Back in 2007 I finished off a 32 oz. bottle of ink that I bought back in 2002 when I first started drawing comics seriously. I drew about 600 pages of comics with that ink. The last couple of months with that bottle were a real slog, because the ink had become very thick and sludge-like. When it finally ran out I bought a 16 oz. bottle of ink, thinking that I would use it up more quickly and therefore not have to deal with the same problem.
Well, nine years later, I finally finished up that 16 oz. bottle of ink! By my estimates, somehow, I still drew more than 600 pages of comics with half as much ink. My guess is that the completion of Basewood had something to do with this (smaller pages, less ink) and also the ink going a bit further (not turning into sludge towards the end). Anyway, the math broke down to about .02 oz. per page of comics!
All my hectic summer travel wrapped up and I have been enjoying my time at home with Claire and Suzanne. As freelancers, we traditionally work seven days a week, but we have been trying to set aside some time on Sundays to work on projects around the house. I started a new Flickr album to document some of these undertakings. This weekend my father-in-law and I are going to put a skylight in the kitchen which should brighten things up considerably.
I'm 37 today, hurtling towards 40 at the speed of time. This year has gone by faster than any I can remember. 36 was a big one! Suzanne arrived and we bought this house. I'm looking forward to what will hopefully be a calmer year, putting some roots down here in Santa Fe.
I'm working on a bunch of cool stuff right now, but I'll wait until some of it is finished so that I can share it with a proper post. I hope everyone is having a good fall so far!
It has been a busy summer for me, with a lot of travel, and it's not over yet! At the end of my three weeks of teaching in San Francisco, Claire and Suzanne joined me and we had a good time doing some of our favorite things in San Francisco and visiting with old friends. Then we headed up to Seattle on a 24-hour train ride (in a sleeper car - something we've always wanted to do!). We spent time with family and attended the wedding of an old family friend, David Engelberg, out on Whidbey Island. It was a lot of fun, but after a month on the road I was eager to finally get home.
While on my trip I finished my 12th sketchbook (shown above). This was the "bulking dummy" that my printer sent me for Basewood - essentially a blank copy of the book. Just like Basewood it had really nice, thick paper which was a dream to draw on, but also like Basewood it was 9"x12" and weighed 3 pounds... I am looking forward to moving on to my next (smaller! lighter!) sketchbook.
Our new home was in a state of half-disarray when we returned. Claire had to move about half of our stuff over to the house (with the help of her family) while I was out of town, so lots of things were still in boxes and our house (built in 1925 with many various additions over the years) has projects aplenty.
I've spent most of the last nine days trying to catch up on my backlog of work whilst also unpacking boxes and trying to tackle small projects around the house. To complicate things, our cat Webby got out of the house for about 24 hours, which was incredibly stressful. Luckily she found her way back home, which was a massive relief. Over the weekend we moved in some furniture that Claire's mom gave us, including an upright piano which I am incredibly excited about.
Tomorrow morning I'm hitting the road again, to attend part one of a wedding celebration for my old pal Aaron Renier up in Vancouver B.C. Part two happens in Wisconsin the weekend after that, which Claire and Suzanne will be attending as well.
That will wrap up my crazy summer... so that my busy fall can begin! I'll be home for five days before heading out to Viborg, Denmark for a week of teaching at The Animation Workshop and then five days after that I head to SPX! Here's hoping I can catch my breath in October. Phew!
Well, this morning Claire and I "bought" a house. More accurately, we gave all our savings and a bunch of our parents' and grandparents' money to an old lady in Texas and we now owe A LOT of money to our credit union. However you look at it, we now have keys that go to a house that we get to live in for many years to come, and that Suzanne will grow up in. It is very exciting.
It was about a six month process trying to convince our credit union that we are "real" people, even though Claire and I both freelance. Once we were finally prequalified, we spent a few weeks searching around Santa Fe with our realtors until we found a house that we really liked. It's closer to downtown than we currently are, so we can hopefully continue living here without a car, and we no longer have to cross the 6-lane traffic of St. Francis Street to get to the grocery store or our P.O. Box or the library, which is a relief.
I like long-term goals, so I'm actually pretty excited to have a 30 year mortgage to chip away at. Also, it's an older house (originally built in 1925, with many various additions) so there are going to be problems with the house as we live in it, but I'm excited about that too. It's stressful, but a good kind of motivating stress.
"Good stress" actually describes this summer pretty well for me. I just spent two weeks in Vermont teaching summer workshops at The Center for Cartoon Studies, we closed on the house today, tomorrow we're going to move most of the big stuff (including my pinball machine - oof!), and then on Sunday I leave for three weeks of teaching for the California College of the Arts MFA in Comics program in San Francisco. Claire and Suzanne will be joining me for the last few days of teaching and then we are all heading up to Seattle for a week to visit my family and for a big wedding - one of three weddings I am attending in August, in various parts of North America. Then in September I'm heading to Denmark for a week of teaching at The Animation Workshop and then a week later I head out to SPX. Things will hopefully start calming down a bit in October...
All of these things are amazing and I am so lucky and privileged to get to work for these great programs, and to travel to all these incredible places, but it is also pretty stressful being away from home (and from Claire and especially from Suzanne) so much this summer. It's crazy that we just bought this house and I'll only get to be in it for a few hours before I take off for a whole month.
All of this is to say I might not update this blog for a while, because I'm going to be pretty busy this summer! I'm active on Twitter and blogging each week for my Isle of Elsi Patrons if you need some more Longstreth in your life. And if any friends are reading this and will be passing through Santa Fe any time soon - drop me a line! It looks like I'm going to be here for a while. :)