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Just noticed this today on the subway:

Don't lean on door!'

Isn’t that weird? The Os are sideways, all of them. The N in lean is slightly shaved off on the right edge; compare it to the N in not. And the letters in lean don’t seem to have the same baseline.

What the hell is up with that? I thought it was some kind of pranked-up fake sign at first, but all of the Do not lean on door signs were like that.

Update: Here's a sharper photo on Gothamist earlier this year.

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Y’all know what map bunnies are? Also called map traps? Fake streets or other features that map companies put in maps to catch competitors who try to rip them off by copying their maps instead of doing their own research. I’ve joked for a while that the J, M, and Z lines are a map bunny for the NYC subway map.

It’s no joke. Today I spent fifteen minutes wandering through the overheated maze of the Fulton Street subway station looking for the J/M/Z platform. Followed all the little arrows up and down the stairs. Nothing. That shit just plain does not exist. So now you know.

Wound up so late I had to cancel out on seeing Mirrormask, which is only showing at the ludicrously-hard-to-get-to Landmark Sunshine Cinema.
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Day 2, the day of the much less sticky floor:

Got to chat with Jeff Smith (Bone is gonna be released as one honkin’ big paperback book, 1300 pages for a ludicrously low price, and he talked to a textbook manufacturer about the binding) and R Stevens and Batton Lash and a bunch more people. And I ran into Charles Sperling, who I hadn’t seen in years. In fact, I was unusually social and un-shy for me.

It seems like the first MoCCA was dominated by mini-comics people, and the second by people making actual indie comics. This year had a lot of web-comics people, like the Dumbrella folks, and, um, probably someone else but I’m stupid.

This year’s swag:


  • Blame the Sky by John Allison, the second Scary Go Round collection
  • Table for One by Bosch Fawstin (I bet he didn’t have to fight anyone over that domain)
  • Jax Epoch and the Quicken Forbidden: Borrowed Magic by Dave Roman and John Green, a collection of something I’ve been seeing in pamphlet form and meaning to pick up for years
  • Diesel Sweeties: Pocket Sweeties Volume One
  • If New York City was the World by John Kerschbaum, whose last name is German for cherry tree, and whose publishing company has a very disturbing logo
  • The Waiting Sun by Justin Madson, a stand-alone story in his Happy Town world


Minis (’cause it just wouldn’t be MoCCA if I didn’t come home with a bag full of minis!):

  • Satisfactory Comics #4 and A Treatise Upon the Jam by Isaac Cates and Mike Wenthe
  • Feel the Burn by Ron LeBrasseur
  • Take-Out, #1 vol 2 by Raina Telgemeier
  • Karmikaze by $teve Pri¢e
  • Moxie #1 by a bunch of people
  • Young Geeks in Love #1 by Robert Bienvenu
  • No In-Between by Marion Vitus
  • An Axe Fell by Brian Musikoff
  • Planet Peezo by Suzanne Baumann

I finally left when my shoulders felt like they were gonna fall off from the weight of my bag. And then I discovered that while I was at the con, the Gay Pride Parade had severed Manhattan into two pieces, one of which contained me, and the other containing PATH stations. I worked my way towards the 9th St station, but couldn’t get there through the parade, so turned around and headed towards the Christopher St station (a walk that should have taken five minutes, but took around an hour), only to find that station closed and the cops telling us to go to 9th St! Fuck that, said I, and walked down to Ground Zero and the WTC station. Folks, don’t elect me mayor, ’cause I’d ban all parades in Manhattan.
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Last night’s Games Club ran till almost 3 AM, and I only played one game. (San Juan, and I managed to win despite thinking I was doing really badly. I made really good use of a Crane.) That’s OK, as long as I get my San Juan/Puerto Rico fix for the week, I’m really there for the socializing. We wound up watching weird animation and doing tarot readings. If I hadn’t left my deck at home, and Beth hadn’t already left taking hers, we would probably have tried using a San Juan deck to do divination.

It was nearly 4 when I got home, so I slept in late, and stopped off at Pearl and the Art Store on the way (I’m pricing the Golden Transparent Airbrush Acrylics set — $26 at both places, $23 online), and to buy a new strap for my shoulder bag (the old one broke Thursday — my third Eagle Creek strap to break. I got a different brand this time) so I didn’t get to the MoCCA festival till after 3.

The con was physically larger — taking up more floor space in the building — but it seemed less dense, so I don’t know if there were actually more exhibitors.

First purchase: A membership in the museum. I’ve been meaning to for a while.

