Sunday, January 28, 2018

Original Art Sundays No. 263: Dead Man Walking

Opera season is well upon us again. I was graced to attend Media Preview Night of MN Opera's new production of Dead Man Walking. According to the advance blurbs, this is the most staged modern opera (though there is scant explanation of the criteria for that assertion).
This production had its minor flaws, but was devastating in many ways.
Sister Helen Prejean, on a proscenium. Clouds and crucifix.
Effective use of lighting effects for clouds.
While the performances were all exemplary, the staging stole the show. Canny and effective use of lights, projected backgrounds and digital effects over a sparse multi-leveled set offered impressive versatility. The last opera I attended at MNO, The Magic Flute (I did not make it to Preview Night for that one- a shame, as it was delightful), relied on more traditional sets, with scenics set on rollers for versatility. Quite apropos for a more traditional piece.
In this case, the majority of the piece was set inside a prison. As such, the palette was primarily grays, with costume and lighting offering little relief. Given the subject matter, some relief is necessary. Here, it comes as the aforementioned kinetic staging.
Many cautions were given to attendees about subject matter. The story was filmed many years ago, and there's a well-read book, so I'm not too worried about spoilers here. The opening rape scene was staged subtly, given its content. Still, I winced. The coarse language didn't trouble me. It rarely does if appropriate to the story. The character of the accused Joseph DeRocher (sung with depth and precision by Seth Carico), offered spiritual counsel by Sister Helen Prejean (ably played and sung by Catherine Martin), plays the scene with brutality and lack of reserve. But somehow, despite my cringing at the scene, it has a reduced impact overall.
An attempt to capture the moving "light bars" of the cell block on paper.
One of the most compelling scenes used overlapping linear patterns to simulate cell and prison bars. The inmates moved about them with an urgency that echoed a captive state.
A note about drawing this opera: I usually do a fairly direct setup, trying to be as unobtrusive as possible. I clip a book light to my sketchbook and fill my lap with the most necessary tools, the rest of my drawing kit at the ready.
This night, it all went south.
My book light slipped from my grasp and broke. This left me drawing in relative darkness. It's been a while since I practiced the Zen of blind drawing, and the results were simply horrid. To top it off, probably due to frustration over the turn of events, I kept dropping my favorite inking tool. In selfish terms just of drawing, the night was an unmitigated disaster.
DeRocher's mother.
The only decent drawing done during the preview.
But it's a poor workwoman that blames her tools. After getting a bit of rest, I regrouped and reworked most of the key pieces, from memory and from whatever reference I could gather. I decided to try to work fast, as I would have had to in the original circumstance, and to use the same tools, in an attempt to preserve the integrity of the drawings. I like to post the drawings done during the preview. It probably doesn't matter to anyone but me, but it seems right.
There's a reason I use markers for this sort of work. They encourage speed. I did cheat a bit and spend a bit more time on the straightedge work. Also, I used small Bristol boards rather than Canson sketchbook paper, and worked in French grays rather than the cool grays I used on site.  I stuck to my commitment to allocate no more time for the reworks than I had at the actual preview.
DeRocher's moment of surrender
This opera, this story, is driven by core emotions: rage, sorrow, random and scattered moments of joy and hope, and the possibility of forgiveness. While it would have distracted, there were times I yearned for a close-up, just for the emotional impact.
Even without that option, there were ample moments of emotional clarity. The one drawn here was a moment of silence following a profound and bitter self-realization.
The sparse moment in both score and libretto served well. Terrence McNally (libretto) and Jake Heggie (music) made wise decisions around these issues. While there were several chaotic scenes of cross-talk, rage and grief, many of the principals had moments of clarity, reflected by the reduction and absence of sound.
Sometimes people listen more closely if one talks more softly.
A word on performance dynamics: when I began attending preview nights, there was a stated rule against applause and audience reaction, as it is indeed a rehearsal.
The father, in a moment of rage.
Now it appears the rules have changed. Not only was applause de rigeur between acts, but there were curtain calls. Not an inherently bad thing, just not what I expected, based on past experience.
Howard Boucher, father of the rape victim, was played with remarkable strength and vulnerability by Rob Asklof. His narrative echoes that of DeRocher in surprising ways: unbridled rage and fear, borne in both cases of a fear of redemption and forgiveness.
In marked contrast, Father Grenville (sung by Dennis Petersen) shows an intransigence which does not appear to resolve. His persona seems rigidly static through to the end.
Father Grenville
There's a weariness to the man, as though he's resigned to his failure to save those in his charge as prison Priest.
The internal logic of this is sound. Beyond a core of humanity, no two people are going to respond in the same way to such dire circumstances. Playing these reactions against one another is the core of story.
I came to the work with personal baggage, as one who was raised Catholic but no longer practices. A minor impediment to seeing the work objectively,  but one that deserves to be noted. I suspect that this work pulls on the strings of everyone's faith and upbringing. The issue of capital punishment touches on the one of the core questions of any society. Who has the right to take a life?
Despite my scattered misgivings, I found the production both professional and profound. There are performances scheduled for today, January 30 and the weekend of February 1 and 3. Tickets can be obtained here.
MN Opera is staging a strong season. Next up in mid-March, it's Rigoletto.
I look forward to drawing it.
Next: more of my graphic memoir, Sharp Invitations.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Original Art Sundays No. 262: The Serene Logan

