Category Archives: Livejournal - Page 2

Zubby Newsletter – November 12, 2003

After last Newsletter’s movie rant about Matrix Revolutions, we now return to our regular Jimbo-centric programming.

Good things seem to be afoot. Stresses as always and rough spots, but I think I’m hitting an okay stride with all sorts of things happening in my life right now. Trying not to get too distracted, trying to remember all the important stuff.

Gala’s headed to Edmonton for the Christmas holidays. I’m still figuring out if I’m headed with her for it as well. We’ve talked about setting up a toggled X-Mas schedule: one year in Toronto, the next in Edmonton. As we get it nailed down I’ll let you guys know.

The hard work from the summer is slowly turning into the paychecks of the fall. A tiny trickle currently, but by the end of November it looks like a good chunk of money owed will be coming in. It’s the scary part of freelancing, the 30-60-90 day waits while clients pay for work handed in. All the other jobs I’ve had were based around a standard pay period. The key seems to be making sure that in 2 months there will be equal or more money constantly arriving.

Seeing books and products with artwork on it that I participated in is still really strange. I picked up the latest issue of Dungeon Magazine and there were some pieces I penciled and one that I colored in there. Strange seeing them there on the page, very cool too though. Next month will be particularly odd because I collaborated with one of our painters to do the cover image for Dungeon. It’ll be there right on the cover. Bizarre indeed. Between that and a bunch of other books coming out from White Wolf and other companies, it’s going to be really wild.

It seemed a good time to clean up my personal website:

Gave it a slightly different look and jettisoned artwork that had been on there far too long or that I wasn’t happy with. I think I kept so much of it on there as some sort of a badge of honor. A weird “Look, I’ve done all sorts of things so I must be sort of an okay artist.” Chopping it down will hopefully spur me to “fill” it up again with new and better artwork. Time will tell.

I’ve been reading a lot of Live Journal’s lately. For those who don’t know, a Live Journal is a website where you can quickly jot your thoughts down and put it up for all to see (or limit the posts so that only friends can log-in to see). It’s such a strange phenomenon. People typing their inner most thoughts or building up ideas over the course of weeks and showing it off for so many people to browse and read. Random ones of strangers aren’t much to look at, but the ones of people I know are fascinating. You get a totally different window into who they are or what types of things are happening in their life. A couple people I met at conventions over the summer I now feel like I know better and a few people in Toronto that I didn’t even like I now have a totally different perception of. One artist I know (who isn’t on this Newsletter list) who has art I really enjoy I now find annoying and bitter because of posts on her Live Journal page. I’ve even thought about ditching this e-mail list for a site that people can choose to read or not, but I haven’t decided yet. Let me know what you think.

The micropayment system called BitPass that I put Makeshift Miracle on in the summer has been surprisingly successful. I checked up on it yesterday for the first time in many weeks. It’s not like I’m making a horde of money from it, but I’m getting a few sales of it every day even without advertising or promoting the site. That’s pretty amazing; $2-3 every day for something that runs itself. I intend to make another web comic push and that should increase things as well. The BitPass payment system is still in beta, so when it fully unfolds, that’ll be another booster.

The cool January opportunity that I mentioned in my October 15th e-mail is a reality. Instead of going to Seneca in January for Maya 3D animation training, I’m going to be teaching part-time at the school as part of their 2D faculty. Weird turn around, eh? Classic drawing and 2D artwork just keep holding on to me for dear life, so I’ll resist the dark side of 3D for the time being. It’ll be a good way to bring in a bit of extra cash on a regular basis and reconnect me to teaching, which I really enjoyed. The fact that I don’t have to give up working for Udon full time doesn’t hurt either.

All these career things that I like (comics, RPGs, teaching) packaged into one span of time – I’ve gotta pinch myself.

That’s the report. Thanks as always to the people who let me know how they’re doing.

Zubby Newsletter – November 6, 2003

After picking up Gala from the University yesterday, we decided to zip out and see if we could catch a showing of Matrix Revolutions. Grabbing tickets, we had a nice dinner and then sat down to enjoy the show. When it comes to big movie releases like this and the opening credits come up, I just try to focus on the flick and cross my fingers (figuratively speaking) that it’s not going to suck.

