Part 23 of the “Occupational Hazards” Story Arc.
Just to let you know, guys, but this is apparently my 400th comic I’ve published since August 2003.
Anyway, my marketing adviser and close friend, Allan, gave me the suggestion of releasing a new comic every Wednesday. Since it’s about the same day that The Onion releases its new content, Allan says that most people will most likely check out (read: “not work and dick around on the internet”) their favorite websites and consequently associate my comic with The Onion. It’s worth a shot, I say.
In lieu of Halloween, however, expect some at least two comics next week: one pertaining to the story arc and another loosely based on the story arc but has a general Halloween “feel” to it.
If you haven’t noticed the difference from today’s comic and last Friday’s, I decided to color Nigel’s wings blue instead of yellow from now on. This change, in my opinion, is more graphically cohesive and corresponds with the plushies I’ve made over the years:
Storywise, this is the first time Nigel (kinda) interacts with another main character other than Randy. Of course, both Nigel and Randy are “invisible” characters — in the sense that they’re never seen but guide humans in conflicts of morality — but in unearthly realms (like Heaven), they can be seen clear as day. Then again, it seems that Nigel vaguely knows ZCC.
There you go.
Part 21 of the “Occupational Hazards” Story Arc.
Continuing with the “Occupational Hazards” storyline from, oh NOVEMBER, Jeffro smashes his roommate ZCC (reincarnated as a talking toaster) into pieces. You see, after watching their other roommate, Chris, strive so hard in his hopeless job search, it’s Jeffro and ZCC’s intention to start up a band and prove they’re doing something with their lives. Of course, that means ZCC has to bargain with Death so he can be reincarnated into something that can actually play the guitar. In the afterlife, ZCC reunites with Death and tries to persuade her to give him a human body again. She replies she has a plan, but they need to see someone “higher up…”
Up to date? Good.
In this comic, I brought back Jesus’ angelic secretary, Ms. Milligan — a rarely seen, minor character that has popped up in a few comics. Also, the angel with dark hair and a scruffy beard is supposed to represent friend and fellow cartoonist/artist, Shane Pangburn, and NOT a relative to ZCC (although, in retrospect, that could become an interesting yet nonsensical plot device). Of course, my depiction doesn’t give him justice: he does have arms, shins, and a nose, and as far as I can tell, he doesn’t have wings. It’s actually Shane’s date o’ birth today, so if you see him, wish him (and his twin brother, too) proper congratulations for giving his mother what I can imagine was a most prolonged and excruciating labor process.
Another birthday comic next week, though I can’t promise it’ll relate to the storyline in any way.
Thanks goes out to Sara Kass, who was the first vinyl-collecting, indie hipster to answer my 5am text regarding whether or not vinyl records do come with liner notes. That should be a clear indication of: 1) how dedicated I am to making comics, even forgoing sleep, and 2) that I don’t own any vinyl.
So there you have it, folks: my favorite albums of the year. Feist’s newest album — which is a little bit happier and more upbeat than “Let It Die” — is actually frighteningly addicting, especially if you accompany her music with Patrick Daughters’ superb video-making abilities.
Of Montreal consistently puts on interesting live shows, and “Hissing Fauna…” was definitely my favorite album of the summer.
Now I fell madly in love with The National after repeatedly listening to “Boxer,” and even though I didn’t think so highly of them at the time, it helped me reconnect with “Alligator” (which I feel is a less cohesive BUT nonetheless better album).
Lastly, I started listening to The Arcade Fire’s “Neon Bible” as soon as I started my last semester of college and felt it was at least on par with “Funeral.” Even though it was a close battle between The Arcade Fire and The National for the number one spot, watching the former in concert immediately after graduation stirred up old feelings and rekindled my love of the album.
And just to recap
my Jeffro’s Top 20 Albums of 2007, especially if you’re too lazy to check the archives:
20) Vampire Weekend – Vampire Weekend
19) Justice – Cross
18) Band of Horses – Cease to Begin
17) Battles – Mirrored
16) Iron & Wine – The Shepherd’s Dog
15) St. Vincent – Marry Me
14) Ted Leo & The Pharmacists – Living with the Living
13) Radiohead – In Rainbows
12) Menomena – Friend and Foe
11) Stars – In Our Bedroom After The War
10) The New Pornographers – Challengers
09) Panda Bear – Person Pitch
08) LCD Soundsystem – Sound of Silver
07) Spoon – Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga
06) Kevin Drew – Spirit If…
05) Voxtrot – Voxtrot
04) Feist – The Reminder
03) Of Montreal – Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer?
02) The National – Boxer
01) The Arcade Fire – Neon Bible
LCD Soundsystem’s “All My Friends” was definitely my anthem of 2007, particularly since it was my last year of college and I had to say farewell to a lot of good people. Likewise, I couldn’t stop listening to “New York, I Love You But You’re Bringing Me Down” while I visited NYC for the very first time.
