Friday, November 18, 2005

Ah, at last --

At about 4 PM, our favorite carpenter/contractor Olivier Flagollet of Rise Up Builders wrapped up work on the office/studio/library.

The shelves are all in, and they are mighty and plentiful; the new wall-mounted computer work station/desk is in, and it's a beaut and large enough for my needs; the drawing table will tuck neatly by the doorway, with room for a pegboard above (and a two-shelf unit just above that is already in place).

I'll be preoccupied for the next couple of days -- I have wall touch up and painting to do, and some other odds and ends. The carpet measurements are being taken tomorrow, and Sunday my stepson Mike Bleier (without whom this project would never have approached completion as yet) will be in to install the lights and electrical fixtures.

The space is about the size of my old 1940s trailor studio, wherein I worked in the late '80s to 1993. That's where Taboo, Aliens: Tribes, We Are Going to Eat You, the 24 Hour Comic, and portions of 1963 (primarily the Hypernaut) and the initial pages of Tyrant (some of which saw print in Tyrant #3) were created.

This new space feels marvelous: it smells of wood, which I love.

The sole window in the room faces out onto our side lawn, right where a black bear occasionally passes. I've found deer tracks out there, too, though I've never seen the deer themselves; they no doubt pass in the night.

Here, much new work will take shape.

Here, many long-in-the-works projects will be completed.

Here, things I can't as yet imagine will emerge.

Wish me luck!
"Because It's Moooooooooving Day, Mooooooooving Day --"

"-- rip up the carpets off the floor/get on your overcoat/you're out the door/because it's mooooooooving day--"

The process that began in March 2004 and should have been done November of 2004 is finally wrapping up this weekend, with crucial but relatively quick labor (final installation of carpet, heating baseboard, electric and lighting fixtures) to soon follow. The completion of the studio/office/library is in reach at last, and I couldn't be readier for the move. Despite the work left to be done, once the shelving is in place and my cleanup/touchup/painting touchup chores are done before I fall down this evening, I'm beginning the momentous task of organizing and moving a vast portion of my library and collection into place, while setting up the computer and writing work area and a long-needed corner for drawing and art production.

Shambling about through 30 years of accumulated material -- art, books, files, papers, etc. -- has been one of the great obstacles week-to-week, though I've managed to do so with enough effectiveness to complete a multitude of projects. Pitiful attempts to lend some order to all this since Marj and I moved into our present abode (the first I've owned rather than rented) in March of 2002 have been sporadic at best: whenever the next feat of construction or renovation was necessary, I'd have to shuffle it all about anew, and it's pretty hopeless at this point. Some of these projects have been research-intensive, leaving heaps of discards and relevent materials in various corners once a given project is done and on its way. It's a process any writer or artist dependent on access to research fully understands, and laypersons can only shake their heads at.

I've managed to wade through some staggering tasks amid all this chaos, and have had pretty solid luck finding all I've needed when I've needed it. Still, much of what I sometimes need is still boxed and sealed and stored in the second floor of our garage (like my entire paleontology book collection), and I've turned down some attractive work offers for lack of anywhere to execute such gigs. For those I have taken on and completed, the void of a dedicated organized workspace has been crippling at times, and the chore of shifting and sifting through the increasingly discumbobulated collection to complete research has become since September a weekly ordeal as I prep my CCS sessions (the average lecture incorporates over 200 images, scanned from various comics, books, and documents scattered -- and I do mean scattered -- over three floors of our home).

Soon, that will all be behind me, and I'm eager to claim the new space and use its abundance of storage, shelving, and work space to reorient literally two floors of my debris and spread-like-a-madwoman's-shit chaos.

That all this is coming together in our little corner of Vermont within a week or two of displaced Hurricane Katrina receiving their December 1st eviction notices from various FEMA-financed shelters (hotel rooms, etc.) leaves me mortified at how much fucking space I fill with my accumulated career/collection shit. I'm feeling criminal, claiming all this turf -- but still, Marj and I worked hard for it, we've ended up paying through the nose for it (no thanks to the original contractor who effectively stiffed us when he abandoned the job), and I'll nevertheless savor the process of moving at last.