MUTO a wall-painted animation by BLU from blu on Vimeo.
Todd Mayberry and I make a decent team. He likes Power Pop enough to pour crazy time and energy into not just one title but a series dedicated to this underappreciated subgenre. I like zines enough to crank out covers and illustrations for anyone who asks nicely. I hadn’t heard of any the bands featured in his first venture, Rock Mania, but Todd’s passion for the material sold me on the concept while the mix tape he provided got me grooving on the content.
His latest project, Brain Lapse, is Rock Mania again but better (certainly in terms of my contribution), with more interviews, reviews and a more polished presentation (yet preserving the hand-rendered feel—an homage to classic fanzines). Issue 1 features an interview with Eddie Grant (what a coup!) talking about his 60s band The Equals.
Several things had to fall into place to get me going on the cover, starting with acquiring a new scanner (our *&^%&* HP all-in-none failed me again massively), and more to the point, I had to carve out some time in our heavy summer visiting schedule. I got to work as soon as we returned from Clermont yesterday. I’m happy to report the results were worth the wait (easily topping my dashed-off Rock Mania cover). Here’s the series I’m sharing with Todd. For this hack designer, license to integrate drawing with all the digital is my best shot at something original.
Traces of Okiboji sunburn linger on our faces. Vacation clothes lie in a heap by the bed. The car hasn’t even been refueled. 11 days have elapsed since our last voyage to the Motherland, but now we’re heading south again. Chapter 3 in the summer event saga (Ch 1: Lebanese Cooking Days; Ch 2: Okiboji/DsM Matrimonial Cruise) is Christmas in July—a more somber gathering than it sounds. We’ll see my mom’s brother Herky Klima and his fam at their retreat near Clermont to exchange gifts in lieu of a colder, icier reunion in December. We’ll also plant a lilac bush in honor of my grandmother (the bush was Sarah’s winning idea; a way more uplifting Christmas commemoration than scattering ashes, as my mom had suggested).
I can’t deal with another weekend of crowded quarters and living all over each other, so we made two separate hotel arrangements for our two-night trip (Decorah on Friday, Elkader on Saturday), but it’ll be better that way. Since there’s no particular hurry to get ready, I’m blogging in the backyard over a Beam Rye on the rocks.
Kelly: A recent breakup left Kelly with a hotel room all to himself, ideal for how he rolls. Between parties, he passed the weekend cycling around a city he’s scarcely visited since his family moved away in 1991. He covered a lot of ground even though June’s flooding had mucked up the prime trails and bred clouds of aggressive mosquitoes. He was just one former resident I heard revise their hard opinion of Des Moines and declare life there “doable.”
Ferzana: You can find Ferzana’s business cards in most Mexican restaurants in town. At the wedding parties, this New York-born immigration attorney found an opportunity to vent about the limitations of her temporary home, observing from the roof of the Savery Hotel, “from here it almost looks like a city.”
Steve: Though it was the Fourth, it’s unlikely we would have joined hands and belted out the Star Spangled Banner at the rehearsal party if not for Steve (The Boss sing-along that followed was less contagious, but still fun).
Listing: I’ve created a couple of dedicated pages for it, linked at right. First, Running Lists, a space for low-value intellectual property like band names, ideas for URLs, and so on. Then there’s Commands to Myself, an index of my (rather small and simple) moral code I started in a notebook a few years back.