NEWSLETTER > ARCHIVE > January, 2001

January, 2001

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BIG PICTURE QUOTE OF THE MONTH:
"I stopped believing in Santa Claus when my mother
took me tosee him in a department store
and he asked for my autograph."

- Shirley Temple

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This will be relatively brief. Maybe.

I hope your holidays were all they're cracked up to be and A VERY happy New Year to you all.

May you see Life's daily Big Picture and, most importantly, treat yours lightly and with humor.

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There's still time to get your free (yes, free!!) signed (wow! signed!!) Big Picture Beefcake Calendar (see The Big Pic 12/19/00). Just send a self addressed stamped biz size envelope (y'know, one of those 9"x 4 1/2" ones) to The Big Picture, P.O. Box 729, Norwell, Ma. 02061. We'll get it right out to you...

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BOOK SIGNINGS AND CLUTCH GRABWELL MINI TOUR TO CALIFORNIA
(skip this part if you're not from California... if you wanna)

What can I say about ANY part of that trip? The whole thing (even getting stuck at Logan on take-off) was just so much fun. It is just so cool to put faces to fans and readers and e-mail pals. Absolutely incredible.

The band was very pleased at the results from that trip and we'll keep you up to date on further developements (here or at grabwell.com). The main purpose of the band being out there was to play for a few record companies and muckitty- mucks (is that how you spell muckitty- mucks?) and we gained a lot of fans as well. The muckitty-mucks loved us and are now doing what most record company muckitty-mucks are doing. Sitting on their ass in the carribeans with their trophy wives and a margaritta until the holidays blow over.

We are seriously considering a more extensive swing down the west coast, Seattle to LA, in the spring. Any feedback, sugestions or contacts anyone might have are always welcome and I can pass them on to Jeff, our main man in the hook-up department. We're lookin' to spread the Clutch Love in every way we can, know what I'm sayin'?

We had lots of fun, the gigs went great. The band kicked major butt. As always. And Andrew, our new sax god and my stage partner, fit in like he's been with us all along.

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I went down to Aliso Viejo on Saturday (the boys flew back home that morning) for my Barnes and Noble signing. It was awesome to meet everyone there. The turnout was good with those "turning out" well above "superior" as i have always suspected about The Big Pic readers!

After the signing, I got to hang out and down a couple of coldies with a few avid readers and now friends.

Thanks to Mark O'Hare (he's a writer on the "Sponge Bob Square Pants" animated t.v, show and the creator of the strip "Citizen Dog". check it out. A great strip) and Mike Ramirez (pulitzer prize winning editorial cartoonist) for the lunch hang as well. These are two of the nicest people I've ever met. They treated me like an old friend.

A very VERY special thanks to Ken Blake, a recent friendship gained. Ken is a comic strip art collector, cartoonists' coffee supplier and friend extraodinaire. If I go into all the thanks I want to give you here, Ken (including the Millstone coffee warehouse tour. Yikes!!! I died and went to heaven, dood) people will just bitch me out again about my newsletters being too lengthy. So I'll just say "Thank you". You are indeed the Man.

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So, if that wasn't enough for my already giant ego, I headed up to Campbell, in the San Jose area, on Sunday. I got to the Barnes and Noble at about 3:50 p.m. for the 4 o'clock signing (heavy fog delays made me later than I wanted to be. I was hoping to um..."freshen up" before I went directly to the store. No such luck. Sorry to those who insisted on getting close up and personal for those photos).

I walked into the store and it had a line snaking around the stoopid thing! I'm thinkin', "Damn! Something's taking away from my dopey booksigning! They must have double booked! How DARE they steal my thunder!"

To my absolute amazement, the thunder was for me!!

There's nothing I can say to express my gratitude to the fans in that part of the country. You guys have been so supportive and really "get" what I'm trying to do here through the comic strip. The "one hour" signing lasted 3 (hey, not cuz i write slow, wise guy...) and people stood there waiting for hours without a complaint. Even the ones that brought their kitties!

In fact, i've heard a lot of friends and "brothers/sisters in comic strip arms" were made, so I hope the time in line resulted in much more than my dopey autograph.

It was just so great and so inspiring to see you all. You know me so well because of the style and personal "open book" nature of the strip so it was a really good feeling to be able to spend even a little time together and get to know YOU. Thank you all so much for an unforgettable day. Special thanks on that leg of the trip to my also-new-friends Matt and his dad, Bill. Thanks for the breakfast and great company. Kudos also to Robert for the hang. The comics you showed me were MUCH appreciated and much knowledge gained (re: much to rip off).

