Lair Fare

Hey, folks,
I’m putting this blog on hiatus for a while
after this installment.

Don’t take it personally; I just need some uncluttered time for thinking. And I’ll probably still pop back into view once in a while, given my usual inability to be totally resolute about anything. Those of you who’ve asked to be on my "Loose Cruse Blog Alert" subscription list, of course, will be the first to know if, like Brigadoon, my blog materializes abruptly from the mists.

Meanwhile, I’m just giving myself permission to let the whole blogging thing slide for now without feeling like a slacker.

That said, I hereby return you to our regular programming.

What Goes On In My Lair?

My husband Eddie often refers to my studio downstairs as my "lair," since I tend to retreat into it for long periods of time only to emerge glassy-eyed and distracted, with little to share about whatever mysterious activities I’ve been involved in while hidden from view.

As you may have heard, the print media that spent several decades providing the bulk of my freelance income have been consumed by a collective death rattle of late. Well, maybe that’s an exaggeration, but it’s not an overstatement to say that markets for my drawings that pay anything like a professional rate have been dwindling to a dribble of late. This may lead you to wonder exactly how I go about venting the ol’ creative impulses while I’m down in my lair these days.

With rare exceptions, the answer is: drawing (and sometimes writing) what I please whether or not there’s pay involved. While not lucrative, there’s something to be said for this lifestyle. It’s fun and it’s comparatively relaxing. It basically amounts to a version of semi-retirement, except that I spend my time wielding a pen instead of the traditional fishing rod.

True, this state of existence has descended on me uninvited, but I’ve more or less made peace with it and am enjoying its benefits. When I draw something that pleases me, I share it with my friends on Facebook, so my inner entertainer doesn’t have to experience an undue degree of audience deprivation.

So here’s how you can picture me spending my time
during periods when my blog reports are scarce?

When I’m seized with the impulse to draw an actual comic strip, the Occasional Comix section of my web site is always there to accommodate me.

Sometimes random goofy images pop into my head just begging to be drawn and colored — like the two examples below.

This is not to suggest that I’ve turned my back on black-and-white (see below).
Sometimes I amuse myself by adding color to old drawings from my distant past, like the Christmas card art below, first drawn 1978 but recently colored on a whim using Photoshop, or "Stop Playing, Grandpa," a nightmare image that I originally drew sometime in the early ’80s (I didn’t date my art in those days, stupid me) for an art portfolio that never saw publication.

Occasionally I apply additional old artwork from my archives to my CafePress merchandise, or make a greeting card out of it for my online Greeting Card Universe shop.

Books In The Pipeline

A strange Barefootz story from 1974 that until now has never before found its way into a book collection ("Mamasoyboyvuumulukrishkrosh and a Pox On Your Panty Hose," to be specific)
is part of The Best of Comix Book, just released by Dark Horse.

My three-page Blondie spoof, "Coming Out With The Bunksteads," is part of Qu33r, the new LGBT anthology that Rob Kirby has assembled.

The main reasons to keep an eye out for The Fifth Beatle: The Brian Epstein Story this month are (a) the gorgeous illustrations by Andrew Robinson; (b) Vivek J. Tiwary‘s lyrical scripting; and (c) the cool Kyle Baker section that’s thrown in for spice). If you do give this book a look-see, however, you may spot the brief statement I was invited to write endorsing the partnership between the Fifth Beatle‘s creators, its publisher, and Freedom To Marry.

Other Miscellaneous Emanations From The Lair

I’m periodically called upon to create, revise, or update one of my slideshows, like the one I presented for a Writers Read event in Lee, MA, last April. Another one is in the pipeline for 2014. I also create theater art every now and then, like the CD package design I did this year for the cast recording of Chip Deffaa‘s latest musical, Theater Boys. (Sorry I can’t show you that here; Chip isn’t giving the go-ahead for posting it until the CD is released). Also embargoed for now is the drawing I’ve contributed to a projected British anthology called The Mammoth Book of Skulls, edited by Ed Hillyer, that won’t be out until next year. Stay tuned for those.

Finally, I’m not above trying to pull in a coin or two from assorted manifestations of my creative impulses over the years. To that end, I’ve assembled links to all of my income-generating ventures on a single page of my web site, which you can access by clicking on the foregoing link or the graphic below.

That’s all for now, folks. If you’re the sort who goes on Facebook (and I’m not saying you should do that), you’ll be able to keep up with my doings on a regular basis while I’m AWOL from regular blogging. And if you’re a Facebook holdout, don’t despair. The door to my lair will always be open.

Except when it’s closed, of course.

Happy holidays!

A Closing Note to Those Who’ve Enjoy This Blog: I may be going on hiatus, but that doesn’t mean I may not bubble back to the surface unexpectedly from time to time. So if you haven’t done so already, be sure and send me email while you’re thinking about it asking to subscribe to my "Blog Alert" list. That way you’ll be among the first to get notified by email on the rare occasions when I do upload a new blog post. (And as a special bonus, you’ll get a heads up when I post a new "Occasional Comix" strip, too.)

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.
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One Response to Lair Fare

  1. Martha Thomases says:

    Do what you’ve got to do, sweetie. And think about a new book. I know someone who would publish it.