November 5th, 2007 | Other Projects, Travels and Appearances

cat painting

My cat is displaying some drawing promise.

I’m getting ready to go to DC later this week to be on a panel with Chris Ware and Lynda Barry.

That’s about all I have to report. Oh. Except last night I had a dream that Hillary Clinton asked me to be her press secretary. I didn’t feel very prepared, but she sent me out to handle a press conference anyway and I pretty much flubbed it. I think this is about my anxiety about the thing with Ware & Barry. Or…? What do you think?

67 Responses to “cataphoria”

  1. Alex the Bold says:

    Oh, I think you can do a lot better than Hillary.

    Hold out for Dennis K.

  2. jesse says:

    Holy crap! Congratulations on the PEN appearance!

    And, um, love the hat. (First little flickers of snow in WI tonight.)

  3. Jessie says:

    give her a brush!

    yup. snow in wisco. ugh.

  4. shadocat says:

    and will we ever get to know said cat’s name? Or is it really Piebald?

  5. austin kleon says:

    that is gonna be one helluva panel

  6. Callan says:

    What are your associations with Hillary? And with being an emissary or rep for that?

  7. dna says:

    Dennis K! Mike G. …maybe

  8. Aunt Soozie says:

    She wanted to put her paw print there and sign with you. that’s too cute. That looks like a spiffy monumental drawing. I like that your new kitty is in it. You’re doing lots of stuff Alison.

    Hmmm…I love to work on dreams but it’s hard to do without a dialogue. I’d ask you to close your eyes and retell the dream as if it’s happening right now, in present tense. Then I’d ask you what you notice and what sensations you have during each part of the dream, when she asks you, when you’re arriving at the press conference, when you’re up on the podium, afterwards when you know you blew it. Then I might ask you to retell the dream but with yourself in the position of Hillary.

    No Freudian quickies…ie, a woman who dreams that a former first lady who is currently running for Pres has asked her to be press secretary is suffering from acute penis envy and is repressing an urge to subjugate said desire by putting a live chicken in her pants.

  9. That sounds exactly right, Aunt Sooze.

  10. Sonya says:

    (I know I’m not the only one thinking this…)

    More Kitty Pix!!

  11. Feminista says:

    Aunt Soozie–Have you considered a career as a stand-up comic?
    You could still therapize during the day.

    Anybody have any dreams about Rox Pritchard?

  12. Feminista says:

    Um,that’s Ros. Must get new glasses.

  13. Ann S in Madison says:

    AB knows of my undying love for Dennis “the Kooch” Kucinich. For dna, tell me one thing about his platform that you disagree with. One.

  14. Believe me, I would much rather be Dennis Kucinich’s press secretary. But I can’t control my unconscious.

  15. Norwegian Black Metal says:

    Interesting: J.J. from Doonesbury is also fantasizing about being Hillary’s press secretary… What is it with cartoon(ist)s? Is it the prospect of having the ultimate soapbox? If Mo became press secretary, would it just be one long rant the whole time? Or… Clarice? Yeep.

  16. Suz says:

    Mo would be a blogger. Clarice, yeah, would be a decent press secretary.

  17. towheedork says:

    Anybody have any dreams about Ros Pritchard?

    Only that I dearly want her to be real. Since I can’t have that, Alison’s disturbingly adorable cat will have to be my consolation.

  18. Hey, Norwegian Black Metal. You’re right! Only it’s not Hillary’s press secretary, but Hillary’s attorney general that JJ’s fantasizing about becoming.

    The really weird thing is, I’ve gotten behindhand with my newspapers lately and didn’t read that Doonesbury episode (Saturday’s) until this morning, AFTER my dream.

    Very odd.

  19. Norwegian Black Metal says:

    oopsy. This is what happens when one reads too much Milton. Stuff just melts. I guess Milton was Cromwell’s press secretary, huh? Or is that apologist? Ari, is that you?

  20. mysticriver says:

    Well, you weren’t handling the press conference in your underwear, your junior high school gym teacher wasn’t whipping dodge balls at you, and there weren’t any crocodiles surrounding the podium (were there?). Your subconscious must be telling you that you’ll do a-okay.

    (Wow, Master of the Graphic Novel, eh? Nice.)

