Sunday, May 29, 2011

Antique Lawn Comics

It's been a very rainy past few weeks and the yard loves it. You can see how well it's growing with Pandora just peeking over the grass. We pulled out our riding lawn mower last week, on one of the few not raining days, and discovered the battery was dead. We now know we should bring the battery inside during the winter. Carrie bought a new one, now I just have to figure out how to get the thing primed again. Hopefully we'll start the mowing process again over this long weekend.

Last weekend we went to the Maine Comic Arts Festival in Portland. First convention type event we've been to since we moved up here. We bought a handful of comics. Actually, Carrie bought most of them. I made sure she saw the ones I thought she might like and she bought all but one of the ones I thought I might also like (that were not overly expensive.) So I did buy one.

Carrie got a free Tiki drawing from Daniel Edwards. He had an interesting children's book, that we'll probably want to investigate once he's turned it into comics or a cartoon. He's been drawing some tarot cards to use in the story line so we chatted for a bit about comics and tarot and Sita Sings the Blues. Tikis are getting featured in his next book.

Another artist was giving out free sample panels of his comic. A couple got Carrie to laugh out loud, so she bought a copy of his sampler, Secret Harbor.

Upstairs was even bigger and more comics were bought. Kitty Hawk had the best cover in the place, and I want to read the webcomic now. A couple of books had artwork very similar to Jeff Smith's work. Grune was the one we picked up. The Underburbs looked good enough to buy the first collection, but they were sold out, so only issue one was purchased.

Carrie bought a mini-comic about cats from Gynn Stella, but what brought me to the table was the banner hanging from the front, especially the art you see to the right. Back in the days when I was playing in fantasy role playing games, I had a character named Meep who was a were cat. Guess this is from one of his as yet untold adventures...

Weather was cool enough to wear my Love & Rockets the band hoodie, and this time I wore my Love & Rockets the comicbook t-shirt underneath. The shirt got a lot of compliments. And a couple of people even noticed the hoodie.

This weekend we started by traveling down to visit Kemmer in Massachusetts. We went to a few antique stores and ate at a Thai restaurant. And I am contemplating the purchase of an expensive toy. It's made out of wood, just over 3 feet high, 4 and a third feet long, and in need of severe TLC. But expecting to be quoted a price in the thousands, I was stunned to get one in the hundreds. Carrie and Kemmer both seem to think it would be a good buy for me. I'm still a tightwad, so am sitting here today talking with Carrie about where to put it. We already think we can do enough repair work to it ourselves to make it look good enough and not fall apart. But if it cannot be placed somewhere safe and yet well displayed, there is no sense in spending the money. If I can talk myself into it, I'll go again next weekend and see if it's still there.

As always, click on a photo to get a bigger view of it.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Keith of the North

My high tolerance for the cold was noted even before I moved to Arizona. One roommate in Massachusetts called me Keith of the North.

Not long after my move to the desert, the Holt decided to take photos for the yearly calendar. At my suggestion a number of us headed up north to get some pictures of us as elves in the snowy forest. In the first pic you see me as an elf with big ears and no glasses.

Afterward as we were loading ourselves back into the cars and getting ready to head back home, a Native American came over to me to ask for money. I tend not to give beggars cash (though I have been known to give them food.) Carrie knew this, and stepped between us to say she was the one who handled the money. The guy then looks at me, me, who talks to animals, me, who juggles knives, me, who wanders around in the snow wearing a loincloth, and says "You wouldn't make a very good Indian."

As always, click on a pic to enlarge.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Floral Tribune

It's rain. Not great for yard sales or other out-and-about errands, but great for the plants. The dim light makes the new greenery glow. Good thing we like the look, because the weather report has it rainy and/or grey all this week.

Blooming is in full swing. The previous owner here had landscaped using a rather over abundance of pink and purple flowering plants. I like some pink, but when the azaleas, rhododendrons, and peonies get going it's like walking down the Barbie isle at Toys 'R' Us!

This unknown ornamental is more like it.

As for wildflowers: this week we've got semi-wilds. The backyard has clouds of tiny white violets, along with not-appearing-in-this-blog flowers. In the front we have a white viola that showed up as a volunteer in some soil I'd got for potting.

Also in the front was this pileated woodpecker who was excavating around a dead log for breakfast.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Stand Up Comix

The light shining through the hole in my head makes my eyes glow.
Click on my glasses to see better.

The first Saturday in May is Free Comic Book Day, so that was the basis for our plans that day. Carrie wore her Hellboy t-shirt and I wanted to wear my Superman shirt with a Love and Rockets hoodie over it. The hoodie I won at Cover Me, a music blog I visit once in a while. In case you didn't know, Love and Rockets is both a band and a comic book. The band was named after the comic, which annoyed one of the creators of the comic as he wanted to form a band with that name. So you can see how I wanted to show off my geeky knowledge to the crowd. But, in spite of cool weather before and after that Saturday, it was a darn nice day, too warm to wear either a sweatshirt or even multiple layers. Needing to wear long sleeves because of my sensitivity to sun exposure, I just wore the plain blue shirt. I have no long sleeved comics related shirts. But I did wear a small Usagi Yojimbo pin.

Our first stop was J & R Comics and Cards in Brunswick. We discovered them last year when they had a person parading around a more main street with a sandwich board announcing free comics and free food. Their selection of comics is pretty small, but they were such nice people I wanted to try and give them some real business. I bought 2 comics while there, but they didn't have the storage supplies I wanted. I'd held off on buying them, hoping to give J & R the money. They didn't have any free food this year, but did have plenty of free comics.

We met up with one of my coworkers, Sheila, and her husband Fred at the store. I'd gotten Sheila hooked on Carrie McNinch's minicomix and wanted to expose her to some more. Fred turned out to be a long time MAD fan, so I picked him up an issue of Groo. After the shop we went over to Bombay Mahal and had their buffet. Carrie and I think this is the better of the 2 Indian restaurants in Brunswick. The four of us got to chat for a while before heading off on our separate errands.

Next shop to hit was in Topsham. A new gaming and comics shop that we saw a few months ago. At that time they had next to nothing in comics, waiting for the shelves they said. Well, even though they weren't on the Free Comic Book Day website, they were still participating. We went in, saw they had little improvement, and left.

So third and final comics stop was Casablanca Comics in Portland. That's the shop in the above photo. They give out a good selection of free comics, their choice mostly. We usually get our comics here because it is the largest comics shop in the state, even if it seems small compared to the ones we used to go to in Arizona.

We did other things that day, but why talk about them when this was a celebration of Free Comic Book Day after all.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

With the arrival of spring I've decided to start contributing again to the Kourier. I was thinking of including some pictures of local flora and fauna when the opportunity arrises.

Starting out: Happy Beltaine! I celebrated by dancing around a maypole, doing some yard work, planting some more seeds, and taking some pictures. First is a daffodil I planted last year.

From domestic to wild: here's a purple trillium back in our woods. Normally, they're the second or third wildflower to make an appearance, but this year they sprouted and bloomed in just a few days.

While in our woods I found this ungulate skull. We're not sure what it is, but a little online research might provide an answer. It was a strange find for a life-affirming holiday.