Today is June 30th, 2018, and "Families Belong Together" marches are happening all over the USA to protest the Trump Administration's inhumane and outright hateful separation of children from their families at the Mexico border. These are mostly people seeking LEGAL asylum in our country. Children and families in cages, hidden away by our own government, separated from each other with no plan in place to eventually re-locate and re-unite. They're not even allowing the RED CROSS access to these people. It's a humanitarian crisis planned and perpetrated by Trump and his cronies. Rather than go insane, I'm trying to do little things to encourage other human beings not to despair. Making buttons to wear at the march/rally, etc. So here are a few graphics I came up with, free for sharing.
Check this out...
The nice folks at the Hibbleton Art Gallery in Fullerton have asked me to participate in a group art show in June 2018 commemorating their 20th anniversary. (I think. If I remember correctly. I should double-check, but I'm tired of sitting at this computer, so I'm making this short, sweet, and possibly slightly incorrect)
They asked if I'd be willing to contribute a few pieces of artwork to the show, so this is one of them. Just about finished with it. This is the digital version, of course, the original is way better cuz of all the linework. But here's a preview:
So I was having a very busy morning, with lots of database management and trouble-shooting in both my library management system AND the district’s textbook management system. Then a conservative Republican relative called. She asked if I was busy, and I should have said, “Yes! No time to talk!” but I was too nice, and said, “I have a few minutes.”
So then she rambled about a few things, and then, wouldn’t you know, she brings up the White House Correspondents Dinner, and talked about these “media people,” and how it’s supposed to be a fundraising event to generate money for scholarships, but they only took in X amount, and can you BELIEVE that, with those MEDIA people who make SO MUCH money?!
I figured this must be some Fox “News”-inspired talking point, to malign people who were laughing at President Dump. So I quietly said, “Well, it’s usually the people with the MOST money who are the least willing to part with it.” That’s a bi-partisan truth, if you ask me. But definitely way more true of conservatives, which is why we call them conservatives in the first place.
Then she started talking about “these people at the border, sitting on that fence and laughing and not taking it seriously, when it’s a SERIOUS MATTER…”
I was like, “Wait- what? Who’s sitting on what fence? Oh, hold on, is this that ‘caravan’ of refugees?”
Of course it was. And she thinks it’s scary and terrible that our borders are just WIDE OPEN, so that ANYONE can get in anywhere at any time, no matter what. To which I calmly said, “Well, that’s definitely NOT the case, and never has been.”
“Well,” she replied, “It sure seems like the way things are moving…”
I said, “They have to apply for sanctuary, and they may not get it. Personally, I think everyone has a right to seek safety for themselves and their loved ones. I feel bad for those people.”
I was hoping that would be the end of it, but she muttered about how it’s fine when it’s the “good ones,” but what about all the “bad ones” who are instantly going to be granted welfare "as soon as they set foot in this country," and will be "taking advantage," etc etc etc.
I could feel my blood pressure rising with frustration, and interrupted her by blurting something about some relatives who are visiting soon, hoping to get her off the topic. It sort of worked, but it was too late for my peace of mind. I said I needed to get back to work, hung up the phone, and seethed there at my desk for several minutes, just trying to breathe normally and un-grit my teeth.
Now I have the strong suspicion that either Fox & Friends or some other horrid right-wing hate program was spouting exactly those points she was so fired up about, because that’s how they operate. They use fear to get these older white people all stirred up, and Trumpily racist. Fuck, man. It's the exact same way most organized religions work, using base fears and the ugliest of human motivations to manipulate people.
As we were hanging up, we each said, "I love you," and I know we both mean it. But it is so monumentally disheartening, disturbing, and a host of other "dis" words, to gaze into the vast abyss that seems to exist between the concept of human decency that I hold dear, and that of my own flesh and blood who are steadfastly clinging to their right-wing beliefs. It's become crystal clear since the 2016 election what those right-wing beliefs are based on, and none of it is anywhere near what I call "good."
Dear Baby Jesus, please, PLEASE make the Trump Administration disappear ASAP so that our democracy, and more importantly our national soul, stands a chance at surviving this dark & hateful time in our history. The Republican party has shown its true face, and it's too late for them to try to put the mask back on.
ME: You always look at me like that when I’m getting ready to go out. Are you trying to make me feel guilty?
DOG: Huh? No, that’s not what this is about.
ME: Then what?
DOG: Well, what ELSE am I supposed to watch? You’re my only entertainment.
ME: What about Anthony? Go stare at him some.
DOG: He’s in the bathroom. Door shut.
Want me to turn the TV on for you?
DOG: You know I don’t perceive anything interesting in the flashings on that stupid box. I just… I dunno. I don’t get it.
ME: I know, I know, I’m sorry. Forget I said anything.
ME: Hey, does my hair look weird in back?
DOG: Why do you ask me things like that?
ME: I’m sorry. I’ll go look in the mirror.
DOG: You do that.
#anthropomorphism #dog #CreativeWriting #humor #gay
This is the original piece, finished. Done by hand on white paper with black ink pen, then scanned and the background colored in digitally.
I really like inking hair, so I just drew a hank of hair hanging there, like, "What are YOU looking at?!" I like it so much after scanning and coloring it that I may do MORE hairy drawings.
I designed this here T-shirt that says "YOU HAD ME AT FUCK TRUMP," except it has kittens in place of each "U," which makes it nicer. Right? You can order one HERE. They are beautiful and I'm wearing one right now.
