Hiding the office in the studio.

They’ve started showing our apartment to potential renters. I haven’t mentioned it here yet, but I’m moving. Anyway, before they started taking people through, I decided to pack up my home office which was located on our kitchen counter, next to the sink, where our frinternet signal was the strongest. I thought it might look a little tacky to have a computer, scanner, wacom tablet, hard drive, and other office miscellany spread out where there should be toasters and cookie jars and a Slap Chop. So as long as our home is on display, I’ve kept my scanner (etc) in my studio, where one might say it belongs, and can’t really be bothered to move it all back and forth to scan my comic. Which means I haven’t been drawing my comic. Which means I haven’t been drawing at all (yikes).

So that’s my latest excuse! I’ll hopefully get back on track soon, although July and August are incredibly busy for me, so comics may be only occasional. We’ll see.

Meanwhile, if you haven’t listened yet, check out my brother’s songs!

Take Your Money (to download, right click>”save link as”)

More here.

Um… tell your friends!


Well, I wasn’t in the mood to color this, but to make it up for you, here is a song! It’s an example of my songwriting philosophy, which holds that if you end a song with enough chaos people will forget that the rest of the song was horribly out of tune! This one is about the weather, because Midwesterners love to talk (and sing) about the weather.

(Right click and “save link as” to download)

Oh Snow

Recreation Station Music


Ooh cool – my favorite musician just put the bulk of his catalog online. Who am I talking about? My brother Shawn of course! I highly recommend you peruse at Recreation Station Music. Previews of the upcoming Recreation Station EP, along with all kinds of previous projects including Author & Autopilot, Pilot & Painter, Super Budgies, Family Band, and other solo miscellany. If you’re not sure where to start, I’ve picked out a few highlights and posted them here:

End is Near – Gorgeous new song.

Long Dark Road – We played this at our Mother Fools show, but this version has a whole new life.

Stegabach – This is an instrumental track. It’s best if you listen to it and imagine a big dopey brontosaurus tromping around. I love it.

Failure and Back – A track from the garage band era. Super catchy… represents the breadth part of the portfolio :) He can do it all!

Thermal power.


Let me add, lest anyone question my safety (or my sanity) last night, this was not any kind of hard-core teeth-kicking mosh pit. In fact, there was a moment after one of the first few songs when a huge group of the slam dancers in front started holding people back in kind of a frantic crowd control, as if someone had gone down and was in danger of being trampled. But, when all was said and done it turns out that some guy had just dropped his glasses, and the other moshers were helping him to find them. How punk!

Also, the character at the bottom left is my friend Jason who took some awesome photos.

Photo by Jason Marx

Photo by Jason Marx

Check out the rest of Jason’s work here.

So I’m terrible at writing reviews of shows because usually all I can think to say is, “It was awesome!” but it was. Awesome. So that’s all I’ll say. :)

Friday’s Set List

If anyone was really interested, here are the songs we played on Friday:

1. A song our friend Andrew wrote (don’t know the name of it!)
2. Ektelon
3. Tyson
4. Long Dark Road
5. Decatur (Sufjan Steven’s cover)
6. You Are What You Love (Jenny Lewis cover)
7. Shipwreck (my friend Holly’s song that we used to play as The Art Table… sorry you missed that one Molly! I can play it for you on Friday :)

(That’s not a typo… Holly and Molly are different friends… I have multiple Holly/ees and Mollys…but each one is special!)

I’m no James Kochalka.

James, the American Elf, is pretty disciplined when it comes to his daily comic. That means, if he plays a rock show that lasts late into the night and doesn’t stumble home until 3am, he will sit down and draw his comic. Last night Shawn and I played a set at Mother Fool’s, and even getting home at 11 I was dead tired. I sat down to draw, remembered I had to get up early this morning to set up a volunteer group, and opted for sleep. To make up for it, I’ve got a 4 comic post today AND some photos from last night.




My friend Jason took some awesome photos:




Thanks to everyone who came out to see us last night! I had a blast, and would have probably choked if not for seeing the smiling faces of my friends in the audience :) And the rest of the music that night was awesome (Kelly Carrell and Macabret).

And then there was today…


Also, happy birthday Reem!!


No comic today. It was laundry night, PLUS we had to practice for this:


Come see us! Also, if you’re pulling your hair out (pun!) trying to figure out the answer to yesterday’s multiple choice comic, the answer is: A. Just a trim. Sorry Reem.

Frozen yogurt, with live & active cultures.


Ah, June of 2006. I was totally lost. Not that I’ve got it all together now (not even close!) but it does feel good to have a better idea of “Home,” which is really what this dusty old tune was all about. The new version is pretty rollicking, but if you want to hear the whinier, slower original I think it’s somewhere on the Music page.

If I keep writing these little explanatory or addendum-y paragraphs after each comic I am going to have to reexamine my single-panel format, I think… I shouldn’t be doing all this extra talking!

(Although I do miss the writing part of this blog, sometimes.)

P.S. I don’t actually sing with my eyes closed. Usually when recording I end up staring at Shawn, but that is just kind of weird.

Mix it!

Since I’m already unable to decide what the primary focus of this blog is (comics? music? faith? art? yours truly?) I’ve decided to introduce something new.  I’m going to make a monthly mix, with tracks culled primarily from the music blogs I read, and occasionally some gems from my own collection that I think you might need.  I make these mixes anyway, for myself, so I may as well share:

Easel Ain’t Easy mix (to the max!), Volume 1, January 2009

1. Dear Nora – Fargo
2. Fleet Foxes – White Winter Hymnal
3. Jenny Lewis – Barking at the Moon
4. The Decemberists – Los Angeles, I’m Yours (in honor of my recent L.A. day-trip!)
5. A.C. Newman – Like a Hitman, Like a Dancer
6. Santogold – L.E.S. Artistes (XXXchange mix, ft Movado)
7. Mates of State – My Only Offer
8. The Smiths – Asleep
9. The National – The Thrilling of Claire
10. Bon Iver – Blood Bank
11. Vetiver – Everyday
12. The Acorn – Crooked Legs
13. Andrew Bird – Fitz and Dizzyspells
14. Okkervil River – Lost Coast Lines

Let me know if you want it.

Cousins – a sing along.

I was hinting back in December that I was working on a musical project with my brother. Well, readers, be no longer subject to hints but feast your ears on this: Beginning in September, Shawn and I began writing and recording songs for our cousins (and one for our sister and bro-in-law) to give as Christmas gifts. I wanted to wait until I knew all of the cousins had theirs before I announced it here, and it’s out, it’s available, so get your copy. If I haven’t given you one already you should request it, but better yet why don’t you just download it here? There are 11 tracks, so sorry if it’s a hassle to download them separately. If you’d rather download the whole thing at once let me know and I can send you the album via yousendit (comment here or email me). I can also send lyrics and cover art that way.

If your name happens to be the name of one of our cousins, feel free to pretend we wrote the song for you!


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