Sunday, July 30, 2006

Friends in LA

Calvin and I spent 5 days in LA after Comic-Con, taking the train up the coast from San Diego. I have a love-hate relationship with Amtrak, due in part to many hours spent stuck between Albany and Schnectady in snowy weather. This was a great ride- they have much nicer (double decker) trains in California.

We stayed with our friends Susan Avallone and Carr D'Angelo. They own a comics shop, and are also movie people. They couldn't have been more generous with their wonderful home (and guesthouse, where we stayed).

I met Susan and Carr three years ago right after Calvin and I got married. Susan and I bonded instantly. I was really happy to get to hang out with them for a more extended visit.

Susan and Carr had a party for Calvin to celebrate his award on our last night there. Calvin's brother Chris came with his wife Kimberly. Chris was very funny, Kimberly was very charming, it was great to see them.

View from Train.

Carr and Susan.


View from guesthouse balcony.

It was really hot when we first arrived in LA.

Calvin interviewed Carr and his partner Jud Meyers at their store.

Yes, I really loved the pool.

Kimberly and Chris.

Safe arrival

Neilson and I arrived safely yesterday. Our trip went pretty smoothly, despite a scare in Washington Dulles when it looked like our flight might be cancelled due to mechanical errors. Buenos Aires is everthing promised--a lot like Europe, with wonderful incredibly inexpensive meals. We have already sampled the famous steak and some of the pasta too. We also went to an Argentine movie, which was kind of like the three stooges meets Airplane. Today we are off to the flea markets.


Friday, July 28, 2006

Don't Cry for Me, Argentina

Or should I say, don't cry for me, for I'm going to Argentina. Neilson and I fly out tonight and will arrive around 9:30 tomorrow morning. I'm very excited--any country in which the food culture centers on steak, pizza and pasta, and dulche de leche is sure to be fun. We're playing it a little bit by ear, so I'm not sure of our itinerary, but we will be in Buenos Aires tomorrow night and next Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Tomorrow we will be at the Gran Hotel Hispano.

Monday, July 24, 2006

More Comic-Con

Comic-Con is fun- Marianne Petit screened 3 of her great animations from When I Was Three.

Here is Calvin with the rest of the panel he moderated on "9/11: A Graphic Report", the 9/11 Commission Report as a graphic novel.

"Ghostworld" and "Art School Confidential" author Daniel Clowes.

Stormtrooper Elvis.

No caption necessary.

"This Week in God"'s Rob Cordry.

The "Veronica Mars" panel- sorry it's so blurry.

Cupid (I think).

Calvin wins award at Comic-Con

Yes, I have to brag because I am so proud of him.

Calvin won the Bob Clampett Humanitarian Award at the Eisner Awards at Comic-Con. Since it was a total surprise, I was wandering around outside the hall where the ceremony was held when it happened, so I have no pics of the actual presentation. Former winners include Frank Miller, Jack Kirby and Ray Bradbury.

A few pictures from after the event...

Mark Bode, Frank Miller and Calvin

Calvin with PWCW co-editor Heidi MacDonald and contributing editor Douglas Wolk.

Calvin and Kyle Baker.

Brennan genealogy

I've been trying to do some research on Louis Stauff, GrandMary's father. So far, the one of the most interesting things I have found is this wedding notice. Stauff is actually only mentioned as an usher--but it is in the wedding of Granddaddy's parents.

From Geneva Daily Times 29 October 1907


A very charming church wedding took place this morning at 9:30 o'clock at St. Francis Desales church when Miss Nora C. Gannon, daughter of Mrs. Margaret Gannon, became the bride of William J. Brennan. The ceremony was performed by Rev. W. A. McDonald, rector, in the presence of a great many of the relatives and friends of the young people. During the celebration of the nuptial mass, John Chartres, organist, rendered several selections with the obligato by Frederick Henle. The children of St. Francis Desales School also sang, which added much to the impressiveness of the service. At the conclusion of the mass the rector made a few congratulatory remarks with best wishes for the future happiness of the couple. The bride looked charming in a white messaline gown, the bodice being trimmed with duchesse lace. She wore a tulle veil fastened to the coiffure with a white aigrette. Her bouquet was of bride roses. Miss May Gannon, sister of the bride, was maid of honor, and was attired in an extremely becoming pink messaline gown. She wore a dainty pink moire hat trimmed with plumes and roses. James W. Brennan, brother of the groom, acted as best man. The ushers were Messrs. Charles Hickey, Louis Stauff, John Neary and Edward McKenna. A reception was held at the home of the bride's mother at No. 40 North street. A breakfast was served afterwards to about fifty of the relatives and invited guests. At the house Chartres and Henle also furnished the music. Mr. and Mrs. Brennan left this afternoon for an eastern trip.

(Found at

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Pictures from 1940

Everyone spent a lot of time looking through old photographs last week, ranging from pictures of Granddaddy's parents to the albums of the Cape trips of the 1970s to recent photo books (featuring many, many pictures of Eliza, Nip, and Tuck). There was a lot of concern about the safety and preservation of the images, many of which were starting to fade or fall prey to acidic papers. Apparently Johnny decided to do something about it and bought GrandMary a scanner. Here are the first two images to make it into digital format. (For those of you who don't know, these are of GrandMary and Granddaddy.)

