Thursday, April 14, 2011


If we are to assume that misogyny is a hereditary trait, how does this continue? Who honestly, HONESTLY would consent to allowing a man with so little respect for her gender ANYWHERE NEAR those parts that make her unarguably female??

This afternoon, I dropped my car off to get my oil changed and took a little jog. I brought nothing with me but a water bottle, and then nervously stopped in every business I passed to check the time. After a 20-or-so minute loop, I returned to Mavis to find my car hadn't been brought in the garage yet. I resigned myself to sit in the waiting room and watch the TV, which an older man also waiting had turned to Seinfeld. After Seinfeld, my car hadn't been brought in yet, so I watched the Simpsons too. I did my best to try to ignore the man and the woman (who appeared to be in their late 50s) also waiting and quietly having an argument that sounded like they were breaking up. At one point they started fighting about who of them would know something more. The guy said: "I know, because I'm a man."


My face contorted into a look of incredulity and I tried my best to not make eye contact or acknowledge that I had been listening, but I briefly caught the woman's gaze, so she clearly knew how I felt about the situation.

The episode of the Simpsons was a rather good one, and one I'd never seen before. It featured Homer and Marge discussing their pre-married life in the 90s. (hilarious as didn't the show start in the 90s?) Marge goes to college, paid for by Homer, and she falls for her radical professor who talks a lot about the oppressive force of the white male. Marge and Homer split up, Marge briefly has a thing with the professor which ends sharply when the professor shows his true colors by saying "oh Marge, it's statements like that that make people say women are stupid."

What a relevant episode to be playing in the background of these shenanigans.

At one point this man pulls a number out of his wallet, for effect. Apparently some other woman had given it to him. He rips it up as a show that he doesn't even care about that, but if this is true, why did he keep it in the first place?

(I suppose this was because he later accused her of making him feel undesirable, and perhaps he wanted to save it for just such an opportunity, but still -- I don't understand why she was wasting her time with such a misogynistic a-hole.)

The Simpsons ends and Family Guy comes on. I walk up to the counter to see if I should bring my car back in tomorrow -- they hadn't even pulled it into the garage yet and I would be glad to have an excuse to leave. They tell me that won't be necessary as they were just moments away from servicing my car.

All the while this couple is arguing, the woman keeps shushing the man, who occasionally quiets down and always gives her sass about it. At the point where I've been sitting with them for about an hour, the woman turns to me and asks me if I can hear the TV okay.

This is in no way about volume. I had already taken the remote control to flip the channel and check the time. If I couldn't hear, I could certainly turn the TV up.

I turn to them and admit that they *have* made me feel a bit awkward, and the woman apologizes to me, and I tell her that, no, *I* am sorry.

The man begins to yell at her about bringing the argument into the public and yell at her for the very basis of her apology to me, and I tell him that I was a bit baffled at his misogynistic comment about men knowing everything, telling him I'm surprised that such men could even reproduce, when such an act requires a woman.

Sometimes I run my mouth off.

At this point he starts berating me for even talking to them and simultaneously begins defending his side of the fight to me [telling me that she is 61 and told him she was going to fellate every guy in the bar -- which she defended as saying that was because she was hot headed because he had slept with someone else] while berating me for saying anything to him [I wanted nothing to do with this but I didn't really have a choice] it is a public place, and also telling me that it's men like him [misogynists] who produce women like me [feminists]. Yep. He called me a feminist. No. He did not mean it as a compliment.

[My dad, while not the most outspokenly liberal guy, is certainly not a misogynist as I'm pretty sure he couldn't function without my mom and also, she clearly wears the pants in the family.]

I don't remember why, but he went outside for a bit, and I ended up talking to her for that time. We apologized to each other and I recounted for her the things that I overheard that had outraged me. I told her I didn't know why she put up with his bullsh--. She told me what drives her crazy is he won't take responsibility for his own actions.

He soon comes back inside and yells at her some more, "oh, you've made a new little friend?" turning to me and telling me that she wants to have a lesbian encounter. "It's true, she really does." I tell him that I don't think that's really related at all to what's going on. I start scowling into space and he starts yelling at her for always talking to everyone. "I just like PEOPLE!" she defends.

I walk into the garage to see how much longer it'll take for my car, explaining both that I have to go to work and also about the couple making me uncomfortable. When I go back into the waiting room, one of them suggests they take their arguement outside. "So we don't offend little Miss Sensitive ears!" the man calls out mockingly.

