Tuesday, November 30, 2010

This Week's Troubletown: All About the Junk


Sunday, November 28, 2010

Palin Enthusiast Hatemail

Hey Dick, What are you going to do when it's President Palin? Move to Mexico I hope!!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Today's sketch: Peculiar Papisms

Thursday, November 25, 2010

This Week's Dose of Dangle

The cleanse is over. It wasn’t too bad eating coconut milk and vegetables all week, I made Tom Ka Gai and a potato curry; Hae made turnip soup, nut milk, breakfast porridge, kelp noodles, and all sorts of weird stuff. She read the cleanse listserve to find out how everybody's elimination was going. Halfway through the week I started to crave a disgusting heart-choking pizza. Then I walked past the burger place on Piedmont Avenue, smelled the charred beef smoke belching out onto the street and was halfway tempted to walk in. The other half was tempted to throw up. After the cleanse we spent a night up in Calistoga and submerged ourselves in a hot mineral pool. Yes, life is pretty good. Oscar built ships out of floaty recliners and noodles. Then we ate some fried chicken.

Geoffie Update

I was making a joke last week about my old pal Geoffie wanting to start a nightclub in Detroit, but it turns out he really does want to start one but in Ann Arbor, and he plans to call it “Blue Boots.” He wants me to draw fifty pictures of cowboy boots right away for starters––and be part of his art team. The real estate agent warned Geoff that a Hooters-type establishment will not do well in Ann Arbor but Geoff is determined to have some scantily clad females working the bar. I don’t know if he thinks it’s a wise business decision or if he just wants to be around scantily clad babes. He’s putting together an investor package right now to build the money pyramid. It all sounds very legit and very tempting to believe. Geoffie’s 50th birthday is in December and he demands that I come to Michigan. I would love to see Geoffie and my old hometown, but I’m loathe to travel and leave my family––unless it’s a paying gig or maybe a Sly and Snide Slideshow.

Death to My Shows
With sadness I killed my Internet shows “Dangle on Deadline” and “Drinking and Inking” this week after rigorously and religiously producing them for a year. It was lonely drawing my comic strip at 5 am Monday without the viewers on the chat board supporting me, and Fridays just won’t be the same without the weekly alcohol-infused sketchapalooza, but I just can’t hang with Ustream anymore, it sucks so bad. It’s sad because my viewers, all four of them, are so loyal and sweet. It’s not the number of viewers that counts, it’s the commitment.

I've Got Some Work

Whiteboard animation is all the rage these days. You’ve seen them on YouTube or on the UPS commercials. Some dude stands there and draws on a dry erase board while the camera captures it. They’re a fad, but while they’re popular I’m trying to cash in as fast as I can. On Wednesday I drew for one for a corporate client at a studio in San Francisco with a real professional crew, lighting, sandbags, the whole thing. I pre drew all the illustrations, which was the hard part, and then had to recreate them with the camera rolling. It was a long day. Afterward my hand was achy and my shoulder was knotted. I’m not a young man. I need to go back up to Calistoga and get a massage.

A Dangle Thanksgiving
I ordered a natural young free range turkey from Ver Brugge and Hae had to go wait in line for it for a half hour. All the Berkeley natural folks were buying their hormone-free birds. She brought it home in a box and since there wasn’t room in the fridge (still too much squash and nut milk left over from our cleanse) she left it on the back deck. I imagined a pack of raccoons discovering it so I placed it inside a cooler. Then I dreamed last night that I looked inside the cooler in the morning and all that was there was an empty box. Thanksgiving ruined!

Saw Mega Mind in 3D, liked it, Ray, liked it, Judgement at Nuremberg, incredible, and Inherit the Wind, loved it. It’s obvious that all movies should be 3D, even Judgement at Nuremberg.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Sketchbook: TSA Employees are People Too

Monday, November 22, 2010

This Week's Troubletown: The Sarah Palin Collection


Sunday, November 21, 2010

Dangle Shows Go on Hiatus

If you're a hardcore fan of Dangle and Troubletown you've probably watched my live internet shows Dangle on Deadline or Drinking and Inking. Well, starting this week, the shows are going on hiatus until I find a new service to host them. Ustream sucks. It really does. And this week they made some changes that made the suckage suck even more. My theory is that they make it suck purposely because they want you to buy their "pro" package for $199, but why would you buy it if what they give you already is buggy and sucks? Anyway, I've decided to quit doing the shows until I find an alternative that doesn't suck. So if you've got any idea please let me know. And thanks for being such a great audience.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Today's Sketch: Cleanse, Day Four

