ARCHIVES

2005



    • HOW TO DRAW PEOPLE

      HOW TO DRAW PEOPLE

      On privacy and drawing people versus photographing them.


    • TECHNICAL CONCERNS ARE MORAL CONCERNS

      TECHNICAL CONCERNS ARE MORAL CONCERNS

      George Saunders on writing: “all moral concerns in fiction reduce to technical concerns…technical concerns drive us towards specificity and detail and truth.”


    • MY RUSSIAN READING LIST

    • HEM READING THE ROOSHIANS

      HEM READING THE ROOSHIANS

      Without [Constance] Garnett, the nineteenth-century “Rooshians,” as Ezra Pound called them, would not have exerted such a rapid influence on the American literature of the early twentieth. In “A Moveable Feast,” Hemingway recounts scouring Sylvia Beach’s shelves for the Russians and finding in them a depth and accomplishment he had never known. Before that, he […]


    • THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS

    • ELMORE LEONARD’S 10 RULES OF WRITING

      ELMORE LEONARD’S 10 RULES OF WRITING

      All rules, of course, can be broken: -adapted from “Easy on the Hooptedoodle,” first published in the NYTimes click here to hear Dutch read the whole article


    • LEONARD’S PRESENT PARTICIPLE

      LEONARD’S PRESENT PARTICIPLE

      …the essence of Elmore is to be found in his use of the present participle. What this means, in effect, is that he has discovered a way of slowing down and suspending the English sentence – or let’s say the American sentence, because Mr. Leonard is as American as jazz. Instead of writing ‘Warren Ganz […]


    • GEOGRAPHY OF THE WRITER’S MIND

      GEOGRAPHY OF THE WRITER’S MIND

      “The trouble with life (the novelist will feel) is its amorphousness, its ridiculous fluidity. Look at it: thinly plotted, largely themeless, sentimental and ineluctably trite. The dialogue is poor, or at least violently uneven. The twists are either predictable or sensationalist. And it’s always the same beginning; and the same ending… My organisational principles, therefore, […]


    • THE KULESHOV EFFECT

      THE KULESHOV EFFECT

      page from an old notebook: more about Kuleshov and the actual movie


    • WHAT IS MAN?

      WHAT IS MAN?

      Mark Twain on the futility of planning.


    • vonnegut_graph

      GRAPH A STORY WITH MR. VONNEGUT

      Excerpt from PALM SUNDAY, where Kurt Vonnegut graphs various stories.


    • THE SOUND OF RICHARD PRYOR

      THE SOUND OF RICHARD PRYOR

      Richard Pryor’s experiments with sound and language.


    • SEMINARS ARE A TIME FOR DOODLES

    • MEG VS. CHRIS WARE

      MEG VS. CHRIS WARE

      As if to counter Meg’s complaint (and mine, too) that so many graphic novels seem to be written by men “who are emotionally still teenagers”, Chris Ware chimes in: You’re on a time delay as a cartoonist, I think. It takes so long to draw comics that you end up writing about things that happened […]


    • BOOK REVIEW: BLACK HOLE

      BOOK REVIEW: BLACK HOLE

      Charles Burns’ BLACK HOLE is a graphic novel set in a Seattle suburb during the 70s. It follows a group of horny teenagers who contract an STD that basically turns them into mutants: they grow tails, they shed skins, some even grow second mouths. I decided to pick it up after listening to a pretty […]


    • IS IT TERRIFYING?

    • HTML GHOSTS

      HTML GHOSTS

      I was messing around on the Internet Archive today, and to my amazement, found an archive of my old website. Because the images are missing, the pages look like HTML ghosts and skeletons. There’s even an old journal I kept when I was 17, which means, I’m a tad bit embarrassed to say, that I’ve […]


    • WHEN THE PLAGUE HIT…

    • THE LIFE OF A CHEERLEADER

    • SLEEP TORTURED BY PATTERNS

      SLEEP TORTURED BY PATTERNS

      drawn at 5 a.m. sunday morning


    • THE UNITED STATES OF HUCK: GEORGE SAUNDERS ON HUCKLEBERRY FINN

      THE UNITED STATES OF HUCK: GEORGE SAUNDERS ON HUCKLEBERRY FINN

      George Saunders on Huck Finn: “Huck and Tom represent two viable models of the American Character.”


    • SUNDAYS WITH SADDAM #1

      SUNDAYS WITH SADDAM #1

      punchline provided by Tom Feran


    • TYPOGRAPHY 101

      TYPOGRAPHY 101

      After reading in the New Yorker about the great type designer Matthew Carter, and then stumbling across James Kochalka’s personal font, I decided to make a font of my own. It’s a real pain in the ass to letter comics, and I’m always wanting to make revisions after I’ve inked, so if I had my […]


    • BOOK REVIEW: LOVESICK BLUES

      BOOK REVIEW: LOVESICK BLUES

      LOVESICK BLUES by Paul Hemphill LOVESICK BLUES is a bare-bones telling of the life of Hank Williams, written with the love of a true fan. Hemphill makes a Southern, blue-collar point to strip away anything unnecessary, (page count: 210) and that’s probably what makes the book such a compulsive read from start to finish. Wiliams […]


    • GRANDMA, DON’T EAT THAT!

