gabby's playhouse

a gabby schulz & ken dahl internet repository

gabby's playhouse

surprise photodump

by way of justifying the $7/month it costs to keep this website up, and by way of apology for not caring enough to update it regularly in a post-instagram world, and also by way of explaining my phone broke and so i can’t use instagram anymore (anyone got a spare android w/ an at&t provider laying around?), here are some photos of some mushrooms i’ve taken recently around My World:

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truck dreamz

********putting pedestrian concerns out into universe********

If anyone is selling a ’90s-era Ford Ranger or Mazda S-series pickup with 4 cylinders, manual transmission, a decent (or replaced) transmission & engine, not totally rusted out, under 200k miles, with a camper shell, for under $3k…. hmu

Hint this is my big plan for changing my life and being happy (even though i have an expired driver’s license)

Suicide Forest (a movie)

suicideforest-movie-mp2 from Gabby Schulz on Vimeo.

I made this little movie as part of my reading at a local comics reading event called Zine Not Dead II, which happened a few months ago. It is a short rough experiment in making moving images which was fun and educational and oddly cheap/easy. Clearly i’m no Bruce Bickford but it was nice to try something different. I wish i could get used to sketching in pencils and just skip inking altogether, like a lot of great cartoonists are doing these days (like Amanda Vähämäki and Krystal DiFronzo) — but my attempts at getting loose still look way too sloppy and lazy to me. This stresses me out conceptually, since it makes my own method of drawing comics feel constricting. Is drawing inevitably laborious, uptight and physically painful for us has-beens from the xerox era? Are we all doomed to a style that we must learn to endure, paying for the crimes of our youthful paths well into the hindsight of middle age, since our lives contain limited seconds in which to improve? Does anyone care what the answer is? No.

PS thank you for everyone’s comments about my relocation spreadsheet. They were very helpful and i could always use more.

TCAF, Sick

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Since this is my Personal Website, it’s my duty to bore everyone by clogging your bandwidth with self-promotional posts like this one. Dear anyone scrolling slow enough to care: i am presently en route to the Toronto Comic Arts Festival, where i will be trapped all weekend, peddling my little song of self-hate, my juvenile jeremiad, my gratuitous graphic navel-gaze, my toilet in a teacup, my cartoon curse on civilization, the book that makes a mountain out of a dunghill amidst a vast sea of life’s greater unspoken problems — Sick — at the Secret Acres table inside Toronto’s Reference Library. It will be an extremely raw and yet tedious experience for all of us. Please say hi and buy the book and then read it and think, probably, “wow Gabby sure does make a lot of fuss over nothing.”

This book isn’t exactly saturated in mass-market appeal; i’ll consider it a success if it breaks even at tepid disinterest. It is, after all, just one tiny point of light struggling against the blackness of the abyss in our vast Constellation of Comic Art, presumptuous in its hope to make the tiniest impression on a few straining retinas, before i and my drawing hand finally, imminently burn out into the blackness forever — inspiring little more from the world than a sigh of relief, as it returns its gaze to artistic supernovae like Chester Brown, shining on in fortune’s spotlight with their bold, bestselling, bloviating cartoon dad-rants about renting anonymous women’s bodies for sex is Christ’s literal plan for my penis…

Well, see you there! And if you know any good mushroom spots near the library, do not hesitate to let me know…

better living through spreadsheets

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The above spreadsheet represents a pathologically rationalist approach to getting out of Chicago. I’ve scored each state on a scale of 0 (“worst”) to 9 (“best”) according to my life’s present greatest ambitions and fears:

1. environmental toxins (including but not limited to ionizing radiation, fracking wastes, and agricultural runoff)
2. cheap rent (a dying breed)
3. abundance of shit jobs (another dying breed)
4. nearby acquaintances (to help smooth the transition but also to make life generally less unbearable)
5. access to UV light (to cure my vitamin-d deficiency and to make life generally less unbearable)
6. tick-borne illness (including but not limited to Lyme disease)
7. foraging grounds, primarily macrofungi

I’ve assigned each state in The Union (a Canadian version was ruled out as being both too employment-prohibitive and too sunlight-prohibitive) a number for each of these seven criteria, to reach a rough estimate as to which state i’d most not hate. Granted, the data isn’t perfect — some tweaking was required (such as Oregon’s crippling -3 rating in the “jobs” category, for reasons best left private) — but i feel this chart is generally more useful than the “vibe” system i’ve previously based my life’s major decisions on.

It’s no surprise that my home state made the 1 slot — what’s interesting is that Washington, a place i hadn’t considered too hard previously, turns out to be the first contiguous state that i’d theoretically enjoy.

