Sunday, December 29, 2013

Bore-er Beyond Imagination


Welcome to the freshest update of "Saturday" the book you're likely to read this week.

If you recall, we've worked our way back to page six.  "Wait," I hear you say in my head where there are often voices, "I thought you were on page, like, 31."  This is true.  I am working on page 31 right now.  But you read faster than I can draw, so I'm biding your time until I can finish the final pages and post more current stuff.

So, last week there was an attempted peace accord drafted by Fred.  Let's just say that, at this point in the peace process, negotiations are ongoing:

Elsewhere in the house, India's normally reliable imagination has failed to clock in for work, forcing her to find a pastime of a different suit:

India's imagination is probably her best friend.  The weirdo kids rarely have actual best friends.  Pause for sad reflection.  Anyhoo, with her imagination AWOL, India's bored stiff.

When I was a kid, boredom was my mortal enemy.  It was tireless and persistent, and it was all I could do to keep it at bay.  Now that I'm an adult, I see boredom as a luxury.  See, when I was a kid, the only capital I had was time.  But I was freaking LOADED with time.  I was the Scrooge McDuck of time.  I had a vault full of it.  I could swim in all the time I had.  Which meant I could waste it by being bored.  I used to set an entire day on fire and then use that burning day to light my cigar.

Now, in terms of time (and most other respects), I'm a hobo.  Sitting on the sidewalk next to my bindle with those boots where the toe is open and you can see my socks, lamenting my hubris and singing "Once I built a railroad".

Today is Sunday.  I hope you have a fortune in time.  Enough to burn, even.


Saturday, December 21, 2013

Make me up before you go go...

Oh, hi.

Welcome to a very special just before Christmas edition of the "Saturday" update.  Remember last week's update?  Me, either.  Let me refresh our memories...

Ok, I remember now.  So last week, Fred and Elizabeth had a bit of a dust up.  Let's not get into who got home late and missed dinner and who was somewhat irrationally angry at who.  This week is all about peace negotiations.  And what better time to broach this subject than the most wonderful time of the year?  There'll be notes to be written and hearts to be smitten and drawers full of cheer...

Except not really:

Christmas is the time when we're all supposed to get along.  But obligation and sincerity go together about as well as eggnog and olive juice.  We feel one way about the holidays but feel obligated to live up to the standards set by photos of pretty people in holiday catalogs.  Those photos are always of attractive, well-dressed people who seem to do nothing but laugh and have a wonderful time with each other.

But the thing is, the people in those photos who look like a family?  They don't even know each other.  They're models.  They came to an unfamiliar set, they were dressed in clothes they don't normally wear, and they smiled uncomfortably at people they didn't know very well.  Now that I think of it, the photos on holiday catalogs are pretty close to real life holiday get-togethers, aren't they?

So what am I saying here?  I guess I'm saying that family tension is probably going to be as ubiquitous as those tins full of flavored popcorn that no one eats.  You probably will feel uncomfortable at some point during the holidays.  I'm giving you permission to not feel guilty about feeling uncomfortable, regardless of how well the catalog family seems to enjoy each others' company.  You can even have  dust up or two if you want.  Then, afterward, maybe you could write a nice little apology note and be done with it.  Most of your peeps are probably pretty nice.  Even if they are obnoxious as hell.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good fight.


Sunday, December 15, 2013

Degree of Disagree

Buenos Dias!

Welcome to the weekly update of "Saturday" the book!  For this edition, we'll have to hop into our Deloreans because this scene goes down earlier in the week (Monday evening, to be precise). 

Because I'm posting faster than I'm drawing, I'll have to supplement panels from current pages with panels from previous pages (still new, just not current).  We'll ostensibly be jumping back and fourth through time.  With any luck, we'll be able to go back, save our parents' marriage, save Doc Brown's life, and have a sweet 4 x 4 waiting for us in the garage when we get back.  All to the tune of Huey Lewis (and I guess the News can come, too, if you're into that sort of thing).

If you have no idea what I'm talking about you can make like a tree and get out of here.

And speaking of our parents' marriage, today's panels involve just that.  Fred has just gotten home very, very late, having missed dinner:

There was a decent window of time in which Elizabeth was left to worry about what happened to Fred.  A lot of "Saturday" is about imagination.  Mostly it's about how imagination and creativity can make life worth living.  But there's another side to that coin that doesn't get talked about much: That wonderful, infinitely complex, squishy machine inside our heads that makes creativity and art and music possible?  It also allows us to imagine awful, frightening, haunting scenarios.  It's where things like hypochondria come from.

But let's not dwell on that.  We have other things on which to dwell.