    Styley drawing! It must be fun to stretch out and draw on such a large scale. The thick lines look really cool. Thank you for sharing the photo, the feline stamp of approval is priceless (hey, how did you get that shot?)

  21. Leda says:

    what on earth are you resting the hand holding the ink bottle on? At first glance I thought it might be a stone gargoyle because it appears to be propping up your board but then it settled into looking like a cushion with a print of a face on it. Is it part of the long lamented DTWOF tchotchke range?

  22. Alex K says:

    Lynda Barry! I’m excited for you!

    Lost in our house fire was our copy of her NAKED LADIES NAKED LADIES. I still miss it.

    The other copy of NLNL that passed through my hands went to my sister, whose daughter, aged 5, used it as a colouring book and proudly brought it to first grade show and tell.

  23. kate says:

    a master of the graphic novel–wow. if you’re anxious maybe you should send the cat? seems like she already has a following. i suggest getting some pet-safe ink (do they even make that?) and letting her try out her skills.

    hillary clinton’s press secretary? you’re much more complex than any of those characters you’ve created.

  24. Alex the Bold says:

    I would love to be a press secretary:

    “Yeah, the lickspittle toady from the Times, what’s your question?”

    “And I’ll take one more question from the fawning hypocrite from the Tribune.”

  25. Dr. Empirical says:

    How about:

    “Excuse me, guy from Fox? This is a PRESS conference. It’s for JOURNALISTS. Get the fuck out.”

  26. The Cat Pimp says:

    Are you sure Piebald isn’t an art critic? “This ‘3’ is an embodiment of the angst the voter feels about the two party system. It speaks of a desire to break free of the other seemingly identical political parties standing side by side, which are represented by the ‘1’ and the ‘1’. Where’s the tuna?”

  27. Junio says:

    That looks like Jezanna’s head you’re resting your ink-bottle-holding hand on.

    That is going to be one giant comic book!

  28. Jemima Puddleduck says:

    I want to live in a world where somebody like Hillary has somebody like our Beloved Host and Narrator as a press secretary. >

  29. Maggie Jochild says:

    Feminista, how odd you asked that — I DID dream about Ros Pritchard the night after the last show! I don’t remember now what it was (although I’m pretty sure I wasn’t her press secretary), but I woke up full of jumbled emotion. The strong, complicated female characters on that show — from the teenagers to the elders — are simply unlike anything we ever get to see elsewhere on TV. They’re out here in real life, though. More!

  30. judybusy says:

    Dr. E: I loved your press conference!!! Especially the kind words you had for Fox….

  31. Jessie says:

    is the show really sold out?! when I am flying out there for it?! Ahhhh!

  32. Juliegrrl20 says:

    AB–May I ask what you are wearing on your head in this picture???

  33. Juliegrrl20 says:

    Cat Pimp- I think you Piebald commentary is spot on! Brilliant!

  34. bellemalheur says:

    i go away and there’s lots of changes. you got a cat, and what an adorable kitty it is. and we’re back on to two pieces a month ! very exciting things going on around here !

    alison have you been watching copious amounts of west wing lately? (or am i the only person who uses it as therapy in these politically dire times?)

  35. The Cat Pimp says:

    Why, thank you Juliegrrl20. I have experience in these things. I suspect Piebald’s real name is Pi, since she contains certain mathematical truths about circular objects (or circular reasoning). Either that or her name is Pie. Mmm, Pie.

  36. Pam I says:

    PI = syzygy again. Not only is this my initials, it’s the book I just read and can recommend: The Life of Pi. It’s got cats in – or rather a tiger. Now out in an illustrated edition, hopefully starting a trend – novels for grownups with nice painted pictures. A welcome change for me among my stalagmites of photography books.

  37. Annie in Hawaii says:

    Your cat picture made me remember that wonderful faux-serious book called Why Cats Paint: A Theory of Feline Aesthetics.

    Re: your PEN Faulkner panel–Interesting that your bio-sketch said nothing about Fun Home.

    Comic nostalgia setting in here: I love Lynda Barry (“A girl can’t have too many shoes”) too and hold dear an original paneled comic strip of hers from the 80s that I received from a waitress friend at Mama’s Royal Cafe (“We serve SPAM with pride”) in Oakland.

