July 2008 Archives

with my little ukulele in my hand


I’ve written up a two-part thing for eMusic’s blog 17 Dots on my ukulele experiences: here and here. And I realized I neglected to link my interview with Gerard Way about The Umbrella Academy, here.

Currently racing around New York City, taking care of, you know, things.



Reading Comics won the 2008 Will Eisner Award for Best Comics-Related Book!

And the best part is that it was presented to me by:

1) Jane Wiedlin, who: 2) kissed me on the cheek, while: 3) surrounded by Stormtroopers.

If anyone has a photo of this, I would be very grateful.

Further reports will follow when I am not so tired that my brain is attempting to shut down my entire central nervous system.

project omniherbivore: romano beans


Picked up some Romano beans at the farmer’s market today. I don’t think I’d ever eaten them before—they’re really big, long, wide, flat string-bean-type beans. Anyway, I steamed them for six minutes or so, tossed them with a little bit of butter and salt and pepper and left it at that, and they were wonderful—even Sterling devoured a bunch of them. They’ve got a little more bite than regular beans, in both texture and flavor (although they’re a little too tough to eat raw); I’d make ‘em again in a second.

I also bought Romanesco broccoli, and it occurred to me after dinner that I should really have cooked them both and served them with Romesco sauce. L’esprit de l’escalier.

pride of engineering


Another piece up at Salon: “A Thousand and One Knights,” about the relationship between the Batman of The Dark Knight and the Batman of the comic books.

I realized a little while ago why I like being at Burning Man as much as I do: because every single person there has gotten it together enough to actually make it to Burning Man.

the stone and bevel scans


It’s been one of those media weeks for me. I appeared on KUOW’s “Weekday” show this morning (hi, KUOW listeners), wrote a piece in Salon about Y: The Last Man, and have been spending innumerable hours prepping for the COMICS EXPLOSION that’s happening next week. (I should have another couple of relevant pieces to announce shortly, too.) And keeping an eye on the continuing adventures of Dame Jetsam and her various followers.

People seem to keep asking me, both in public and in private, if I’m excited about the Watchmen movie. I think I’m slightly more excited about the Black Freighter movie—but not as excited as I am about this “Black Freighter” movie:

Speaking of said explosion, here’s my schedule for Comic-Con International in San Diego, if anybody’s going to be around there:

July 24: 1-2: The Future of the Comics Pamphlet, Room 32AB (with Joe Keatinge, Carr D’Angelo, Eric Shanower, and other luminaries to be announced) 6-7: The Comics Blogosphere, Room 32AB (with David Brothers, Jeff Lester, Laura Hudson and Tim Robins)

July 25: 5-6—Teaching Comics—Room 4 (with Phil Jimenez, Matt Silady, James Sturm and Steve Lieber)

July 26: 11:30-12:30: Image Comics/Tori Amos—Room 6B (with Tori herself and a cast of thousands) 2:00-3:00: Lettering Roundtable—Room 8 (with Todd Klein, John Roshell, Tom Orzechowski and Jared K. Fletcher) 4:30-5:30: The Story of an Image—Room 4 (with Kim Deitch, Jim Woodring, Jim Ottaviani and Kyle Baker)

And, on Friday the 25th at 11:30, I’ll be giving a talk called “Against a Canon of Comics” as part of the Comic Arts Conference in Room 30AB, and probably signing Reading Comics somewhere after it.

genius of staples


I’m back from this year’s Oregon Country Fair, on the way back from which I invented a new drink: the Homeopathic Mojito. Take a large vat of water, two mint leaves and a slice of lime. Swish the mint and lime briefly through the water, then remove them. Serve the water. By homeopathic principles, mint interferes with homeopathy—but by the same set of rules, by diluting the offending substance to the point where there may not actually be any particles left of it in a small sample, you counteract its effect! Therefore, the homeopathic mojito is much more refreshing than an actual mojito, Q.E.D.

In other news: The Oregon Country Fair sure is crowded on Saturdays now, but there is no beating the food there. Tofu Tia at the Tofu Palace—can’t beat it! I must retro-engineer the recipe for their sauce! The people-watching is choice too, especially if you enjoy watching hippies as much as I do.

The miso-glazed tofu wasn’t an experience I’m eager to repeat (the grill went out and Kate had to help us restart it; the tofu itself ended up kind of flavorless), but the Fourth was a lot of fun—Kip wrote about it very entertainingly.

John Holbo’s excellent site The Valve is doing an online symposium about Reading Comics—the first contribution is from Timothy Burke, and I really enjoyed it.

squeak, vocabulary


It is not just hot here, it is excessively hot—the kind of mugginess that saps all the sap out of anything sappable. I’m taking refuge in the basement and listening to old Sun City Girls and Utopia records.

On the cooking front: Mark Bittman’s How To Cook Everything Vegetarian is acquitting itself pretty well so far—Lisa requested “a cool salad” for dinner the other night, so I made his recipe for quinoa salad with tempeh (using red quinoa, and toasting it before I cooked it), and it turned out so well that the entire huge bowl disappeared very quickly.

As part of Lisa’s ongoing attempts to help me be more, you know, manly, she acquired a charcoal grill for our house a few weeks ago. Tonight was my first attempt to use it. Grills are difficult, it turns out! We got some decent veggie burgers and nicely caramelized bananas and oranges out of it, though. I will be attempting to grill miso-glazed tofu on the Fourth of July. Cross your fingers for me.