Here’s a nice birthday present: a swell review of A.D. by John Sledge, the Book Page Editor of the Mobile Press-Register. He calls me "an engaging and talented artist" — thanks, Mr. Sledge! — and writes that my "work exhibits an appealing sort of cartoonish verisimilitude. [Neufeld’s] double-page spreads, depicting New Orleans before the storm, then with massive clouds towering above it, and finally swept by floodwaters from bursting levees, are no less gut-wrenching than the full-color video of those same scenes that became so familiar."
After a very nice synopsis of the book and its themes, Sledge goes on to write that A.D. "is a fine contribution to our understanding of Hurricane Katrina and what it did to the people of the Gulf Coast. Because it depicts true events, it seems somehow inappropriate to call it a graphic ‘novel.’ ‘Comic book’ doesn’t work either — not much funny here. The difficulty is only one of labeling, however. The work itself is superb."
In honor of Sari’s recent birthday, I’ve posted a special comic I drew for her up at ACT-I-VATE. It’s a little story of our relationship. I drew it on a 3" x 17" strip of paper, folded into six sections and drawn on both sides.
The comic comes with explanatory annotations, for those of you who don’t get all the inside jokes.
Today Phoebe is one. A-mazing. Having a child definitely bifurcates one’s perception of time. For me, the passage of 12 months seems like an instant: I don’t appear to be noticeably more wrinkly, grey, or feeble. But just to think that one year ago today, Sari was finishing up 36 hours of labor and squeezing out our little girl. In that one year, Phoebe has gone from a helpless newt to a vibrant, talkative, neo-toddler. (She can’t quite walk yet, but she can stand unaided, and loves to cruise around on the furniture.) And she’s so interactive! She hugs and kisses me, waves goodbye, allows herself to be comforted when scared, and calls me “Da-da”. (She also calls Sari “Da-da,” but that’s another story.) So officially today her one-year warranty is up; it’s a good thing we long ago decided we were going to keep her.
So today is the last day of thirties. I’m trying to spend a little time thinking about that milestone.
When I was a kid, it seemed that turning 30 meant you were an adult; when my parents were young, turning 20 meant you were an adult. Now it seems increasingly like 40 is the (arbitrary) marking point. But whatever I thought being an “adult” would be, I don’t feel like I’ve achieved it yet!
I can’t say I’m happy to be turning 40, but I’m more at peace with it than I would have been without Phoebe. After all, I suppose being a parent is a sign of being “grown up.” And she is a pretty amazing early birthday present!
In other respects, I guess I can look back on my thirties with some measure of pride. I married my lifelong love. I published a book and a number of comics. I established a viable freelance career doing what I love. I’m working on a graphic novel project that I’m passionate about. I bought an apartment. I have many wonderful friends. I’m living in one of the world’s greatest cities. And now I’m a new dad!
The one thing that boggles my mind is the fact that when my mom was the age I am now, I was already 16 years old! (When Phoebe’s 16, I’ll be 56!) There’s no way I could have imagined being a parent at 24, like she and my dad were. But that was her generation, and this is ours.
So on to the 40s. Time to come up with some new goals.
Yesterday’s Beauty Bar event, MC’d by Jesse Fuchs, was a terrific way to celebrate Georges Prosper Remi’s (aka Hergé) 100th birthday (which is actually today). A crowd of about 30 folks were treated to a great show, combining entertainment and information about the great Belgian cartoonist and creator of Tintin.
May 22nd, 2007, is the 100th birthday of Georges Prosper Remi (1907-1983), better known as Hergé, the legendary Belgian creator of The Adventures of Tintin.
This Monday, May 21st, Beauty Bar’s The Phantastic Invisible Tentacle is celebrating Herge’s legacy with slideshow readings of original Tintin-inspired material by me, bertozzi, jasonlittle, and r_sikoryak.
The reading begins at 8pm, and will be followed by a short presentation about Hergé and Tintin, a documentary, Francophone pop, and other retro delights with DJs Stephin Merritt, Jesse Fuchs, Go-Karff, and ERL. The event is free. Please join us!
For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Phantastic Invisible Tentacle
Monday, May 21st, 8PM
Beauty Bar 231 E. 14th St.
New York City
Today is Sari’s birthday. I wish I could be there to celebrate it with her.
An old (and slow) joke for a friend’s birthday:
Penciled by me (pre-broken finger), inked by man_size, and colored today (with the broken finger, and some old watercolors).