Back at it. The semester has ended and Christmas plans are proceeding apace. There are many changes in my personal life, but as they do not relate to my art for the most part, I will just acknowledge them here and move on.
I have had several new pages on the board, but none that really did it for me. I will make time to get more work out over semester break (5 weeks!). In the interim, here's a little something.
Most everyone doodles. Whether it's geometric patterns, cartoon characters or fully fleshed out renderings, most of us will draw something when trapped in a tedious meeting or lecture, even people who fall into the irritating trap of saying "I can't draw."
During a training at my primary job, I just did this. I'm quite fond of it.
The kenji on the side is the character for "listen".
Nothing elaborate, just 20 minutes of mindful drawing with a ballpoint pen on plain printer paper. There are some structural problems here, but I don't care. This is a case of the whole being larger than the sum and all that. This doodle makes me happy, and I'm happy to share it with you.
Next: new page.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Original Art Sundays (Wednesday) No. 261: Tranny Towers Complete cover!

Hi folks;
A week off my game, but never mind. I've had this piece stewing on the back burner for a couple months now. After numerous false starts, here we go. Now it can be told.
I am compiling all the Tranny Towers material. I am planning a Kickstarter. The Complete Tranny Towers. The Tranny Towers Omnibus. Or maybe, as it says on the mockup for the Kickstarter campaign page, just Tranny Towers Complete. I will post notice here when the Kickstarter goes live.
While preparing for this, I realized there were problems with the previous cover. It was drawn for a comic collection in black & white, and while the color added later was successful for the most part, the textures I added were awful. Also, the idea of Athena imagining herself and her trans family as sophisticates while they all have pizza and watch movies on TV was too clever by half. It just didn't translate from the image.
I played with ideas for a new cover for some time. Nothing gelled. In frustration, I thought, "how hard can it be to get the band back together?"
There it was.
I began playing with ideas. Since the strip was from the 90s, I went to girl bands I was listening to at that time. Our ladies as The Runaways. Our ladies as Bonnie Raitt and her backing band. Our ladies as the Bangles. That one was pretty close. I toyed with images based on the All Over the Place (still my favorite Bangles album- so raw!) era shots of the Bangles lounging on a couch. Still not quite right.
Once again, Archie saved the day. I found an alternative cover for The Archies no. 1. It was perfect. I lifted the poses and the setting. I haven't added color yet, but when I do, it will be faithful to the original cover, but with the right skin tones for my girls. I had reservations about using Archie comics as reference again. However, in my search for inspiration, I looked at The Art of Jaime Hernandez. Hey, if Love and Rockets pays homage to, and swipes from, Archie, why the heck shouldn't I?
Here it is.

