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Colleen AF Venable
...unfriendly guinea pigs, happy dead people, and optometrist-approved quails. If you aren't already braced, grab someone close to you. (And tell them I think they are lovely.)

I have been writing up a storm of silly design posts over on the :01 blog lately. Posts about Victorian Babies Who Like to Shave and used the blog as an excuse to take all of the jackets off my books and photograph the most awesome things I found hiding underneath them. The latest was super fun to do and I did it all For the Love of "g". It's a tribute to my favorite letter! (People have those right?) I friggin love lower case g's especially in "American Typewriter" which I think it looks like a fat little quail. Whenever I tell people that they always say "Well, actually, Coll-leeen. I would have to say it looks more like a pair spectacles." To which I say "I don't know WHAT ya'll are talkin' bout" after which point I put a live quail over my face so I can see better.

I made a silly little poster of 50 of my favorite g's. Also that blog post contains a link to one of the weirder more charming Sesame Street moments I've found online yet! It doesn't seem that weird until the ending just goes on forever. GEEEEEEEEE! Love it!

Okay now for the REAL excitment...at least on my part! My book ALMOST exists!!!! I've gotten to see dummies of the finished book which I am now allowed to talk about because it's REAL! (And has just started to go out to reviewers and such...eep!) It comes out in APRIL officially both in hardcover and super inexpensive paperback! It's even up for presale at Amazon and B&N already...though I would encourage you to ask your local bookstore to get it when it comes out because I love little bookstores.

It's a super silly mystery series for the 3rd grade type aka MY PEOPLE...or at least the people who I always have the best conversations. It stars a fiesty Guinea Pig who is forced to solve crimes in a Pet Shop when the "g" in pig falls off her sign and a narcoleptic hamster (that thinks he is a Koala) becomes convinced she is a private investigator. Those of you who used to read FLUFF will recognize Hamisher the Hamster since he is a slightly more sane version (but not MUCH) of everyone's favorite insane jerboa, Furboa! My editor, the lovely Carol, was a fan of the Fluff comic, not to mention being one of my favorite people in the world.

The cover!

When I first saw the art I literally had to run around in circles for about ten minutes to calm down my excitement. The genius-y Stephanie Yue drew the cutest versions of the things in my brain I could have ever imagined. She took panels that were 1/2 funny and made them downright pants-peeing! I am so damn proud to be working with her on this series! And the design dork in me love, love, LOVED the color palette!

The animals all live in a pet store where the owner is a very sweet man who, unfortunately for the animals in the shop, can't tell the difference between any of them and is always putting them back in the wrong cages. That lead to perhaps my favorite out of context line from the story "As you can tell from the bottom of the cage, camels poop woodchips..." POOP! WOO! My third grade self would be so proud!


I can't show TOO much, but here's perhaps my favorite page in the book, which gives you an idea about Hamisher's craziness and Sasspants' determination to be left alone. Fourth panel is a perfect example of Steph being the aweseomest. I musta laughed at that panel for an hour. Also check out that gorgeous lettering! That's all from the hand of Zack Giallongo. Between Carol, Steph, and Zack I feel like I've been placed on a dream team. When we are done with these books, we'll likely go on to save the world. It's pretty inevitable.


I have been quiet for many reasons in this land of blog, but one of them was pretty fantastic: I just got back from a last minute trip to Paris! I had enough flight miles saved up for another trip to Japan...but when that fell through I instead got to go and visit my friend Curt for the lovely price of $30 in taxes! My (luckily great at speaking-french) friend Meghan joined me and the two of us paraded around that city having a great time. I am pretty sure 90% of my body weight is nutella and cheese at this point. Mmmmm.

More on the trip soon, when I get around to posting some cool pictures, but one of the big things I fell in love with in France was something I never do at home...namely watching TV! They had the greatest music channels and every morn Meghan and I would watch videos while we got ready. I will now share with you the two men and the chicken who I am going to marry.

Charlie Winston's KICK THE BUCKET may not be French, but lordie do those Frenchies love him there! He was in their top 10 every day and this song could not be any catchier. His dance moves at the end! I know that wasn't quite a sentence just now, but HIS DANCE MOVES AT THE END! Warning: This will be stuck in your head if you listen and you will walk around singing cheerily about death. No doubt about that.

The second was an actual french fella named Julien Doré. This song "Les Limites" is not only delicious to the ears, but the video is BRILLIANT! That's Julien dancing in the background. Make sure you get to the end since I love those last 5 seconds!

The REAL charm about Julien is that this isn't the only version they filmed and released! There's a version where they switch places. A version where the dove man gets to star. A version in a very small pub hallway. And these are all official videos by the REAL people. You add all of those to the 100's of videos of people reenacting it in all sorts of super silly ways and if you are anything like me you will lose a few wonderous hours of your life to youtube glory. People having fun being super silly dancing with butter knives, fake chickens, and bad wigs. Heaven! You've arrived at last!
Colleen AF Venable
The internet is a broken record and right now that record is that hit single "SPX WAS THE BEST EVER!" performed by like 2,000 completely amazing people. Marianne and I helped design the cover art, which is a good chunk of that crowd who bought ridiculous beards from us. Men, women, small babies alike. Actually no, not true. Babies didn't get beards. That would just be silly. We gave them small axes. This year the beards were particularly awesome thanks to a genius idea from Mz. M. They were lovingly sexy-glued (even hotter than hot glue) with a variety of colored and shaped mustaches on top! This is our fifth year of Lumberjack Day and it seems appropriate that an idea we got at our first ever SPX we attended as attendees would turn out to be the focus of our best table ever.

We easily sold out of books TWICE! Okay, okay so the first one totally didn't count after we found one book that tried to run away under the table, but we did get to celebrate and make grammatically incorrect signs twice.


