Saturday, January 31, 2009

Comicbook Rockstar - autobiography of Kurt J. Christenson

Kurt Christenson
Writer, Comicbook Rockstar

Born on September 21, 1976, year of the Fire Dragon, a Virgo on the cusp of being a Libra, to teenage parents on Long Island. My dad sold his Mustang, my mom took night classes to graduate early, and a few years later my sister was born.

A dog named Max, a trusted companion and good friend awoke, startled from a dream and gripped my skull between his teeth. Two years later I choke to death on a hotdog, saved by my father as he runs to the hospital with me in his arms.

We live in an apartment below the rockabilly couple that live upstairs. There's a 38' Ford with running board and flames in various stages of restoration, and an El Camino in the driveway, and a tarantula and snake upstairs in tanks. My sister and I have bunkbeds and I can't stand the Yoda nightlight so I hide it in my desk at school.

We're the poorer white families in the middle class black neighborhood. But we get by. My dad builds racecars on the side before computers consume him. My mom works at Service Merchandise then a bank as she overstuffs our stockings. We drive to Disney in the station wagon and visit Grandma Florida.

We camp out at Montauk as my dad offroads, later driving his trike through the streets during Hurricane Gloria.

My parents move us to a small suburban mafia town near where they grew up. My aunt's house that she can't take care of because her husband OD'd. She lives downstairs looking for God, she dies in Florida by her own hand, though I wouldn't know that for years.

I become a teenager and grow my hair long. I hang out with loser badkids setting stuff on fire and sneaking out, getting beat up by cops and chased by lunatics. I find some comic book/roleplaying dorks and find a safe haven.

From Peanuts to Brenda Starr to Mad Magazine to Detective Comics to Wolverine to The Flash to Flaming Carrot to Mage to Shade the Changing Man, Doom Patrol and Invisibles, I love comics. I bought them while unemployed, I've stolen them, and now I sleep atop them.

Along the way I saw A Better Tomorrow directed by John Woo, then The Killer and Hard Boiled. Soon enough Rumble in the Bronx, Drunken Master 2, and Police Story with Jackie Chan, Fist of Legend, Once Upon A Time in China, and Kung Fu Cult Master with Jet Li. Movies like Gen-X Cops, Storm Riders, Iron Monkey, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, Hero, and Dragon Tiger Gate became my life.

I did well in High School despite goofing off and sleeping all the time, Community College was easy enough too taking all the writing courses, and discovering I could write but had nothing to say.

So I gave up the ghost. Stopped writing, got menial jobs, and eventually went to a Graphic Design school that took my money and gave me a Mac and a job re-creating forms for hospitals and banks.

Bored to tears I began writing comics. I did some one-shots for hire making $50 a pop, then began work on Legend of Liquid Fury with Chris Chua. For years I did the 9 to 5, came home to kung fu, cartoons, and comics, and co-created what would become a 200 page graphic novel.

We pimped a 48 page preview around the comicbook conventions, talking to every pro and creator around. Eventually we met and teamed up with some badass mofos to form TenTonStudios. Together we hit cons and got gigs.

I got disllusioned with comics, discouraged by the business, the apathetic audience, and needed a change. I began a novel, moved to New York City, and went back to College at the New School. I partied, drank, traveled, got tattooed, loved, lost, and puked all over the city.

Freelance Photo Editor for a Paparazzi Photo Agency. New School College Student. Comicbook Rockstar.

Currently projects:

The Tower of Brahma
experimental novel

Legend of Liquid Fury
kung fu/fantasy comic

short film series

Thursday, January 29, 2009


they made me think of her


in the rookzone, whut


what's up with my hair?

european vacation - amsterdam train

going the wrong way

Posted via Pixelpipe.

Comicbook Rockstar

I've been in the game a long time. Waiting, watching, observing and figuring out the angles. I saw how it all worked, built myself up, and now it's time to strike.

I ricochet off the walls of reality, skimming across the Atlantic and rebounding right back into the arms of True Love. Can you imagine the moment, when you realize that this beautiful young woman sitting across from you is the one you'll spend the rest of your life with?

I've found my soulmate. Now time to write comics, create cartoons, direct movies. With this girl besides me, supporting me, there is literally no task I can not complete. I feel that as if it were the divine touch urging me forward to write, to change the world.

Why Comicbook Rockstar?

It's pretentious. I know. But it sticks. It sums me up. I always wanted to be a rockstar, but all I knew was comicbooks. I think it's rockstar to sleep on comics in your East Village apartment, member of the baddest assest comic studio in all the Land, out on a double date with your model girlfriend and Adrian Grenier and his not quite as hot girl.

