Channel the entity "Jeff Parker" from beyond the Ether

Thursday, April 29, 2004

Updates, Wardrobes 

I've finally started filling out that sidebar column-- a couple more pictures, many more links. If I know you and haven't linked your blog yet, don't get all huffy. There's not a lot of logic to that list, it's mostly ones I check out and could get my hands on quickly. I'm not going to put every comics blog I can find in there, you can hit almost any of them and find the whole list. And I don't expect a reciprocal link if I do put you in there, but thanks if you do. There are a few science sites I thought pretty neat, I'll try to put more stuff like that. One of my favorites is the weblog of musician Bob Mould, he has a good mix of subjects and when he finally does comment on music or the music industry, it's always very insightful. I put cartoonist Mike Wieringo's blog on there even though it's the same praise for Karl Kesel that's been there for six months. But I have faith the volcano will erupt again one day. The one I called "the tube" is really called "London Underground", and I think it's pretty noteworthy too. Again, I'll be adding many more when I get another burst of energy, so you can drift away from this site before you finish reading my posts.

While looking around on the web, I see that art pal Tomm Coker has been busy in other creative areas. Great work on that suit, Tomm, I knew you were a Tron fan, but wow! I'll make that a link too.


Tuesday, April 27, 2004

The Difficult Monkee 

The other day in the mail I found a DVD from Jake Tison, who made a video documentary of the 2003 San Diego Comicon. He refers to it as a video sketchbook since it's not in-depth, but it does give a nice overview of what to expect from the show for someone who's never been. Jake was nice enough to send all of us who spoke on camera a copy, and I'm going to review it before the next show I attend. The filmmaker gave me an opportunity to tell what Interman is about, so I took it. Man is it painful to listen to my own spiel. I'm going to use this dvd like locker-room play footage to clean up my game and streamline that summary. With some work I should be able to improve that, but I don't know that there's anything I can do about my accent. In North Carolina people always asked why I didn't have one, but that's because we were all surrounded by thick barbecue-sauce dripping dialects, and comparitively I came off like a tv news anchor. But in the rest of the world I have a weird from-the-south-then-moved-around-the-west-coast thing going on when I speak. Then I realized who I sounded like.

If I had to sound like a Monkee, I would have certainly picked Mike Nesmith over Jones, Tork or Dolenz, so I won't complain. This got me onto thinking about Nesmith, the really talented one of the group arranged by Screen Gems. Mike could play guitar well and had cut a couple of records before the call went out to create a rock band for television. He was also the one who made the most trouble on the show, always pushing for more creative control, which put him in constant fights with music director Don Kirshner. You aged types might remember Don Kirshner's Rock Concert from the 70's, that Foghat-loving show that was the competition for The Midnight Special. Don was kind of this little lump in a chair introducing the bands, and even as a kid I knew that he probably shouldn't have been hosting his own show. Maybe I'll talk more about those shows later, I'm already two asides deep here. Kirshner may have launched Neil Diamond's career by using I'm A Believer, which also established first that all Diamond songs are better sung by other acts.

From what I can tell, the rest of the Monkees were just glad to have a big break and be celebrities, while Mike was concerned with being an artist. It's neat that his mother also became successful at around the same time he did. Bette Nesmith invented Liquid Paper, and until we all switched to these electronic marvels you're reading this blog on, that sold really well (3 asides deep now). I think Mike is the prototype for alt-rock kids, sporting the sideburns and wool cap that I see all over Portland still. He should have a lifetime supply of cred for producing Repo Man, too.
Writing about this makes me want to get a copy of Head, the pyschedelic movie the Monkees made at the end of their show to reinvent themselves. Jack Nicholson did a lot of the writing on it, and it's pretty bizarre from what I remember.
Favorite Monkees songs? Steppin' Stone and Your Auntie Grizelda.


Sunday, April 25, 2004

Check Out That Sweet Mullet! 

So the other day I was Googling myself (not what it sounds like) and found a link from my alma mater, East Carolina. Imagine my surprise at finding this image from '89 of me "working on a comic strip" at the East Carolinian paper in the Publications building. Besides how shocked I was at seeing that mudflap on my neck, I'm also amazed at how anemic I look. I think the picture is actually from '87, but I won't argue since the archivists were nice enough to let me be one of the few P's. This makes me want to dig out photos and make one of those "evolution" series of mugshots. Tomorrow I'll continue this theme and mention the uncomfortable thing of watching myself on video taken at last year's Comicon. Watching myself is harsh enough, but having to listen to me...


Thursday, April 22, 2004


Multnomah Falls, in the Columbia River Gorge. Weather permitting, that's where we're going today. Ponder the planet for a minute, maybe pick up some trash on the grass if you see some today. Carpool or ride your bike. Something! I need oxygen, and these plants seem to be the only thing that produce it.


