Sunday, May 13, 2007

Today's Homework

Everyone gets cornered at family and friends gatherings and subjected to jokes but when someone finds out what I do for a living all of a sudden it becomes The Last Comic Standing.

But I do enjoy the occassional one word joke and it's usually bearable enough to get through. None of this, "So a rabbi, a foot-massanger and a penguin go into a bar" stuff. No, the one word joke gets straight to the punch. The good people of The Trinidadian Ministry of Computers tell a good one word joke with the help of visual aids. All you need to do is type in the word sauerkraut.

The only other one word jokes I know is apparatus and (the much less funny) hibachi (as in, My ass feels like a hibachi.). Yak is not a one word joke.

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Friday, May 4, 2007

Lawyers, Accountants and Everyone Else

This new post is in response to a comment left on the last;

That's exactly right. The expenses are mine to pay for, which have amounted to about $8,000 if you include photo rights. My publisher has a legal department that's even hard to reach by phone nevermind addressing some of the problems I faced (for a newcomer, no less).

Thank you, cartoonist Mike Lynch, for sending me your link to your post on Will Eisner. Of course your blog I visit regularly (as I continue to learn how to be a gag cartoonist). That snowwoman was pretty interesting!

Will Eisner, of course, is the godfather of graphic novels, and as his website states "before Crumb, before American Splendor." (I have been working on another book in secret on the side, a graphic novel called The Sea Below Us, a comedy about the horrors of Arctic exploration in the 18th century which at the same time tells the story of global warming today. When I started that project 6 years ago I referred to the books by Will Eisner as a standard and tried to digest his ways and learn from it.)

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Tuesday, May 1, 2007

All Things Must Pass...Legal

The past two weeks have been spent obtaining permission rights to the over twenty quotes used in my book (The History of the Snowman). I've heard from alot of interesting people like the renown P. K. Page, who graciously helped and granted me permission to use her snowman poem. "The book sounds fascinating," the 91 yr-old Canadian poet wrote me in an e-mail, a common sentiment I got from people...unless they were dead. That includes the following group, made up of some of the world's most important writers: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Dylan Thomas, Kenneth Koch, Wallace Stevens, George Santayana, and Michael Gold. I didn't receive any e-mails from them but I have already received clearance through their family and/or publisher.

The costs? One publisher wanted $50 for a two-line excerpt from their book. Everyone wanted free copies. One family estate wanted a trade; a quote for an original drawing of mine of their famous relative.

I'm awaiting response from Jack Handey (Deep Thoughts, Saturday Night Live) and George Harrison's widow and estate. Even to use one lyric from Harrison's Here Comes the Sun requires a contract. All things must pass legal.

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