Dec 21, 2007

This Year's Card

hey merry merry, everyone...

Nov 27, 2007

I'm good

The surgery went well. I've been home almost a week, so I will recount as best as I can. They admitted me at about 10am last Wednesday, prepped me for the op and I was in. It went quickly and smoothly, and they sent me home with a dvd of the surgery in case you don't believe me. Nicole remarked to Dr. Lapinsky, that she would be interested in watching this kind of operation, and he replied well, we could tape it and give you a video. We haven't watched it yet, I imagine I'll get a bit queasy since I can still feel the hole in my back.

Speaking of which, almost all the pain I have is three places:

The incision, that itchy little spot in my lower back is glued shut, with some steri-strips, and a waterproof bandage to tarp over the whole thing. There are no stitches, staples, punctures, or zippers. The coverings should fall away at their own pace, and that should be it. It doesn't really hurt much at all, unless I lean on it or poke it with a broken pool cue.

The Former Pain, is pretty much all gone, except for some killer knots in my right but-tock and calf, and I have some twinges in the back where the muscles were pushed around, esp if I startle or trip on something.

...But the worst thing?

The Spot
, someone, somewhere in that hospital superkrazyglued something to my chest and then ripped it off. The scar it left looks like something out of Norse legend.

After a night's sleep at UMass (made difficult by the nurses' inattention to my roommate's excruciating pain), the physical therapist came by to pry me out of bed. I did a few laps of the fourth floor, and went up a flight of stairs. It was dreamy. My parents showed up for a visit and I ended up going home with them. Nicole was prepping thanksgiving dinner and I got home just in time to eat all the wonderful food for which I was told I'd have no appetite. It is of note that we also hosted Thanksgiving this year for about 15 members of our family. Nicole and I jokingly agreed before our consult with Dr. Lapinsky that I would take the soonest surgery date, even if it was on Thanksgiving, and she should still host it, she'd just send people up the street to visit me. So, when he offered to do it the day before Thanksgiving, we jumped on it. I can't believe how well it all came together, and all orchestrated by Nick. Thanksgiving dinner (including two turkeys), new couch delivery (thanks to Gabe and Pete), rearranging the whole apartment, delivering me my funnybook subscription. God forbid I get bored, what a baby I was asking for that! It was a great day and it was nice to be surrounded by family after the surgery, and not in a hospital room.

Sitting, walking, standing up, sleeping on my side, gripping things that are designed to fit my hand, I can again do everything that a He-Man action figure can. With physical therapy and time, I expect to be able to do anything a Cobra Commander action figure can. Just gotta make sure the rubberband in my midsection stays healthy.

I would like to say thanks to everyone who checked in on me over the last few weeks, especially Nicole who spent the last year babysitting a giant, nerve-damaged, whiny, zombie version of her boyfriend. -d

