January 26, 2003
Somebody up there likes me
Posted by Tatsuya Ishida

We are back on the air. Resistance Headquarters has been hopping with activity since the book came out--something our staff is not exactly accustomed to. One intern jumped when the phone rang and backed away in horror. "What do I do," she implored. "What do I do????" Another staff member thought the UPS guy was an Eagle Scout and tried to purchase cookies from him. The mailroom guys started making rounds with actual mail, instead of speeding through and popping wheelies. And the entire crew thought the building was under attack when the coffee machine percolated. One guy dove under his desk, screaming, "Code Red! We have a Code Red!" So it's been hectic. But we've settled down now and we're back on track. Back to being a lean mean well-oiled machine. Resistance out.

December 8, 2002
Kiss them for me, I may be delayed
Posted by Tatsuya Ishida

The book has arrived. Finally. At long last. The wait is over. The first collection of Sinfest strips is available in print form. The first year's worth of strips, all bound like a real book with pages and everything. Cuddle up with it in bed! Stand on a street corner and recite chapter and verse! Read it to your kids as bedtime stories! Have a book burning! Go door to door and convert people! Send copies to the U.N. for review and inspection! Hey, it's all good!

November 24, 2002
This is your life
Posted by Tatsuya Ishida

On judgment. People are always going on about how bad it is to judge others, how no one has the right to pass judgment and don't you dare judge me who the hell do you think you are and so on and so forth. Which sort of makes a mockery of our court system, our sporting events, and of course, American Idol. Without judges, these esteemed institutions of American culture would cease to function. And nobody wants that. Without judgment all manner of disputes would go unresolved, athletics would fail to deliver a winner, and we'd have no President. Judgment ain't a bad thing in and of itself. Until, of course, someone judges me, and I'll be all like, "What, you judging me? Don't you dare judge me. Who the hell do you think you are?"

November 3, 2002
I'm taking you down to Chinatown
Posted by Tatsuya Ishida

On wisdom. At some point in your life you make such a monumental ass of yourself that you can't escape the thought that perhaps you are a total idiot. Maybe you get smashed at a party and pass out in the jacuzi, but not before you put on a bubble wrap toga and run around asking the ladies to "pop" you. Not that this happened to me. Cuz it didn't. Really, it didn't. Anyway, it's at this moment, when you stop and realize what a fool you are, that you approach something called wisdom. It's sort of like a hazing ritual for enlightenment. You must endure much embarrassment before you achieve enlightenment. Before you can know yourself you must first learn to laugh at yourself. Except me. I have no embarrassing stories about me whatsoever. All that stuff about getting smashed and bubble wrap togas--not me. I just made it up.

October 13, 2002
Put that in your pipe and smoke it
Posted by Tatsuya Ishida

On parents. You know that phase when you're embarrassed of your parents and you just can't take them anywhere? And you can't believe you're related to them and you're convinced you must've been adopted and your real parents must be somewhere worried sick about you? And you wonder why your folks had you at all and why in the world isn't there some qualifying exam to become a parent in the first place? You know, like some American Idol-ish Bachelor-type competition where couples compete for the right to have a kid. Call it "Copulation Island." The contestants would have to go through a battery of tests, each round eliminating one couple and removing their reproductive organs. But they will receive a lovely parting gift: a "You--Out of the Gene Pool!" bumper sticker. Thanks for playing. Buh-bye now.

September 29, 2002
I got your back
Posted by Tatsuya Ishida

I knew this one girl who always went for guys she couldn't have. Something about wanting a challenge. So naturally I told her she couldn't have me. "I'm off limits, baby. Sorry." And she was all, "Oh really?" And I was like, "Really." And she went, "Why?" And I went, "Because I don't agree with the whole notion of pursuing someone out of some desire to feel challenged. That cheapens the very concept of romance, as if it's all just a game and the goal is to win. No, baby. The goal is to love." And I meant it, too. Cuz, you know, I'm all heart and shit. So anyway, we went out a couple times, but then she met a guy she really couldn't have, and it was game over for me. And I thought to myself: Damn, I played it all wrong.

September 22, 2002
I'm thinking of a number between 1 and 100
Posted by Tatsuya Ishida

So some jazz dude is suing the Beastie Boys for sampling his music. I'm more than a little interested in the issue of artistic ownership, since I too have "borrowed" other people's creations. So far, no law suits. But you never know, especially if I ever make it big. I can see it now. People'll be suing me for the tone of my voice and shit. "Your honor, the defendant spoke with a blatant disregard for my emotionals thus causing me great psychological distress and metaphysical injuriousness which has rendered me incompacified and utterly abjectly discombamboozled, thusly, ergo, i.e., I seek the monetarial damages and compensation of $100 million billion dollars to the googol power times infinity plus one, your honor, sir."

September 15, 2002
You can't handle the truth!
Posted by Tatsuya Ishida

On censorship. Censorship is confusing. Like, I don't quite understand why "shit" is so unmentionable while the word "hate" is perfectly acceptable. Think about it. You can say "hate" in the classroom, on television, to your parents, to little children, to the Pope, to anyone at all without any worries of impropriety. But say "shit" and all hell breaks loose. What message does this send our impressionable youth? What sort of values are we teaching the kids? That hating is okay compared to the unspeakable sin that is taking a dump. So we're programmed in this Puritan society to feel guilt and shame for taking a crap, but we're free to hate all we want. "Forgive me Father for today I pinched out a loaf that stunk to high heaven. I am a bad bad moral midget of man. Then some dude made a crack about how I fouled up the restroom. Lord, how I hate him. What a jerkweed. As if his shit don't stink --oops, I mean, poop. Sorry, Lord."