In case people have forgotten who's who, here's a rundown. Relaxing on the floor, writing sheet music: Athena Hunter, MtF post-op trans woman, bi. Behind the couch, drumsticks in hand: Trina, cis lesbian, and partner of Sonia Kertzer, seated on couch with sheet music in hand. Next to her: Dena Statsin, lead guitar, pre-op MtF trans woman, straight. Seated at the end on bass: Dijan LaSalle, cis drag performer, gay male.
No, they're not a band in the original strip. I am going to do a short story in which they become a band for a brief shining moment, both to rationalize the cover and because it sounds like a fun story.
The collection should be about 100 -120 pages, when all is said and done. It will also include related stories from my other work, including the original Ink Tantrums book, attempts at a graphic novels using the characters, and editorial cartoons I did for TransSisters and TNT News magazines.
I'll also be doing paper dolls of each of the five protagonists, and a new story to give a sense of how everyone ended up. It is a soap opera, after all, and my readers never really got closure.
In case you've forgotten, this is the old cover, which was used in black & white as part of a Xeric Grant proposal so many years ago.

There are practical considerations to the new cover. The proportions of the cover may be a tad off. This is intended to serve as a wraparound cover. Ideally, the spine will fall near the edge of the couch. It will be easy enough to extend the right edge with large flat blocks of color to make this happen, if need be. Also, the large black area on the floor can easily be cropped or extended if necessary. Bear in mind that at this stage, we don't know how thick the spine will be! There's also ample air for copy placement on the back cover, and on the front cover near those windows and in the aforementioned black area of the floor.
In short, the piece is designed so I can play with it until it's technically right, if it's not already so.
Materials used:
Canson Recycled Bristol board
Straightedge, triangle and T-square
No. 2B and no. 4B solid graphite sticks
Lead holder and No. 4 lead
Magic Rub eraser
Dr. Martin's Black Star High Carbon Walnut Ink, which I continue to love
3/4" Princeton synthetic brush, flat
No. 4 Escoda Reserva Kolinksy Tamyr brush, flat
No. 4 Princeton Synthetic brush, round
Faber Castell brush tip marker, 80% gray
Crow quill and nib
Tight Spot angled correction brush
FW Acrylic White
I am enjoying the No. 4 brushes a lot. 
I have some reservations about starting a  new project before completing Sharp Invitations. But as I've confided privately to several friends, I relive my pains and stupidities (along with the joys) when doing that work, and it's emotionally draining. It's vital, and I'll keep doing it, but sometimes I need a hiatus. This is a project I can complete in fairly quick order (though I suspect fulfillment will be a nightmare). Also, it's pure joy. I had forgotten how much fun I have drawing the Tranny Towers characters!
Next: back to Sharp Invitations, either the Curt story or a long-promised single page story.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Original Art Sundays No. 260: Sharp Invitations: Linda, middle page

I'm rather proud of this page. I'll tell you about it in a minute, when I'm done crying.
I was all set to do the next page in the Curt saga. But I had some talks with friends, both trans and cis, that took me back to the early days of transition and the end of my marriage. Many of my trans friends have had relationships that survived the process of them becoming themselves. I am happy they are so blessed, and know (suspect) that theirs is not an easy road either. Much as Linda and I loved each other, the kindest thing we could have done for each other when I came out was to part ways.
But it sure didn't seem like it at the time. Not to either of us.
I could not get this out of my head. This had to be the next page I did.
I like writing on this a lot. It hurts like hell, but I think it's solid writing.
It sums up the desperation and bitterness we both felt as our life together careened to its inevitable conclusion.
I honestly don't remember if that song (There Is A War, from Leonard Cohen's third album, New Skin for the Old Ceremony) was playing in reality as she said that, but it certainly echoed in my head and in my heart right then. The irony and bitterness of the line was so precise, so cutting.
"You cannot stand what I've become, you much prefer the gentleman I was before."
Well, yeah.
She did.
Somehow I don't think this is quite what Leonard had in mind, but once you've considered it that way, there's no other way to hear it.
I had betrayed her by being myself, and she betrayed me by being betrayed.
In fairness, while she did say that line, she said it with much more kindness than I've shown here. And she said it in the response to the fatal, desperate question, "how do I look?"
This page does something I've been trying to avoid. It shows me as an adult male. While the reality of that past is inevitable and must be in this book, I don't want to see myself that way, let alone share that with anyone who knows me now. Inevitable as it is, it feels like I'm betraying myself to do these particular pages.
But truth is capricious. It's also elusive. Even in this, I'm going to put myself in the most flattering light possible, even when I'm engaged in the most dishonorable acts, like taking someone's husband away, as I did here.
There's so much more to the story of Linda and me. And dear readers, please don't paint her as a villain from this page. She's a complex and loving person who only did right by me, as you'll learn when the rest of the story is told.
Production notes: backgrounds continue to vex me, but in a very different way. I did a very nice background/environment for this page, but much of the detail was obscured by the placement of the figures. The page could use more heavy blacks, but it serves as is. I wanted to use the layout to show distance between us, even in the same room. I also wanted to show my emotional rigidity at the time. I was just a few months on hormones, and would cry at the drop of a pin (as opposed to my present stoic and stable emotional state, of course). I felt like I had to  be in complete control, and the more things fell apart, the more I felt a failure if I didn't maintain composure.
Tools used on this page:
Photoshop (update 2018)
Canson recycled Bristol  board
Straightedge, triangle, T-square
Alvin flexible S curve
lead holder and No. 4 soft lead
Iyota .06 fine line marker
Dr. Martin's Black Star Walnut India Ink
Crow quill pen
Princeton No. 4 synthetic round brush
Faber Castell 40% gray brush marker
Magic rub erase
Next: either back to the Curt story or a revisiting of Tranny Towers.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Original Art Sundays No. 259: Sharp Invitations: Curt, p. 13

