Friday, January 30, 2009


....I'm three or four years old. I've just made the best drawing of my life and I'm beyond happy. I've also just broken open my skull on the corner of the dinning room table, but I feel no pain I'm so happy.
I'm covered in blood.

...I'm seven or so, riding in the back of the family car. My father is driving. It's deep dusk on a cold wet winter day and I'm full of fear and sorrow. the approaching dark looks poisonous. I can't look.

...High Easter mass. Masses of lilies and white candles and incense. I'm enraptured. The world slowly goes white and my head is filled with light. The next thing I remember is waking up in the parking lot in the backseat of our car. Everybody is angry with me. I don't understand.

... Late autumn. I'm sixteen. I'm standing in the doorway of a stable. My best friend has just told me everything will be ok. I hope she's right. I feel to much for words.

...I'm nineteen. My fiance has returned her engagement ring several days ago. I'm laying on my bed, holding the ring and smoking. I've just helps. I'm thinking of crucifixion and nailing black dogs to trees to externalize the pain, to make it visible. I hate myself for even thinking things like that.

...I'm twenty one and sitting in an apartment with two junkies listening to the stones. I wonder why I'm here. But, it's as good a place as any.

...I'm twenty eight. It's almost four in the morning and I'm walking home in a drizzle of rain. Not a car in sight. My friends and I got separated. I'm very drunk and coked out of my skull.
I feel like a shadow of a person.

...I'm thirty two and I'm at a comic book convention. For the last two days I've sketched my fingers to the bone. I'm sick inside because of the endless parade of young men with portfolios almost begging me to give them the magic formula to break into big time comics. I hurt for them.

...I'm forty three, and I'm in tears because my beloved Bandit has just been put to sleep. My wife tells me to just get a grip. The pain and loss drive my insides into black jelly.

....I'm forty five and helping my wife pack her cloths in the back of her car. I don't know why, and I don't feel anything at all.....I'm just numb.

....I'm fifty three and living in the Midwest. It's November and I'm only ten or so pages into a graphic novel........I'm amazed at how content I am.

...I'm fifty seven and sitting at a computer typing nonsense. It's dinner time. Karen is in the other room straighting out stuff.

What a life.


Sunday, January 25, 2009

THE SOUND OF.........

Where to start? Beginning these things always freezes me up, like answering machine messages.

Urp, uuhhhhh......... umm... hi there. Burble, burble..........

I just received an early Valentine's day gift. My dear, utterly adorable Fhionn sprang a Bose music system on old CD player was halfway into the rubbage bin, and when I work, as some of you may well know, I must have music. But this, well, slap me into next week. Totally floored ya know? It's everything they say it is. As a lover of world/ambient/electronic music, the sound is just fabulous. I mean, I've listened to disc's I've had for years suddenly come alive.

I'm a happy Michael. And a happy Michael, works really well indeed. Much nicer than a grumpy me. Grumpy me is no fun at all let me tell you.Right then, here's the deal, something possibly someone out there in blogger-land could help me with.
I absolutely need to find an album,( listen to me, "album", jeez.) by a group/person called "Number Nine Dream". The album title is "recycle or die." It has two cuts on it called "a letter in three parts", and "la lune de miel". It's also seriously out of print. So, the first person who can find it for me, will get a get big goodie hot from the studio to your living room. I mean it man. I've taken to the fainting couch and don't know if I'll make it if I don't get this bit of music. My friend Dr. Brad is worried, dude. *cough,*cough* hack, weeze* gasp.

Oh yeah.....I don't know much about this wikapeidia,(sp?) stuff, but in a rare moment of vanity I tried mine.......Great Cesar's Ghost!! Somebody do me better than that fer crying out loud. I mean, really.
I don't mean to gripe, but it was just pathetic. Somebody conversant with my public history and work should do something about that.
Oh, and listen to Amanda Palmer.......she's the bee's knees. I like the cut of her jib and other various nautical whatnot's. Heads in the right place. A lot to be said for that these days.
Oops, gotta get back to work.

Be kind, it's easy.

Saturday, January 17, 2009


"Things that are Real are given and received in Silence."
Hazrat Meher Baba.
Andrew Wyeth is dead. He died a death that in it's seeming simplicity and understated sense of quietude, has affected me much as his life's work does. His art was silence itself and those moments when alone, one really see's even the most mundane of things as somehow grand and mysterious.
I for one, will miss him in this world, and at the same time wish for a passing as graceful.
Assalaam-O-Alaikum dear Andrew, rest well.
To the "Umbrella Girl".......I've been meaning to write with impressions of your work and some just plain nonsense, but I'm terribly bunged up with work right now, so please forgive the delay.

