Author Archives: Chebutykin

Friday, June 17th: PowerPoint Karaoke with Double-Blind Improv!

PowerPoint KaraokeOn Friday, June 17th, PowerPoint Karaoke will be back again at Fantasy Flight Games! This time, our opener will be Double-Blind Improv, a show where you never know what will happen, because we don’t know, either!

PowerPoint Karaoke

What it is: Four improv comedians must each give a PowerPoint presentation with slides they have never seen before. I’ll be slinging the slides!

When: 7:30 PM, Friday, June 17th
Where: Fantasy Fight Games Center, 1975 W County Road B2, Roseville, MN
How Much: the low-low price of only $8 for both shows! (Tickets are only $5 if you bring a Fringe Button, a CONvergence Badge or a receipt from the Fantasy Flight Games Center Snack bar!)

If you do the Facebook thing, you can RSVP to the event here.

RIP Darwyn Cooke

Captain Cold Darwyn Cooke

2016 is a bastard. Now it’s taking comics artists.

This morning, I saw online that Darwyn Cooke passed away from cancer. This was only one day after an announcement came out that he was in palliative care for cancer.

I didn’t know him personally at all, but I am saddened by his loss. Both New Frontier and his run on Catwoman came out when I was working as a comics colorist, and they blew my goddamned mind. His style was unrelentingly throwback, without any hint of the “make it dark and gritty” thing that has dogged comics for decades. His style was sharp as a pin, his pages had a breezy quality, and his superheroes smiled.

New Frontier

When he drew women, they still had that wasp-waisted 50’s pinup style to them, but they were far from brittle. His Catwoman dressed in goggles and practical boots instead of fetish heels. His Wonder Woman was taller than Superman.

Catwoman wonderwoman

As a writer, he had a knack for iconic characters like no other. In New Frontier, he demonstrated that he knew exactly how to get to portray the classic, purest form of each hero and villain, and he could do it without the story ever feeling stale. He even did that with Wonder Woman, who is notorious for being one of the toughest comics characters to write because she is more symbol than anything else.

He was a breath of fresh air in an industry that needed it, and I’ll miss his work.

I have one last thing to share: I own one of the original pages of New Frontier, and I thought you might like to see it. It is the entrance of Captain Cold into the story.

The page is great example of the economy in his work. Clean, broad, and simple without being boring. Only three panels on the page, like almost every page he drew for New Frontier. Great trust in the colorist, Dave Stewart. (Though, to be fair, it’s easy to trust the best colorist in the business.)

Farewell, Mr. Cooke. We’ll miss you.

New Frontier - Captain Cold

Friday, May 13: PowerPoint Karaoke plus The Encyclopedia Show!

PowerPoint Karaoke

PowerPoint KaraokeOn Friday, May 13th, PowerPoint Karaoke will be back at Fantasy Flight Games! This time, our opener will be the excellent Encyclopedia Show, who will present a series of short works inspired by the word Australia!

PowerPoint Karaoke

What it is: Four improv comedians must each give a PowerPoint presentation with slides they have never seen before. I’ll be slinging the slides!

When: 7:30 PM, Friday, February 12th
Where: Fantasy Fight Games Center, 1975 W County Road B2, Roseville, MN
How Much: the low-low price of only $8 for both shows! (Tickets are only $5 if you bring a Fringe Button, a CONvergence Badge or a receipt from the Fantasy Flight Games Center Snack bar!)

If you do the Facebook thing, you can RSVP to the event here.

Insomniac

Eyeball Bead (DIY macro lens)According to my Fitbit Flex, the average amount of sleep I currently get is around four hours per 24 hour round. In the last month, there has been only one night where have I slept longer than 6 hours. Last night, I slept about 90 minutes, total.

The weird part is that I haven’t been sleepy during the day. I definitely don’t feel right, but I seem to be alert and functional. (I did ask a coworker this morning if my face showed human emotions, though, so your definition of “functional” might be different from mine.)

The Fitbit graph shows a steady decline over several months, from an average of six hours of sleep per night in December, to around five in February, to four by the end of April.

There is probably a confluence of reasons for this. The stress of getting married a few weeks ago (along with a second ceremony for the parents this weekend). New medication, started in February. General disarray in my life. The wax and wane of OCD. A constant feeling of being behind on all my projects, so I keep putting in longer hours to keep up.

The impact of the insomnia is deep, even though I can still mostly operate as a human being at this point. I’m feeling distant from my husband because I’m awake all night instead of cuddling up and snoozing. I spend a large portion of my waking hours alone in the living room, in silence, working on projects. The part of the day where I am around humans, I feel like I’m not fully engaged. I’m not exercising, because my day is so out of whack that I can’t carve out the time, and I don’t want to go out running at night because it might make the insomnia even worse.

I’m worried that the line on the graph will continue to decline to lower numbers. I’m wondering if I’ve forgotten how to sleep.

However, this really isn’t unusual for me.

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More Words Than I Ever Thought I’d Write About Prince

First Ave!It’s been a little more than one day since Prince Rogers Nelson was found dead at Paisley Park, which is about 20 miles from my couch. He was 57, which is too young to go for any human, but especially young for someone who we all kind of suspected was an immortal sex alien.

I’ve never considered myself a “fan” of Prince. I never was a huge listener of his music. I mean, yes, I grew up in Minneapolis during the 1980s, which means I lived and breathed his music for that decade because it was inescapable. I saw Purple Rain and Graffiti Bridge because they were filmed here. I owned a cassette of 1999 (which my mom confiscated after she heard it), and I still have a CD of the Batman soundtrack. But after the 1980s passed, my musical tastes didn’t latch onto Prince’s music. (That’s not a comment on his talent at all; it’s just that once I found Mr. Bungle, I fell deep down the avant-garde metal rabbit hole.)

So, because of that, I would have never expected to grieve much for his passing. I have many, many friends who are far more passionate about his music than I, and their grief is fully understandable. And yet, I was sobbing in the shower this morning as I got ready for work. I’ve been wrecked for the last day.

Even though I never met the man, he meant a lot more to me than I ever thought he did. Perhaps I took him for granted, like he was some sort of permanent fixture of my hometown.

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