Amazingly we made 75 copies of the Lumberjack book and we came home with NONE. I can't even begin to tell you how happy that makes me! The book came out so great and I have all of my friends to thank. This was a super fun collaboration. Those of you out of town creators will get your books in a week or so after i get me another batch of felt. If you have a beard color request, make it now!

Take that SPX 2009!

Take that SPX 2009! Post show powerpose shot of Cristi, Chris, Curt, (both from http://www.letsbefriendsagain.com which you should be reading if you aren't already), Brett, Eugene, and Marianne. Not pictured because she joined us later in the evening to rock out is Klio from http://www.spqrblues.com fame.

Highlights from the show go on and on. Kinda like the amount of pictures that go on and on underneath this cut.

There has always been something magical about SPX. Next year I hope to make it even MORE magical when I finally convince someone to drive me to that magic store down the road. I got two words for you SPX 2010: SMOKE MACHINE. Also two more words: BURNT EYEBROWS. Woo!

-There were some big key people missing (you know who you are...Ed, Dave, Melissa, Matt, Katie, Zack, Stephanie, Journey!) and some other folks who were there, but didn't have a table like usual (you also know who you are...unless you got hit on the head since I last saw you, Leah, and have amnesia....in which case your name is "Susan," you are my mom and you owe me like 37 weeks of backpay allowance.)

-Missed the Nerdlingers and my Baltimore fav people Robyn and Andrew because we got stuck in traffic. So sad! But my Great-Grandbaby Nerdlinger went to Aaron. I think this means I'm required to tell him stories about how hard it was picking cotton uphill both ways wearing dinosaurs for shoes. That or start sending him age-inappropriate birthday cards.

-Mr's Marriott still haven't asked me to marry both of them. What's up with that!? I've been wooing them for years. Also, we have yet to learn what the secret blue-print was other than a possible disciplinary tool for Marriott Jr. I'm pretty sure it's the cure for cancer, but we'll never know since Marriott Sr seems really attached to it.

-Didn't spend enough time with enough people. Why can't spx be four days? Ed says I have "Schindler's Syndrome". What I think I have is "whoops I didn't mean to fall alseep I meant to go to the next party first syndrome." Next year. It's you, me, everyone we know, and another pane of glass. (Tyler and Phil have never looked more handsome.)

-I did not design nor did I paint this book cover.
Our Sixth-Grade Sugar Babies

That was a gift from editor extraordinaire Molly O when she cleaned out her office at Harper. Makes me wish I lived in 1992 so everything I made could look just like this! For the record, I accidentally started reading the book last night and it's actually really good!

I guess what I'm trying to say is SPX 2009, will you have a sixth-grade sugar baby with me?

All the rest of my SPX pictures live here and in my heart.
Colleen AF Venable
24 September 2009 @ 06:10 pm
So in a mere two months Marianne, me, and 25 of our favorite cartoonist friends made a book that is so damn filled with awesome we needed to cut a hole in the cover so it wouldn't explode!

LUMBERJACKS, A FIELD GUIDE: THE PAST, PRESENT, & FUTURE OF LUMBERJACKARY written by Marianne and myself will debut at SPX this weekend and features the awesome art of Liz Baille, Scott Bateman, Greg Bigoni, Darryl Ayo Brathwaite, Carol Burrell, Eric Colossal, Liam Duffy, Robin Enrico, Jess Fink, Zach Giallongo, John Green, Dustin Harbin, Pat Lewis, David Malki !, Chris Moreno, Travis Nichols, MK Reed, Leah Riley, Ben Ross, Dave Sherrill, Ed Siemienkowicz, Jen Vaughn, and Marion Vitus!

Man that was a lot of names. I need to go and sit down and catch my breath. Eh who am I kidding! I AM SO EXCITED!

Lumberjacks: A Field Guide: A Pile

Each book has a felt die-cut "PAT THE BEARD" cover with art by Mzzzz Fink and Sir Ayo. It's 60 pages of pure helpfulness with information about how to find out if you may be a lumberjack, how to grow a beard, the difference between hipsters and lumberjacks, "where's waldo" style "find the lumberjack" images, a guide to what lumberjacks wear, eat, and do and why, some tips on how to find your own lumberjack, lovely history lessons about the famous lumberjacks of the past, and did I mention felt. I heart feeling felt. Err...um you know what I mean. Okay here's a very small (since this thing is HUGE in mini-comic terms) sneak peek under the cut:


I will now resist the urge to post the entire book here but I did post a few more pics of the inside and things we made for the show on my flickr. We also have a ton of beards with various mustaches attached, PLUS if you WEAR SOMETHING PLAID we'll give you something special for FREE until we run out of those and then we'll just give you a FREE look that says "you could have been special...I'm sorry."

ALSO! FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO WANT TO EAT A LUMBERJACK BREAKFAST WITH ME ON SATURDAY let me know! It would be fun to go with a crowd of folks and stuff our faces! I'm thinking at 9 so we have time to get all ready for the show. Who's with me?!!/!?!?! (If you are all too hungover that just means more pancakes for MEEE. Though what's better to soak up alcohol than pancakes?! They are like giant sponges to suck out the hangover from your belly!)

NOTE! For those of you not going to SPX you should still try and meet up with friends for tasty food this weekend in honor of our silly made-up holiday. It may be very silly and very made up, but it's about hanging out with friends and good food and that's awesome. You should do it!

I almost forgot to post this! Marianne and I were guests on a cooking show about Holidays called PARTY IN YOUR MOUTH. It was a whole episode in honor of Lumberjack Day! The "wait I think it's moving" ending almost made me pee my pants. Here's the recipe for the amazing pancakes Jess made for the show.

