I’ve been down with a sinus infection or some such for the last four days (It’s December 10, 2023 as I write this). It’s not the worst thing in the word but it has meant that I’ve gotten nothing done. I’ve sat in my chair the whole time, reading, watching TV, or watching YouTube videos. I’d guess the last time I haven’t gotten any artwork done for four days, not even a quick sketch, was the last time I was sick. I don’t get sick terribly often but I do remember last year (2022) I had to miss Thanksgiving because of a sinus thing. I didn’t get anything done then either.

One to the things that I read was Frank Miller’s “Sin City” volume one. I hadn’t read it in a long time but it’s always stuck with me. After reading and enjoying in this time around I came to the conclusion that it’s my favorite comic by Frank Miller. It’s a wonderful piece of pulp writing and drawing. I don’t remember liking any of the other volumes as much as I like this one but I’ll have to reread them sometime.

“Sin City” is in black and white. That’s how it was meant to be and Frank Miller clearly designed it with that in mind. Yet, as I read it I wondered how it would look in color. It’s pretty close to perfect in black and white as it’s a noir story and there is no real reason to color it except as an art exorcise but I’d like to see some colorists take a shot at it. Just for fun. For my amusement.

I didn’t exactly read it, since it’s an art book, but looked through the new Michael Golden “Artist Edition.” That’s one of the series of books that presents original comic book art at full size (11×17 inches). They scan the pages in full color and print it in full color even though the art is in black and white so we can see exactly what the original art looks like in real life. We can see white out corrections, notes on the side, and whatever else happens to be there. It’s fun to look at the page that way.

Besides being a terrific artists Michael Golden was Marvel Comic’s Art Director back in the late 1990s so I got to work with him. He is a nice guy and it was fun to get to talk with him about art all the time. So not only did I get to look through pages of his art that he drew for Marvel but I got to remember him as a person too.

I also finished reading a Livia Lone novel by Barry Eisler. It was the third one. I started it on my train rides on Tuesday and Wednesday and then finished it over the next couple of days as I sat in my chair. I read it digitally on my iPad. Though I prefer to read all my comics on paper I like to read books digitally. Not that I would mind reading them on paper but I’ve got enough comics and books in my collection that I don’t need any extra novels about the place. Novels are mostly one time reads for me. No need to keep them.

It was a good book. I’ve come to enjoy Eisler’s thrillers over the last few years. This one is about a Seattle sex crime detective who gets involved in a big case against powerful people. Luckily she’s got friends and contacts that are pretty good “Operators.” It’s spy versus spy stuff.

One of the TV shows that I watched was “Foundation” season two. It’s based on the Issac Asimov books and I find it confusing and nonsensical at times but I do enjoy it. I think the reason it rubs me the wrong way sometimes is that I’m tired of stories based on prophecy. In this one the prophecy is math based rather than religious but in the end it’s the same thing. When a plot revives around prophecy people don’t have to do things because the things are logical. Instead they do things because the prophecy tells them to do them. It’s a plot short cut that I grew tired of a long time ago.

Coincidentally I watched season one of “Foundation” last year when I was down with a sinus thing. Maybe it’s a show I appreciate more when my head is scrambled.

I also started my yearly watching of an old 1997 MTV sitcom called “Austin Stories.” It’s only 12 episodes that are about 23 minutes long so it’s not a big commitment. I watch it every December. I’ve been doing that since I first saw them on MTV in 1997. I watched them a couple other times over the years during the summer so this may be my thirtieth time watching them.

The show is about three twenty-somethings living in Austin Texas. It’s a “Show about nothing” in the short-lived “Seinfeld” tradition (it’s the tradition that was short-lived. Not “Seinfeld”). I enjoy them and it makes me feel a little nostalgic for days gone by. https://www.austinmonthly.com/an-oral-history-of-mtvs-austin-stories/

I also started watching a show called “The Night Agent.” It’s a show about an FBI guy and a regular woman caught up in a conspiracy. I’m a few episodes in and I’m enjoying it.

Here is the weirdest thing I’ve done while I’ve been trying to get better by sitting in this chair. I bought some Funko Pops off of Amazon. Those are vinyl toys with about five inches tall with big heads and small bodies. There are a million of them. Every TV, comic book, and movie character has one made of them. I generally have no interest in them but these ones were cheap.

I think Pops usually go for between $12-$15 but these random ones were between $3-$4 a piece. Plus I had about $12 worth of credit with Amazon. I like to spent my credit on things I wouldn’t usually buy for myself. So I started looking up how to paint custom Pops. You strip the paint off with acetone (I got that), prime them (I can get primer), and then paint them. I’ve got tons of paint. Then I got a flash of an idea (I saw them in my head) to paint the Pops like monsters. I want to paint them like my black and white “On the Rough” monster drawings.

I won’t be able to get to messing around with the Pops until January or so but I ordered five different ones. They cost me $3.80 total so it’s not much of a money risk. I’ll let you know if anything becomes of them. Or doesn’t become of them. That might be more likely.