You know, it can’t always be blogging & bonbons here at the Playhouse. Actually, judging by this website’s anemic update rate, it looks like it can hardly ever be blogging & bonbons. It’s a pity, since we — for reasons only a mind much savvier than ours could understand — have received a nomination for a 2013 Ignatz Award for Outstanding Online Comic. Yes, yes — we’re as surprised as you are (all four of you who will ever read this other than the NSA). But there you have it — proof that the process for Ignatz judge selection is due for some serious reform.

Anyway, blah blah etc, insert the usual “we’ve been busy” crap here — that polite placeholder which you are free to translate any way you like, such as something longer like “lately the present state of both our own affairs & that of the wider society in which we are trapped have become so unrelentingly bleak that we can barely summon the morale to remove ourselves from bed, much less put on a face shiny or happy enough to Sell Comics Online, much less convince some dead-eyed service-industry manager half our age to grant us the privilege of washing their dishes; and so every day becomes an increasingly lost battle with outright economic & psychological disaster, with only the deafening drumbeat of Doom to keep the time on our plodding dance to the grave.”

Let’s be honest: chipping away at another page of comics — much less an entire “graphic novel” — in such a state becomes an all but Promethean torture of gnawing anxiety, in which our Fantastic Inner Dreamworld of Pure Creation keeps getting jolted awake by the blaring Alarm Clock of Reality, & we’re here to tell you, its snooze button is getting hella worn down.

But then, we know these public displays of self-pity & self-panic aren’t entertaining anyone. Why, just two days ago our own publisher was openly mocking us on twitter for our political beliefs. We get the message: shut up, get back to “work,” & let God sort out your taxes.

So every day we fill our backpack with supplies, hump down to a local library or cafe, and toil for hours on our precious, private little papery projects. Are they even worth it? Are they even marketable? Are they even readable? Fucked if we know. We suppose it’s just all part of the Unknowable Adventure of Life among The Unemployable, where just producing a rent check to the landlord each month feels increasingly like some kind of desperate, bizarre magic trick.

Fortunately, in the midst of all this dismal, magic darkness there’s still the occasional pale flicker of hope that alights in our inbox by way of *cue heavenly clarions* commissioned work. We can show you one example of this that just dropped on us straight out of the blue one day — a fellow Hawaiian exile was looking for birthday portraits of himself, & assented to our (extremely modest) terms. Here were the results:

grantcrowellportrait
[click to see it bigger]

It’s been a while since we’ve drawn anything but cats & dogs to order, but we have to admit, the human form does lend itself to comicification. It was fun to toy around with the kind of expressions only higher primates can pull off. If anyone else needs us to mess around with the face of themselves or a loved one, or just some pop-culture reference or political figure, or simply need to relieve your bloated wallet from its groaning burden of excess capital, don’t hesitate to drop us a line at fantods at gmail dot com with your requests. Like any desperate broke deadbeat with Old Man Indigence nipping at their heels, we’re working cheap.

We’ve also been working on a Secret Art Project, which is actually a lot of fun and will soon render us ineligible for employment at any municipal job in the state of Iowa; stay “tuned” for that in the next few days. We’ve also got more illustrations & comics ready for posting, since the ringing disappointment of thousands of new Ignatz-curious Playhouse visitors has by now become palpable. We might even put Sick, or parts of it, back up, if only to lose our Ignatz bid with a touch more grace. The fact that we can’t afford to travel to SPX this year means we’ll have plenty of spare time to mess around with html online while the rest of you comb the plush Marriott carpets for drink tickets.

Thank you for reading what is surely the longest most meandering block of text to ever clutter a cartoon website. It’s fair to say there’s more of that coming as well — seeing as the NSA has made social media an utter liability for us & our scandalous opinions, we’re all but ready to delete our twitter account, making this the only place left for us to interact with [read: complain at] our friends, & visit with the 500 or so MRA rapists who visit the Playhouse every week just to troll our Sexism comic.

PS: if anyone knows of a great, cheap, good-quality place to make giclee prints online, we’re interested in the deets.