So at the :01 office they are making a conscious effort to start to make our blog more "thoughtful" and asked me to make a long intelligent post on design-ish things every two weeks. So in lew (lou? lieyou? um...you know what I mean) of being all wordy and smart I am just posting lots of pretty pictures like snowmen and sexy ladies.

This week I got obsessed with the translations of a wordless book. There is such beauty in the language of sound effects around the world. A "Gasp" becomes a startled German "Schluck" and a French "OOOH" of surprise. The "Shiver Shiver" of a snowman becomes "Bidder Bidder" in Berlin and "glagla glagla" in Grenoble. (Also can we stop and take a moment to appreciate that these are images of a snowman shivering from Sara Varon's ROBOT DREAMS. While he may be chilly, it warms my heart.)

American Edition of Robot DreamsGerman Edition of Robot DreamsFrench Edition of Robot Dreams

There are barely ever any good comment discussions on the :01 blog lately, probably because it was dormant for so long, but It's ALIVE ALIIIIIVE so you guys should totally read it and comment. Makes me sad when my heart-felt BIBBER BIBBERS fall into an abyss.
Colleen AF Venable
02 September 2009 @ 08:52 pm

The age-old question—Friendships have been destroyed by it and many a great philosopher have lived under its weight. No one will ever be sure what came first: the invention of plaid or the invention of human beings. They say you can tell a lot about a person by which one they believe. People that believe human beings came first tend to be rational, value intelligence, and have legs. And people that believe plaid came first tend to be the writer of this entry.

More on Lumberjackary, Benjamin Franklin, and SPX!Collapse )

I've got crazy amounts of energy right now since i am riding the wave of finishing the first draft of a Young Adult graphic novel this past Sunday. I was working on it almost every night for the last three months with occasional breaks to watch 17 straight hours of VERONICA MARS, like you do. 300 and 10 friggin pages! It's the longest thing I've ever written and while you shouldn't judge a book by the width of its spine you should judge a book by how pretty it's spine is! Oooooh spot arrrrt. Truth be told I go back and forth between thinking I wrote something great to thinking I might have accidentally written 300 pages of "All Work and No Play Makes Colleen Write Bad YA". Hopefully no matter which one is true it'll find a home with an editor who will a) make me make it awesome or b) make it into a movie starring Jack Nicholson.

I'm already at work on a new project, which is secretly set in Walden, NY the super white trash and completely lovable village I grew up in. (Though maybe I'll call it Balden, NY so no one will figure it out). It's lovingly referred to by me and Sir Barry, my "shows books to people who might want to make books" guy* as "the boob book". I won't give away anything else other than the fact it's not a graphic novel (gasp!) and it's a funny book for teens.

*i still have trouble saying the word "agent", feels almost as weird as calling myself a "grownup"

Things I Must Do!
1-Revamp website: Holy crap do I need to tidy that thing up! I think I made it in 1974.
2-Start posting radio shows! I keep recording them and then i listen to them over and over, forgetting to post them so other people can listen to them over and over. #1 is the reason I haven't done #2. I can promise you that these are so worth it!
3-Pass gas: all of the happiness inside must be taking up too much room!

In other news I've been trying to woo the Robots so when they take over they'll be all "Naw man, she's cool, don't laser-ize Colleen". Part of my efforts include taking my Grandma's Roomba off her hands. Meet "DOOMba!" (thanks to Eric C for the name!)

Oh well, so much for THAT robot liking me. Maybe Annie-Bot will save me when the time comes.
It's Coming from INSIDE the House?

"What? The call is coming FROM INSIDE OF MY HEAD?!?!?!"
Colleen AF Venable
I am all moved! I friggin love my new place and I have internet again! It's been a month without it at home, and while I can sneak some things at work I was pretty much twitching by the time they hooked it back up. That's literally the longest I've gone without internet since 1993 when my Dad was all "Hey Coll want to get addicted to something your friends haven't even heard of" and I'm all "HELLZ YEAH DAD as long as you don't mind me constantly hanging out in plain text chat rooms pretending I'm a old man! 'Get off my lawn!'"

It came with a book of ALL the websites on the internet. Yes that's right. A 200 page book. I wish I still had that thing. I remember being amazed. How could all of that book exist in the air? I felt like I was breathing it in. The internet was so big. The first site I visited was the Animaniacs website with my friend Brandy. It took us three hours to load the home page and who knows how many more hours it took for us to load singular 2 second audio clips but holy crap it was the most amazing thing ever! I had an email address long before I had anyone to write to. Almost all my real life relationships were born first of pixels—eventually transitioning into friends, collaborators, and really a nice handful of good kissers.

I love the internet and I love my Dad for being the gadget guy he is. When I was in elementary school he got me a cd player, as large as a record player. I had two cds, both miscellaneous hits from the 60's. I freaked out when Ghost came out and it had one of "my songs" in it. I loved that cd player so much I somehow got a ton of peanut butter inside of it. I'm not sure how exactly, but if you're going to break something there are less tasty ways to do it.

Where was I going with this? Sorry got sidetracked by OOOOOOOOOOoooOooH MYYYYYY LOOOOOVE getting restuck onto the inside of my brain, likely with that peanut butter. Oh yes...jobs!

WEB DESIGN-Y PEOPLE! I have jobs for you! One is ridiculously awesome and good paying! One is more of a favor, but I've saved a good chunk of money to give you and it means everything to me.

Job #1:
First Second :01 Web Designer for Webcomic Project: So we just signed up the amazing Mr. Mark Siegel's new book...aka our leader who also happens to be an incredible artist. I am literally giddy to see the art and what I know of the story makes me even giddier! Giddiest perhaps? I've been wanting us to get :01 into the world of webcomics and this is pretty much the perfect book to play with and post online!

