Saturday, May 31, 2008


It's not what you might think. Not an angst filled rant about a troubled piece ordered by a fine supported of the arts, namely, mine. Far from it. Rather I have a few thoughts on the piece that intrigues me. On the surface, a rather straight forward thing: Ramadan Sandman. Apart for finding reference on the design P.Craig Russell came up with oh, so many years ago, I have a chance to explore my love of Islamic tile work. Now, I'm well aware I could have skipped over all the nonsense, and fudged the whole thing. I fudge really well when I have to, but this is not the Zulli way my friends. I've got to dig deep and this means both authentic and meaningful. If you've taken a moment or two to look closely at the photo's above, you'll see what a delightful pickle I've gotten myself into. Ouch.

What can I say? Where my heart goes so do I.

I feel in love with Islamic interiors years ago while at Vertigo on a Sandman Presents with Alisa Kwitney. The script called for tile work of a distinct Middle Eastern flair. I was to say the least, stunned buy what I was called on to produce.....forgive me but, "Oi Vey! So I did what any freelancer does when faced with such complexity.....I fudged it. But the memory of the astounding craftsmanship and the fabulous blues and greens and browns remained a lasting pleasure for me.

To give the lovely Alisa her due, I hope I at least managed to give the pages in question the right flavor.

These days I find the use of tile work in Islamic culture a constant source of inspiration and delight. How these tile makers handle the overwhelming detail of the huge surfaces they cover with the seemingly effortless grace of thousands of intricately woven patterns of tiles is beyond me. Whole walls seem to float light as air in arabesques of blue and blue on blue. They seem from another world.

So, I've set myself to doing the best job I can on aforementioned commission and grace a piece with a reasonable rendering of tiles. It's what both drives me to distraction and makes this job so captivating.
As long as I don't get nuts an throw is a few carpets I believe I'll be sane when it's finished.



with love to you all.


“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and right-doing, there is a field. I will meet you there.”


Wednesday, May 28, 2008


“…the twist, the turn of thy hair -

tell me, what be the reason?

Thy inebriated eyes’ distant stare-

tell me, what be the reason?

…though rose petals have not been scattered …

thy rose scented aura…

tell me, what be the reason.
- Jalal ud din Rumi

Just to let you all know, the Willy Fund material is nearly finished. I'm really pleased with it.

You all will see it later, but for now, It'll need photographing.

The Duo shade paper for the last two chapters of the book are ordered and I'll begin as soon as it arrives. At last the end is in sight after two and a half years of struggling to make it work.

Oh, the next book is plotted and the cover designed. It's to called "the birds of winter". It's slightly shorter than this one.....under a hundred and seventy pages. And, I'm returning to a very finished pencil medium for this one. More on this in the next few months.

I'm also looking for a rose for the garden....Karen is a rose aficionado and the one I'm after is an original scource rose from Persia. How's that for a piece of trivia?

Remember, the true war is the one we wage inside.

Love to all.


Saturday, May 24, 2008


"When Hillary Clinton suggested recently that, were she president, an attack on Israel by Iran would result in the "total obliteration" of Iran, some recent visitors to that country cringed.As they did when President George W. Bush likened talking to Iran or Hamas with "appeasement."Lynda Howland, Tom Moore and Judy Bello have all visited Iran within the last year — Howland, in March — under the auspices of the Fellowship of Reconciliation [FOR], one of the country's oldest peace groups.(...)Howland cites Iranian human rights activist Shirin Ebadi, the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize winner, who says, "Dialogue has to take place at three levels: at the level of people and civil society, among members of parliament of both countries, and by heads of government of both countries."People-to-people conversation is part of the process of building (or rebuilding) bridges."There's no way anyone in Iran wants to go to war with anyone," says Bello, a computer programmer from Webster, who visited the country in December.Meeting with ordinary Iranians in the streets and shops of Tehran does not provide instant insight into what the government may do. But I do believe there is value in these people-to people missions.They can help Americans understand that there is more to Iran than President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The country is modern, with a growing professional class, including women. There is a blend of religious and secular culture.There is a deep appreciation for art, which is everywhere in public."And they revere poets, not movie stars," Bello says.Indeed, says Howland, on any day, you can see Iranians visiting the tomb of Hafez, a legendary 14th-century Persian poet. "People gather every night," she says, "and they read poetry and place flowers on the grave."It is difficult to listen to people speak from the heart, to eat with them, to visit their homes, to hear them express their hopes for their children — and still see them as enemies. That's what people-to-people missions are all about."

