Friday, July 31, 2009

+Angst Over Easy (Guest Comic by Erik Jagger)+

And to cap off the week of guest comics is Erik Jagger.

For those of you who don't know him, Erik Jagger is an amazing artist that tried his hand at webcomics--and puts most of us to shame. His comic, Agonizing Trifiles, promises to be one of the cooler comics on the web. And even if that doesn't tickle your fancy, Erik has animations and many other pieces of art at his site. Be sure to check them both out and drop him a line. He's a nice guy that would probably like to hear from you.

Thanks for partaking of the guest comics this week. I hope you enjoyed them as much as I did. There is some awesome stuff out there produced by truly amazing--and friendly--people, and I'm sure any and all would love to be told as much. See you back on Monday.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

+Mis-tele-communication (Guest Comic by Matt Stout)+

Matt Stout, writer/artist of Big Sandy Gilmore, adds his take to Gibberish. I did a guest comic for him awhile back, and he was gracious enough to do the same for me. Be sure to check out his comic and follow the antics of Raul, Dan, Russell, and Big Sandy himself. It makes for good, clean, family fun, and--as everyone does--Matt would love to hear from you. So check out his site and drop him a line.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

+Evil Dog (Guest Comic by Byron Rempel)+


Today's comes from Byron Rempel, the fantastic artist that produces The Daily Zombie. He's got all sorts of great things to check out there, too. He's got zombies, comics about zombies, and will even do a portrait of YOU as a zombie. So be sure to poke around the site, discover the realms of Rempel, and be enthralled.


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

+Universal Emotions (Guest Comic by Scott Aleric)+

You may remember Scott's earlier comic for Gibberish, but if not here is a new one to etch into them memory banks.

Scott is the talented artist that writes and produces Hell Has Found Me. His comic is more than worth your time--especially if you're into MMORPGs. Check it out and drop him a line, I'm sure he'd appreciate hearing from you.

Monday, July 27, 2009

+Eyes Above (Guest Comic by Aaron Stueve)+

As promised, here is another mighty fine comic from the mind of Aaron Stueve. He both wrote and provided the art for this one, which makes him pretty awesome in my book. If you want to see more of his amazing writing talent, check out his comic book The Legend of Isis from Blue Water Productions.

(On a side note, Stueve has written a graphic novel/literary novel, and I'm working on the artwork. So keep an eye out for our amazing collaboration.)

Saturday, July 25, 2009

+Red Ron (Guest Comic)+

As promised, here is number one of six new comics this week. This one has been brough to us by two individuals, Aaron Stueve (words) and Gregg Paulson (art). Stueve is not only the writer of Blue Water Productions current series, The Legend of Isis, but he also will be guesting a comic all by his lonesome later this week.

Hope you guys enjoyed this, and be sure to check out their other work.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Bring the Ink and Gibberish

Alright, literary peeps. Today is the drop-date for Bring the Ink Issue o, "The Taste of Ink." It will probably be later this afternoon before everything is available, but be sure to check back for an evening filled with prose, poetry, and comics. You won't be disappointed. (There's even an exclusive Gibberish.) Be SURE TO CHECK THIS PLACE OUT, and if you want to be a part of it, BE SURE TO SUBMIT.

In other news, Gibberish turns one year old next week. It's amazing to think that this side-project of mine has been going steady for a year now. Not too many readers still, but I believe that those of you that DO read, do so faithfully. Thank you for supporting me this past year.

And to celebrate in style, Gibberish will be updating EVERY DAY NEXT WEEK, starting on Sunday, July 26, and running until Friday, July 31. Nothing but guest artists, too. They've got some great work lined up for you, including: Aaron Stueve, writer of the on-going Blue Water Comic, The Legend of Isis; Gregg Paulson, a noted comic artist; Erik Jagger of the Agonizing Trifles fame; Matt Stout, who produces Big Sandy Gilmore; Byron Remple, who gives us the Daily Zombie; and guest comic alumni, Scott Aleric from Hell Has Found Me.

So yes, TUNE IN SUNDAY, not Monday, to kick off an awesome week of comics. I'm sure you'll love each of them as much as I did. Have yourself a good week, and I'll see you in August.

Thursday, July 23, 2009


It is important to follow the directions of life.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

I Want to Speak Cat

One of my ten-year-old cats needs medication every other day. It's a steroid that helps with his allergies, but has subsequently made him stronger and stronger until each of the usual pill-giving techniques has failed.

(He's never been the type of cat that we can trick him by giving a pill in cheese or his food or with a treat--he just doesn't eat them then.)