But it did suck.

It sucked in a black hole reaching, clawing and gasping kind of way, draining everything of light and sound. Holy crap, did it ever suck.

A lot of people were unimpressed with Matrix Reloaded, but I found it relatively entertaining and there were only a few scenes that were wince-worthy. But Revolutions is a 2 hour eye-rolling embarrassment. Cardboard worthy emotional scenes intermixed with seizure-inducing special effects. Telling us unnecessary things instead of showing them but then showing us a point over and over and over and over again. I appreciate people trying to break the rules with movies, but some storytelling conventions exist for a reason. Use the tools to make the material work and break them if you can make something more effective, don’t go against the grain just because you want to do something different.

I won’t spoil the movie, so you can still read this even if you haven’t seen the flick.

There were so many moments where people stood around asking moronic questions or paused for dramatic effect that I just wanted to scream “DO SOMETHING, ANYTHING!” But even when the action finally hit, I didn’t care about any of it. 30 minutes goes by without Neo, Morpheus or Trinity being in the film (that’s not an exaggeration by the way) and it’s just become this bloated mess with new people I don’t care about. Worse still, when we do get back to the main characters, I realize that they’re not worth watching either. They’re either doing the exact same thing they’ve done before or are spontaneously useless, suddenly unable to be anything but victims.

Classic sequel-itis: all the good character growth gets used up in the first film and then people just become walking talking parodies of themselves.

People die, a little kid stiffly tells us cute and annoying things, billions of machines explode, characters spout platitudes, cookies get baked and the universe is saved by kung-fu (oh wait, no it isn’t…that’s just 10 minutes of action that ends up being unnecessary).

I didn’t need to walk away from the theatre with all the answers about the Matrix. But the gaping holes and useless information we’re left with make it all the more annoying.

Heh. I’m kind of surprised I filled a whole Newsletter e-mail with my movie review. Oh well, maybe I can save you guys $12 and a few hours of your life. More useful information next time I write. Promise.

Zubby Newsletter – October 31, 2003

Actually doing something for Halloween this year. That may not sound like a big deal, but in many ways it is actually special. I haven’t dressed up in years for it, not since I was back at Aurenya and we had a bowling party. If I remember correctly I just rolled up my pants, slicked my hair, put tape on my glasses and went as a nerd. It wasn’t much of a costume (or a stretch from reality)…

I hadn’t planned on doing anything this year either. When Gal and I went out for dinner with one of the artists I’m working with, he invited me to a party that’s being hosted by Silver Snail, one of the biggest comic book stores in Toronto. That got the momentum going and Gala and I ran around like crazy trying to find costume stuff.

I didn’t want to do the pre-bought costume thing and renting just seemed out of control price-wise. Both Gala and I set out hitting the thrift stores, looking for ideas and pieces that we could build into something. Neither of us can sew, which limited our options. Well, we now know the location of almost every Value Village and costume shop in the greater Toronto area. Some of the things we thought would be easy to find ended up being a huge pain.

Still, my costume is pretty much done now. I was cutting felt and assembling bits last night and finishing it off this morning. It felt really neat to be working on the costume instead of just throwing things together at the last minute. Cutting up bits and figuring out how it would work, I felt like Mr. Dressup or something. I’ve always wanted to do more for Halloween, but never had the time or inkling. It’s been nice getting into that groove this time.

I got worried that the costume wouldn’t come together, but now that the pieces are there, I’m relieved. I can see ways to improve it, little pieces I could add to it and some sewing that would make it more durable, but for now it’ll work great.

Gala’s going as The Bride from Kill Bill. It was surprisingly difficult to find the yellow jumpsuit.

All this mystery…what the heck is Jim dressed up as for Halloween?

Riddle Me This, Batman…

Zubby Newsletter – October 15, 2003

I’ve appreciated the e-mails from people lately. It’s nice to know what people have been up to, even when they’re far away. Mind you, even people living in Toronto haven’t seen much of me as I’ve been wrestling this schedule under control and been trying to get a few major projects out the door.