via sufism and world report.

The powerful and the powerless leave me shaking my head.

The powerless feel to get the things, whatever they are, these things are they must destroy themselves and as many others possible. We think they are crazy.

Funny though, when some poor deluded person, usually young blows themselves to bits in many cases, their family stands to be "taken care of, " usually by anonymous "donations. Often taken care of quite well by anybodies standards.........particularly if you've lived in grinding poverty, have at best a distorted and truncated education. Families will often resort to selling a child to be indoctrinated for this very reason.

The power full benefit by scoring points against another powerful entity, government, religious leaded. In effect, a game.

We here, locked and loaded, wonder bra ed, and dripping in apathy, smeared with cholesterol and red meat think we're in danger. I can tell you now, that the rest of world of have nots can't even conceive of who we are. We, of course return the favor.

They are people. Really. Just people. They want to put food on the table, cloths on their backs, keep warm and be able to work honestly and sleep contented. Worship as they wish. They have complex societies, art, and science. We are being fed a false bill of good. They are also.

They want what we have, and we're afraid they'll take ours away. So we're told. And, we're so very ready to believe it.

A whirlpool of lies and distortions leading us ALL towards a precipice.

Those with power, real power, not just lots of stuff, but the kind that holds life and death over multitudes and billions of people laugh all the way to the bank......which they own.

I think we should, as people, simply ask questions, pay attention, care.

But what do I know? I'm someone who draws pictures of things for a living.

I just don't get it.

I should just shut up and go draw something so I can get more stuff.


Thursday, May 22, 2008


Public. Service. Announcement.

Radio speak.

For those of who don't know me personally, and that probably means most of you reading this, I have two very ordinary things as abiding passions outside of all things, "Art".

Dogs and radio.

This is about the former. Dogs. Ok, maybe a plug for Soma Internet radio. Donate.

Now, back to Dogs.........

They take a lot of shit from us and still you'll never find a truer companion. They'll die for you, starve with you and guard your body when you pass away. But to many people, (and I use the term lightly.) they are only stupid status symbols, profit making objects, or worse, amusing things to torture and kill.

I've used my gifts for many years quietly raising funds to save abused and "puppy milled" bull terriers. We all have to choose when giving aid, it all goes towards the greater good, so, being an owner and lover of the breed, I give to help bull terriers. It could have been beagles, or borzoi's....whatever. The salient fact here is the giving. My personal choice for this effort is a group of two: The Willy Fund, ie: Bill Keisle and Norma Shepherd. No website.They run a simple bank account that gathers donations and uses the funds to free puppy milled bull terriers from utterly appalling conditions.

It's not tax exempt, you get no break for kindness, just the kindness itself. Straight up. And, they've been doing this for years.

Right now, they're very low on funds and I'm jumping into the breach with four new works to be used as anything from greeting card to tee shirts. Where I find the time God alone knows but find it I surely will. I'll also be selling things to support the Fund on eBay as soon as they're available. All I ask is that when you see them, please be a human being, the kind we are supposed to be, and buy, bid and help.

