Saturday, March 22, 2008

Limited Engagement - One Night Only!

So you all know how much I love circus posters, and circus wagons, and the circus museum in Baraboo, right? (Mind you, I don't actually like circuses themselves, at least not the modern version of them--but that's a paradox for another day.) Anyway, check out this beaut of an original half-sheet poster I bought at the antique advertising show last weekend! Dates from 1938, I'm fairly sure--after Sells-Floto was bought out by Ringling Bros but before the Ringlings had completely absorbed them and discarded the Sells name. The "Portage" is Portage, Wisconsin. The rip in the corner is the only reason I was able to afford it at all... and it still wasn't cheap. But no buyer's remorse here, I love it.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

My Checkered Past

We have a new employee at work. She and I are getting along quite well, she responds effectively to my sarcastic and abusive tendencies with same. But the other day I said something about my teaching job, and she said (essentially) "WTF?!?! How many jobs have you HAD? You talk about working in retail, working for a game company, going to grad school, blah blah blah--how many career changes can one person have?" How many, indeed. I realized I had no idea how many different jobs I'd had, so I thought I'd count it out.

Game store clerk/manager/ubermanager - 1987-1996, 1998-2002.
Campus Patrol - 1989.
Costume seamstress - 1989-1992.
Comic Book envelope stuffer - 1988-89. (thanks for the reminder, noz)
Apprentice Personal Property Appraiser - 1993.
Freelance set construction and run crew work, various local theaters - 1992-1996.
Grad school - 1996-1998, 2003-2006.
Pet store clerk - 1998.
Teaching assistant, World History 105/6 - 1996-97.
Research Assistant - 1997-98.
University office assistant - 2003-2005.
Seasonal gardener at the zoo - 2004, 2005.
Animal care volunteer at the zoo - 2003-2007.
Game company sales director - 2004-2007.
Teaching assistant, Art History 101/102 - 2005-2007.
Adjunct professor, art appreciation - 2006-2007.
Web page content developer - 2006-2007.
Contract worker, various local museums - 2004-2007.
Miniature painting artist - 2004-present (though I really started informally back in 1988 or so.)
Museum exhibit developer - 2007-present.

My god, is that really everything? Seems short, somehow.... How many varied jobs have you had?

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Back to Normal

Well, my finger is, anyway. I seem to have not done any permanent damage, as usual... But otherwise, not a lot to report. I'd like to do one of my long ranting posts on why I hate DST today, just to celebrate the joy of having to suffer several weeks of painful internal clock adjustment; but out of consideration for my readers, such as they are, I'm instead doing another webcomic post. This week's bundle of joy is "How to be Happy," by Shannon Wheeler. I met Shannon at Comic Con this summer, and he's a fabulous guy, very friendly and enthusiastic--about his own comics, but also the topic of comics and comic books in general. He made me wish our upcoming exhibit weren't limited to comic books, I'd have loved to get him involved. Maybe the next time around.

As usual, you can click to view it big. Shannon's mainly known for his cult-status comic character, Too Much Coffee Man; but "How to be Happy" mostly centers on a guy, his cat, and the occasional giant space squid. I love his art. I love the very simple, very expressive black linework. The cat in panel 2 is awesome, with only a few lines and dots we have a very earnest expression as the cat peers down at his owner--"You awake? Hello?" The cat flying out the door in panel 6, with his little stick legs crossed as he flails (just as my cats do in this exact situation)--and then the completely unexpected punchline. Perfect. One of my complaints with some webcomics is the failure to understand timing between panels--building up to a good solid punchline isn't easy, after all. Standup comedians have trouble with this concept all the time, it's not surprising some cartoonists do too. But "How to be Happy" consistantly delivers, whether he's doing a serial plot or a one-off. Even when he's doing a "god, I have writer's block" comic, the art never fails to charm me. So this is another one I strongly recommend checking out, if you're up for another webcomic in your life.