Hard Underbelly  

The official news spot for Hard Underbelly.


Mood: Allergic
Music: Speed King; by Deep Purple

It's been an interesting couple of days. Where should I begin?

On friday I went to Seattle to meet up with my sister and go see Sherman Alexie read form his new book, Ten Little Indians. I was in Seattle way early, so I hung out at an SBC reading for about an hour and a half. Then I went to Border's and got a copy of the latest Transmetrolpolitan book. Things are getting heavy in that series. Of course, I'm sure other people knew that before me, but I don't buy issues of comic books, only the trade paperbacks. I buy the books 'cause I want to be able to re-read them, and the issues just fall apart at the drop of a hat.

So Gwen and I went and grabbed dinner at Rice N Roll, a new Sushi place in Westlake Center. The rice was a bit dry, but the sushi was still good. Unfortunately, they only had black tea flavored bubble tea, and the tapioca was a bit undercooked in some cases, so I recommend going elsewhere for your exotic drink fix. However, the sushi was still good and worth the price.

I got some chocolate covered pistachios at Candy Tyme, and they were yummy.

As far as places to go when it's burning hot, as it has been recently, I recommend Godiva. Since they don't want all their chocolates to melt together into fudge, they keep their place nice and air-conditioned, so it's a great place to duck into for a couple minutes when it's upwards of 93 degrees, as it was yeterday.

We then caught a cab up to Town Hall. We caught said cab 'cause Gwen had sprained her knee the week before. How did she do it? She was walking. And that's the whole story. I recommended to her that she tell people that she was rescuing a baby from a burning building. If nothing else, at least that story is alliterative.

Sherman Alexie was as amusing, funny, charming, and poignant as he always is. I guess there's really not much more to say on that subject. He did mention that he's currently writing a satirical screenplay on the Mawkah whaling thing for HBO, and if it gets made, it sounds like it'll be damn funny.

I was waiting for a bus to West Seattle at a stop on first avenue, just a little north of the Seattle Art Museum. I'm reading a book to pass the time. It was at this point, about 9:50-ish, pm. A guy walks up to me. He's clearly homeless, carrying his life on his back. His life seemed to consist of an old army duffel bag and much-abused sleeping roll. He them proceeds to mumble something under his breath at me. Now I'm sure he's just asking for change, but I ask him "what?" just so I can be sure to actually hear what he's asking me.

He proceeds to ask: "Got an ecstasy you wanna sell me?"

"Uh, no," I reply.

He goes on to ask the guy standing next to me waiting for the bus.

"No," the other guy says. "I've been sober for six years."

After a while I began to wonder, do I look like I'm carrying around drugs that I want to unload on someone? I mean, I can understand if this guy is just desperately asking everyone and anyone if they have any e, but I really don't think I project the image of someone who's carrying around a popular rave drug, let alone someone who is also actively trying to sell it.

Anyway, I woke up this morning. It's still burning hot. We're talking "Where's the cat, oh, I see. He melted," hot. It's really fucking hot around Seattle right now. Unfortunately, I am now out of the city, so there are also plants. When plants and hot get together and I am in the general vicinity, My allergies flare up. I've been dripping out of my nose nonstop all day. My eyes are watering. I'm sneezing all the time. And now I'm beginning to wonder, where is all this moisture coming from? Do I really have enough liquid in my body to spare the gallons of fluid that are evacuating my body like the last helicopter out of Saigon? Am I about to become severely dehydrated? If yes, will I get to hallucinate? Because that could be fun.

I'm probably going to go and see 'Identity' tonight. I'm a John Cusack fan, so I've been looking forward to this.

Ending Music: Child In Time; by Deep Purple

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  posted by Tristan @ 5:07 PM

Saturday, June 07, 2003  


Mood: Decent
Music: My Head Sounds Like That; by Peter Gabriel

A new comic is up. It was a few hours late, but that was just because Keenspace's ftp servers are often a wee bit slow, and are not always the best at, well, connecting to me. So I was not able to upload the comic untill this morning, but rest assured, I had it finished in a timely fashion. I just couldn't upload it.