    Aroha nui, Annie

  38. Jana C.H. says:

    Sorry Aunt Soozie, but a chicken down the pants indicates a deeply rooted desire to be press secretary to Al Gore, not Hilary Clinton. Check out The Flying Sasquatch and page down to the bottom. All will be made clear to you.

    Surely a connection with Hillary Clinton would indicate a desire to put a ferret down one’s pants. With Barak Obama it’s a penguin, not a chicken. Or maybe an Auk; Obama’s hard to pin down. As for John Edwards– well, he’s the ferret.

    Jana C.H.
    Old Italian Political Saying: The conductor changes, the music remains the same.

  39. Maggie Jochild says:

    Annie in Hawaii: Mama Royal Cafe! Flashback.

  40. Zan says:

    For me, too, this photograph brings to mind the book _Why Cats Paint_, and its companion volume _Why Paint Cats_.

  41. pd says:

    I think AB is wearing one of her trademark ear-flap hats. It must be cold in her house.

  42. Anonymous says:

    Dan Savage takes issue with Sparrow’s identification.,savage,78247,24.html

  43. DeLandDeLakes says:

    I’m screaming with laughter at the idea of Hillary popping up in people’s dreams, assigning them important tasks they don’t feel quite ready to handle. She seems to just inspire these kinds of feelings in people, doesn’t she? Yeah, I definitely think it has something to do with anxiety over the Ware/Barry thing- I can never stop having stress-related dreams when I am facing a deadline, myself. (Like, um, now.) And the picture of your cat putting her authorial paw print on the big drawing is just so effen’ cute.

  44. anon-eponymous says:

    Speaking of cats—if you haven’t read the comic “Cat and Girl” you don’t know what you’re missing.

  45. Kathie says:

    Alison, will you have books be available for sale before/after the panel discussion? Looking forward to attending!

  46. Anna Lee Sand says:

    Annie in Hawaii, did you know the other amazing wonderful cartoonist who used to work at Mama’s Royal Cafe in Oakland back then, Mimi Pond? She wrote a book called the Secrets of the Powder Room, that is one of the funniest things I’ve ever read.

  47. tea says:

    AB + Lynda = geekgirl heaven!
    I never understood the hilary-crush thing all the dykes seem to have. aside from the obvious woman-in-power thing. She seems so…proper.

    Aunt sooz, you’re a riot.

  48. Feminista says:

    Maggie–I have a dream–that there will be more shows like The Amazing Mrs. Pritchard; it’s so much better than West Wing and Commander in Chief. They’re talking about real progress in these shows. Imagine,a P.M. that walks her talk.

  49. Andrew B says:

    Alison, I wouldn’t want to argue with Aunt Soozie’s authoritative answer, but I wonder if you feel that your newfound (relative) fame is turning you into a spokesperson for middle-of-the-road opinions you don’t really agree with. I mean, Hillary Clinton? Who voted for the Iraq war? You don’t want to be her mouthpiece.

    If you keep posting your dreams, not worked up into comix form, I’m going to start sending you bills. At, oh, two hundred bucks an hour. I encourage everyone else to do the same.

    Also, I think it’s Joanie who wants to be Clinton’s AG in Doonesbury. Isn’t JJ (Joan Junior) her daughter, who was married to Mike for a while?

  50. ocd/twof says:

    Re: “…the hilary-crush thing all the dykes seem to have.”

  51. Kate L. says:

    A woman I know says that she’s had two dreams in the past week where Hillary Clinton spoke to her about the 2008 presidential campaign. Talk about directed campaign advertising! ๐Ÿ™‚

    P.S. – I think your cat was trying to catch the running cat in the drawing.

  52. NLC says:

    Concerning the recent cat-talk:

    1] Alas, a rather severe allergy keeps me from getting too close to any cat, but I thought perhaps folks might enjoy the following (from what is otherwise one of my favorite websites):

    2] Just what is the nature (e.g. the medium) of the drawing at the top? Is it just a trick of the light, or is there some 3D quality to the drawing?

    3] I want to thank everyone who didn’t bring up “Omaha”…

  53. other says:

    about the dream: maybe you have been reading about this Huma Abedin person?

  54. Feminista says:

    Andrew B is right re: Joanie’s dream.

