The heat’s finally relented here in White River Junction only to be replaced with a torrential rain this morning. I thought I’d take a moment to apologize for not posting any tattoo designs for the past two weeks. The truth is I’ve been so busy trying to keep up with my YEAR OF THE RAT schedule and a couple anthology pieces I’m currently trying to finish up that I haven’t been able to maintain the Friday updates. The feature itself isn’t entirely gone, just taking a back seat as I continue to plug away on other comics stuff and freelance projects. I’ll be posting a new one in the near future, but I can’t promise any kind of update schedule, as much as I’d like to.

Seems like I’ve apologized for not being able to maintain a schedule on this site and others (the original whimville site comes to mind) for most of the last ten years, but I take comfort in the fact that I’ve been able to maintain a regular schedule with the current YEAR OF THE RAT storyline (THE PLACE BETWEEN SECONDS) since mid March and (not to jinx myself here) is on track to continue updating regularly until the story’s end sometime around mid-February 2010 (just in time for Chinese new year and the next cycle – the year of the tiger!).

At that point I’ll be collecting the story in book form and I’ll have more details about that when the time comes. As it is, we haven’t even reached the halfway point for THE PLACE BETWEEN SECONDS yet (that will come on August 27th), so I don’t want to think about or deal with any of that stuff until the time comes. I’ve made too many broken promises over the past few years and I just want to see things through and not just talk about it.

For readers that may be coming to this site for the first time, please take some time to come back and visit often and read through the archives. There’s a wealth of comics there (my spotty output from the past eleven years!) In particular, if you want to understand the current YEAR OF THE RAT story, you may want to read the the first book YEAR OF THE RAT: TRIAL BY FIRE, which ran as a webcomic last year.

The current story, THE PLACE BETWEEN SECONDS, is dedicated to the year of the ox (2009…this year). The Chinese zodiac figures very loosely into my current comics work and outpu. Suffice it to say that I’ve dedicated myself to creating a book for every year of what’s left of the 12 year cycle. Whether this ties in with YEAR OF THE RAT specifically or not remains to be seen. I want to see if I can get through this first real book first then make plans later. I’ve barely been able to maintain a decent buffer which unfortunately is burning away as I attend to a rather challenging erotic anthology submission I’m currently trying to wrap up. Yes, I said erotic. More details on that later.

Lots of big plans and work going on because the life of a true cartoonist is the life of a true hustler, and hustling is what I’m doing… best I can.

I haven’t forgotten about THE MAGIC INKWELL READER, I’m just holding off getting it out until SPX this year. I’m currently in no position to go to the show financially, but I’m going to run a donation drive to help me scrounge up the funds to go, with the book in hand, to debut it there. This will be on September 26th and 27th in Bethesda, Maryland (close to D.C.), so I don’t have much time to get everything wrapped up and table space sequestered, etc.

This seems fitting since SPX is where this all started for me back in ’97 and taking the INKWELL back there in it’s nice shiny new incarnation seems apropos. We’ll see if I can pull this off…

This summer seems to be shaping up to be a summer of returning to the source. Case in point, my brother emailed me a pic of my very first acrylic painting on canvas, painted during my senior year in high school (see below). It’s now framed and hanging in his mother in law’s house. Seems like a lifetime ago when I painted my interpretation of the founding of Tenochtitlan and the Aztec empire. Back then I felt like all the nervous creative energy in me would make me explode into a billion pieces in an unexpected moment of spontaneous combustion. This summer I’m starting to feel that way again and it’s like putting on an old favorite coat and realizing it still fits.

myfirstpainting