grinninfoole: (Default)
I'm in a better mindset than my last post. It's tough to resist the old patterns of my family, but one of my friends (I think it was millari but it might have been morlock) summed it up well: don't go back to Andover to care of your mom, go back to visit your mom. And it's true that we already have a great team helping mom, with the PCAs from Home Instead, house calls from Patricia and Margaret at Elder Care Coordinator, financial coverage from the folks at US Trust, and chats with the minister. I'm going to focus on making my time in Andover about what I can do that others can't. Also, when I'm away, I call every day.

Right now, though, I'm in Tarrytown. I came down on Saturday and stayed with friends in Mount Vernon (super pleasant home for a super nice couple) (saw the Last Witchhunter movie, which was just as predictable and ersatz as a Snickers bar). Sunday we had the 'make plans for 2016' board meeting, and in the evening Lefty and I played Pathfinder (the adventure card game not the RPG, because who has time for such a baroque rules system?)* I had planned to drive back home tomorrow early in the day, but Lefty called and asked me to come take him to urgent care. He's got some sort of bladder problem that I think has been greatly exacerbated by an infection? Anyhoo, it was horrible so he needed a ride and a friend while he got treatment. I stayed the night at his place, and this morning the pills are working and he's much improved. Huzzah! (I beguiled the hours after he crashed out by watching Burn After Reading, which was as great as M told me it would be and was like watching a Fiasco game adapted to film, and the The Seven Percent Solution, which I had seen thirty years ago but I hadn't noticed that it's kind of racist and that Robert Duvall's British accent sounds terrible.)

Now I'm heading off with Lefty on a store errand, and then it's home to vote!

{BTW, while driving down, I listened to a podcast recommended by a friend I'll call Vanderbilt, the Blacklist Table Reads, which turns unproduced screen plays into audio dramas. It's a Hollywood thing, but the episode I listened to was Chrome Noir, a 30s crime story with robots that was a lot of fun.}



*I do, actually, in a game that Stoic is running. Honestly, though, if it weren't a long-running and already ongoing campaign, I don't know that I would find it worth the trouble, and I kept my character simple.
grinninfoole: (strangelove)
I'm in Boston for the weekend, working at PAX East.  We plan to sell games, mostly RPGs, to the 20,000 or so nerds who are here for it.  Most have come for the video game stuff, but we hope to snag some spillover cross interest, and maybe get some new customers at our stores.

In other news, the past week saw me working out in New York, helping out in our Mamaroneck store, and working last weekend at the brand new Maelstrom gaming con in New Jersey. It's been strangely tiring, but I did have a nice day off to celebrate my birthday on Monday.  I got to see a dear friend (about whom I shan't say more, as they are very private), but they got me amazing cupcakes in New York city.  Thanks to usakeh for hosting me, and for the Orphan Black DVD.  Looking forward to checking it out.

Who, me?

Sep. 1st, 2013 08:28 pm
grinninfoole: (strangelove)
I plan to go back and fill in some retroactive news over the past 10 months, since last I posted, but here are few key notes:

1) Mom is home again, and happier, and slowly getting stronger.

2) Opening a comic book/game store is really hard work.

3) I may be evolving into a romantic relationship with an old friend, Miss Hannah-Belle Goulet, a woman I have known for many years.  I'm not plunging into it, I'm not smitten, but I am definitely interested and it feels... homey.  Too early to make too much of it.  She has kids, an ex about whom the less I say the better, a home 100 miles away, and I'm not sure if she sees it the same way.  But she and her kids just stayed overnight yesterday, and it was fun.

4) The process of making my home what I want continues, not as quickly as I would like.  The root of the problem is that I'm truly bad at budgeting my funds, something I should learn to do before I do myself a real mischief.

5) Man, I really like playing games with my friends.  I'm still playing Deadlands, I've added a 13th Age organized play campaign on Tuesdays, a Star Wars Edge Of The Empire game on Wednesdays, and I'm looking for more.  Pity I can't find a game that involves regular cardio workouts. :P

good party

Nov. 17th, 2012 01:37 am
grinninfoole: (Default)

