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These are the notes to myself I have taped above my drafting table. They’re normally squeezed between triangles, a cutting mat, T-square, and some ellipses and curves I never use any more but keep crucifying from long thin nails in each new apartment of every new year.
I think of these missives to myself in the voice of a coach (except for the little one, but we’ll get to that). Specifically one who’s red haired and balding (with a fierce patch of curly neck hair, macheted below his neckline every few weeks). A baby faced and small lacrosse coach/admissions councilor. One with a soft voice that could, through fiery intensity, be brought to a tenor roar. Usually this was in furiously despairing disappointment, but every once in a while it was in uncontainable, genuine excitement. His name’s Sam Gaudet and he would always wear a bow tie to his day job and at games, but like a real jock, I always called him Coach.
That’s the thing I miss most about high school: having a coach. He’s a man that every committed student athlete is a little bit in love with. We look to them for approval like cats that kill rodents and present them to their masters. We’d never admit how much we care about Coach’s reaction. And we’re jealous of his attention, like rival siblings. The other thing I miss is caring about hip hop. Which is why I thought it was still worth posting that little scrap that predates the motivational posters in my studio space.
Well, I guess I slipped. If you’re wondering what I’ve been up to, it’s basically been this:
Yes, that’s right, it’s spring break time at the Center for Cartoon Studies! I’m waystid! Not too long ago, I wrote about my boy Steve Ditko and his Objectivist obsession, Mr. A. I’m afraid it’s a little, uh…verbose, but if you like Steve D, you might like it.
What else, what else? Gabby returned to the green mountains on my feast day, and wrote all about it, and it was too much fun. We all miss him very much in Vermont, especially Yours-Truly, as a quick troll through his comments will attest. Speaking of missing people, this delightful episode was immediately followed by my own return to the swamps of Connecticut. My co-writer-for-life, Caitlin, met me at my parents’ house, and we had delicious food and cookies and beers, and it was lovely. We rubbed elbows with my dear old friends Danielle and Chad, and spent most of the weekend just sitting on the porch. Danielle and her family were mourning her grandfather, Dick Shand, and we all went to his simple, sweet funeral, surrounded by his family and friends, in a church that must have been plucked from Western Ireland and plopped down in the Hudson Valley. I think maybe the whole town of Pearl River was transplanted from those emerald shores. And now I’m in good ol’ Brooklyn where spring showers are sprinkling the forsythia–forsooth! More friends and beers and fun times and celebrations of the return of Persephone from the Underworld are sure to follow.
Aaaaaanyhow, if this post hasn’t been vernal enough for you yet, what if we were to celebrate the return of sports I care about with this helmet decal I drew for my baby brother Jack, and for the Wooster Generals varsity LAX club.