Yesterday this weblog turned 13 years old. I don’t usually miss the anniversary; it’s a nice time to reflect on what I’m writing about here. But I’ve been incredibly busy this year, working on a range of things from real work to side projects to family stuff.
Over the weekend I also helped out at the annual STAPLE! comics show in Austin. This is always a great time to check out what independent artists are up to, and as usual I came away inspired to get back into drawing.
I’ll have a longer write-up about yesterday’s Apple event soon. I have a very negative opinion about the $10k Apple Watch Edition — not because it’s expensive, but because of what focusing on the super rich says about Apple’s priorities. Daniel and I talked about this at length on Core Intuition episode 174 a couple weeks ago.
Overall the event was great, though. I’m looking forward to pre-ordering a watch and getting into development. Leaning toward the 42mm Sport, with blue band and an extra classic buckle.
The 5th annual “STAPLE! indie comics expo”:http://www.staple-austin.org/ is coming up in 2 months, and I’m happy to say that one of my favorite comics artists growing up will be headlining the show: Stan Sakai of “Usagi Yojimbo”:http://www.usagiyojimbo.com/ fame. If you are in Austin in March, please plan to attend. (And say hi if you see me. I’m usually helping sell t-shirts or milling around somewhere.)
There’s also a “new short Usagi story”:http://www.myspace.com/darkhorsepresents?issuenum=18&storynum=3 on MySpace’s Dark Horse page.
Like independent comics and art? “STAPLE! is in Austin today”:http://www.staple-austin.org/ at the Monarch Event Center, off I-35 and 2222. I’ve been on the STAPLE! planning committee for four years now and have enjoyed watching our little show grow from its humble beginnings, but it’s still a completely non-profit, volunteer-led endeavor and we need your support to make it a success. Come join us anytime between 11am and 7pm (or “check the schedule”:http://www.staple-austin.org/guests/ for our featured session times), and then come back downtown later tonight for the after-party and live-art show at Red’s Scoot Inn (“flyer”:http://www.staple-austin.org/promote/staple2008_afterparty.jpg).
“STAPLE! The Independent Media Expo”:http://www.staple-austin.org/ was last Saturday and it turned out great. The “animation panel I wrote about last week”:http://www.manton.org/2007/02/animation_panel.html was a lot of fun and didn’t seem to suffer too much from my amateur moderating abilities. The projector worked, the films were great, and we filled an hour and a half with questions from the audience. Special thanks to “Damon”:http://www.damonclinkscales.com/ for working the lights and providing feedback afterwards.
My only regret is that I didn’t take a few minutes to snap photos or set up a video camera in the back to capture it. I left my camera in the car the whole day. Luckily other attendees took pictures of the rest of the show. Here are Flickr sets from “Freddie Avalos”:http://www.flickr.com/photos/freddieavalos/sets/72157594570835464/, “Toby Craig”:http://www.flickr.com/photos/ithinkican/sets/72157594574373510/, and “Marianne Ways”:http://flickr.com/photos/mways/sets/72157594569262131/. Update: Damon “snapped a picture”:http://flickr.com/photos/digitalnomad/413875252/in/photostream/ after all!
Sunday night was the “Animation Show”:http://www.animationshow.com/ at the Paramount and Don Hertzfeldt answered questions afterwards. His latest film may be my favorite of his yet. I worked with Robert at the Animation Show on cross-promotion between their show and STAPLE!, and they were so great to work with I hope we can join forces again next time.
I came away from the whole weekend inspired. Monday a new idea for an animated short film hit me. I think it’s time to dust off the animation table again.
“Chris”:http://ycrtft.rethunkmedia.com/ and I headed over to Northcross Mall yesterday to take a final look at the conference center rooms before next week’s STAPLE! Expo. Although I’ve been on the planning committee since the very beginning of the conference over 3 years ago and actively involved for each of the previous 2 shows, this year is a little special because I’ve been organizing a panel on animation to complement the mostly comic book focused show. We have three great local animators this year: Aaron Romo, Evan Cagle, and Lance Myers. See the “STAPLE! guests page”:http://www.staple-austin.org/guests/ for more information on their work and our other featured speakers.
I also redesigned the web site last week, late Thursday night. In order to accommodate some CSS improvements and images from our new program, I had to abandon a few things from last year’s excellent design by “John Rubio”:http://www.johnrubio.com/ (who also did the logo). I hope to bring back elements of the old design for next year, though. There’s just not enough time in the day, and March is days away. I hate you February, for being so short.
Bill Plympton was in town tonight for the Texas premiere of Hair High at Alamo Drafthouse downtown. I’ve been lucky enough to see each of his films in the theater, and this is definitely his best yet. It has actually been finished for a while. I posted about it back in 2002 when he started production. Before the showing I asked him about making an appearance at STAPLE! this coming March but it doesn’t look like his schedule will allow it. He’s one of about 4 animators I hoped to approach about showing their films at STAPLE!, in addition to some great local talent we’ll have speaking and showing their work.
It’s not often that I get out of the house early on a Saturday, but STAPLE! The Independent Media Expo is today. If you are anywhere in the central Texas area, check out the web site for the schedule and location info. This week’s Austin Chronicle also ran a story on the show. Last night’s pre-party at Austin Books was great, but it’s still difficult to tell how many people will show up today. It’s one day only, so if you love comics or just want to support independent artists, please stop by.