I drove down to the grand opening of our new store in Mamaroneck NY this evening with Mad Dog and his charming kids. There was a good sized crowd there (30-50 people) of enthusiastic customers, which suggests to me that we have done a good job of creating buzz about the business over the past year. Also, there's a very tasty pizza place nearby, and one of Lefty or Fuschia's friends really knows how to bake a cake.I have been working with a personal organizer who calls her business Chaos Control. It's helping clean up my place, and brighten my mood. I'm back at work as normal on Monday, but I'll fill in tomorrow running the Magic draft. I'm really glad I accepted an invitation at the beginning of the year to join a gaming group playing Deadlands . I like the people, the system and the campaign (and my character) and I'm glad [livejournal.com profile] millari has joined us. Looking forward to seeing my cousin from HI over Thanksgiving. Mom finally seems to be on the mend (knock wood). Today, she was able to stand on her own, and she's no longer feverish during the night. And, in trivial news, I came across an essay suggesting watching the Star Wars saga in a particular order(ep IV, V, II, III & VI, omitting Phantom Menace entirely) will drastically improve its narrative tension and impact. I haven't tried it yet, but if I learned anything in grad school, it's that narrative inclusion/exclusion and order make an enormous difference to a story.



grinninfoole: (Default)
I have taken this week off from work, in the hopes of clearing my head and getting a better handle on managing my life in light of the problems with my parents' health.  I seem to need some help, too.

It's an ongoing grieving process as they fail and die on the installment plan.  My Dad is slipping slowly.  His mental acuity has declined, so that he's much like the other human ghosts in the home, and he's physically much less steady on his feet.  Soon, I think, even a walker won't be sufficient.

Mom has returned to the rehab hospital, and hopefully will not bounce back to the hospital for more acute care.  The good news is that she is definitely recovering from the back surgery: she can sit up without pain, her legs don't hurt, she doesn't look so washed out.  The bad news is that she's despondent and a bit confused. She's not remembering new people well, and she's asking me about driving back to Maine or called M by the wrong name.  It's too early to despair, but this is what Dad's dementia was like at the beginning.

On top of that, I'm worried about what we are going to do in the longer term.  Mom will, I hope, go back home by the end of the month, but I don't know how mobile she'll be.  We have arranged for some in home care for now, but in the longer term, if Mom needs a walker that house becomes very difficult for her, and impossible if she's in a wheelchair.  Finding a new house is something we have all acknowledged will be useful, but I'm at a loss for driving the process forward.  I'm more reactive than strategic in my thinking, and that's a weakness in this context.  The stress of confronting a problem whose limits I can't define, the next step for which I can't see clearly, and the consequences thereof could be severe for my family, eats at me.

Personally, I had a terrible job review last week.  Honestly, it was more of an intervention.  I have, apparently, gone from being a great ASM to a bad one because of the stress and worry and sadness I'm dealing with.  This is not merely a knotty problem, or an extended crisis, it's a protracted grieving process.  Apparently, it's leading me to be short with customers and employees, which cannot stand.  I'm definitely forgetting things as they slide through my ADD brain without sticking.

The worst thing about it, though, was not hearing that I need to straighten up and fly right.  I have heard such things before, and while I'm somewhat chagrined that I need to be told, it's sadly part and parcel of ADD.  No, the worst was realizing that I needed help, and that these three people in what was ostensibly a professional context were going far beyond the call of duty to throw me a lifeline. 

I'm ashamed that I let things get so bad they had to step in.  I'm ashamed I didn't ask for help sooner.  I'm especially ashamed at how Lefty, who I honestly feel like I can annoy at any moment without meaning to, made it very clear that he trusts and respects me professionally.  (He even offered me a job as his full-time #2 again with the NY store.  O.o)
EDIT: It occurs to me that I suffer from the fond delusion that I'm a bit like the Doctor: the compassionate madcap who pops out of the background from time to time, helps people, and then disappears while folks shrug and get on with things.  

I guess this sort of distress is hard for me to notice. Instead of causing pain, it causes numbness.  I'm going to have to do better in keeping it in mind.  I need to work on re-establishing and maintaining my domestic routines, which will help me keep it together.

Which is my project for this week. So far, I'm off to a crappy start, with dozing away much of yesterday and today, but I have at least paid some bills, done some cleaning, and seen my therapist.  I'm going to call a personal organizer to come and help me set up some systems to better control the chaos towards which I tend.  I also could definitely use help from friends.  If any of you would care to come by and help me sort through the clutter, I'd appreciate it, especially if you could come over and help me sort comics perhaps tomorrow evening?
grinninfoole: (Default)
I'm working a 12 hour day here at the NY store, and another full day tomorrow.  It's only our fourth day open, so things are slow.  The store looks good, but there are lot projects to work on before we're ready for the grand opening.

