We didn’t have summer reading when I was a kid. Actually, I read all summer long, but we didn’t have assigned books. It’s hard for me to understand that some kids don’t read for pleasure, despite the fact that both the kids living in my house fall into this category. The Girl probably would, sometimes, but her dyslexia makes it hard. I have no idea what the Boy’s excuse his. He is supposedly a very good reader, but I have never, ever seen him read anything for pleasure besides gaming manuals.
Anyway, 6+ weeks into summer break and he’s barely cracked his summer reading book. Considering he’ll be spending a week on vacation in San Diego with his mom, and a week in Seattle on vacation with his dad and me, and that school starts up on August 8th, and the book in question is 550 pages long, he’s really cutting it pretty close. We’ve been bugging him about it off and on, but today the Man cracked down on him. No Kindle until you’ve read a big chunk of that book, he was told. Fifteen minutes later the Man found him hiding in his room, watching YouTube on his GameBoy. Now he’s lost all screen privileges.
So now I feel compelled to check. That is, I got my own copy of the book. This morning he claimed to be on page 47. Now he claims to be on page 125. At any rate, I’m somewhere at the 35% mark (mine’s a pdf and it’s paginated differently but I’m guessing I’m probably somewhere around page 175 of the print copy) and now we can all experience the joy and excitement of me going all English teacher on that kid. There will be book talks. I will determine how much he has actually read. He will be prepared, goddamnit.
It took me a couple chapters to get into the story, but it’s very beautifully written and I ended up reading much longer than I had intended. However, now it’s 12:30 and there are no comics for your reading pleasure.
What I have instead, is a couple new product types in my RedBubble shop. It feels like they’re adding new stuff too fast for me to keep up. No sooner have I enabled one new kind of notebook for one product than they introduce a different kind of notebook. This spiral one looks pretty sturdy. It’s 6″ x 8″, 120 pages (ruled line or graph, your choice), and comes with a pocket in the back. Pictured here, My Sister and Brother-in-Law Look to the Future is very timely, as their wedding is fast approaching and my mother bought a bunch of these T-shirts for the grandkids on both sides to wear.
I’m working to get all product types available for every design, but it may take a while, since I now have a lot of designs and I also have a lot of more pressing other stuff to accomplish. Like finishing this 8th grade reading assignment and find a wedding present for my sister and brother-in-law. I can’t use this design because that’s what I gave them for their engagement present.
This is a different style of notebook, the hardcover journal. It’s similar in size to the above product, but not quite the same: 5.2″ x 7.3″, with 128 pages. In addition to ruled lines or graphs, you can also order this one as a blank book for a more freeform writing/drawing experience. The image wraps around to the back of the cover, which looks pretty cool.
This, of course, is the Blue Morpho design, a painstaking and velvety recreation of one of planet Earth’s most spectacular insects. Although they’re all pretty spectacular if you really open yourself to that sort of thing. I mean, I was strongly considering drawing a comic about the tarantula hawk, a giant local wasp that literally hunts and eats large spiders. They are spectacular in their own way, although not everyone will be filled with awe and wonder at their presence. I can still hear the pained shrieks of the Girl after one flew in the general vicinity of her head 5 years ago. She didn’t stop screaming for about 15 minutes. She only got over the experience about a year ago. But really, they’re pretty cool, for what they are.
I’m actually sort of torn on this pencil skirt, simply because it seems like only women who are perfectly comfortable with the shape of their legs, hips, and belly would want one, and generally speaking, I don’t know a lot of people who fall into that category. At any rate, this style of skirt in the Vanity Has a Thousand Eyes design is certainly a hugely striking and attention getting way to CYA, if you feel comfortable drawing the gaze of other people to this region of your body. It’s a personal choice, I guess. It comes in 7 sizes from XXS to XXL, and the price is reasonable.
There are actually more new products but I shall save them for another update.
Some fun things: last night the actual physical human being Matt Paxton, a guy whose wit and wisdom I have enjoyed for a number of years on the horribly voyeuristic and schadenfreude-tastic reality show Hoarders, saw my comic in honor of his superior organizational abilities and retweeted me with a compliment.
Then this morning, I woke up to 2 i.m.s, 1 asking me to review the ARC of an upcoming book by an award-winning author I love and have known personally for some years for a website where my work has never appeared, and the other asking me if I would be willing to help someone write their autobiography. It’s nice to be recognized. Although, to tell the truth, I get asked to help someone write an autobiography about once a year and so far no one’s ever written anything.
Well, better get back to my middle summer reading assignment. You know that sort of thing goes on your permanent record.