Even though I hate writing and saying the name of Spoon’s latest album, I think “Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga” is a better record than “Gimme Fiction” — it’s just Spoon stripped down and doing whatever the hell they want since “Kill The Moonlight.”
Now I am the biggest, HUGEST, and possibly phattest Broken Social Scene fan, and even though it’s labeled as a solo album, it still sounds like Broken Social Scene. “Gang Bang Suicide,” for instance, reminds me of a male-version of “Anthems For A Seventeen Year-Old Girl.”
I first encountered Voxtrot in concert during a music festival, and I enjoyed both their music and energy. They just seem like a bunch of swell, down-to-earth fellows, and if I ever meet them in person, I’d love to buy them all a beer.
From here on, these are the albums I simply can’t stop listening to. I absolutely love Memomena’s track, “Rotten Hell,” especially when I’m pissed off.
The New Pornographers’ latest album is definitely a grower: at first I didn’t think too much of it, but after repeated listens to “Challengers,” “Failsafe,” and “Go Places,” I’ve come to the realization that this is perhaps my favorite New Pornographers album — it’s just a lot more mellow and mature than their previous work.
Recently, I’ve fallen in love with Panda Bear, and if I had listened to it when his album first came out, it would have most likely ended up in the top 5.
Suffice to say, I bought Stars’ newest CD when it first came out, and although it was originally going to be in the top 5, I had a change of heart. I mean, while compiling this Top 20 list, I thought long and hard as to which albums I included. Then, after much introspection, I had to decide which of these albums are: a) repeated listens, 2) have made a profound impact on me, and iii) are just fucking great, cohesive albums and rank them accordingly. None of that looking at Pitchfork or Tiny Mix Tapes to guide my choices… all of these are certifiably Phillip-approved (and one day I’ll patent that approval).
If you look really, really closely, all of my favorite albums are in the background of the comic. I mean, sure, you can get unspeakably observant (read: nit-picky) and find out which albums made my Top 20 list — saving you, the reader, the time from actually coming back here each day. Of course, where’s the love?
I decided to post my own top 20 albums of the year — all through the perspective of Jeffro. So despite how much I make fun of these bands and their albums, I really do love them. It’s a love-hate relationship.
Part 20 of the “Occupational Hazards” Story Arc.
It’s been a long, long time since I’ve drawn ZCC’s real, human form and Death. Death has always been a fun character to draw, and this time I made her wings more bone-ish rather than just weird-looking spikes. Her character’s design has, in Project Runway speak, been “fashion forward,” and I like drawing her with today’s trends in mind. And don’t expect this to be her last experience; I have big plans for her and nearly all of the main cast in a future, very significant storyline.
As you might know from “The End Of The Road” story arc, ZCC’s body was blown to smithereens. I took notice of the fact that his body doesn’t exist anymore, making it impossible for him to return to his original form. Of course, that’s not going to stop him from being reincarnated.
I’m playing around with the concepts of physical death, the afterlife, and even theology a little, and ZCC’s storyline is just a way to fully express my creative writing skills.
Part 19 of the “Occupational Hazards” Story Arc.
So what have I been doing in my month-long hiatus? Well, like my character Chris (who is very much modeled after myself), I’ve been searching for a job, namely a graphic design/web dev job. So there, I have a perfectly legitimate excuse. I actually drew this comic about a month ago, but I decided not to publish it right away. One of the main reasons was that I wanted to hoard a few polished comics so I can unleash them onto the public in one shot — like a squirrel hoarding nuts for the winter, or Jessica Simpson saving her virginity for that dood.
Now I thought it’d be funny if I put Destroyer — aka Dan Bejar of also New Pornographers and Swan Lake fame — on Indie Rawk Jeffro’s t-shirt. After all, he is destroying his friend/roommate, ZCC. I also thought it’d be nice to put Cloud’s Buster Sword, just because I don’t see a lot of references to Final Fantasy VII in comics nowadays.
To see what transpires next, wait for Wednesday. Another new comic will definitely be up by then.
Part 18 of the “Occupational Hazards” Story Arc.
Sorry about the pretty heavy text at the bottom of the comic; poor planning on my part.
So begins side story C of the “Occupational Hazards” arc: Jeffro and ZCC start a band (the other stories, of course, being Chris getting a job and the whole Nigel/Randy affair — and believe me, they’ll all intertwine eventually). So ZCC’s been a toaster for about 2 years already, and I felt it’s time to give him an entirely new body. It’s also been a long time since I’ve drawn his original human form, too, which was more enjoyable to draw than a toaster. Toaster’s are too easy.
And I hate to outright reveal the small, important details of any artistic piece, but do take note of all the black and the crows. They may have “symbolism” later.