Elizabeth was understandably worried.  Fred was delayed by circumstances beyond his control and instead of coming home to sympathy, he's met with a wife whose worry has turned into anger (have you ever done that?  You worry about someone you love and then when you see they're ok you think, "Well, since I don't have to mourn over a dead body I think I'll yell at the living one"?).  Both have legitimate points.  The problem is that they end up talking past each other.

I think most fights are that way.  A lot of the time you end up fighting about two different things.  If logic prevailed, the two parties could simply enumerate their grievances and desired outcomes and be done with it.  But the problem is that we have obnoxious emotions that screw up everything.  We're often not able to voice things logically because emotion make words come out of mouth hole bad.  But emotion also make Fred and Elizabeth love each other very much lots.  If they didn't care, they wouldn't fight because they wouldn't have anything to be upset about.

I'd bet Vulcans never get into fights.  But I'd bet there's very little passion.  You ever see a couple in a restaurant who never seem to talk to each other?  They're almost ALWAYS Vulcans.

If you actually love someone, you're going to get into a fight at some point.  When you're in the thick of it, try not to let your emotions work your mouth like some sadistic puppeteer.  And then, when emotion go away some, come back and make words come out of mouth more gooder.


Sunday, December 8, 2013

Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint were bored, too...

Good Morrow, Gentlefolk!

Verily, it is excellent to once again bring you the weekly update of "Saturday" the book.  This week is kind of a continuation of sorts.  You see, you've caught me.  Remember how I was telling you a while back that eventually my-once-per-week posts would catch up with my far-fewer-than-once-per-week page finishing ability?  Well, guess what?  I'm slowly but surely continuing to not finish one page per week, so...

I suppose we'll just sit here and stare at each other awkwardly?

Or I could just post more sketches, drawings and panels from already completed pages.  Which would you prefer, awkward staring or the other thing?  The other thing?  Ok, suit yourself.  But you're easy on the eyes, so if you ever want to choose the awkward staring option, just let me know.

So, like I said, this panel is also from page 30.  If you remember from last week, India was being spirited away to a secret destination, though she was told by her parents she was being abandoned at the pound.

The real destination (one of several scheduled for Sunday) turns out to be this:

Do you remember your family trips from when you were a kid?  My family took several to South Dakota.  There were grandparents there.  And also Mount Rushmore.  But think of all the attractions to visit in South Dakota BESIDES Mount Rushmore.  No, seriously.  I need you to think of some.  Because I can't think of any.

But the trips were fun anyway.  Every red-blooded American kid longs to see the visitor's center where they filmed parts of "North by Northwest".

This sign is actually based on the sign in front of our local historical society.  By the by, you should support your local historical society.  They provide an educational and entertaining window into our collective past.

This message paid for by the Historical Society Association Mafia of America.


Sunday, December 1, 2013

Wood-Paneled Memories Light the Corners of my Mind.

Breaker Breaker Good Buddies!

Welcome to a very special road trip edition of "Saturday" the book.  It's currently Sunday morning in the world of the McGreevy family.  India has done her waking upping and breakfasting, and now she's being chauffeured to a mysterious day of mystery:

The McGreevys are a two-car household.  Fred commutes to and from work in some kind of nondescript lemon.  But for family trips, they hop in the old reliable County Baron station wagon.  Ah, for the days when wood paneling came on everything: station wagons, living rooms, dishes, sweaters, sandwiches, etc.  Because nothing says class like wood panels.  Middle class.

And while you're driving to wherever in real wood-paneled style, why not partake in that other American pastime?  Tax fraud?  No, friend, I'm talking about making vague threats to small children.  Only if they belong to you, of course.  That's what makes it legal and fun!

Last week was Thanksgiving, so threatening members of one's family is still as fresh in my mind as cranberry relish thrown at my sharp-tongued, spinster aunt.  You can see it on the Thanksgiving Day special episode of "Cops".

These days, we're all so politically correct that dealing with children is like hostage negotiation.  It involves a lot of bargaining and rewards instead of the tried and true vague threats of shipping your kids off to Captain Red Face's Military Boarding school or an unpaid internship in the Black Lung Mines.  What on earth are therapists in the future supposed to do when adults no longer have childhood trauma to overcome?

My parents never made any such threats when I was a kid, so I don't have any specific stories to share.  Until my tell-all book comes out: "Saturday: The Tragedy and Misery Behind the Panels".  Available in January of 2015.


PS: Mom and Pop: I'm just kidding about the stories of childhood trauma.  I have LOADS of them to share.  You can read all about them in my up coming tell-all book.

Available in January of 2015.