This Week’s Dose of Dangle
I had to cancel my trip to see Geoffie in Michigan because of an ice storm that hit Chicago and closed down the airport. I guess I’m lucky I didn’t have to be there when it hit the mitten state. I don’t really have the boots and scarves and clothes for it anymore, let alone the fortitude. In California we panic if it rains or if the temperature goes down to forty. Anyway, now I’m kind of pissed because I was looking forward to escaping my family duties for a few days but now I have to deal with a week of “minimum days” as Oscar’s school. That means days where the school does the minimum amount of teaching and lets the kids out at 1:25. I was going to pawn that off onto my wife but now I'll have to figure out what to do with the kid.
Oscar picked out a nine-foot-tall Christmas tree and I bought it for $93. We must be doing pretty well. I’ll bet a lot of families are buying those two-foot trees. Oscar made a list of presents he wants. He’s not a very materialistic kid except for Nerf Guns. He wants every model. Some of them are over thirty bucks. He has an arsenal but he never plays with them. Kids are strange. He also wants a lie detector. Yeah, I bet that’ll really work. Put the batteries in and then discover how much the toy sucks.
I talked to my friend Simms Taback this week who has cancer and only has a couple months left to live. He’s stopped the chemo since it made him feel terrible and wasn’t going to help anyway. The cancer has spread and remission isn’t going to happen. Simms has a special place in my heart not only because he’s about the nicest guy in the world, and that he illustrated many of my son’s favorite childrens’ books, but Simms was the only guy who had my back during my darkest days at the Graphic Artists Guild when I inherited seriously screwed up financial situation and had to fire everybody. He came to New York and hung out at the office with me and tried to help me figure out what to do so that the Guild wouldn’t go out of business. I’ll never forget that weekend. It was raining like hell and Simms had his car. He gave me a ride uptown to the skanky little flophouse on 17th Street where I was staying. We had dinner at some raucous steak house over by Gramercy Park. Anyway, Simms and I kept in touch but it had been a while since we’d talked. In the meantime he became ill. I only found out because Paul Basista sent out a message on Linked In. Paul is going to Ventura to pay Simms a visit.
Some friends and I had a studio sale at Hae’s office on Saturday. Michael Wertz, Isabel Samaras, Jim Winters, Dave Warnke, and I tried unloading our stuff. We had a decent crowd at times but it wasn’t overwhelmingly successful. If the jewelry guy in the building wasn’t having a studio sale on the same day we would’ve had a lot less; his customers wandered into our studio looking confused because we had no jewelry.
I imagine some people were scared to come to West Oakland, the area has a reputation for shootings and criminal activity. One guy emailed me and asked if it was safe. I told him that if he drove a nice car he might get carjacked. He never showed up. Many people just have no money this year. I talked to two people who either lost their jobs or have a spouse who did. Or both. Another friend has been looking for months.
I have such a goddamn accumulation of inventory from so many years of making “art” that it’s ridiculous. Everywhere you look in Hae’s office I have boxes of books stashed away that I’ll never sell. A couple of old titles did actually sell out but it took years. The only new product I made this year was a Sarah Palin sno globe with the title Sarah Palin’s Big Ass Alaska. I don’t really know if Sarah Palin has a big ass, but I think it’s funny anyway. She brings out the sexist pig in me big time.
Anyway, if you want to come by West Oakland and buy some Troubletown stuff email me and I’ll meet you over there.
During holiday season all the newspapers send me notices of their confusing holiday publishing schedules and tell me on which days they need to have the cartoons in. So far I’m cool I think, but it’s hard to manage. You’d think after all these years I’d have a system for getting three cartoons done ahead of time so that I could sail through the holidays without any problem. I just can’t do it. Maybe now that there’s no Detroit trip I can just do a couple extra cartoons and then forget about the deadlines until after the first of the year. Yeah, right. I just can’t do it.