Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Happy Birthday, Beeswax!

Beeswax is one year old today!

To celebrate, here's some sketches I did this weekend while reading Titus Groan. They are of various persons passing the title character at his christening ceremony. And, yes, I'm reading a book about people who live in a castle that doesn't even exist. Judge me as you will.

Chef Swelter.
Mister Flay.
Doctor Prunesquallor.
The Countess Gertrude.
Lord Sepulchrave, The Earl of Groan
Lady Fuschia.

If I'd realized that this anniversary was coming up, I'd have had them all intoning the name "Beeswax."

So, one year, huh? Who knew I had this much crap that wasn't finding any other public outlet? I have no idea if I have another year's worth lying around.

Only one way to find out.

Friday, November 24, 2006


Despite my idle comments on Wednesday, I've actually been trying out the ol' feverish pace this week, putting in 10 to 14 hour days working on a new project. It's an adaptation of a play, and I've been vigorously reworking the script - comparing a couple different translations of the source material, breaking up the narrative flow to take advantage of the comics page instead of the stage, trying to keep the female protagonist from being quite such a sop, etc. And then, one third of the way through page 84, a page away from the end of Act Three, maybe twenty pages away from the end of the whole thing... My laptop goes ker-splortch.

Less than a year after replacing the logic board (but after the expiration of its warranty), my computer is $1200 this side of being a paperweight.

And now I'm stuck wandering the mean streets of Toronto with pencil and paper, making a physical record of my thoughts, like a caveman. Even worse, I'm posting this entry from the lovely wife's Windows machine. I can feel the Bill Gates cooties crawling up my typing fingers! Circle circle, cloverleaf-dot! Now I've got my Apple shot!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

The Gentlemen of Jamestown pt. 7

Last week, I burnt a bunch of stuff to a disc, so that I could post every day while in Canada. Guess which North American country that disc is in? Hurray for my brain! But, at least I can finish up the Jamestown story. Enjoy!

Also, it was recently observed that I apparently won't put out a new comic until people are done talking about the last one. Well, I ain't gotta get busy, quite yet. Hurray for reviews!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

The Gentlemen of Jamestown pt. 6

Ha ha! I'm off to Canada first thing tomorrow morning! Ten glorious days in the same country as the lovely wife! The same city, even. Happy Thanksgiving to me! I'm so excited that I can't think of anything to say about this comics page. Maybe you could make up something yourself - some trivia about a weird period practice, or a tirade about how editors cramp your pristine artistic vision.

Toodle Loo!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

The Gentlemen of Jamestown pt. 5

It's funny to think that, as far as these sailors knew, the passage to India could be right on the other side of that waterfall. Or, they could be barely 50 miles inland of a continent over 2000 miles wide. It's what outgoing Pentagon Poet Laurate Donald Rumsfeld would have referred to as a "known unkown."

Happy Birthday to my Grampa, Carl. On the off chance there's an afterlife, here's hoping you're playing bridge with Abraham Lincoln, or drinking scotch with Jesus. And that you have have internet access.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

The Gentlemen of Jamestown pt. 4

Did I mention that this story was the result of a compromise between myself and the editors? Hence, enough exposition to choke something that you would think would have a hearty appetite for exposition, and the Cliff Notes staccato of the panel transitions.

As far as yesterday's election: no, apparently we can't stop acting like jackasses, even for a day. Or, at least, not for the day that mattered. Every state with a discrimination amendment on the ballot passed it, except Arizona (Arizona? Who knew?). The good news is that Project: Gridlock seems to be underway. And there's still hopes that Aspirational Redneck, George Allen, has seen the end of his political ambitions.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

The Gentlemen of Jamestown pt. 3

Let me attempt to use Jamestown's theme of poor leadership to segue into special Novemeber 7th plea: If you are in the United States, PLEASE, PLEASE GET OUT AND VOTE! And if you are in Tennessee, EXTRA-SPECIAL SUGAR-ON-TOP QUADRUPAL-PLUS PLEASE GET OUT AND VOTE! We just might actually have a shot acheiving the closest thing we have to a defense against the Bush Administration: bicameral gridlock.

Oh, and alsowise: Tennessee and several other states have these cute little amendments allowing the public to vote discrimination into the state constitution. Could we, as a country, stop acting like complete jackasses? Just for, like, a day?

Thursday, November 02, 2006

The Gentlemen of Jamestown pt. 2

For most of the McGraw Hill stories I was left to my own devices when it came to research. The editorial team in charge of this story sent a Fed-Ex packet busting at the seams with over sixty pages of densely packed historical text on Jamestown. This was pretty overwhelming, and my first attempt at a story breakdown was just a mish-mash of too much information. So my mission here was to whittle away as much as I could, trying to find something that would work as a succinct story arc, and hopefully leaving enough room for moments of actual narrative interest amidst all the fact-slinging. Unfortunately, the editorial team really seemed to want all 60 pages of information explicitly stated in the six pages of comics I had to work with. Additionally, they were very suspicious of any information included in the story that wasn't from those sixty pages. Like, say, that Captain Newport only had one arm.

The result was a lot of compromise that left neither cartoonist nor editors happy. What the kids think of it, I have no idea.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

The Gentlemen of Jamestown pt. 1

Here's a McGraw Hill story about the founding of the colony of Jamestown. I wish I'd had many more pages to tell this story, because there is a lot of it, and a lot of characters, and it is so over-the-top that it reads more like satire than history. Jamestown would be the perfect setting for an American Blackadder. Seriously. Rowan Atkinson plays John Smith.