New Book Released: So Silicon Valley

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What happens when a graphic designer from SoCal moves to Silicon Valley to work in tech? This comic collection of comic vignettes chronicles the strange, unexpected, hilarious, and infuriating experiences of that artist-turned-marketer in techland. Printed, stapled, and folded by me. At less than $7, you know I’m not paying myself for my own labor. Let’s call it an “unpaid internship.”

16 pages
5.5×8 inches

Available in the Shop at Storenvy!

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So now you know why I’ve been so quiet lately! I’ve been working on this memoir about my four years spent in Silicon Valley. You can look at this as a precursor to Attention Passengers, since I drove the long distances from South San Jose to Menlo Park, Fremont to Sunnyvale, and everywhere in between before I moved and began the commuter life on the rails.

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Don’t worry; I have some news about Attention Passengers coming up. In the meantime, check out this new book!

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Update: Building Opportunities for Self Sufficiency

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Exactly 3 months after the announcement that 20% of Attention Passengers: Adventures on Public Transportation profits (or a lump sum out of my pocket if Attention Passengers didn’t turn a profit) would be donated to Building Opportunities for Self Sufficiency, it’s time to give!

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Remember, BOSS helps people find affordable housing and living wage jobs through their training programs, shelters, and social services. Primarily operating out of the East Bay in places like Berkeley, Oakland, and Hayward, they aim to eliminate mass homelessness, mass incarceration, and community violence.

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As someone who has met people on public transportation in need of this exact type of help, I truly wish the best for BOSS and their pursuit of their goals. If you would like to contribute to the cause, you can donate here.

SF Zine Fest 2019

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On Sunday, Attention Passengers joined 200+ creators and artists at the 2019 San Francisco Zine Fest! This was the first event Attention Passengers has tabled at and what an event for a first! 6 hours flew by as event-goers visited and shared their stories about riding public transportation.

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The most popular item at the booth by far was the pigeon stickers. Everyone shared their love of pigeons in the city!

The day flew by so quickly, in fact, that I barely had time to see all the amazing artists’ work. However, I managed to say hi to a few creators I admire and grab several zines.

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Saying hi to Lawrence Lindell, the guest of honor.

Check out the swag I scored below. We’ve got some Lawrence Lindell, Ben Passmore, Joppo, Beverly Salas, Yvonne Hsuan Ho, and more. What did you get?

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I managed to squeeze in some coloring and drawing at the table. Several exquisite corpse pages were circulating around the tables, in which you draw something based on the last person’s panel. I participated in the one pictured and laughed at several others making their way around to people.

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Look how crowded it got!

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The Stickers for Your Commute

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Up for some urban bird-watching? Feeling a little trashy? Introducing new Attention Passengers stickers! Check them out:

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This sticker sheet features 5 of those birds both city- and country-dwellers know so well: the pigeon! Love them or hate them, these feature artwork from the coloring book, pre-colored and ready for sticking on all of your favorite surfaces. Each sheet is 4×6 inches in size. Each sticker measures roughly 2 inches in its longest dimension. Printed on thick, durable vinyl.

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This sticker sheet features 7 pieces of common trash you’ll find around the city: pizza crusts, crushed cans,cigarette butts, and more. Featuring artwork from the Attention Passengers coloring book, these pre-colored stickers are ready for sticking on all of your favorite surfaces. Each sheet is 4×6 inches in size. Each sticker measures roughly 2 inches in its longest dimension. Printed on thick, durable vinyl.

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Where Can You Find The Coloring Book For Your Commute?

Where in the world can you find a copy of Attention Passengers: Adventures on Public Transportation? Well, you can go to the Shop section of the site or, if you prefer to see the book in person first, you can check out these options (and maybe pick up a bunch of new books while you’re there):

Escapist Comics

3090 Claremont Ave
Berkeley, CA 94705

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Located in a quiet Berkeley neighborhood about 1.5 miles south of UC Berkeley, this comic shop is filled from floor to ceiling with comics, graphic novels, anthologies, collections, and so much more. They even have a section dedicated to indie self-published books (hence, why Attention Passengers is there!).

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Escapist Comics even featured Attention Passengers on their site!

 

Silver Sprocket

1687 Haight St
San Francisco, CA 94117

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Located on bustling Haight street in San Francisco, Silver Sprocket is an indie and small press comic lover’s dream. They even publish comics that started out as self-published in their store.

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You can buy Attention Passengers on Silver Sprocket’s website, too.

 

Quimby’s Bookstore

1854 W. North Ave
Chicago, IL 60622

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Located in Chicago’s hip Wicker Park neighborhood just off of N. Milwaulkee, Quimby’s is described as an “edgy shop for obscure books and comics.” How secretive and utterly cool!

Chicago Comics

3244 N. Clark St.
Chicago, IL 60657

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This well-known Lake View shop aims to have the widest variety of comics, including indie books, manga, zines, underground publications, and merch. You can take the brown, purple, and red lines or the 22, 77, or 8 bus practically to the doorstep.

 

Online Options

Storenvy

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Originally intended as the primary storefront, Storenvy is where the Store section links. I particularly love how you can check out as a guest so you don’t have to make an account. Plus, you can pay with either Paypal or credit card.

 

Etsy

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In case you don’t like Storenvy or whatever the case may be, the book is also for sale on Etsy.

 

Amazon

Currently in the process of verifying our seller’s account so this is coming soon!

Next Stop: SF Zine Fest

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Attention Passengers! Next stop: SF Zine Fest 2019! The SF Zine Fest team just released this year’s exhibitors list and Attention Passengers: Adventures on Public Transportation has been accepted, along with a list of many other talented creators. We’ll be selling books, signing books, and coloring book pages. Look out for some special new merch as well.

