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The Sad Circus by the Sea
- - SAG Actor (Voice of GIR from Invader ZIM), creator of comics, writer of books, feeder of cats, Augmented Realist. - - Bio - - Twitter - - FaceBook - - Comics --
December 2010
Wed, Apr. 28th, 2010 10:49 pm


In 1980, when I was nine years old, I spent more time with this toy robot than I did with people. He still has my favorite robot voice. That's the voice of my youth. It's also, unintentionally I think, the voice that would come to me when I used to voice GIR on Invader ZIM. When I auditioned for GIR in 1998, Jhonen tried to pull something ridiculous and strange from my voice in the sound booth. That sounds Lovecraftain, and it certainly felt like we were trying to conjure something unnatural. No Elder Thing materialized, however. Not yet, at least.

I remember my first attempt was to mimic my mother-in-law. Everyone at the audition cringed at that, with good reason. Dee, my mother-in-law, was a bizarre and eccentric woman, five years away from frontal temporal dementia, who was prone to say things like, "I hate rain!" with all the spoiled gusto of a five year old. When you would reply to her with something like, "But Dee, if it never rains, all of the plants will die!" she would demand: "No they won't!" So, it's good we didn't go down that path. That's too much anger and paranoia for a character who was supposed to be both completely care free, insane, and horrifyingly lovable.

I remember the inflection clicking though, that warbling cadence that became GIR — what my old voice agent used to call my "gay old man Southerner" voice — when as I tried to calm myself for the rest of the audition, I just suddenly thought of 2-XL.

I don't think I ever came close to being this endearing though — and I never noticed before, but he has a New York accent!

Ah, here we are: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2-XL#Programs
"The 8-Track tapes focused around a robot with a New York accent, (voiced by creator Dr. Michael J. Freeman Ph.D. himself) who would speak as if the listener was right there with him wherever he happened to be in the storyline."

Well, that explains it. I was soothed long enough to find GIR inside me by unconsciously remembering a New York doctor with his voice pitched up. Everything is in its right place. Thank you Dr. Michael J. Freeman Ph.D..


Current Music: Capsize by Karen O And The Kids


Wed, Apr. 28th, 2010 06:25 pm

I would like to direct your attention to the comic works of Messrs. Aaron Alexovich and Drew Rausch. Individually, the works they create are pretty darn fine, but now they have come together and produced an amazing little ode to Charles Darwin and H.P. Lovecraft called Eldritch! The exclamation point is necessary.

It is a splendid product.

Eight pages is all that exists of this fine monstrosity — but whether or not they get to create more — and more importantly, whether or not you and I get to read more — depends exclusively on whether or not they win the contest they have entered Eldritch! in. If they win, they'll get a contract and enough money to finish the story. If they lose, I think think they get murdered in a stunning reenactment of John Carpenter's The Fog — even worse, they won't be able to finish creating Eldritch! Now, I usually hate contests of any kind, and I think I hate this contest too, but the thought of them losing means I'll never be able to read the rest of the story, and no matter how much I enjoy reenactments of The Fog, I'd really like to know how this stroy ends. So I would like to ask you to do the following: go to Zuda and vote for Eldritch! Make sure to push all these buttons too:

I thank you and science itself thanks you.


P.s. The Zuda contest ends this Friday, April 30th at noon, so please vote immediately! The competitors, all of which I assume really love Fog reenactments, are closing in on Eldritch!

Current Music: Riceboy Sleeps


Fri, Apr. 16th, 2010 03:53 pm

As you can see by the diagram above, I have lost over 40 pounds since January. Tavisha has lost over 30. And now nothing fits. We are walking around in giant tents and at night I sleep in a hammock that hangs suspended within my trousers. We are each halfway to our goals so this potato-sack for clothes problem is probably going to get worse. As such, I've opened up the donation site, and I'll sign autographs in exchange for anyone who wants to help invest in a world of a properly attired Rikki and Tavi.

Will sign GIRs for pants: http://www.tavicat.com/tavicat/donate.html


Current Music: Apocalypse by Jesper Kyd


Tue, Apr. 13th, 2010 01:46 pm

If I ever rewrite our old Reality Check! comic, and again try to predict the world 12 years from now, I will give all the characters measles and polio.

