Monday, July 25, 2011

This Week's Dose of Dangle

This weekend we drove out to Antioch to try to get some summer heat since it was pretty chilly and windy here in Oakland. It gets really hot in Antioch but it was only about eighty with a nice breeze, so it was perfect, almost exactly like Hawaii, except it was Antioch, California. Oscar’s buddy Matthew came along and first we went to Contra Loma regional park. In the giant pool there they have a rule that you must pass a swimming test in order to go into the deep end. Oscar, cocky and overconfident as always, jumped in for his test. His crawl is unorthodox. It’s laughably strange, his arms coming up out of the water in long, loopy arcs that fail to propel him. He didn’t pass the test. The lifeguard said he couldn’t tell what the hell Oscar was doing. It was a heavy blow to Oscar’s ego and a stab to his self-esteem. Then he found a more lenient lifeguard and passed on his second try. The verdict: Oscar needs more lessons. I sat in the shade and read my book, Visit from the Goon Squad, and breathed lighter fluid fumes from nearby barbeques. Then we went to Prewett Park where they have a couple of water slides and several pools and they play blaring ’80s hits over the loudspeakers. Oscar and his pal went down a hundred times or so. Hae and I went down the water slides a few times too. We’re so fat that we bottomed out on the inner tube.

I’ve been going into the studio every day and working on various projects, but I have changed. The isolation I thrived on for so many years is driving me nuts. I walk around the streets but it’s just not doing it for me. If you’re not a weirdo and you want to meet for coffee in Oakland sometime send me an email. Right now I’m working on an insufferably long project with no end in sight. I must remember to always demand a deadline. If I really plow forward and work on it day and night I might be able to finish it in a week. I will, by god, I will.

The other thing going on in the studio is twenty-two years of Troubletown cartoons are stacked up in piles. I’m going through them to find forty good ones for the show at the Cartoon Art Museum. Like I wrote in a previous post, for most of the twenty-two years I used rubber cement to hold together my cartoons with their many paste-ups. My originals are essentially collages. In the early years the rubber cement must’ve been better quality because those are sticking together, but starting around ’93 all the cartoons are yellowed and falling apart. Maybe they changed the formula to make it less deadly and it ruined the adhesive quality. I opened up an envelope of comics and the pieces came falling down like autumn leaves. Little drawings and bits of lettering. Nobody could ever put them back together. Oh well, at least I have ten thousand unsold copies of my books in storage! The cartoons exist in print!

I’ve made some changes over at My pal, Pat Broderick, designed some wonderful new stuff. Take a look at it if you’re interested. I’m changing the focus of my “professional” site to promote graphic recording, the corporate hackery I’m doing now and enjoying.

Hae and I can never figure out who put which movies on the queue at Netflix. She accuses me of loading it up with real stinkers. We watched O Lucky Man, a musical written and starred in by a young Malcom McDowell. Very strange film. We saw Cautiva, very depressing (but excellent) Argentinean film. I watched Louis Black’s Stark Raving Black. I always thought he was funny but he couldn’t pull off a comedy show as a headliner. He’s better in small bits. Then I also watched a Korean gangster shoot ‘em up called The Man from Nowhere. It was gritty with a funny overwrought ending when the good guy and the kidnapped girl are reunited. Took Oscar to see Cars 2 in 3D. I liked it better than Cars 1. Somebody informed me that Iggy Pop recorded a jazz album so as a stalwart fan of the Ig I went to iTunes and listened to the free snippets they give you. Oh, god it sounded awful! It was the worst thing I’d heard since the Bob Dylan Christmas album!


Blogger David Franks said...

RE "It was the worst thing I’d heard since the Bob Dylan Christmas album!"

I am so sorry you had to endure such a thing. I hope you've been able to get the pain out of your ears.

8:02 PM  
Blogger beijingscene said...

dear lloyd:

i'm writing because your cartoon gave me a reliable laugh every week for many years. i wish you were still doing it but i understand why you're not. fwiw, you were part of a pantheon for me that included doonesbury, calvin and hobbes, bloom county, this modern world and red meat. an amorphous mix i concede, but there's no accounting for taste in cartoons. if i were pressed to state a common thread, it was consistency. i like your blog, i really appreciate your openness and honesty. i am in a similar situation (my name is scott savitt, feel free to google). i was based at uc-berkeley and would have bought you coffee (i'm confident i'm not crazy) but took a drive back "home" to north carolina and stayed here to create. do you garden? if you don't i strongly encourage growing plants. they need us, and it helps ease the isolation and promotes the creative process imho. otherwise your angst is an accurate reflection of our troubled times. we are the proverbial creative canaries in the coalmine, it's no wonder we're coughing. anyway, i think you catch my drift. keep your head up, your positive ripples reach shores beyond your visible horizon.

be light,

(scottsavitt at gmail dot com is my less public email)

5:06 AM  
Anonymous Eliz. Herp said...

The description of your son's swimming is so funny + touching. Our boy has that exuberant overconfidence. His swimming never fails to get all lifeguards on site jumping out of their seats in alarm since it basically looks like drowning.

Just started reading Goon Squad and at first kept wondering what the big deal was. By the end of chap. 4 I was in love with it, choking back sobs on a crowded plane flight.

Love the blog. A balm for grieving Troubletown fans.

6:19 AM  
Anonymous Jeremy Joseph said...

Hiya Lloyd!

As always, your posts are joy to read and behold! Who doesnt love Hawaii?
I stopped working at home about 2 years ago because I was slowly going a little insane. I started building this collection of inanimate objects to talk to as I had no reason to leave the house and my tiny little excursions to errands and the coffee shops just weren't cutting it any more.
The mailman's schedule became the talk of the day when my gf would come home at night from her 'proper' job.....

Come down to Portland and I will totally buy you an alcohol-laced coffee. Or just coffee.

PS>I read Scott Savitt's closing comments as "positive nipples beyond your visible horizon". Oh Lawrdy. GOOD MORNING!

8:42 AM  

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