Nov 21, 2007

Nov 16, 2007


The following is long, boring and written mostly for my own self. You really don't have to read it.
So the big news this week is SURGERY. Wooo-hooo I'm getting SURGERY. The story is as follows. I've had some pretty bad back and leg pain for the last year.
I think the genesis of the problem began after I did the 24-Hour Comic last year. I got home around 7:30 am, after sitting at the comic shop hunched over my drawing board for 22 hours straight. I pulled up to our house in my bright red rental car (my civic had been bashed in by the ups guy), and saw the tires of my motorbike sticking straight up. Someone had tipped it over. Thankfully, it was covered so it wasn't scratched or damaged at all. I hefted the bike up and went inside to bed.
Pain, for months afterward. We treated it with chiropractic, flexion/distraction, hours every day of stretching, acupuncture, massage therapy. Without health insurance we sought anything we could do conservatively, non-invasively and affordably. I was afraid that even paying out-of-pocket for a visit to a medical doctor would trap me into an expensive medical system, incurring big bills and possible denial of health insurance, if and when i could afford it. In addition to the pain, my muscles in my ass, leg and lower back had begun to just exist in a continual, painful cramp. The pain would move erratically all over, unpredictably. Making plans began to get difficult. Impossible to predict when I would have a 'good day'. In fact, a 'good day' was nearly impossible, since the slightest stress would bring on a pain attack. For example, when I got an x-ray, there was so much pain from an attack that the radiologist diagnosed me with scoleosis, because my posture was so affected. Of all the treatments over the months, the one I responded to best was massage therapy. My massage therapist was able to show me how to turn off the impossible cramping. I was able to get about 2 months of relief.
On Sept 15, I put a table together for StArt on the Street (see below). In the week before the event, I put in a lot of hours at the desk and started to notice the pain coming back. No time for that, I'd worry about it afterward. I got the artwork together, got my prints made, postcards printed and sat out drawing my penny drawings. Fun fun, but the back started complaining about halfway through the day. I finished up, cleaned up my booth and helped haul some tables. That was it. The next day I could barely walk, pain down the leg and up the back. Relapsed so bad I couldn't believe it. The upper back pain went away after a few days, but the leg was worse than ever.
During the 'good' few months, I'd signed up for the MA state health insurance. I finalized the paperwork and got an appointment with Nicole's nurse practitioner, now our primary care physician. She set me up with painkillers and sent me for an MRI. The earliest MRI appointment i could get was 3 weeks away. Ugh. I bugged them every day looking for cancellations and got one within 3 days, persistence pays. It turned out that I had 2 herniated discs. One wasn't so bad, but the other I guess was pretty ugly. Most likely sequestered, which means the extruded disc material was somewhere between 'almost' and 'completely' separated from the disc. Another 4 weeks and I had a consult with Fallon's neurosurgeon.
When I say Fallon's neurosurgeon, I mean he may be their only one. Completely full schedule, completely behind schedule, completely rushed and inattentive, he performed a neurological exam through my jeans. Let me explain, the nerves in my leg are effed up. Right leg has less sensation than left leg. How much less? Who knows, who cares. The exam lasted all of 9 seconds. We'd heard good things about laser surgery and were wondering if it was possible, he brushed us off and told us it didn't exist. That he'd be using "good old knives". He also told Nicole I wouldn't need physical therapy (even though my calf is atrophied and my posture is italicized), and also that I'd need to wear a girdle for the rest of my life. I waited so long for this appointment, and there it was. The car ride home was pretty quiet.
We got home and looked it up online, the laser surgery did exist. Faith completely shaken, I looked up my list of friend-recommended surgeons and called my PCP. I needed a second opinion. After a few calls and some online research I got a referral for three affiliated UMass surgeons. 2 weeks later, we met with Dr Lapinksy, an orthopedic surgeon recommended to me by 3 separate people. Our consult with him went great. He was clear, relaxed, answered all of our questions, recommended phys-therapy, and explained that the laser surgery does exist but is relatively rare and not the right procedure for my specific herniation. He clearly explained the procedure he would perform, including how much bone would be removed. The neurosurgeon, by comparison, left me with the idea that he would be removing giant sections of bone.
What will be happening is a small half-circle will be cut out of the two surrounding vertibral bones, creating a circular access hole. The processes (bony spikes) will be left alone. This small hole will give the surgeon access to the offending material, as well as create a relief-space. If another hernia occurs, there will be some leeway so that it doesn't instantly press on my nerve system.
Also, the surgery should be taking place this wednesday...within a week of the consult. Luckily, turns out people don't usually like to have surgery before thanksgiving. I should be up and around wed afternoon, but I think I'll fake it a bit to get out of washing turkeyday dishes.

I've been laying, staring at the ceiling for about a year. Once this is done I want to do everything. I plan on partying like when Bender became human, but I'll try not to get so fat afterward. Maybe more like Slurms McKenzie. WOOOOO. WOOOO. WOOO.

Oct 25, 2007

Halloween soon.

New computer arrived today, I haven't opened the box yet. 5 days till my surgical consult. I've determined that I want one more ride on the motorbike this year, no matter how late in the season. Last year, I remember seeing an old guy on a Harley in December. I distinctly recall that it was the last half of December, because he had a Santa hat stretched over his skullbucket. It can be done.

I misheard something someone said today. The mis-hear has stuck with me all day: "When it rains, it boils."

That's all.

Oct 13, 2007

hey check this out

I'm ebaying our Aqua Teen Mooninite costumes from last year. Buyers in MA qualify for FREE SHIPPING....meaning I will probably drop the costumes off at your house.

Oct 6, 2007

New First Friday Poster

GO! To the Hotel Vernon the First Friday of every month!

12x36" I think if you drive by the Hotel Vernon you can see it from the street. I've been wanting to get into rock show posters for a while now, until I get that silkscreen press going, I'll be doing the large-scale B&W photocopies. They're not ideal, but they do have a rough quality that feels pretty cool.

Oct 2, 2007

so. my cat is gone.

no reason. Cujo was asleep between my arm and chest and she just started choking. it was about 3am yesterday morning. i reached down to check her and she was unresponsive. we rushed her to the vet, it took about 10 minutes from our bed to the emergency rm, but by then she had no pulse, no breathing. she's always been healthy, energetic, smart and attentive. even right before we went to bed, she was running her crazy laps of the house.
for all the years that i have been working from home, she has never been more than 5 feet away from me. she will be missed by our little family.

