Hey, everybody, welcome to another entry of the Phile, how are you doing? I'm hurting, so this will not be a long entry, kids. Yes, my arm is hurting, but that's not what I'm talking about. Today is the 12th anniversary of my mum's passing. We didn't always get along, in fact, there were a number of years we wanted to kill each other... seriously. But she was a great mum and I miss her. She would spoil the shit out of Logan if she was alive today. She would probably also spoil the shit outta Jen and I as well. Anyweay, mum, I fucking miss you. Alright, moving on, wiping tears... President Obama and Mitt Romney had lunch together at the White House a few days ago. In fact, Romney offered to buy Obama lunch but the president said, "No, no it’s on our grandchildren. They’ll take care of it. Don’t even worry about it." I guess it was a closed event: There was no press allowed, there were no cameras, no recordings... to which Mitt Romney said, "I'm not falling for that one again." The big topic continues to be the “fiscal cliff.” That’s not a term that normal people use. People don’t relate to that. You want to use words people understand. Say we are headed for "broke-ass mountain." Lindsay Lohan was arrested for assault in New York City. I guess she punched another woman in the face and knocked her down at a club at four o’clock in the morning. This is the closest Lindsay has come to a hit in years. I don't know if you read on the news today, but Facebook has pulled a picture of a woman in a bikini because it was demeaning. I thought it was so funny, so Facebook pulled it, I will put it. That doesn't even make sense. Anyway, here is the photo that Facebook pulled.
You know I love inspirational photo's, right? I saw this one which I thought was cool.
As I said recently one of the fun things I do is go on Twitter and look to see if anybody is mentioning Foghat. And there's never a disappointment. Here's the latest...
The next guest I interview from Denver I am gonna ask them if they ate at La Fogata. Well, Christmas time is around the corner, so if you're wondering what to buy for anyone, I'm here to help. It's time for...
Cooking is a science, but it's never been more closely related to chemistry until the molecular gastronomy trend took off. For those who want to toe the line between working in a lab and working in a kitchen, the Molecular Cuisine Starter Kit is a perfect jumping off point complete with 50 individually portioned chemicals, tools and a how-to DVD. You can buy it right here atthinkgeek.com/product/e71f/?cpg=cj&ref=&CJURL=&CJID=2413150.
Feb 17, 1948 - Dec 1, 2012
He had a 517-215 record is his 25 years of coaching, and went to 12 NCAA tournaments without ever winning a national title. He's also dead.
You know, this time of year we all have problems, right. A friend of the Phile wanted to come on and tell us her latest problem. So, please welcome back to the Phile...
Me: Hello, Eve, what is bothering you today?
Eve: I just ate lunch.
Me: Well, that's good, right?
Eve: But I'm feeling hungry again.
Me: Go get something to eat then. Sheesh. Eve Rest, everybody. That was so stupid.
Well, here we go again, is it election time already? Apparently the Democrat party sent out a survey, and apparently some of you Phile readers filled it out. After you read the Phile I hope. Anyway, a friend of the Phile wanted to come on and give us some results on what was said. So, please welcome back to the Phile for the second time, National Field Director Obama for America... Jeremy Bird.
Me: Hello, Jeremy, welcome back to the Phile. So, how many people did this survey?
Jeremy: Hello, Jason. More than 1 million supporters took our survey last week, sharing feedback on their 2012 campaign experience and how they'd like to see us move forward.
Me: In a week you read over a million surveys? I read three comic comic books.
Jeremy: LOL. We're still sorting through all of the responses, but I wanted to share some initial results.
Me: Okay, what did they say?
Jeremy: An overwhelming majority of survey respondents reported feeling welcomed and included, that their time was used effectively, and that there was a clear understanding of how their work directly helped re-elect President Obama.
Me: You had an awful lot of volunteers as well, right? Did they say anything?
Jeremy: Among those who volunteered at least a few hours, a majority went into a field office, though many of you got involved instead through the campaign's online tools such as Dashboard and the call tool.
