Brian Blomerth is an artist, illustrator, cartoonist, and musician based in Brooklyn. His previous publications—released via Anthology Editions, Tan & Loose, and through his own Pupsintrouble Press—include the zines Xak’s Wax, iPhone 64: A User’s Guide, and Hypermaze. A veteran of numerous underground music and arts communities, Blomerth’s work has graced numerous album covers and appeared in the New York Times, Vice, and Merry Jane, among other outlets. His forthcoming book, Brian Blomerth’s Bicycle Day, will be released by Anthology on June 25. There will be a release party for the book on June 27 at Head Hi in Brooklyn.
Blomerth’s Consumer Reports is packed with action, as the artist slots in some free time to spend with members of his family, who are in town for a wedding. That means checking out the Prospect Park Zoo, listening to some middling house music poolside in Williamsburg, and hitting Whole Foods with his young niece, who drinks a smoothie and cries. All that and plenty more, including a lot of drawing and multiple listens to “Crash” by the Dave Matthews Band. —John Chiaverina
Wednesday, May 29
Consumer Reports Begins.
11:15 a.m. EST
Got the e-mail. Let’s do a Consumer Reports.
I am in a straight cold-brew–induced panic. I need to finish my bi-monthly weed comic today. I have two pages done and colored but this always has to be three pages. I also have a release coming up for my first book, Brian Blomerth’s Bicycle Day, and need two Casio SK-1s for my friend’s band “Adult Moan” to play at the opening. In 2007, there was a Casio SK-1 on every corner. I owned one. I remember ditching it somewhere and thinking I would never need it again, however I was wrong. Posted a weird message to Facebook/Instagram yesterday about needing one for an “event” and not for something “weird or creepy.” Which I thought would be funny for people who knew and because quotation marks are funny in general. Adult Moan is defiantly weird and creepy. I got a message from this guy that had just followed me. No mutual friends. I’m not sure if this is a trap or if he will actually come through with the Casios day of in exchange for a copy of the book. I’m in the throes of a full-scale panic attack about it. To complete the cycle, I put one of my favorite Casio tapes on in the background. Sometimes if you are feeling crazy it’s best to go all the way. Gotta start drawing or I blow this weed comic deadline. In this episode, one of the teen delinquents is giving a graduation speech about this strain of weed called Zkittlez. I gotta draw him smoking weed with a Yak.
Travis is full-scale sending the group chat memes he made of various teddy bear picnics and tea parties. Last night he made an Instagram profile called famousteabear … It’s the Celestial Tea Bear, and the account’s About section says “I WANT TO MEET BRIAN BLOMERTH.” I am still panicking. E-mails are done and sent. I gotta finish this weed comic because my sister, her husband, and my niece are in town and we gotta hit up the Prospect Park Zoo. Do two rounds of Casioworks, because I am a psychopath and I am dying mentally. I feed the fish. Vape out the window and then sit at the drawing desk. Gotta draw this yak.
At the quiet part of Casioworks. Googling Yaks.
Sister called. Dinner Plans. Going to Prospect Park Zoo tomorrow. Thank Christ. Youtube Algorithm suggests Pacific by Haruomi Hosono & Friends. I say fuck it, let’s ride. Panic subsiding as my pen is clean and flowing. Let’s draw this Yak.
Group chat is insane. No more distractions. Phone is going on silent.
Everyone needs to leave me alone for a second. I’m back to panicking. However, Hosono got a good solo going now. So y’know what. Life is OK. I vape out the window again.
Album over. The dog is freaking out cuz there is a fly in the house. The dog is terrified of flies. Youtube suggests a five-hour Grateful Dead “Jam Only” compilation. But instead I go for Yann Tomita Music for Astro Age while the dog is shaking next to me. Give him a pet and apologize. Steel drum kicks in. Thank god. I need to be calmed. Dog is freaking out but the steel drum soothes me. The yak looks like a hairy cow—which is right I guess? Whatever.
Pause the steel drum thing—gotta vape again… Almost done with this panel. Which was pretty fast. On schedule.
Check phone: 24 texts about Teddy Bears. I need to get mellow again. Put on Dave Matthews “Crash.” Phone back off.
I bump “Crash” because I’m a psycho and I live for this shit.