Posting on a Sunday again. That's good. Life remains hectic, but I turned a corner on a couple things in my personal life this week. I won't elaborate here. Suffice to say that some things are more manageable.
When we left our heroine (me) and Sara, I had just spoken my attraction to her.
Read on.
Just the facts, ma'am: That's exactly what she said to me before we kissed.
Sara was not the first trans woman I was interested in, but (not to deride her predecessor), she was the first one that mattered. The previous one was an act of desperation as my marriage was ending and I was feeling unloved and running scared. Was this also desperation as Curt's abuse began to manifest itself? Maybe on some level, but the most important thing to me was my attraction to her. Then and there, nothing else mattered.
To be completely clear, and for the umpteenth time, this is not how Sara looks, nor her proper name.
Technical notes: the inks were fairly cooperative today. When considering the background, I went with angled strokes, a technique I used on a page of A Private Myth years ago. It works to make the figures pop.
The lamp, however, is another story.
The intent was to anchor the setting with an element from the opposite side of the room, 90 degrees off. That way, when you see the lamp on the opposite side, you have a sense of motion and place.
Nice idea, but I don't think it works.
For one thing, while it's technically accurate, the lamp is pretty blah to look at, and adds very little visually. For another thing, it doesn't really communicate space the way I hoped it would. When I was done with it, I thought it was a separate and rather boring drawing that just happened to be on the same board. So I took the lamp out. Here is the result.
I hope you agree that it's better this way. I continue to work on my environments, but the old axiom remains valid. Sometimes less really is more.
I used one of my favorite devices here, making a complete border by dropping out opposite edges. I like that one. It gives a sense of unity, while still allowing plenty of air.
Materials used on this page:
Canson recycled Bristol board
Ellipse templates, triangle, T-square
Dr. Martin's Hi-CArbon Walnut Ink (continue to love this stuff)
Princeton #4 round synthetic brush (also rapidly becoming a favorite)
Crow quill pen and nib
Faber Castell 20% gray brush marker
Magic Rub eraser
Next: either the next page of this story or the long promised new Tranny Towers piece.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Original Art Sundays No. 258: Ida