Thanksgiving for Gala and I wasn’t the big cottage family get together we hoped for. Gal ended up having work shifts on Saturday and Sunday and I was swamped with work that needed to get done. With almost all of our clients in the US, Canadian Thanksgiving doesn’t change their work week, so Monday was pretty packed as well. Even still, Gal and I had a nice big meal with food that my Grandmother had given us and a few things we whipped up on our own. It would have been nice to head to the cottage, but we made the most of it anyways.

Gala’s been going berserk with essays and tests, so she’s been quite stressed lately. It seems like all her courses kick into high gear at the same time. It’s been hard with both of us so busy, but once that big stuff is handed in, it’ll be nice to relax and look at what’s been accomplished.

Our animation design project with Alliance/Atlantis is on hold, which I can’t really complain about. It was neat, but quite stressful and them taking a step back to clarify their concept has pulled one of the more ludicrous deadlines off of our crew’s back. It gives me more time to make sure everything else is running smoothly and might even give me a chance to catch a showing of Kill Bill this week.

I went for lunch yesterday with my boss and we had a great talk, getting caught up on all the stuff that could be coming down the pipe. It’s been weird because I haven’t spoken to him very much in the last few weeks. He trusts me to take care of the projects on my end, and doesn’t interfere with things, which is great. I let him know what’s going on obviously, but unless I have a question or need some help, he takes a hands-off approach.

I’ve been wanting to update my website for quite some time now, but haven’t had a chance. I can’t add any of the artwork I’ve been doing until it’s published, so until then I’ve just got to wait. Still, once the updates start it should be relatively constant as I can finally show off all this neat material.

I’ve got my fingers crossed on a cool opportunity that may come up in January. I can’t go into details yet, but thought I’d mark it here for my own record. Wish me luck, in a mysterious kinda way 🙂

This weekend is looking to be quite amusing. My parents are probably coming up to visit on Saturday. My Aunt Edith is gone on a business trip and my Uncle will be hanging around here. Gal’s bar is having another karaoke night, so I’m going to try to get my Uncle and my parents down there and make it a fun night out. Drinking with your relatives and singing may not sound like a wild night, but I think it’ll be quite a bit of fun. It’s not like my college drinking night outs or anything, but it’ll be fun nonetheless. Besides, I don’t know if my head and liver could handle the drinking I used to engage in. I want to get out and do some clubbling in downtown proper, and as I wrangle this mad Udon schedule into place, it’ll happen.

Zubby Newsletter – October 3, 2003

Friday morning, early…My head’s still fuzzy, but I’m doing pretty good overall.

I had to pull some insane hours on Tuesday night which ran through to Wednesday morning. We’ve been doing animation designs for a couple of Alliance/Atlantis projects that are being pitched as TV shows and the producer decided that they needed some color added to the sketches we’d done. Everyone else was way too busy, so I hit the frontlines and colored the stuff until 4am to get it done. This would be something worthy of praise, except that most of the guys work until the wee hours almost every night. They’re strange night owls, starting at 1:00 in the afternoon, breaking for meals but otherwise working until the sun’s getting up. I’m not used to it though (and I don’t intend to change over to it), so it’s thrown my sleep schedule out of whack and I’ve been struggling to get back to normal sleep since.

It’s an odd week for promotion and/or obscurity…

Remember how in my last Newsletter I mentioned that I’d seen the TV show I’d drawn backgrounds for when I was at Helix? I turned it on again and this time I recognized it as the second episode our studio had worked on. The show was still bad, but at least I could recognize all the different elements and got to see my own work up there. All that would have been neat, but then when the credits ran, they didn’t credit any of us for layout, not even the studio. Helix did something like 18 out of 22 or 24 episodes and they’ve credited the guys who did the other 4-6 for every show. It was disappointing to see, but I guess that’s the way stuff goes sometimes.

Then, picking up Gala from school on Wednesday, we stopped in at a comic book store and I had another weird moment. The first book of The Chronicles Of Conan was right there, new this week. I coloured the cover on it and there it was. It looked pretty good, cropped quite a bit, but good for what they wanted. Flipping the book open, you guessed it, no credit at all. I’m going to end up some sort of ghost artist. I’ll be telling all these wonderful stories and everyone’s going to think I’m a raving maniac who’s making all this stuff up. I’m pretty sure I’ll be credited in Conan Volume 2 for the interior stuff I did, but my batting average on this sort of thing hasn’t been great so far.

