Sorry for the short notice, but if you live in my general area (Philadelphia and its immediate environs) and are curious to see me in person, I’ve been invited to read at Rosemont College on Tuesday, February 21, at 7:30 PM in their Main Building. I’m on the bill with four other readers, and we’ll be reading for about ten minutes each. I’ll probably read a short passage from Wonder Mom and also something from The Grievers. Time permitting, I’ll take requests.
If you can’t make it to the reading, I also have a dental appointment in the morning that you might want to sit in on. A dental hygienist will be on hand to answer any and all questions you might have about my teeth, and if you ask nicely, she might even let you scrape away at some of my plaque and tartar. For technical reasons involving gloved hands doing unspeakable things inside my mouth, however, I probably won’t be doing any reading at this event.
Every now and then I think about how cool it would be to write and draw comic books for a living or to do an ongoing online comic series like Terry LaBan’s Muktuk Wolfsbreath:Hardboiled Shaman, Jeffrey Wells and Shaenon Garrity’s Skin Horse, or G. Martinez Cabrera’s Ostenspieler and the Book of Faces. But then I spend a whole day working on something simple like the following one-page strip, McWidgie and Friends, and realize how much work a full-blown comic book would entail!
I actually tried to make McWidgie and Friends available through an online print service, but they sent me an email shortly thereafter stating that the strip violated copyright and trademark laws because of the resemblance of its characters to a pair of well-known hamburger hucksters — and so they took the comic offline. Personally, I have to say that I have no idea what they’re talking about, so I’ll have to let you be the judge…
Okay, so maybe there’s a passing resemblance between my characters and a couple of others you may have seen on television. And, sure, maybe I think it would be really funny in a mischievous-but-not-entirely-destructive Project Mayhem sort of way if people everywhere downloaded this image, had it printed on post cards, and started handing it out at various fast food locations throughout the world. But that doesn’t mean I advocate breaking copyright law. Just bending it a little.