The cartoonist Lucy Knisley has very quickly risen to my attention in the past few months. I have a copy of her book, “French Milk,” though frankly her work on her LiveJournal has been some of the best regular entertainment I’ve come to count on. That she’s able to come up with such insightful, personal and funny stories on a regular basis, arranged and drawn in an old-school panel format with engaging, vivid illustrations, invokes the kind of bewildered amazement that makes me wonder how she can manage the drive to get it done without getting paid for the work, dismay that she doesn’t have a model to get paid for it, and feel guilty that I haven’t paid her for it.
Not being an artist myself, the sentiment is probably too focused on money. Except, well, money matters. For at least the past 500 years, artists either find an established, institutional means to be paid regularly for the effort they could spend in less creative fields, find sponsors and manage themselves as cottage industries doing other things besides art, or keep their day jobs.
Lucy knows this as well as anyone, and has cartooned on the subject at least once before, in reaction to more experienced cartoonists bemoaning the loss of the syndicated newspaper comic strip as a viable form of expression with a regular paycheck. Her reaction to them isn’t too far off from my reaction to her latest cartoon, about being asked by a stranger what she wants to be “when she grows up,” and the discouraging comments that follow her answer — a cartoonist.
At least, I think they’re similar reactions. I’m not a cartoonist, and can’t even remember pretending to be interested in drawing, even as a kid. But I did spend 10 years working in newspapers, and recently started another career in an entertainment field where it’s considered appropriate to discourage others who express interest in it. And I have lots of friends who are creative professionals, and read and have read lots of comic books and comic strips. So I think I might have some insight on the subject.
Haven’t seen this much news about square footage in a long time. So Vigil Games, owned by THQ, the latter flush with cash for selling one of their studios and firing 200-some people just four months ago, is going to move into a new 33,000-square-foot office space in Austin, in somewhere called Four Points Centre. (Austin Business Journal had the official word on Friday, not that I noticed.)
What the gaming sites have yet to point out is that Four Points Centre is barely what anyone would call “Austin,” at least not counting suburban sprawl. Its own location map advertises the fact that it’s way out in the sticks, and if anyone would care to check the Google Maps version, you might get double-checks their estimates on drive times.
Edit: In all fairness, I’m not (officially) making a qualitative statement about suburban sprawl, just that while the developers most likely expect that the area will build up and become a growth center in the next few years, it isn’t much of one now, and while a 15-minute drive to anywhere might seem fine to anyone from, say, L.A., Texans would call it ‘livin’ in the country.”
But, in truth, the place where I go to work, out on Loop 360, was just hills and trees less than 30 years ago. ‘Course, back then they thought it’d be made into a freeway. Didn’t quite happen that way, and it’s still pretty nice country out there.
Reasons why Austin is awesome and I love living here and please don’t move here unless you are at least benign if not awesome yourself, No. eleventy quantum quintillion:
It was awesome in a bottle.
Yeah, so, remember this guy, assuming you don’t watch his reviews every Wednesday as religiously as I do? He’s got a new project that’s basically him and the two guys from this thing (one of whom’s his roommate) trying to do a game review/variety comedy TV show. They finally linked the 30-minute Youtube video that they’re calling a “pilot”.
At 21:19, after the start of a segment called “Postcards from Nerd Town,” the surly bearded guy in a Trilby hat and a waistcoat admits to playing City of Heroes, creating a female character “with the boob slider all the way up” called “Jiggle Physics”. And that while he would only play it again “if I have to,” he didn’t totally pan it.
Anyone who knows anything about this guy should consider this serious praise. I mean, look what he did to Sonic Unleashed today. And he doesn’t even like “mumorpergers”.
I’m really hoping that my friends at Escapist Magazine will see fit not to jump on this series for shamelessly ripping off Zero Punctuation’s style and look. It makes adequate deference to Yahtzee and while the production values are much poorer by comparison (and not just because ZP’s look and feel is 90 percent stick figures and 5 percent text, and these guys copied it all), the message is nut-crushingly clear, there is no good reason to shop at GameStop ever again.
So I’m sold. Go watch. If you can put up with the mumbling, you’ll learn something and be amused for the experience. (If you actually like watching them as much as I did, you can download the original .mpg files via links here.) And God willing I’ll never spend money at a GameStop again.
I wonder if Austin has a locally-owned store that would sell me a new Rock Band 2 kit when it comes out next month.
EDIT: WhistleBlowerZero’s Youtube account has been suspended! The videos are on GameTrailers, thankfully.
Here’s something I didn’t expect four years ago when I posted pictures to go along with my bloody wisdom tooth surgery: being compared to Aliza Shivarts, the Yale student who successfully pranked a huge portion of hifalutin art academia with an “exhibit” supposedly featuring multiple aborted fetuses excreted out the repeatedly poisoned womb of the artist — except that she didn’t really do it, as accurately predicted by Warren Ellis, among others.
Question for further discussion: is there any difference between a woman who chooses to display the results of an abortion and those who choose to display their extracted wisdom teeth? Both procedures are legal, are frequently performed, and are somewhat bloody. What is the difference?
The difference, besides the fact that my teeth were real, and her abortions were apparently latex and Vaseline and a whole lot of hype?
My real teeth took four fucking years to get any goddamned typographical reaction, compared to her fake fetuses.
Most of the people on my IM list know that I have two working desktop computers now, after two months with just one in pieces and a laptop that was pulling total duty. What follows sounds so ridiculously cliche that I don’t even recognize myself for writing about it, but I’m surprised about something and hope someone reading this can offer some advice.
My mom ordered me a cake from the grocery store bakery near where I work. I know this because she told me so in an e-mail. It’s a carrot cake.
So tomorrow I’m supposed to go to the store and pick it up, so she didn’t have to pay the delivery fee, apparently more than the cake itself.
Also, they wouldn’t take her credit card, so I’ll have to pay for it myself, and she’ll reimburse me.
Thanks, Mom. I don’t blame you, I blame H-E-B for being dumb. Tomorrow, cake!
This site is shutting down for good. I haven’t been updating it regularly in a dog’s age, and I think I’ve run out of anything to say. Plus, I’ve recently accepted a job at a major game company and can’t talk about it anyway. My life’s likely to change significantly at long, long last.
OK, I’ll tell you a bit about it, after the jump.