My mom is apparently running a fever of 102 F (44 C) and has gone back to Holy Family Hospital.  I'm starting to grasp that she's really ill, and that this won't be over soon.  :(

New York is still recovering from Hurricane Sandy.  I'm staying with usakeh, and many roads in her town are still blocked off by fallen trees and severed power lines.  There a long lines at every filling station.  I fear this is just the first taste of our societal collapse as climate change accelerates, but it's great to see the way people here are rallying  to meet the challenge.  They're even excited to see a new comic book store. :)

I think I'm finally figuring out what I want from Grounded, so I guess all the driving around has been helpful.

I just saw a short video by a Mount Holyoke professor in which she discusses correcting a congenital vision problem she had, and how she trained her brain to correct it in her 40s.  

The big election is on three days away.  I hope the candidates I support win, but more than anything I fear that no matter who we elect, we won't do what we must to save ourselves.  It's frustrating that years of Bible-thumper ranting and cynically poisonous Republican rhetoric have made scientifically valid warnings that we're on the brink of disaster sound like just more political bloviation.
grinninfoole: (Default)
Well, I have perpetrated another crime against pop culture commentary.  This week I talked about science fiction comics, and really just barely scratched the surface. 

In other news: happy birthday [livejournal.com profile] millari!  I hope you and [livejournal.com profile] trovia have a great time celebrating it.  You're still my favorite person, and I hope your 43rd year is prime in every sense of the term.
grinninfoole: (Default)
Here's the latest Mythspoken podcast, with more 'me making too much noise while I think'.  Still, I sound good.  Mike and Ellie discuss things they've thought about carefully, and I spit ball about the blurred lines between the sub-culture of nerdy fandom, and broader mass-culture.
grinninfoole: (Default)
Here's a special episode of my store's podcast, reviewing Dark Knight Rises, in which I fill the third slot.  We stay spoiler free for the first ten minutes or so, and apart from me saying 'you know' too much while I collect my thoughts, I think I did a great job.

Oh, and Mike and Ellie were OK, too. :)

Actually, i probably should have plugged the store's podcast here months ago, since I think the regular trio of Jim, Mike and Ellie are actually interesting if you have any interest in nerdy pop culture.  You can find all the episodes on iTunes and on our website.  Here's a link to the first episode.
grinninfoole: (Default)
The local news did a puff piece on the opening of Dark Knight Rises, and came to my store and talked to me.  They used a few seconds of me saying obvious stuff about Batman.  My impressions are: 1) is that really my voice?  and 2) ugh, the camera really does add 10 pounds. :(

Plus, Mike Lacrosse got the name of my store wrong. 

Anyway, here it is.
grinninfoole: (Default)
This has been a very busy time for me at work.  Last weekend, I went to Morristown NJ to sell stuff and promote the in-the-works Modern Myths NY at DexCon.  It was a bit of a drag driving down and then working late setting up on July 4, but the con itself wasn't too much work and, as I mentioned in my last post, I had some fun.  (I also tried Legend Of The Five Rings, a long-standing RPG that we carry and that I didn't know at all, so I got to have fun and learn something useful. :)

Driving back from the show on Sunday evening, I was feeling really sleepy, so I called a few friends for conversation to keep me awake.  The first couple of folks I tried weren't home, but Grounded was, so I talked to her for 20 minutes.  A nice chat, and while I think I'm still doing some grieving, I definitely feel better about myself and happy to have her as a friend.

In what might qualify as a modern miracle, two different insurance plans of my father's just paid our claims for his care in full.  His care is still shockingly expensive, but now it won't eat up all the family money in only 3-5 years.

I have started walking a couple of days a week in the morning with my friend [alias TBD], which is a good start towards my 'fit into my tux before a friend's wedidng' goal.  Also, it's nice to have nerdy chats about all sorts of stuff.  I don't know who else would tell me about the history of boxing and how it intertwines with racism in America.  Or that the NHL's fan base is growing in the south, possibly because hockey is the last remaining major sport with almost no black players.

Hmmmm, wow, have I really not posted about my college reunion in May?  OK, well, I flew out to Ohio for my 20th reunion from Kenyon College.  I stayed with friends in Granville and drove back and forth to Gambier on Thursday to Saturday.  I got to catch up with a number of my friends from my year in Exeter, which was great.  I went on the 'ghost tour' with Professor Shutt, who is older but still a goofy and charming raconteur.  (Still no word on whether Gunnar is home, but his halberd is. :)   I also spent some time with the Church of Otis crowd, and it was great to see them, particularly [ FVC alias also TBD] and her new boyfriend.  I have known FVC since I was a freshman, and I long had a crush on her (which she knows all about), and she's been an out lesbian all that time, so I wasn't sure how I'd feel about this guy she's been living with the past year.  Happily, I quite like him.  He's a friendly, grounded, witty person, and a great fit for her.  She's the happiest I have seen her in years.  I would love to see them again soon.

