Friday, June 24, 2016

That Question Can Be Answered

In the photograph above is a black bird which is featuring in my book, 57 Pages. In one cartoon the bird is a feathered researcher situated on top of a tombstone recording a conclusion. Of another cartoon two, observant blackbirds are in a discussion about a scattering common-place dream; home or estate ownership. 
Isn't people losing their monetary invested dwellings in foreclosure the busted aspiration? When a building or house is vacating, birds can return to it and take their rest on top of roofs or window ledges. Unfortunately, the people who once resided there usually are unable to go back to the same residence after being evicted.
If you conducted an Internet search of them, my books would not list first hand at Amazon as it was usually on Google, Bing and Yahoo. However, my publications were taken off sale at Amazon globally late last week. The reasons for the departure are explained in a prior post, Leaving the Big City. So, where can you find The Deserting Caricature Artist and 57 Pages: A Short Collection of Thought Motivating Cartoons? 
You can find only The Deserting Caricature Artist at Apple iTunes. Please consider trying Smashwords, which is offering both books in various electronic formats. The 92-page print copy of The Deserting Caricature Artist is on sale at Barnes and Nobles and the CreateSpace bookstore, both online for nineteen dollars. B & N offers free shipping. CreateSpace is a subsidy of Amazon. You can still get the electronic edition for under $3 at Smashwords, Kobo, Barnes and Noble, iTunes, and elsewhere. It may take some time to months for the Internet search engines to adjust.

Unwanting But Not Completely Unpreventive

Innocent until proven guilty is a regard issued in the US justice system. Before and after many court cases of sex offenders it is the innocence of youngsters often torn away. The unwanting violations pressured upon them can disrupt their childhood and negatively affect their adulthood. It could be a life sentence of personal pain and sorrow.
A posting taped on a bus stop window near Brentwood Long Island Railroad Station.
Although not a causality I knew of this dreadful crime since my youth and felt sorry for peers of my generation. Have you too wished this harm was not inflicting to them? Decades later my book presented an opportunity for me to express an acknowledgement towards today's tender age generation. Three cartoons in 57 Pages: A Short Collection of Thought Motivating Cartoons directly, indirectly address the deviant exploitation of minors. The first edition of the book publishing in October 2014. 
One drawing features grown-ups discussing the impact of cleric youth abuses and the failure of the religious institution to rendering justice for the victims. The other two include children in the pictures, yet the communication is of a potent nature indicating social concern and the necessity of crime prevention. Also, the two cartoons are conveying parental involvement. All three pictures were proceeding by my commentary and references. 
One major note of concern is instructing young ones how to protect themselves from potential adult size predators. Since such degenerates nowadays are working ever harder and more desperately to reel in their prey that incentive of safety should not be underestimating. When we hear of another young victim taken advantage of or murdered. Then the wish these notorious acts be eliminating off the face of the earth deepens. In the meanwhile, the window for honest discussion may be opening, and preventive activities might be engaging.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Leaving the Big City

It is so easy to be attracted to visiting one of the major cities in the world or all of them. That is if you have the time and travel expenses: Paris, London, Seoul, Toyko, Moscow, Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Rome, Houston. And the list continues around the globe. Visitation or vacationing could have confines with budget or scheduling, so what a bonus it is to be living in one of those famous locations!
You have access to scores of attractions and resources minor areas are having limitations or nothing at all. For example, on Long Island, Suffolk County the buses could run an hour apart in contrast to Manhattan, New York the wait can be in fifteen minutes intervals. Since people have better efficient use of time in a major metro area, there are many advantages in employment or operating a business. Isn't there a greater productivity margin and profit growth in the major cities than in small towns?
For independent authors, Amazon is the largest city online to place their books. The site gets more than 175 million visitors per month, earning over 1.7 billion in revenue in 2015. There are strong incentives for aspirating writers and illustrators. It is so simple to put your publication on the market, for me, it was less than a day for each book. Writers also have a wealth of opportunities to achieve a huge profit, with Amazon they have a marketplace circling the sphere of humanity, able to handle multiple currencies. Self-publishers can earn up to 70% of the sales on their books. Also, authors have favorable options in pricing their books and changing its manuscripts. My book, 57 Pages: A Short Collection of Thought Motivating Cartoons have numerous updates which were applying on Amazon with ease. Noteworthy, my other book, The Deserting Caricature Artist was on sale there in both print and digital formats.

