Trainsetting

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Trainsetters

Jetsetters, Trainspotting, Trendsetters…

Last weekend was an experiment in a train and the completion of a goal I had set last year. I took my first great train ride about a year ago, as part of my move from Minneapolis to San Diego to San Francisco. San Diego to L.A. is beautiful and slow, the ride was four hours, just the right amount. When stuck in a situation like that I find the creative half of my brain get wild. I’ve created some of my favorite stories and sketches on those stupid little trays on airplanes, so I figured a nice long train trip would be ideal… room to walk around and much better tables to draw on.

I was just waiting for the right oppurtunity, so when I found out my friend Remy hadn’t taken a long train ride on the west coast yet I proposed we both take a long ass train ride together to draw.

Last friday I rode the San Joaquin to Bakersfield and drew a bunch of sketches of a yo-yo friend o’ mine and devoloped a story idea about a first date at the church of scientology. When I reached LA, I met up with Scot Nery and Remy to do a cabaret show.

The next day was supposed to be spent on a train back to San Francisco with Remy, but shit happened. So we spent the day on Melrose (many of you have seen my new necklace!). Then for dinner we got cheap (read: not cheap) sushi with Mark McBride.

We did catch the Coast Starlight on Sunday though. I spent most of the ride wide eyed and pointing at things (“Remy look! That kid is mooning us!”). I spent the trip storyboarding my Dianetics comic and inking every time we made a stop (the train was too bumpy to ink on while it was moving). Remy did 4 or 5 pages of beautiful pencils about a train trip and an old lady that doesn’t die.

We talked to folks we had just met about intense things.. For instance I had this conversation with the guy at the deli bar:
me: We saw the new X-men posters.
Deli guy: Cool, I can’t wait for the movie.
Me: You know, in relationships I often times feel like Rogue. I mean when I get close to someone, maybe move in or something, I feel like I’m absorbing the other persons super powers. You know, their interests and stuff. Like if they like sewing or graphic design, I share that interest with them, maybe learn about it and how to do it myself. But then things go bad, but even when we seperate I still have some of their powers and psyche shuffling around inside of my brain.
Deli guy: Woah.

Being on trains can force people to share intimate things like that. I went on to describe how girls are like Jean Grey before she turned into Pheonix while your dating (before you move in) and how I’m like Night Crawler sexually.

13 hours on the train, when we got out Owen was there to pick Remy up and take her back to LA. Straight of the train!

So Remy left with some beautiful pages, and I left with a nice train trip… and a story that will never get penciled and sketches that will never get inked. So basically the train trip was a success! I can’t wait to do it again. On the way back I asked a train guy to give us the tour of the front of the train (which was pretty much the same as first class on a plane). It was awesome, everything was wooden and old fashioned, and they had a movie theater (with theater seats). “They are just starting their wine and cheese tasting now, would you like some?”.

So I’d really like to do this type of thing again with several friends, in the nice section. Bring a movie or something. Who would like to ride the train with Doc and Remy? Maybe a cartoonist trip? Maybe a yo-yo trip? Sex party? Woah, an absynthe party would be nice.