Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Hmmm, maybe I'm not depressed. Or, if I am, maybe I know how to better handle it, more experience, an upgrade in coping skills. Hmmm.
Last week I saw Gary Panter do a free lecture and it was sooo empowering! Really! This guy has been a hero of mine for many years and he didn't disappoint. In terms of being a person that works in various mediums and having people ask, "What's your focus?", he totally validated it, cuz it's all art!He said that he'd never designed sets before he designed the sets for PeeWee's Playhouse but he went at it with an artist's gusto. He also told us that beating ourselves up for not getting work done is unhealthy, we should call it 'recharging our batteries'. I beat myself up all the time for not getting stuff done. But resting is important. One fella at the end asked how Panter 'made it' as he's an artist, too, and has to work 40 hours a week. Panter basically said that it's all an illusion. And I believe that he said something along the lines of how fame does not equal money. Well, I understand that, I have a mountain of press clippings that do not translate into sales.
I wish I was taking notes as Panter did a survey of art that featured artists I've never heard of! He also described his upbringing and gave us some technical tips! What a lecture! More than a few people in attendance wanted to go home and draw after that!
I want to draw more but time...can't beat myself up.
My pal Serena recently sent me an old drawing that I did with Jason for The Blinding Light Mag. She recently used it in a class oral report on 'photogenic neurasthenia.'Uh, I don't know what that means, either. Oh. You do? Okay.
The Blinding Light, for a bunch years in the late 90s or so to the 2000s, was a neat lil place in Vancouver that played some risky experimental film and had a cafe! I miss it. When it closed much more than a few people were sad as it really left a hole in The Couve. This drawing was for their mag. They called me Rob right on the page. Why, I don't know. I hated that. I don't steal, I give.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


I haven't had too many comments of late, maybe I'm just not reaching the people, I dunno. Or am I just not provocative enough? Sigh. Should I undo another button? Again? I even lost a blog follower, who it was, I don't know but I lost one! In the blog world one follower counts for the opinions of two people!
So in the meantime I will recklessly self-promote in hopes that it will lower the tides of a very real depression (what else is new)...
My series of self-help booklets Y2K Compatible are slowly reaching the people. These booklets are intimate and VERY reasonably priced for the knowledge that they impart.

Now available in Bruno, Saskatchewan at All Citizens:

In New York City at Cinders:

In Toronto at Katharine Mulherin gallery:

And at This Ain't The Rosedale Library:

And just arrived at Art Metropole which is also selling the July Fourth Toilet vinyl LP, nicely written links here, here, and here!

The latest issue, #4/5, is the best issue and some places have previous issues but not that one, such as Le Pressier in Montreal, Luckys in Vancouver, and TO mail-order site Mish Mish...

I'd luv em to have the current ish but hey... If you want the current ish, even better. Drop me a line.

Monday, March 22, 2010


My Feature for Broken Pencil #45 now online here:

Agree or disagree, I'm fine either way, have a little tizzy if you like, use regional weapons of choice, a slice of 99 cent pizza if need be. I'll watch and maybe grab the crust when you are done.
There are things I am missing about Vancouver. My dear friends that remain, of course, the amazing food: I can't find a panini as good as at La Grotta, noodles as good as at Legendary Noodle, sushi sushi sushi (one good thing about TO is they have Health Board signs posted in all of the restaurant windows, many of their sushi spots say "Conditional Pass" uh oh, sushi with a condition- a condition of the heart?), and amazing coffee especially at Continental Coffee.
I thought that TO might've been slow on trends- even in some art scenes as I've seen art that had some silly faux witchy obsessions with feathers, wood, and crystals all twined together in some post-teen ritual and Royal Art Lodge rip-off knock-offs (here's an idea, give those actual former and present Art Lodgers some money, they need it more)and also blurry party pics of naked girls stumbling around with tattooed bearded guys (man, I thought that look went out in 1996)puking into each others' mouths. However I saw a recent show of Vancouver-based art that showed all of those exact same things.
Toronto is a nice looking city but I find it, err, sexually Conservative. Not as in elected officials but vibe, overall vibe, all pants are zipped to the neck (a new fashion style I cannot literally get into).
My Vancouver pals tell me things are pretty quiet there. I thought the world was watching! I won't be going back soon. But, yeah, there are things I miss. Hope you enjoy the article.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


Moving forward could be tough when one is making a book about Love & Loss.

