After a couple of whirlwind weeks at the comic shop things have slowed down. I got two comics this week. Strangers in Paradise 84 (only 6 issues left they count down every cover) and The Walking Dead 31.

I also had to buy two ink cartridges for my printer. Fifteen bucks per. Boy does that hurt. I recently read that ink for ink jet printers is the most expensive liquid on the planet. I believe it and I’d much rather buy comics.

Turning thoughts into writing. That was the subject of the book I saw at the bookstore the other day. It struck me as odd. What else was someone supposed to turn into writing? I didn’t purchase the book or read anything in it so I have no idea what tips or ideas it holds but the name fascinates me. Writing isn’t always an easy thing. It’s not digging ditches but you have to sit down and do some work. First think about a subject and come up with some thoughts about said subject. See that. Thoughts. Just like the book says. Except it is not what the book says that interests me but what it doesn’t say. Have I missed other things that can be turned into writing? Is that what other writers do? Turn hamburgers or motor oil into writing? Everyone is always looking for a secret that will make their world a better place. That magic that can turn butterflies into writing or cash depending on what secret you’re looking for. What if some other book holds some secret of writing. This one clearly doesn’t because turning thoughts into writing is no secret yet the title implies that somewhere out there is a secret. What secret could turn other things into writing? Wondering these things is much more fun than reading the book.

I saw this book in the giant bookstore in the giant mall in Nyack, NY. It was built a few years ago and I think it was briefly the largest mall in the country. It is so big that there is no place to stand and see the whole building at a glance. They have an illustration of the mall inside and it was upon seeing it that I said, “Oh that’s what this mall looks like”. It’s just a bunch of boxes strung together so its nothing to get excited about architecturally. As a matter of fact it’s ugly. But it’s B-I-G big.

I went to the movies at the aforementioned mall on Saturday night with a couple of friends who had never been there. They were amazed at the whole phenomenon. The mall is not only big, there are four sprawling floors, but the top floor is like a small town. The top floor holds the movie theatre, an iMax theatre, the bookstore, a big box store and a whole bunch of restaurants. The food court is a floor below so I mean sit down an a waiter serves you restaurants. At least eight of them and there are lines to get in.

We caught an 8:30 PM showing of “Artie Lang’s Beer League” and there were thousands of people on the fourth floor of the mall when the show started. The movie ended a little after ten and there were thousands of people still at the mall. I think the stores on the lower floors were closed but that fourth floor was alive. There is a comedy club there too. It’s the concept of a mall as a small town taken to its conclusion. Small town designed to separate you from your money of course.

The bookstore was even crowded. Not uncomfortably so because it’s huge but who knew that so many people like to hang out in a chain bookstore on a Saturday night? It’s a transplanted town square except very well lit.

I liked the movie we saw. Not everyone will because it’s a raunchy low budget comedy and the lead in it, Artie Lang from the Howard Stern show, can’t act very well but can hit you with a funny riff time after time. The plot is nothing special but at least it doesn’t get in the way. It’s all the jokes about losers, drugs, drinks, and sex that make the movie. In other words your mom probably won’t like it.

I’m going to finish with a couple of Sunday night notes. One: The NY Giants come from behind victory over the Eagles made my football day today. Two: Tonight’s Simpsons was the trippiest episode ever. Jazz music and random circus animals. Whoa man…the colors…

Another week another batch o’ comics. Today I got: Love and Rockets 17, Scarlet Traces: The Great Game 3, Ex Machina 23, and the Escapists 3.

I also picked up a high end magazine ($19.99!) about comic art. It is called “Comic Art” and this is issue eight Summer 2006. I have never seen or read this mag before but what made me buy it was the little chapbook “Forty Cartoon Books of Interest” by Seth that was packaged with it. Seth is one of my favorite cartoonists so what the hey. The mag looks interesting with articles about Drew Friedman, prank magic art (from old comic ads), some New Yorker Stuff, and even Jim Starlin’s Warlock. I have to warn you, though, that it has one of the worst covers I’ve ever seen. It’s a twenty first century designer’s take on a Miro sort of surrealism. You’ve seen this derivative stuff before and it’s just awful. Sixth rate surrealism eighty years late. I only picked up the magazine because I couldn’t believe the cover was so bad. Sorry whoever did the cover but I think it’s a swing and a miss.