    How did the elections go in various areas of the U.S.? Do tell.

    Oregon passed a land-use measure but defeated an increased tobacco tax measure. The extra revenue for the latter would have been used for health care,but the tobacco companies spent at least $3 million for ads to defeat it. $3 mil that could have gone to keep people healthy. Imagine that.

  55. --MC says:

    In Seattle — it’s curious — all the progressive candidates for the City Council turned up in mini scandals: one was revealed as having a domestic violence charge against him, and two were popped for drunk driving — and all of them lost their races. One of the winning candidates has an extensive past preparing mailings for anti-gay religious groups. Shit.

  56. mlk says:

    Ms. Piebald looks like a natural with the paper and ink. so glad that she’s got those nervous tendencies under control and your partnership is underway.

    anyone looking at Bill Richardson as a Democratic candidate for president? I’ve been impressed by his credentials as a diplomat — we need his skills to defuse tensions in the Middle East. And, so far as I can tell, he has the strongest commitment to getting out troops out of Iraq.

    much as I adore Kucinich and would love to see an Ohioan in office, I believe Richardson has the background needed to lead us towards peace.

    you can check him out at

  57. MS says:

    Lynda Barry is utterly, fantastically awesome. She kills me and makes me both laugh and cry, sometimes at the same time. She rocks. Seeing AB and Lynda Barry at the same time would be unbelievable!

  58. ksbel6 says:

    I like Bill Richardson more than any other candidate. I’m sick of democrats who sound just like republicans. I do not want another Clinton in office, sorry to all those who will vote for her just because she is a woman, but the Bush’s and Clinton’s have been running this country since 1988, time for someone new to have a chance. Everyone thinks she is such a strong person for staying with the cheating bastard, but I think that just makes her stupid and a bad role model for women.

  59. Angeline says:

    Heh… cats can be so creative (mine just creates hairballs, though).

    I got Fun Home last year and really loved it. It made me aware of just how good the comics medium can be for autobiographical stuff, and inspired me a lot.

  60. chriso says:

    Agh, a panel with you AND Lynda Barry? That is the height of awesome. I hope it goes well!

  61. Blushing Girl says:

    What was Hillary wearing when she made this proposal?

  62. dna says:

    Ann S in Madison Says:

    AB knows of my undying love for Dennis โ€œthe Koochโ€ Kucinich. For dna, tell me one thing about his platform that you disagree with. One.

    My Response:

    I meant that I was for Kucinich. I didn’t occur to me that “Kucinich!” alone came off as that I was aganist him. I realize that now. I meant it like, “Yay Kucinich!”

    Sorry for the mix up.


  63. Roz Warren says:

    The only thing wrong with Kucinich is that he is too sane and highly evolved to be elected by the morons who constitute the electorate of this country.

    Soozie, I had a dream that I went to a matinee of The Produers and Stephen Colbert was sitting next to me. What does this mean??

  64. Aunt Soozie says:

    That’s an interesting dream Roz…I like the specific details! Hmmmm…I think it means something like… uhm… you’ve been thinking about what it will mean for you to grow older and you’re trying not to focus too much on the current state of American politics and culture ๐Ÿ˜‰ which, may be good for your business in that there are many things to poke fun at (and people really need something to laugh about) but aren’t good for our world at large… which… as dtwof recently announced… is going to hell on a greased pole… though, again, that greased pole analogy was likely more about AB’s deep desire to have something akin to a live chicken in her pants…

    Truly… I use my Gestalt training when I look at dreams so I’d have to ask you to share so much more. I’d want to experience the dream with you. I’d be the tour guide and you’d be the interpreter. It’s fun to work with a juicy dream… it’s a therapist’s delight.

  65. Roz Warren says:

    thanks, soozie! you got it exactly right. growing older, trying not to focus.. greased pole… it’s like you managed to climb right into my brain! (poor you…)

  66. Tera says:

    nice hat

  67. Aunt Soozie says:

    I’m sure your brain holds a plethora of exciting adventures!
    And my home will soon hold a plethora of cat hairs.
    I said yes to my child so now there’s no turning back.
    We’re getting an eight week old kitten that was rescued from life in the wild (horse farm) after her mama and some of her litter mates got eaten by foxes.