Pictures of last week

Sean took some great pictures of the events last weekend, especially of the reception after the funeral. It's strange to have nice memories of a sad occasion, but kind of sweet as well.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Go Jump in the Lake

While the family gathered in Geneva last week for a sad occasion, we still managed to have some nice times. The best day was at Chrunch's house, when Grandmary made her grand return to Seneca Lake, after several years absence. This feat was engineered by Trish, who enlisted Liam and John to clear seaweed and rocks and build a walkway.

Bob Brennan

Sarah and my grandfather, Robert D. Brennan, passed away on July 14 at the age of 88. He was also the father of Trish, Barbara, Bob, John, Tom and Jane, grandfather of Elizabeth, Erin, Sean, Jack, John, Liam, and Eliza, and great grandfather of Anders. He ran the Geneva Foundry, was a star lacrosse player at Cornell, and, renowned for his wit and charm, was always in demand as a master of ceremonies. He loved his family, cats, and, above all, his wife, Mary.

Friday, July 21, 2006

San Diego Comic-Con

Here are a few pics from San Diego Comic-Con. More to come.

Strangely costumed fan interviewed by Blair Butler of G4 tv.

New shoes for days of convention floor walking.

Green Lantern Action Figure.

Monday, July 17, 2006

New York at Night in the Summertime

It is very hot here right now, people are hanging out on the street in the evening. Some pictures from the playground in back of my house.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

716 on your Ipod!

Both Kate and I have written about Marianne Petit's comic 716. Now you can download episodes to your ipod!

Clickwheel is a website that has downloadable comix. It doesn't have a great interface for browsing, but some of the content is excellent.

Back to Marianne - she will be presenting some of her wonderful "When I Was Three" animations at San Diego ComicCon on Thursday. I'll be in the audience clapping loudly.

Saturday, July 15, 2006


Danny Drennan was one of my favorite teachers at ITP - he was extremely thorough and kind, just what I needed when learning programming. He is also very, very funny, he's written an iconic book about New York, The New York Diaries.

Danny now teaches graphic design in Beirut at the American University there. Read his comments on the current situation here.

On a completely different note, Danny wrote wrapups of "Beverly Hills 90210" back in the 90's, read them here.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Zinedine Zidane: thug or victim?

Here is a link to many interpretations of Zidane's headbutt heard round the world.

Want to check out ZZ's website?
If your speak french, you can hear the interview where he explained his actions.

Tasty Italian eats on Clinton Street

Clinton Street became the destination for New Yorkers seeking a fine dining experience quite a few years ago when Fresh Food opened. This always made me a little uncomfortable (limos dropping people off in the ghetto to chow down on expensive cuisine- kind of wierd), but I gave up on worrying about it 2 or 3 years back. Now I am a regular at some of these spots.

There are a couple of (relatively) new places that are a little more informal, and run by Italians. One is Falai Panetteria, a bakery with delicious bread, pastries and simple meals.

Another is Piada, a sandwich shop that specializes in a grilled sandwich that reminds me of an Italian quesadilla.

Excitement about the Italian Victory in the World Cup continues on Clinton Street.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Hamptons Weekend

There are a lot of unpleasant things about the Hamptons, but the natural beauty is hard to beat. It is also a great place for dog watching.

Other Anders

I have been collecting graphic novels for our Anders that are written by his namesake Anders Nilson. His drawings are beautiful, the stories are strange and oddly sad.

Guess what, there is another Anders involved in the comix world! This Anders, Danish documentarian Anders Østergard, has created a documentary about Tintin that will appear on POV on PBS tomorrow night, Tintin and I. Check it out.

And make sure those crayons are within easy reach of our Anders! (Well, maybe he is still a little young for crayons, but we know he likes to paint.)

Paul Nelson

I belong to a very nice, independent video store, Evergreen, which is around the corner from my house. Most of the staff there are young and pretty hip, clearly hoping to do something bigger in the film industry than rent DVDs. But, unlike many a NYC video store, they never snear when you rent a Hollywood blockbuster or a whole season of a t.v. show. Among the young friendly hipsters, there was an older, craggy man, kind of grumpy but always helpful. Once, I overheard one of the other clerks telling a customer the older man was a once-famous rock critic named Paul Nelson who was instrumental in Bob Dylan's early career. Sure enough, when Martin Scorsese's Dylan documentary came out last fall, there was the man from the video store being interviewed. I hadn't seen him in a while, and I was sad to see in the New York Times today that he had passed away. His obituary provides a fascinating glimpse in a small but important part of music history.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy Fourth of July!

Happy Fourth of July!

Andy and spent a quiet day near home (I am on call but haven't had to go to the hospital). We took Anders out to lunch near our house, where Anders had some mac and cheese. Then we went to the neighborhood pool, where they had a band, and various contests. The contest included diving for coins and cans of soda for the kids and diving for cans of beer and beer boat races for the adults. We were spectators only for the events since Anders is too small to dive and we were on call.

I also hear that Dad (Frank) and Hosmer went putting again. They are at Race street now cooking steaks in a thunderstorm.

Here are some pictures of the day. Unfortunately I dont have any pictures of the golfing but hope to get some soon.