Second purchase: Fragments, the book of sketches by Enrico Casarosa and Ronnie Del Carmen. I’ve been looking for this, and not finding it at stores (turns out it’s not shipping to stores), so I snapped it up immediately I saw it at the Monkeysuit Press table. Beeeatiful!

It was at this point I said to myself “I’ve spent $60 in my first ten minutes; time to hold back.” So I bought no more comics after that, just a few buttons. I’ll go back tomorrow and get more stuff. I miss coming home with a bag full of minis.

Best moment: Shaking Scott Morse’s hand and telling him how much I liked Ancient Joe, and seeing his face light up.

Weirdest moment: Not one moment, but all the time, my feet sticking to the floor. The wooden floor of the Puck Building was sticky in some weird way that made rubber and plastic soles bond to it tightly enough that they made an audible thwick! noise when you pulled your feet up. A funny comment about this phenomenon could be used as an icebreaker for any conversation at the con.

Second-weirdest moment: A couple saw me and thought I was someone else. “You must be thinking of some other fat, bald guy with a Van Dyke. There’re probably a dozen of us around.” We had a nice little chat anyway, and traded theories about the sticky floor.

People I ran into that I already knew: A woman from work (but I knew that, since we’d chatted about MoCCA earlier in the week when she learned I was a comics geek; her husband does a comic called Gabbagool!), an old friend from my SVA days, one of [livejournal.com profile] cthulhia’s friends, and the woman running the con (who I know through [livejournal.com profile] pnh and [livejournal.com profile] tnh).

People I was expecting to see but didn’t: [livejournal.com profile] scottbateman, [livejournal.com profile] sw_inku, maybe [livejournal.com profile] bigscary and [livejournal.com profile] negativeq.

Guy whose t-shirts I would have bought a bunch of if they’d had them in my size: This guy. Ah well, there’s always ordering over the web.

How much I hate myself for having not made any progress over the past year in getting a comic done: A moderate amount.

Another comic I bought that I forgot to mention above: The Gypsy Lounge, by Jasen Lex. Some seriously neat combining of drawing and photography here.
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As I think I’ve mentioned before, when I was a kid, one of the things they told us about the USSR to demonstrate what an oppressive place it was, was that Soviet citizens couldn’t travel within their own country without showing ID papers. The America of my birth is receding ever more pastward, as transit police will soon begin random ID checks on the Boston subways:
Although officials would release few details about the initiative, the identity checks will mark the first time local rail and subway passengers will be asked to produce identification and be questioned about their activities.

And it may not just be Boston:
Concerns about threats to the nation's rail system have risen since ABC News reported a pattern of suspicious activities along the rail corridor between Washington, D.C., and New York. The report said New Jersey's attorney general is investigating at least seven instances in the last week of suspected surveillance along the New Jersey Transit commuter lines leading into Philadelphia, Trenton, and New York.

Not that we’ll get to hear about all the details:
"About a year ago they admitted they were using training based on an Israeli security model of behavioral profiling or selection which they declined to either explain or to otherwise amplify what it means," said John Reinstein, legal director for the ACLU of Massachusetts. "We asked for the records and they said that's no longer a public record because anything that has to do with security is no longer a public record."
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[ woman on PATH ]My current project at work seems about finished. I may have some more images to clean up tomorrow, or I may not. Shouldn’t be a problem, though. There are more projects after this one.

After work I plopped myself down in Bryant Park and did some sketching, but nothing particularly good. (The sketch here is a woman sitting next to me on the PATH trip home.) I tried that lovely brushpen I got a few weeks back, and it still dries out real quick, and it doesn’t seem to fill up very well. Shame, because it’s got a great point.

The park closed at 7, so I stopped off at Coliseum Books and found a couple of things I’d been looking for. One was a paperback copy of Thomas Pynchon’s Mason & Dixon, which I’ve had an inexplicable urge to read for the past few weeks. The other was Cartooning the Head & Figure by Jack Hamm, which Carla Speed McNeil recommended. I skimmed through it on the way home, and it looks like one of the best cartooning references I’ve ever seen.
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Been feeling kinda low-level crappy recently. Not so much today; yesterday I noticed myself clenching my jay and grinding my teeth a whole lot. Still don’t know why. Maybe it’s just not going to the gym.

Or not drawing. It’s been a while since I really had time to sit and draw like I used to. I’ve started taking my pocket-sized Moleskine sketchbook and a 005 Micron Pigma in my jacket breast pocket and sketching people on the train again:

[ sketches ]

Soooo rusty. I’ve also been sketching school uniform designs for [livejournal.com profile] bigscary’s upcoming online RPG. Rusty there, too. The pen just don’t dance like it used to.

April 2017



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