Archive for the ‘Comic Related’ Category

Accept No Other Definition of Your Life

Evening friends. I know, I know…  It’s been a while.  I pass by here about as often as I twitter these days.  Funny that.  Much to my surprise I started twittering again unexpectedly, suddenly and regularly last week via @itisallrelated.  That proved fun so I thought I would regrow the outlets I have to express myself just a little further and put the digital pen to paper and get this blog kicking for however long it lasts.  I make a point of putting  it that way as I know better than to make promises that don’t have a time, date and location tied to them these days.

That of course leads to the question of the hour…  What do I want to write about?

Each time I’ve passed by this blog over the last couple years, I’ve found it a bit hard to find the right topic.  Sometimes I find a tibbit, but I never find enough to build a rhythm.

That had me thinking, why is this the case?

I’ll admit openly that, if I’m blogging about my life, there are times that it isn’t easiest thing to talk about.  Oh sure I have a mountain of things to share in Facebook updates, but that’s a kind of “life in the moment” look at things that is easy to maintain.  I’m very lucky to be living a life in motion that’s full of color, great people and fun.  I’ve had a ton of amazing moments to talk about and in many ways, I’ve never been more happy.  That said, there are also moments, like the still too recent death of my father and other things on a similar level of complexity, that in some ways I still can’t put into words and maybe never will.

A blog, to me fells like a door that, once open, can prove hard to close because it deals with deeper meaning, more expression and more contemplation.  I’ve been worried of what I might say and that’s funny considering how open I am about my life.

I joke sometimes that it feels like I realize what I’m saying just a few moments after I’ve said it.  There are many times that can be far too true so I find not only the topic, but the concept of blogging, social media and self expression in the modern world to be something worth exploring because it makes me challenge myself.  A blog should cut a bit deeper and be more honest if it has worth.

As if fate were laughing at me just a bit, I get a fortune cookie tonight that stops me dead in my tracks.  Now I put very little faith in superstition and I pride myself on writing my own ticket in life, but just as I raise these questions I read…

“Accept no other definition of your life, accept only your own.”

If that isn’t a cue to write and live your life as you see best and fearlessly, I’m not sure what is.

(Not done yet…)

Read it on Facebook…

A friend had this posted to his profile over on Facebook.  I really couldn’t have said it better myself so I won’t try…

“I am slowly coming to find that life is so much more enjoyable when you take responsibility for your own happiness and fill your life as much as you can with things that bring you joy — rather than waiting for good things to happen to you to make you happy.  That roller coaster is outmoded, falling apart, and moreover the antithesis of enjoyable.”

So very true.

An Interview

I love a good interview.

I’ve been lucky in that I think I’ve had more good conversations than bad over the last few years doing my podcast.  I think I’ve benefited from some really great guests and every once in a while I get one that makes me proud that I podcast.  I know it the moment I hang up the phone.  No matter the outcome though, I always leave an interview charged up with energy.  There is a rush to doing those recordings.

A good conversation usually happens when the person feels very honest, both in their opinions and in what they have to say about their own work.  I’ll admit it’s tough when a guest is quiet.  It’s not always the fault of the individual as I know some people are just quiet by nature.  Those shows though are more of a pull to get the recording done.  Yes, there have been times I was worried it was all going to fall flat but I’ve never had a interview I wish I hadn’t done.

I love those guests that just run with it though.  One of the hardest things I had to learn over these last few hundred episodes is when to shut up and just let the individual go.  Sometimes, I think silence is the best skill.

My favorite interview is always the one that takes an individual who has never been in the spotlight before and lets them shine.  In the end, if I feel like I got to know the individual just a little bit better while we spoke (and not just the project they were there to promote), I feel like I succeeded.

Tonight I succeeded.

Not True Neutral About The Chaotic Good

Last night was a fun night.  I headed over to Cosmic Charlies expecting a blast from the past and was pleasantly led down a decidedly new road.  You see, some friends of mine owned a fun little house/dj club called DV8 back in the early 90′s here in Lexington. I went through a period where I enjoyed my share of house music.  If I were honest with myself, it probably had more to do with dating and seeing the sun come up the next morning than the music, but that was a very different time and I was a younger guy.

Anyway, I mention that as last night I went into the show wondering if I was going to feel pulled back a decade (which really wouldn’t have been the goal) or surprised.  I was surprised.

