Friday, May 06, 2005

Viva La Pizza!

Viva La Pizza!


So our house remodel is nearly done. One of the centerpieces is this new fangled pizza oven in the kitchen. So Fridays we stoke up a big fire and roll, toss and create our own pies and top them with marinara sauce, arugola, salami, basil, prosciutto, roasted peppers, mozzarella, tuna fish, eggs (not all together!) ...whatever moves you really.

We eat while standing up, checking both on the creations we have already put in the oven and preparing the next pizza. They cook in about 3-4 minutes (the oven being 600+ degrees fahrenheit) and it's a lot of fun and of course, they taste fantastic, especially with a nice, cold ale. What I've learned is that it all comes down to 3 things--the dough, the wood and the toss.

The thing you take away with you is that a deeper appreciation for those professionals who make it all look so easy and who do it so well in the real pizzerias. Of course you could apply this to any profession, say comics. I think most readers who attempt to write or draw or create their own comics can either walk away thinking how great they are (if they happen to have some degree of meglomania) or feeling a bit humbled as they see the process of creating is not always as easy as it seems.

Words to eat by.

Buon appetito!


icemanx62 said...

How cool is that, your own pizza oven at home! So what's your favorite topping Jim?

Ryan said...

Pretty cool...don't know of anyone who can say that they have a genuine pizza oven in their home. One of these days Jim, you're gonna have to give us the grand tour of your estate! For us comic book fans, that would be a wonderful episode of MTV Cribs...although it'd probably be awhile before I got to see that up here in Canada!

Jim Lee come to the PCTC! PLEASE!

RichardFriend said...

man that looks very good. I've seen the oven and the remodeled kitchen and it's really nice...

That pizza dough looks great Jim. I worked in a Chicago style Restaraunt for about 4 years, so I know good dough!

as far as the comic analogy...I would say to any person who aspires to draw, ink, or color comics...have fun and do it for the love of drawing. Work very hard and when not drawing study all kinds of art and visual media. Listen to the advise of professionals you respect and apply what they suggest to you. Even if you don't fully will learn from trying their advise and it will make you that much more versitile as you become more experienced and can make better decesions based on that experience.

Have fun and's comics. Working hard can be fun...I was thinking about that on my drive home tonight. I have been doing 98+ hour work weeks for about 4 months, and I don't ever feel burned out because I am having so much fun. Sometimes I do feel a little tired in the mornings, but the passion is there always and I can't imagine a better "job"

If you love what you do, it's doesn't feel like work.(imo) If you have a 'failure'....think of it as a learning experience. about sharing some of that pizza Jim?



RDyENT said...

You just made me crave for PIZZA!

But a pizza and a comic book just don't go together :P


Comic Creator by day, secret Pizziola by night...
O.K. everybody pizza at Jim's HOUSE! LETS GO! Just Kidding- but and I mean this you could write a book or at least 2 books,
1. Life lessons from the Pizza shop.
2. Life lessons from the Comic shop.
and they could have all the different insights you've seen over the years since I'm sure you have had many valuable life lessons, or at least make it a regular thing here. Thanks for the insight cause I totally agree with you, I'm at an Art Collage and we just had Bob Scherck come through and a lot of people didn't listen to sound advice.

Sam Out-

Trish said...

You're at SVA I assume, if Bob Schreck just paid a visit. Yes, good idea to listen to his advice
Jim I'll take a small pie with olives to go please :) Looks terrific - congrats!



Naw though, I like SVA and hold no grudges, I'm a SCAD man.

Sam Out-

phil. said...

Jim, do you make your own pizza dough, and if so is that rescipe a secret. I would love to make a pizza that great!!

1031 said...

That pizza looks so darn tasty. Makes me want to head out to the local New York-style joint and order a pie.

Once I become nice 'n wealthy, I've gotta get me a pizza oven in the kitchen. That is just freakin' cool.

cadam said...

I'm glad you're upbeat. There is always a place for that. But "Listen to the advice of professionals you respect..." even if that professional is Dave Sim? I like gelatometti and I enjoy the annotated glimpses of life around comics (which you do at your own expense) but I hear "remodled house" and 600 F pizza oven and I keep hearing Sim point out that Barbie needs someone to build her dream house for her. She can't do it on her own. I can't help but wonder how long it will be before the remodled house needs to be remodled. How much square footage would Jim have if he were single? How much of that DC, Superman, Batman, Frank Miller, Halle Barry, money would be staying in the bank? "Listen to the professionals you respect." Do you really mean that?

RichardFriend said...

I have no idea what your post means. I read it twice and I can't tell what the Dave Sim reference is to exactly.