Speaking of which...did I ever show you guys this amazing comic? Mark did it to honor everyone's favorite Scott Pilgrim. Click for the full amazing 2-page thing:

More info about the :01 job! including specifics and paymentCollapse )

Job #2:
(aka the i beg of you all! I want to give my dad an awesome gift for under $500! job...but also one that will give you money over time)

(psst that's my dad, the heartthrob at the top of the crystal pyramid...need to find me the larger version of that pic)

My Dad was a professional drummer by the time he was 15, playing with musicans twice his age who were known all over the world. He's been playing pro every weekend ever since, a drummer for hire who never needs to rehearse because he is that amazing. He's SO DAMN GOOD but, like the awesome guy he is, in the late 70's he chose a family and a steady job over his dreams of rocking out. I think that's why the movie ANVIL! hit me so damn hard...because I knew my Dad could have made it. I don't have a doubt in my mind. But he chose us over fame, and while I love him for it, I want him to play and write songs again. Hey speaking of ANVIL...
Me, Lips, and Mikey and awesome Front Row Seats for ANVIL

Why yes that is Me, Mikey, and the lead singer of Anvil, LIPS! Seriously an awesome show, and man did I still cry at the movie even though it was the second time I saw it. From laughter, from sadness, and from "holy crap they are the best friends in the world-ness". Anvil is an absolute inspiration to anyone who's ever wanted to create.

But back to my Dad...now after 35 years of teaching, he's retired. He really REALLY needs a new pretty website for his recording studio (http://www.frontiernet.net/~venable/ is the old one...see I told you we had the internet FOREVER ago). For his retirement gift I want to hire someone to build it for him. I would do it myself, but I'm so damn slow!

More info about the Site for My Dad job!Collapse )

In other news I am feeling so creative lately it is shooting out of my ears. I am on a strict "write 7 pages everytime I try" diet that's got my YA graphic novel almost complete! I also am desperately itching to really REALLY restart a podcast....but I need help.

1. Who occasionally wants to make a podcast with me? Something new and Un-Fluff (because honestly how will we ever top Fluff?!) I recorded three new shows already, one with PLDM, one with Scott Bateman, and one with Ed when I was in Japan. The ones I recorded were very Fluff style, but I want to do something new! Maybe have some sketches, maybe make it more Daily Show style with correspondents, maybe do it 40's drama style. I'm not sure, but I do know I really love radio and while Annie, Liam and I are working on a ridiculously cool new Vid-cast, I still love audio and fake radio shows. Let's make one!

2. What should the new show be called? I was going to just call it Fluff Radio i-i but I'm feeling like I need a whole new name for a whole new show. What do you guys think?

Who's up for creativity?!

Two last things:
1. It is the birthday of the amazing JESS FINK. I am wearing sequins writing this in her honor. Seriously one of my favorite people in the world AND one of the most talented. Here we are at the MOCCA ladies fest, just waiting for people to throw cupcakes into our faces.

Waiting For People To Throw Cupcakes in Our Mouths

2. I will likely go on and on about MJ soon, since he had a massive role in making me who I am (aka someone who knows he "remember the time" breakdown dance by heart). I won't say it now, since you are all sick of hearing about him, but I WILL say a) I own MOONWALKER on DVD (the japanese one since you can't get it in America) and b) I also own CAPTAIN EO. There needs to be a viewing of these two magical things at my place very very soon.
Colleen AF Venable
So I'm pretty sure my eyeglasses have been kidnapped by the mafia.

That's a normal way to start an entry after slacking off for two months to go off and do ridiculously exciting things like visiting japan, repeatedly kissing a very tall boy, designing half dozen books, getting ready for two conventions, AND preparing to move into my 9th (yes that's right 9TH) new place since I moved to NYC 7 years ago, right? Also all sentences should be this long, "this" meaning the sentence before this one, and "this", the second "this", meaning the sentence I am butchering right now and will eventually end with some sort of punctuation, like maybe a period, or perhaps a hearty question mark?

Technically it's 11 years ago at this point I've lived and been a traveling gypsy weaving about the boroughs of NYC, but I don't count Staten Island...which probably explains why the mafia is all pissed at me and stole my glasses. My glasses been missing for five days now. I'm not too blind, so it's not a big deal, but basically I a) can't drive a car b) can't operate a steamroller...without "incidents", but hey isn't that half the fun?! and c) can't go to the movies unless I'm going to one where it doesn't matter what people's facial expressions are. Kinda like a silent movie, only instead of being quiet, they just don't move their faces when they talk. I imagine Nicole Kidman would be really good in one of these types of movies.

I keep looking for my glasses in the "i'm not looking for anything I'm just looking under everything I own for fun" method (proven fact if the thing knows you are looking for it, it'll just hide deeper). But this morning is when I realized this wasn't just a case of missing glasses, this was a case of A KIDNAPPING!

Found one arm of my eyeglasses in my bed, just one, snapped off like the optical version of a giant horse corpse head. Searched around and under the bed and can't find the rest of it for the life of me. I would have been more upset, but then I thought about how funny it is to say horse-corpse outloud three times in a row, and settled on the fact those purple glasses survived 10 times longer than any other pair I've ever owned. They were a birthday gift from Marianne my first year in NY. (Awwww.) They had a good life, and I hope, where-ever (on staten island) the rest of my glasses are, they are happy.

