Monday, November 26, 2007


Fine time in Lubbock, as usual. Ate too much. Managed not to drink too much until the last night, which more than made up for it. Gah.

This was the scene at 2:00 on the big day before the Great Devouring began.

I don't see enough of Craig (pictured here with his lovely wife, Lindsay) since he moved to New York . Notice the longing in the eyes and the palpable sense that the evening will be over all too soon.

I'm flanked by Blake, Stew, Chris, and Craig. All of my groomsmen except my own little brother. Ouch. Not that we would've survived if he'd been there. Killed a bottle of 1.75 Jack without him. Truly horrifying.

The morning after.


Went to Dallas the weekend before Thanksgiving to promote the new comic anthology me and a gang of Austinites have released. Had a fine time, got a bunch of autographs from various talented artists, signed some autographs, refused to sell the book to enough saddened ten year olds that I think we're going to go back and make it all-ages. Bought a shot for Scott Porter, one of the best actors on Friday Night Lights and a huge comic book fan in his own right. Oh, and got probably $300 worth of books for a cool $100 and Catherine bought me the Holy Grail, those 3 issues of Flex Mentallo we couldn't even find in San Diego.

Some pics:

The Team Supreme. Luis Estrada and I had a kickass four hours of brainstorming that went well into Sunday morning in which we reworked and compressed the first six pgs into five and invented an incredibly elaborate backstory that will be a blast to weave into the book.

This is Adam Kubert, one of the best artists in the industry. Our table was just down the way from his and I felt so much like his buddy after taking this on Friday that I yelled out, "Good morning, Adam Kubert!" the next two days and "Safe travels, Adam Kubert!" at the end of the day Sunday. He could tell how harmless I was, but I tried not to move too suddenly when I was around him.

Right before this shot, he said, "I like your shirt." I actually didn't get it until I was walking away. There were a lot of comic books around.

Ol' Blue Eyes, himself.

Little known branches of the Claus family tree. That new Vince Vaughn flick really could have used these guys, I'm guessing.

I quickly followed this dude's example and had a fine time drinking beer on the convention floor.

The assembled crew, except for Eroll, who was out sketching for cigarettes, I think. That still cracks me up. From left: Brian, Rita, McClain, John, Chris, Seth, Wayne, and your very own dynamic duo.

And this is what we saw when we walked out Sunday night to drive back to Austin. Only way it could have been better is if there was a rocket lifting off. But then, I always feel that way.


Went to see the Smashing Pumpkins on their big reunion tour. This felt kind of odd, as they were one of my very favorite bands ten years ago and i haven't listened to them that much of late, even with this last new album that came out that was better than I figured it would be but not as good as I'd hoped. Listened to some old live shows on the way out there. It's funny how many things are embedded in your psyche, running around your head, a part of you that you barely remember, sometimes don't even know is there. This was my eighth time to see them, Catherine's fifth. For the Mellon Collie tour, Catherine and I saw them in Austin, drove to Dallas to see them the next night, and then drove five hours to Lubbock after the show. Used to pull into town after sunup quite a bit. Funny how sane and normal that seemed at the time.

Anyway, the present:

They played a pretty excellent set. Chose a couple of tunes I never would've figured. Opened with United States, the best song off the new one. Played Drown, one of the best songs ever, was so glad to hear the first notes. Best thing of the night, though, had to be Starla, never seen that live in all these years, surely one of the greatest B-sides ever recorded, some of the most beautiful ethereal backwards guitar that ever was.

Billy played 1979 solo and Perfect with Jimmy accompanying him on tambourine. They came back with more rock bombast and even encored with Cherub Rock, which was killer. But then they got this old friend of theirs up on stage and played a couple of tunes and it was all right at first but was too long by about ten minutes, totally sucked the energy out of the show. But as Catherine said, Billy was up there grinning and looking like he was having a fine old time, and we haven't really seen so much of that over the years.

Great show.