Jonathan calls me. My favorite podcast is Jonathan calling me. He says the group chat has nothing to do with me and “Congrats on your book or whatever but Adult Moan getting back together has nothing to do with you.”
Jonathan is telling me about the Teddy Bear Memes on the phone. I have already seen them. He knows I’ve seen them but we are both enjoying the conversation.
Jonathan call was interrupted by Kate call freaking out about dinner and the meeting she has to do beforehand. I text my sister. Love just getting calls instead of texting while I’m working so I can just chill and work. Hate having to make yuppie dinner plans but it’s fresh that this is with my sister. I’m hungry now. If it was up to me I would eat dinner now… But I gotta wait ’til 8. Did a background for some of the panels and a little pattern I might throw in. One more panel to go.
Bump “Crash” again. Vape out the window. Life is OK. Annoyance level at 5 is now down to 2.
Gotta text my sister about food stuff. I’m stressing again. Time for “Kiss Me” by Sixpence None the Richer. OK, now I’m chilled out to a real degree. Fuck dinner. If it was up to me…Dinner would be canceled permanently and I would just eat sardines for every meal. Petting the Dog… I do “Kiss Me” again.
Call Jonathan back. We talk about how his coffee shop Lulabean is the shit. I miss my girls at the Brooklyn Kolache Company. I moved and the coffee around here is all cold brew that makes me crazy… It’s a problem. I’m thinking about making him listen to “Kiss Me” through the phone. I tell him this is what I’m going to do… And then I do it. Jonathan screams with delight and says it sounds real good over the phone. I have two hours to finish this drawing. I am in hell but it’s cool. We chat about how this song sounds like it’s French with the Accordion and was a possible influence on Joanna Newsom.
Jonathan either got his phone stolen or he walked into an area with no service. Halfway done with the last panel. Let’s do “Kiss Me” again for the 4th time and vape out the window again.
Put on Dilloway’s Sounds of Nepal 1-3 cuz I’m drawing Nepal and cuz it’s 2 and 1/2 hours long and that way I don’t gotta think about this again until I walk the dog…
Music is like dinner. Sometimes you need something like Sardines ’cuz they are always in cupboard? I’m out of my mind and I hate cold brew.
I’m in a cool bird sound zone. Which sounds great but I gotta get hyped and focused… Cuz I only have like 20 minutes left to finish this. Hit the Prefab Sprout Steve McQueen right quick.
Done. Time to walk the dog—good fade out mixes perfectly with me being done…. Gotta let this ink dry.
Dog walk done. The dog peed next to a painting.
Put Steve McQueen back on and scanned this shit. Now gotta meet my sister. Gotta color post dinner.
Meet my sister, her husband and my niece Florence at the Williamsburg Hotel. They are here for a wedding. My niece screams when she sees me and then turns her back to me. She is almost two. “Strawberry 23” by Shuggie Ottis plays in the background. It’s the long version so it’s a nice moment. I get a weird IPA from Hotel Bar and watch my niece terrorize the lobby. I am peak mellow. Go eat dinner at a place two blocks away that is “Williamsburg casual” aka a crisp salad and that weird quesadilla pizza crust texture. Shit was alright.
Return my Sister back to the Williamsburg Hotel and they are playing Benny Sings “Passionfruit” in the lobby. It’s a Drake cover. I recognize it and I fuck with it. I like this jam. This shit is peak Williamsburg, baby, and you know what??? I’m feeling it right now. I like this Dutch man and his jams. Love his new record. Fuck it. New indie rock is pretty wild and to hear it here… CHEF’S KISS.
GET BACK HOME COLOR IN SILENCE until 1 a.m. Done. Send it in.
Thursday, May 30
I AM UP and I am fucked. Didn’t plug my phone in so plug it in.
Realize phone did not charge at all. Adjust the cable and walk the dog.
Return with another cold-brew from the cold-brew hell. Realize phone barely charged. I’m at 10% and sister texted me at 9 to meet at Prospect Park Zoo at like 10:30 or 10:45—I say fuck it. Call a car to hit the zoo. When the mice needs critters. I gotta be there.
I arrive at the zoo. Buy tickets for the whole damn family. Sister says they won’t be there until 11 a.m. Hell yeah. Imma sit in the corner like a creep and charge my phone.