Current Music: Five Years by Seu Jorge


Sat, Apr. 3rd, 2010 05:06 pm

I should mention this here. Every wednesday for the next 12 weeks, and beginning last wednesday, I will upload one issue of our Reality Check! comic to Lulu. These are color, regular paper books, not eBooks. Last wednesday I uploaded Issue One, available for $9.99 (24 Pages, sorry Pod printing is do expensive): http://www.lulu.com/content/paperback-book/super-information-hijinks-reality-check-issue-one/8581835

If paper isn't your thing, we have both of the full 160 page volumes available at Lulu as eBooks for $3.00 each: http://stores.lulu.com/studiotavicat


Current Music: Go by Jónsi


Fri, Apr. 2nd, 2010 05:14 am

Last night I watched as Tavisha drew eight Disney characters with little reference in under three hours.


More sorcery under the cut. SO CLICK.Collapse )

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Current Music: Night on Bald Mountain


Thu, Apr. 1st, 2010 03:19 pm

I haven't been here in a long time. And I should make that up to you. So here's a little video interview I did about GIR and Bloaty from Invader ZIM.

I'm Mostly better now.



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Current Music: LocoRoco Title Theme


Sat, Sep. 12th, 2009 04:24 pm

In the last year and half, I have been rejected 19 times. This includes submissions to agents and publishers for short stories and novels, animation shows pitched to studios, voice acting auditions, color jobs for animation and comics, and writing gigs for video games. I can't get a job to save my life. Or anyone's life. If you were to dangle a small baby over a lion and say, "Publish me a book or make a cartoon in exchange for revenue," then that would be one satisfied lion.

Before this, I experienced 16 years of constant work, and there wasn't a moment when my arms and brain and voice weren't engaged in some activity that, while they didn't generate fortunes, at least allowed me to make enough money to do more arm waving, screaming, and cerebral activity. Now, I've gone through the wave of emotions, from weeping into my lace handkerchief while re-reading Chapter 11 of A Picture of Dorian Gray, to feeling blame for everything bad that has ever happened in the world since Jesus rode that dinosaur head first into a crown-shaped thorn tree, to writing angry letters to the weather. It's a terrible cycle and I'll have no more of it, let me tell you. And I am telling you. See these words? Good. So! Rather that throw myself onto my replica copy of Sting, sharpened by my terrifying friend, Erk, who thinks every blade, even a toy blade, needs an edge, I've decided to go back to school.

Going back to school at age 39 is, as you may have guessed, a rather spooky decision, but not nearly as spooky as these art school applications. They are haunted, I think. But! What's even spookier right now is the cost of the portfolios I'm putting together.

And that's why I'm bothering you. You were all so nice the last time I had something horrible happen to me, and it was a great deal of fun signing autographs for everyone. So let it be known that once again, if you go here: http://www.tavicat.com/tavicat/donate.html and donate any amount (please note, it costs at least $1.22 for me to mail each autograph, and PayPal takes .50 cents), I will sign an autograph for you of either GIR or Bloaty, mail you the autographed picture, and then convert your donation money directly into an art portfolio for college using SCIENCE.

Thank you, and hopefully this is the last time I ever need to do this.

(image drawn by Bryan Konietzko, colored by Rikki Simons, created by Jhonen Vasquez, © by Nickelodeon)


Current Music: The Last Race by Jack Nitzsche


Tue, Jul. 14th, 2009 02:24 pm

Comic Con is always a huge drain on resources - and that's besides the Beebos we wear out just riding into town. Just eating for five days is a horrendous Dali schism of distance, crowd maneuvering, scheduling, and most of all, moneys. SO! To help ease that burden, and to ease our Beebos weary ear-wings, we've got 18 signed and illustrated copies of ShutterBox Book One for sale on Etsy.

You can buy them here: http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=27796691

We thank you, and our imaginary bird-babies thank you.


Current Music: Flight of the Beebo Bees


Thu, Jul. 9th, 2009 01:33 pm

Our attorney and friend, Ken Levin has confirmed for Tavisha and I that we own all of the rights to our entire ShutterBox series free and clear, including the copyrights, which we had never shared. As you may be aware, Tokyopop, the series' original publisher, went into "restructuring" last year and canceled publication of ShutterBox (along with many many of Tokyopop's other titles) just as we were about to turn in Book Five for early 2009 publication.

In answer to the numerous inquiries from some of the ShutterBox series' many fans: YES, we are now actively seeking a way to continue the series, both to publish the new volumes, and to republish the now out of print earlier volumes. We are open to and exploring both traditional publishing or through new methods. Interested publishers can e-mail me at rikki@rikkisimons.com and I'll forward any proposals to Ken, or can contact Ken directly at KenFLevin@gmail.com.

ShutterBox, the first American series published by Tokyopop (2003), is a high fantasy romance about a young lady named Megan Amano, who, when she dreams, is transported to an afterlife world where she attends school as the only living exchange student in a school for muses. Five volumes have been completed, with only four published thus far.