The event is free so if you’re near San Francisco, say hi, pick up a book, and support the independent artists keeping creativity alive in the city!

SF Zine Fest
September 1, 2019
11 am – 5 pm
County Fair Building at Golden Gate Park
San Francisco County Fair Building
1199 9th Ave, San Francisco, CA 94122
(415) 831-5500
1199 9th Ave
San Francisco, CA 94122

The Weirdest Public Transportation Stories

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May I present to you, without context, a list of the strangest and most memorable things that have happened to me on public transportation so far:

  • Someone punched me in the eye on a bus in San Jose, CA.
  • Many lively people in pajamas regularly got picked up by the “drunk bus” in Santa Barbara as I rode home from my closing shift at work.
  • A very drunk guy on BART once screamed at me, “Fight me, bitch!”
  • An either bored or giddy Caltrain conductor began announcing stops by explaining all his favorite things to do around each stop (shopping, sightseeing, etc).
  • I’ve had to call authorities due to people on the train:
    • smoking crack
    • wielding a massive hunting knife
    • violently raging
  • A lovely lady once fell during turbulence right into my lap and I caught her, fair maiden style. We both blushed.
  • A train held at a station during a wild thunderstorm, the rain blowing in horizontally through the door and soaking everyone.

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The Great Bay Area Experiment: MUNI, BART, Caltrain, Amtrak

During the first month of my first job in San Francisco, four friends graciously let me sleep on their couches all around the Bay, allowing me to experiment with these four public transportation systems to decide which I wanted to live with for my foreseeable future. Which would prevail as the best option: MUNI, BART, Amtrak, or Caltrain?

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(Psst…these amazing stickers are from Transit Supply.)

And the results are in:

  • Shortest commute was MUNI (but I couldn’t afford SF rent).
  • Cheapest (in terms of rent + fare) was BART (but definitely not the nicest).
  • Nicest was Amtrak (but I could only occasionally work out of our East Bay office and it was unsustainably expensive).
  • Best balance was Caltrain (but it took SO long without an express train).

Which would you choose? Can you guess which I chose?

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How many keys to different places can one need in one month?

Well, my cheap ass chose the cheapest option: BART! (To be fair, the opportunity to live with some of my favorite people in the world was also a factor.) For the first two months, I believed I had made a grave mistake: over an hour’s commute time one-way, compounded by problems like delays, people on the late trains I would rather avoid, the stench of brake fluid burning, overcrowding, and more. Oh, how I wished I had put up the money for SF rent to ride MUNI.

After two months, however, I discovered all the tips and tricks to riding BART to make it more tolerable, including always bringing something to do on the train (sleeping is a TOTALLY valid activity, in my book). Delays appeared to lessen as well, whether that be because they actually lessened or because I became less bothered by them.

Every now and then, though, I still wonder if I should just fork over the cash to rent a place in the city. I can always fantasize.

Attention Passengers Teams Up With BOSS to Improve Our Community

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In the spirit of getting in touch with the people we interact with daily on public transportation (as opposed to simply observing them) and making a difference, I’m so excited to announce that Attention Passengers is teaming up with Building Opportunities for Self Sufficiency, or BOSS, to help lift families and individuals out of homelessness by donating 20% of profits from sales of the book.

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What does BOSS do?

Headquartered in Berkeley, CA, BOSS helps the very low income and homeless people of the Bay Area get back on their feet and become self-sufficient. This work is crucially important, as homelessness in Berkeley is increasing while housing costs continue to rise.

Services include multiple shelters in the East Bay; career training for the formerly incarcerated, homeless, disabled, and others; housing stabilization to get people into affordable permanent housing; and much more.

Check out the latest news and what they’re up to on their site here.

So what is Attention Passengers doing, exactly?

20% of all profits from sales of Attention Passengers: Adventures on Public Transportation will be donated to BOSS. These funds will help pay for housing, meals, employment and health services, counseling, and other life-changing support. I plan to send a check quarterly and I’ll keep you updated on our progress over time. In the unlikely event that Attention Passengers actually doesn’t turn a profit, I plan to donate an amount out of my pocket anyway.

Why BOSS?

Every day on my walk from the train to work and back, I encounter a painfully high number of people in need–adults who have little more than what they carry from spot to spot. Some of these people regularly chat and catch up with the friendly people who pass by each day. Some sweep the streets and clean up the area where they set up their tents. I attempt to bring food and water to them when I can but I want to harness the power of a community of people who can accomplish more than what one individual can. I want to help people move on from their current situation and gain power over their own futures. I also want to keep the money local to the Bay Area, at least to start, since that is where the Attention Passengers book was born.

BOSS aligns perfectly with those ideals. They also have a track record of success and you can check out their financial information with an account on Charity Navigator.

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(Please keep in mind that I reserve the right to alter the donation plan at any time.)

Now Arriving at Your Station: The Coloring Book for Your Commute

Attention Passengers: Adventures on Public Transportation is now arriving at your station and is available in the shop on Storenvy!

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Featuring:

  • 36 pages of crazy antics and cool people spotted on public transportation for you to color
  • 5.5×8.5″ size so it can travel with you
  • Printed on luxurious 100lb uncoated paper to prevent color bleed.
  • A portion of profits goes toward a great charity (check back tomorrow for the full details)!

This book is intended for audiences ages 16 and up, not for younger children. Why? There’s a page that acknowledges the use of drugs on the train as well as arrests, plus a page that acknowledges homelessness. If you want to explain to your kids these things in a supervised setting, be my guest, but I intended the book for adults.

Pick up your copy at Storenvy and message me if you have any questions!