The guys spinning (The Chaotic Good with Brocktologist and the Corduroy Mavericks opening) were taking full advantage of the technology available today via light boxes, mac computers, iPads and digital turntables.  Via this mix, they blended the music in a way that was really creative and surprisingly exciting.

What kind of floored me (especially when listing to Brocktologist) was a sense of drama to the music.  They didn’t let the beat tear into a drone like it used to back in the day.  Here, they worked the music so there was clear build-up and payoff time and again.  The way it flowed from entry to exit and changed over and over taking new directions held my attention all evening.

For someone who normally wouldn’t go out of my way for this kind of mix, these guys won me over quickly.  This turned out to be a perfect example of what I was blogging about last night.  There are things I found here that I will hold onto and I would absolutely go out of my way to see The Chaotic Good in the future (even if they did disappoint by not rolling out the 8 foot tall robot).  What was brought to bear was amazing to watch.  Where I’m used to a bit more brute force in my music, this show knocked me out with pure style.

Oh yea… Also… The hula hoop dancer didn’t hurt.  Video and more photos over on my Facebook page.  Cheers!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays

I’ve been reminded over the last couple weeks just how lucky I am to have a mix of amazing people, both friends and family, in my life.  I am very thankful for each and every person and I wish everyone reading this the very best holiday season.  Thank you, from the bottom (and top) of my heart.

Cheers,
Chuck

Reaching for the SkyStorm

This weekend John Wilson and I will be traveling to Elizabethtown, Kentucky to spend the day (and night) with the creative team behind SkyStorm Studios.  The studio has been going through a renaissance and a bit of a creative explosion lately.  I can’t say a lot more other than they have invited us into their lives to look at their projects and help shape their plans and we’re honored.

I have to admit that I’m tremendously excited to sink my teeth into sharing options on projects and being part of the evolution of a ton of great books.  It is clear to me that there are projects here that show tremendous promise.  Seeing them realized for friends seems like a really good way to dedicate my time.  I’m sure I’ll have much more to say on down the road, but this weekend takes me to a city I haven’t visited in years and I’m looking forward to the trip.

Before I go though, I’m spending a rare Friday night in town (departing in the morning).  Tonight, I’m planning to visit a local restaurant called Marikka’s for what just may be my favorite spot for German food.  It’s been far too many years since I visited this former haunt and a nice plate of rouladen with green beans and spaetzle awaits.   I tell you, I would go there just for the spaetzle.  They have these wonderfully thick German noodles that I crave every so often.  Usually I don’t make it over.  Tonight, I will dine!

Friday Night Lights

To say I’m not your typical sports centered kind of guy would be an understatement, but I once read a post somewhere about the 50 things a person needed to do before they die and one has never left my brain for some strange reason.  That was “follow a high school football team for one season attending all their games”.

As I flew from Kentucky to Washington DC this evening, it was a night flight.  It was Friday.  As I looked down, I saw stadium after stadium pass below me and, at least as we took off, I could see the teams on the field and it brought this list item back into my brain.

What struck me most, was just how close these grind irons actually were to one another.  With that in mind, thinking about how much these mythic games mean to these kids and their team fans, week after week,  it interests me.  I’ve always been enamored by the concept of high school and college football.  Probably more so than watching the actual game.

It has something to do with that classic story of high school kids evolving the game itself into a bit of a legend that, for some, defines those early years and lives on in the lore of the school and community.  It is a concept that, narratively, appeals to me.  It’s more the story of the game than the game itself that I find so interesting.

With that in mind, I have to admit that picking a random team and following that story for a year could be something really fun to try someday.  Maybe that’s the thing about sports I’ve been missing for so many years.  It isn’t about the game or an individual outcome… It’s about the broader story that people carry away.  The myth of the game becomes more than the game itself.  Maybe that list has something.  Then again, maybe I need to go see a band play instead.

Cheers!

Halloween

I so want to turn on the television and find a creepy movie this fine evening but sleep calls. That said, I find myself very much in the Halloween mood.

Sadly, I have a work conference that falls annually on the 31st and my long running Halloween tradition is to be up in Washington DC in the Hilton Washington (just off Dupont Circle) for the annual event. Needless to say, it’s been quite a few years since I got to run around in a costume or attended a really creative Halloween party. That said, its always interesting to see people going to parties just a couple blocks from the White House or in the Hilton itself.

I guess what I miss in Halloween I make up for during big elections. I’ve been at the Hilton Washington as the last three Presidential Elections have been decided and the smaller Capital Steps Hilton before that. An election in Washington, DC is an electric atmosphere to say the least.