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Weekly Dose of Dangle

I called my oldest friend, Geoffie, a week ago to check in on him and see how he’s doing. He’s had a hard time of late, broke, semi-homeless, and in and out of the pokey a few times. My call got him started. Now he’s calling me every day and I’m avoiding him. He calls when he’s got big ideas that he wants me to collaborate on. Once he called because he needed artwork for a Dr. John concert he was going to put on at Cobo Hall in Detroit. Another time he was going to buy an abandoned hotel in Detroit and turn it into an art hotel in time for the Superbowl. His plans are always world-changing, enormous in scale, and going to happen within days or, at most, a week. The problem is that they’re all in his head.

When Geoffie gets one of his ideas he expects me to drop everything and get on board. He calls and makes me take notes and gives me assignments. This week he told me to call Michigan Governor Granholm’s press secretary to see if the Governor would take part in a big party the Geoff wants me to help organize. “Can you get on that right away?” he said. He talks on his cell while he’s walking because he’s very busy and has to double-task. So somewhere in Michigan he’s walking down a street barking orders into the phone. It should be mentioned that the CIA and Department of Homeland Security are following his every move.

There’s been a sinister blue van parked in front of my house. I’d never seen it around here before. I peeked inside, there was a bed with blankets on it. Nobody moved it for a week. I started to think that it had been stolen and dumped here. Like I said, it was very sinister looking with it’s dull blue paint and stripes on the side and tinted windows. Tinted windows are illegal in California you know. I learned that in my online traffic school. Anyway, I figured I’d call the OPD and make it their top priority to come and check it out––but before I could it was gone. I’ve become that cranky, nosy old man on the block.

Hae and I are doing a “cleanse” this week. It’s no meat, no sugar, no dairy, no alcohol, no chocolate. It means eating a lot a squash. Also there are various herbal pills you have to swallow ten at a time. Hae had to buy a hundred dollars worth of supplements and disgusting things like aloe juice. Have you ever tried to drink aloe juice? It’s nasty. We’ll have a bottle of aloe juice in our cupboard for the next ten years. I’ve also got a killer headache from coffee withdrawal. I have also been conned into doing yoga. You can see me walking on Telegraph Avenue with my little rolled up mat. It’s taken twenty-four years but now I’m totally California.

I did my cartoon at five am on Monday, LIVE on Ustream as usual. I hated it at first but now I like it. I have three fans who tune into Dangle on Deadline despite it’s early hour and they’ve taken to throwing out ideas for my cartoons. Sometimes I even use them. One idea Dyana had for this week’s cartoon I liked but I didn’t use: Billionaires use their tax cuts to water the golf course with human organs. Funny, huh?

I’ve suddenly got a couple gigs that are going to bleed right into Thanksgiving. One of them is really requiring me to stretch my capabilities. In fact I don’t know if I can do it. For years I drew illustrations and nothing was ever scary. Now I do professional work that scares the hell out of me. This one’s a corporate snooze but it'll be good for some bank.

I watched: Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead, it was good, and my old favorite, Cheech and Chong’s Up in Smoke, which was great. Classic marijuana humor. Yes, there was more Mad Men. It’s just like the Soprano’s except instead of getting whacked, people just get fired.

This Week's Billionaire Troubletown


Monday, November 15, 2010

Dangle in the Times

I got a mention from Nancy Folbre in today's NYT Economix blog.

Friday, November 12, 2010

White House Gives In On Bush Tax Cuts

I called it.
White House Gives In On Bush Tax Cuts

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Racial Gender Bending

I caught this on CNN the other night and found it strange to watch. I'm probably not color-blind enough but it makes me uncomfortable when the white guy schools the black guy on race. They cut off my favorite line at the end where the host says to Wise, "You've been getting death threats. I hope you're still going to be around."

This Week’s Dose of Dangle

This week’s cartoon set off the pedantic bell for me. It’s a little too explanatory. It’s too wonky. It’s too much of a bland recitation of the facts. Ah, but what can you do? I’ll probably look at it in two weeks and think it was the best cartoon I’ve ever done.

I bought myself a giant whiteboard this week so that I can film more RSA animate knock offs. Now the goddamn thing has taken over my studio and I don’t have a place to store it. Oscar will have fun scribbling on it, and that’s important. I’ve temporarily run out of work and I’m waiting to hear from one client whether we’re going forward with a rather big project. When I have down time I am trying to write my novel, tentatively titled, Unpalleteable. It’s either a novel or creative non-fiction, not sure which. Lately all I’ve been writing is crap.

