Sometime between April 16th and April 19th, I thought this stuff was interesting. You might think so too!

  • The Heart of Whiteness: Ijeoma Oluo Interviews Rachel Dolezal, the White Woman Who Identifies as Black: Dolezal is simply a white woman who cannot help but center herself in all that she does—including her fight for racial justice. And if racial justice doesn't center her, she will redefine race itself in order to make that happen.
  • Volunteers, Professionals, and Who Gets to Have Fun at Cons: If your fun is dependent using your status as a volunteer as an excuse to not act responsibly, if it requires victims to stay quiet about mistreatment: then it’s not really a fun time for “everyone” is it? It’s not the expectation of professionalism that’s killing the fun at cons, it’s the lack of it.
  • Time to Fix the Missing Stair: It’s time to stop pretending the missing stair doesn’t need to be fixed. Relying on word-of-mouth means that the people who are new, who are just entering, are the ones most at risk of trying to step on it.
  • seriously, the guy has a point: A global investment firm has used a global advertising firm to create a faux work of guerrilla art to subvert and change the meaning of his actual work of guerrilla art. That would piss off any artist.
  • Westboro Wannabes Picket Norwescon: Thank you for proving, by your actions, the value that Norwescon (and all such fan-run conventions) have in this world. Thank you for proving that we can’t be bullied. You gave us all a teachable moment, and we learned something about ourselves.

I think the time has come to formally introduce my latest endeavor to the world: Photography by Michael Hanscom.

My new photoblog.

As anyone who’s been paying any amount of attention to my ramblings for long knows, I occasionally pick up a camera, snap off a few shots, and hope that I’ve got something worth showing off. While I have the usual overdeveloped sense of criticism for my own work, enough people seem to think that I’ve got a worthwhile eye that I’ve finally decided to move forward on a project that’s been rattling around in the back of my head for a while, and I’m going to see if I might actually be able to sell the occasional print.

To that end, the photoblog. I’m opening things up with a small selection of some of my favorite shots from the past few years, though more shots will be added as I take the time to dig back through my archives to find more possibilities. Right now I don’t have much in the way of people, as I want to do a little research to make sure I’m on the right side of any legal considerations (that is, making sure I can sell photos taken at public events or festivals if there are identifiable people but no model releases — I think I’m in the clear, as I’m selling prints as art and not as product, promotional, or stock photography, but it’s good to be clear on things like this), but I’m hoping to get a broader range of photos up as time goes by.

In the meantime, please feel free to stop by the new site, poke around, and — should the spirit move you — pick up a print or two. If you’ve got any constructive criticism, questions, comments or words of wisdom regarding the site, let me know. And of course, as some of you have been watching my Flickr stream, if there are any particular shots you think should be featured, or that you’d like a print of, feel free to let me know…suggestions are always appreciated!

Lastly…wish me luck! I have no idea if this little project will be worthwhile in the long run, or just a fun distraction that won’t go anywhere, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed. We’ll see what happens!

Crazy Like A Fax

Crazy Like A Fax, originally uploaded by djwudi.

Back in 1996, this fax came in at the job I was working. There was no cover sheet, and no TO: or FROM: information that we could decipher. We saved it for a month to see if anyone would actually claim it, then were going to throw it away when I decided that it was too gloriously insane to lose. I saved the papers, taped them together, and laminated it for safekeeping. I’ve had it ever since then. Gotta love the crazy.

Click through to the image on Flickr and then mouse over for my notes doing my best to interpret the scrawls.

This really deserves to be seen larger to get the full impact.

Last week sometime, I was brainstorming with ways to personalize the design of my site a bit while still working within my limited artistic and design sensibilities. On a whim, I emailed Shari, a comic artist whose blog I’ve been reading and whose artwork I enjoy, to see if she might be willing to sketch a version of me that I’d be able to work into the design somehow.

Shari was kind enough to agree, and since I didn’t have a particular image or pose in mind beyond knowing that I wanted to be wearing a Utilikilt, I directed her to my Narcissism set on Flickr and let her go to town.

A day or so later, Shari sent me a first set of preliminary sketches. There were a number of versions of ‘me’ that looked very promising, but down in the middle of the page was a funny little very anime-style version that she’d dubbed the ‘Valiant Camera Warrior’ which I got a big kick out of. When I wrote back to confirm that I liked the direction she was heading with the sketches, I also mentioned how much I enjoyed the Valiant Camera Warrior.