I'm back from vacation. Only did a couple drawings during my week in New Mexico. I did make music with some wonderful friends, including members of Gentle Giant! I played better and had great fun, as well as learning a lot, especially from drummer Malcolm Mortimore, who took me under his wing for a much-needed lesson on pacing.
The next page of Sharp Invitations is laid out and ready to hit the board, but I want to resolve a couple more pages before I go to inks on this one. In the interim, here's an ink piece.
I'm not doing the full Inktober experience. I will ink as much as possible this month. I learned a great deal last year from copying the work of people whose work I revere. I hope to expand on that experience this year, but I simply don't have time to ink every day right now, much as I would like to.
When cleaning some old files, I found an obituary of Ida Lupino, a woman whose work, integrity and singular beauty always impressed me. The obit included a remarkable photo of her, very sultry.
I've always loved that word. Sultry.
I've been meaning to draw from that photo for decades. Since I'm not working on the old magnum opus today, this seemed to be a good time. The finished product doesn't look like the original. I'm not even sure it looks like Ida Lupino. But I like it anyway.
Production notes: Be very careful when working with that Dr. Martin's Black Star Walnut Ink! Yes, it's a full, lush black. Yes, it flows smoothly and is fairly easy to control. But man alive, does that stuff smear if it's not set! I gave the Acrylic White and the correction brush quite a workout on this one.
There's a bit of dry brush on this. Love dry brush, but still working on controlling it. Some of the hair textures were done in dry brush.
In terms of layout, it's a bit of a shock the way the left arm fades to black, but it's effective. The lights and darks of this are so noir, so compelling. Not surprising, since Lupino was one of a handful of women to direct film noir. Her work Outrage was one of the first films to treat rape survivors with any real empathy.
As anyone who had been following my work for a while knows, hands are often my bane. I'm happy with the drawing of these.
I could have pushed the gray values farther in places, but it seemed time to step away.
Pentalic paper for pens
Martin's Black Star Walnut Ink
FW Artist's Acrylic White
#0 Tight Spot brush
Princeton #4 Round brush (just got this a couple weeks ago, and I love it)
Princeton #4 scumbling brush
Magic Rub eraser
Next: More Sharp Invitations, if I don't do a new Tranny Towers piece.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Original Art Sundays (Friday): Sharp Invitations: Curt, p.12

We're back to Sharp Invitations.
Got this page done at last! After wrestling with the layout and narrative flow for weeks, dabbling in other projects along the way to keep fresh, I finally got something with which I'm happy.
When we left our heroine (me), she had met Sara just outside the Library. Sara outed herself to Diana, and they agreed to go have a chat.
I kept this clean and did decent, slightly less sparse, backgrounds. It still reads a bit light, as regards heavy blacks for balance, but between Sara's hair and my shirt, I think- hope- there's enough. If I take time for revisions later, I might map some darks on tracing paper, just to see where I can push farther without killing the work.
Layout considerations: the three tier banner layout works fine.  The bottom tier, the open top panel with the abrupt shot reverse shot and jump to a tighter view, connected by my word balloon pointing to both of me- that works if you don't think too much about it. It takes the emphasis away from the album being discussed and puts it on the two of us. the lettering in that last panel is completely free hand- not even ruled guides. I just flew at it.
I wish I still had that particular Procul Harum album. It was a very cool cover indeed.
I'm reconsidering larger flow issues. I'm not sure why Delia's story came first in this large chapter, since I met her second. I may remedy that in the final.
This is exactly the way I remember this talk. I was much more of a jerk about Sara being lesbian, asking some rather asinine questions, mostly because I'd never met a trans lesbian before and didn't know how not to be stupid yet. Also because my attraction to her made me nervous.
My attractions still make me nervous. But I'd like to think I'm more graceful about it by now.
I was surprised to feel that attraction, but even with my being in another relationship at the time, I had no problem giving it voice. As will be shown more fully in the chapter on dating guys, I think that, despite occasional and sometimes powerful attractions, I always knew that wasn't who I really was/am. Sara's line here, "men are scratchy and smell funny" is pretty much my mantra on this topic now, and it's a line I gleefully stole from a Gay Comics Roberta Gregory story.
Again, the real Sara looks very little like this. She always had such incredible musical tastes and experiences. I loved it when our music overlapped. Her taste ran in somewhat different directions than mine. I shan't elaborate on that here.
Material used in this page:
Canson Recycled Bristol Board
Faber Castell brush tip markers
Straightedge, triangle, ellipse templates, Ames lettering guide, Magic Rub eraser
I'm on vacation for a bit, but as it's Inktober in a few days, I hope to be able to post anyway. I'm traveling, and as such, may not have time to do another page before going.
Live in hope, babies.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Original Art Sundays (Saturday) NO. 256: Bugs meets Gargantua