I can at least repost a little clearer what I meant.

as someone who once broke into comics myself; Professionals who will see an aspiring artists work will tell you "do this more with your art, or don't do's not "professional"

sometimes I agreed with what they said and sometimes I didn't. I wasn't working professionally so who was I to really argue?

After 10 years in the business I still remember those exact I have experience that tells me some of that professional advise was incorrect and some was correct.

I use this story as an example sometimes:

I was told by several professional inkers and comics editors before I broke in that a Koh i Nor tech pen was an unprofessional tool. Travis Charest and I both use them almost exclusively for the pen and ink work we do and I think we've both done ok professionally.

my advise is: use common sense, follow your own intuitions, and draw everyday....everything else will fix itself naturally.

antonio said...

I agree to what you said Rich, sometimes the odd and difficult part comes to really get in contact to a person (editor or client) that can really understand the subjetivity of art or to find the right Editor who really has emphaty,rapport and trust to what you do and understand that the artist has the right to change and evolve and of course gives you steady job (thing I need now :) )
I have seen that some people assume all your work would look the same for the rest of you life when In fact that is the worst that can happen to you in life to be and feel stuck.
As you said the rule is that are not rules at all!!
The only thing is to compete with Quality.
I am still amazed and shocked sometimes when I see people still receiving jobs knowing the are not the top.But I guess I learned my lesson some time ago, They are just at the right time and moment,They respect deadlines,They are really nice etc..and Well We have to respect that and hope good Karma goes to your and our way.
And also the other lesson is that Work always pays off and You eventually receive the benefits for sticking over it.
I wish sometimes people could see that this is also Fun but is a Passion to create!!!
As I say to people I do not imagine myself doing anything else only Comics.
Jim Pizza looks delicious!!:)

JESUS (waiting to find the right Editor :P ) ANTONIO

nohoohboy said...

That cold ale sounds good.

nohoohboy said...

Oh and I met Jeff Johnson, who told me he worked with you a little on X-Men at Berkeley. It is so cool to meet people in the industry and how interconnected it is. And how is a tuna fish pizza? Never heard of that one before.

cadam said...

Really? No idea? Let me try again. I'll try and keep it short. Comics professionals are known to comment on matters besides tech pens. An aspect that I like about Gelatometti is that opens for discussion those places where drawing intersects with everyday life. Some comics folks that you advise us to listen to have commented on those very junctures. As Jim (and thank you Jesus for giving us Jim Lee) comments on his home life I start to hear Sim commenting a plenty. I figured you may have been just talking about tech pens and bristol board but your blog is full of opportunity to discuss larger issues too.

RichardFriend said...

oh ok I get it. I don't normally do the more autobiographical stuff

Jim's really good at it and has done a lot of exciting things(he's got great material!) and I think Ale' enjoys sharing more down time moments as well as what he's up too.

I do "things I regret" where I make up fake stuff I did and supposedly regret...

I'm really having fun working on ideas for that Gods Of War comic for the blog...I got sidetracked for 3 days with computer problems but I think I got everything fixed thanks to everyones help here. So tomorrow night I'll be back plugging away on that.


man I want pizza.


Gelatomettista said...


I realize you are paraphrasing Dave Sim's life philosophy but honestly, I am not up to date on that stuff so I can't give you a more informed opinion. Nor do I want to. The hardest thing about life is that it isn't replicable. In other words, everyone's mileage varies and frankly, no one wants to live life based on someone else's precepts.

In general, I try and walk the line between talking about my interests without coming off like a braggart. Interests being food, travel, foreign languages, and of course art and comics. I find it a bit dull to keep posting up sketches...there are already many sites which do that. Obviously, I am not 100% successful all the time.

I have had a tremendously lucky and successful career which I never (and never hope to) take for granted. In my short life, I've owned nothing and I've owned a lot. My passion for art and my job has remained a constant.

As far as my personal life, I knew my wife before she even knew I had any interest whatsoever in comics (we met in college nearly 24 years ago!). If I were single, I know that I would be an utter and complete wreck. Nothing and I mean absolutely nothing keeps me more grounded and inspired than my family.


Gelatomettista said...

Oh and hey Trish!

Welcome to the wonderful world of bloggin'. Check out her dazzling blog at and of course, her incredible work on 100 Bullets every month...


cadam said...

Well, thank you for not getting pissed off. If you call some guys' pizza ovens into question they go and get all huffy. I have a lovely email from Judy Blume that the echoes the gratitude present in your note. How do you become successful? Be grateful.

What issue did you have your breakthrough? It must have been an exhilarating couple of days. No one is tired of looking at your sketches.

Mary E. Brickthrower said...

Brilliant Jim! Molto Bene indeed! My daddy worked in a pizza shop in Chi-Town while he went to college. You gotta try some Chicago style pizza up in that john! =o)
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