8.31.2011

Tha summer's gone I gotta werk!

Hey who's ready for some pictures?! I mean what the heck have I been doing anyway? Well my dear readers, I've been wandering around Chicago tending to my various and lengthy 'to-do' lists. On the way I've run into some amazing things and some weird things, and some cartoonist things! Enjoy a big ol' photo dump.


Saw this pup snoozin' in an amazing second hand book store near my house. \


What my house looked like for a while. It's slightly better now... My poor roommates :( I swear guys, I'll finish unpacking sometime!


Now I'm sorry my dear Veggie and Vegan friends... but for the longest time Kyle has had this delusion that our school would sponsor a pig roast for the Halloween Ball. This is entirely crazy... however, while walking North on Western I passed this... it smelled SOOO good. And when I showed it to Kyle, he grasped my shoulder and said... this will happen in my life... I swear it!


Some graffiti I saw under a bridge... good to know there are others on the quest! THE GREATER GOOOOOOD!


Oh man, it is real. And just remember, potential visitors, this puppy gets me and a friend into a LOT of the museums and cool places in Chicago fo' free.


Speaking of visitors, Em Sauter blew through town and boy was it good to see her! Hope everything is going great in Oregon Emily!


This is mostly for Jon Chad and Alec Longstreth, but fellas, I gotta tell you, I've found the pinball database for Chicago and have been playing my way around the city... My new favorite game is 'whoDUNNIT' this one was in excellent condition, replay set real low, and 1$ for three cred. Have you played it?


I was so lucky to go visit the Newberry Library with Ms. Deborah Howe and see their spectacular bindery and conservation labs! Thanks so much for the visit Giselle!


LtoR: Kitz Rickert, Bruce Riley, Giselle Simon, Deborah Howe and Richard Langdell
While Deborah was in town, she got me on the very exclusive invite only list for the One-Book One-Chicago artist books opening at the top of the Harold Washington Library. VERY swanky. And VERY fun!


I mean, come on... they had a cake... that was a book...!!!!


And along the lines of visitors... anyone know who's feet these are?


Or who's faces these are?! (In Quimby's for their first times!)


Boy were these fella's a sight for sore eyes! Mr. Nick Patten, Mr. Ryland Ianelli, and (a very awkward Kyle O'Connell) Mr, hiding-in-the-dark Josh Rosen!!! They came down for the day cause Ryland and Josh were visiting Nick up in good ol' Wisconsin for his BIRTHDAY! So Kyle and I took them out to Piece, a great pizzeria and brewery and played some Soprano's Pinball. Again, my dudes, it was soooo great to see you.

That's all for now, but coming soon is my first day of teaching (AHH!) and a gallery opening not to be missed. (But I will cause I'll be at SPX...) And remember, if you're passing through, stop by and say heeyyyyyyy-yyyoooo!

8.24.2011

times are good or bad

Friends! I know I don't have to tell you this, but things have been insane here. I've been running all over the town to settle my Chicago debts from way back when, meeting up with mobsters and middlemen left and right. But I've finally cleared my name, and become a 100% legit Chicago resident. ID, Library card and Chicago train pass and all.

Needless to say, there haven't been many comics in the making, and since I've put up all of books 1 and 2 already, I'm a little bit at a loss. I've been working hard on ideas and ways to complete the tale, but nothing more than midnight scraps of paper and chats that blow your mind into a pizza. And on top of that business, I've been attempting to get my poor book club members back up to speed on what they paid me for!

Aside from the guilt, things are sliding into place and my gears are switching into lecture and handout mode for teaching. I'd really like to have everything for the whole semester ready to go before it even starts, but that's a bit of a fantasy that shouldn't exist. On top of class prep, tomorrow through Saturday I'll be spending my time in the Gallery helping put up the CartoonInk! show at the Sullivan Galleries. You'll hear more about this later.

And since Chicago is located in a great place, I've been getting and will continue to get some excellent visitors! Last Sunday, the one and only Em Sauter arrived at my doorstep and we have a lovely day together! Had some brunch, had some brews and checked out some books! A three-B day if you ask me. She's on her Beer-cation, check out her website as it is Ukrainian Beer Week! Later today I'll be enjoying a sandwich with Ms. Deborah Howe, the Conservator from Dartmouth Preservation Services! And tomorrow, my darling cousin, Emma, and Aunt Kara will be in town because Emma is attending Columbia in the Fall! Can't wait to see those two! And Chicago, keep your eyes peeled for some more excellent cartoonists swingin' their way through the city!

Stay tuned for a post with some actual comics updating, cool facts, and maybe some fun photos of things in Chicago! Okay, I love you, bye-bye!

8.17.2011

I can teach you somethin'

Well, well, well dear readers... here we are! Broadcasting from a big ol' heart in the midwest, Chicago, IL! Thanks for bearing with me on the last few posts. Somethings you just can't say out loud to people what you have in your heart, you have to compose your thoughts and write them out for the whole internet to see.