Getting back to Halloween, I didn’t always miss the parties. There were some legendary ones in college as I used to run with a decidedly “gamer” crowd who knew their way around a Call of C’thulu rulebook and could haunt even the simplest apartments. One of these days, I’m going to have to blog some of those stories and there are many (like the time one costume literally caused a traffic accident or the time fish were housed in shoes or the time we spent a night in a purported haunted house).

This has always been my favorite time of year. It’s easy to love spring, but there is just something utterly magical in the slowing of the world around us as nature shuts down for another year. It just feels like the world is getting ready to take a break for a while and I love that taste in the air.

It’s funny that everyone celebrates New Years as the end of the year (which I know is technically correct), but for me that has always felt more like the end of the party that starts with Thanksgiving, hits its pace at Christmas and goes for the big blowout finale on New Years.

In my eye, fall has always been the time that the year really feels like it’s coming to a close. Those others just bring a lot of glitz to the party. Fall has a bit of reverence to itself. Right now, in the quiet of the early evening… that’s the moment when it feels likes like time is winding to its logical close. Love it!

Great Weekend!

What a great weekend. In the end, I spent Friday and Saturday night at the Ringtail Cafe Studio with some really great friends.  Their studio is so centrally located to so much of what we do, it has become an amazing second home for me and I thank them for their housing me on a fairly regular weekend basis.  They are certainly a social center for CR.  

John joined me on the road and we opted for a change of pace Cajun dinner for the group. It was an awesome little restaurant up in Florence and we did a small animation marathon before calling it a night (with some IT Crowd dropped in for fun).

Saturday was the Twilight Star Anniversary celebration at Superfly Comics and Games. I was impressed in equal parts by the evolution of this studio over the last year and the store where the party was held. Superfly (located at 132 Dayton Street in Yellow Springs, Ohio) had a great feel for a comic store and may have been one of the most interesting shops I’ve visited in a while. Having the vibe of a record store, loaded with indy products, organized in a great way and run by two very hip owners, this is a brick and mortar store to be celebrated.

Twilight Star is really coming into its own and if the enthusiasm of its creators is any indication of the future, great things are ahead. I kinda wish this group of creators were a bit closer to my base of operations as I would love to chronicle their evolution a bit more as they go forward.

Sunday I slipped in a family visit (always a welcome stop in my travels) and tonight I’m resting and writing at Common Grounds before calling it a night. Had sone errands to run, but fell into my favorite little coffee shop to check on CR and do a little work. Hey, the couches are really comfortable and the snacks rule all.

Weekend Plans: Twilight Star Studios

You can catch John and I up at the Twilight Star Studios Anniversary Bash this weekend…

Where?

Super Fly Comics and Games
132 Dayton Street, Yellow Springs Ohio

When?

Saturday October 23rd
3:00pm-7:00pm


We’ll be there recording audio for the Related Recap, possibly taking part in a bit of video fun and mixing it up with friends old and new.  Should be a cool time.  Also attending the event…

Gary Church-artist and writer (A Matter Of Life And Death, G-Code, Perfect Day, Un-Naturals Resource Book)
Bill Gladman-writer and artist (A Matter Of Life And Death, Business As Usual, N.I.B., Driver’s Seat, Living Dead Girl, The Tree, Un-Naturals Resource Book, Perfect Day Blue Morning, Denial, Jack the Rabbit, Prodigy, Suicide Solution, Necrotrancer, Bumtastic Four, and The Un-Naturals)
Derron Church-artist and writer (A Matter Of Life And Death, Legacy, The Un-Naturals, Un-Naturals Resource Book)
Frank Raynor-writer (Business As Usual, Dead Money, Perfect Day)
Chad Strohl-writer and artist (Did Somebody Call for A Hero, Mouthful Of Spiders, The Trouble With Units, Un-Naturals Resource Book)
Rick Berry-artist/letterer-(Legacy, Jack the Rabbit, Denial, Prodigy)
Joe Pruitt-artist, writer, and letterer (Brit And Ivy, G-Code, Necrotrancer, Prodigy, Bumtastic Four)
Tim Hagans-writer and artist (The Cowboy, The Kid, And The Samurai)
Chris Metzger-artist-(N.I.B., Grass Roots, Un-Naturals Resource Book)
Raichal Gladman-writer (The Tree)

See you there!