Me: Did you hear from anybody that said they would like to run for office?
Jeremy: About 1 in 10 survey respondents are interested in running for office at some point, using their organizing skills to continue fighting for real and lasting change.
Me: One out of ten? That's crazy!
Jeremy: That level of political engagement is inspiring.
Me: So, how much did websites like Facebook help, Jeremy?
Jeremy: Almost half of all survey respondents forwarded campaign emails, and more than one-third communicated with friends on Facebook... both great ways to pass along information about the President's positions and plans, as well as opportunities to get involved.
Me: You mentioned the volunteers, are more people wanting to volunteer to help now?
Jeremy: Nearly 80 percent of survey takers want to keep volunteering, primarily around the President's legislative agenda. Many of you shared comments and personal anecdotes. Here are just a few that made me smile.
Me: Make it a few, Jermey, I am hurting. LOL. Go ahead.
Jeremy: "When our field office opened, my husband, 12-year-old daughter, and I were there almost every day. My daughter and I even took a leadership role... she was our tally captain! This is the kind of experience that changes your life. My children not only have a better understanding of the political system but also have a firsthand experience of how community engagement can make a difference. On Election Night, they felt that difference. They were so excited for the President because they had a sense of ownership -- they had personally helped him achieve the win. On Election Night, I truly believed we were all winners." That was from Kerry in Califiornia. "It made me feel good to see the enthusiasm of volunteers at the local level (who become friends)... great to see teens through seniors, men and women, any race and faith all working together for something we believed in (even if we weren't there for the same issues)... it assured me I was doing the right thing..." from William in Virginia.
Me: East and West coast. Anymore, Jeremy?
Jeremy: Yeah, from Andrea in California... "I feel more confident as an individual. I can make a difference in election results! I was talking about this with my son today, he's a public school teacher, and he has new faith in our electoral system also! Let's keep doing it... this is democracy as it should be!"
Me: I get the picture, Jeremy. Good job.
Jeremy: There's a lot more to be proud of... check out this blog post for some other incredible numbers on the work you all did in the field. And here are a few comments from supporters like you about the road ahead. We fought for the chance to continue moving our country forward for the next four years, and it's up to each one of us to follow through on this remarkable opportunity. Can I read you a few more?
Me: Two more, Jeremy. I have stuff to do.
Jeremy: Sure, Jason, totally understand. "This organization has tapped into the enthusiasm of Americans that were previously on the sidelines of the political process. These Americans are now fully engaged and aware of the policies that are being advanced that will impact their lives and the lives of future generations. They are excited, ready, and willing to do whatever is within their power to influence policy makers to pass legislation that reflects and responds to the issues of our times." from Rita in Virginia. "Create an engaged community of people that keeps the momentum alive and ensures that progressive policy is implemented at local, state, and national levels. Community here is the operative word! Build and enhance local organizing groups. Would be happy to be included in a local group and lead such a group." from Merida in Illinois. "Don't let the energy of the re-election slip through your fingers. This is a very powerful network of people." from Joel in Texas.
Me: That was three, Jeremy. So, now you got all these surveys, what now?
Jeremy: We're going to put your survey responses to good use. Over the next month or two, a team of campaign staff from across the country is working on a project to document and analyze the work we did over the past 19 months, identifying both strengths and areas for improvement. Our goal is to pass along what we've learned from the 2012 campaign. You're the reason President Barack Obama was re-elected in 2012, and your input from surveys and calls is crucial to this project. So please stay tuned. We're putting together a final report that will be available to the public, so that your voices continue to shape the future. Our work is far from done... you helped make sure of that. President Obama, as always, is counting on us to help pass his agenda and continue to make this country a better place for every American. There's more to come.
Me: That's it? Thanks, Jeremy. Tell Stephanie Cutter her favorite blogger says hi.
Jeremy: Thanks for all you've done and will do, Jason, and I will.
