Almost three years ago I had a cataclysmic computer failure in which I lost a great number of my files. I thought I was protected because of my Windows back-up system… but that was not backing up. The only part of the loss that really bothered me was the loss of so many scans of artwork. Most of these images were organized into folders which gave the name of the project, the notes from the work, scans of the pencil sketches, scans of the artwork and then the final scans ready for layout — so there was a lot of info in there. I liked being able to look back over previous projects and being able to see what I did… sometimes using these files as reference to new work. In many cases I no longer own the original, so a good quality scan is all I have left. I tried a few recovery solutions and got some of it back but nothing was really satisfactory, so I set the hard drive aside.
Recently I tried Data Rescue for the second or third time and I was amazed at how much I got back. Perhaps the trick is to run scans several times. My folder system is completely fucked up… I am currently spending a lot of time digging through the folders of recovered materials that the recovery program generated to find my pictures and in most cases I’ll probably never be able to match all images with the publications they appeared in, but it’s a better solution than any of the others I have tried. Currently I am spending an hour or so a night digging through the folder and trying to find all of the files I want to keep. It’s a time consuming process, but it’s not really something I cna figure out how to automate.
I continue to work on my writing as time allows. I’ve always been interested in editorial non fiction in the style of Lester Bangs, Greil Marcus, Twain, etc. I doubt I have even a drop of the talent or vision it would take to write such work ‘for real,’ but I like to try my hand at writing in order to explore my thoughts on a given subject. I think I do this instead of writing a journal. In any case, I’ve discovered that I need to write one draft, save it and then go through and snip out all the occurances of ‘in my opinion…’ and ‘I assume’ and ‘I thought…’ and other apologetic sounding phrases. What is it about me that makes me want to apologize so much?
I like to see ‘work in progress’ from other people so try to remember to post some of my own. This is about 1/2 done, what you see so far was drawn with a fine tip ‘sharpie’ magic marker on a large (11×14) sketchbook. The paper of the sketchbook is a little too thin for my taste but maybe I just need to get used to it. I haven’t decided if this big guy is made of vines or wood or veins or some other substance — this is just one of those ‘figure it out as I go along’ drawings. Unfortunately, as I was scanning this, my scanner made a horrible noise and I had to unplug it. Hopefully when I plug it back in, the scanner will decide that it is OK and go back to working.
I’ve been reading some books by Jon Ronson and listening to audiobooks like ‘The Men Who Stare at Goats’ on my long daily commute — hearing about weird military experiments in the supernatural is oddly calming when you are stuck in traffic. I recently heard that one of the books I enjoyed, ‘The Psychopath Test,’ was being made into a film. Although several of Ronson’s books have already been made into films (Frank and The Men who Stare at Goats), I haven’t seen any of them (even though they sound like movies I would enjoy). From what I know from the internet, these films are fictions based on the non-fiction sources… if you are unfamiliar with Ronson’s books, he writes in a ‘gonzo journalist’ manner which has been compared to Hunter S. Thompson. For ‘Goats,’ Ronson became interested in various projects carried out by the US Military to employ paranormal techniques and new age philosophy over thirty or forty years. The title refers to a man who claimed that he killed a goat in an experiment by staring at it while employed by US Special Forces. It’s a strange and often hilarious (and tragic) book that both amused and depressed me. As far as I can tell, Ronson’s technique is to interview absolutely everyone he can get to talk to him who might be connected to a subject he is interested in and then reports the results of these conversations with humorous, self-depreciating asides and frequent references to his personal life that create the impression that he considers himself to be an unreliable narrator.
The Psychopath Test (the book) deals with Ronson’s investigation of psychopathy — what it is, how it is diagnosed and defined and how people deal with it (either as those who are accused of being psychopaths or those who claim to be victims of it). One of my favorite interviews from the book was read by Ronson on ‘This American Life’ (the audio is here). I have no clue how the book will translate into a narrative.
Fletcher Hanks reveals the machinations of The Bilderburg Group!
I’ve been looking at some old Basil Wolverton sci-fi comics lately… which helped serve as inspiration in this case… although I think Wolverton would have turned the weird up to 12 and beyond and I’m not even hitting 3. I can always endeavor to do better I guess.
I was originally going to call this “Mutual Admiration Society” but when I was drawing it I wrote “Mutual Benefit” instead. I don’t ask for these ideas; they just come to me.
Funny and true story: I was drawing this and Annie walked into the room and looked over my shoulder at the drawing. She said, “Ugh!” Then she asked, “Is that for (name of client redacted)?”
Me: “No.” (Laugh) “I can’t imagine (name of client redacted) paying me to draw this.”
Annie: “I can’t imagine anyone paying you to draw that.”
I could almost hear the ‘bu-dump-bump-tish.’