Monday, April 28, 2008

Comicon highlight

While it was fun meeting many colorful characters (see blog post below), the highlight of the convention was meeting 4 talented artists from the Philadelphia area. We chatted for a little while as I flipped though their many samples. They probably don't even remember me, but guys... if you're reading this, I was that guy with the t-shirt we all were trying to match spaceships to their corresponding movies. As seen here:

They each had their own unique style, and stuck in my mind as the 4 favorite artists I met that day. Here are their names, a sample of their work, and a link to their sites. Go check them out. They're great.

Dave Perillo

Tom Whalen

Scott Derby

Pat McMullen

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Comicon - a place for geeks

Deep within me lies a comic book geek. I haven't purchased comics in years, but still have an appreciation for it. Plus I find the whole world around it very amusing!

This past weekend, I decided to attend my 2nd Comicon ever, the last being in 2000. I liked seeing people finding something they enjoyed, and just diving head first into that subculture. While some of them might be mocked in everyday life, or looked down upon by many, I was encouraged to see them shine in their own environment.

Here are a few samples of what I mean.

You might laugh at some of them, but at least they found something that they love that fulfills them. How many of us have that?

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

If ya ain't Dutch, ya ain't much.

So for those that don't know, my last name is pronounced Zoot, and is Dutch for sweet.

My hometown is Holland, Michigan... and no, it is not a coincidence. Many of the towns in that area are named after the provinces of the Netherlands (or commonly known as Holland). Some examples of towns in the area are Holland, Overisel (Overijssel), Vriesland (Friesland), Drenthe and Zeeland.

Last weekend I went home for my brother Jason's wedding. While stopping in a coffee shop in Zeeland, I saw a little handout promoting Zeeland's new tourist campaign "Feel the Zeel". I found it humorous, but liked the thought that the little town was making an attempt to update things a bit. They have a website talking about different things going on in the area, links to local businesses, and a photo community. If you feel like it, go to to check it out.

After I walked out onto the street in this little shopping area, I noticed on the sidewalk they had all of the provinces and the crests to match them, as in this example of Drenthe.

I might not have ever noticed these things if I still lived there. But now living in a city with pretty much no other Dutchmen (and no, Pennsylvania Deutsch are not Dutch, they're German), I've become more interested in learning about my ancestry.

Monica and I plan to visit the Netherlands in a year or two, and I just hope I can find out a little bit more about where I came from before we go. So far I've tracked back 4 generations, but they were already in America at that point. The search continues. Wish me luck.