#FuckTrump #impeachTrump #resist #notmypresident #tshirts
So I just did this T-shirt and listed it on Amazon. I'm very happy with the way it turned out, and I'm wearing one right now. It's based on an umbrella I drew in my "Stitch" comic book series, but I pimped it out in purple and green.
You can get your very own RIGHT HERE
I've now completed three issues of MY LITTLE MEMOIR, a perzine about me, in which I spill all the embarrassing/weird/funny/sad secrets of my childhood and teen years. I'm listing them on Etsy as I complete them. They are all "chapters" culled from my writings during November 2017's National Novel Writing Month, or "NaNoWriMo." It's super fun, and also a little bittersweet sometimes, going through old photos, and reliving significant (to me) events.
You can find these, plus other zines & comics & art prints, in the TOMMY KOVAC ETSY SHOP.
"Fatty Fatboobs" parts one and two is about my first high school "girlfriend," and some really shitty stuff my friend "Abby" (real name withheld to protect the not-so-innocent) and I did to her, because we were ALL fucked up back then, being tormented by various factions, and taking it out on each other. And of course I was closeted, and terrified of anyone finding out I was gay. Also terrified of BEING gay. But there's humor in just about anything, in retrospect.
"1975: Now We Are Four" is the first portion I wrote during NaNoWriMo, and reads the most straightforward as memoir. I don't embellish or fictionalize in that one. And I used lots of photos. Topics include: stuffed animals, the house I grew up in, my dog Happy, grandparents, an awesome avocado tree, Santa, and the Easter Bunny.
#TommyKovac #perzine #zine #diy #writing #indie #autobiography #memoir #humor #bildungsroman #MyLittlePony #gay #LGBTQ #LGBT #queer #nostalgia #1980s #1970s
So I may have had a few issues of Star Hits in my time, during the 1980s. And I may have obsessively combed each issue for pictures of the Cure, Dead or Alive, Siouxsie, Duran Duran, Thompson Twins, etc.
I was out in the garage a week or so ago, and found just some of my old collection. Tucked carefully inside the front cover of the Star Hits 1987 Yearbook were the following. Behold, the Pete Burns pin-ups that used to grace the mint green walls of my teenage bedroom...
I had these and even several full-size posters of Pete Burns on the walls, ceiling, and door of my bedroom when I was about 15 or 16, and it still came as a somewhat shocking surprise to most of my friends and family that I'm gay. Those were the '80s, though.
NOTE: I never had a boner for Pete Burns, because he's way too feminine, and I'm gay. I just thought he was the coolest thing ever, and I wanted to BE him. I even had a black eyepatch and a Triumph belt buckle like you see in the first picture. But I never could make them work in an outfit. I knew my limitations.
For November 2017's "NaNoWriMo" (National Novel Writing Month), I chose to pursue the advice we've all heard: "Write what you know."
By the end of the month, I had 50,000 words fictionalizing my youth and teen years. I started out writing just the facts as I know them, but then drifted quickly into a more narrative style. That's when I started to really enjoy it. But it also means I can't claim it to be nonfiction. HOWEVER, I have a really good memory, and many people close to me are frequently surprised by all the shit I remember, even from way, way back. And I remember DETAILS.
At any rate, I like what I've come up with, and thought I'd experiment with sharing some of it in the form of a perzine called My Little Memoir. There are 17 chronological chapters. But I wanted to release #12 first, because it was during this chapter in particular that I felt the "thing-ness" of this project. I'll make them available in my Etsy Store (www.etsy.com/shop/tommykovac) as I finish editing them one-by-one.
Half the point of the CRUMPET show was to officially release my new comics zine, "Crumpet," issue #1. The subtitle is "Variety Comics by Tommy Kovac," because basically "Crumpet" will now be my vehicle for episodic comics that are not library-related. All library-related comics go in "Smells Like Library." I like things organized (loosely) by subject.
The Hibbleton has this awesome "Bookmachine" zine library/store inside the main gallery. We moved one of the bookshelves from the Bookmachine room to the main gallery space, to be part of the CRUMPET show. I hung my "Tommy Kovac Library" sign across the top.
In case you missed the show, CRUMPET and my other zines can now be purchased through Etsy in MY SHOP.
A long time ago I started this little landscape at the exact dimensions to be my Facebook cover photo. I finally decided to finish it. And there's a bonus lil' purple fairy ant wearing a pink beanie. I don't know why.
Here are some photos taken during the opening night, which was part of Fullerton's monthly Art Walk. Lots of fun, very cool atmosphere, and many little nooks and quirky rooms to check out with interesting pieces of art and weirdness.
Here are some pics from the night my husband Anthony and I hung the artwork for the CRUMPET show at the Hibbleton with owner/curator, Jesse LaTour.
October 6th, 2017 was the opening night of my "CRUMPET" show at the Hibbleton in downtown Fullerton's Magoski Art Colony. My work is up through the 31st, by appointment. Here is a gallery of all the work shown.
More photos to come later...
Here it is, bitches! My first solo art exhibition, which is also a zine release. The place is the Hibbleton Gallery & their "BookMachine" zine space in the Fullerton, CA Magoski Arts Colony. The date is October 6th, 2017, the time of the opening reception is 6-10pm during Fullerton's Art Walk. Here's MORE INFO.