So Japan! Lordie. How do I sum up the most amazing trip of my life? Oh...I guess that statement worked just fine. Most Amazing Trip of My Life. Truly. Absolutely. Ed does a much better job explaining it's awesomeness. First here with this fake 2-parter video we made of me "having a horrible time". Unfortunately my acting was a little too decent and his friends who only watched the first vid were very very confused why he would like such a cold heartless girl who doesn't know what LORD OF THE RINGS is. Seriously! COME-ON PEOPLE! I FRIGGIN' WROTE LORD OF THE RINGS! (up there, three sentences ago. See it?) The second video of that post is so worth watching as we pretend to re-fall in love online in the same room. Also a must watch, according to my sister Kath, is 5:20 of the third of these videos, aka the REAL videos of my trip Ed so awesomely edited.

WARNING: I just linked you to like an hour's worth of mine and ed's faces moving and making sounds. If you would rather look at videos of jerboas. I can't blame you.

Alright, alright, for those of you who like to click play without leaving a page. Here's the dorkiest of the batch. it's the finale of the fake "colleen is a horrible bitch who hates japan and ed, and ed is a painful dork who is boring colleen to tears" video, funny mostly because the stupid things we do on skype during this video are pretty much our normal skype-ing style (this is part 2, part 1 is here):

I could pretty much go on forever so under the cut are a few of my favorite images from Japan, mostly silly things I saw and loved, plus one for pure AWWWWWW factor:

And then this one which makes me laugh every time:

This escalator either wants to eat your shoes or just looked up your skirt.

More from JapanCollapse )

All of the pictures from Japan are here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/abletoven/sets/72157616898438536/

So many exciting things on the horizon!

-MOCCA! Where I'll get to see so many of you! I'll be at the :01 table standing in front of things I worked on including the world's most sinister looking book. Adam Rapp, George O'Connor: Black type on a black background with an image of a girl in gas mask wearing all black AND black ink stamped on the sides of the book, making it look like an evil brick! It's a super cheery tale about a plague and a bunch of people murdering children. Yay!

-I friggin' love this Brazilian DJ Faroff who's mashup of a Klezmer Band mixed with House of Pain was listend to 47 times in the past four days according to itunes. I think I might need to go to rehab soon. Tons of free downloads of his stuff here!

-Other things happening in the next two weeks: Moving away from Brooklyn temporarily, taking care of a friend's place on the Upper West Side for at least a year. I'll have my own one-bedroom and will save money while I'm at it for a NEW one bedroom eventually back in the borough I love and name websites after. For those of you who know him, dont worry, Emilio is coming with me. This is how happy he is about that:

Oh hello.
Colleen AF Venable
The twitter monster got me. Attacked and sucked me in. I have made it out alive all with all my pieces. Well...I DID lose my left foot, but honestly that was the uglier one. (I'm sure you all noticed.) I can't believe I went almost two weeks without reading any LJ posts but hit refresh, refresh, refresh on twitter. I guess it's because I can sneak it easier at work, but even at home I kept forgetting to read LJ...but when I did holy poop I felt like a CPR dummy: aka literally quite dumb but with someone breathing sweet sweet life-giving air back into me. Air I think I really needed.

Also the person learning cpr is dreamy and tall. My imagination just decided that.

Basically what I am trying to say is a) I am going through make-out withdrawal and b) I MISSED YOU GUYS. (These two things may or may not be related depending on who you are reading this.) I missed posts with substance, posts that make me laugh that go over 140 characters, poems and puppets, scans of old photos and embedded images from new designers, comics I can read without clicking links and wow what comics! A whole bunch of brooklyn-centric memories from cp_journalcomic! A new page of Jess Fink's Chester (sans sexiness, but con a variety of goggles-yippee)! And while Ms Klio aka meritahut has been taking a break to work on bigger things, I had me some archives to read of SPQR Blues which included Mus learning some things Ms. Fink would be proud of! The internet has made me happy again. Thanks internet.

Holy cheese in a can! I leave for Tokyo in THIS many hours. Make-out withdrawl no more! Can't wait to see Ed though I'm slightly worried I might spend a good portion of my 10 days in Japan in jail for tackling him in the airport upon my arrival. There's so much I need to do before I go...mainly make sure I learn how to say these important phrases in Japanese:

1. Hello
2. Thank you
3. Goodbye
4. I'm thirsty
5. Where is the place for me to get rid of the soda I drank too much of?
6. I'm sorry I peed on your floor. Obviously I need to work at pronouncing that last phrase.
7. Why yes, that IS my unicorn. (this is just in case I see one. I hear they might exist there and with this handy phrase I'm totally stealing one and bringing it back with me!)
8. Kimble, you've wasted years chasing after me, and what has it got you? Huh? Nothing! I'll be out of here in a week, and you'll still be eating takeout food in that dump you live in. Yeah! I know all about you, Kimble. Without me, you wouldn't even have a life. My old lady left because of the money. Yours left because she just couldn't stand the sight of you. (just in case they ask me to reenact Kindergarten Cop...as I'm sure they do all to all Americans, only I'd do it with a tear running slowly, softly down my cheek. Richard Tyson, whose name I just learned from IMDB: I could SO out-oscar you!)
10. Sir! Sir! Please stop so I may speak with you. I'm afraid I've eaten too much and am about to die. You don't speak English so I learned to say this particular phrase in Japanese, just in case of this such event. Please take my last words and send them to my mother in Walden, NY. She'll want to know that I love her and...hey you should probably write this down. I think I have a pen in my bag somewhere. Christ there's a lot of wind-up toys in here. Ah! There it...*COLLEEN'S DEAD*

I think that's all I really need to know. Anything else you guys can think of that I should learn? I already received this very helpful tip:

This going to be the first real vacation I've had in four years and also the first time I've seen Ed in almost 5 months. I might spontaneously combust. It's very possible.