Speaking of working, I'm hip deep in the last huge commission that was due a month ago at least and simultaneously hard at work on the "Sophia Gnostica" series. Somethings just take time and I'm just one man with one left far. There are whole weeks I could use two of me.
I also owe far to many people letters that I feel increasingly guilty about. I have these fits where I simply can not go near a computer, answer the phone, or even talk to strangers. I get so internalized it takes a major crisis to pull me back to earth.....Thank God for Fhionn who tethers me to the world, as sometimes I honestly feel I'd just sail off into space and never come back.
I use to many coma's, but I love them to bits. I think with lots of them.
I also don't have a cell phone or watch television. I'm a Netfix kinda guy.

On than silly note,
Please be kind, it's simple and human.

Monday, January 12, 2009


Art hurts.

It used to when I was little...the struggle to understand a two dimensional world, to make my small hands do as they were told. But one has layers of innocence and a sense of wonder to buffer the pain of the new experience. This is how it should be to my mind, an unfolding of the senses a child does quiet naturally, only on a much higher, instinctual curve.

It most certainly hurt when I entered the comics field back in the mid eighties. I'd never done this before and I had only my overwhelming desire to make something as good as Bryan Talbot's "Luther Arkwright" or BWS's "the Beguiling"... the two major inspirations at the time. But like pure punk music, the Puma Blues" it failed, but failed splendidly. Seldom noticed in it's time save when the powers that be, you know, those guys, made an issue of it's presence. Rarely reviewed, it non the less had people behind it. I had people behind me. Friends, collaborators, interested parties that filled the vacuum of the project as an on going work. It made the effort to try to meet a personal benchmark a little easier.

Then something went subtly wrong. I suppose the demands of life, a newer, or better still a new car, a real house and studio....a stable existence gathered an unusual importance. Though somewhere inside a small voice cried out to be careful, the idea seemed OK. Another learning curve hit and I was off again in uncharted territory. I'd never had to curb my abilities before in service to other protocols and while at the time, it was at least interesting, and the money, oh, the money was very good, I freely admit to being uncomfortable indeed.

But, I had friends, colleagues, admirers, artistic and interesting folk to share the world with, so it seemed to be a trade off I could live with to a large degree.

But, you know, I'm not a pop star, I'm not in show biz, not really an idol of millions, and never wanted to be. For a while there all kinds of doors seemed to open for the asking......

What they don't tell you is that you pay not at the front desk, but when you try to check out.

That damn voice in my head. That kid trying to grasp the passing vision with a pencil and paper on a hot summer afternoon in his room, would have his say, if it killed him.

It nearly did.

So. Hear I am. free of restraint and obligation to satisfy the program. Back to a place where art hurts. Trying with everything I have to seize this dream and make it worth the effort.

No one calls anymore, no one writes, and there is no one encouraging and interested in the struggle to transcend myself. No one to discuss the bigger issues with. I shouldn't be surprised, as Independence and my own single minded drive to excel me is so personal a thing that few are willing these days to step that close to fire this hot. It's just me, not being a very good salesman, not liking the business of promoting myself. But it's not me want to promote, it's the's always just the work.

And then there is that old bugaboo, time.

I'm not getting physically any younger. My time here is limited. I see that now, and I have far to much work to do before the passing of my dream. It hurts. Like hell.

I have and will have constant pain from a back injury, I'm constantly on guard for heart disease and colon cancer, two genetic markers that are strong in me as my fathers son. I fight with subsistence living, worried about the mortgage and being able to supply myself with the necessary materials to continue.

And it gets fiercely lonely sometimes. Again, I shouldn't be surprised, my exit from the mainstream was not very graceful and grace under fire is to be desired.

Least you think this is just a litany of crows bitching in a dead tree, there are so many rewards.

I have a lovely home, and the finest companion a man could ever want. I have cloths to wear and food to eat and warmth when it's cold and cool when it's not.

But art hurts and I get lonely for those friends some days.

Digging deep into your soul to find the truth without the savage veneer of pop culture has never been something the masses have been overly interested in. Cool.

So, when I have enough to give you, enough worth giving by my standards and no one else's, I'll give them to you.......

The question then, is how badly will I fail.

Art hurts.