Of last weeks new series I tried: The Cross Bronx 1: ehh. Not very interesting cop story. I’m done with it. American Splendor 1: I’ve never been a huge Harvey Pekar fan but I liked this issue and will pick up more as they come out. The Lone Ranger 1 : I liked it. It was very well done and I’ll put it on my pull list. Mystery in Space with Captain Comet: half good half bad. Not good enough to make the cut though.

The new TV season is starting and I don’t know if I care one bit. I watched too much last season and I’m burned out. There were actually a lot of good new shows that have premiered in the last two years and I started watching a few of them regularly. Too many, maybe. They add up.

I have always been a fan of the Simpsons and have watched every season. For those who think is isn’t as good as it used to be check out last season. It was a very funny one. More laughs per episode were to be found than on any other show. I am also a fan of Law and Order and watch all three but SVU tests my patience with their sappy episodes. I am also a regular watcher of Deadwood and the Sopranos on HBO but they run irregularly and hardly follow the network season schedule.

That was about it for my TV watching. Buffy and Angel had gone off the air and I lost interest in all of the incredibly redundant “science fiction” (that just has to go in quotes) shows that have been popping up around the dial so my TV watching was on the decline. The networks were making it harder to watch TV with all of the commercials and more ads right in the middle of a show. I don’t want a promo for your next show while I’m still trying to watch the current one. It’s enough to make a person find something else to do.

I also separate my TV viewing from just having the TV on. Being an artist and being that the nature of making art is to be alone while working on a drawing or painting I often have the TV on for noise. Since my eyes are elsewhere I just listen to the TV and often the show is nothing I’d sit down and give my total attention to. All of the shows that I say “I watch” are the ones that I sit down and look at. Though just listening to TV I really do appreciate good dialogue.

I the last two seasons I started checking out a few new shows that were getting some buzz. Lost and Veronica Mars both made it onto my regular rotation along with a show that got no buzz but is still fun: Las Vegas. I even watched a season of Desperate Housewives. That is now four new hour shows and it nearly doubles my TV viewing. Then I started watching Bones too. Five new shows.

Another funny thing happened last year. Sitcoms made a come back. I have long since grown tired of sitcoms and the last one I watched regularly was Friends and even that tested my will with its sappiness sometimes. The whole genre was in the toilet as far as I was concerned. Then Entourage, My Name is Earl, and Everybody Hates Chris debuted and made me laugh. I even started watching How I Met Your Mother about half way through the season and now count four funny sitcoms. There is almost a fifth in The Office but I tend to side with the two guys you are not supposed to side with and think that “sympathetic” characters are the real jerks. They mock the others for being different and I would like to give their straight laced butts the occasional beating. So I don’t always get along with that show.

So there you go. Another two hours of TV added. I’m almost a regular American. But eight to nine hour shows plus four to five half hour shows was just too much for me. I was glad when the season ended because I was having trouble sitting still that long. Add in some episodes of Nova, Frontline, and and occasional special on History or Discovery and I was burnt out. I haven’t sat down and watched TV all summer (except for Deadwood of course). I’m still burnt out. I might just download some shows and maybe watch them later. I’ll have my own TV marathon one day. I think I’ll ignore the network schedules and make my own. Maybe I can work you in maybe I can’t. Beside everyone knows that the Desperate Housewives are no longer cool.

A big haul from the comic shop for me this week. I bought nine comics. That is the most in a single week in months. I got five of my regular books: Jonah Hex 11, Savage Dragon 128 , Jack Staff 11, Local 6, and Battler Britton 3.

In addition I picked up four new comic series: The Cross Bronx 1 from Image which looks like a cop book, American Splendor 1 gets a new launch from Vertigo Comics, The Lone Ranger 1 from Dynamite Entertainment, and just because I was feeling nostalgic for a Jim Starlin “cosmic” story I picked up Mystery in Space with Captain Comet (who?) number one.

There it is folks a lot of comics to read. And football season kicks off tonight.