Sep 17, 2007

stArt on the strizzle

welp, we just wrapped up the start on the street yesterday, thanks to all who came by and said nice things and bought nice things (esp the shirts that nicole did a great job of silkscreening). and lastly, thanks to all the inexplicably bizarre weirdos (you know who you are), you kept the day interesting and uncomfortable, nice job!

again, i spent the day doing penny illustrations. last year, i made 27¢. this year i'm not sure, the accounting system got a little messed at the end of the day, but the grand total was somewhere between 55¢ and 60¢.

people put "anything" to the test. here's a list of the requests:

•7 portraits ("draw me!")
•a pony
•a dolphin
•a daisy
•a squid
•a cthulu
•a dragon
•a rabbit with bat wings
•3 zombies, one eating a hot dog
•someone being disemboweled
•a monkey in a diaper
•a monkey chasing a dinosaur
•the world tree
•the car bonnie and clyde died in
•lenin's body, lying in state
•"something with nipples"
•the father of god
•darth vader
•sponge bob
•president lincoln, giving the thumbs-up
•an oak tree
•jack skellington
•a turtle, to which i added wheels
•a girl riding a ghoul through space
•a ufo kidnapping a cow
•a ufo kidnapping 3 people
•an earth-bot, a robot made out of the planet earth
•a popcorn kernel
•a stuffed animal, produced from a woman's purse
•a ramones t-shirt
•a demon tree
•an alien
•a male fairy
•a racecar (i drew dale jr's)

i'll remember more later...

Sep 12, 2007

Zombie Fluxx!

will be shipping in time for halloween. your local comic shop or gaming shop should have it. sooo...go buy 10 copies!

i got to do the illustrations for this game. The creators, Looney Labs and all the other folks involved were real cool to work with and the original game of Fluxx ain't bad.

check it out...

Aug 30, 2007

Sorry to pile on the foolishness, but...

I'm Too Late!
I've been working on this invention for years, perfecting it. Sadly, it didn't make it into production in time to help Senator Craig...

Aug 15, 2007

Googled meself last night...

...and besides this other awesome Derek Ring:

I found an actual review for The Monster, the comic I did when i was in college.

"Quite bizarre production concerning a misguided individual continuing the work of Baron Frankenstein. Finding a corpse in the woods, he stitches on assorted new parts with the help of an assistant he has deceived and regressed to the state of a moron. There’s an engaging eccentricity to the odd, second-person narrative and angular, spiky artwork, but the content is slim and meandering."

That's pretty much correct. Neat-o.

Aug 12, 2007

New portfolio is online

anyone interested, check it out here.

Aug 6, 2007

Some new zombie sketches

these are some sketches from a new project i'm working on: a zombie version of the game Fluxx. these sketches won't directly directly appear in the game, just some sketch work...the final pieces will be plenty different from these...

Jul 18, 2007

New Comic

here's a 3-pager that should be in the Undercover Fish compilation. I've been posting the pages as I finish them...

May 17, 2007

Haven't Posted in A While

what better way to make people give even less of a shit about your work than to not post anything for three months? It's been a busy time. Just getting over a painful injury that's kept me out of the game. Here's some new stuff... a new logo for That's Entertainment:

and an idea for a print i want to do when i get my press up and running. have a couple thoughts on where to push it. took a step closer to printmaking, looked at some studio space this week. don't know if i'll be able to afford space. haven't been making much dough lately, but whatever. big bills are looming up i need to get some paying work done. fuck it.

could i possibly have two more divergent pieces?

Feb 15, 2007


Every once in a while a project falls apart, here's this week's entry.

Pop Zombie

Once I get that press going, this'll probably be my first shirt.

Feb 13, 2007

Boo Berry

The art for the Monster cereals has been in a downward spiral for the last few years. Seriously. The boxes of dried marshmallow shapes that nourished a generation of hyperactive nerd idiots like me deserves better. I might make shirts of this when I get a chance. I wanted it to be mine, but still look like something you might see on the was a fun little excercise.

Feb 8, 2007


So I'm having some jackets printed this week. The design is pretty cool, the green one with the eyeball I posted a little while ago. There's a front to the design also. I haven't seen the jackets. The client picked the style, and I have a good idea of the cut and fit. So I send the designs with my usual control-freak sheet of notes, arrow, circles and directions for them to follow. I once had a t-shirt printer throw this sheet away as I handed it to him. They fucked up the entire order. "Yeah, we don't take these."

