My so-called body of work

DISCLAIMOR: This post is totally self-indulgent (unlike most of my other posts which I do for charity and for the up-lift of humanity). I’m writing this one mostly just for myself. So you might wanna skip it:

I went through several distinct periods during the course of my artistic career (so-called), though the periods often over-lapped.

1. I started out in 1976 as an underground cartoonist. Mostly doing one-page cartoons about sex and drugs and left-wing politics. The usual fare.

2. Then in 1982 I started publishing a punk rock tabloid — TWISTED IMAGE. I envisioned it in the lineage of 60s underground newspapers like the BERKELEY BARB. And I ended up pretty immersed in the whole punk rock scene, even occasionally putting on live shows.

3. Then in 1986 I started doing a semi-daily newspaper comic strip. Which I cleverly also called TWISTED IMAGE. Which I self-syndicated for 10 years, mostly in punk zines and alternative newspapers and magazines (though I did get published once in USA TODAY of all places). To this day that’s probably what I’m most known for: “Ace Backwords: zine cartoonist.”

4. Then in 1990 I started co-publishing an annual photo calendar of the Berkeley street scene, the TELEGRAPH STREET CALENDAR. And I ended up getting completely immersed in the homeless street scene. Gobbled up by it practically. And I got involved in many other projects involving street artists — street art gallery shows, a street artist greeting card project, dee-jaying a radio show about “homeless issues,” and etc.

5. Then in 1994 I got sick of sitting at a drawing board. So I jumped into the music scene, recording a CD of Berkeley street musicians. And recording thousands of demos of my own songs.

6. Then in 2001 I decided I wanted to become an author. Why not? So I wrote a book SURVIVING ON THE STREETS. I was also keeping a daily journal. And compiled hundreds of notebooks of my daily diary. It’s probably my best writing, the most pure. Because I wrote it just for myself, figuring nobody else would ever read it, so I just wrote exactly what I was really feeling and thinking (which is a frightening thought). Some enterprising editor could probably come up with a dozen great books just from compiling the raw material in my journals. . . I ended up publishing one more book — ACID HEROES — and that was pretty much the end of my career (so-called) as a published author.

7. Then in 2009 I started a blog. And that was fun. Because I could post my daily diary to a live audience. Plus I could write about all the different experiences I had had over the years during the course of my life as a human being on planet Earth. Plus. Photos of feral cats.

And that’s pretty much it. So far. My body of work (so-called).


3 thoughts on “My so-called body of work

  1. A great post as always. I’m enjoying living vicariously through your reports from the street. I might just start keeping a journal once again for no good reason. Take carr.

  2. Pretty impressive when you read it all together like that. BTW, looked for you at the library today around 1ish to see if you wanted to get a brewski. Maybe next time.

    1. I’m having a harder time dragging myself out of my sleeping bag in the morning. Lazy summer days.

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