Pardon the ego stroking, I just messed up my loans for school and now am involuntarily taking this semester off, and I'm broke, so yeah. And it's Winter man. This cold sucks. Wasn't even this cold in Amsterdam, or if it was I didn't notice.

Oh, yeah. I just got back from Amsterdam, with a quick jaunt to Paris. Things were messy from the start with a "magic cookie" airplane ride, a train bound the wrong way, lost in the city, double booked hotel room, wrong side of town type of adventure.

We saw all of the city, in awe of the canals, in a haze at coffee shops, and bummed out in the Anne Frank House. I nervously snickered as Ben flirted with German girls who must have been there in some sort of bizarre guilt fascination.

We pass out early every night, cold from the open windows in our non-smoking room, reading poetry (me e.e. cummings, Ben Bukowski), eventually throwing up mushrooms after the wallpaper got all crazy on my ass. EuroMTV2 is on non-stop, and all I can think is Just Dance, and Ayo Technology.

Train to Paris, navigating the Metro, walking the night streets, cobblestones alongside the river La Seine, a cheap hotel room, spare and simple on Ile de Cite, birthplace of Paris, where in 300BC a Celtic tribe, the Parisii, settled, the Romans destroyed, and Palais du Justice still stands, with Notre Dame at the far end.

At the point, the tip of the Heart of France, Ben and I hang out the window smoking and take photos of each other in an attempt to capture some post modern, digital and film bridge to a romantic past long gone. Commercialism and chains have taken most of the spirit of the city, but it's still lying there simmering beneath the daily grind.

The French hate us. Ah well. We walk and talk. Ponder and piss alongside the river walkways. Watch a crew clean graphitti of a bench, have a drink at Harry's New York Bar (complete with manner lesson from Harry), and takes pictures in front of the Eiffel Tower as Obama takes office.

The Louvre is huge and so chill. Ancient and yet accessible. We puruse the classics, look at lots of Jesus shots, tons of babies (including a Lion eating one), see the Mona Lisa and a series of a single evolving painting from inspiration to sketches to final pieces by Van Gogh.

Art classes sit Indian style and scribble notes, tourists wander and babble, we mock and pose alongside the sculptures. It's impressive but we're over it, and grab our coats from the free(!) coat check and hit the streets where I buy an obnoxiously touristy t-shirt and a lovely bracelet for my love who's waiting for me back home.

We make it back to Amsterdam, no plan, no place to stay, get destroyed and wander. We hit up a shop as featured in Oceans 12 and it feels like a sitcom, Cheers in Amsterdam. Cute bartender, quiet square secretly in love with her, loveable weirdo, and animated skinny guy tending to the smokeshop.

It makes me recall our early adventures in this city. Late night McDonald's run, Ben getting robbed, English Breakfast every morning, playing pool in the Spirit themed coffeeshop, and the beers in the local bar where we were most definitely not welcome.

When we hit the streets I recognize my superpowers. The higher functioning of my brain takes over as I powerwalk and pronounce my presence onto the world, taking centerstage of the entire universe, crafting reality around me, realigning my entire being up straight and narrow, burrowing into the future.

Ben says people were scared of me. I just want to crash. Expensive hotel besides the train station, the Ibis. Ben's smoking everything, as he told me he would, rather than dispose of it. He wakes me up late as he pounds two joints at the same time, hash in one, and all sorts of insanity in the other.

We miss our flights. He catches a connection, I have to wait a day. I go to the CitizenM, finally alone after a week, sweating and bearded weirdo in the lobby of tomorrow. Neo-art deco future pomo mobile hotel for the trendy traveller. My toilet and shower are in Star Trek tubes, and everything is controlled by a remote touch keypad.

It feels like something out of the Prisoner, so after I eat at the Burger King in the airport, I pick up a bottle of Johnny Walker and a razor, and come back, shower, and shave this dreaded beard off. Now I look so much less like my passport that security and I laugh about it at every airport home.

I feel new. So glad to be home. I drop off my backpack, and then head to her loving arms. An eternal week indeed. Back to this new life of mine. Where I have a girlfriend who loves me as foretold by the stars, a studio with a great friend and master of the craft, a novel that is nearly complete, and a graphic novel to finish lettering. A career to begin. A world to rock.

Hah, that was so cheesy, I just had to comment on it. So, yeah, I'm back, with international experience and free time, stability and support, a new sense of purpose and with all the pieces coming together.

Stay tuned for further reports.


Reading: Scud the Disposable Assassin: the Whole Shebang

Watching: Batman Brave and the Bold

Listening: Ayo Technology - Milow