I laughed the whole thing off. I was actually surprised that it didn’t bother me. When I first started chatting with the guys at Udon about seeing their stuff in print, they said they usually didn’t read it and barely looked at the complimentary copies they received. I was shocked. Weren’t they proud of it? Didn’t it give them some joy to finally see the stuff out there? I’m getting a better idea of how that works. When you’re up to your eyeballs with things to do, you’re not worried about the printed product. That’s out and done. The most important thing is the current project that’s on your plate NOW and all that entails. I’m still going to be giddy about seeing my first RPG book stuff come out (who knows, maybe the credits get screwed up), but the other side of the coin makes sense too.

On the flipside of that, I got some extra promotion for things I’m barely doing at this point. I had conducted an interview in March for one of the bigger comic-based websites on the net called The Pulse. I had always wondered why it never ran, and when the woman who interviewed me contacted me again I asked her if we could update the interview, because so much has happened since. It’s up on the site this morning and you can check it out here:

Reading it over, there’s a whole lot of stuff there that I summed up pretty well about this journey I’ve been on for the last couple of years. So much is glossed over, but the little comments trigger memories of all sorts of different things, reminding me about how much has been happening.

Gala’s trying to get her work schedule figured out so we can go to Thanksgiving at the cottage with my family. I haven’t had a Thanksgiving with my family in 5 or 6 years. It doesn’t feel like it’s been that long, but it has. If Gal ends up working Sunday, then I may have to bow out of this one or go without her. I haven’t decided which way to go in that case.

Okay, time to grab some breakfast and get to work.

Zubby Newsletter – September 28, 2003

After ranting quite heavily in my last e-mail, I got some really nice replies from people. It’s good to know that people are willing to slog through a burst of frustrations and offer a bit of advice.

It’s Sunday morning and I’m a little groggy, typing away here and vegging a bit. Last night they had their first karaoke night at Gal’s bar and I went down to help “christen” the place with some singing. It’s a smaller place, but they had a regular rotation of 10-12 people singing up a storm. Less people also meant that each person got more chances to sing. I knocked out 5 (Folsom Prison Blues by Johnny Cash, Delilah by Tom Jones, Superman by Five For Fighting, the Spider-Man cartoon theme and Breakfast At Tiffany’s by Deep Blue Something). It was fun and a good break from the workload that’s been pounding at me.

It’s been a wild couple of weeks with work going out and coming in at a rapid pace. I’m actually far more organized with it then I thought I would be. Microsoft Excel’s been getting a workout on my computer, far more than any video games lately. It’s a constant stream of e-mails, ICQ, phone calls intermixed with approving artwork and then actually sitting down at the drawing table to get my own stuff done. Some days it feels like a massive overload and other days it hardly feels like work at all.

I love working with our clients and seeing artwork head out. I love seeing material getting published with my artwork or the artwork of the guys who are working with me. I hate, hate, hate reminding clients about late payments and trying to get in touch with them after the work is long done and money still hasn’t arrived. Even in an industry where 30-60 day payment periods are common, some of these guys ride it out until you practically break down their door. Not all of them are like that by any means…heck, most are wonderful. It’s just the one or two that cause extra frustrations. It’s something I’m not used to and it’s something that can be trial and error. Learning which clients we want to always work with and which ones are more trouble than they’re worth.

I’m still giddy about it. Giving one of our artists his first comic pencilling job and the excitement he has over it is a real booster for me. Handing out an assignment and seeing the amazing artwork that comes back is always a thrill. Once late October hits and things I drew start coming out, it’ll be wonderful.

Speaking of seeing your own work, I finally watched an episode of King, the show that I drew layouts (backgrounds) for at Helix. They’re showing it on the Family Channel here in Canada. The guys at the studio rarely watched their own stuff and I didn’t know why. Cornflake said that he would just do his best on the stuff and try not worry about how it looked on TV. I wondered why that was…now I know. The show is okay, but the storyboard sequences I read sounded infinitely better than how it plays out on the real show. The voice acting is bad, teeth grinding bad and the colour palette they’re using hurts my eyes. It’s average, and a bit disappointing. Mind you, watching any show that I enjoyed as a kid is equally as disappointing, so maybe kids now will yearn for King re-runs when they’re older. I may try watching another couple and see if it gets any better. Maybe I’m just an optimistic masochist.