United States
Bullet with Butterfly Wings
Bring the Light
Tonight, Tonight
Stand Inside Your Love
Pomp and Circumstances
Doomsday Clock
Heavy Metal Machine

Encore: Cherub Rock

2nd Encore: Lucky 13

With Jimmy Frog: I Only Play 4 Money

Solo Salvage: Disarm

Tuesday, November 6, 2007


We mixed it up this weekend, lots of varied choices for entertainment. The Smashing Pumpkins concert scheduled for Friday got bumped into next week after Jimmy Chamberlin went to the hospital (in a stomach-plunging twist reminiscent of Summer '96--here's hoping Redrum was not involved). But that gave us the night off to see Breakin' String, a local troupe of actors, put on their performance of Anton Chekov's THE SEAGULL (recommended by Brian K. Vaughan as "the best writing about writing ever"). And it was excellent to go in cold, with no idea as to the plot. The ensemble was incredible, boasting veterans and young talents alike (including one gangly young man from Lubbock, TX in a bit part!). It was a riveting 2 and 1/2 hours of theatre.

That was followed by the TX Bookfest on Saturday. There weren't many authors I was really excited about seeing, but the exception was Tom Perrotta, author of LITTLE CHILDREN. If you're reading this, you probably know how crushed I was by that movie. Had to power the book for this experience, as well as his latest THE ABSTINENCE TEACHER. He gave a reading in the legislative chambers, which was kind of a funky experience. I got him to break down all the changes to the novel that went into the screenplay and turns out most of the darkness was added by director Todd Field. Here, we find Catherine considering an important piece of pending legislation while waiting for the author to begin.

Then we went to the new Alamo Drafthouse Saturday night for a screening of LITTLE CHILDREN up on the big screen, following a Q&A with the author. So, LITTLE CHILDREN, check. Pretty much picked that one apart for the time being.

Then on Sunday, Catherine and I drove out to Lost Maples, this state natural area renowned for the beauty of its color-changing leaves. We went out as a late anniversary celebration and had a fine old time roasting hot dogs and s'mores over a serious campfire, sang songs with the 12-string, drank a bottle of wine, and got a load of the best sky of stars I can remember seeing. Caught six damn shooting stars. My wishes started canceling each other out! Then we woke up and went on a five-mile hike, up this "hill" with 2,200 ft. elevation (almost half a mile qualifies as more than a hill, say I), saw some beautiful sights, got a little too much sun on our faces, and generally enjoyed the lack of cellphones, teh Intrawub, or Home Depot (still missed Chili's, of course).

Here are the highlights:

Observing the author in his natural environment.

Came across this guy strutting down the trail on a short walk before sunset. Immediately regretted not capturing Catherine's reaction at this moment instead.

Sunset on the hills.

The campsite.

After our evening hike, Catherine said, "Can you beLIEVE I've had these hiking boots for eleven years?" I allowed as how they had held up remarkably.
One mile later, we could believe that the boots were eleven years old, yes.

This is the view from the top of the "hill" where we ate lunch at a scenic overlook. The word "overlook" is kind of charged for all time, isn't it? Brr, hedge animals.

The view from the top of the most gorgeous section of the trail, as you are about to see up close.

After another couple of miles, the soles were flapping like the '20s, so we had to surgically excise them, which caused a marked shift in Catherine's demeanor.

When we got to the bottom, there was this grove of trees that had the most beautiful selection of colors we saw for the entire hike. To wit:

Catherine took this one, the best shot yet.

Which, of course, inspired me to go nuts on that theme. Here's my best.

And we took a few dozen more, but you can only post so many pictures of nature sans explosions, so I'll just close out on the happy couple.

Thursday, November 1, 2007


Went out on 6th Street last night dressed as The Idea, the hero of my upcoming comic-book series.

You can't kill an idea, Evey.

Dig the old school yellow insignia.

Blending in beside Beetlejuice and three ladies of questionable repute.

The Idea can cling to walls.