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Monday, May 28, 2012

MYSTERIOUS MYSTERIES

Just a few mysteries the boundless universe has thrown my way recently:


I spotted this gelatinous green ball in March, at Highbanks Metro Park, Lewis Center, Ohio.  What is it?



You'd think this unique looking flower, photographed May 11 at Big Hill Park in Beloit, Wisconsin, would be easy to identify.  But it's not.  It's the only specimen of its kind I've seen.  Can you help?



I was on the park bench at Beckman Mill, watching the sun set with my pal Charlie the Chipmunk, when I noticed this little black beetle sucking blood out of my left hand.  I brushed it away, and the next day this reddish rash developed.  Now, a week later, it's turned a delightful raspberry color.  It doesn't hurt or itch, what in the wide wide world of sports is goin' on here???




Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A MONTH OF SUNDAYS AND SATURDAYS

So, anyhow, I spent early-April to early-May on the road here and there, with weekend trips to Chicago, Columbus, Urbana, and Toronto for comix/zine shows.  Here is a cursory record of those events:

First stop was C2E2 in Chicago.  Joe Chips managed to wrangle himself a free table at this superheroey event (he was giving a presentation on Disability in the Comics) and I managed to wrangle a corner of said table from him.  I guess I was too depressed to take any pictures.  'Nuff said.

Next, out to good ol' Columbus Ohio, for good ol' SPACE.  This trip is always a high point of my year, as I really like Columbus.  I get to visit old High School friends (and their pets), and the show itself is low-key but well-attended by enthusiastic readers and artists.

Ginger Vitus, my l'il buddy.

Spit and a Half table, SPACE

JP, Carol Tyler, MariNaomi at SPACE


After Saturday's tabling we all went over to recent Columbus transplant Caitlin McGurk's new pad where Zeek the Cat slept through the festivities.  Everyone agreed that the Midwest is the new Seattle.

I stayed at my friend John J. and Michele's house north of Columbus.  (Artwork by up and coming cartoonist Mia J.)

I managed to spend some time at the Highbanks Metro Park before leaving Ohio.





Hoo Hah, then down to Urbana, Illinois for the second annual Midwest Zine Fest!

Quimby's manager, Liz "Caboose" Mason, talks to the MWZF crowd about zine distribution.

Midwest Zine Fest

Spit and a Half spread, MWZF

In case you've never been here, this is what Illinois looks like.




Had one last show to do: TCAF, in Toronto.  BFF Noah Van Sciver flew out from Denver to Milwaukee's 1950's era airport, and we got to hang out for a few days before Zak showed up from Minneapolis, and we all headed east together towards Toronto.

Zak left Mpls at 3 AM and I took over driving once he got to Beloit.  This is Zak trying to drown out the Jerry Clower blasting over the car stereo.

Yes.

Beauty, eh?


"Wanna buy a possum?"

Big City Lights


Noah on the roof of our hostel looking out over downtown Toronto, Friday night.


So-called "Supermoon" rising over the Bloor Street Metro

The show itself was so busy I didn't have time to take any photos.  As always, TCAF delivered.  It goes to show you how well it's run that this seemingly perfect show manages to get better year after year.  (Photo above courtesy MariNaomi's Facebook page.)

Saturday I participated in a panel discussion with Lizz Lunney and Darryl Cunningham, co-moderated by Simon Moreton and Ian Williams, on "Comics and Mental Illness."  Surrounded by Brits!  I kept getting distracted by worrying that I was gonna break out into a scouse accent.


L-R: Tom Neely (over shoulder), David Collier, JP, Emily Nilsson, Zak Sally, Noah, Pascal Girard.  Photo ripped from Noah's FB page.

The Three Amigos AKA Road Hawgs
Photo by Tom Devlin

Afterwards, people got together at a bar, but as soon as the Kool Jamz™ started I took off with Noah to book-shop at BMV.  I picked up the Agonizing Love collection, Fantastic Four Masterworks Volume Two, and a John Cleary Buddhist anthology that included Timeless Spring, a book I've been looking for for years...

Sunday was simply insane.

That evening I wandered around alone, trying to clear my head.  We ended up waking at 3:30 AM to head back home, jamming out to Van Halen II on our way out of town.






Sunday, May 13, 2012

APRIL WEED AND WILDFLOWER INVENTORY

This year in the Stateline Area we had our April in March and our March in April.  So maybe the flowers were confused.  I know I was.  Here's a brief, incomplete list of sightings, including a couple noted on a walk in Ohio, while on tour.  Carry on!

Wild Geranium  (Geranium maculatum)
Garlic Mustard  (Alliaria petiolata)
Common Blue Violet (Viola sororia sororia)
Yellow Rocket  (Barbarea vulgaris arcuata)
Marsh Marigold  (Caltha palustris)
Solomon's Seal (Polygonatum commutatum)
Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis)
Jack-in-the-Pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum)
Trillium (Wake Robin) (Trillium recurvatum)
Shepherd's-purse (Capsella bursa-pastoris)

Woodland Phlox (Phlox divaricata)

Mayapple (Podophyllum peltatum)

False Rue Anenome (Enemion biternatum)

Skunk Cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus)

Cutleaf Toothwort  (Dentaria laciniata)

Wild Ginger (Asarum canadense reflexum)

Dutchman's Breeches (Dicentra cucullaria)

White Trout Lily (Erythronium albidum)

Spring Beauty (Claytonia virginica)

Sighted at Beckman Mill and Big Hill Parks, Beloit, Wis.; and Highbanks Metro Park, Lewis Center, Ohio.