I am slowly migrating my life back into the master bedroom.  The key steps of getting a new bed and sheets etc. has been achieved.  There's more to do, but Feisty approves of bigger bed to share with me.

It's time for me to go, but I'm just going to mention that the fireflies were spectacular this year, and that on the weekend of July first I watched the Easthampton fireworks from my living room window, while the fireflies dancing in the foreground in my backyard.  It was lovely.
grinninfoole: (Default)
I meant to post a few days ago, but I got sick a few days ago, and I'm only recovering now. (Some sort of gastro-intestinal whatsis, which made it so I couldn't eat for almost 2 days straight. Now I'm feeling better, but I still feel a bit of discomfort just below my sternum.) M was so kind and helpful in taking care of me during this ordeal.

My dad has, as they say in biz, plateaued. He's not likely to get much better, so he's switching to custodial care, which means Medicare won't cover his bills any more. Which means it's time for me to step up and get serious about making claims on my Dad's insurance policies, because the bills come out to more than $10,000 a month. A lot more. I don't know how families without our resources cope.

I'm going to have to work some convention in New Jersey at the end of the month. Not looking forward to all the driving, and I've already missed one weekend visiting Dad because of my illness.

M is preparing to move out at the end of the month. I'm going to stay here in our house. We're figuring out what's going to stay, and what she's taking with her, and so forth. It's pretty low key, but I do find myself tripping over the mental change from team mode to solo mode.

M and I are awaiting the final season of DS9. Until then, we're watching other stuff, like the new Tinker Tailor (which we loved, though was there gay subtext added to the story, or did we just miss it in the Alec Guinness version?), the 1981 BBC TV Smiley's People (less gripping plot, more comprehensible characters than Tinker Tailor), some Jeeves & Wooster (glad it holds up so well), and now Rome. We're half-way through a rewatch of season 1, en route to the unplumbed wonders of season 2. It's such a good show, though I had forgotten just how shockingly, explicitly sexual and violent it is.

I caught the tail end of the Superbowl last week, and I was briefly sad that the Patriots lost. While my football loyalty remains a foot wide and an inch deep, however, I did form a powerful emotional attachment to a new fandom during the game, though I suppose it's really more of an anti-fandom: the New York Giants scored their winning touchdown in the last minute, and the guy who scored it actually turned and completed the play butt first. I really can't stand arrogance or a sense of entitlement, and, which is what's always bugged me about the Yankees, and this struck me as a blatant display of same. So, I still don't care all that much about the Patriots, but I really hate the New York Giants. Funny how these things work, isn't it?


P.S. I'm having lunch with [Grounded] on Wednesday, so cross your fingers, eh?
grinninfoole: (Default)
Tonight I'm at my parents' house in Andover. Because of the nor'easter that hit last Saturday, kids are out trick or treating now. I'm lounging in the guest room, listening to the door bell. Shortly, I shall head over to Cambridge to celebrate the Feast of Rhotus at the shrine of St. Whatserface. The Pope, the Popess, the Team Captain, and others should be there, too.

Power was out here from Saturday night until Wednesday night. Mom and Dave spent the first night freezing here in the house, and then went to a hotel. Dad collapsed on Sunday evening when they went out to dinner, and was taken to the Lahey Clinic. While the cause isn't clear, Dad apparently has orthostatic hypotension, and he is thus prone to falls, blackouts, fainting spells, and more. He slips in and out of lucidity, and this is only making his failing memory worse.

Dad doesn't grasp the full extent of his condition, in part because he doesn't want to, and in part because he can't recall recent events well enough to make sense of things. It's emotionally challenging to talk to him, because he wants to come home, but Mom and Dave can't deal with his current level of illness, and don't want the stress of waiting on him hand and foot.

We're thus starting to explore options about home nursing care, assisted living facilities, and so forth. At least I have managed to smooth out a few things for Mom and Dave, and talk the staff the at the rehab hospital in Salem (where Dad is now) to give him a private room.

