along comes a sunday

cardboard coffee table

you’re looking at our new coffee table, in our new digs. our new “office chair” came in the most luxurious cardboard box we have ever encountered; we weren’t about to leave it out in the snow. the table holds itself together without recourse to fasteners or adhesives of any kind, and stores place-mats and video game controllers beneath its surface. we are so impressed with ourselves as to be nearly insufferable.

mocca poster 2011

spring, as is its habit, hovers fitfully between imminence and and actuality. which means, of course, the 2011 mocca festival is upon us. for those who have never attended, the event gathers small press and self-publishing artists from around the world to blow your mind with their diverse approaches to visual storytelling. i’ll be there with my comics and the much-heralded zinester’s guide to nyc, as well as prints of the illustrations i contributed to the book. i’ll be sharing table i8 with mr. josh shalek of falling rock fame, one of many favorite artists coming to town for the occasion. there will be many favorites more we are yet to discover. it’s almost too much awesomeness to handle.

2011 mocca festival
saturday & sunday, april 9th & 10th
11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
lexington armory (68 lexington avenue b/w 25th & 26th)

we have reason to be excited. for one, comics creator, scholar, and teacher matt madden informs us that he happened upon some of our oubliette comics (presumably in the best american submissions box (where, we must further presume, they were left for his discovery by neil) ) and has made an assignment out of the folded format. mocca poster 2011 whispers say that a boat-load of these babies will be on display at the festival this weekend. we’re hoping to procure some for our foldy comics repository.

in the mean time, josh shalek has posted a brief and unflattering biography of a pop-philosophy icon to the site. and while we, easily-astounded radiolab devotees that we are, continue, against the current tide of popular opinion, to be quite fond of mr. gladwell, even we have to admit that this caricature is inspired.

dafr 45

some calculate the proximity of better weather by observing the domestic habits of groundhogs; we know spring is nigh when matthew and robbi crawl out of their barn. we’ve passed the time since the misleadingly branded idiots’ last appearance reading their new daily affirmations for realists, an ambitious year-long page-a-day project for those cynics among us who nonetheless long to be uplifted. with mocca nigh, they’re headed to town in a minivan full of whatever it is they’ve been up to since we saw them last. we’re not certain what that is, but we’ve never yet been disappointed.

rumour has it even schultz librarian caitlin mcgurk, brooklyn’s prodigal zinester, will be back in town. since she left us to catalogue comics amidst the trees and snow, we’ve been tearing through her various guest-bloggings like nicotine patches, like her four-part series on her uniquely awesome job over at the desk set. our sources tell us she’s whipping up a new anthology of sequential goodness, to be made available this weekend.

it’s been some time, we know. we’ve been busy with things. moving, again, and aging. and the confluence of the two inspired all manner of time-consuming revelation.

for starters, we don’t find this stuff amusing anymore. we’ve always been proud and regretless renters. we love that when the boiler breaks, or the ceiling caves in, or the oven goes, it’s someone else’s problem. getting out of bed and remembering to tie our shoes are responsibility enough, particularly when both are required on the same morning. we’re not eager to add any more things to our list. when we fuck up the paint job, or drill holes in the wrong spots, we remind ourselves that we’re only here for another year or two anyway. and when the sidewalks and bars and markets start to fill up with strollers, we take comfort in knowing we can always up and leave before things get too bleak. we’re not about to join our local tea party or anything, but we value our freedom.

the renter’s life, of course, is not without its constraints. how is it we never really noticed them? and why have we now suddenly taken note? it was the thirty-six boxes of books, perhaps, or the fourth-story walk-up, or maybe just the general we don’t feel like it. we bequeathed to our former landlord those improvements that he did not wish us to undo. and as we primed over the rest, we couldn’t help noticing all the improvements we hadn’t made, the good ideas stillborn due to the impracticality of investing in what isn’t yours. and it occurred to us, for the first time, that we’d like a home. a real home, for keeps.

a home, it turns out, is not the sort of thing one comes by simply by desiring it. this may be obvious to you, dear reader, but it had never occurred to us to consider the means by which homes are had. it was one of many worries we’ve been happy to leave to others.

like cheating at a maze, we’ve tried to trace this path from its end point to its logical beginning, and concluded we’ll have to have a career. in truth, we already have one of those; we’ve just been reluctant to admit to it. alas, aging is compromise.

boy blue and co

so: we give you boy blue & co., a repository of the things we make for money, a shameless self-promotion, a crassly commercial endeavor, but one that we hope, despite its meager profitability, continues to serve our broader project of filling the world with stuff that doesn’t suck. the stuff, in this case, is web sites and their trappings (illustrations, logos, and such). we like to think ours don’t look like anyone else’s. they tend to work better, too.

among them you will find an online meeting place for progressive activists, a gallery of elegant and disquieting paintings, and the work of a stellar boutique video production house. because we much prefer taking on projects to taking on jobs, our involvement in many of these sites goes well beyond design and code. some feature our drawings and photographs, others, copy we’ve crafted, and we’ve been known to contribute to blogs we build. in a number of cases, we’ve built people’s web identities from the ground up. we can’t help it; we love helping people make things.

like all confessions, our business site is attended by a kind of relief. like a table crafted from a cardboard box, it is a container for our clutter, and a platform, fashioned from what’s available, upon which we can draw.

coffee table with midnight as totoro


  1. josh says:

    How did you somehow move my cat into your apartment? That is one cute picture.
    See you soon!

  2. caitlin m says:

    oh, gorsh. i loves you, kenan!

    so, i don’t have a new anthology, but what i do have is something even better.
    you’ll just have to wait and see. but i will tell you that it rhymes with bang and starts with wu.

    see you saturday!

    • boy blue says:

      so… either you’ve had a sex-altering procedure, or you’ve been rolling with o.d.b. up in vermont.

      bummed that there’s no new anthology coming, although i guess i needn’t be jealous about being ineligible to contribute now.