Seals are barking at Peacocks and Peacocks are screaming at Seals. A peacock goes full feather wall and scares the shit out of some children. Shit rocks. Stress level is 0.
Phone hits green so I hit the gram. Throw some likes out. Someone leaves a comment that stresses me out but I cannot be bothered. Peak chill. Work E-mails piling up. Wish I did this every day. Niece shows up and is hyped.
Pallas Cats are outside now? I ask a zoo worker what is going on. Turns out the Pallas Cats had to be separated due to “extreme differences” but they get a monitored hour together. The two Pallas Cats are Houseplant and Marmalade. Marmalade is outside and he looks pissed as hell.
Go in and try to talk to Houseplant, the other Pallas cat, about the bullshit that is going on with his life-partner. The cats refuse to look at you but then when you walk away they come down and stare at your back. I think Houseplant was hunting me. Tamarin monkeys also humping.
Leisurely stroll through Prospect Park. Niece sleeps in stroller.
East Wind Snack Shop. Favorite lunch in the damn city. Only recently have I accepted lunch in my life. And turns out lunch is good, I have a ton of energy when I eat lunch and I’m not grumpy later. They are playing some movie where these girls are floating and trying to stab each other. Niece is still asleep. Shit is mellow. Charge phone again and we get to 25%.
Take train back to my house and walk the dog to the playground near me. Niece helps walk the dog which is mad cute. Kids at playground all politely ask to pet the dog. I check e-mail. I wanted a Human Fern for the book release party, turns out Human Fern is $1,000 and the Human Fern I wanted is not available. The “Human Tree” they have sucks. See the group chat has 47 messages I have not seen. Not gonna look at that today. I’ll tell em Human Fern is out later when I can deal with that then.
Took the train back to hotel with Dog in a bag and then it starts pouring. Only one umbrella and that is for the baby. We are all soaked to the bone in Williamsburg. Gotta switch stroller for carseat. Borrow a towel from my sister and a hair dryer for the dog. Dry his ass with towel and then use the hair dryer for my socks in the hallway of this Williamsburg hotel. This is scummy and I love it. Hair-Dryer makes my socks still wet but hot. Kinda rules. Dog runs up and down the hallway like a psycho. Phone at 5%. Life on the edge.
Take Car to Kate’s parents house for dinner. Niece sings the ABC song real wrong. I love it.
Dinner was a true delight. Phone finally charged now that I don’t need it. Great. Kate’s mom teaches Flo how to crawl down the stairs backwards. Drive the whole crew back to the hotel in Kate’s car. No radio or nothing just chatting. Sister sees Statue of Liberty for first time off the BQE. Dog sleeps on my lap. Chill.
Drive back home listening to the Quiet Storm on 107.5 WBLS, hosted by Lenny Green. They play this and I turn it up. “I Do Love You” by GQ.
Go in the group chat and tell them Human Fern isn’t happening. There was 73 texts I had not seen. Throw some arbitrary hearts and likes because I love my boys and want ‘em to be happy. They suggest a cool tree costume from Alibaba. It looks cool as hell. It’s called Horny Adult Tree Costume and you know what? That could work…
Fix a drawing and an invoice and respond to some of these damned e-mails. Kate fell asleep watching some documentary about some people going to the Taj-Mahal? Maybe it’s about MS-13? I do not know what this is nor do I have the mental capacity to care. I’m in the office.
Friday, May 31
Anxiety dream about the dog. I’m exhausted.
Kate walks dog to coffee shop. Calls me, asks if I want anything.
Kate returns empty handed. She forgot her wallet.
Kate borrows my wallet and goes to different Coffee Shop.
Returns with breakfast. Meanwhile, I’m answering emails with “Sounds Great!” Paid rent. Deposited Checks. Moved money out my Paypal.
Breakfast done. Gotta go meet my sister. They have to go to a wedding reception tonight. So I gotta work tonight. Also gotta get socks. Just moved and somehow I have one pair of socks… The socks I used the hair dyer on yesterday are still wet and they are my only pair.
Deja Vu and DJ Marley Marl New Jack Swing set on WBLS. Marley Marl keeps mixing an Obama Speech in over the Humpty Dance. Epic. Always love catching a set of his on the radio… He might be my favorite NY DJ. Always has a good time and loves music.