And really, why not. Besides the Microsoft/Amazon-inspired rent inflation, the legal-weed-inspired rent-inflation, the legitimization of segways as a means of transport, the endless rain, and the unnerving proximity of one of the nation’s largest nuclear nightmares, maybe it wouldn’t be all that bad. (And please, imagine that every sentence i write about anyplace is followed by an invisible “…compared to Chicago.”) Assuming my calculations are correct, my main concern there would be sunlight — which i know the PNW can be famous for lacking (and i might have based the “5” UV rating on a flawed UV map). But in the end, proximity to nature and jobs, and freedom from viking winters, seems like a fair trade for those too begging to choose?

I know this has nothing to do with comics, and is just me rambling in an empty room to myself about my personal life, which is pretty pathetic, but does anyone out there actually live in the Olympic Peninsula, and have any advice/words of warning/job offers regarding the Frasier City? Is everyone else trying to get out? Is it impenetrable to those few of us still resisting the Singularity by refusing to learn to code and kayak? Where is happiness, dear reader? Where is home?

The only thing i know (1 of 5)

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The first page of a 5-page “comic” that will be appearing in a collection of diary comics entitled A Process of Drastically Reducing One’s Expectations, out this Fall.

I’ll post the next pages M, W, F, & M. Spread out that content. Not sure why but that’s what i’m doing?

status deplored

Y’all, i’m pretty deep into the instagram and not very into my website atm. But i just finished a five-page watercolored story about nature that, if i could get photoshop on my new laptop, i would have posted up here today. But i don’t and so i didn’t, and instead i’ll go to work and then come home and then email some things and eat some dinner and possibly in the next couple of days i will start posting pages. It’s real scary because i’m starting to wonder if the website — the actual, real, pay-for-hosting website format — is obsolete! Is this true? Doesn’t it seem a bit too isolated in here? A little tryhard? A little too $8-a-month-plus-domain-fees? Now that i’ve found out how much easier (and free-er) (and more popular) it is to update instagram with pictures of drawings i’m working on or mushrooms i’m fondling in the woods, all i want to use this website for is rambling concerns about my internal life, polls about where i should move, and asking people if they have a cheap car they want to sell me. Boring! It seems like so much effort for so little return, now that i’m not filling this up with self-pitying diary comics. Well, maybe it will be more useful once my new book comes out in May. Also, Alec Longstreth is helping me put together a POD book of the aforementioned self-pitying diary comics, and that should be out by Fall, so i will mention that here as well.

Other than that though, follow me on instagram (gabbyschulz). It’s so happy there. Just pictures of dogs, flowers, and good art. Good vibes & likes, without the petty drama and intolerable Zizek-fan crypto-Stalinists of twitter. Maybe i’m just getting old but all i want to do with the internet anymore is show people doodles and mushrooms. We all know the world is a giant methane bomb that humans don’t deserve to exist on. We don’t need any more proof, or any more tiresome parsing of our pathetic Solutions. Just scroll into the collapse, try not to breed, and close the door as softly as possible behind you.

Spengler’s open-casket service

What is practised as art today — be it music after Wagner or painting after Manet, Cezanne, Leibl and Menzel — is impotence and falsehood. One thing is quite certain, that today every single art-school could be shut down without art being affected in the slightest. We can learn all we wish to know about the art-clamour from the Alexandria of the year 200. There, as here in our world-cities, we find a pursuit of illusions of artistic progress, of personal peculiarity, of “the new style,” of “unsuspected possibilities,” theoretical babble, pretentious fashionable artists, weight-lifters with cardboard dumb-bells — the “Literary Man” in the Poet’s place, the unabashed farce of Expressionism, which the art-trade has organized as a “phase of art-history,” thinking and feeling and forming as industrial art. Alexandria, too, had problem-dramatists and box-office artists whom it preferred to Sophocles, and painters who invented new tendencies and successfully bluffed their public. The final result is that endless industrious repetition of a stock of fixed forms which we see today in Indian, Chinese and Arabian-Persian art. Pictures and fabrics, verses and vessels, furniture, dramas and musical compositions — all is pattern-work. We cease to be able to date anything within centuries, let alone decades, by the language of its ornamentation. So it has been in the Last Act of all Cultures.

–Oswald Spengler, from The Decline of the West (about 1932)

Who doesn’t love a good shit-talk (especially about expressionism)?

PS: we’ve been over on instagram, and it’s probably the worst thing that ever happened to this website. @gabbyschulz.