Saturday, May 23, 2009


On Tuesday morning (very, very early) we will be flying to DC to spend time with some very old, very dear friends of mine. I have known Butch and Karen since we were kids. Back in the day, I talked Butch into going out with his wife Cindy. Karen left Pcola to become a flight attendant. Somewhere along the way she married Dan who is in the Navy. Butch is the only one who was able to come to our wedding so Sarah will be meeting the rest of them for the first time. It's funny. Since we went to Pcola last April, Sarah has met every other person from Butch's family...even Cindy's mom and dad. Cindy will be the last of the Talley's to meet Sarah.
We're excited. It'll be great to see old friends. It'll be great to be on vacation and get away from the norm for a bit. I'm looking forward to a good week. I'm not sure what kind of internet access we'll have while we're away so you may not hear from us for a while. Hang in there and I'll be sure to update you when we get back.


Zot! The Complete B&W Collection by Scott McCloud
Long before manga took the American comics market by storm, Scott McCloud (Understanding Comics, Making Comics) combined the best ideas from manga, alternative comics, and superheroes into Zot!—a frenetic and innovative exploration of comics' potential that helped set the stage for McCloud's later groundbreaking theoretical work. Zachary T. Paleozogt lives in "the far-flung future of 1965," a utopian Earth of world peace, robot butlers, and flying cars. Jenny Weaver lives in an imperfect world of disappointment and broken promises—the Earth we live in. Stepping across the portals to each other's worlds, Zot and Jenny's lives will never be the same again.
I never read this comic when it first came out so when I saw this collection on the library shelf I thought I'd give it a go. Not bad. McCloud's art is very good. I think one of the reasons I passed it over back in the 80's is because the style didn't appeal to me. I was locked into a Jack Kirby/John Byrne/Dave Cockrum/Jim Starlin mindset when it came to superhero art. Well, I liked this well enough that I think I'll try more of McCloud's work. I've always been curious about his Understanding Comics line. Perhaps I'll read that next.

Monday, May 18, 2009


Mammoth by John Varley
In a barren province of Canada, a mammoth hunter has made the discovery of a lifetime: an intact frozen wooly mammoth. But what he finds during the painstaking process of excavating the huge creature boggles the mind. Huddled next to the mammoth is the mummified body of a Stone Age man around 12,000 years old. And he is wearing a wristwatch.
In my opinion, the story never took off. It just sort of laid there and didn't reach the potential it could and should have. I was drawn to it for it's mix of time travel and prehistoric creatures in our time themes. I like those types of stories. This one, however, failed to deliver. It was just an okay read.

John Byrne's Compleat Next Men Volumes 1 & 2

I haven't read this since my own copies were ruined in the Apartment Fire of '99. I really enjoyed diving into the Next Men's world again. It's a similar story to X-Men involving mutated humans living among us. I don't think I had ever read the ending though. I didn't care for it. I think there was supposed to be more to the story but Byrne abandoned the project. Too bad. For my money, Byrne is the best artist working in comics today and he's not a bad writer either. It sucks that these volumes aren't in color like my lost TPBs but it's from the library so pickers can't be choosers.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Adventures in Healthcare

For the past couple of days I've been experiencing a significant amount of gas...moreso than my usual GERD related gas. The pain builds in my chest but subsides when I burp. But then the pain builds again's a vicious cycle. Last night, I was having pain enough that it was very uncomfortable so I called the consulting nurse. She told me to call 911. I told her that it wasn't my heart but she insisted so I called. The paramedics came, looked at me, declared that it wasn't my heart but told me to go to the ER and get checked out. So, Sarah and I trekked to Urgent Care in Bellevue. They hooked me up, poked, prodded, drew blood, x-rayed and found no answers. My labs all came back normal and my heart is fine. They gave me Vicadin to help with the pain so I can sleep and Maalox to help reduce the symptoms. They also referred me to a gastroenterologist. I have an appointment next Monday. I really hope they can figure this out. I'm tired of not feeling well.
I return to the chiro tomorrow afternoon. When it rains, it pours.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


Not much happened at my appointment today. He poked and prodded, told me to get some orthotics for my shoes and sent me to Grouphealth for x-rays. I return on Friday afternoon to continue the poking and prodding. I hope it feels good.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Early to Rise

I woke up at 6:30 this morning with a feeling of dread and I was overwhelmed with an urgency to call my parents and see if everything was all right. I called (Luckily it's 2 hours later there). Everything is fine. I had just talked to my mom for Mother's Day so...I don't know what prompted the feeling I had this morning. Probably too much pizza.
I used to complain that I never remembered my dreams when I woke up in the morning. Now, about half the time I wish I didn't remember them. I have some very vivid and weird dreams. I don't usually write them down because I don't want to remember them. I miss those old days of seemingly dreamless sleep.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