Waiting for niece and sister at Williamsburg Hotel Bar. Get a drink with Cornflower in it and raise the glass to this really whack graffiti mural they got outside. Cornflower blue is an excellent color.
Rooftop pool in Williamsburg actually has an incredible view. They are playing some real nondescript cheesy house with a filter sweep every two minutes. Find out 30 Hudson Yards is 18 feet higher than the Empire state building via Google.
Edison Bulb in the bathroom. Hilarious.
Jonathan calls me about Adult Moan performance. He called me twice yesterday but I declined both calls. Today I accepted the call. Jonathan came up with a great plan to bag everyone’s phones at the performance and then document the set on two stranger’s phones. I have my toes in the water while he’s telling me this. It’s nice.
Muji with Niece. I just cursed out a Bob Weir–looking guy who was riding a bike on the sidewalk. Sister says, “Who is Bob Weir?” and I respond with, “the pretty boy from The Dead.” Buy socks at Muji and put em on in the store. Comfy. Didn’t realize they weren’t one size fits all until this trip. Still get the wrong size cuz I live life on the edge.
Sister spots a poster in a Williamsburg coffee shop that I drew. It’s a funny moment because a guy is sitting in front of it and it must be a weird moment for him. I hadn’t seen the poster in the flesh. It’s a Riso-print done by Keegan at Circadian Press, and I gotta say… He did a damn good job. Sister is hyped, so there we go. All I want is to not look like a loser to my sister when she shows up to visit and the universe hooked me up.
In a clothing store sitting in the waiting chair pushing the stroller back and forth. We went to two weird stores that I don’t know the name of or care. They have both been playing some world music indie rock that has some serious Architecture in Helsinki Vibes. Oh shit, now they are playing Drugdealer in here. Huge LOL to Mike Collins and Sasha. I try on a pair of $400 board shorts. Everyone likes em. I think I look pretty stupid but hey that’s fashion.
Niece drinks a Whole Foods smoothie and cries. Peak Williamsburg–highly relatable.
The Ceiling lamp at the Williamsburg Hotel—I think it’s shifting slightly. Can’t tell if it is or not. Pretty sure it is. I love this shit.
Get another weird drink at the Rooftop Bar. This kind has a weird weed in it. Cool. DJ is playing “soca-chuckleberry Armani house” but it’s still got those filter sweeps every two minutes. Wish I could swim but my underwear is the kind with holes in it. I need to be working, but now that I got that weird drink… All bets are off.
The sun sets and the DJ drops a house remix of Doors “People Are Strange” while the Hassidic Air Horn blasts over Williamsburg. Sun turns bright red. I am struck by how dramatic and stupid this is. I call Jonathan and try to get him to come over and bring a swimsuit. Jonathan agrees because this scene sounds insane.
Jonathan never shows. Turns out he had to stop and get a massage on the way over. We have to leave. I forget my Muji socks upstairs so have I to return to the Williamsburg Hotel. Kate left her debit card downstairs when she bought french fries. So we have to return again. Peak shame.
I got hot dogs and beer and Jonathan arrives at my house and we set up the fire pit to cook these hot dogs.
Kate declines the Hot Dogs like I declined Jonathan’s calls yesterday. So basically, Jonathan and I eat a whole pack of hot dogs ourselves.
I am no longer human. It is time for bed.
Saturday, June 1
Walk the dog. Get Kate to text my sister. Sister wants to go to Japanese breakfast spot that I always talk up, but it is far too risky on a weekend with 5 people and one of them being a baby. The whole place seats 12 so… We decide to meet up a bit later and go to this spot Egg.
Hanging at playground with niece. There’s a nice little kids market thing with a keyboard and a drum set up in the middle. Kids keep going up and tapping it very gently. Think about how funny it would be if Matt and Kim were doing a set at the playground, and that is what they do on the weekends. This Brooklyn mom with a real accent is cursing at her kids. My sister remarks that the cops would show up if that happened at a playground in San Francisco. I use my Brooklyn accent to say, “Christoper, if the Pope could see what you were doing right now, he would hang himself in front of youse. Youse would carry the shame of the Pope’s death with you the rest of your life.” Even the niece laughs which is nice on the playground.