On my current notes sheet, I am very specific about how I need the design to sit, but because I have no actual measurements on the garment, I need the printer to advise me on the actual size. Based, of course, on my notes. I've just recently realized why they don't want these sheets. It's liability. If you just fill out their standard forms, which have no options besides CENTERED, and SHIRT-POCKET, it limits their liability, and their potential need to reprint when their part-time inksniffers fuck up 500 shirts. I don't give a shit, I keep sending them and I'm rabid about making sure the printer understands what the fuck's going on.

This week, the kid that I talked to at this place in California sounded pretty competent. He'd looked over the notes and understood what I was saying. We both had agreed that the problem was that the jackets were in California, and the designer was in Massachusetts. On Monday, he calls looking for the size again. I wasn't mean to him, I understand how unanswered questions plus a busy shop can be confusing.

"I told you, I'd need you to advise me on the size, based on my notes. Remember?"
"Oh well, we can't do that, we need the numbers from you."
"Well, how about you make a suggestion," I reply. "And I'll look at it over here, and if it looks OK, I'll just say that number back to you."
" let me put you on with my supervisor."
"OK." So he attempts to put me on the telephone with a screaming beast hag bitchmonster. I'm not 100% sure, but I assume it's the supervisor. And this is what I hear:
"I'm not talking to him!"
"But he just needs--"

At which point, I say to the kid, because I suspect he still can hear me, "Hey, tell her I can hear her." He inadvertently laughs, which I'm sure doesn't help the situation.
I hear her say, "Tell him to go to dub-dub-dub dot american apparel dot-net." I type that in to my computer. The kid comes back on the phone.

"Hey man, they have sizes on the american apparel site. American apparel dot net."
"OK. Cool--"
"Hey!" she screams at him. "Double-you, double-you, double-you!"

He calls me today with new, slightly smaller sizes. Turns out the sizes I sent will incur an extra cost. The print will now be about 90% the size I asked for. I tell him that's AOK with me, he says thanks and we hang up.

I need to just start printing my own shirts.

Feb 1, 2007

illustration animation

or illustranimation. i'm about 1/2 finished with this illo and i've been taking pics of it every once in a while. it'll take a while to load.

click here to watch it.

Jan 31, 2007

Dear Boston Politicians, Cops and Media:

You're ridiculous.

I just wasted half my day talking to people and reading insipid news articles because of this Cartoon Network ad campaign. Advertisers hung 10 lite-brite units around the city with a mischevious 2-d cartoon character flipping an 8-bit bird. On January 14th. Today is the 31st.

You and all your vigilance and homeland security missed the fact that the 'suspicious devices' were hanging in your city for that whole time. When someone DID make a call, you pissed all over yourselves. Then you shit all over yourselves. Then you blame others for your shitty, pissy mess. Newscopters, bombsquads, mis-information, and finally buckle up for the dis-information.

Stop by your wonderful Harvard Book Store and grab a fucking Roget's. This was not a hoax. Stop saying hoax. A hoax is intended to deceive. Maybe if you were fooled into thinking that maybe a cartoon character had come to life and visited earth, you could say hoax. Maybe if the lite-brite said the word "Bomb" across it, you could maybe call it a hoax. This was an image of a cartoon character designed to look like a cartoon character, no deception. It is what it is. If someone was fooled, it's because they are a fool.

Authorities, embarassed by their delay, their alarmism and their cowardice are seeking the harshest and most ridiculous penalty possible. This is an ad, not a hoax. Stop Roving up the language just because you're embarassed. Show some grace. You weren't in on the joke. Don't become the joke.

And don't scapegoat Turner, their artists, advertisers, college kids and whoever else you feel comfortable to blame here. Boston is so concerned about losing population, don't punish the kind of people you need to attract.

Derek Ring
Worcester, MA

PS I don't want to hear SHIT about Boston being better than Worcester. You are now the laughing stock of the WORLD.

Section 102A1/2. (a) Whoever possesses, transports, uses or places or causes another to knowingly or unknowingly possess, transport, use or place any hoax device or hoax substance with the intent to cause anxiety, unrest, fear or personal discomfort to any person or group of persons shall be punished by imprisonment in a house of correction for not more than two and one-half years or by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than five years or by a fine of not more than $5,000, or by both such fine and imprisonment.

Jan 28, 2007

Holy Crap!

I should be posting lots of new work soon. Got lots of new ideas.

Jan 27, 2007

Jan 21, 2007

baby got bible