pssssst! brainfag is retired! i'm now at


The Wayfaring Webdesigner

posted in Home Jabber on February 26, 2005

Travelling is not conducive to webdesign. In the last 3 months, I've been the Astoria-Portland jetsetter. In Portland my office rotates among the many internet-enabled cafes, which are hopelessly distracting. I end up doing a lot of little projects for websites I've been working on for more than two years, as well as rejuvenating Shrike. Basically the least fearsome of my radioactive to-do list.

My few days in Astoria are spent fixing DSL modems, paying bills, making Brainfag 9's, doing dishes, laundry.. as well as sneakily entertaining myself with walks around town, thrift store scavenging, random projects, free hot water, taking pictures of my kitchen window, hand-binding sketchbooks, colorblinding my illustrations, playing more and more basketball, and fine-tuning pancake recipes. Oddly enough, I end up getting most of my work done on the two hour bus trips between my coastal getaway and my new Portland home.

Soon Bok's house is nestled in the gritty little burb of Killingsworth and 16th, which I described today as Oakland Lite. There's a good dollop of race tension, the streets are littered like a chickenshit parade*, barbershops in backstreet warehouses with iron bars on the windows, bizarre industrial shops spraying metal-grinding sparks, a motorcycle parts store with dozens of thick, shattered-glass windows, a church on every corner, and of course: the ever-oozing sea of honkeys with their easily-obtained funny money "cleaning up the place."

My new 'hood-to-be.

I've been enjoying reading The Fortress of Solitude which I recently picked up at Powell's because 1) the cover was badass, 2) I've heard the book mentioned by a few friends, and 3) it was published by Faber & Faber -- the publisher that picked up Willy Vlautin's novel, The Motel Life, which I did illustrations for, and which had a pretty damn cool comic pimping the book printed in Willamette Week recently.

I've drawn a bunch of new stuff in my ghetto-sketchbook, including the above oddly-colored drawing of Soon Bok's good friend and botch** Peter, which utilizes some scavenged texture from an old spider-man comic.

Oh! I almost forgot. In the tradition of my tendency to throw possible blackmail material into the open for public scrutiny, I offer a glimpse at the "inks" from my first attempt at a longterm comic. These four godawful, embarrassing images are not just proof that mushrooms mix terribly with comics. No! They're a very important message. They're solid proof that one can start with jack shit for natural talent or taste, and in ten years, come to a somewhat respectable level of hand-eye coordination with a brush. Personally, I *love* seeing duds from cartoonists I read. Especially the really good ones. It gives me hope. This gem, however, only gives me a sickening sensation in the stomach. Enjoy. (Thanks, I think, for sending those, Alex.)

* I got spanked for saying this phrase as a kid
** botch: endearing term translating to.. well, bitch.

4 comments on this entry

Hey, where do you work cleaning dishses?

Also, you might find that Portland will be too much again, when you are trying to get something done. Funny, it feels like a lot people are out here in Astoria trying to get something done

dude 2/27/05

I just wash my own dishes. I work from home. Webdesigning & whatnot.

I actually look forward to the chaos of a Portland summer at this point.

nate 2/27/05

nice hairy arms. thanks nate, I know your obsessed with me, love pete botch

botch, and soon botch 3/1/05

nate, for the record I did't write the comment about you being obsessed with me. That was Soon Bok trying to be me. Don't think about that idea for too long or you'll envision her with hairy arms and an afro. Yuk!

botch, and soon botch 3/3/05

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