In homeowner news, our tankless water heater has been performing poorly so I did some research and found a guy in Oakland, Eric at Cal Plumbing, who is supposed to be the expert. He told me over the phone that I could easily fix the problem by cleaning the filter. Do I have to open it up? I asked. He said, no, the filter is on the side of the unit at the base of where the cold water goes in. I would have to turn off the water source first. So last night as Hae was putting Oscar to bed I decided it was time to fix the water heater. I turned off the water and removed the plug where the filter was supposed to be. Only water came blasting out anyway! The plug went flying out of my hand from the pressure and in no time I was standing in a huge puddle and water was going everywhere. I found a bucket and put it under the pipe that was spouting like a fountain but in less than a minute it was full. I screamed to Hae that I needed help. I ran outside to the main water cutoff and shut it down. The water coming out of the pipe reduced to a trickle and finally stopped. We gathered up every towel in the house and spread them out. Then we searched for something that resembled a filter but there wasn’t one, just a little metal plug which we reinserted. Problem not solved!

The bamboo clump in my back yard is a thing of the past. I chopped away at the root ball that was four feet across to begin with until it was only about two feet across, then the whole thing came up in one chunk. I was proud of myself but I ruined a pair of shoes.

The kids in the cub scouts are going to sleep overnight in a submarine and then for some reason there’s no school Thursday. Oh, right, Veteran’s day. That’s the reason. I decided not to go because I have sleep apnea and my snoring would echo through the chamber––sounding like the ghost of one of the seamen who served in there––and it would frighten the children. Plus, I just have no desire to sleep in a submarine. It’s not for me. Sorry, son.

Hey, a guy I went to high school with named Tim posted this tea party rant on my Facebook wall this week in response to my post about the half-white half-black Obama picture. (I get lots of stuff like this).

Just a thought, and I am a TEA Party Activist, if he does have two sides, they are both to the left of JFK. Martin Luther King Jr only defined "racism" as denying a race's right to exist. (Reference 'Community or Chaos')

Obama has redefined "racism" as disagreeing with his politics. 

We TEA Partiers (and I am speaking f...or me and Allen West) don't hate Obama because he is black, half-black, or a Democrat. We do hate Marxism which promotes class warfare and killed 100,000,000 people in the 20th Century!

We also believe that when a President labels the majority of American citizens as the "enemy" in front of a largely non-citizen crowd, that he is (somehow) acting in an "in-American" manner.

But, hey, that's just me clinging to my guns and religion.

It’s so funny to me that a guy like Tim lives in a world where President Obama is a terrifying Muslim-Marxist bogeyman and I live in one where he’s a milquetoast accommodating politician who’d do just about anything to be liked by Republicans. Of course I’m the one who’s right and Tim is just a self-pitying, paranoid geek. Granted it would be terrifying to be a Muslim walking through an airport and suddenly be arrested and hauled off to Egypt for torture. They’re still doing that, just like in the Bush administration. If my house was in predator drone fly-over country I’d be scared too. But I don’t think that’s what Tim is worried about.

There’s nothing that upsets a tea partier more than being called racist––it really hurts their feelings––they want us to know that they are 100% color blind and as post-racial as possible. (I don’t think Obama ever defined anybody as racist, but that’s one of Tim’s “facts” so it’s not surprising). They can’t see how demonizing, diminishing, and casting the black guy in office as a someone very different, someone “other” than “us” could be construed as racist.

A guy called me a racist once because I made fun of Bill Clinton. According to that guy, Clinton was the first black president. Another time a Republican accused me of making a drawing of Condoleeza Rice that was racist. I love Republicans when they get all politically correct.

There's an Amazon ad on my blog where they're selling my book for 76 cents. Just great.

Movies this week:
I watched part of Mutiny on the Bounty, the one with Brando. I love both versions of that movie. Mad Men, Mad Men, and more Mad Men, season 3. I keep telling Hae to order something else from Netflix. I’m sick of watching those guys smoke and suck down booze.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

This Week's Wonky Troubletown


Sunday, November 07, 2010

A Taste of Drinking and Inking

Here's the video of Friday's Drinking and Inking on Ustream. If you've never watched my popular live internet happy hour please take a look. Of course the best way to watch D&I is live because you and the other fans make requests and provide a dialogue in the chat window and I try to keep up as I draw. It's an interactive sketchapalooza that happens every week at 3pm Pacific time.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Two-face Obama an Affront to Whitey

Some lowly uncredited Photoshopper at AP-CBS News is catching flack for this photo-cartoon today. The picture of Obama with a weird scar down the middle of his face, looking mocha on one side and bleached and honkified on the other is being called racist.