But! Now I'm here, working on finishing up my syllabi for my classes, meeting some new people and catching up with classic Chicago homies. All my stuff hasn't arrived yet, but I think it's coming by the end of the week. It's actually been pretty relaxed the last few days. Mom and I had a great road trip from the Northeast, stopping at a few neat-o places. While I have no comics for you right now, once I have a desk and my teaching hat squarely on my head I'll be working on some goodies. However please enjoy the bizarre photos of our adventure across half the country!


Toward the end of New York, we stopped to pee and this dude rolled up on this bike... I ask him what his buddy's name was and he pointed and said 'Anorexic Annie'... !


Then we hit Pennsylvania for about 2 whole seconds, but I held it up for a while...


I'ma need ya'll to look close at this one... We stopped to get gas at the end of Penn, and I turned to look at this big old RV j. chillin' and who was driving it...?! Awww WHUT UP D000D! THEY CAN DO WHATEVER THEY WANT!


Around 8:30pm we were getting hungry and had finally rolled into Ohio for a while. Found this sign that said "Kay's Place Restaurant" and we thought, well that's not McDonalds! Let's go! And after crossing the most terrifying one lane bridge, we found it... lights off, no cars... and this sign... promising?


YES! they had awesome BBQ specials and I got half a chicken and half rack of ribs... SOOOOO good, tender... sweet, spicy... AWESOME. I saved what I couldn't finish, but ended up having to throw it out.


After sleeping in SUPER late from our 'getting lost in cleveland traffic after a game' night, we went to the one good thing Ohio had... BOB EVANS for breakfast. While we rolled out of B.E.'s having stuff ourself silly, I uncovered a secret... THAT WIZARDS ARE IN CLEVELAND!!! I was really hoping to spy Moony, Prongs and Wormtail in the rest of the lot, but alas, no such luck... Mischief managed I guess...


Okay this is mostly for my sisters, but as we were leaving Ohio the one last thing that was good they had was a starbucks that we were both jonesing for... we stopped to get some and mom accidentally messed up my order, and in the process of scrapping with a straw the whipped cream from her cup to mine, she decided enough was enough and just smashed the lid on the cup... thus creating the epic Mom-splosion of 2011...


For sure the best part about Indiana is its housing of cartoonists I like! Number one there right now is Mr. Tom Casteel... aka Daddy T! Thank you so much for hosting me and my momma. Dinner was delicious and I love and miss you oodles misterman! see you soon!!


Outside of Indiana, it's funny how quickly things become Illinois... and from that... to the scariest bridge in the Midwest... the Chicago Skyway!


Vintage Toll way... As I took this though, mom was freaking out because LITERALLY in the middle of the highway to our left was a McDonalds Drivethru that you could go through while waiting to get through the tolls! CRAZY! Midwest... WE FAT SON!!


No matter how long I stay away, or how tired, cranky whatever I am when it happens... it always takes my breath away when I see that first glimpse of the skyline I know so well... If you want to know what it's like to turn the corner and all of a sudden see something you love, listen to the song 'Chicago' by Sufjan Stevens OR watch that part in Royal Tennanbaums when Margot gets off the bus to pick up Richie and it's in slow motion and that song is playing 'These Days' by Nico... that's what that feels like... :)


Thar she blows!!! (Lens flare ala JJ Abrams)


And then there we were... There's a lot I miss about White River, and I'll always miss those things. But just like I told myself about Chicago when I left there for a while... White River will always be there when I need it. When I want it. When it's time to go back. But for now, here's where I'll be...


This sign was in my bedroom when I brought my stuff up, courtesy of my new upstairs neighbor.... Mr. BFF, Kyle O'Connell... Wondertwins Activate... form of NEIGHBORS!

8.12.2011

It's time I got back...

I wish I even knew how to begin... it seems only fitting that right now on my itunes "The Good Life" live acoustic version by Weezer just started. Although that encompasses past-Beth's ideas of what it would feel like to get back to Chicago, somehow present-Beth is already thinking about returning to this magical place named White River Junction.

When I first arrived in White River, back in February of oh-nine, just to look at it... I fell in love. Sure it was a small town, hard to get to, lots of snow, but I could feel something about here that was pulling hard at my heart strings. The school completely blew me away... everyone was so nice, working hard and producing some of the most amazing work I had ever seen. I knew I wanted that. I wanted to be these people... I wanted them to accept me as their own. Shortly after my review with Robyn Chapman and a brief glimpse at one of my best friends now (Jon Chad), I got a phone call from the one and only Michelle Ollie... the President of CCS. She gave me the great news that it was indeed true, I was a wizard and would be attending Hogwarts in the fall of oh-nine.


(Day One!)

After that everything at SAIC was a blur, school ended, things were sad but I knew I'd be back to those people. I knew it wasn't goodbye forever. I even found out I was getting the scholarship, which made me feel so incredible and humbled and honored. Pretty soon it was time to say goodbye to my mom and things that were familiar and move the farthest away than I had ever been. Starting over. Making new friends. Paying bills. Renting an apartment... these were all terrifying. And when my dad left me in that apartment, without my bed yet, without friends yet, with nothing but a fan, an air mattress and a ton of boxes, I can't even tell you how hard I cried. How awful I felt, how alone and scared and not ready for any of this.