To all of you that were so kind to give me (and Ginger) so many great GIFTS, I mean, sheesh. Incredible. What can I say but I'll just keep crankin' out the best comic strip I can to try to feel worthy of all that.

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Despite the flashing cameras of those 2 days, I was able to regain my vision and navigate to San Fran then down the Pac Coast Highway to my friends in LA. I'd like to thank them for everything, too (Brett, Cathy, Lynne, Sara, and Chris) but this is a family newsletter...

To ALL the California readers and Clutch fans- again, all I can say is THANK YOU!!! SO awesome.

We will most likely be back in the spring...

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THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER

Yes, as you can see if you read my Dec.20th strip , I'm still absent from the Orange County Register. And, yes, DESPITE the fact the OCR dropped me TWO WEEKS before the signing out there, we still had a decent turn out (see above).

As I said last time around, I've pretty much thrown up my hands (or just thrown up (take your pick) on the OCR.

But at the same time I SO appreciate that you haven't. They're STILL getting letters and that's great. Um..they're IGNORING them but they ARE getting them.

Anyway, thanks for your support, OCR readers. I don't know what to tell you except that i guess you're stuck with the comics they only WANT you reading. Most papers just figure you'll get used to the comics they feed you. That the comic will "grow" on you (kind of like a fungus...) so, if that's the case, buh-bye, OCR.

If you do keep up the campaign to get The Big Pic back in, thank you. And if you don't, I can't say I blame you. i mean, jeez. How frustrating! The only thing I can suggest is to move to a city that DOES carry The Big Picture... Anyway, here's the address again if you're still up for it (if not, you can get the Big Pic on-line at UComics.com)-

ocregister@link.freedom.com
or
Tonnie L. Katz, senior vice president and editor
(714) 953-7986
Tonnie_Katz@notes.freedom.com
or
Robin Doussard
comics editor
(714) 796-6989

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THE MERCURY NEWS ON-LINE 12/24

For those of you that wrote- no, I don't know what happened with my Christmas Eve Sunday toon on the Merc site. Perhaps they didn't run it cuz they deemed it inappropriate or something. It involved Santa and a pooper scooper so maybe they thought you couldn't handle it. And I do know how that cartoon could corrupt the CHILDREN so much more than the hole in the ozone, people killing each other over religion in the middle east, and starving, parentless, crack -addicted children in the inner cities. I dunno...

I got dropped from permanently from 3 papers last May for using the words "naked, mush-brained goon" and 3 papers for featuring a gay (GASP!) character in the strip last summer. But perhaps on the Merc's part last Sunday it was just an...um.."oversight".

In the words of good 'ol Charlie Brown- "sigh".

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SAN FRANCISCO BAY GUARDIAN

Yup. That was my holiday cover illustration for The San Francisco Bay Guardian the week of Dec. 20. Thanks for noticin'. Pain in the butt all that detailed work was, the end result is well worth it. For those of you that have asked, there may be a few copies still floating around out there.

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TORONTO

I'm working on a Toronto book signing or two. This is just a seed planted and I'll keep you posted. I'd love to get up there in the spring.

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DAWN

Dawn thanks you (jeez, there's a lot of thanking going on in this newsletter. Well deserved, by the way) for all the well wishes you've sent her. It certainly balances off my wishes of "Dawn, I know there's no stoopid Eiffel Tower here but we DO have Dunkin' Donuts so just STAY already." Serioiusly, she really appreciates the support you've shown and all the kind words. It's a huge move for her.

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SURREALISMS

Thanks to all of you that have responded so positively to my surrealisms and Fine Art posting on the PlanetLennie website. This is yet ANOTHER thing (besides the strip and Clutch) that i always say "I'm just looking for people who 'get it'". And you "get it". For those of you who are creative and are dealing with Art in any way, shape, or form, you know that when you're doing things from the heart, that is THE most important thing of all- that you can somehow CONNECT with others . Those surrealisms are the highest form of expression for me and it means even more when others can get inside of them.

By the way, there will be a FAQ section added to that part of the website soon. Soon as my Christmas shopping is done. In February.

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Well, I promised a brief newsletter and it's anything but. Till next time, thanks for the read as always. Happy New Year and thanks so much, from Arizona to Australia, Nebraska to the Netherlands, for your support of my work and your friendship!

Best.
Lennie


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