Great Men of the Web 

Sometimes the internet gives back, or at least the good folk who haunt the internet. First, giant thanks to Josh Macy, who found out about my blog thanks to the latest con report and then chided me for having the text drifting over into the sidebar when browser windows are short. Sure, everyone chides me for it, but Josh actually took the time to tell me how to fix it! Thanks Josh, you CSS whiz. You will be spared and given a dominion when I ascend to the throne.

Another person on my Will Not Die List is Charlie Chu. I just saw that over at his blog Grammarporn, he did a thorough breakdown of an action scene from Interman. It made me feel really good about my work, though I can't claim to have consciously thought through all the storytelling decisions. I'm sure I do up to a point, and then much is probably me redrawing a panel until it works for me, whatever that entails. It's hard to describe, I think like lots of cartoonists, when writing or drawing I often go into some kind of fugue state and later emerge from it like Grasshopper in a flashback from Kung Fu. I'm curious to see what this story is that Charlie is working on...


Wednesday, April 21, 2004

LA: Now It Can Be Told 

I hereby declare this day to be Content Day, I've put so much content up. Parkerspace.com is refitted for your dining pleasure, and Lieber and I actually did a convention report on the LA show, which was a few years ago.

Once you're through reading The Last Galactus Story and The Little Porn Boy, go back through my site and check out the new sections. I put up a Workshop where I'll be showing how I do things, sort of. I leave out the powernaps that are so important to the process. There's also a Cafe Press store that I'll be adding more to in the coming weeks.

And I may even have time to repair this site so the text doesn't go slamming into the sidebar when your browser window is short.


Friday, April 16, 2004

Middle O' The Road 

Just took this political quiz that's goin' round. The goal of the site is to say "See, with a little work you could be a libertarian!" Hah, fat chance. But the graph did put me in the center where I always proclaim I am, wandering just a bit to the lefties. Here's their answer.

According to your answers, your political philosophy is centrist.

Centrists favor selective government intervention and emphasize practical solutions to current problems. They tend to keep an open mind on new issues. Many centrists feel that government serves as a check on excessive liberty.

I don't know what that "excessive liberty" part is all about, probably because I wasn't for abandoning all drug laws. This quiz at least has the virtue of being very brief, and didn't say that I'm "Gimli, the Dwarf" like the Lord of the Rings one did.


Thursday, April 08, 2004

"Deserve's Got Nothing To Do With It" 

Hey, I've been nominated for an Eisner in the Talent Deserving Wider Recognition category! This is pretty cool. Here's the whole list of nominees. Thanks to the Eisner Judges for the consideration. I guess all I can do now is sit back and try to be the Most Sincere Pumpkin Patch, so to speak.

And in case you couldn't place it, that quote is from Unforgiven, it's what Clint Eastwood says just before he shoots Gene Hackman.


Friday, April 02, 2004

Whew. Hellboy = Good! 

I just went to a matinee of Hellboy, and really liked it. I'd like to shake Guillermo del Toro's hand, I wasn't sure anyone could pull off making the comic work as a movie, but he did it just fine. I liked the pacing-- there was plenty of action without trying to make it into a "thrill ride". The characterization was well done and gave the movie a heart. What really makes me happy is that this is one of the few cases where a noncomics reader might go looking for the source material after liking the movie, and they're going to find some excellent comics waiting for them.

And extra cool points to the film for using the logo that Kevin Nowlan designed!


Thursday, April 01, 2004

If It Ain't Broke, Break It 

One of the news sources I champion over there on the sidebar is making a wrong move. New management at NPR has decided to take Bob Edwards out of the helm at the Morning Edition show and replace him with a "fresher" voice. This is what new management does in every business of course, take out the people who built the ship they want to sail so badly. In comics when a creative team hears of an editorial change on their book, they shake in their boots at the inevitable.

I've gotten used to having my last dreams of the night reform to try to accomodate Edward's voice infiltrating from my alarm clock radio. He has a soothing timbre, the exact opposite of all the shaved apes hosting the rest of radio's morning shows, making prank calls and jokes about celebrities I don't care about. Maybe the rest of America needs to hear twelve fart jokes on the way to work and then enjoy telling their colleagues what Scooch and the CaveMan said today. But people who are listening to NPR are trying to learn something and like that bedrock consistency that made them regular listeners in the first place. Edwards was becoming NPR's Cronkite, and now he'll be relegated to popping in periodically with an opinion or special interest story like Senior Correspondent Daniel Schorr. Respected, but promoted out of a job.

Not everyone bumrushes their best. The other link over there, the BBC-- they kept Alistair Cooke working right up until his death the other day at 95. It wasn't an anchor position, but if you ever heard his Letter From America, it often was almost as long as Morning Edition. I don't know when our culture is going to stop being so fickle and obsessed with change for the sake of itself. The only consolation we can take is that the people who do the firing eventually have to be moved out themselves for a fresh, new approach.


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