September 8, 2002
I gotta go see about a girl
Posted by Tatsuya Ishida

On self-awareness. To know oneself is tougher than it seems. Cuz we sorta assume we know who we are. Mostly just the good stuff. And maybe some cursory acknowledgment of our faults. But to truly know oneself is a life long task, and even that may not be enough time. We tend to flatter ourselves, then criticize ourselves, without ever really getting acquainted with ourselves. We go hot and cold, we're on again, off again, in a stormy love-hate relationship with our own selves. When our hearts stray, and we do things we really don't really intend, say things we don't really mean, we cover it up and we lie to ourselves and we grow distant from... our own damn selves. Ah, if only we can remain true to who we are, and love who we are, and just be who we are, in spite of ourselves.

September 1, 2002
Posted by Tatsuya Ishida

On life. At any given point in life, you're either in training or you're in the trenches. You're either learning the ropes or paving the way. You're busy searching or busy realizing. And most of us are trainees, bush leaguers, Padawan learners not yet allowed to sit at the Jedi table. We use kidproof light sabers. Simulate battles in the Danger Room. Ride with training wheels. Practice, practice, practice. And we're all so impatient to engage with the real world, eager to change things and make everything perfect forever. And in our haste we defy our higher-ups, set off for the big bad world, and roundly get our asses whipped. And every one of us, sooner or later, end up back in school. But ain't no shame in that. That's the way of the world, the circle of life, the master plan, you dig?

August 25, 2002
You gotta get yourself connected
Posted by Tatsuya Ishida

On women. Women are burdened with a power that most guys haven't a clue about. The future of humanity depends on them. They are the judges in the great Gene Pool Sweepstakes. They are natural selection. Meanwhile, us guys are walking around picking our noses, driving really fast and watching sports. You know, the important stuff. Cuz when the fourth quarter rolls around, does anything else really matter? Anyway, back to women. They determine whose genes get passed on. They gotta choose wisely. Look around. Comparison shop. Read the fine print. Cuz everyday they're bombarded with guys like me advertising his goods: Check out my chromosomes, ladies. I got all sorts of cool Xs and Ys! I gots the premium choice special blend DNA! Neat recessive stuff, spectacular dominants! Act now! Take my double helix out for a test drive!

August 18, 2002
I write on the lintels of the doorpost, "Whim"
Posted by Tatsuya Ishida

The process. So I get an idea and I sketch it out and I rework it a bit and I change this around and switch that up and I read it again and I erase that little section and add a little something over there and then I draw a little clock in the second panel just for the heck of it and then I'm like, oh shit now I gotta draw that same damn clock in the other panels too, so I think about whiting that little bugger right off but then I look at it and it looks pretty cool so I suck it up and draw it again and again and again and I'm like, damn, I wish I had a copy machine and then it occurs to me that Photoshop has that copy and paste command, which means I totally wasted my time, but I'm an old school purist who prefers hand drawing every single line myself, so it serves me right!

August 11, 2002
Watch me dance now!
Posted by Tatsuya Ishida

Drawing comics, like anything in life, is all about trial and error. You try out your ideas, some work, others don't. Sometimes you hit a groove, sometimes you hit a wall. Sometimes people pat you on the back. Sometimes they bust your balls. Sometimes you play it safe. Other times you take a chance. Sometimes you go, "Damn, I'm a super genius." But most of the time you're like, "What the heck am I doing?" Sometimes you're ready to quit. Sometimes you feel like you've just begun. And sometimes, once in a long while, you get one of those epiphanies, them zen moments when it all comes together-- you understand your place in the universe, you are one with everything, the future's looking bright, and you're living in the now.

August 4, 2002
Ya hearrrrrrd?
Posted by Tatsuya Ishida

Random things at the San Diego ComiCon:
· Security guards searched and detained me when my fully armored Robotech costume set off the metal detectors.
· First time convention goers dropped to their knees, overcome with a feeling of oneness. "I'm home," they said.
· Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes were seen outside the convention hall, selling weed and harrassing patrons.
· Highlight of the Masquerade Ball: An amorous Nightwing getting jiggy on the dance floor, putting the moves on Tank Girl.
· Riots break out when Vampirella versus Elvira: Celebrity Mudwrestling is cancelled.
· A Westside Story type showdown occurs between Jhonen Vasquez and Trent Reznor to decide once and for all who is the gothest of them all.

July 14, 2002
And Bingo was his name-o
Posted by Tatsuya Ishida

Psychological Test: Imagine you're in a forest. You come across a cup. What kind of cup is it? Do you keep it? You move on and you see a key. What's it look like? What does it open? You walk deeper into the forest and you arrive at a house. What kind of house is it? Does anyone live there? You press on you and come to a body of water. What's it like? Do you dip your hands and feet? Go for a swim? Finally you move out of the forest and come to a gift shop. You walk in and a clerk says, "Thank you for playing our Psychological Test! Please choose from our wide selection of memorabilia to remember your visit! Souvenir cups! Key chains! How about this handsome number: 'I Took A Pyschological Test And All I Got Was This Stupid T-shirt.' Tre chic!" Do you buy anything? Ask to see the manager? Or do you kick the clerk's ass and trash the joint?

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