I am really fortunate that I was able to just leave work for a week to come here and help out. Mike G and the rest of the staff have covered for me, and I haven't had to think twice about it. Working for Mike has been fun, challenging, and very low stress. I'm very lucky.

Feisty is taking new medicine, which is apparently helping, though we may still need to take her for expensive tests, etc.

In frivolous news, I quite like the show Castle.
grinninfoole: (Default)
This weekend, my store is celebrating its ninth anniversary, starting with a party on at 6 pm Friday 9/9. There will be pizza, cupcakes, beverages, and prizes. It will be fun.

On the 10th, we're having a Magic mini-tournament, and hosting a D&D Lair Assault, and having our usual miniatures painting and board game nights.

On Sunday the 11th, from 1-3 PM, R. A. Salvatore will be in the store signing books. Come join us, and shut out talking heads who have learned nothing from the past decade.
grinninfoole: (Default)
Here's a post I started last month, that I'm going to try and finish up, reflecting on the past decade of my life.

Between a burger and pancakes. )



Well, I don't know that I have exhausted this vein, but my time is up, so I'll call it done and move on.
grinninfoole: (Default)
I have started and not finished several posts in my head over the past month, and not managed to post anything. I'd like to post about a bunch of things, but I'm going to at least get big news out of the way with this short message.

For the past five years (!) I have been working full-time at Modern Myths, serving as assistant manager for the founder/managing partner Jim Crocker. At the end of the summer, Jim is moving to New York, ultimately planning to open a second store in the vicinity of Tarrytown. This would be the logical time for me to step up and take over the Northampton store. And now that the moment is here, I don't want to.

So, much as I fear tackling unfamiliar tasks (and I have never done a cold job search before), I am looking for a teaching job. There's a lot to do, and I find it easy to stall out, but I have updated my resume, and I'm creating profiles on job sites, and so forth. I'm going to do something from my to do list every day. If I can't find a job by the end of July, I'm going to stick around at the store for another year.

(We have hired back a former part-time employee who has extensive retail store management experience to take over as the Northampton manager. I like him and I'll be pleased to work with him. Honestly, I have to keep reminding myself I'm in a good situation: I can either stay at a job that I like, that pays not well but enough, and be part of some exciting transitions and start-up of the new site; or I can get a teaching job and get 20-60% pay raise. This should be making me feel better than it does. I'll stare at my navel about why that might be next time. Should be must-read blogging.)
grinninfoole: (Default)
Last Wednesday, I took the afternoon train to the Big Apple for the New York Comicon. It was a four-day adventure/vacation/business trip, and I had a great time. It actually started Tuesday, when I stayed up rather late watching Caprica, making a quiche so that I could save money on breakfast while I was away, packing, and washing clothes. The rain and cold of last week were ending as I left, and the entire time I was in New York, the weather was perfect: 60s to 70s, mostly sunny. Here’s a day by day recounting, behind a cut for your TL,DR pleasure.

WEDNESDAY )

THURSDAY )


FRIDAY )

SATURDAY )

SUNDAY )


Monday:
Slept in, was able to get coverage for work, and lazed the day away, making sure Millari was OK. She’s still a bit wobbly, but she should make a full recovery.  And, now it's Friday of this week already.  I'm shocked at how quickly the time is passing.  I definitely want to do this again next year.
grinninfoole: (Default)
I have sore throat, so I'm loafing as much as possible today. The great storm which apparently socked the hell out of south and mid-Atlantic states left the merest dusting of snow here, after I went to some trouble to secure studded tires for Skull Jr. Typical. :)

X-mas is bearing down, but I am mostly ready. I have gifts for friends and loved ones (mostly), and I got a tree yesterday (which we shall trim this evening), and we've hung stockings (monster stockings which I got at my store), and the Team has sent many X-mas cards, and gotten together with friends and swapped pressies... it's been nice, this year. I much prefer the holiday season when I have my act together.

Mami y Papi will visit for Xmas eve, we'll dash out to Andover to see my family on the day itself, and then back home for a little household cheer on Boxing Day. M will be going to Germany, getting to know a new friend, over New Year's. I'll be looking for something to do on the 31st, but I am, apparently, cool enough to have been invited to TWO parties on New Year's Day. If possible, I shall go to both.

Xmas is my favorite holiday, but it is so precisely because of the secular nonsense that's built up around it. I'm not a Christian (and even if I were, the holiday doesn't really have anything to do with Josh from Nazareth) and I find the insistence of some, who claim that they are, on grounding any celebration in what they value quite tedious. I'm basically an atheist, and content to be so, and Christmas doesn't have to mean any more to me than 'that time when we put up lights, and decorate conifers, and swap gifts, and shop wildly, and send cards, and feast with family and friends'.

