I'm now a very happily married man!
This is me with my new wife, Emily, shortly after the proceedings.
PS will resume sometime next week when I'm back from my honeymoon. ;)
March 1st, 2008 – Come Saturday, Emily and I will be packed up and off east to Boston.
I've loved my time in Chicago, and I'll always love this city. However, it's time for new horizons, and it seems that Boston will be a fine place to explore them.
Don't worry, though, PS isn't going anywhere. The comic will return on May 6th, and I hope to make it well worth your wait.
Thanks again for your patience, and I'll see you in May!
Behold! My New Studio!
April 22nd, 2008 – Well, folks, the time is at hand. We're all properly moved into the new apartment, and I'm ready to get back to work on the comic in earnest. As I said before leaving Chicago, expect new pages of the comic in two weeks on May 6th. However, in the meantime I give you a glimpse of my inner sanctum, where all that creatin' gets done:
Here's the main drawing desk. Note lightbox on left and laptop on right. The big cabinet on the far wall to the left is my flat file, where all my finished artwork is stored. Yeah, that bookcase on the right is filled entirely with comics and graphic novels, and there's more in the hallway. On the far left is a table for the paper cutter and to serve the purpose of collecting all the various paper and books that find their way into the room. By the way, the drawing and computer desks, and the flat file were hand-built out of oak by my father. I'm very lucky. He does amazing work!
To the right is my computer setup: Mac Pro with Wacom tablet, scanner, and a sweet, new 24" flatscreen (had two CRTs up until yesterday, actually.) Off to the left is the printer stand with a B&W laser printer, photo inkjet, and an old, creaky large format printer on the bottom. The beige box under the desk is an old Compaq Pentium II which acts as a print server. Also note the TV in the corner. This is a new (or rather revived) luxury that I've not enjoyed in the past few apartments I've been in. Hopefully this means catching up on some TV & movies I've missed out on over the past half dozen years while I actually work. (No, really!) Also included, but not shown, is a very old stereo system for listening to said video entertainment, but mostly just for listening to NPR (which is on all day). There are also two closets in the room: a small one behind the desk for office supplies, and a big one near the table for all the boxes of unsold books and various other convention materials.
All in all, it's a pretty sweet pad. You can see more pictures here.
Anyway, PS will resume back on schedule in two weeks! Catch you then!
(Sorry for the interruption in the story, but today is too important a day for me to ignore. This week’s PS page will run tomorrow, Wednesday Nov. 5th.)
ELECTION DAY 2008
Today, I am proud to cast my vote for Barack Obama. For many out there, he is a new face, and many have voiced their misgivings that one so young and inexperienced could possibly lead our country out of these dark times. However, to me, he is not an unknown. I first learned of this man nearly five years ago when I lived in Chicago, when he was first running to be the Democratic nominee for Senator for Illinois. I learned of his unique ability to reach out to people on opposite sides and get them to work together, in one case to pass a piece of legislation I felt was very important -- the videotaping of confessions by the police. I was proud to cast my vote for him in that primary on a cold February day over four years ago. After watching him address the entire nation at the Democratic convention that summer, I was even prouder to do it again that November to put him into the U.S. Senate. Never before have I so strongly resonated with a candidate; he speaks for our generation and our vision of what the world can be.
There has been much said about how this could be the most important election our lifetime. So much is as stake: our economy is in shambles, we are mired in war, and our reputation around the world is in the worst shape it’s been in a generation. However, despite these setbacks, I still have hope for our great nation. We may have let politics divide us, but I believe we can still work together to put things right. And I believe Barack Obama is the man we need in these times to help us do that.
Please do your part, too: Go out today and VOTE!
HAPPY HOLIDAYS 2008!
"Yay! I always wanted a puppy!"
Happy holidays to you and yours! I hope you have a joyful and restful season. 2008 has been an exciting but tumultuous year. Here's hoping that 2009 will see better things for all of us.
I'll be taking next week off, but Paradigm Shift will return to regularly scheduled updates the Tuesday after New Year's (Jan. 6th).
ACEN 2009 Report:
"Kino on the James Bay Road"
This past weekend, I travelled back to Chicago once more for this year's Anime Central . After spending the better part of April and the beginning of May working 10-hour days remodelling our new house, I wasn't sure if leaving for four and half days to do a con was a wise move, especially since we hadn't even moved in, yet! However, despite being a tad on the exhausted side and not having the next PS book out yet, I had a great time.
