Category Archives: Reports

Happy New Year. Back to Work!

Everyone who does content for the Internet seems to saying what a great year 2011 will be for them and that how they will kick 2010’s ass in some vague way or other. Instead of saying how they’re going to do, they’re making vague statements, metaphors and pronouncements while paving more road to hell with good intentions.

Sure, that’s normal human behavior at this time of year, but I’m going to go one better and give you an actual sneak peek at what’s coming up this year for me, instead of just saying what a swell year it will be.

Comfort Zone the Comic: I did a crappy (really, it was) little webcomic that kind of went way off course last year. I let it go for awhile, but this year, starting in January, I’m going to resolve the “story” of the last comic and bring it into a better storytelling format. It will be twice a week, but instead of three panels twice a week, it will be more of a comic-sized page, or an old time Sunday Comics sized strip, when strips took up 90% of a page. I want to create a comic to show off my real art and storytelling chops.

I don’t want to creatively masturbate three panels a day with week jokes.

Podcasts: Open Mike, Insert Foot is done. Finished. Out with a whimper. I have gotten everything out of that experience that I can get and it is time to move on to bigger and better things. Shows that are better prepared, less reliant on random callers and other people, and stuff that I’m more passionate about.

That Stupid Podcast premieres in January. The first episode sets up the concept and format, and from there, well, it gets stupid.  People are getting dumber and I’ll show you how, with a bit of observation and a pinch of comedy.

Before the Crisis is the working title for my comic book podcast. It will talk mostly about my life in comics, specifically focusing on the years before 1986, comics’ best year (in my lifetime). It will have a strong focus on different types of cultures in comics, the DC multiverse as it was in that time, and many other topics that you don’t hear on Major Spoilers or Word Balloon.  I’m hoping to launch this in the Spring.

Mike the Art Guy: Art, Internet, Business. I’m going to call upon my associates to share with me their experiences in art, Internet, and business. This show will be for working artists and Internet content providers. In between may be episodes that are more journal in nature, where I share my adventures and observations. Still finalizing the format, so look for more announcements about the final launch date in February or March.

I will also be ramping up production on my original artwork, prints, cards, caricatures, and other commission work, or as it’s known, my real job.

I’m not just pulling this stuff out of my butt, mind you. I’ve long ago planned everything out and documented it, so I can focus and keep on schedule with my various projects.

So with that all out in the open, and practically daring myself to fail, I want to take a moment to wish you all a productive and fun year, not just right now in January, but all year long.

Now get back to work.

Mike

Jamboree Report

The Amherst Old Time Jamboree was a moderate success. I had my booth paid for within 4 hours on Friday night. Part of that was thanks to potential Amherst Treasurer Linda Hale buying the last of my hand-colored Dragon Mama prints, which will probably not be done again, since the original was accidently sold at Balloon fest a year ago. Cathy Hume Kurtz’s daughter stopped by also, with a couple of friends. Cathy’s mom, Arlene, was my favorite math teacher in sixth and seventh grade and Cathy was in my graduating class at MLS. Class of ’83. Hoo hah.

Melissa Kendra Thiert and Hanna Watson from Sandstone Summer Theater stopped by and chatted it up for awhile. Melissa sends me pieces of Flair on Facebook all of the time, which I love. I need to make some more up myself. And I went to school with Hannah’s mom Susan Watson, and know Hannah from her local community theater appearances.

Kathy Whitmore, my bestest girlfriend ever, kept me company for awhile, too. And on Saturday, too. Being the perfect shit that I am, I showed my appreciation to her by growling at her. Bad man. Kathy even ran out to Sears hardware to pick up an extension cord when good old Red from the Amherst Historical Society was helping me hook up my electric.

Despite Hurricane Marilyn blowing through Saturday morning, thus causing the Jamboree to start about 2 hours later than it’s usual noon open, I did fifty caricatures that day. At least three of the tents were totaled. Many of them were soaked, along with merchandise left overnight. Great Lakes Church hesitated to tossed out some Bibles that the weather baptized very thoroughly. Their tent was trashed, along with the Republican Party’s tent, which was blown fifty yards away from it’s resting spot. I leave you to make an observation about that.

My tent survived with no major damage, mostly because I set it up in the yard the Monday before, to see how it would hold up in the weather. Yes, I rehearsed my tent, which saved it from blowing away or cracking up.

Saturday was a mini class reunion. Steve Rotta, Brian Ruthkowski, Lori Bloom Kulp (who also popped in Friday), Bob Kamnikar, all showed up to say hi and/or have a caricature or three done. I apologize and blame my old man memory if anyone was forgotten.

Another classmate, whom I’ve known since fifth grade, Mark Lombardi was actually working at one of the food booths, also. He sold me an awesome Italian sausage slathered in bell peppers and onions. Good stuff.

Actually, most of the food at the Jamboree is good. I had a slice of pizza from Ziggy’s, cheese burger and a bloomin’ onion from the pork sandwich vendor (I think Wright’s), I shared Kathy’s Kettle Corn, had my annual Gyro (and bought several kebobs from the same booth at the end of Saturday night for a nice discount).

Sunday continued the tradition of being a slooooow day, just like last year. I only made about 10 percent of total weekend sales on Sunday. Not too many socially-lubricated parents making their kids sit for a caricature. Mark Lowrie, the television production teacher popped in had a niece and nephew captured in Sharpie goodness. Taylor and Mary, a couple of local teens, amused me greatly and helped me strike my tent at the end of the day. Look for Taylor to sport one of my custom shirts, I hope, I the future.

Brian Policz stopped by briefly for a few minutes, but I was kinda sad not to see some of the other Sandstone Summer Theater kids after the big parade Sunday.

This year’s tear down went a lot smoother thanks to the above-mentioned help, and the fact that I could temporarily park my car very close to where the tent was set up.

Despite the fact that I was soaked in my old body cooling sweaty goodness, I stopped at Roxy’s, dropped off my shirts, art, and a rack, got on update on what’s coming up at the store, and grabbed a cool refreshing Diet Mountain Dew. Couldn’t get that at the Jamboree.

Then I headed to Arby’s for my lone dinner (Kathy had a double sunday dress for To Kill A Mockingbird at TNCA so she was MIA Sunday). and Arby’s gave me a totally wrong order, but it was better than what I ordered, so good on me.

And to celebrate my sucess, I went home, ate, watched some Law and Order and crashed for an hour.

All in all, despite a bit of heat stroke, and some vomiting after setting up my tent on Friday, it was a good weekend.

Thanks to everyone who showed up, including Mr. and Mrs. Faragher, Ken Rosenbusch (whom I will see Friday at my Dad’s 50th high school reunion Friday, when I do caricatures there), Michelle Haff, and all of my other friends and associates who dropped by to say hi.

Good times.