It is currently burning hot in Seattle right now. I've put away the flannel pj's for the year and cracked out my silk ones. Regardless, I woke up at five this morning, stuck to my futon like a dead fish. I threw off the covers, raised my shade and opened the window all the way. Now, I hate any kind of sound when I'm trying to sleep, but the sound of traffic was welcome compared to the unbearable heat.

So far, of all the cartoonists I have e-mailed to maybe take a look at my comic, only T Campbell of Fans has returned an e-mail. His comic sort of set the standard for the plot and character driven on-line format, so I was pleased to see that he deigned to respond. His e-mail boils down to, the writing is good, and the artwork doesn't do anything for him. I think that could be a pretty fair assesment. I'm constantly struggling with drawing. Anyway, he said the characters of Saul and Casey were well defined, but that Luna was just a sketch. This is also fair. I wasn't planning on having Luna back in the comic for a while, but I think now I'll throw in a little interlude where I can hint at her past, and give tiny clues as to what her link to Saul is.

Me done now.

Ending Music: Peaches; by the Presidents of the United States of America

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  posted by Tristan @ 9:29 AM

Friday, June 06, 2003  


Mood: Decent
Music: All Neon Like; by Bjork

I've decided that today's comic might require a little clarification on my personal position on recreational drug use. Well, here's the clarification: I don't. I don't use recreational drugs. I don't smoke, I don't drink, and I don't any of the less legal drugs. However, it is my firm belief that most drugs should be decriminalized. The war on pot at least is ridiculously expensive and stupid. Pot is a fairly harmless drug and you cannot OD on it, like other drugs, including alcohol, for that manner. And although long term use could probably make you stupid, it won't flat out kill you like ciggies will. As far as the links between pot and terrorism? Well, the pot smoked in America is almost entirely grown in America, Canada, Mexico, and Jamaica. It's actually the biggest cash crop in the US. So which terrorists are they supporting?

I'm not ever going to drink on a regular basis, although I do plan to try a few alcoholic beverages someday so that I'll know what they're like. By the same token, if I am ever traveling around Europe for some reason and I'm in Amsterdam, I'll probably go into a coffee shop and order the mellowest joint available. However, I don't want to do this in the US, since it's illegal, and I don't want to do it more than once.

I wholly support the decriminalization of many things, including prostitution. If you look at countries where these are legal, there is not an unusually high percentage of people using drugs and going to whores. The people that want to use drugs and go to whores already do, so all decriminalizing will do is regulate it, make it safer, and let the government tax it. Hey, the government loves to tax things. You'd think they'd be able to get behind this really easily. Except that they'd have to admit that they fucked up and blew billions of dollars on the impossible war on drugs.

I guess I'm done with this topic now.

Ending Music: Grey Walls; by Richard Thompson

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  posted by Tristan @ 12:46 PM

Wednesday, June 04, 2003  


Mood: Annoyed
Music: Nothing Bad Ever Happens To Me; by Oingo Boingo

I've recently noticed that the archive pages of this blog just completely do not work. I'm going to try and fix it, but I've got no garauntees here whatsoever. But hey, Blogger is free, so at least I'm not being charged for a shitty service, huh?

I'm think of changing the layout of the main page a bit, but only time will tell if I actually end up doing that.

UPDATE: I have fixed the archives. Yay for me.

Ending Music: Danger High Voltage; by Electric Six

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  posted by Tristan @ 10:19 AM


Mood: Decent
Music: Dry The Rain; by the Beta Band

A new comic is up. There's a story behind the background. There were going to be a bunch of businesses listed on those doors. They were, from left to right, Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency; Guy Noir, P.I.; Kinky Friedman, Amateur Detective; and Sam & Max, Freelance Police. Sort of a Detective row, you know? I was very happy with what I'd drawn, but then one of my roommates reminded me of how litigous our society is, and so I changed them into numbers. I'm personally betting that the respective creators of those characters would not have a huge problem with me using their names, however briefly. I've actually met Steve Purcell, who created Sam and Max, and I can attest that he is a pretty nice guy. However, there are some evil lawyers out there, as evidenced by the whole Strawberry Shortcake thing over at Penny Arcade. You'd think that they'd be happy to get some free press. I mean, I hadn't even thought about Strawberry Shortcake in years until PA did a little spoof. But then some people just can't take a joke.