Me: Man, I thought this would be a short entry. Jeremy Bird, everybody.
Today's pheatured guest is an is an illustrator and cartoonist and the 27th artist to be pheatured in the Phile's art gallery. Please welcome to the Phile... Matthew Daley.
Me: Hello, Matthew, welcome to the Phile. Should I call you Matt or Matthew? How are you?
Matthew: Hello and thanks for having me. Very nice to be here. Matthew works just nicely for me. I'm doing quite well, thanks for asking.
Me: Your company and website is called Shinypliers. Where did that name come from?
Matthew: I'm a fairly regular participant at the Toronto Comic Jam (torontocomicjam.com/about.html) and one month I decided to insert some reference to pliers in every panel I drew. For a few months after some of the other artists would rib me about my sudden plier obsession, so I made sure to keep it up. When it came time for me to come up with a site/studio name I wanted to reference it somehow. I thought of Famous Pliers at first (a spoof of a now defunct Canadian theatre chain), but thought it was too goofy, so I somehow ended up making those pliers shiny instead of famous.
Me: You're from Canada, right?
Matthew: Yes indeed.
Me: Some of my favorite interviews and guests are from Canada. In fact, a recent guest whose art was also featured in the Peverett Phile Art Gallery is from Canada and also a member of one of my favorite bands ever... Barenaked Ladies, and that is Kevin Hearn. Are you a fan of them, Matthew?
Matthew: They've never really been my thing, I'm afraid.
Me: Are you aware of Kevin's art work though?
Matthew: I've looked up some of it and it's pretty fun.
Me: Okay, you have done work for magazines and tons of posters for bands. One of those bands was Devo I think. Am I right?
Matthew: Yes, sir. One of my career highlights so far I'd say.
Me: How did they approach you, Matthew, and did you have to think hard to do this job?
Matthew: I actually contacted them right after I found out they were playing here. I was surprised that they got back to me and were actually interested. It was a pretty tough project, but I think it turned out pretty well, especially the poster for the first night's show. It was fairly intimidating as well since they're legends and have had so many years experience as artists. Terrifying actually, but in a good way.
Me: Did they tell you what they wanted?
Matthew: They left it up to me to brainstorm but acted as editors and had final approval of ideas. Quite a few of my early ideas were rejected outright and I was about to throw up my hands in defeat when I came up with what was used. I'm glad they were stern taskmasters and pushed me like they did.
Me: This was for a Toronto show of theirs, right?
Matthew: Yeah, two nights. The first playing "Are We Not Men?..." in it's entirety followed up by "Freedom of Choice" the night after.
Me: Did you get to go to the shows? How were they?
Matthew: Yes, and both nights were amazing! I also got to meet the band after and they were nice gents. Mark Mothersbaugh was intrigued with my wife's bright red hair.
Me: What other bands did you do art for?
Matthew: Mostly Toronto area bands but some bands of note have been Coalesce, Melt Banana and the Dillinger Escape Plan. I like doing posters, but there are quite a few poster artists in Toronto that I can't really compete with.
Me: When did you realize, Matt, that you wanted to be an artist and do it professionally?
Matthew: When I was 13 and started seriously reading comics. Especially after reading "Dark Knight Returns". I was fixated on becoming a cartoonist all through high school, but realized that illustration might be a bit more of a serious pursuit by the time college rolled around.
Me: You have done work for magazines as well... what medium is your favorite, Matthew?
Matthew: I've really enjoyed doing illustrations for fiction in literary magazines. It's a great combination of interpretive editorial art with storytelling.
Me: Your art has a certain kinda style... what do you call it?
Matthew: I guess I'd refer to it as "distressed digital". Ugly yet cute? I'm terrible at descriptions.
Me: Did you always have this style?
Matthew: I started off using acrylic and mixed media but switched over to digital when my agents reacted more favourably to a few digital pieces in my portfolio. After quite a bit of fine tuning, I started using outside textures to make things look a bit more painterly since I initially didn't like the coldness of vector art... at least in the way I was creating it.
