Joie de Vivre

Modern Guide to Improvising

Hello hello!

A few weeks ago, I went to Billy Martin’s house again for a lesson on improvising. In particular, I’m interested in providing live musical accompaniments at some of my animation screenings, which is something I haven’t tried doing in person yet.

We spent a Sunday afternoon talking and playing music. Billy is funny, kind and extremely generous. And it was one of the best days in my musical life. He’s a big influence on me, as is his band Medeski, Martin and Wood. To play drums and guitar with him was wonderful. I’m still processing what I picked up, and I’ve been reading and playing a lot. It was quite a dose of inspiration.

That catches us up to the point of this post. As a “thank you” to my wonderful Patreon supporters, I created a brand new issue of Impossibly Delicate Threads of Sleep, and it deals with improvisation. It also has some boffo tattoo flash, if you like that sort of thing.

If you are signed up on my Patreon, you’ll be getting one of these shortly. If you are not signed up, but would like to be (and would like one of these), you can sign up here:

Thanks! Have a great week!


Everything is Great on Page 68

The cover of Everything is Great on Page 69 zine.

Wandering through the journal stacks of my favorite library, I like to pull out random issues of vintage magazines, open them to page sixty-eight, and snap a photo with my phone. Here is the result of the first one.

UPDATE: This was added to Special Collections digital collection at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

Joie de Vivre

Zine Scene

I had a very lucky thing happen today. I got to visit the special collections area of the library at work. There, I handled and read some very old science fiction zines. Fanzines, or “zines,” are amateur fan publications. From Wikipedia:

A science fiction fanzine is an amateur or semi-professional magazine published by members of science fiction fandom, from the 1930s to the present day. They were one of the earliest forms of fanzine, and at one time constituted the primary type of science-fictional fannish activity (“fanac”).

The first science-fiction fanzine, The Comet, was published in 1930 by the Science Correspondence Club in Chicago. The term “fanzine” was coined by Russ Chauvenet in the October 1940 issue of his fanzine Detours. “Fanzines” were distinguished from “prozines”, that is, all professional magazines. Prior to that, the fan publications were known as “fanmags” or “letterzines.”


Detours Zine, October 1940

Zine detail

Detours, October, 1940

I took dozens of photos – too many to share here. These are some of my favorites:


Triton Cover Triton #2 cover

The Fantasy Amateur

Ray Bradbury Imagination cover

Imagination Zine



For part two of  “Screens and Zines” autumn kickoff weekend, Leezle and I spent a few hours at the Baltimore Book Festival. We volunteered our time at the Make Your Own Zine booth, and did just that.  I don’t know that we helped much, but it was extremely fun. I think Jim Lucio is a super nice guy and Baltimore is lucky to have him working in the office of Arts and Promotion.

On the way there, we ran into an old friend, which has finally come home with me:

The zine tent was packed with inspiration. They weren’t for sale – it was just an exhibit space.

There were a couple of tables set up to make your own.

and a copy machine on hand to do a small run of your newest creation:

Here’s a popular paper folding technique – a single 8 and 1/2 by 11″ piece of paper folded in half and then 4ths to create 8 panels per side (a lot like mini-comics). An incision is made up the center fold in-between the outer to panels.  This makes for an interesting layout.

Finished items:

The originals, starting with Leezle’s front and back and then mine, font and back. Click for larger:

Words cannot express the awesome. Hopefully the pictures can.


Drain Cleaner Magic

I am beside myself with excitement! I’ve completed two 16 page mini-comics, and created a new area on my site to continue this activity. Here’s the deal:

I’m posting my completed issues as PDFs for you to print and put together. If you prefer a handmade, special version of your very own, please visit my Etsy space.

Issue one involves a precocious grackle and the sinister Mr. Vicars, who has appeared in several of my drawings elsewhere on this site. This was my very first attempt at this format. Very fun.

Drain Cleaner Magic

I hope you like it!