Anyway, I highly recommend Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency and the Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul by Douglas Adams. I also recommend listening to Prairie Home Companion for the adventures of Guy Noir, Private Eye. I also recommend reading the mystery novels of Jewish Cowboy/Country Singer/Amateur Detective: Kinky Freidman. And finally, read Sam & Max, Freelance Police by Steve Purcell. Hell, you can even play the computer game, which I recently learned is going to have a sequel, so, cool.

Ending Music: Lamer Than Lame; by Nerf Herder

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  posted by Tristan @ 10:09 AM


Mood: Decent
Music: Slow Country; by Gorillaz

Well, the URL forwarding is all set up and operational. Just type "www.hardunderbelly.com" into your browser and it'll take you there. Go on, try it. Or I guess you could click on this link.

Speaking of the internet, I watched the first four episodes of 'Lain' today. It's really interesting, but I didn't think I was going to want to keep watching it. However, I am now tempted to keep watching, just to see where it's going.

I also tried to watch Blue Velvet and get my David Lynch fix. But it was thoroughly unwatchable. I stopped halfway through, and I didn't start again.

Ending Music: It's True That We Love One Another; by the White Stripes

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  posted by Tristan @ 4:01 PM

Tuesday, June 03, 2003  


Mood: Okay
Music: Pacify; by Rumpus

Well, it's beginning. The new comic is finally up, and the merchandise link is showing off of the main page. I think I'm going to set up the advertising later tomorrow when the URL is fully functional, which it should be. I'm also planning on asking a few of my favorite on-line comic writers/artists what they think of my comic. Maybe I'm a glutton for punishment, or maybe I've got wishful thinking and I hope they'll like it a lot. It really varies from how much I love or hate myself at any given time.

Also, the new Radiohead CD comes out on the 10th. I'm totally gonna get my family to get it for me. Big time Radiohead listening gonna happen here. Engrish attacking brain parts. Head hurt.

Ending Music: Idioteque; by Radiohead

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  posted by Tristan @ 8:38 PM

Monday, June 02, 2003  


Mood: Okay
Music: I'm Still Here; by Tom Waits

So I've actually got the hardunderbelly.com URL set up, and it should be working within a day. Unfortunately, Keenspace is acting funny and will not load the new comic. With any luck that should be working fine by tomorrow. Also, although the merchandise link is now visible on most of the other pages, it won't show up on the main page. My guess is that probably has something to do with the comic not loading. But once those minor hiccups are ironed out (mixed metaphors rule), I'll probably start using that banner from the previous post to advertise. Snifty, no?

I went to Seattle Center today for a friend's birthday. I rode the rollercoaster twice, which is odd, considering that I don't really like rollercoasters.

Ending Music: Mama; by Oingo Boingo

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  posted by Tristan @ 5:19 PM


Mood: Still kind of productive
Music: Dumb All Over (live); by Frank Zappa

So I have made a way cool animated banner. It is designed to make people intrigued, which is what ads should do. Check out my new animated banner for Hard Underbelly:

It's big for an ad, (about 100k), but I think it's worth it. Of course, since I don't have the actual URL working yet, it's not worth putting on the main page or actually using as advertising.

In other news, I just watched the first four episodes of Angel, season one. That was some good stuff.

Ending Music: Hypnotist Of Ladies; by They Might Be Giants

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  posted by Tristan @ 10:51 PM

Sunday, June 01, 2003  


Mood: Productive
Music: Lesbian Man; by Rumpus

I have done a big ol' update on the Hard Underbelly shop. There are three, count 'em three, new shirts. All of them are made with brand new artwork. The first one is the all new Casey T-Shirt, featuring a way cool pose of Casey with a couple of pistols. Even if you're not planning on buying a shirt, the artwork is worth checking out. The second is a Saul T-Shirt. He too is striking a bit of a pose, but it's more subdued. The images from these two shirts will probably be incorporated into the animated banner ad I'm working on. The final new shirt is the promised ladie's shirt, Pixie. It's got wings on the back and the Hard Underbelly URL on the front. It's cute, and I'm told that girls like cute, girly, pinkish things, so there you are.

I'm still waiting on confirmation of the Hard Underbelly address, but it should be up by the end of the week.

Ending Music: Aeroplane; by Bjork

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  posted by Tristan @ 6:43 PM

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