DEAR DIARY

This morning I had a great bath - really hot, down to a freezing shower. I'm trying to feel my body more, to come to terms with being corporeal (an ongoing life-long process). 

box-brown.jpg

I also finished reading Box Brown's new Andy Kaufman book (First Second, 2018). It's great - his work is always great, I think - and it follows the Andre the Giant book he did nicely, focussing its lens on Kaufman's wrestling life.

I love Andy Kaufman a lot and adore the Intergender Wrestling Champ period of his life. I was getting into this when Marjan and I met (the mid-90s), and we went down the rabbit hole together. We called what Kaufman was doing Post Post Modernism (we both did English Lit degrees), and spent a lot of time trying to draw out what that meant. We entertained creating a manifesto, but never quite nailed down how to explain it: something about the relationship to reality and artifice, about holding something in between True and Not in your mind. 

I wish I had known more then about the reality of "professional" wrestling because it was the best example of the idea back then: RealnotReal, total commitment to a performance, full of artifice and sincerity.  Now, this idea is fully mainstream. 

internet-troll.jpg

That same time, I had my first real interaction with Trolling (not that we had that word for it). I  threw a party for a friend who was getting married in my tiny slummy apartment. His actual best man had failed to organize anything, so I and another friend had thrown it together fast. I didn't know most of the people there, just a few friends. One guest, later in the evening, started getting really obnoxious - spouting off vulgar sexist opinions to the women in the room and relishing their anger and irritation. Objections got him laughing and doubling down, and the mood got really weird.

I found it deeply irritating, and when asking him to cut it out failed to stop it, I told him to get out of my home. Bob, the friend who'd invited him, was laughing and explaining that it was funny because the guy meant none of it - it was all a "bit". He never blinked, and he did wind up leaving. It was a confusing situation, and everybody felt stupid afterward. We added "Post Post Modernism can be used for Good OR Evil" to the unfinished definition.

spent-panel.jpg

In better examples, the playful relationship with Truth was very interesting to me, and ultrafunny when done right. It was a new way of thinking for me. (I just realized: my first interaction with it was The Garry Shandling Show in high school.) Joe Matt's waaaay too real comics and their fallout were fascinating; Crad Kilodney's total commitment to his persona and work; Man Bites Dog - and Andy Kaufman.

1378788212_pjj1zsmlss2o1yqiypq0_andy.jpg

What was real? Was he even dead? Pre-Google, we sought out random clips and recordings at Suspect Video and reveled in every new level. (The movie Man on the Moon was fucked, IMO. Ignore it.) Marjan and I adopted a style of joking based on saying the opposite of what we meant - Fuck You as I love you; responding to kisses by yelling Ouch! It was a lot of fun. It tickled my intellect's G spot. 

Fast forward 20 years and that behaviour has become absolutely The Norm. Bold lying has its own TV channels; the president is a Pro Wrestling villain, and nobody wonders if Wrestling is real anymore - it doesn't matter, because we've evolved to not CARE. Isn't that wild? 

I am enjoying the part of Aging that gives me a longer history to consider. It's interesting to see a terrible, powerful idea grow out of a smaller, sillier one over time. It's interesting to be complicit in the wide trend just by being part of a culture. It is interesting to watch the evolution of ideas, good or bad. It's interesting to live with a puzzle like Andy Kaufman, with pieces being filled in over decades.

As for the book, Is This Guy For Real: The Unbelievable Andy Kaufman is fantastic. Brown is deeply economical and shares a great deal of information without a ton of text (I'm throwing shade on you, me). He fully grasps his subject and gives a broad, full picture of the human being, as well as the relationship between the aspects of Kaufman's act. It will serve as a corrective to Carrey's obnoxious, overconfident caricature if enough people read it. So go read it. 

love, your real father,

jep

Possibly another way forward.

Today - May 6, 2018 - I had my first paddle of the season. I've been aching and dying to do so, and it was glorious(ly simple) and lovely. 

Yesterday - May 5th, probably - I deactivated y FB account and passed administration of the Misterjep FB page to Marjan while I figure it out. I've struggled for years with my relationship with Facebook, just like everybody else, and don't want to blab on about the reasons, except to say that it isn't because of Privacy concerns. I have no idea how to think about that. But I DO miss the old internet, the one that wasn't like a mall. 

Front_Cover.jpg

I THINK I'd like to just leave the mall. I like the idea of having an internet home, and of sharing and opining and remarking. It isn't superimportant to me that anyone reads any of it. I think the rest of the near future for me is here. If you like what I do, please visit this website once in a while. 

Other news: I've finished two comics this Spring, and am working on publishing them. SQUAREHEAD is my first long story (not done in episodes, but across 32 pages). It took about three years to figure out and create, and I'm a bit proud of it. It's the story of my Cultural Exchange trip to Trois Rivieres in the Summer of 1983. 

(more below)

TR01doneb 2.jpg

The other is the eighth issue of JepComix, my mini, which continues and collects the latest Fights story - about Elizabeth, an evil wizard lady Marjan and I fought about 20 years ago. I like that too. 

I have been building towards this moment for years: I am more or less happy with the crappy comics I'm making, and approaching a level where I might show them off a bit. Both comics will be properly printed and bigger than the 5.5 x 8.5 mini size, with colour and better paper. I'll make a proper effort to promote them a bit, and will try and get into TCAF in 2019. That'll be 15 years since I started trying to do this for real. I've got solid ideas for at least three other books, and have developed a routine. Let's see how this goes. 

It's Spring, and after a rough couple of years, I feel like I've got my head on right. I'm focussing on small things and near things, with the hope that enjoying and loving life will somehow help with the  strange and possibly disastrous context we find ourselves in. The whole catastrophe, as a man said. Hope you're doing well too. 

Onward and upward - 

jep

I Haven't Posted Here in a Bit -

Because almost nobody comes here - but for continuity, here's the next Elizabeth comics, in case you are reading. 

25sm.jpg

Elizabeth: 24

26sm.jpg

Elizabeth 25

27sm.jpg

Elizabeth 26

28sm.jpg

Elizabeth 27

29sm.jpg

Elizabeth 28

30sm.jpg

Elizabeth 29

31sm.jpg

Elizabeth 30

32sm.jpg

Elizabeth 31

33sm.jpg

Elizabeth 32

Elizabeth part 14 and some bloggish thoughts

I keep thinking about the other thread of Fights - the one about Our Trump Year and my feelings re all that. I abandoned that for this story back in early Summer, and am glad, but ... all of that is of course still going on, still provides the background for most days (even if I'm not reading news or allowing it much space in my mind). Maybe I'll write up an ending for the year. 

I've also been working for a couple of years on a long story about an exchange trip to Quebec; something like 30 pages. It's sort of approaching done-ness now, and a discussion today with Marjan sorted out a missing piece I was stuck on. 

Anyway. Here's Elizabeth 14. 

Untitled-1.jpg
Untitled-2.jpg
Untitled-3.jpg
Untitled-4.jpg
14sm.jpg