Mystical Archaeology and French Anthropology

Liz and I moved in to a new apartment a few weeks back. It's still in Brooklyn, and it's smaller than the last place but in a much better location in almost every sense. Generally speaking, I'm really happy with it. However.

Our bedroom has eastern exposure, meaning it gets the rising sun in the morning. The previous tenant left his ratty-ass see-through curtains up, so we're using them until we get our fancy new ones from Anthropologie. I'm not sure if this is physically possible, but I believe these curtains actually intensify light rather than block it. Remember when Indy went to the map room in Raiders of the Lost Ark? It's like that, if the Well of Souls were located inside my skull.

Also, I'm pretty sure I'm being haunted by a ghost whose sole post-corporeal raison d'hanter is to mess with the fucking water temperature every time I take a shower.

In other me-related news, I'm taking a cartooning class at New York's School of Visual Arts. This is kind of a big deal for me, because I've long been convinced that I was born with zero artistic ability. For the last thirty-two years, if I wanted to draw a character, I had to settle for a stick figure that would be considered crude even by the most generous stick-figure standards. But the more comics I read, the more I want to give myself another chance. I'm genuinely inspired by so many contemporary creators: Kevin Huizenga, Bryan Lee O'Malley, Josh Simmons, Jason, Joann Sfar, Lynda Barry, Josh Cotter, Lewis Trondheim, Kazu Kibuishi, wonder twins Fabio Moon and Gabriel Ba, Jeff Smith....

So yeah, we'll see how this turns out. I've had two classes so far (we meet once a week for three hours, through mid-December), and I'm feeling pretty okay about things, although my drawings are still pretty rudimentary and awkward. The goal of the class is for each student to create an eight-page mini-comic, so each week we're covering a different aspect of the process - character design, script writing, backgrounds, thumbnailing, inking, and so on. Some of the students are intimidatingly advanced, but the class is taught in a way that's welcoming to complete ground-level beginners like me. As soon as I get access to a flatbed scanner, I'll try to post some of my sketches and assigments. I think it'll be fun to share my progress each week, and it should also motivate me to not be completely awful.

Also, go see Ghost Town! It's way, way better than I (or anyone, if we're being honest) expected it to be, and my pal Jeff Hiller steals some scenes as "Naked Guy." It's worth your $10, I promise.