As said before leading cities have countable advantages, they also have their on-going disadvantages, their major problems uneasy to resolve. These metro areas become too large to benefit every one of their citizens. Here is a well-known checklist of repeated woes; as of lacking affordable housing, environmental ills, urbanization, homelessness, social and political instability, unemployment. Not unfamiliar in the metro locations are batches of impoverished ghettos often sectioned off but are few feet away from wealthier upscale neighborhoods. People in the past and present made a choice; if you are unable to survive in the big city, you may live a simpler life in a small town where you have your essentials without the accessible boons and frills. As a major online literary city, Amazon has its share of drawbacks and consequences some independent authors unable to live with and left for their specific reasons. 
A steep challenge for me is the ranking system (bestselling lists) heating up a tug of war among the writers fighting to get their books to the top levels to profit better. The achieving stature of a publication becomes more important than its content and quality to book patrons. For example, 50 Shades of Grey have high statistics, a majority of positive reviews, it is still selling big time on Amazon. Despite some book reviewers citing it as poorly written. The basic story revolves around two persons repeatedly fornicating together and probably little else in content. There is a red-hot category on Amazon; erotic literature, it seems people cannot get enough of it. What has been considered trashy, dehumanizing literature decades ago nowaday is shining like gold in this global online superstore and other places. Zombie novels (walking dead people) are also fashionable reads with a strong following.

How high gearing is the rivalry on this metropolis size site? It is so much that vast populace of independent businesses exists focusing on aiding Amazon authors, and product sellers increase their revenue. With that kind of heavy duty involvement in the internet world, dishonesty and unfairness are due to result. It might be an unkind environment for an author to cope in merchandising their work. For a writer get on the top tiers (top ten lists) of best-selling lists, his or hers book might have to sell thousands (average 4k) of copies per day. Game over if an unknown author is selling a few editions of his work per month. Can it be avoided? Only if you do not sell a single edition. Once the first copy is sold, your book is immediately entered in Amazon's bestseller tournament. There is a lot of unwanting competition on Amazon I do not wish to be a part of, thus leading to a conclusion. It does not feel better when your publications are not selling too well for a long while. What is a responsive, reasonable action if a writer is unable to survive in the marketplace of Amazon?

Although there are endless fields for harvesting income, these crops are not entirely accessible or plentiful for every person or author wanting to farm the Amazon land. There will be losers regardless of the quality of their work, or how effectively they market it, sadly that is how the system is operating, whereas putting forth your finest effort with investment and hard work isn't enough. In spite of the likelihood of minimum book sales at other online book-purchasing venues, these outlets are without the problem some best-selling listings and star rating system maintaining by Amazon. What a relief! Book buyers would be considering possibly more favorable factors in their purchasing decisions. After reading this blog post, you may find it less mysterious my books have been taking off sale on Amazon. They won't miss me.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Orlando Slaughter: Deep Regret for the Loss of Life

News of one of worse slaughters on US land is reaching the four corners of the earth. To note a lone gunman entered a nightclub, murdered possibly over 50 persons and inflicted gun wounds on at least fifty-three individuals. The criminal shooter was stained by responding law enforcement at that night spot in Orlando, Florida. The destination is a favorite hang-out for homosexual persons. Many are claiming by gunfire this is the worse massacre in United States history, how so correct that is appearing! 
Although I do not endorse same-sex marriage and lifestyles, this incident is deeply disturbing to me. People who have the potential to excel in goodness and live beneficially were brutally stained in another senseless act of aggression. My wish to express my sorrow to the families and friends of those killed. Could it be worse than other graves matters of humanity's existence?
According to the December 15th, 2014 Washington Post some 600 gay, lesbian and transsexual persons are stained within a 15 month period. There are other reports of this classification of these individuals of troubling statistics of homicide, and other hate crimes and lawless acts of discrimination against them. On a daily basis including violence not reported nationwide, there are more gun deaths in this nation than what has happened in Orlando last weekend. According to another news source, the United States accounts for 82% of firearm fatalities including suicides and accidental incidents (among 22 other countries statistically). 
The slaughter is great in other areas disregarding life. Seven days a week people are losing their lives due to obesity and other preventable abuses to the human body. Millions might cite faulted regulations of gun sales in the United States, but there are other grave malfunctions exposing man's inability to govern themselves. My book 57 Pages: A Short Collection of Thought-Motivating Cartoons address those other concerns through social commentary cartoons and references. Would a solution to humanity be greater emphasis on the civil rights of gay and transgender persons? One of the best responses to such violent events is considering and applying the finest ways to regard any human life without discrimination. Would these include how people manage their lives and the activities they choosing to engage? 