The con started with the usual drill: getting Artist's Alley up and running. Since 2005, I've worked as a staffer to help get artists checked into the 'Alley in exchange for a full-sized table. Partly this is because they've been chronically understaffed, but also because I've come to know so many who come to exhibit to the show and it's my instinct to try to make sure everyone is taken care of properly. While on duty as a staffer, I partnered with my old friend and assistant Dan. As usual Thursday and especially Friday morning provided their fair share of check-in chaos, but it was handled and I was released of my duties and at my table by 11:30 that morning.
Aside from being in Artist's Alley the majority of the time, as per usual, I spent all my free hours catching up with old friends from Chicago and the surrounds that I hadn't seen in nearly a year. This was my buddy Paul Sizer's first ACEN, and he rocked his debut by selling out of his Little White Mouseomnibus on Saturday afternoon. Way to go, Paul! Also, Madison Wisconsin's own Studio Anti-Thesiswas there debuting a host of new material, including a new completed print collection of "Tabloid Roulette" from Stacie Arellano and Kim Smuga. I also picked up a copy of Meredith Dillman's new graphic novel, "Tempest of the Soul". I've long admired Meredith's beautiful artwork, and I was delighted to see she'd finally made a print collection.
My days had me peddling my wares next to long-time comrades Jen Brazas and Brion Foulke. Spending so many hours behind the table offers ample opportunity to see the multitude of costumes I've come to expect from a quality anime con, such as this Totoro (a first for me after all these long years!)
Here are my friends Pete and Allie sporting some impressive dragon costumes:
I also knocked out a few commissions, too, such the above piece depicting the title character from "Kino's Journey" on a remote road in northern Quebec, and a slightly more risque number as well.
Hey there, folks! I know I promised you an update this week, and I apologize for the tardiness of this report. As you may have read already, Emily and I bought our first house at the end of March. However, what I didn’t tell you was that I haven’t drawn a single new page of PS for nearly a month, because we’ve just spent the past six weeks remodeling our new home (also a first!)
In the beginning all we really wanted to do was paint a few rooms, and put down a new floating hardwood floor in the living room as our Real Big Project™. As it turned out we had to completely gut one room, and drywall two more. While we were playing around in the walls, we also rewired a couple of circuits, ran phone and TV cable into the rooms upstairs, and blew insulation into the exterior walls. And we did manage to install the new flooring in the living room, and used some of the leftover carpet upstairs. At least we had help. My fabulous parents trekked all the way from St. Louis to help us for a good solid two weeks.
Just to give you an idea of how much work we’ve been doing, here’s a quick look at what we had to do in my Studio alone:
1.) Tear down the 5+ layers of wallpaper (with a little help from our friends).
2.) Discover the underlying plaster is unpaintable!
3.) Pull up the carpet.
4.) Blow insulation into the walls.
5.) Hang new drywall over the whole mess, baseboards and all, and tape the joints.
6.) SAND YOUR BRAINS OUT!!!* (x3)
7.) Prime and paint the walls.
8.) Install new baseboards
9.) Go to ACEN.
10.) Have carpet guys reinstall the carpet.
11.) Finally, MOVE IN!
And that wasn’t even the hard room.
*Seriously, I thought my arms were going to fall off for about a week.
Lord, I should do a comic about this.
Thankfully, the paint is now dry. The trim and carpet has been reinstalled, and we finally moved in at around midnight last Thursday. I must say I’m very relieved not to be pulling ten hour days anymore hanging and sanding drywall! We’re still not done. The guest/storage room ceiling needs to be finished, and there’s a few things upstairs that still need to be painted. Not to mention putting up the crown molding to hide the ugly seam between the top of the walls and the ceiling. And I need to reinstall some trim. And the kitchen needs a new paintjob, AND... You get the idea. But that stuff can wait. It’s time to get back to my actual job, y’know, making comics?
I’ve spent the past few days getting the studio back up and running. We still don’t have a proper internet connection, and probably won’t before next week. So, I’m still at the mercy of some sainted neighbor’s wireless connection until the DSL gets turned back on. (Bless you, whoever you are.)
As usual, this is all taking longer than I’d hoped. I’ve got Anime Boston starting tomorrow and through the weekend. After that I’ll have a couple of days in the studio before we head off to the west coast for my best friend (and best man)’s wedding next weekend. With all that, chances are there if I did get a new page completed for you next week, it would be late. Thus, I’m pushing back PS’s return until June 2nd, if only to save my sanity. My apologies, but I promise you it will be worth the wait.
Original Paradigm Shift art and story Copyright 2001-2005 Dirk I. Tiede