I'll notify everyone here when the time comes, just, please, for the sakes of creatures who have no voice, but are truly a reflection of the best and worst of your best.


love to you all,


Friday, May 16, 2008



For some unknown reason, even to me, it seems I've received a lot of letters in the last few weeks and months. I just realized they're there. Lurking in my mail folder. LURKING! I am simply at a loss to tell you why I have not looked to check my mail. No excuses, no

I'm sorry.

I'll try in the next few days to answer them all. Or, at least really give it a good try.

Please bear with me. I don't why you would, but I mean well.

Gad! Where IS my mind?

Salaam, and peace to you all.


Saturday, May 10, 2008


As things stand, I've been thinking more and more about the "way things are" and the place of the kind of work I want to do has, as opposed to the new found thrill ride comics these days seem to be having.

It's a joke.
This turning of an infant medium of artistic expression, just getting it's legs under it, is, still at it's core controled by facile, semi-conscience people who don't dare look under the bed for fear their gut anxiety will be true: it's just a gutter medium, disposable and when it's been sucked dry like Madison avenue did with the peace movement back in the sixties. I mean clean cut all American youth on a mountain side telling the world peace and harmony was nothing more than sharing a by all means, buy one, *snicker*. I cringe and back away from "weekend hippies" and "what kind of man reads playboy", and now, mass market cool, ipods and cell phones and on and on. Oh, yeah.....and comics.

Iswear, I can almost smell the money from here. But, you can be sure that the people who make comics for a living are so thrilled sunglasses and smelling salts are todays fashion exessory. Unless you look under the bed. Brrrrrr*
Somebody else is really in the drivers seat. Somebody else has the really BIG checkbook . You sign that paper to get paid, and you never, never had a hand in it BY LAW. But that's ok because here comes respect at last.
That a quarter will get you a phone call.

Check this out......Gil Scott Heron......from 1981.

The more things change, the more they stay the same. Watch this then get back to me.

Granted, I'm or was, part of the same game........But I really tried to do my best with what I had to work with. Alas, the depth of expression and control ( it's all about control.)I need as an artist and now writer of comics and stories is now my sole reason for doing what I do. I'm a hopeless optimist. I honestly still believe work that can change lives and hearts can be made. Not work for hire or the various disguises it comes under these days, like "creator owned" or something similar.

You can bet your last voucher they are always going to make more off of you than you make off of them. Period.

A five hundred dollar an hour "escort" as opposed to a thirty dollar suck and fuck in an alley.

You still gotta wipe off and pay the pimp.

"Wait", I hear you say...."didn't you say a post or so ago that you were doing a big Sandman piece for a gallery show?"

Yeah, you did. And I am. Why? Because once, Neil, and I with Todd and Danny made something beautiful, and I believe, lasting, regardless. Because Neil is my friend.....I don't mean, "Friend" as in "Friendly". I have lots of those......I'm talking about the kind you can count on one hand and still have fingers left over. I owe him. Happily so. And because, at the end of the day, The piece I make for this show will be mine. All of it. If I sell it, or if I don't is my decision.

Same with Puma.....Stephen and I own it. All of it. Somebody wants it, they pay, a lot, forever.

That'll be the day.

I love you all.

Salaam and wishes of peace.


Tuesday, May 6, 2008


"Only when we see ourselves in our true human context, as members of a race which is intended to be one organism and "one body," will we begin to understand the positive importance not only of the successes but of the failures and accidents in our lives. My successes are not my own. The way to them was prepared by others. The fruit of my labors is not my own: for I am preparing the way for the achievements of another. Nor are my failures my own. They may spring from the failure of another, but they are also compensated for by another's achievement. Therefore the meaning of my life is not to be looked for merely in the sum total of my achievements. It is seen only in the complete integration of my achievements and failures with the achievements and failures of my own generation, and society, and time.-

Thomas Merton. No Man Is An Island (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1955)

Currently working on a gallery piece of Morheus for later this year. It's huge. It's in pencil.

It will destroy you.

details to follow.

Back to the book soon. Then, the final push.


Blessings of peace to you all.