So close, but no comic this week

I’m like 95% done with Ep. 73, but I didn’t quite make the deadline.

Super fiery thanks

Thanks for the positive, happy comments that you folks have been leaving in the comments. I think I’d be doing this even if there were only crickets in the audience, but a few nice comments provides that extra wonder-turbo that gets my butt back in front of the Wacom tablet.

Thanks.

The cold and a couple of digressions

I managed to wrangle enough time out of the house to go downtown in person for a couple of client meetings on Friday and Monday.

I got to ride the train, which I like to do. Something about letting someone else do the driving that is very appealing to me. And it was during off hours, so I didn’t have to stand the whole trip. Not that the hard seats are the epitomy of comfort, but they’re better than standing and lurching all over.

But because of the cold on either day, I was unable (unwilling) to do the walking of 5 or 7 blocks from the Metrodome train station in order to hit a couple of favorite stops.

The Loft

Typically when I make a trip downtown, I like to stop by the Loft, which is a nice coffee shop on Washington (and literary community center type of place) with free wi-fi and a warehouse-districty sort of atmosphere. It’s a great place.

A few years back, I took a bunch of writing classes there. Met some very cool people who had similar interests, started a sporadic (and now defunct) writers group, and I’m still friends with a few of them.

I took a beginning fiction writer class, and the students ranged from people like me who have some experience writing, to bored housewives looking to start a hobby, to businessmen who are looking for escape, to young hipster kids. A great cross-section of eyes to look at the stuff you create.

The instructors are local writers, and they’re hit and miss. My favorite, Jeremy, was a Minneapolis firefighter, ex-8th grade English teacher, and a published writer. Great guy with interesting stories and a fun sense of humor. Very supportive, but not condescending nor too lavish with his praise.

For anyone who’s moderately interested in writing, and would like to take a writing class, but don’t want the hassle of grades and such, check out the classes that they offer.

For anyone who needs a little extra motivation in order to do some writing, you typically have to write two pieces to share over the course of a 12-week class. So it’s a little bit of a kick in the butt. A welcome one.

And for those who need a little competition to get the fire burning, you’ll be reading other students’ work, so you can get the “this stinks, I can write better than this. I WILL write better than this” mojo working for you.

It’s even a great experience for bored people who just want somewhere interesting to go on a Tuesday night. 6-week classes are about $175 and 12-week classes are $350.

It looks like we’re a couple months late for the winter classes, but keep an eye on their site for the next session.

www.loft.org

Big Brain Comics

And just a few doors down from the Loft is Big Brain Comics. My favorite comic shop. I discovered it while working in DT Mpls circa 2002. I’d wander over during my lunch break, as my building was only 2 or 3 blocks away, and pick up my weekly stack.

Wednesdays were always my favorite day at work. Instead of surfing between support calls, I’d read my comics. (both activites were frowned upon by managment, however).

It’s now in a new location, and the move made my trips there less frequent, but the new space is much better. Lots more room, better organization, and that makes up for the inconvenience. But I still hardly ever get there anymore.

I used to work at the now-extinct Shinders as the comic book guy in the Maplewood store for a couple years (also the porn guy, but that’s another, disturbing and unpleasant story), and I know and have even employed the attitude that my Simpsons namesake exudes. That attitude has been non-existant in every visit to Big Brain. So newbies and the uninitiated are safe asking questions there.

www.citypages.com—bestof2705.asp

What I’m reading…

The Umbrella Acadamy200802230840.jpg

I just started this 6-issue series, and I’m intrigued. It’s an odd combination of the powerpuff girls and Edward Gorrey. A batch of spontaniously generated children with super-powers are adopted by a professor, and they are trained as a superhero team. The art and atmosphere have that gothic, adams-family sort of feel of Gorrey’s artwork.

Written by Gerard Way and drawn by Gabriel Ba.

Check out an Umbrella Acadamy Preview @ Darkhorse.com

What I’m watching…

Colbert Report and The Daily Show

Now that the writers are back, it’s been a pleasure to watch these shows again. Stewart just wasn’t the same without his staff. Colbert fared better, but that’s likely because he’s got that obnoxious character ingrained so deep that he probably annoys his wife and children with his exclamations.

Battlestar Galactica: Razor

I’m a big fan of this series. And I just caught this 2-hour movie, and it continued the goodness. If you don’t watch this series, you should.

I’m saddened by the news that it’s going to end after the 4th season.