Saturday, March 13, 2010


Note: if you want a Button Manifesto for your very own, as seen in the previous post, they are available for 100 dollars, each one is hand lettered and if you have certain requests let me know.
This has been a week of highs, lows, and mids. Highs: I spent a couple days working on a Gonzales project with Feist (a sweety, in the downtime we sang "9 To 5" together, have you seen "9 To 5" lately? man, that movie has the most amazing design sense in terms of colour, matching and complementing down to the furthest depth-of-field), Peaches, The World Provider, Tiga, Corpusse and other swell people! It was fun and I wish that Big Hamm was there to share in it. Lows: I was seriously going to move back to Vancouver for love. Said offer (being my last ditch effort) was rejected. Instead I had to listen to my character defects which I already know about and have been working on improving (a rather long and frustrating process). Yeah, I'm self-absorbed (duh: I even have a blog that discusses my own-not other people's-personal details) and I really hate that about myself (maybe I should erase this blog). I could have rebutted but what's the use? It doesn't matter anymore, all idealised thoughts fall to the wayside, it's total kaputs and in the past, I've moved forward and am letting go, this is for the best, I feel crummy. I'm a raw nerve and don't want to live inside myself. Unless I somehow get a free flight I won't be visiting Vancouver anytime soon. Too painful. Sorry Vancouver pals, I miss you and your company and your good food and coffee, too. The mids: after all that, back to the day job.
The latest issue of FREE DRAWINGS just came out. Where is it available? Around Toronto, elsewhere, I dunno. Good ole Jason Mclean, Michael Deforge, Michael Comau, and Seripop have art in here. I did a cover. Take a gander below. I'm unsure about it. I don't know if the piece totally congeals. Thematically it deals with my obsessive interests in all things glitter and glamour as well as trying to make the sexuality hazy, indeterminate, and covert. For this illo I was influenced by a photospread from one of the earliest issues of Oui Magazine, one of the best soft-core porn mags of its' day. In terms of the second hand art deco look in the early 70s I also dig the classic Biba store, records with soft focus then hand tinted band shots, and those overly lush Italian films where they have to deal with fascism: Salo, The Damned, and The Conformist. Damn, those are gorgeously decadent and cutting films.

Friday, March 5, 2010


Made for IndexG button art show, purchased by Anne Koyama for artist Fiona Smyth. One inch button that's app. 3-4 feet long. Click on image for further legibility.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

My Favourites Thursday, March 5th

Folks, I was a planner on this event and will be performing:

a few of...
My Favourites
...and soon to be yours
An ivory evening of silly-sophisto comedy with Chris Locke, Jon McCurley, and Robert Dayton

Thursday, March 5th, 9 PM, 5 Dollars
Double Double Land (209 Augusta Avenue)

Yes, my dears, with My Favourites we're breaking through the upper crust by diving delicately and forcefully into the funny bone.

With elegant hosting by Carly Ogonek.
We'd love it if you dressed pretty for us because we're serving hors d’oeuvres as prepared by chef Alex Napier. It's always a good year!
Will there be live organ music? Yes, there will be live organ music. The kind that tinkles as performed by Carl Didur.
And sophistication by Gwen Bieniara.
If you are the very first special person to arrive at MY FAVOURITES you will receive one long-stem red rose and preferred seating of your choice (doors: 8:30 PM).
You may have heard of Chris Locke, Jon McCurley, and Robert Dayton and all of their philanthropic endeavours involving laughter. It's true. Everything is true. But the only thing that will hurt will be your sides. Your best sides, that is. Show it to us. Mmmm. You smell good. Is it natural? Smell you at MY FAVOURITES. Looking forward.


Monday, March 1, 2010


Can we stretch this one-page premise into a two-pager? Is Toronto the Nellie No-Date of cities? Yes and yes!
This and a letter column is the last of what I've got of excess never-reprinted Herbie materials, from Herbie #5, 1964, by Ogden Whitney and Shane O'Shea (yup, a pseudonym).