      GRANDMA, DON’T EAT THAT!

      based on a real call we got at the library


    • WHAT’S WITH THE HAT? #1

    • BAD EYES, PART 1

    • FAVORITE SONGS OF 2005

      FAVORITE SONGS OF 2005

      10 bands that wrote good songs that sounded good to me this year. Some with legal MP3s, some with videos. . Smog – “I feel like the mother of the world” [VIDEO] | [MP3] …with two children. Bill Callahan’s songs are the sound of home–the landscape that haunts my head. He recorded it in a […]


    • IN THE BATHROOM

    • IN THE STUDIO

      IN THE STUDIO

      trying my best to ape Olivier Kugler


    • KAFKA AT HIS DESK

      KAFKA AT HIS DESK

      “Poseidon sat at his desk, going over the accounts.” So here’s Kafka at his desk. At the insurance company. All he wants to do is go home and get to Work, but instead, he’s got to be at the office, doing work. The problem is: he’s competent. This was supposed to be a “temporary” sort […]


    • 3 CHUNKS OF MAXWELL

      3 CHUNKS OF MAXWELL

      1. On memory: “What we, or at any rate what I, refer to confidently as memory–meaning a moment, a scene, a fact that has been subjected to a fixative and thereby rescued from oblivion–is really a form of storytelling that goes on continually in the mind and often changes with the telling. Too many conflicting […]


    • IN HIS MOTHER’S HOUSE

      IN HIS MOTHER’S HOUSE

      He’s sneaking in his mother’s house—the place makes him ten instead of twenty. He keeps his shoulders square with the wall, back and neck pressed against the cool plaster, finger around the trigger guard of the gun. It shoots only caps, but he’s painted it black to make it look real. It would be useless […]


    • THANKSGIVING

    • A WOMAN’S LIFE

    • CHARLES BAXTER AT LAKEWOOD

      CHARLES BAXTER AT LAKEWOOD

      Charles Baxter read in the basement of the Lakewood Public Library last night, and Meghan and I were there to listen. Our e-mail back and forth: AUSTIN: It was cold in that basement. MEGHAN: But I love how Charlie was like, “This isn’t cold. You want cold, come to Minnesota!” I was freezing, even though […]


    • THE SCIENTIST RUMINATES

    • NEW BOOTS? (a short)

      NEW BOOTS? (a short)

      He liked to keep his co-workers guessing. One day he didn’t shave. They asked him if he was growing a beard. One day he wore a jacket and tie. They asked him what was the occasion. When his father passed away, he took the day off for the funeral. After they put the old man […]


    • GOD IS HUGE!

    • THE COMBAT SUTRA

      THE COMBAT SUTRA

      I was online researching material for a new story of mine and came across this stash of US Army Field Manuals. Want to know the best way to kill a man? Or maybe how to load a grenade launcher? Never had time to brush up on parachuting tactics? Stress got you down in a combat […]


    • MORE CHOCOLATE

    • THE QUITTER

      THE QUITTER

      I was driving over to our writer’s group meeting last night, and caught the tail end of Harvey Pekar on Fresh Air with Terry Gross. Great stuff about work and writing: PEKAR: I knew I couldn’t make money at the stuff I liked to do. So I took a job that was not challenging, and […]


    • 11/8 MAC’S BACKS READING

      11/8 MAC’S BACKS READING

      Sketches of a reading at Mac’s Backs in Cleveland with Kelly Link, Dan Chaon, and Maureen McHugh.


    • D E E R !  ( PART TWO )

      D E E R ! ( PART TWO )

      If you live in rural America, deer season is a good time to lay low. Literally. Brandon forwarded me this story from the AP wire: Center for the Blind students get a shot at deer hunting 11/6/2005, 12:05 p.m. CT The Associated Press RUSTON, La. (AP) — Six people from the Louisiana Center for the […]


    • THE KLEON GUIDE TO EUROPEAN TRAVEL, PART 2

      THE KLEON GUIDE TO EUROPEAN TRAVEL, PART 2

      Travel tips for London, Rome, Florence, and Venice.


    • A PAGE FROM THE SKETCHBOOK…

    • FILLING THE POOL

    • ONE MORE CHUNK OF DYBEK

      ONE MORE CHUNK OF DYBEK

      Because he’s so right on: “Maybe one can be too reverent towards an art….You come to revere the art in a way that can be counter-productive…it can lead to romantic images that have to do with focusing on being an artist rather than on the art. Kids…are sent to college as if it were a […]


    • INFINITE CANVAS

      INFINITE CANVAS

      I’ve been drawing with my tablet pen in Flash recently, and I’m absolutely hooked on vector-based drawing. Drawing with vectors in Flash, you are free from the restrictions of resolution, so you can lay out panels on an 8 x 11 page meant for print, but then you can mega zoom inside each panel and […]


    • D E E R !

      D E E R !

      The following, just another scenario when firearms would’ve been handy, from Don: BENTONVILLE, Ark. – For 40 exhausting minutes, Wayne Goldsberry battled a buck with his bare hands in his daughter’s bedroom. Goldsberry finally subdued the five-point whitetail deer that crashed through a bedroom window at his daughter’s home Friday. When it was over, blood […]



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