What We Sacrifice For Art

Wednesday was Haircut Day.

Yes, all of the months of blood, sweat, and tears that I’ve been devoting to nurturing my shaggy, shoulder-length tresses have now been wiped out in one fell swoop by the need to look clipped and clean for tonight’s opening performance of Main Street Stage’s Second Annual Short Play Festival.

Well, the good news is that my dear departed mom can now stop spinning in her grave for a while. The sweet lady thought in all innocence, I suspect, that she would be able to rest easy with regard to my wayward hair choices once she had successfully pulled out her big guns (maternal tears) back in 1968 to overrule my desire to be the first senior at Birmingham-Southern College to attend his graduation ceremony wearing a Beatles haircut. But alas, her years of torture were only beginning.

Above and at right: Harold and Emma Tittleton ponder the inexplicable presence of a clown in their living room in Greg Freier‘s play "We Appear to Have Company."

My cast-mates, captured in these evocative dress rehearsal photographs by Lisa Remillard, are Jackie DiGiorgis and Andrew Davis.

Ours is only one of five one-act plays that will be treading the boards this weekend and next at Main Street Stage‘s intimate home base in North Adams. (Click here for more details.)

That’s March 5, 6, 12, and 13, to be precise. The shows start at 8 PM. Do drop by if you’re in the area.

Tuesday Was Amherst Day

That University of Massachusetts panel about comics that I’ve been telling you about unfolded enjoyably on March 2 as scheduled, I’m happy to report.

In my last blog entry I mistakenly predicted that N. C. Christopher Couch (the tiny figure at the podium in the photograph below) would be serving as the panel’s moderator, but after Chris introduced the panelists that role was actually played by James Hicks (the tiny figure on the right below), who in addition to fulfilling his professorial duties in the schools Comparative Literature Department serves as an editor of The Massachusetts Review, the UMass-based literary quarterly.

Besides having fun hanging out during the panel and afterwards with Gary Hallgren (the tiny figure in the middle above), who is a friend and colleague from way back, I had the pleasure of finally meeting and quickly becoming buddies with our co-panelist Sophia Wiedeman, writer and illustrator of The Deformitory. (Sophia is the tiny figure sitting between Gary and James above.) Sophia’s creativity has been appropriately recognized and rewarded by the Xeric Foundation, which provided funding for the dreamlike Deformitory, from which the panels below are excerpted. Sophia’s book is available in comics shops, sez Sophia.

Pursued by Squirrels

For some reason squirrels seem to have played a disproportionate role in my creative life (see the numerous "Squirly & Earl" cartoon panels I threw at readers of this blog for a while).

Fortunately I like the little critters. So does Lulu the Dalmatian, although I get the feeling her motives are less humane than mine.

Anyway, note the newly imagined squirrel below, which found its way into the logo I designed this week for an upcoming ecology-themed Children’s Fair at the First Congregational Church in Williamstown.

Me in Publishers Weekly

North Adams-based comics reviewer John Seven recently interviewed me about the upcoming re-issue of Stuck Rubber Baby (expected this June). The resulting Q&A was published this week in the online branch of Publishers Weekly.

About Howard

I'm a cartoonist and writer, best known for my graphic novel, Stuck Rubber Baby, and my comic strip from the 1980s, Wendel.
This entry was posted in A Tip o' the Hat, Family & Friends, Home Life, Life & Art, Me, Me, Me!, Yesterday & Today. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to What We Sacrifice For Art

  1. I don’t know… I always wanted to wear my hair short, when I was younger, but it was frowned upon, because close-cropped guys were indicative of a right-wing, borderline fascist ideology. I remember swimming at the pool and being blinded by a forelock falling in my eyes all the time, and hating it. Nowadays, what little hair I still sport I wear close-cropped. So, for what it’s worth, I side with your mama on this: I do prefer the short style. ^________^

  2. Charlie Metcalfe says:

    I don’t care how you wear what hair you still have, though even after the shearing, it’s still more than I have.

    Why I am pleased to read about it is that anything that brings that sweet Irma to mind once again makes me harbor lovely happy thoughts about her.
    I still have a kind (typed) note she once sent to Polly along with a book she thought might help Polly. What a lovely special person she was!

    As to the play, “Break a leg!”

    Charlie

  3. @John: I thought the long hair made Howie look like Ben Franklin. The short hair, imo, is much more youthful.

  4. John says:

    Thanks to the haircut, you look like a dignified Southern gentleman again instead of some kind of radical!

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