Travis calls and is stressed out about this music video thing. I suggest he pops out of a trashcan and then I suggest he dresses in foul weather gear and just chills and raps in his living room. Send him a photo of the Gorton’s fisherman carrying a mermaid. He pitches trashcan idea and it turns out the other rapper in the video, Wiki, already did that. Hahaha. So I guess that was a good idea. In Baller Blockin’, Lil Wayne hides in one of those sliding deli freezers… And he pops out and I’ve always liked that.
Back at Williamsburg Hotel pool. I wore my bathing suit under my pants this time though. So I embark on first splash of the season. Sister comes up and hangs out with me. Same soundtrack but at this point it has no novelty or interest to me. I’m dead to it but feeling good air-drying.
Jonathan calls me and invites me to an opera at Hudson Yards. That ain’t me today.
Kate will be off work soon, so might as well wander around Williamsburg solo. Go into a different store and look at some different $300 shorts. Kate picks me up. We get a snack.
WBLS in the car. DJ Bedrock does a tribute to Nas that involves playing Nas sounds back to back. He has a friend of the rapper call up and read the Nas wikipedia page over the phone. Very, very chill. Kate’s parents are gone so we go to her parents’ house. Both of us feel nauseous and exhausted. I fall asleep on the couch.
Wake up. Kate is watching this show, Dead to Me. I think it sucks but then I start feeling it. Recognize one of the actresses but can’t place her. Look her up… Oh, damn it’s Kelly from Married With Children. The other girl was on Freaks and Geeks. I lie to Kate and tell her one of the other characters was Urkel from Family Matters. Kate believes me. I get emotionally invested in this show. Glad I don’t have a TV at my house.
Sunday, June 2
Wake up and walk dog to 7-11 to get dog food. There used to be a deli that existed since the 90s called 11-7. Only recently did they change the deli’s name to NYC PEAK GOURMET. They fought 7-11 and hard and I would prefer to go there but they don’t have dog food. There’s a guy in the 7-11 wearing a crisp Versace tracksuit. I have never seen something like that and he looks good and insane. I’m curious if it’s a bootleg/brand new/or he’s just had it and worn it daily since the 90s. Wondering, if I bought $400 shorts would that be my life?
Meet up with my sister, niece, and her husband at McCarren Park. They went to a wedding yesterday and had to say bye to all the wedding people. This playground is nice and normal. My sister talks to me about playgrounds but obviously I know nothing about them and the last three days is probably the most I have ever been to one since I was a kid.
Drive the whole crew to JFK in the car. I think the Queens Eiffel Tower is gone now? I gave my whole speech about it and then I didn’t see it. I’m driving so not gonna look it up also, if it’s gone. I don’t wanna know.
Drop off sister. Do another round of WBLS. They play some new Kirk Franklin but it’s back to business as usual there.
Jonathan calls me and tells me about the Opera. I ask if Hudson Yards looks like Chipotle inside. He says, it does… I lie to Jonathan and tell him Frank Gehry designed Chipotle. He believes me for a second. Lies are my favorite form of media. Especially, ones that you get called out for immediately.
Get back to Kate’s parents’ house and finally get some drawing done. Usually draw with headphones on, but there is way too much activity/people wanting to talk to me. Only good setup there is kitchen table, which is not a great drawing scenario. Back hurts. Can’t see the full scope. I am an angled-desk person and I gotta say, it’s a necessity. I can do without but really cuts down on speed. I forgot some of my templates as well. Got a couple of real hours in… So that was good.
Dinner with Kate’s parents. They made pesto. It’s delicious. We have a good time. Casual as hell.
Dinner done. Walk the dog again. It starts raining. Lay down on the couch. Check Twitter, see people are freaking out about this show called Chernobyl. I didn’t know that was a show. Decide to put it on. Watch it and read Wikipedia about nuclear accidents. This show is dramatic as hell. A lot of Russians dying due to radiation exposure. Russians got British accents. I fuck with this. All the nuclear scientists are dressed like bakers. I guess this is media… And this is my report on it. This was an odd five days. Typically, I work most of the day… And rarely take a day off, but hey, sometimes, a reactor is drowning in poison. Sometimes, you gotta take off for family stuff. Man, this show in the background is making my report end beyond dramatic. Tips coated in graphite enter the core. Control-rods in the channel. Who gives a shit?