Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Pipe Dreams History Continues "Holding On To The Dream"

So, It was 1997 and I quit my job at the bicycle factory and has gotten what I thought was a great opportunity to become a digitizer at an embroidery company in South Seattle. I was still new with computers in particularly Photoshop but I had worked my way into a position through my enthusiasm. It didn't pay much but I saw this as the ultimate opportunity to develop my skills with computer graphics. this in turn may help me develop discipline with my artwork.

There was a problem. I had to learn a complicated program called Compucon (sp?) that was the Photoshop of digitizing. The boss knew I didn't know it and I was supposed to be trained by the guy I was replacing. the guy didn't see that as his mission and left before training me. This left me to train myself and since no one else at the place knew anything about it, I was left to my own devices.

One of my duties included working the embroidery machines whenever the morning embroiderer was out with the "Brown Bottle Flu" which turned out to be quite often. I had to learn this skill on the fly too. Needless to say I never was able to balance this out successfully enough to satisfy the owner, Who knew next to nothing about the actual workings of the operation he ran. The one skill he had in spades was knowing how much money he was spending for an in house digitizer and felt it wasn't worth it. So, after a mere three months I was out the door and out of luck.

That would continue to be the trend with Pipe Dreams. I was starting to use my computer to work on my corrections and coloring my work. It was fun but my putting it on the internet wasn't getting the results I was hoping. I still was submitting it to the syndicates. I was getting more personal replies but none that would say that I was to be the next comic strip sensation.

My work was starting to be less "Gen X" and more gag oriented. I was thinking about giving up. I hadn't thought of any other "killer" idea and after getting fired from another job my self esteem was low and I desperately was looking for a job, any job.

I got that job. a job I should have tried for three years before. It was at a restaurant called Billy McHales. The pay was quite good, It was close to home and I was able to leave my work behind when I got home.

Back to Pipe Dreams. I didn't change it much with this current set of strips. It was a little less sloppy than the previous set. However it was lacking some spark. I was now 30 and I didn't achieve my goal in getting syndicated by that age. My relationship with my girlfriend was entering its 5th year and I needed to do right by her. She was experiencing her own job troubles herself which I used as an excuse to delay marriage or breakup.

Treading water, The story of my life.

New Pipe Dreams Cartoon

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

What The Heck is "Pipe Dreams" ?

Many of my best friends are familiar with my internet comic strip "Pipe Dreams". However, Many people don't know how long I've been at it. It was intended to be a newspaper strip that was gonna make me rich. It turned out not to be the case. I recently had put together a rough history of my workings that I haven't completely finished.

It's written in the usual Scannish gibberish but can be an entertaining read. Anyway, I wanted to provide the links to what I previously wrote.

Part I

Part II

Part III

Part IV

Part V

Part VI

Part VII


Part IX

Part X

Part XI

Part XII


Part XIV

New Pipe Dreams Cartoon

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Hard Sell

Before I get to the meat of the post I want to make things perfectly clear:

I Hate The New York Yankees!!

I hate them to the point of irrationality. Everything about them. The conservative attitudes regarding how they're allowed to present themselves to the public. No beards, No personal forms of expression, Heck they don't have their names on the back of their uniforms. And the fact they have retired almost every good number, It's hard to tell players apart.

I hate the way the Yankees have been able to hold the city of NYC hostage for tax payer's money to build them an unnecessary new stadium that would replace an icon of baseball history. They got a city owned ball field given to them at no expense. This left one of the poorest neighborhood in the country without a play field for the kids to use. More important was millionaire players to have a nicer clubhouse and the rich fans have waiter service, I guess.

This should have been a curse in the making. After all, a guy who wasn't allowed to bring a goat into Wrigley Field has doomed the Cubs from even being in the World Series since WWII. A bad trade kept the Red Sox from winning the World Series for 86 years.

Instead it did nothing of the sort. Everything went right with their signings. C.C.'s fatness wasn't a factor, Often injured Burnett went the whole season uninjured, and Texiera who is on his fourth team in less than three years, somehow was able to achieve harmony on his new team. I guess he needed the big money to be a good teammate.


Anyway, This year I wanted to see both of the new ballparks that opened in New York city. I went to "New Shea", The Mets new ballpark (Built with far less tax dollars in the Mets own parking lot) twice before the Mets collapsed in June. What gods were offended by this practice?

Anyway, I wanted to go to the new Yankee Stadium but only if they were playing the Mariners. The Mariners are my second favorite team, I had got to know when I lived in Seattle. Ken Griffey was back on the team and Ichiro is still, in my opinion the most exciting player in baseball. That was why I went to Yankee Stadium. To see the Mariners.

I made the mistake of ordering my tickets online, for both teams. In Seattle when I frequently went to the Mariners ballpark, I'd just got to the ballpark and the many Mariners stores that were opened in the area.

I don't have the easy access to the Mets and Yankees ballparks to do this and as far as I know neither team has stores that allow for direct purchases in New Jersey. So, I got my tickets online, paid the "whatever" fees, and attended the games.

This meant that I would get e-mail messages from both teams promoting some cheesy products over the course of the season. I don't buy much baseball products, I left that behind when I grew up. So in June when the Mets were on their tailspin, It was pathetic to be asked to buy some products that basically was contradicted by the Mets performance.

Later the Yankees kept e-mailing me to buy Yankee products that showed my loyalty to a team I can't stand. Spam is annoying enough but to be bombarded with reminders on how the Yankees were succeeding in buying yet another championship was too much. I passionately rooted for teams like the Angels, Twins and the Phillies. These are teams I would never root for otherwise.

Anyway, When it became clear the Yankees would win the whole thing, the e-mails became more frequent. I deleted it (unread of course) in trying to ignore the travesty of the Yankees winning another championship and listening to the fans who think the Yankees are the second coming, or in some cases the first coming of the messiah.

Anyway, Today, I, Stephen T. Scanlon, got a phone call. "Unavailable" was on my screen. I don't answer "Unavailable" calls. I let it go. Sure, enough a message was left. Oh, my! Who or what could the message be from?

A friend who doesn't like to reveal his number?

Somebody looking for money on an unpaid bill?

My workplace asking for me to work on my day off?

My auto dealership looking for me to spend more money?

I dread what would be in the message but saw no reason to delay the inevitable. So, who was it that called me? Why, Elliot from the New York Yankees! He addressed me by name and asked me to call back. What would they want with me?

Am I to believe that the Yankees are that hard up for money to call me on my own phone to sell me products? Shit, All the people who've been wearing 26 championship clothes, flying 26 championship flags and riding cars with 26 championship bumper stickers for the last 9 years will have to buy new products. That should be able to fund new nations alone.

So, why am I getting a phone call from the Yankees? I bought one ticket, ONE!, the cheapest one at that! It was when the Mariners were in town. I'm a fan of the M's and guess what? They don't play the Mets on an annual basis. I had to go to Yankee Stadium to see the M's in New York.

I WAS curious about the new Yankees ballpark and came out very unimpressed with it. It looks the same on the field but the rest of it is bland and already looking worn. Two championship signs were taken, and all the "Yankee Tradition" splayed all around was obnoxious so I don't plan on going back. It's the least appealing of the new ballparks built in the last 15 years.

Is it possible I'm a Seattle transplant that wanted to see his Mariners in NYC? Does that not enter the head of Yankee management that people sometimes go to other people's park to root root root for the AWAY team. It's not only the Yankees that have this phenomenon.

Needless to say I'm not calling back.