I’m trying to organize things so that I have a more reasonable work schedule. I know that it’ll never be 9 to 5 per say, but at least that things work well enough that most weekends and several weeknights are more open. I’m slowly finding ways to do it, and am not responding to work e-mails in the evening unless it’s emergency-type material. We’ll see if that’s a good start.

Saw Underworld. First movie I’ve checked out since Matrix Reloaded. Underworld was bad…sort of entertaining while in the theatre, but just like greasy movie popcorn, the good taste doesn’t last and your stomach lurches afterwards. Apparently vampires have nifty supernatural powers like: hissing, falling out of windows, kicking doors, fainting and pulling triggers…that’s it. Werewolves go down with one bullet (a silver nitrate bullet, I know, but still) and all character dialogue must be spread out with dramatic pauses that make you want to hurt something. It didn’t even have the tongue-in-cheekiness of Blade, which saved those two flicks from being really bad. It’ll probably do well on video, joining a ton of other goth-cinema and dark movies. Nick and I used to have a sort of game where after a movie was over we’d redialogue pieces or re-edit the movie in our conversations, salvaging what was good and creating some idealized version of the film. I still do that internally. I don’t know if it’ll ever be useful, but it’s a neat creative exercise anyways. If you want a really long and pointless conversation, ask me about any movie that I don’t like and I’ve probably got a Zubby Special Edition floating around in my cranium.

I’m finally getting a chance to flip through the mass of books I accumulated this summer. Between comics and RPG books, it was a very, very geeky acquisition. When Gala and I move out and get our own place, more bookshelves will need to be addressed. Staying in Toronto, finding an amazing place to live and having the huge library all set up would be nice. Mind you, winning the lottery would be nice too. It’s easy to want these things, it’ll be interesting to see if it all really happens that way.

Gala jabbed at me the other day when we went to the grocery store. An air cadet was taking donations and he called me “Sir”. Very much that “you’re an adult authority figure” type sir. Gala told me that was absolute proof that I was old. She’s literally a week younger than me, so it was a silly jab, but then I realized that I was probably 10 years older than these air cadets. Yeesh. I know I’ll get a dozen e-mails from the older people on this list telling me that I have no clue what I’m talking about and 27 is not old, but I’m just dumping the things on my brain.

That’s the latest here.

Zubby Newsletter – September 18, 2003

This little update is going out as way for me to vent. I normally keep my newsletters pretty positive and upbeat, but dammit… if today isn’t pissing me off.

I woke up to the stench of skunk. The dog got sprayed by a skunk this morning, which would be a surprise except that this has happened maybe a dozen or so times, and this is the third time this summer. Why the animal wouldn’t have learned to stay away from the thing that makes it howl in pain and smell like the Devil himself dropped a load? I have no clue…

Generally speaking, I love my job. But there are inherent frustrations today that seem more pronounced than usual. Clients who won’t be specific about what they want, or not returning my calls and then wondering why the schedule is getting screwed up. A client who’s changed their list of items that they want three times in 4 days and then in the latest document has moved the deadline up by a week. Waiting on cheques from clients that haven’t arrived, then the same client wondering why we’re in no rush to take on more work from them. Artists who don’t communicate. 90% of it is good, but the shitty 10% is in my face today and I’m irritated.

Gala’s gotten a cold, the hacking near-vomiting kind and when I ran out to grab cough medicine and stuff for her stomach I forgot my wallet, turning a 10 minute grocery jaunt into a 40 minute there-and-back-again quest. She needs to get better for school and work and I don’t have the solution for that. I feel bad for her and I know exactly how it feels to be sick inside and wanting relief.

This will pass, but the frustration of the now is in full effect. I just want to get through it today and hope that in the end I can be the eye of the storm and remain calm.

Zubby Newsletter – September 14, 2003

It’s Sunday at around noon and I’ve got a few minutes to relax. It’s sort of a strange feeling considering how I’ve been going full steam for the past couple of months.