A couple days later she sent me the final artwork…and I was floored! Not only has Shari come up with an incredible comic version of ‘me,’ but she went ahead and inked the Valiant Camera Warrior as a bonus! I’ve worked the artwork into a few different places into the site design now, but under the cut are larger versions of her work.

Continue reading

Edward Logo And ImageWhen I posted about the discount on tickets to tonight’s performance of Edward Scissorhands, I left out one small detail of the “very kind offer” — namely, that Prairie and I were offered (and accepted) tickets to see the show last night!

I’m still at a loss as to just how I ended up on the promotional radar for this show, but however it came about, I’m incredibly glad it did. After wrapping up at school yesterday evening, Prairie and I headed downtown and found our way to the 5th Avenue Theatre. We’d been told our tickets would be waiting at the Will Call window, so we walked up and I gave my name to the ticket girl. She flipped through her box…nothing. Could it have been misfiled under my first name? Nope. “Well,” she said, “maybe they’ve got them over at the VIP/Press table.”


Apparently, Prairie and I were VIPs (perhaps press, but since I didn’t get one of the fancy press packets, we decided we must be VIPs — something that we’ve been convinced of for quite some time now, but it’s always nice to get some acknowledgment)! We were handed our tickets (quite nice seats, too: orchestra level, row W, seats 3 and 4), the doors opened just a few moments later, and we wandered our way in. After spending a few moments in the lobby waiting for the auditorium doors to open, they did, we found our seats, ogled the theater (which neither of us has been to before, and is absolutely gorgeous) and settled in to enjoy the show.

The show itself was wonderful. I don’t really know what mental processes it took to watch the film and turn it into a…well, my first impulse is still to call it modern ballet, though the production seems to prefer terming it a “musical play without words”. Whatever you call it, and whatever it took to put it together, it works. It works quite well, in fact.

With very few changes, the story is essentially the same as the film: Edward is created, but left unfinished when his creator dies, leaving him with hands constructed of razor-sharp shears. When a chance encounter brings him and the townspeople together, he is taken in by the community…until his differences begin to overshadow their acceptance. Told entirely through music and dance, the show does a remarkable job of conveying all the emotion of Edward’s struggle to belong (heartbreak and hilarity both, as the story progresses — one of my personal favorite moments was the sudden appearance of a beanbag).

We got a real kick out of the sets, which are obviously strongly inspired by Tim Burton’s design aesthetic for the original film, from the gothic lines of the mansion and graveyard to the off-kilter architecture and bright pastels of the suburban town. They were all very simplistic, too, another nod to the starkness of Burton’s sketching (which always struck me as somewhere between Edward Gorey and Jhonen Vasquez…though, given the chronology, I suppose it would be best to classify Vasquez as somewhere between Gorey and Burton, but now I’m going completely off the subject), and a nice contrast to the admittedly impressive, but often overblown and bombastic sets of productions like Les Miserables or any of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s shows.

Prairie and I both had a blast last night, and thoroughly enjoyed the show. Finding favorite moments was difficult, but in the end, Prairie’s favorite scene was the Act I closer, “Topiary Garden,” while I ended up deciding that “The Annual Christmas Ball,” towards the end of Act II, was my personal favorite.

I’m very glad that I got this opportunity to see the show. It will be playing here in Seattle though May 13th, and it’s got the official Eclecticism seal of approval (which I’m sure will be appearing on their website, just as soon as I figure out what an ‘Eclecticism seal of approval’ might be or look like…)! Set aside an evening, have a ‘date night,’ and head out to the theater. It’s worth it.

I’m exploring ImageKind, which gives Flickr members (and others) a convenient way to sell prints of their artwork. It looks interesting so far, though I’ve just spent a few minutes poking around while I’m in between classes.

I’ve set a few photos available to sell — take a look, see what you think. If there’s any particular shots of mine that you’d like to be able to buy (or that you just think should be in there), let me know and I’ll get them added.

We’ll see how this goes….

Edward Logo And ImageAnyone want a deal on tickets to the touring production of Edward Scissorhands, the “magical new stage adaption of the classic Tim Burton film” presented as a “musical ‘play without words'” (which I must admit, sounds a lot like something called ‘ballet’ to me, but who am I to question these things)?