It started with simply sticking him between my legs, popping open his mouth, and stuffing the pill down his gullet. While this worked for quite awhile, his back legs became strong enough for him to slip from my grip and wriggle himself free.

Next, I had to create a cave by straddling him--as if I had confused him for a mighty stallion--then tipping his head back, and giving him his pill. However, his growing strength heightened his wriggling abilities, and he inevitably freed a paw or two, clawed my hand to ribbons, left me bleeding, and him without his pill.

A blanket was used next, wrapping him up tight as a Christmas package, leaving nothing but his head poking out. But by now, after months of giving him these steroids, the things have strengthened even his jaws and--of all things--his tongue. I'd pop the pill into his mouth and it shot back out, like in a cartoon, as if some tiny creature hid in his mouth with a pill gun. My cat had gotten so good at launching these things that I didn't even have time to clamp his mouth shut. And if he wasn't using his tongue, he used his teeth, biting into me whenever I got my fingers too close to his mouth.

I want to be able to just speak in the off-color meows of his own tongue. I want to tell him that this is what helps him feel better. This is what keeps him from tearing out his hair, from looking like a stray. I want to tell this that I'm doing this out of love, because I want what's best for him. But my throat can't echo his sounds, and my anger bubbles, and my frustration broils, and a grab him by the scruff of his neck, wanting to scream and shout to just take the stupid pill.

His mouth stretches when I hold him by the back of his neck, and his lips are parted just enough for me to push the pill between his docile teeth, then close his mouth and tip his head back, holding it shut until he swallows.

And when he walks away, I feel no happiness, no joy at his consuming the very thing that has made him so healthy, so strong. I feel empty, because I have to do this again and again and again and again...

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

+Improving Self Image+

These are sometimes people you should not listen to... especially if you're a Freudian.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Trying to Be Professional

I'm in the midst of finishing up my upcoming lecture (which I hope to be able to chop up and YouTube in a few parts), and this is the type of slide that is going into my PowerPoint. Either I've been working on Gibberish for too long or, perhaps, there is simply something wrong with my brain that I think this is okay to not only be using in a lecture, but also in a lecture that my master's degree is hinged upon.

On the news side of things: Bring the Ink Issue 0 will be dropping on Friday. We've pulled together, on rather short notice actually, some very good prose, poetry, and even a comic or two. (If you happen to be a comic artist and have a short comic--from one panel to ten pages--send it our way, mayhap it'll make the cut into our trial issue. Please send submissions to:, or visit our "Submissions" page on the site.) So, be sure to check it out and give us your thoughts. There'll also be an exclusive Gibberish.

Also, Gibberish will no longer be appearing on Webcomicsnation after this week. This probably doesn't affect most--or any--of you, but it's just a heads up. And there is going to be some big news about Gibberish's birthday coming up next week, so stay tuned.

Finally, there is a good chance I'll be getting a tattoo this week. Not quite 100 percent sure it will happen, but we're at about 80 percent right now. I'll be sure to post a pic if I do.

In the meantime, have a wonderful Monday. Gibberish tomorrow.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Sometimes I Wish I Weren't So Scrawny...

Queue from Bundle on Vimeo. (This is a fun animation done by a wonderful artist whose work you can find over at

I hurt. And not just a little bit either. This is a full body hurt, sore from my shoulders to my ankles. How did this happen, you might ask? Let me--as the great Busta Rhymes would say--Picasso you a picture:

After taking my wife to an hour and a half chiropractor visit, we arrive home, me dropping her off so I can head back to my work day. Alas, when I enter back into the Smith-mobile, it won't start. Nothing. Not a sputter, a gasp, a whine, nothing. Of course, I have parked into our extremely long, one lane driveway, so our other car is now stuck between the house and the now-dead Cavalier.

I get the bright idea of pushing the Cavalier into the street, thinking we can roll it in front of the house, have it parked there, and can figure out what to do with it later. Of course, this is me we're talking about, a skinny guy with little to no muscle, and my wife--who has just returned from the chiropractor.

Long story shorter, we end up getting the car jackknifed in the middle of the street (we live on a bit of a hill and in order to get it into the right place, it needed to be pushed a bit up said hill) and the bumper just waiting to take out our mail box. We must've tried for good fifteen minutes to get this thing moved, until one of our neighbors finally took pity on us, came over and helped us push it into place (amazing what the addition of one able-bodied person can do.)

