We went to the Oakland Coliseum today to see the A's smash the Seattle Mariners. I believe they won because I spent the last two innings drawing Coco Crisp and Yoenis Cespedes as dogs. That, and they are professional ball players.

Sometimes I think the world looks better when you close your eyes and pretend everyone is just a big, barking animal. Then I open them and remember, oh yeah, that's not so far off. And what's better - we can both catch balls.

Legend of the Frenchman Street Raccoon

We saw, in the distance, the rare and mysterious Frenchman Street raccoon, who uttered the simple phrase, "j'accuse," before disappearing into the gutter...

This cartoon was inspired by a taxidermied raccoon perched above a stage at Checkpoint Charlie's bar in New Orleans. It even wore a little bowler hat. Ryan and I were admiring it when the bartender walked up and pointed out the little sign propped against the critter's paw. "J'accuse."

Some things are better left unexplained.

On Happiness

There is a story behind this. In Brooklyn we visited lots of friends, including Ryan's friend Brett. I'd never met Brett but from all accounts he is a fun and lively guy. Apparently just three short weeks before we made it to New York, he was biking through the city when a police car ran a red light, causing a garbage truck to slam on its brakes in the middle of a busy intersection. You might guess where Brett was when that happened.

Needless to say, he split his kneecap, had emergency surgery and now has a full length leg cast. All things considering, he seemed to be doing well when we stopped by his apartment, which is (rather frustratingly) on the second floor. My drawing skills are amateur at best, and so when I showed him the portrait I said, "I didn't mean to make you look so sad. Say something happy and I'll write it down."

I realized as soon as I'd said it how annoying that request must seem -- hey, be chipper! -- and to his eternal credit, Brett's response was "I have nothing happy to say."

Happily, he seems to be recovering well.

The musician at Checkpoint Charlie

This is the drawing that made us friends at the Frenchman Street bar Checkpoint Charlie's, in New Orleans. This skinny bearded singer was the first to take the stage. He kept beating his narrow little cowboy boots against the floor, and sang with an intense, Southern twang, but when I went to ask him to autograph my drawing, he was calm and demure. The bartender loved the little sketch, but added that he needed more hair. At one point she even wandered over with a bottle of White-Out, which she dabbed across the beard, insisting that I draw it darker and curlier. I did my best.

Who doesn't want more machines?

This is called a continuous blood glucose monitor.

Actually, this is called a comic, one that happens to involve a woman who happens to wear both an insulin pump and a continuous blood glucose monitor (CGMS). These two little machines, when they work in tandem, effectively tell her what her blood sugar is doing at five-minute intervals throughout the day, and then help her make decisions on how much insulin to take.

Sometimes being a savvy type 1 diabetic means remembering words from high school chemistry. I knew "interstitial" would come in handy someday. Gotta love those "hypers" and "hypos," and "glucose"--my life would be so much more boring without that C6H12O6. But the opportunity to live with not one but two
little machines plugged directly into me all day long--this was something I could not turn down. How often do you get to tap into the superhighway of your own bloodstream every day, all day long, and have it help your health? Not only that, but it graphs out glucose patterns and beeps before you get high or low, just to check in. It's like living with a doctor slash mother attached to your hip, with some of the implied advantages and disadvantages.

I'm not squeamish about needles and finger pricks, and have worn an insulin pump for more than 8 years, so I learned long that the diabetic aesthetic doesn't -- and won't ever -- cramp my style. One of my favorite Eddie Izzard sketches is his identification as an "executive transvestite" -- I like to think of myself as an "executive diabetic."

Pretty soon everyone will want one.

The Ligre Debut

Introducing the world premiere of Ligre, an improvised comics tour de force created piecemeal by a Tiger (Ryan Alpers) and a Lioness (Julia Halprin Jackson).

"It wasn't the world that made him dream of beautiful girls and wonderful things..."

"and landscapes surreal with smoking pots and endangered desert tortoises..."

"It was his job, after all, to imagine..."

"unreal realities portrayed behind curtains on silver screens...
-Ever seen that dog before?
-Nope, but she's got style on those skis!
-Yip! Yap! Yeaaahh!"

"wondering what willed whatever wont withal..."

"smaller and smaller when love comes to call..."


All drawings by Julia, usually done in class, in a little notebook
all text done by Ryan, usually done on the weekends, on a little tiled counter in San Francisco
website help by Ammon Bartram