AddThis Social Bookmark Button  

Reddit this comic!



03/29/12 - A month and a fuckin' half for a one panel Hitler joke that makes no sense?! You people are not getting your money's worth, I can tell you that.



02/17/12 - Some of you long time readers would know that ocassionally I would do a one panel strip instead of the regular full page strip. APE SHIT was a one panel version of THINKING APE BLUES I would do when I was in the mood (meaning when I was too lazy or drunk to pull off a full page comic). I didn't want the single panel strips to interfere with the regular run of almost 400 T.A.B. strips, so i just called it APE SHIT ... and there were 33 of those ... my God, what a waste of time!




02/04/12 - Sorry for the delay, blame the goddamn Mouse. Yes, I was in Disney World with the family for a week and was 80% done with the inking of the strip but just ran out of time and didn't get it posted before I left, then spent the next 3 days back playing catch up with things that actually pay the bills.

If you've read my site before, you know my long standing love/hate relationship with the goddamn Mouse and the State of Florida in general. I lose my shit with the Wal*Mart-esque sub-humanoids that push their horribly out of shape 9 year olds in strollers at every turn in the parks, I loathe the buzzing, humid sun-ravaged landscape (what can I say, I'm a Northern boy, I'm biased towards my terrain), I get weirdly bothered by 95% of the buildings being less than 50 years old ... but on the otherhad, that fucking place really is the most Magical Place On Earth (TM)!!! I can't help it. Seeing my kids go crazy for getting the autograph of some actor in a Goofy costume and loving even the most classic/outdated rides, like Peter Pan, well, let's just say as a Dad, I'm a big sucker for that stuff. Plus, my best friend in the world, the amazing Terrone Carpenter, and his lovely wife live there, as well as my wife's aunt, so it becomes a bi-annual event. As jaded and evil of a bastard as I am, I really do love going to those parks.

But I am also equally as happy to get the fuck out of there and back to some normal cold weather and normal trees, not those freaking scrub plants and palms that pass for flora in Florida, "America's Wang" (as Homer would say). And it was nice to avoid at least a week of Super Bowl talk on sports radio ... I can only stomach 3-4 days, tops, even when my team, the Patriots, is in it.




01/12/12 - You didn't actually think I'd update on a schedule now that I'm back, did you? You fools.

Actually, I had this strip and the next written up last week, but just got swamped with some stuff and frankly, the stealing an hour or 2 here or there to get the strip done is an art form and I'm a bit rusty. I used to be able to chip away at it over a day or 2 each week, but since I haven't been doing the strip in a year and a half, I need to get back in the rythym of things, as it were.

By the way, extra credit if you can tell what beer Abe is drinking this week.




01/01/12 - What the fuck can I say? I was busy.

Look, it's been over 18 months since I last drew these bastards, these misanthropic troglodytes, these lesser elements of my broken psyche, these Brothers Progress. When I first started THE THINKING APE BLUES over 12 years ago, they truly just appeared one day in some shit I was sketching while avoiding work at my job in the late, semi-great Tower Records art loft in New York City. Much like The Turk series of sketches that showed up in Bill Kliban's sketch book for a few weeks in the late Seventies and disappeared as mysteriously as they appeared, I figured the Progess Brothers would just be like a hundred other half-thought out sketches in my mess of a desk and eventually go the way of the dodo or Cop Rock. But almost in spite of myself and them, they just started coming together in a series of strips. I figured since no real design and pre-fabricated thought went into them, they were meant to be for as long as they were fun to draw.

I vowed I would only follow two rules, absolutely: one, the afore mentioned "fun to draw and write". Two was more important: only write and draw anything that made ME laugh, kept ME interested, made sense to ME. It sounds pretentious as shit, but it was always, always true. I just drew shit I liked and maybe I'd get a few people who thought it was funny. Christ knows many, many people have not found it funny (my wife in fact rarely laughs at it, although she has always known how important it was that I drew this stupid degenerate gibberish). The other aspect of rule two was that I had absolutely no rules. If it made sense to me to have Iggy Pop, John Adams and Waylon Flowers & Madame show up in a strip for some dumb reason that I found amusing, they'd be there (and were). So that kind of freedom was awesome.

It also meant 95% of the editors I pitched this strip to thought it was nonsensical dogshit. Meh, live by the sword, die by the sword. A few publishers ran it for varying lengths of time. For an 18 month period it was one of only 4 strips in the Phoenix New Times, along with Life In Hell and that Buddy Hickerson strip the Quigmans, so that seemed like I was on to something. Of course my longest stint was what was the home of the strip for 80% of it's lifespan, the Boston Weekly Dig. A few years back we had a semi-ugly parting of the ways and they dumped the strip. The details are hazy, but I seem to remember being quite hurt and insulted by the way shit went down. I still get emails form people saying how much they miss the strip in the Dig, but I guess not enough people gave a shit for them to reconsider. Oh well, shit goes on.

Or rather doesn't, some times. After the Dig dumped TAB, I tried to soldier on strictly as a webcomic, since 99% of all alt-weeklies across the country have screwed comics by either dumping most of them or running the same six strips through some half-assed syndication. Thing is, I suck at self promotion and simply don't hustle. I have no desire to "grow" the strip and sell it, I just needed to write and draw it each week. And after it died in print, I was in such a vaccuum on the web that I knew my readership evaporated without the constant pimping. And I'm not like these cut and paste guys or stick figure guys who can crank out a strip in 15 minutes, nor do I have a built in "shooting fish in a barrel" target audience like the video game webcomics, so I kind of got tired.

And then one day, just as mysteriously as they appeared, they just stopped coming to my drawing table. They had stayed about 11 years longer than I had ever expected they would, but I didn't fight it even though I knew I'd miss the fuck out of them.

Which brings us to today, January 1st, 2012. Here's a new strip. Why? I dunno. In fact, I hadn't thought for even a second about the strip for almost a year. Didn't even check to see if the site was still up. And then, for no reason whatsoever, while watching TV on the evening of December 30th, 2011, with the whole family recovering from a serious case of that fucking evil stomach bug floating around, a line by Ben about Rick Santorum becoming president just popped into my head. And the next early evening, while watching Ghostbusters with the kids on New Years Eve (don't ask, it was on and we watch it any time it's on), I just drew the strip again. I was a bit rusty, but vowed to not look at old strips to re-learn how to draw it, I just did it, like no time had passed.

So here's strip #390, with an 18 month plus break since #389. Why? I dunno. But stick around, maybe we'll see more.

- Mark

Project Wonderful - Your ad could be here, right now.

Project Wonderful - Your ad here, right now, for as low as $0.00

MARCH 29th, 2012



All art and text copyright © 2012 Mark Poutenis • THE THINKING APE BLUES copyright © 2012 Mark Poutenis