On Vacation/Process Post
I was on vacation last week, so I don’t really have much in the way of comics news for this week. My apologies! While on vacation, I tried to get some work done, mostly sketching, but also some penciling and inking in my sketchbook, trying to keep my hand moving. I didn’t really work on anything of substance, comics-wise, I’m kind of at a point with my current work-in-progress that some time away from it would do it some good.
Here are some pictures: some of my materials, sketches, and some tracing/drawthrough exercises I did in my sketchbook.
What else? I finished Joan Didion’s Miami, about U.S./Cuba in the 1980’s:
Many Havana epilogues have been played in Florida, and some prologues. Florida is that part of the Cuban stage where declamatory exits are made, and side deals. Florida is where the chorus waits to comment on the action, and sometimes to join it. The exiled José Martí raised money among the Cuban tobacco workers in Key West and Tampa, and in 1894 attempted to mount an invasionary expedition from north of Jacksonville. The exiled Fidel Castro Ruz came to Miami in 1955 for money to take the 26 Julio into the Sierra Maestra, and got it, from Carlos Prío. Fulgencio Batista had himself come back from Florida to take Havana away from Carlos Prío in 1952, but by 1958 Fidel Castro, with Carlos Prío’s money, was taking it away from Fulgencio Batista, at which turn Carlos Prío’s former prime minister tried to land a third force in Camagüey Province, the idea being to seize the moment from Fidel Castro, a notably failed undertaking encouraged by the Central Intelligence Agency and financed by Carlos Prío, at home in Miami Beach.
And I read Tree of Smoke, Denis Johnson’s novel about psychological operations and the Vietnam War:
The nights were wild with stars, otherwise empty and cold. For warmth he kept fifty-five-gallon drums full of diesel-soaked sand burning around the place. He made a circuit among the maze of conveyor belts under gargantuan crushers and was never done. The next evening the same belts, the same motions, even some of the same pebbles and rocks, it stood to reason, and the same cold take-out burger for lunch at the dusty table in the manager’s trailer at 2:00 a.m.; washing his hands and face first in the narrow john, his thick neck brown as a bear’s, sucking water up his nostrils and expelling the dust in liverish clumps. Not long after his lunch the roosters alone on neighboring small farms began to scream like humans, and just before six the sun arrived and turned the surrounding aluminum rooftops to torches, and then at six-thirty, while Houston punched out, the drivers came, and they lined their trucks nose-to-ass and one after another drove beneath the largest hopper of all to wait, shaken by their machines, while wet concrete cascaded down the chute into each tanker before they went out to pour the foundations of a city.
OK, thanks for reading. I’ll return to regularly-scheduled news posting next week.
Vision Box – 8-14-18 – by Cameron Arthur
Cement Mixer – 8-14-18 – by Caleb Orecchio