Right wingers at Newsbusters said:
As one can see, the darker Obama is on the left with the Democrats, and the lighter Obama is on the right with the Republicans.

Are CBS and AP not so subtly implying the GOP are all white?
Seems like someone at AP and CBS has some splainin' to do.

You see, this image is clearly racist toward white people! No doubt ACORN or the New Black Panthers are behind it.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Brand Degradation

I don't know if it's noticeable to anyone but me, but I continue to be amused by the way this company has genericized the brand I designed for them. It's annoying to be replaced by hacks because every third person I meet says, "Hey, you're the guy who did the cold remedy package!" Recently my lawyer got them to pay me some money for the right to embarrass me, so I shouldn't complain. Ka-ching!

Note the blimpy three fingered claw on this one.

Staring off in an odd direction. The left arm reminds me of John McCain's that was paralyzed by torture.

The soon to be replaced original.

Animated Tip Jar

Here's a new animation for my tip jar. Donate to Troubletown if you feel like it. Share the love!

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

This Week's Dose of Dangle

Out in the back yard there’s a clump of bamboo I planted a few years ago and now it sends stalks fifteen feet into the air, lots of them. Its invasive fronds will be working their way into my studio before long if I don’t stop them. So I whacked it all off near the ground and I’m trying to dig out the giant root ball. Its roots are shallow but hairy and tenacious. So I’m out there with a mattock swinging the heavy axe like thing like I’m on a chain gang. My soft, never-worked-a-hard-day-in-my-life hands are all blistered and painful, and my back is knotted up like a fist. It’s a great way to work out my frustrations, whacking those roots for fifteen minutes or so a day. I figure it will take me all winter to finish the job.

Hae on Halloween: the kids from East Oakland come to our neighborhood because it’s safer; the kids from our neighborhood go to Rockridge because it’s safer; where do the kids from Rockridge go? Piedmont?

I took Oscar out trick-or-treating. He was dressed as a ninja robot, something he invented. He’s old enough now that he’s not too shy to say, “trick or treat,” but he was very particular about which houses he approached. He didn’t like the ones that had a lot of skulls and pumpkins and decorations. He preferred the plain ones. He really wanted to trick or treat with his pal, Clyde, and we finally hooked up with Clyde’s family over on 62nd Street, after Oscar’s little plastic pumpkin was already half full. Clyde was some kind of Star Wars storm trooper and he was running full speed with a little gang of six or seven kids trying to get as much candy as possible as fast as possible. His dad gave me a beer. Once Oscar got a taste of trick or treating with a gang, running up on the porches and overwhelming the homeowners, he decided it wasn’t for him. He said, “Dad, I just want to go alone.” I wonder if it’s his own individual nature or some genetic thing that makes him run from the crowd.

This week’s cartoon gave me headaches and I don’t know if it’s any good, but then I never know. Remember, my deadline came one day before the election, which made it tough to comment. I was thinking about how much nothing will happen during the next two years of divided government, and then I started hearing that Fugs song, Nothing, in my head. “Monday nothing, Tuesday nothing, Wednesday and Thursday nothing...” So I borrowed a little from it. Whew! Cartoon done! I had three viewers watching Dangle on Deadline so I wasn’t totally alone.

Election Day...Well, the worser of two evils won as predicted. It was not nearly as fun and watching the World Series. Now the Dems will get their chance to compromise as they have been wanting to do and pass all the legislation that comes out of the House. First thing for the Dems to give up on: the Bush tax cuts will be extended in return for some weak legislation the Dems want. The Reps won’t budge so the Dems will just fold over and give them what they want. It will sail through the Senate. We’ll be seeing both nothingness and capitulation for the next two years. It’ll be ugly.

I got a goddamn ticket for making a right turn on red without stopping in Emeryville, not by an actual cop but by a video camera. My attitude is that one must only drive as well as conditions warrant. If there are no cops nearby it’s fine to coast through a stop sign as long as nobody is coming. But not in Emeryville. I hate that town and their traffic cameras. This is the second time they’ve gotten me. $520. If it happens again I swear I will stop driving.

Be sure to tune in for Drinking and Inking on Friday at 3pm Pacific.

Hae and I watched more Mad Men episodes, the World Series, and Tomorrow, a grim and depressing movie with Robert Duvall. I give it two thumbs in the eyeballs.

This Week's Existential Troubletown


Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Funny News Break