The Absence of Blogging

I'm sure the less than 10 people who read this blog have noticed that I haven't been as prolific as I used to be. I don't really have an explanation for that other than I haven't felt like writing about anything and I've been devoting more time to art. For those of you who feel as though there's a void in your life, here's a couple of things that have been happening.
- My back has been bothering me a lot lately. I am going to call a chiropractor tomorrow to see if I can get an appointment soon. I'm tired of hurting all the time.
- Saw the new "Star Trek" yesterday. I really, really liked it. It was funny and exciting and the chemistry of the old characters was intact. Can't wait for more. "Wolverine" was just okay.
- Picked up my art from ArtsWest this morning. I sold 3 pieces. Better than nothing but I had hoped for a couple more. Got more shows coming up. We'll see how it goes. At this point I am not framing any new work. It's piling up in a drawer. I'll know when the time is right to bring out the new stuff. Until then, I need to sell the older stuff. I don't have room for it anymore. Maybe it's time to start selling on Etsy.
- We have been trying to rearrange the studio so that we can fit a chair/cot in it for company. Today we bought a new computer desk and I spent a couple of hours putting it together. At a crucial point, one of the hinges broke. It was frustrating but it helped me decide that the desk we had bought wasn't going to be a good one. I didn't feel good about the strength of the hinges when I started putting them on and I guess I was right. The only problems now are: when will we have time to return it and what will we get in its place.
Well, that's all I can think of. I hope this helps you fill the Marty void in your life. If you actually have a Marty void, you should get out more.
Until next time...

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Twilight Artist Collective

I thought I'd take a moment to pimp Twilight Artist Collective. I've been showing/selling my art there for 3 years now. Cheryl, Erin and Mary are great. They've really supported me and my art...even if I don't sell a ton of stuff. This article recently appeared in Sunset Magazine. It's a great pic of Cheryl. I think if they'd panned to the right a bit you might have been able to see one of my pieces. But maybe not. They're always rearranging the place so I never know where my stuff is going to be when I go in.
So, if you're in Seattle and want to buy some funky, cool art, stop by at least one of their two locations. Make sure you buy art by some guy named Marty. It's good stuff.

Monday, May 04, 2009


Blood Bound by Patricia Briggs
Mechanic Mercy Thompson has friends in low places-and in dark ones. And now she owes one of them a favor. Since she can shapeshift at will, she agrees to act as some extra muscle when her vampire friend Stefan goes to deliver a message to another of his kind.
But this new vampire is hardly ordinary-and neither is the demon inside of him.
I've been a bit short on things to read lately so I picked up this second in a series just to have something. I liked the first book but had decided to give the whole urban fantasy genre a rest because I was burned out on it. After a while, they all start to read the same. That said, I enjoyed this book for what it was. I don't think the story was all that strong and it was tough to get into. The climax was good though. I'm not ready to move to book 3 just yet but I'll keep it in mind during a slack reading time.
I'd like to talk about the cover for a second. Who is the target audience for this book? For the most part, these books are read primarily by women. So, why is there a tattooed pin-up girl on the cover? I'm a guy and it doesn't appeal to me at all. It makes it look like some paranormal romance novel...which it isn't. This series isn't the only one with odd covers. Most of the genre has begun to use these dark, pseudo Harlequin covers. Weird. I just don't get it.
Batman: The Man Who Laughs by Ed Brubaker and Doug Mahnke
I grabbed this at the library because I like Joker stories and I like Mahnke's art. This ended up being just another rehash of the Joker's origin story and not a particularly good one. Mahnke's art is great though. I didn't bother to read the back-up story involving Batman and Golden Age Green Lantern. It looked dull.

Personal Space

I don't like people in my personal space. If you're an established friend or relative, you are probably exempt from this rule. If I don't know you very well or at all, stay back. 3 feet is good for most people. 6 feet is even better for some others. When I meet you, I'll swoop in for a handshake but then I'll resume my 3 foot perimeter. Don't keep moving into my face because I'll keep backing up. Take the hint. I don't mind talking to you. I rather enjoy meeting new people (well, some new people). But you insist on moving into my personal space, that's a huge turn off. I'll shut you down so fast and try to find some way to escape.
I'm this way most of the time. I don't like crowds and such. It gets worse the older I get. The whole swine flu thing has just made me that much more aware of it. Yesterday at church I was extremely sensitive to it. One guy who I didn't know had to come up and tell me a story. I guess he felt like he knew me because I used to lead worship. He got right up in my face. I know he meant well but it freaked me out.
Okay...I guess that's my rant for the day. Enjoy your day and remember to respect people's personal space.