1. They've picked the illustrator for my books! I have to keep spy-like about the plots and characters and book specifics, which is okay since it gives me an excuse to wear a fedora and trench coat and spit out food when I don't like it yelling IT'S POISON! Luckily there was a really nice write-up in Publisher's Weekly about my new publisher which officially announced "Web comics guru Colleen Venable is working on an original series with artist Stephanie Yue." STEPHANIE YUE! HOLY MOLY GUYS DO YOU REALIZE WHO SHE IS AND HOW AWESOME SHE IS?! If not you should peek at this: http://www.jellycity.com

Also interesting to note: This is the third time industry folks have called called me a Webcomics guru which I find pretty hysterical. I guess I've been pretty loud about being pro-webcomics whenever I'm at panels! Not a bad title to get.

2. In the realm of completely amazing kid's book agents, there's one that stands out as being super funny, super great at his job, and super miraculously likes my writing enough to sign me up! 2009 just keeps getting more and more jaw-droppingly awesome. I've already spilled the beans like four times to family, friends, homeless men who I pass on the street, but it looks like the beans are unspillable now! It's official since my face now graces this lovely page of the awesome Barry Goldblatt's website: http://www.bgliterary.com/clients.html I think I have read a book from almost every one of those other amazing writers. How on earth is my face on the same page as Cecil Castellucci, Shannon Hale, Libba Bray, and Holly Black?!

3. I don't know why I seem to talk about horses at the end of half my posts lately, but in an effort for to find a case for my phone I came across something truly beautiful:

Do people really like horses THIS MUCH? I mean half of my friends growing up had horse-of-the-month calendars I will never (want to) understand. I even grew up near a bunch of horse farms and all I really learned were they are kinda stinky and you shouldn't stand behind one in a conga line. But this case! Giant Horse Head Monsters! Attacking Tinier Horses! Are those green flames or stink lines coming off the word HORSE! Meanwhile everytime you are on the phone you've got the label "HOR" on the side of your face. I don't care if it's not spelled right, just like it always did in the basketball version, it phonetically makes me laugh my butt-cheeks off. I think I may need this case. I'm just scared it will induce actual conversations from real giant horse head monster lovers.

Or worse real giant horse heads. Godzilla and Mothra better move over! Hmmmm... I think I may need to make short film in Tokyo next week...
Colleen AF Venable
14 February 2009 @ 01:45 pm
First! Furboajerboa no more! I changed my name. To Larry. Larry AF Venable. Oh yeah, and my journal's name changed to colleenAF. No need to do anything. The magic of science has made it all the same, all my friends, all your links. Science!

Why the change? Mostly it was because I was sick of typing furboajerboa wrong to sign in and felt like being more obvious about being me. The amazing mister_punchy tells me Alex Trabec is really upset about the change and recently had a $2,000 question of "what is a jerboa?", but me and Alex haven't spoken since he murdered the man I loved: His mustache Fernando. Ahhh the dreams I used to have about Fernando. (Which will now likely be replaced by dirty dreams about this puppet of Bull from Night Court.. Dirty dreams? Nightmares? Meh whatever.)

Second! Yeah, so the novelty of having a screwed up arm is diminishing in the direct ratio to the amount of food I spill on my stupid white sling. Was feeling all bad-ass for a while. Now I just feel like there's perpetual mac and cheese on my right boob. And not in the good way.

For those that haven't heard, despite the fact I can't seem to stop twiiiitting about it, I fractured my elbow and did a lot of muscle/tendon/ligament damage the last morning of Comic Con after attempting to run out of the shower to turn off my alarm clock. Slipped and flew through the air full-body in a slow-mo moment that made me realize "Hey, when ninjas jump and kick other folks in the chest using both feet in kung-fu movies, you never see how they land! I wonder how they land...Surely there is no way to land without-AH FRICKEN A!" Had a very short lived moment where I attempted to call to my roomie for help, only to remember I was totally not in an "outfit" nor position I felt like being seen. Oooh for those of you who like gross things check out the bottom of this post! For those of you who don't this post ends at THE END and read no further! But until THE END here's more:

Comic Con was so awesome. Much better than the last two years. Saturday was super crowded and barely got to leave the booth other than some amazing BBQ. Sunday was even better despite the fact I was unknowingly broken! Day started by eating donuts, went on to eating chocolate stolen from bowls at other people's booths, then was followed up by eating an amazing cupcake with icing twice the height of the cake! Oh yeah...and there were some non-food related things, like comics and stuff, too! No wonder I didn't notice my arm! Literally had no time to wander the floor, but I did see THE elusive Moreno. I'm sure you remember from those out-of-focus pictures in Scottish lakes. Then visited Zoya at the Animated Closet booth, where I freaked out over their stuff and decided if I can't afford the d90 I'd have to settle for a skirt with a dog on it. (They are almost the exact same thing, minus the need for batteries. BONUS!) Their booth reaffirmed my goal to stop wearing clothes bought in stores and to make use of these piles of fabric I have here in my apartment. So yeah...if, in the next few months, you wonder why anything I'm wearing is asymmetrical, badly sewn, or covered in mac and cheese IT IS INTENTIONAL. I AM STARTING A TREND. Also cheese is awesome.

I did spend a good chunk of the day saying "hey does this look weird to you" and then showing random people that my arm oddly wouldn't straighten. Here it is five days later...and this is after it improved! I look like a zombie in this picture. It's just I want more chocolate SO BAD. Brooooooowniiiies...
Thanks to Swelling This is As Straight as My Left Arm Gets
Yeah, luckily the amazing Carol told the amazing Marianne she could go to the hospital with me, so as soon as we finished breaking down the booth and meeting banana-man in plain non-banana clothes, we went to the emergency room.

