May 21, 2004
Last night I got to see the

The Magnetic Fields

perform at Town Hall and it was nothing short of captivating. It was my first time seeing them live and it more than surpased my expecations. Maybe it was because it was a Thursday night but the audience seemed so much more restrained and respectful than at any show that I've seen in years. They seemed to hang on ever word to Stephin Merrit's lyrics and responded as if every line was being said for the first time. Even Claudia at one point curled her knees up on her piano stool and turned to give her full attention to Stephin's riveting solo performance. They mostly played songs from their new "i" album (which I bought at the show and is AWESOME) and some favorites from "69 love songs" and a few tracks from his "Peices of April" sountrack. It's amazing to hear so many sad songs in a row and then just feel so good about it.

Usually it's a sore point for me at shows where fans of the headlining band ignore or talk through the opening acts, but this audience even gave Andrew bird (formerly of Squirrel Nut Zippers) the star treatment, allowing him to demonstrate his subtle but skillfull showmanship. It was fascinating to watch as he played a solo set switching from violin to guitar to xylophone in the middle of a song. Epsecially the way he would use a recorder to perform rythyms on stage and then loop them back and play over them, building layers and layers of sound. I hope he comes around again to play a longer set.

1:11 PM


May 19, 2004
Well tonight was the last episode of Angel (Fantastically tight wrap up episode that was really faithful to the theme of the series BTW) and with it the end of an era. Not just the end of enjoying Joss Whedon produced television on a weekly basis but quite frankly with the exception of SNL the need to watch any television program over 30 minutes in length. Angel was the only remaining hour long drama on television that I felt compelled to watch. The only one that balanced fantasy, comedy and evolving characters in a creative way that challenged it's audience and played outside the genre box that most shows get trapped in. Beyond the fourth season of the Real World I've had no tolerance for reality television, got bored of Law & Order & all cop or lawyer shows after college and have never liked mobster stories the only thing I'm left with is cartoons and the Daily Show/Chappeles show which I only catch from time to time.
In same ways I'm okay with this new void, cuz that's one extra hour to draw comics or sleep. And there will always be the enjoyment of TV on DVD (I'm still catching up on Firefly and the episodes of Angel I missed when I wrote the show off in it's second flaundering season finale and Buffy is rewarding on second and third viewings especially in order) and of course the Farscape mini-series at the end of the year. So goodbye regular TV viewing, see ya sometime in the future...

11:57 PM


Okay so maybe I am starting to become morbidly OVER-curious about this Garfield movie, especially after digging out some of my old book collections. Now I can't help but think about what a really crazy Garfield movie might look like (if they could get the CGI up to snuff so it's not TOO creepy). I'm actually seeing two different films in my head...depending on the casting of Garfield. Both could be funny though and would be more like a re-interpretation of the character (which I'm sure the real movie is anyway!). Again nothing against Bill Murray, but based on the trailer it seems like he phoned his performance in.

Jon Arbuckle: Bob Odenkirk (Mr. Show)
Garfield: Todd Barry (Comedian)
or Jack Black (Tenacious D)
Liz: Tina Fey (SNL)
Arlene: Sarah Silverman (Comedian)
Nermal: Sarah Vowell (NPR)
Odie: Flea (RHCP)

This conversation continues here... along with my big photo-diagram

yaytime FORUM

2:31 PM


May 18, 2004

Why does this frighten me so?
I know a CGI Garfield horrifies plenty of people in the same way the live action Scooby Doo did. But for me this is personal. Even though I interned on the Scooby Doo comics for a summer and wrote the Scooby letters columns for over a year, and I have a boss who wrote many of the comics, I never felt any emotional connection to those characters. Garfield is different. It's in my blood. It is responsible for a huge factor of my BEING.--Being a cartoonist anyway.
I remember going to a book fair in 4th grade and buying my first Garfield comic strip collections. I thought they where hilarious and I loved they way they where drawn. There was something about the simplicity of Garfield's world and how he interacted with the characters around him that just clicked with me (even though I didn't like lasagna I certainly loved the way he ate it with his hands and slept in an empty dish).

Favorite memories.
Seeing a new Garfield books available on the Troll book order form we would get in class.
The thrill of getting the book editions (in extended comic strip format) of the latest TV special which would come out a month before they'd air on TV (and always contained a deleted scene). I also learned the difference between reality and reality (as in real estate) between the two versions of "Garfield Goes Hollywood".
Realizing the difference between the Sunday pages where formatted in the B&W books versus the Sunday Treasuries.
Taping the TV Specials and watching them a million times and always cracking up especially the one with the Panther.
Borrowing my friends copy of the "Garfield's 9 Lives" books and being blown away by all the different art styles and genre choices--some of them totally scary!
Being able to draw a perfect Garfield on request for kids at school.
Thinking "Garfield and Friends" was a the best show ever because it also featured cartoons based on Jim Davis' OTHER comic strip U.S. ACRES which I also become a fan of but thought it was like a secret since our newspaper did not carry it.
The Garfield 10th anniversary special and how it featured a round table shop talk with Jim and a bunch of other cartoonists like Lynn Johnson--seeing artists on TV treated like celebrities.

All these things and so many more lead to my developing interest in comics. In fact many of my earliest cartoon creations where evolved from drawing Garfield, Odie, Nermal, Jon, etc and then turning them into different animals or people with new identities. I was ripping off the Jim Davis style before I even realized there was such a concept!

I understand that lots of other cartoonists do not respect Jim Davis because he basically set up a studio so that after the first few years he no longer had to draw his own comic strip (unlike Charles Schulz who drew EVERY strip for over 50 years, even when his hands got shaky). But I still see Garfield as a connection to my childhood. I still enjoy singing the song "Look Out Cuz Here Comes Garfield". He's a fat cat, a cool cat, nobody's fool cat...

So seeing this live action billboard mocking me from across the street from my job is just killing me every day. Bill Murray or can it be anything but awful? Not that I wouldn't mind seeing a kick ass hilarious Garfield movie that was like written by Todd Barry or something and directed by Spike Jonze-- but they would never do that. Instead it will just be another pandering movie that tries to please everyone but has no point beyond opening weekend ticket sales. It won't even be horrible it will just be in the middle like so many other films these days.

7:24 PM