I woke up to the sound of a portable radio blasting static and “American Pie” at top volume just outside my studio window. I peeked through the blinds to see one of the neighborhood bums setting up camp on my front porch. He’d laid a lawn-furniture mattress out, stacked a few boxes around the mattress, and was positioning the radio so that it faced directly into my apartment. I took a shower, hoping the situation would somehow resolve itself. When I returned, the radio was even louder and I was afforded a view of the guy pissing into a Big Gulp cup. I had to get some work done, but the noise was so distracting that I had to so something about it. Never one for confrontation, I decided to call the police. An officer soon arrived and politely asked the man to move on. He mumbled angrily to himself as he packed his belongings back into his shopping cart and headed down the driveway.
Most of the day was spent out of the house. I met my girlfriend and some visiting relatives of hers for a late breakfast at the Claremont Hotel. Later I attended a birthday dinner for my grandfather in Alameda. He seems depressed since his wife died, and when I wished him happy birthday, he replied, “Well, not so happy …” Homemade Japanese food and hot sake seemed to improve his mood a bit.
Drove down to the art supply store to buy paper (Strathmore 400 series, 4-ply) and new Rapidograph pens. Individually these pens cost around $15, yet a set of seven sells for $34.95. This is one of the few, inexplicable bargains in the art-supply business.
Producing an issue of my comic book is a slow, arduous process, and right now I’m a little more than halfway done with Issue 7. Last night I spent more than an hour tinkering with one line of dialogue. I tried five or six different variations, finally settling on the simplest and shortest: “What the hell’s your problem?” Brilliant, huh? I’m just starting to draw Page 21. At best I’ll have time to rule out the panel borders and maybe start lettering.
I’ve heard several cartoonists say that if they don’t draw every day, they start to feel totally worthless and depressed. For me, it’s not so much the need to simply draw; I have to feel like I’m making some progress on the comic. It just takes so long, it seems like I’ll never finish. I feel horrible that I’ve done so little work today.
I have just a little more time to work now, then I’ll go pick up my girlfriend from her waitressing job.