I was very disappointed by the lack of wacky antics, and the fact none of the doctors seemed in love with each other. What the hell?! It was almost like TV was all made-up or something. Crazy. Had fun telling the nurse not to worry when he gave me written instructions in spanish since the heavy painkillers they put me on would eventually teach me the language. Was in and out of the hospital in two hours. I owe so so so much to Marianne for taking care of me and to Mikey who's taken care of me since. Also thank you to the hospital who reminded me I can drive vans.
I Am Able to Drive Vans!
That photo is also helpful if you want to learn how to mispell both my first and last names.

Today kinda sucks. It's pretty much a given I'm missing Ed today, he was asleep when I woke up, and I'm leaving the house before he'll wake up. Feeling all helpless with my arm and distance is feeling more distance-y because of it. Long distance sucks. Sucks. Sucks. Especially with no hope of the distance ever disappearing completely. Even without Japan he's a Chicago boy and I'm NY NY NY C.

BUT there's good news! Just made my reservations to go and visit him! I'll be in Japan from April 2 to April 12, and am really excited especially since the flight was totally free. If you guys can just do me one favor: between now and then, and then after I return, can you occasionally remind me how much I couldn't shut up about liking this boy? It's getting hard and harder to convince myself that what I'm doing isn't totally insane.

Screw you V-day. Bah Humlovebug!

Hey Two Questions for All of You!
1. I feel like there are amazing comic folk out there who's blogs I am not yet reading. Who I am missing?! Who's comics do you loooooooooOooooove. Oooh.

2. As much as I love it, now that I don't sell shirts online anymore my 4-color screenprinting press is just a big ol' dust machine and flash curer. Anyone here want it? I'm considering selling it for cheeeap, like a $100 or something, especially considering it made back it's $2,000+ price more than once with all the shirts I made over the years. Also have tons of ink and shirts. Let me know!

EDIT! Probably would have been helpful if I showed this before. Here's the Flash curer with the printing press on the floor (should mounted on a table, but I haven't used it since I moved in) Also check out Emilio the Almost and Eel-io showing off in this pic:
Emilio the Almost and Eel-io Likes When I Hang Out Near His Tank

For the squeemish: THE END!

For the not so squeemish who are easily fascinated by science there's a little moreCollapse )
Colleen AF Venable
01 February 2009 @ 07:19 pm
* of my Netflix Queue

I was so into adding movies for so long. Had a running list of 100+ and would go into bouts of obsessive themes. All of Billy Cosby's movies? CHECK! All of Vinnie P's movies? CHECK! All of Hulk Hogan's movies? DOUBLE CHECK...yeah that one was a lot easier than the previous two!

But now somehow there are only four movies in my queue. FOUR. That must be some kind of record! I've been thinking about it a lot, and I keep wondering what happens when I run out. I know the obvious answer is "you don't get anymore movies sent to you, but they still take your money, colleen!" but I'd like to believe the REAL answer is "they send you the movies no one else wants to watch!"

Oh man that would be pure heaven! I would love that as an option. Just receive some weird movie everyone else is ignoring! Do you think if I write then a nice email they'll do that for me? Give me all the neglected movies so I can hug and cherish them and maybe even put them in my dvd player and press play?! I used to have this thing where I would go to restaurants and not even look at the menu. When the waiter came over I would just say "what never gets ordered?" They would stare at me blankly for a while, but then always give an honest response, which would lead me into a "I'LL TAKE IT!" no matter what food they named. Often the food was weird but pretty awesome and tasty! Actually never had anything I didn't like by doing that.

The "what never gets ordered?" game was a little more successful than my "will you make my food into the shape of a face" game...only because I almost always get too nervous to try that second one fancier places. I did ask it twice and twice I got SWEET faces on my plate! Totally need to do that one more! Food tastes so much better when it has a bacon smile.

Just in case Netflix DOES just not send me their "worst of" movies I'll happily add this one as number 5:

Hritik Roshan who was the dreamy lead of DHOOM 2 (which I've totally raved about a bunch of times now) supposedly is portraying a mentally handicapped man. Yeeeeaaah...like a Bollywoood version of I AM SAM? According to IMDB there are also aliens involved, and it also seems it might have been aliens that made him born with his handicap. This movie might be too un-PC and weird for even me, and better yet Roshan won India's version of the Oscars for his work on this film. Holy crap I must see this!

I would also queue up THIS as a full length movie if it existed! I would call it THE LIBRARY PATRON'S REVENGE! In a deep booming voice. Repeatedly. Until someone hit me with a book to stop.

If there was ever an better advocate for buying hardcovers...(though I do kinda think the nut kick miiiight have done a little more damage than a Jane Austin to the neck could.)

Oh for some reason that reminds me! I am a twitter-er-er now.

And if you haven't already become my goodreads friend and fellow addict, think of all the muggers that are totally going to be able to defeat your book-less self!

Two more things! I think I'm going to change my LJ name to colleenaf for consistancy's sake. Also as much as I love furboajerboa even I have trouble spelling it! Also perhaps $15 will save LJ's possible decline, and they'lll send me a christmas card of thanks. Woo!

Second thing! Please convince me to either buy the NIKON D90 I desperately want or convince me it's the crappiest camera in the world and I should buy socks instead. Lots and lots of socks. Any financial planner with toes will tell you that. You know the slogan "Socks! Just like Money! Glued to your feet!"

And because some of you are so awesome you've somehow avoided facebook....here's that silly little "25 things". Warning! My list is not for the faint of fart! Yes, that's right. Fart.