So much running, but I'm actually getting somewhere and very happy about it!
I'm deep in the throes of a new semester of teaching, plus my continuing workload at the other job, which I still love. I'm also on Faculty Senate this year, and taking the time to enjoy life in the midst of it all.
There's also a new Big Project, along with the previous Big Project. I'm behind on the first Big Project not because of that, but due to being stymied on layout revisions for the next page. I had a breakthrough before work Friday, so I should be able to post Sunday or Monday.
Meanwhile, something else.
Though they show up in the name of the blog, I seldom mention Gentle Giant here.Well, I'm planning on attending GORGG in two weeks. This will be my tenth GORGG, and the first time I've ever gone for the entire event. The planning is complex and incredibly stressful and fun, all at the same time. This is a wonderful bunch of people, and I'm excited to see them again, and to play on the big jam night!
In anticipation of being in Albuquerque on matters Gentle Giant, I came up with a quick sketch inspired by the classic Bugs Bunny line: "I knew I should have taken a left turn at Albuquerque!"
Canson sketch pad
# 4 lead in holder
#4 solid lead pencil
Brush tip marker
Magic Rub eraser
Next: back to Sharp Invitations.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Original Art Sundays (Friday), no. 255: Sharp Invitations, cover draft and poster

Well, this is rather a bit of cheating in a way.
I got my minor Adobe license issues resolved, and was able to complete the revised version of the alternative (far from final) cover for Sharp Invitations.
Lately, I've been fascinated by David Mack's evocative watercolors. He gets such mood and intensity out of what appear, at first blush, to be random spatters. While I don't have his level of control, I do enjoy testing the waters (so to speak) with this stuff. This was done with Windsor & Newton colored inks, as I believe I mentioned in my previous post. I much prefer them to conventional watercolors- so much more vibrant!
The typography is more dynamic here than on the previous version of the cover. The colors work, but not as consistently as I might like. There are places in this where I'd like the brush strokes to be less prominent. I'm compelled by the profile silhouette, even though the hairline is iffy.
I know, I know. I should take the advice I give my students and not point out flaws in my work.
In general, that's good advice. But if you don't see the flaws in your own work, you won't try to fix them. No need to improve if you think you're already perfect!
I probably won't use this for the cover. But I'm far from completely happy with the previous version. I have a resolution in mind.
But there's more for right now.
As I work on this book, I find myself considering and reconsidering the issue of detail. My work has often had a more stripped down quality, but I revere the detail work that many artists do. Trying to seek a balance on this issue, I remembered Marc Hempel's innovative work (shades of Krigstein!) on the Sandman story-line The Kindly Ones. Sparse and stark, almost crude in spots, it still felt elegant, full and complete.
In re-reading the story to reconsider the art, I chanced on this passage that hit me right in the gut. This blog is just about the only place I haven't talked endlessly about the profound and absolute rejection I got this summer from a woman I liked for years (possibly loved, who can say?), abruptly truncating years of hope. Oh, she was more than decent about it, especially considering that I just dropped my feelings on her out of nowhere, and I was treated with compassion and with great respect.
I was so proud of me! I had finally and completely resolved my weepy school girl feelings. I was actually becoming a grown-up about it, very sophisticated. Then I read this, and it was right back to primal scream tears.
In a few lines, Neil Gaiman has summed up the inevitable, dreadful and devastating nature of this experience. I'd like to think that as a lesbian trans woman, I have a special brand of this stuff. But no. Love is love and pain is pain. While nobody may know exactly how I feel, everybody knows how I feel.
Inspiration struck. I added Neil's thoughts on the subject to this image. I left out Neil's last line, "I hate love". I hope he'll forgive my chopping his words, but I don't hate love. I just wish it would pop in a bit more often.
This adaptation of Neil's ideas works. It's not perfect, but then, what is?
Next: back to Sharp Invitations, the story proper.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Original Art Sundays No. 254: Sharp Invitations, Cover Preliminary

Bad news, folks. My Adobe license is down. This was discovered just now. I'm reasonably certain I can get the situation remedied tomorrow.
Until then, here's a piece to tide you over.
This is a quick painting I did on Wednesday. I have plans to add typography to it as soon as software permits. I suppose I could try doing so in Word, but it somehow seems- well, dirty.
I have two different ideas for the execution of this piece. It was originally intended as an alternative cover for Sharp Invitations, but something happened that may modify that. More on that later.
Here's the painting.
Windsor Newton colored inks
Aquabee 80# Rough finish watercolor paper
Richeson Synthetic fan brush #8
Richeson Synthetic brushes #2, 4, 4 Filbert
lead holder, eraser
More soon. Glitch solution imminent, I hope.