School started for Gala last week and on Monday I had the strangest sensation. My Aunt and Uncle had gone to work, Gala was off at school and I was at home alone (well, the dog was there, but otherwise it was just me). There was a strange silence and it surprised me. I wouldn’t even call it relaxation or calm, just sort of empty. The whole week was sort of like that. Lots of things to do with strange quiet moments between them.

Gala’s gotten another job, this time waitressing at a restaurant just down Yonge from us called the St. Louis Grill. It’s way more laid back than the Keg was and she seems to be enjoying it quite a bit there. My Uncle and I went down on Tuesday night for their wing special and it was doubly good: seeing Gala happily working and having a nice chat with my Uncle about all sorts of current events and other things. Sitting there with a beer talking with him as an adult and totally relaxed, it reminded me that I’m 27 now and not a teenager. It didn’t make me feel old or anything, just mature or at least a reasonable facsimile of it.

When my boss got super sick on Thursday I had to go down to an important meeting with Alliance-Atlantis without him. I’m not sure if the meeting will spin off into proposed work for them, but the potential seems quite good. Omar, Joe, Scott and I talked to them about a concept they want designs for and everyone seemed pleased at the end of it. I should find out in the next day or two if it’ll actually evolve into anything.

Beyond that, we just finished off more Dragonlance art, handed in some other RPG art and received a bunch of projects to take care of. It doesn’t look like there will be any sort of lull, which is exciting but tiring all at once. More Conan coloring should be starting this week. It’s already behind schedule (but not on our end), so we’ll just have to wait and see if it actually shows up or not. I’m not worried about it though. I have more than enough other things to keep me busy.

On Friday, I dropped off Gal at York and then went over to the Seneca campus to say Hi to Brain Lemay and Larry DeFlorio who run the animation program there. Brian had already left for the day, but I had a nice chat with Larry and he showed me around their new facilities. It was a neat feeling seeing students getting started on the drawing or 3D path. It reminded me that I’m lucky to be involved with artwork-related work full time. I get tired and a bit lost with all it happening at once, but re-inspiring myself a bit like that recharges me.

That’s the quick report here in Zubland.

Zubby Newsletter – September 2, 2003

Back from Atlanta last night and I woke up this morning very tired, but good. This trip wasn’t as work intensive as the other conventions I went to, so it made for a good wrap up to the summer season. Instead of a hotel, I stayed with friends… instead of taxis, I got picked up at the airport. It was a nice change of pace.

Atlanta was a pretty neat city. Winding roads made it hard to gauge where things were in relation to each other and even after 4 days there, I have no idea how the city is laid out.

After Brian Glass picked me up, we swung by the White Wolf offices. It was odd seeing all the little cubicles decked out with RPG stuff, toys and in-jokes. Everyone Brian introduced me to was really nice, and seeing familiar faces of staff I’d met at Origins and Gen Con amongst the mix was cool too. The studio library is decked out with copies of pretty much everything White Wolf has done, which was pretty amazing. Some shelves have foreign translated versions of the White Wolf lines, in German, Spanish and even Japanese. But if the offices had an impressive amount of gaming books, the warehouse behind the office space was even more dizzying. Palettes stacked high with hard covers and plastic bins filled with packs of cards. It gave me a little peek at how the system works and reminded me that I’m lucky to be doing what I’m doing.

Dragon Con itself was spread over several areas at several hotels. In turn, I’m pretty sure that I didn’t see big chunks of it, but I didn’t really feel like I’d missed anything anyways. I helped out White Wolf at their booth area, answering questions about products or ringing in items as they were sold. It wasn’t difficult, and the people working at the booth filled the lull moments with wacky antics or conversation. A flat screen TV they set up had a continuous loop of videos showing products and video games based on the White Wolf properties, which were neat…but after 20+ times of hearing them, we couldn’t help but parrot along with it all in overly dramatic voices.

Thursday night we hit an 80’s club called “The Masquerade” (honest, that’s the name of the place). It was a funky club and the music they played was a good mix of cheesy 80’s goodness. Staying out until 5am at a diner after the club closed, I chatted with friends at the company and indulged Mike Tinney’s sales pitch on “grits”, choking back a few spoonfuls of the drippy stuff.