On a related note, we have had a nice Xmas rush bump in business at work, so it looks like we'll finish 2009 in the black, if only slightly. I shall be 40 in a few months, and I foresee the need to disrupt myself from my comfortable rut, but the rut does appear to run on towards the horizon.


Creatively, I'm still running a D&D 3.5 game using the Midnight setting. It's so much more work than designing stuff for 4th, but the setting requires the clunky lack of balance that 4th edition was specifically designed to fix, so what the hell. And I have a great group of players. Who knows how much longer it will last, but I have a couple of plot hooks to throw out at them, and then I expect the players to drive things to a thrilling conclusion. And then, we'll see. Perhaps the writing will come again, if I can accept that muse seems more sub-creative and transformative than path-breaking in its proclivities.


This weekend is also a good one for watching cool TV shows. Dr. Who Waters Of Mars premiered in the US last night, and it was terrific. There are two episodes of Dollhouse waiting my viewing as that plunges towards its finale, as two installments of Venture Brothers season 4 (which has been very satisfying). Also, M and I are making our way through Babylon 5, and we're at the half-way point of Season 3, having just seen Severed Dreams and Ceremonies Of Light & Dark. Oh, man, the show was so good.

Oh, and a couple of weeks ago, I happened to watch the pilot of the comedy/drama Chuck, and simply loved it. I watched the next four episodes, and this first impression was confirmed. Light, frothy, charming fun, with pretty people, Jayne from Firefly, good humor, and an actual plot arc bubbling away underneath. It'd be cooler if there were any people of color in it (besides Tony Todd in a minor part), but otherwise I recommend it.



ETA: I have been poking through older entries, and I stumbled across this post about the war in Afghanistan. I now take back what I wrote about the Bushies not fucking that up.
grinninfoole: (Default)
It's been two years since I legally teamed up with Millari.  They've been pretty good ones, too.  I have, more than once, lamented in this journal that I haven't been progressing in life, growing as a person.  Taking a moment now to look at what I have done, and not what I blame myself for not doing, I have come a long way from a passive, self-loathing, person with no life goals or plans, to a person with some actual ambitions, and the drive to accomplish them.  I have a rewarding marriage, a nice house, a good job, two cats, and good friends.  Of late, I have even been writing creatively, and it's been exciting (the retreat to Noble View kick-started things) and i finally, finally, started going around to local schools and inquiring about job openings and such.  It looks like there are real possibilities, that might pay well, too.  I'm excited about the idea of making more money than we spend.

In all of this, millari has been my partner, my ally, my critic, my audience, and my biggest fan.  If I believed in a personal deity, I would thank Him/Her/It for bringing us together.


In the short term:

Tonight, we dine at Chez Albert.  Tomorrow, an old friend comes to visit from abroad.  Sometime in August, we'll take a vacation together.

For now, Joyeux Anniversaire, ma copine!
grinninfoole: (Default)
Tonight, I went to Amherst College, where Alison Bechdel was giving a talk.  She impressed me with her low-key friendliness and lack of pretension.  Mostly she talked about Fun Home and how she went about creating it, and then she took some questions.  The she went out into the foyer of Converse Hall and signed books, right next to where I was set up selling them. (and we sold about twenty.  Score!)  Then, entirely of her own volition, she signed every single unsold one.

It's strange to me that I found myself most interested in HOW she works and other cartoonists who influenced her.  For any loved work or author, those questions naturally arise sooner or later, but I'm not a comics creator myself, so for me, it tends to be later.  But Fun Home, in particular, is a tour de force of subtle technique.  There are no virtuoso/show-offy splash pages, no sudden shifts in tone, no bravura bits of dialogue, but everything is just right, just as it needs to be sort of the way Jeeves is just where he needs to be.  There's no other comic quite like it, and I was intrigued, but not surprised, that she is, apparently, not steeped in comics lore.  She has influences, Howard Cruse in particular, but she didn't grow up reading Lee & Kirby (which shows in her art) or Crumb, and so her comics work has a sui generis quality, like Conrad's prose, perhaps, and like Conrad, her personal idiosyncrasy is part of what makes the work (and the person) so interesting. 

I have to confess though, that I'm jealous: the odds are very low that I shall ever win an Eisner Award which will be handed to me by Neil Gaiman.

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