It's good to have those around us that will lend a helping hand--sometimes it would be nice if it were just a moment sooner. You know, before I almost give myself a hernia.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend, and I'll see you on Monday.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

+Bum Deal+

Brought to you with a little help from my friend, Cale Prindle.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Fanboys, and I Sort of Lied

Last night, my wife, a friend of ours, and I watched Fanboys. It is a surprisingly amusing film with a collective cast of recognizable folks throughout. From as big of names as Seth Rogen and William Shatner, this film has cameos from Star Wars stars, Kevin Smith, Chris McDonald (aka Shooter McGavin), and many more.

While this might not be the comedy of the year, it is much better than expected. I feared that it might be a film for strictly the hardcore Star Wars fanboys, but director Kyle Newman, has made more of any everyman Star Wars nerd film, one for those of us that have seen the episodes 4-6 more times than we care to admit, but feel like George Lucas killed his own franchise with the newer films.

Check this one out if you have 90 minutes to spare, and you like a bit of nerd with your humor.

As for my sort-of lie, I'm referring to the cost of my Gibberish collection that I mentioned back on Monday. I thought it would be around eight bucks, but after some more searching. I found that what I had in mind would be closer to $15.00. SO, in light of this, I think I'm going to pull together both a cheaper collection--still probably around eight bucks--and have a Collector's edition that will run about $15.00. Either of these might be a bit cheaper, but I can't be sure until I really get down into the nitty gritty of it all. Basically the regular edition will probably just be a magazine/comic book style book that will simply collect the comics of this last year. The Collector's Edition will be a small trade paperback that will include commentary on each of the comics over the years, how it came to be, what I was thinking when I drew/wrote it, and--if possible--I'll collect the illustrated story I wrote back towards this blog's beginning. I'll keep you all posted as this develops.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

+Age of Asparagus+

Brought to you by the Sixth Dimension.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Gearing Up

Things are starting to speed up as my final residency and impending graduation are mere days away. I've got my lecture to finish, a webzine to edit, and guest comics for Gibberish to pull together.

I feel like my days have shortened, and they only seem to be getting shorter. I suppose this will be for the better though, as I will have less time to be stressed out about everything--especially as the projects are backing up.

Once I officially have my master's degree in hand though, I'm hoping to get back into my novel, revise it up, and send it back to the agent that is interested in seeing a revision. Also, I'm hoping to start work on a collection of Gibberish. The comic is a mere two weeks from turning one year old--amazing, I know--and I think I now have enough for a collection. Would anyone be interested in owning such a thing? I figure it will probably run about eight bucks for Year One, should be in color, and probably be around 120 pages. Any interest in having such a thing would be invaluable info for me, so please, drop me a line, leave a comment, whatever, just let me know if you'd want such a thing.

In the meantime, I continue to plug away, work on my art, and stress over these final moments of schooling.

Gibberish tomorrow.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs

My wife and I finally had a chance to go see Blue Sky's newest flick. Let me preface this by saying that didn't really like the first Ice Age, and while the second one was a bit better, I wasn't expecting to be wowed by this one either.

And my expectations were met.

This isn't a bad film--in fact, it's probably the most enjoyable of the series--but much of its charm comes from the direction and the technical prowess. Ice Age 3 has some of the most fun camerawork I've seen in an animated film in quite awhile. Granted, many of the shots were--most likely--composed for the sole purpose of 3-D, but they made for some very interesting angles and movements. Granted this isn't something that will drive you all to the movie theatre, but the animation itself just might. (Though I saw this in 2-D, I think it will look even better in a 3-D theatre.)

Really, these animated films are simply becoming jaw-dropping, they're starting to look so good. I think Blue Sky has their textures down pat. The fur on the animals, contrasted by the leathery dinos is simply gorgeous. I don't know if it was much--if any--improvement on last year's Horton Hears a Who (and I'm just talking about looks here, as Horton is MUCH more entertaining), but Ice Age 3 is another tiny step up in the animation ladder.

The best recommendation to this is that if you enjoyed the others, you'll enjoy this one. And if you're like me, and didn't really care for the others, this one is a few ounces better. Granted, it's not going to convert any new fans to the series, but there are a few amusing moments and sequences that--for me--made it worth the admission price.

(On another note: I should be doing another podcast with Drew today, that will add the link to on Monday. It will/should be about our dual hatred from the atrocity that is S. Darko. In the meantime, have a fantastic weekend, and don't forget to submit something to the online journal, Bring the Ink, I'm working on.)

Thursday, July 9, 2009

+Softer Words+

Don't upholstery your mouth. It is a bad idea.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

More Reading Recommendations

As I did last week, I wanted to take some time out to plug one of my latest reads, Dracula by Bram Stoker. Probably all of you have heard of this book, many have seen Francis Ford Coppola's film adaptation, if not the original one starring Bela Legosi, but how many of you have read this thing?