Friday night was a laid back barbeque at Fred’s new house, where we were staying. We ate, drank and relaxed…I was surprised when my head hit the pillow before midnight and I conked out like a light.

Saturday night Brian and I dressed in zoot suits, mine even more bizarre looking because it was Brian’s and fit way too big on me. We went out for a delightful sushi dinner with a bunch of the staff and friends, chatting and drinking sake. Afterwards, we went to a gothic club called “The Chamber”, that was large and pretentious, but amusing in an aloof sort of way. Vampire wannabe’s and ladies in leather pranced around while we lounged about and danced a bit. The music was pretty good and the scenery was entertaining…not necessarily a place I’d go very often, but worth seeing nonetheless.

Sunday night was spent at a restaurant/bar called the Vortex, where White Wolf has bought several kegs for all out consumption. Lots of good food and beer kept all of us busy and I was surprised how minimal my hang over was the next morning when I got ready to leave.

When it all wrapped up, several people invited me back any time and told me to bring Gal next time so they could meet her. It was really nice, a little more calm then the whirlwind that the rest of the summer’s been.

My schedule is currently almost sane, but several big projects on the horizon could throw it into overdrive all over again. Gala has her University orientation this week and my cousin Lisa’s already moved out and getting settled in to McMaster. The start of school always feels odd now that I’m working, no matter how many years I’m separated from it. The fact that I’m working from home to boot makes it even stranger. I can’t complain, it just feels weird.

Anyways, all is good. I need more sleep and I have a bunch of e-mails to catch up on, but the adventure continues.

Zubby Newsletter – August 25, 2003

I woke up this morning and counted myself lucky that I was only a bit sore. We wrapped up the Toronto Comic Expo last night and even though the con was about 20 times smaller than San Diego, it was still a lot of work. There may not have been as many people or venders, but there was still a ton to do. By the end of it all, Gala and I were both exhausted.

Yup, I dragged my lady to the con and put her to work. I’m a bastard. Actually, she volunteered, not knowing how crazy things would be (quite frankly, I didn’t know how nuts it would be either). Selling books, organizing the signing schedule we had for the artists and dashing off to buy food for the crew, it kept her moving.

A lot of familiar faces stopped by to see me, which was quite cool. Sheridan guys I went to school with, friends from residence, friends from Calgary, buddies from high school. Every couple hours, someone would come by and I’d recognize them. It gave the whole convention a more personal feel, but felt sort of odd as well. So much is happening so fast and every time I told the same story about how I hooked up with Udon and what I’m doing, it felt a little bit surreal. It only happened a few months ago, it’s still happening and it’s not stopping.

On Sunday afternoon I was supposed to be doing portfolio reviews along side my boss Erik and CB Cebulski, an editor from Marvel who’s a really nice guy. Both of them got wrapped up doing other things and suddenly I’m facing 50+ people who are looking for a job or advice on how to get to a professional level with their art. It felt like teaching, only in 5 minutes sprints. I had weird moments where I knew I was giving good advice, but felt a little self conscious about it too. My artwork is getting better, but I’m not stellar or anything and I didn’t want my advice to come off as haughty or holier-than-though.

I’m tired, but I don’t have much time to rest. I’ve got a horde of things to take care of before I fly to Atlanta on Thursday morning.

After having a nice dinner with our friends Kandrix and Laurie from Calgary, who were down for the convention, I’m back working at everything. Artwork to finish up, files to pass along for approval and stuff to schedule. I’m hoping to be able to juggle it intro some sort of order before my week wraps up.

Anyways, that’s what’s happening at this point. Hope everyone else is doing well.

PS: After talking with Gala about the photo thing pretty extensively, she’s not really comfortable with me sending photos of her out to 60+ people, many of whom she doesn’t even know. With that in mind, you guys and gals probably won’t see too many pictures of her attached to these e-mails in the future. I didn’t want everyone to think that there aren’t any or that I’m so self-absorbed that Gal never makes it into my photos or anything like that. If you’re a friend of Gal’s, let me know and I can always spin you a couple pics.