(second family, the class of 2011 first day of school)

And then I made a friend... and another... and another... I started going to events, I started my job, I started feeling better and calling home less... and before I knew it I had 24 of the best friends I could ever ask for. Soon I was sharing comics, stories, laughs, tears, sandwiches, and my life with these amazing people. And we worked hard and partied harder. I got drunk for the first time, and produced the best work I had ever made. When the summer came it was so hard to say goodbye even for a few months.

Before we knew it, we were starting our second year here. In this town that seemed like the same old, same old but was actually one of the best places ever. I got a new job that was amazing and I loved, and we all had a shared studio space... one that really reflected our class as the united family that we were. All of us working ourselves to the bone on projects we believed in, keeping each others spirits up when it got rough, and playing SO MUCH PINBALL all the time.

We defeated the odds and were triumphant in so many ways. I feel so so so so so proud that I was a part of it.


(Class of 2011, graduation day)

And then something completely out of the blue happened. I had settled in here, ready to be a part of the proud CCS alumni tradition of sticking around the area for another year, I had a great job, great friends, and comfortable routine and living. But Mr. Opportunity knocked on my door and I jumped. Now here I am, sitting in my room, with my bags packed, about to head up to the Red House for one more White River blow out. And don't get me wrong, dear reader, Chicago has been in my heart and my head for so long and I'm SO excited and thrilled to have a great chance and job. But I never thought I'd fall in love with such a strange little town full of strange people. And that it would be so hard to say goodbye. Most of my class has already left for their various corners of the world and now it's my turn. But I just don't want to. How can I possibly express my love for everyone here? How can I explain how important every interaction has been? How can there be enough time left to say what I hear in my head? Thank You. I love you. I'll miss you. Please write me. Don't forget me. I'm sorry.

You changed my life, Center for Cartoon Studies. You, your people, your opportunities, your knowledge, your love and caring, I can never EVER thank you enough for what you've given me. Just remember, there is no goodbye, Chunky Rice.

8.11.2011

Coming Soon

Coming Friday, Farewell White River Post... stay tuned please. :)

8.03.2011

Somewhere that's green...

This might get a little bit sappy, so please, bare with me friends. As I get closer to leaving White River, the sappier I'm tending to get. There are plenty of great things going on, hanging out with friends, the Summer Workshops, movie nights, car-rides, and lots and lots of laughs, but there is a time to express some more serious emotions... and I guess that's right now.

I'd like to take a little bit of time on this blog to say thank you to something that completely changed my life. First a big thank you to Colleen Frakes, without whom I predict I would have had a miserable year struggling with my thesis in a job that I hated more than just about anything I've ever done. One day, while complaining about my old job, she emailed me a job description that sounded too good to be true. Her email basically said 'Not sure about the Conservation aspect of this, but you have the book binding skills! Go for it!' And with that, I flung all of my hope and best efforts into the smallest basket and forced my way into the hearts of what I now lovingly think about as Preservation Services at Dartmouth College.

My supervisor, Barb, still talks about how one week after my application was in I started calling her. And she really liked that iniciative (THANKS ALEC LONGSTRETH FOR PROFESSIONAL PRACTICES TIPS!). And before I knew it, I was laying on the floor of the Senior Studio, kicking my feet in the air while Ben Ho, Josh Kray, and Patty Mac all looked on with a 'she-does-this-all-the-time' air. With that, I said a fond farewell to the time I used to know as "sleeping" and began a full time job while being a full time Graduate Student. At first it was really hard to stay awake at certain parts of the day, but the kinds of unbelievable work I was able to do kept blowing my mind.

I've handled 14th Century Book of Hours... I've touch an item worth more than ten thousand dollars... My name is in dozens of books sewn into new cases throughout the Dartmouth Library System... I've personally made a dent in both the Readex Project's Serial Set books AND the Dartmouth Gazette, both of which date back to the early eighteen hundreds... And that's pretty much the 'boring' parts of my job!

I really can't even express how much I have fallen in love with the people here. They are by FAR the most talented, insightful, caring and fascinating group of people who work so hard together and who really care about books. I feel quite honored to have been a part of this great family and my heart feels so heavy that I won't be able to see them everyday. Since when was caring about this job part of the description?!

I am so overwhelmed at all the farewells I have to give and this one is really quite difficult. I hope you guys don't forget me, because I sure as shootin' won't forget you. I'm going to keep watching that blog, so ya'll better update! When I'm on my world famous book-tour, you bet Dartmouth Pres Lab will be a prime stop. Keep your eyes on the HB for postcards from the BH.

I love you all very very much, Deborah, Stephanie, Helen, Barb, John (in ref), Brian and Elizabeth... Thank you for the best 9 months of my life.