Edward Scissorhands broke all Box Office records when it premiered at Sadler’s Wells in November 2005. The musical “play without words” enjoyed a tour of the UK followed by visits to Tokyo, Seoul and Paris prior to coming to North America where it opened for a 23-week run in November 2006. The North American tour will visit 12 cities, including Washington DC, St. Louis, Brooklyn, Toronto, St. Paul, Denver and Seattle.

Audiences of all ages have been captivated by this unique production, as well as by the humor and charm of the leading character, Edward, an innocent soul forced to find his way in a world that doesn’t accept him.

Thanks to a very kind offer from the touring company, I’m able to pass on word of a special ‘Young Professional’s Night’ discount for one show only, next Friday, April 27th…

Attend Young Professionals’ Night at the 5th Avenue Theatre on Friday, April 27 at 8 PM and see the new stage adaptation of “Edward Scissorhands”

Buy your advance tickets for this special event using promotional code: TOPIARY. This code will get you the best seats available (a regular $68 value) for only $40. You must be 39 or under to take advantage of the offer. Please have your ID ready as you enter the theater.

To buy your tickets, simply go to, call 206-625-1900, or stop by the 5th Avenue Theatre Box Office in-person. Don’t forget to use the promotional code TOPIARY when ordering your tickets.

For more information, visit the 5th Avenue Theatre Website.

Many years ago, I spent a few summers participating in the Johns Hopkins University’s CTY program — a combination summer camp and summer school for top-tier students (I got in through having scored a 1300 — back when the scores topped out at 1600 — on the SAT in 7th grade). Royce and I went together for one year in Claremont, CA; the following two summers I spent in Harrisburg (?), PA.

The Masked Guy, The Girl, and Dr. XDuring one of the summers in Pennsylvania, one of the TA’s was a young man named Tim, who often filled his notebooks with cartoon doodles, many of which centered around the adventures of The Masked Guy. At some point during my time there, I ended up with copies of two of Tim’s Masked Guy drawings, and have had them floating around in the (many) stacks of papers that I’ve saved over the years.

Fast-forward to 2006. Well, today. About half an hour ago, actually. I was flipping through the (large) backlog of posts that I’d been ignoring in my newsreader when a link from Mike caught my eye: Everything I Know I Learned From the Bush Administration.

“That art looks really familiar,” I thought. “I wonder….” And soon I was digging through boxes, looking for those old Masked Guy cartoons.

Tim the Humble T.A. vs. The Masked GuySure enough, there was one with Tim the Humble T.A….and the cartoonist is one Tim Kreider. While I can’t claim to remember Tim the Humble T.A.’s last name (if I ever knew it), the similarity in drawing styles is strong enough that I’m pretty sure that the two Tims are one and the same. Apparently this whole cartooning thing has been going well for him, as in addition to his The Pain website, he has a few books of cartoons for sale through Fantagraphics.

Neat, the random stuff you run across from time to time.

It was one of the most notorious images on the ‘net when I first got online back in ’91, one passed around in various low-resolution copies, found here and there in various directories of “naughty” images — a black-and-white drawing of many of the classic Disney characters involved in a mass orgy.

Disney Memorial Orgy

Boing Boing just pointed to an LA Weekly story by Paul Krassner detailing the source of the infamous image, which dates back to 1966 and was drawn by Mad Magazine illustrator Wally Wood.

When Walt Disney died, in 1966, I somehow expected Mickey and Donald Duck and all the rest of the gang to attend the funeral, with Goofy delivering the eulogy and the Seven Dwarfs serving as pallbearers. Disney was their Creator, and he repressed all his characters’ baser instincts, but now that he had departed, they could finally shed their cumulative inhibitions and participate together in an unspeakable Roman binge, to signify the crumbling of an empire.

On behalf of my magazine, The Realist, I contacted Mad’s Wally Wood and, without mentioning any specific details, told him my general notion of a memorial orgy at Disneyland. He accepted the assignment and presented me with a magnificently degenerate montage….

The best news in the article, though, comes at the very end, when Paul reveals that he recently found a crate of posters of the image that he’d had printed back in 1967 — and they’re for sale on his website! $20 for a 14.5″x23″ poster print of one of the earliest and most notorious pieces of “Disney Porn“? Oh yeah — that baby’s mine!