"SORRY for being HUMAN!" I respond.

I mean, really.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

My Place!

I've entered my home into Apartment Therapy's Small Cool contest this year. I'm not thinking I'll win, and I'm not even sure they'll accept my entry, but I like the contest and my place too much not to try. Also, it gave me a reason to photograph and make a floorplan of my house, and I don't think the rules say I *can't* share them with you here.

So, this is where I live:
483 sq ft

Monday, April 11, 2011

MoCCA 2011

Oh my goodness, MoCCA fest. Last year, I was following enough comic artists on twitter during MoCCA time to realize that I was missing out on something important and awesome, so this year I made it a *point* to be there. At the Center for Cartoon Studies, Alec Longstreth had encouraged us to trade comics with other people. I brought a stack of Some Of Us two for this purpose.

The thing that I really like about festivals / conventions like this are the panels, and there was a panel about teaching comics at 11:30 that I wanted to / needed to go to. And then my bus out of Albany was a half hour late. Luckily, when I made it to the armory, there was a long line stretching around the building because the fest was opening a half hour late. I missed nothing.

In the Teaching Comics panel, I learned about 3eanuts (which honestly I think is an interesting concept but less successful than Garfield Minus Garfield). I forget the context, but I have written down a quote from one of the panelists: "People just think, they buy something in the store, it exists in nature." I love this so much because it's very true. Often I find people admiring the work of others and making comments about how they could never do it, likening the time, effort, skill, hard work and years of practice with some magic gift that some people have and others don't.

I stayed right in that room for the next panel, which was about Sequential non-fiction. I came away with a lot of graphic novels I want to read, and a discussion was raised about accountability and realness. I really appreciated discussion about how to portray events without being judgmental, or when such judgement is necessary. Someone asked "is calling it a *real* story important to the story?" which I found to be a convicting question because I work in non-fiction, often autobiographical non-fiction, pushing it to the point where I will illustrate an idea I had as something occurring within thought bubbles.

After these panels I took some time to actually trade some of my comics. I didn't want to go home with any of my own, so I figured I'd do this first. The first person I asked didn't want to trade so early because she was almost sold out of what she'd brought, but she was really nice about it and told me to come back at the end of the day. It was a good warm up. I had won a weirdly printed copy of one of Tara Abbamondi's Puddles, so I decided I'd give her one of my comics too. I wanted a copy of Kate Beaton's book, and I figured I'd try and do what I was doing a NEWW, a trade + cash. I expected her book to be $20 and I was going to offer her $15 and a copy of my comic, but then she was having a sale! And then she drew me and I just gave her one of my mini comics, because who doesn't want the people they respect to have something they made? This is a thing, I'm sure of it. Also, she signed and drew in my book. I was so entirely pleased about it that I changed my twitter avatar. I'm a dork.

My haul, including both trades and purchases:

I haven't had a chance to dig into much yet, but I *did* read Luke holds off by Jeremy Nguyen and Beard by Pranas Naujokaitis which were both amazing in very different ways. I actually got home and bought a copy of Beard for a friend of mine and had it mailed to his house. I think he'll be pleasantly surprised.

I caught one more panel which was a conversation with Dash Shaw and Brecht Evans. I had never heard of Brecht but I'd read Bottomless Belly Button by Dash and loved it. They are both very young and very funny. Brecht (who is Flemish) asked Dash if he knew what Bottomless Belly Button was called in Dutch. Dash said he didn't and tried to change the subject. Clearly he doesn't want to know. "You've gotta pay attention to these things!" Brecht scolded. I can only imagine.

After seeing some pages and hearing about Brecht's work, I went right upstairs and bought his book. I also walked around the convention for a bit longer, buying things, talking to people (especially people from CCS, from Albany/Troy, and about chickens) and feeling overwhelmed. I found a girl named Sally who was painting 30 second portraits for fifty cents. How could I resist?

I also was fairly certain someone was drawing me during the Dash-Brecht panel, and afterwards I asked her to see it and had a discussion with her about drawing unposed people and trying to not freak them out.

Overall, I found myself smiling at a lot more people than I usually do, on the street or whatever. Even though I was beat I was just so excited to be inundated with COMICS. I think next year I should get a table, but definitely split it with a few people so I can still go to panels and such. Also, I'm sad to have missed Drink and Draw Like a Lady. Alas.