Friday, June 10, 2016


Gas Light: A Limiting Recollection of a Caricature Art Project

Mr. and Mrs. Jack and Bella Manningham
are enlivening by two unknown actors. Out of
costume, it was another day of rehearsal.
When living in Northern Virginia between the late 1990's and early 2000's had only one project professionally as a caricaturist. Gigs for caricature art were rare for me and hard to get in spite of my prospecting for work passing out flyers and approaching people at their businesses and on the streets. Then while driving around, I noticed a small playhouse and offered my services there. At the seasoned fall time, an acting group was rehearsing for a theater play. The administrator of the art house suggested I render a group drawing, caricatures of the actors in their roles. The final picture would be duplicated to be placed on sale for the patrons to purchase at the theater as a framable keepsake when the show premiered.
There he is, the actor in the role of
Inspector Rough in Angel Street.
That is the single project in Virginia that excited me for good measure as an artist. Because I had to rely on other occupations to sustain a means of living. There was for me a part-time retail job at The Gap at the Winchester Apple Blossom Mall and a full-time position at Grafton School as an overnight residential assistant. Grafton is a non-profit educational institution aiding individuals with disabilities and behavioral challenges. The Gap Store closed in the mall years later. On some weeks, I also attempted to jingle in an additional short-term assignment from an employment agency with endeavors to pay the rent and other residential expenses. Those duties included my assisting at an apple processing plant and a major printing press. Although I was submitting artwork and gag cartoons to journals nationwide, it was probably tougher in Virginia than in New York for me to earn helping income as a freelance artist.
For me to complete the group caricature drawing, there was some preparation. I sat in and observed the actors during their final rehearsals and the dress rehearsal. Of the live performers, I had to determine what might be among their memorable scenes, characteristics, whatever individual kinks for a collective portrait. I took camera images; the actors volunteered to pose for the picture. The interior design of the drawing had to be similar to the carefully arranged set decoration. I took photographs of everything necessary, an involvement that had me walking about the set design.

For the group caricature drawing project, I took photos of the set design. The young actress who was starring as a parlor maid, Nancy in the play, posed for me in performing one of her duties in her role.
You are probably wondering, "what is the name of the production?" The 1938 British play was likely entitled, Angel Street in Virgina was better recognizing in the UK as Gaslight. There have been many stage and television productions since, and two films based on Patrick Hamilton's classic drama premiering in London at the Richmond Theatre and Opera House on December 5th, 1938 and in New York at the Apollo Theater in 1941. The live performances of which my group caricature drawing is based on might have taken place in September 1998 somewhere in Warren County, Virginia.

The actors as the Manninghams modeled as part of a group caricature portrait.
In the 1940 UK film Gaslight, their roles were performed by Anton Walbrook
and Diane Wynyard as Jack and Bella Mallen. In the 1944 US movie version of the
same name, the lead roles were played by Charles Boyer and Ingrid Bergman.
In the story of the play, an aged 30-ish woman, Bella was impelled by her new husband, Jack Manningham to move into a vacated house on Angel Street. There is an unpleasant memory in the neighborhood; years before a wealthy elderly woman was slain in the same house the Manningham are residing. The typical upper-middle class English couple is content to carry on with their lives, there are, however, troubling complications testing the marriage. The wife was behaving oddly in repeated acts of forgetfulness and misplacing items. The lady of the house seemingly imagines noises in the attic; footsteps are in her hearing; someone is walking about in it. The reoccurrence of these strange sounds is indeed maddening. She became emotionally unbalanced and distressed, wondering what is happening to her mentally.
Mr. Manningham sought to maintain his composure, offering his spouse mild to sharp rebukes, some kind words and bearing up with her increasing insanity. It seems like Bella would be heading to one of those West London asylums any day now. As the wife sinks more into a state of craziness, the husband has been increasing in his activity of craftiness. He is operating a wicked plan stirring in greed, cunning deceit, and murder. In the 1930's the British employed a term gaslighting when a person is willful, methodically causing another's mental illness. If you have not seen the play or films, I won't anymore spoil it for you. However, you probably are figuring out why Hamilton used Gas Light as the title of his thriller establishing the setting in 1880 when gas lamps frequently lit the homes of Londoners.
The caricature project was accomplished, and you see the final drawing in this posting with some of the photographs of my preparation of it. Please pardon me on this human shortcoming, I remember little else about it. I do not recall the name of the small theater in northern Virgina, its actual city or location, the dates of the play, the names of the director, actors and anyone else associated with the production. 
Before this posting, I searched as much possible for information and came up empty, zero connecting dots in aiding my recollection. A reason why I did not include this aspect of my freelance art career in my book, The Deserting Caricature Artist, which is available for sale at Smashwords. Of those who were involved in this late 1990's small stage production, it is my gratitude for your artistic contributions, you put on an excellent show, you have my regards. There are a few more photos below. If you notice anyone here from the drawing or photographs, please feel free to let then know, thank you for visiting.

The final group caricature portrait featuring the entire cast; from left to right the arresting police officers, Jack and Bella Manningham, tip-toeing Elizabeth, Rough the persistent detective and Nancy.

It is all coming together now; the well-arranging set design is a credit to live performances. How honorable to take note the craftspeople and artisans. They who function in the background using selective Victorian decorum to enhance the theater experience in the eye and ear sight of audiences.
Nancy and Inspector Roughly share a laugh with a cast member who likely served as one of the
law officers in the theater play. An unknown child of one of the production staff walks
out onto to the stage during a break from the rehearsal.

In the top photo, the woman who's back is towards us is the likely actress in the role of Elizabeth, a house cook and maid. You also see standing the actor portraying Nancy in a blue evening attire costume. The older lady wearing a lavender-pink t-shirt is possibly the director of the Northern Virgina art house play. The woman wearing eyeglasses in the second may be a theater assistant. My wish to have been able to recall any names of the participants of the 1938 play.