Me: What tools do you use?
Matthew: Adobe illustrator, my scanner and found or hand-made textures.
Me: Lets talk about "Lunchmeat Daydreams". That was your first published comic I think. What was it about?
Matthew: Ahh, my early years. "Lunchmeat Daydreams" was just a series of different short stories of varying weirdness with my Mr. Monitor stories as a backup. The first few issues had a serialized story I was trying out as the lead, but I quickly grew pretty bored of the story and decided to do one offs and kept Mr. Monitor since it was much better received than the other serial. I stopped working on the comic in the late 90s due to a mix of boredom, dissatisfaction with the Toronto zine community and a desire to focus more on pursuing the career side of illustration.
Me: You have a new on-line comic called "Mr. Monitor". Here is a picture of him.
Me: Who is Mr. Monitor and what is that comic about?
Matthew: I've actually been doing the web strip for around 3 years on and off. It's been on hold for close to a year due to a bit of writer's block on my end and because the web designers on my host site have been dragging their asses doing upgrades. I'm collaborating with a writer named Cory McCallum on some print only strips that run quarterly "Broken Pencil" and they've been insanely fun. We're also collaborating on a 12 page (or so) mini for a zine fair in the fall among other stories. I really should get on some new colour strips though. A quick description of the story so far is that it's about a small town lizard detective who goes to the city due to a lack of cases and encounters amputees, an angry courier in an iron lung and a rogue hot dog vendor.
Me: Is this something you do for fun?
Matthew: Mostly. I also think of it as "my baby" so I let it stress me out more than I really should.
Me: Have you always been into comic books?
Matthew: Definitely. Like I mentioned, I became a more serious reader when I was 13. Definitely my favourite art form.
Me: I am a big Marvel comics fan, so I have to ask you, DC or Marvel?
Matthew: Because of Batman, I lean more to the DC side of things. I'm really loving the current run of Daredevil though.
Me: You worked on something called "The Divine Providence of Paprika". What is this project and what did you do for it?
Matthew: It's something that's been put on hold for the time being, but what it was planned on being was an ambitious multimedia "puppet opera". My friend Richard Marsella was spearheading the whole project which was going to include music, puppets and an accompanying book. I was providing the illustrations for the book and collaborating on the character designs by proxy. I hope it starts up again someday, but Rich has been super busy over the past couple of years and, from what I can gather, it's been hard to get funding for such a project. I think I may have jumped the gun a bit on my bio page...
Me: Do you prefer doing your own thing or a project you were hired for?
Matthew: Both have their positive and negative aspects. Of course I'd lean towards my own projects because of the complete freedom to do as I please, but I tend to be a bit anal and take way too much time. Plus the lack of pay can be a bit disheartening. Work for hire can be good for disciplining me with deadlines and working with others, plus getting paid is always nice. On the flipside, hired work can be creatively stifling at times.
Me: Matthew, I like to ask artists if they were gonna make a logo for the Phile, what would it look like?
Matthew: It would be heavily textured using a combination of blues and oranges. There would be plenty of intersecting, tentacle like lines and some sort of monster reference. The type would be blocky and would look more handmade than font like.
Me: That sounds cool! Thanks so much for being on the Phile, and I hope you will come back again soon. Go ahead and plug your websites and continued success, Matthew.
Matthew: Thanks once again for having me! It was a pleasure and I would be glad to come back. In addition to my main page (shinypliers.com), you can follow me at these sites: tumblr: shinypliers.tumblr.com, Facebook: facebook.com/ShinyPliers plus the Mr. Monitor page at: facebook.com/MrMonitor74. Twitter: twitter.com/shinypliers.
Well, that's about it for this entry, that I planned to be short, and boy, is my arm hurting. Thanks to my guests Jeremy Bird and of course Matthew Daley. The Phile will be back tomorrow with Zeeshan Zaidi from The Commuters, a really cool band. Spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye.