainbow Room at the top of Rockefeller Center. Never been up there before, there's quite a view, and the place oozes deco, the real cool stuff. I'm very certain I got my money's worth with all the gin I drank and seared tuna I gobbled up. In these economic times it's our duty to take full advantage of every buffet, even though I have an emotional relationship with food. But I tried to hold it together since the stationery executives present held the keys to my financial future.
Well, the horses are out of the gate folks. Surtex day one is history. So many nice art buyers and fans! To be honest, I was a little cranky about this event, just wasn't up for it. But now I'm jazzed! More later. I'm starving, but there's free food at this party I paid $65 to attend. Plus it's stationery people, who are just as exciting as the furverts are at comics conventions. It's cold as hell. I'm wearing my sports jacket for warmth only.
I'm sitting here watching, not ogling, okay ogling some foxy young women out in the Javits atrium stapling shit together and taping construction paper to large tabs that they hope will perform as a makeshift hanging system. They're obviously scrambling to get the Surtex displays of their textile designs together at the last minute. The Show itself was scrambling this year as the recession cut the bottom out of the exhibitor numbers. A few weeks ago they announced desperately that they were opening a section of the show called Design Next or Next Design, something like that, for young, emerging designers (like these girls wearing their underwear on the outside of their clothes) to showcase their work at a reduced rate. It's the reduced rate part that has pissed off a lot of the old-timers who paid full price for their booths. Me included, except I've got enough problems already without letting this particular injustice get me all bent out of shape. You gotta pick your battles is my attitude these days. So meanwhile I'll tastefully admire these gals in their tight black dresses with the underwear on the outside. They could also be from one of those English colleges whose textile programs have booths.
Live blogging this year's Surtex is going to present a challenge. What I'd normally do is walk over to 42nd Street to Starwich, a nice cafe with free wireless, cheap food, big comfy chairs, even electrical outlets, but this year: butcher paper in the windows. The Starbucks on the corner is also closed, as is the Crunch gym that was in the same building, not that I'd ever use the gym. The little deli under the Travel Inn is still there, but they have no wireless. This whole part of town has become blighted since last year.
This year it's cheap-ass Manhattan for me. I'm not using any of their #%&@ union cherry pickers or box handlers. After they move a couple boxes for you they send you a bill for $400. Then after you pay it, they find some way to send you another bill for $180. Last year I had them handle one box for me. They charged me for two, so I called to find out why. Two-box minimum. The customer service representatives are surly and take great pleasure at giving you a hard time. Not this year, mutherfuckers.
Carrie told me that mercury is in retrograde which means all sorts of shit is supposed to go haywire. The Air Train was out of service so I took a Super Shuttle from JFK. The way they deliver passengers in New York is funny. They start at the highest number streets and work their way down without variation. We stopped at 106th and Amsterdam, then shot over to 97th and East End, then 80th and Broadway, then 3rd Avenue. It was a crosstown nightmare, and of course I was dead last to be dropped at Javits. There are Italian sausage festivals happening on 6th and 9th Avenues today adding to the cabbie nightmare. Mercury retrograde!
So then I found a Dunkin Donuts on 10th Avenue across from a Shwarma Felafel place with a giant chicken Wonder Wheel in the window. I've eaten there. Dunkin claimed free wireless. Great, this year I'll gain ten pounds live-blogging, I thought, ordering a large cake-size donut. It was one of those complicated code deals to break into their internet service, and each code the cashier gave me failed. I gave up. I have a new hotel this year, since I was too late to book a room at my favorite Travel Inn, just up the street from the Sodium Light Palace. Looking forward to see what the internet access will cost me there. Ideally, I'd have a little internet cafe within a couple blocks of Javits I could run over to occasionally and scan and post my sketches. While I was sitting at the Dunkin trying to hack into the free wi-fi, the sky opened up and dropped a ton of rain, and me without an umbrella. But then just as quickly it stopped and I walked out without being hit by a drop.
Oh man, they're beating up on our House Speaker Nancy. If she knew about the waterboarding that means that it was either okay to do, or, if not, it was totally her fault. Boy she's fun to draw though. I especially like her eye sockets. I've never seen any like them on anyone else. Did I ever tell you about the time I met Nancy Pelosi in person? She was raising money for Dick Gephardt. It was back when I was a big political player. She's just as weird and twitchy talking to a constituent one to one as she is giving a press conference to the national media. So I'd have to disagree with the body language specialist on Fox News who concluded that she's guilty...of something.
Copy and paste and send to your NYC friends! Lloyd Dangle’s Troubletown, a Sly and Snide Comedy Slideshow Tuesday May 19, 7:30 pm at The Tank, 354 W. 45th St. (Between 8th & 9th) $5 Cover http://www.thetanknyc.org Phone: 212.563.6269 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hey, by all accounts everybody liked the opening at the Mercury Cafe and enjoyed my brand new Sly and Snide Slideshow. Laughs were had. Big ideas were kicked about in a think tank atmosphere. The place was packed. Kids had a good time with their babysitters while their parents got down. The only bummer was that Toshio was unplugged and the massive crowd drowned out the music.
So, check it out, next I'm taking the S&S Slideshow to Broadway. A little off Broadway actually, on 45th Street, but it's New York City, up there in the theater district. This is pretty exciting for me.
New Yorkers: please come to my show and bring your friends. The place holds 75, which means it's not going to feel full until we get 125. Come on, New York, don't make me face the emptiness. I know how you can be. Sometimes you'll say, "Hey, this schmo is coming in from out of town, let's give him the real, cold-ass, New York welcome. Let's make him face an empty room." Don't pull a J.J. Hunsecker on me again, New York, don't make me feel like a douch-ola this time. I can't wait to see you!
Here's the fun video of Condi getting pissed at Stanford students for asking tough questions. She apparently has the same amount of respect for these kids that she has for Congress. The nervous, stuttering kid keeps hammering her with good questions until she finally shuts him down cold, with a professorial dismissal. I love the video's titles too. No hard feelings, witchy lady.