The meaning of life...or you know just really REALLY LONG confessions about how dumb I look when I runCollapse )
Colleen AF Venable
03 January 2009 @ 03:06 pm
I was slacking a bit with posts at the end of 2008 for all wonderful reasons! I finished edits on Book 1 and Book 2 is now at my publisher and I SWEAR it's the best thing I've ever written. After Klio's amazing hands give me editorial notes it I KNOW it will be the best thing I've ever written! It's a bit of a goofy parody of AND THEN THERE WERE NONE called AND THEN THERE WERE GNOMES. Puns! Woo!

I should really do a BEST of 2008 post. This was a rollercoaster that started underwater with piranhas biting at my butt, but somewhere along the line took a super quick incline, with the best ending. I truly think overall this is my second favorite year of my entire life, falling short to the ever golden 1994. You with me folks?! 1994 was THE YEAR of like everything great ever....though if 2009 follows recent patterns I think it might give 94 a run for it's first kiss grunge rock listening money!

BEST OF 2008!

Favorite discovered movie of the year: Hands Down! Bollywood's amazing DHOOM2. Discovered on election night when this guy who I liked totally took over our country.

Which brings me to...

Favorite New Elected Leader of the Year: I like to call um Barry O' and imagine him in pillbox hats. Totally amazing guy. Let's hope he continues to look good in a suit dress in my mind...um....i mean here's hoping he keeps being as awesome as he seems. Oh and stops ignoring my gay friends.

Favorite Last Line to A Movie This Year: As many of you might remember I have a thing with writing down the last line to almost all movies I watch, and its totally fun to judge that movie entire out of context with that last line. I'm sure you all remember purposely forgetting about family "drama" directed by Sidney Poitier and starring Mr. Crazy Sweater himself, Bill Cosby. Here's GHOST DAD's beautiful list lines: "Why Don't You Go To Hell And Sit On a Hot Coal Until I Get There." "YES YES EVIL MASTER." Truly inspiring. Why is this film never on the most influential lists?! I mean he's a dad! But he's dead! Brilliant!

Best New Way to Work Out This Year: FACIAL MAGIC! There are some things even I can't make up... I have sir Mikey to and Murray Hill to thank for giving me this amazing VHS tape. Best gift ever!
Scenes from FACIAL MAGIC aka the best VHS Workout Tape in the World

Favorite Broken Sign Of the Year: Did I ever even mention to you guys that I collect these now? I am kinda obsessed with broken signs! Best part about this one is it was a super swanky hotel in Philadelphia...
The Swanky Hotel's EXPRESS HECKOUT

Biggest Zit I Had All Year: On the side of my nose. I started a petition to get it statehood (because lordie knows it would have kicked R.I.'s little butt in size ranking) but it disappeared before I got a chance to fill out all the paperwork, or get it legally named. Sigh. Giant Zit on the Side of my Nose you shall be missed.

Best New Job That Doesn't Cause Zits!: I still can't believe how much I love my job as a designer for FIRST SECOND. Every day I feel like someone high up in teh company is going to realize how big my dumb grin is while I work and surely fire me for not looking dour enough during 9-5. Almost done with my first book design Richard Sala's latest about a group of teenage girls who go to a school to learn to be Cat Burglars! Oooooh! I'll post it as soon as I get final approval! They are even letting me do a foil treatment on the cover. SHiiiiny!

Speaking of amazing books...

Best Book I Read This Year: NO CONTEST. LITTLE BROTHER by Cory Doctorow. If this doesn't win an award I will personally shave off my eyebrows and replace them with tattoos of bananas. I MEAN IT. If you haven't read it yet, we might not even be friends. WHO ARE YOU!? HOW DID YOU FIND ME?!

Best Album Of the Year: Another HANDS DOWN winner!
ARMCANNON's LEGVACCUM album It's hard to just call them a video game cover band. It's so much more than that. Seriously amazing musicians and HOLY CRAP if you can go to one of their shows you absolutely must! Best live band I've ever seen.

Favorite Photograph Taken This Year: With the help of Mikey, Alan, Marlie, and Madeline...
Super Light Hot-Air Balloon

Most Ass-Shooken To Song of the Year: Oh Secret Apartment Dancing! How I love you so! There were probably about 10 songs that were on constant repeat in my headphones all year, but this one, a mix of two of my favorite songs of all time was beyond ass-shakeable! My 2009 gift to you:
Get your Decepta Freak On

Favorite Website of the Year: Speaking of secret apartment dancing...This site makes me happier than any other sites in the internet: http://www.mashuptown.com Hey Mr and Mz DJ's! Put a record on (my ipod...directly please since I do so love your podcast) I only truly fall in love with one out of every 10 songs but MAN do I fall in love with that song. More of my favs!
Cameras at the Club
Lipgloss Tequila

Texas to Tokyo

Hey! Speaking of Falling in Love!
Favorite New Proof that 10,000 Miles MEANS NOTHING Ed explains it all here (which also wins the award for my "Favorite LJ Post Ever")...but I'll say this much: Neither one of us was looking for anything. Both had just had our hearts shattered literally days before we met. There were 10,100 things against us, including 10,000 of those being miles between Japan and Brooklyn...but winds up the miles are no match for the amount I have fallen for this boy. He's everything I've ever been looking for. More amazing and perfect for me than anyone I've ever met. Somehow more "there for me" than anyone, friend or boy, has ever been despite the fact he's 14 hours in the future. I truly truly fell in love this year. Already planning two trips to Japan to visit him...and who knows what will happen next november when he returns. I just know I'm happier than I've ever been and I have that fella to thank.

BEST OF 2009 (anticipated!)
Going to Japan in February!
Starting a Craft Vidcast with Annie and Liam! Called "DIYabolical: Craft Punk"!
Finding out what artist is going to illustrate my books!
Getting off my butt and doing the agent thing!
Reading the books of my writing teammates M & M!
Icecream! Man that stuff is amazing!

High fives to all and to all a good night.