dream

your moment of zen : illustration resources and whatnot

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An Interview with Doc & the Mojave Phonebooth

Friendlies, the Mojave Phonebooth was a working telephone in the middle of the Mojave Desert in the middle of nowhere, and our pal Doc was its champion. I came across mentions of the booth in the late 90's ; this little booth attracted travellers (and callers) from all over the world. Doc is putting a book together about the entire experience called Adventures with the Mojave Phonebooth. NPR interviewed Doc about the booth, and that's a good listen. I also asked him a few questions about the Booth, and Doc kindly took the time to reply. Read on, after the photo.

Q: I know the booth itself is long-gone, but I heard you can still call the phone number? (psst: 760-733-9969)

A: After the NPS destroyed the Mojave Phone Booth, I tried to obtain its number but (probably under pressure from the NPS) Pacific Bell told me it was permanently "retired." I tried again, with the same result, when ownership passed from Pac Bell to SBC and again it passed from SBC to AT&T. Last year, though, someone screwed up and noted phreak Lucky225 acquired it. Right now it's a conference line but Lucky is amenable to using it for other purposes to be revealed in due course.

Q: Besides phone booths, what's the other most peculiar thing you've found in the desert?

A: Given what becoming known did to the poor Booth, maybe I should skip this question? (But maybe the Door in the Floor!) (I can say no more.)

Q: What was the best thing left at the booth by visitors?

A: What springs to mind is something left after the Booth was destroyed: someone made a colorful, tiled, full-size headstone for the Booth. (It was confiscated, almost certainly by the NPS, who also came out to break up and cart away even the concrete pad on which the Booth had stood, in an effort to discourage people who were coming out to visit it. You know what they say about tax dollars.)

Q: Can you tell us a little about the Mojave Phone Book?

A: Indeed, sir (and thank you!)--although it seems almost impossible at the moment, my book Adventures with the Mojave Phone Booth is scheduled to be available this May.

Q: Is there a corollary weirdo community happening somewhere that you know of?

A: With the exception of maybe Burning Man (or the Internet at large), I might be tempted to say Slab City.

Doc, thanks for your time. I can't wait to read the book.

xm

the day lassie went to the moon poster : in the shop!

Dear Friends of Music, this is a project that I've been working on for a while now, and I'm glad to finally see it on paper. David Lowery from Camper Van Beethoven asked if I'd consider making the song The Day That Lassie Went to the Moon (one of my favorites) into a kid's book, and I thought it was a great idea for a poster as well as a book (the book is still to come!). Well, a bunch of hours of sketching, drawing, and printing later, here she is. Have a gander, and if you'd like, head over to the shop to buy yourself one. Printed with love by yours truly at Bloom Press in Oakland with the kind assistance of Nat Swope.

lassie_1

lassie_2

xm

Campout 9 Poster Design

Hello Friendlies, Campout 9 is upon us. Here's the poster I just finished. Stay tuned for the printed version. This was a meditation on an upcoming birthday, on the death of the glaciers, on the old traditions and religions. Remember when rock and roll used to be dangerous? Apparently a 9 enneagram is "the peacemaker". That sounds good to me.

campout9_poster_small_unsigned

xxm

Dog Dreams opening at Book Shop Santa Cruz!

Friendlies, we're getting the band back together again - again - for a singing and book signing at Bookshop Santa Cruz. This is one of my very favorite bookstores, and we're excited and grateful that they want to host and event with us. We have a long history with the town of Santa Cruz, and Bookshop is one of the best things about Santa Cruz. We always go there when we visit. Usually we go to Zachary's to fuel up, then down to Bookshop. It's a thing we do.

So come on down, check out the surf, grab a book. Come say hi!

WHAT: Dog Dreams singing/signing at BSSC WHERE: Bookshop Santa Cruz, 1520 Pacific Avenue, Santa Cruz, CA WHEN: January 19, 2012, 7:30 pm.

Some video has emerged from the Dog Dreams opening at the Oakland Museum: here it is. It's super goofy.

OH MY GOSH I ALMOST FORGOT AND THERE'S THIS! SUPER CUTE! (t/y Carolee)

xm

Dog Dreams v.2 Opening at the Oakland Museum!

Kids (and those of you Kids with Kids), Dog Dreams is like The Little Kid's Book that Just Won't Go Away!

We're excited to invite you all to the re-grand-opening of Dog Dreams (v.2) brought to you by the kind folks at Gingko Press and The Oakland Museum. This is the second printing of Dog Dreams. The first printing was only 100 copies and those sold out, like, RIGHT AWAY, so I was more than thrilled when Gingko Press offered to do a second printing. This is the same book, mind you, we scanned in the letterpress prints and used those to construct the pages for the new book but this one was printed 175% larger (it's 7" x 7"!) and is has been pre-tested to work beautifully as both a board book and a chew toy.

Apparently, it tastes delicious.

Here's a sneak preview of the new version.

Dog Dreams first look

And a video of me talking about this thing:

You might ask: "Michael? Will you and Andy and Suki be getting up in front of the gathered to embarrass yourselves again with tiny drums and a ukelele and badly-sung novelty songs about dogs?"

The answer, my friends, is blowing in the wind. And that answer is YUSSS.

What: Dog Dreams v.2 Opening! When: Sunday, December 4. Starts at 2pm, ends when my pen runs out of ink. Where: OMCA Gift Shop. The Museum is FREE that day. The address is 1000 Oak St. Oakland, CA 94607, and it's very close to Lake Merritt Bart. Who: YOU. Why: BECAUSE WE LIKE YOU.

So. Come see us, grab a book, laugh at us. We don't care. We like it. In fact, it's 'free day' at the museum, so you can just come and laugh at us without buying a book and the whole thing will cost you NOTHING. Hey, it's hard times! We understand! If we can momentarily distract you from the constant buzz of police helicopters overhead, then we'll be happy campers. If you're looking for a giftie for the holidays (I started to itch all over while typing that last bit), these puppies are priced to move. I will be signing books as well.

Another question: "Will this event be kid-friendly?" Yuppers. Most of my kid's book events thus far have been in the evening, when our precious little darlings turn into flesh-rendering wildebeasts, so here's your chance to bring 'em out when it's not dinnertime. Plus, you can take them to the museum and the cool gardens and let them run around. BONUS.

See you then?

x,m

Dog Dreams - the first print is done!

Dear Friends of the Four-Pawed, here's the first letterpressed print from Dog Dreams. I hope this is going to be a great little book - I'm excited!

The idea for Dog Dreams came to me while watching my (then new) dog Olive sleep on the couch next to me. She twitched, huffed, barked, and jerked her way through a series of (seemingly) very exciting dreams. I'm pretty sure she was dreaming the typical dog dreams: squirrels, cats, and ball. But who knows? Maybe she was dreaming of a trip to Paris - or of flying like a bumblebee. Maybe she was simply sitting for tea in the shade of her favorite tree. This book is an exploration of that idea - as well as a little taste (for kids) of what it might be like to be a grownup.

after & before

Please join us as we celebrate the release of Dog Dreams - one of the 2010 Small Plates editions published by the Imprint of the San Francisco Center for the Book.

Book release party: Thursday, July 29 from 6-9 pm. Bring your dogs. SFCB 300 DeHaro Street, San Francisco.

xm