Another September 17th, another Hank William’s Birthday.

Another birthday for my friend Tony and another birthday for me.

As I do every year, here is a drawing of Hank (you can click it to see it in detail.) This year’s sketch feels a bit like a continuation of the process from last year's. They were both done in Artrage, and I wish I could paint like that in the real world.

Like the other 364 days in a year, there is an assortment of wonderful and terrible things that have happened on this day in history. In last year's missive, I collected some of them alongside all my previous birthday sketches of Hank. Feel free to read it if you’re into historical plane crashes, civil war battles and Elvira, Mistress of the Dark. 

So. Happy birthday to us and here's a drawing of Hank. That's pretty much all I wanted to say today but that ain't much. So I thought I'd better pad this out with some news and advertising.

My best to you all and I hope you're doing well. I've got a 2-part newsletter coming up fairly soon all about process and myth and holding the reigns loosely. It also includes pugilism references, so you know it's a high-class return to form.

Anyway, on to the other stuff:


I did illustrations for my friend Mark Teppo’s book “Jumpstart Your Novel” . I’m not really doing that kind of work any more, but there is a handful of people that I can’t say no to and Mark is one of them. He’s done more to encourage my development as an artist and illustrator then most anyone (The great Calamity Jon Morris runs him a close race though!) and so if he emails me and it starts with “Hey, are you interested in…” I hit reply, type YES in all caps, then go in the back yard to start a fire in order to burn the entrails of a goat in praise to the Gods of Old, then I go back and read the rest of his email. 

Anyway, Mark’s book (like most everything he does) is very interesting. It collects a lecture he gives on constructing novels; boiling the process down to a 9-panel grid of touchstones and ways to think about your story. This idea appeals to me. You’ve seen me boil things down to bones and sinew in pretty much every one of these newsletters and Mark is much, much smarter than I.

You can buy his book here, digital or print, or wherever books are sold. And while you’re at it pick up all of his other works. This cover is done by Darin Bradley, but some of those other books should have covers by me, and I’m pretty proud of everything I’ve done with him.


If your'e in Los Angeles (and I hear that a couple million people are) Sanguine and Shiny AKA me and my partner in birthdays Tony, are playing at South Bay Customs tomorrow night (Friday.)

Headlining is Hoist the Colors and middling is a touring act all the way from Australia: The Go Set.

If you enjoy coming early to an Irish-inspired-folk-punk show in order to see out of place and (literally) middle-aged men play heartbreaking and obtuse songs, occasionally play the musical saw and talk at length and with great detail about Murrays Hair Pomade, then we suggest you come. Tickets can be bought in advance here or you can pay at the door.

We practiced last night and Tony brought some new stuff that is sock-knockingly good. I'm very excited to play it.


And that's it for now. More will be published on a schedule of existential terror and/or whimsy. Or if I ever buckle down and finish this painting.

Have a great September 17th and thanks for reading.

As always there an archive of this newsletter at and I'm always interested to hear your thoughts. The reply button is somewhere around here. But promise me when you're done, you won't go looking for goat entrails because I ain't got that kind of pull.