Honestly, I always hesitated over this one, fearing that it would be rather boring--as some of these older stories can often be. This was mainly due to the fact that the book is a rather large one by today's standards--and considering even some of the more recent novels have gotten a few yawns out of me...

I finally broke down the other day and started this thing, and I'm not disappointed in the least. In fact, it is much better than I ever thought it would be. Stoker's sense of atmosphere--especially in the first few chapters--is simply amazing. And the book clips along at a brisk pace, too. As with any book, it drags in places, but overall, I've been thoroughly entertained, and much of this fact is due to Stoker's writing. He really is a gifted author, building his world and suspense, and doing so by having narrator's with different voices--something Ms. Shelly should've learned before writing her Frankenstein.

While I doubt this book is for everyone, if any of you others have been on the fence about reading this, go ahead, take the plunge. It's more than worth your time.

(The above illustration comes from Ben Templesmith.)

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Monday, July 6, 2009

Should Probably Stop

Going to Half Price Books that is. I continue to spend more money than I should, then end up with stacks of books that I might never get to read. Oh well, I do love them booky books, and will continue to buy them regardless.

I did score a nice set of the Eddie Dickens trilogy, and that makes me smile as those books--kiddish as they are--are a good time. Also picked up The Scarlet Pimpernel, which is a book I've been wanting to read for some time.

In other news, I had someone take the time to review Gibberish the other day--and he gave me a fair review too. You can read it here. Then you can spend some more time perusing his other reviews, or take a trip over to his comic.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Happy Early Fourth

Went golfing this morning... my arms want to drop off. I could've sworn that my bag had a shoulder strap, but no. I've now carted my weight in clubs a good mile or so, and I kinda want to die.

To make matters worse, my wonderful city is ousting its normal fireworks show because Larry the Cable Guy is coming to town tomorrow. I don't think it gets much worse than that... be glad that you live in places that, you know, put more importance on celebrating our independent (ha?) nation than a chubby comedian of the redneck variety.

Regardless of how you celebrate it though, be safe, have fun, an I'll see you on Monday.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Books, Glorious Books

As I've taken down my "Currently" snippet--where I showed what I was reading, watching, playing, etc...--I realize that I've neglected to plug any of my current reads. This has been even worse as I've been updating my Goodreads account and just assuming that everyone knows what I've been reading and whether or not it is worth their time. So, I'm going to take a moment to plug two of my current reads: Drown by Junot Diaz, and The Book of the Dun Cow by Walter Wangerin Jr.

Drown is a collection of short stories by the recent Pulitzer Prize winner of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao--a book I can't recommend highly enough. (If you haven't read it--especially if you are into comics and fantasy and nerdy crap--it's one of the best books ever. Even if you aren't into that stuff, I'm sure you will be blown away.) Now having read Diaz's earlier work, I don't think I would've been so floored by Oscar Wao. Right from Diaz's early beginnings, his story-telling and voice are impeccable. Really. He's the kind of writer that is both inspiring and soul-crushing. Inspiring because he shows what a wordsmith can do with a few choice words. Soul-crushing because he makes a fledgling author want to all but give up his attempt at writing because he will never amount to even a fraction of Diaz's talent. It's not fair. Not fair at all. But that being said, it goes to show how much everyone needs to read this man's books. The amount of emotion he can stir up within a person in such a small amount of space... I really hate this guy and his amazing talent. I continue to be in awe of him, and I suggest that you do yourself a favor and buy one, or both, of his books.

The Book of the Dun Cow is a much different read by comparison, but enjoyable nevertheless. While I might not be envious of Wangerin's writing, I'm still jealous of his emotional manipulation. (I need to work on this in my own novel.) He's got me caring about chickens and mice and dogs more than I ever have before. Many have compared this novel to Watership Down and/or Animal Farm, and while I see why they've done so--this is an allegory involving animals--the themes and overall emotion goes in a different direction than Adam's and Orwell's masterpieces. This might not be a book for everyone, but from what I've read, I'd be doing a disservice to the world of readers if I did not give it a bit of a push in their direction.

Really, there's not much better for a writer to do than read--then pass on the good finds. And if you want to see my lengthy list of recent reads and mini-reviews, hit me up on Goodreads. You can find me by searching for my lengthy email: chris(dot)smith(dot)mailliw(dot)william(at)gmail(dot)com. Just tell me you read my blog and I'll befriend you.