COLUMNS

Riff Raff Riff Raff

Labor Day War

Kill Super Heroes.
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I drove through the high desert of New Mexico. Ears pop after Santa Rosa. The slow climb is exhilarating. It’s flat for days and then all of a sudden after the Texas border the ground just looks like crumpled brown paper. Long, low sloping foothills of pine. Horses grazing. A bull in a trailer drives by. A raven sitting on the ribbon of road doesn’t move as I hurtle towards him at a corner. I just miss him.

It’s nice here. No more cities, suburbs, or country. The desert. No mosquitoes. No humidity. Sunrise. Sunset. Moonrise. A trillion stars. And it poured rain last night which never happens. Good omen, me thinks.

The house is dusty – we basically live in a hole in the ground. So, I’ve been cleaning, getting the place ready for Ashton the Queen Bee. She comes tomorrow. We drove separately so I could get a jump on the dust devils that blew through my studio. 

My mom calls dust devils “devil dust,” which is pretty cute – she kind of has dyslexia and does funny things with words. Like Taos, the town’s name, reads to her as “Tacos,” and she’ll actually say, “How’s Tacos?” and I try so hard not to laugh. It’s become our nickname for Taos, NM. Tacos, New Mexico.

Traveling is finally over for awhile now hopefully. Someday we have to go back to Tulsa, Oklahoma for family stuff. God, all this sucks. Losing parents sucks, sucks, sucks. I hate watching it turn families inside out. So, we’ll be here in cooler mountain temps for a break and then back to the oven of Tulsa when we have to. Don’t ask me what I’m doing. 

I have, though, perfected the portable drawing set up. I like drawing on 3 x 5-inch notepads and on blank 4 x 6-inch index cards. Quick landscapes on the fly. Portraits. Diagrams. Copying other comics to warm up and just stay drawing. It’s fun to sometimes take the pressure off and not have to invent each line – just copy a Harry Lucey figure or someone else you like and learn something. Lucey was really good at folds on clothes. 

Alas, the portable set up is still in the car while I push dust around the room. Did I draw today? Yesterday? Wait when did I get back? Time rolls on like Easy Rider out here. Long shots and lots of silence. I gotta drive twenty-eight miles to the store. I need a new broom.

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The Pittsburgh Biennial at the Carnegie Museum got reviewed in the burg’s local weekly paper. The glass factory that’s written about is the one down the street from my house. Swissvale.

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INTERMISSION FUNNIES by MICHAEL DEFORGE


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