This is the blog for Matt Hollingsworth. I'm from Ojai, California. I've worked in comics for 22 years as a color artist.

This blog will largely be used to show my daily life as I live in Samobor, Croatia and as I travel around the region. Lots and lots of photos! Leave me a comment, will you?

All content on this blog is copyright 2013 Matthew Dale Hollingsworth and cannot be copied or used for any purpose without my consent.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

While in Dublin, we had tremendous luck. It was pretty sunny and not too cold. No rain at all. The locals told us that they had more than 40 days in a row of rain during the summer. Holy fuck. Must have been during that storm season that was flooding the UK.

Trinity College in Dublin.

Declan hamming it up in Dublin.

Butt ugly building, though with a lot of character.

The streets of Dublin.

One of the main attractions which I enjoyed was a pub called the Porterhouse. It's a brewpub and has a really great interior. They make 9 of their own beers and also sell a ton of others.

Declan and Nara in the Porterhouse.

The Porterhouse.

They had 3 stouts and porters, 3 ales and 3 lagers. Of course, upon arriving there, I decided I'd try all of them in that one day. We had walked a lot and our feet were tired anyway, so we camped out a bit. We had a couple of pints, then went across the street for some Persian food. I had a tasty kebab. I tried to joke around with the cashier, but he was a humorless man. So we just ate then wandered around a bit before returning to the Porterhouse.

The Porterhouse.

The Porterhouse.

Me at the Porterhouse.

The Porterhouse from the exterior.

The Porterhouse is very near the River Liffey, so we walked on the river for a bit and checked out some nearby neighborhoods. It's a city filled with a lot of nice walking areas. But there were also the required riverside drunks hanging out on the Millenium Bridge. Sadly, we had to return to the Porterhouse so we couldn't join them. Instead, we snapped a few quick picks with the aid of Declan.

Nara and me near the River Liffey in Dublin.

Nara and me near the River Liffey in Dublin.

The River Liffey in Dublin.

Nara and Declan in Dublin.

We then returned to the Porterhouse and hung out for the remainder of the evening. Nara's friend Zdravka showed up, then later her friend Jelena also showed up. Declan immediately fell in love with the lovely Zdravka, but it's a tragedy since she's already involved and pregnant. So, naturally, he then fell in love with one waitress after the other. Some additional pictures taken by Declan will be included in a later blog entry.

I ended up trying all of the nine beers, then settled in on the oyster stout as my favorite. They use actual oysters in the production of this stout. It doesn't taste like oyster, curiously, but it's very tasty stuff. I liked all of their beers except two. One was a XXXX stout that was way, way too hoppy for a stout and one was their Temple Brau, which was just an unappealing lager. The rest were top notch and very nice beers. Declan even took a sip of each one as I got it even though he doesn't like beer. He's a cider man.

We stayed there until fairly late, then returned to the house that we were staying at, to go to sleep.

Ah, lovely!

Porterhouse Temple Bar
Google Map to Porterhouse Temple Bar

Friday, October 19, 2007

So, Nara and I recently did a bit of traveling for one week. Not a long vacation, but enough to recharge the batteries a bit.

I'd been invited to the Birmingham International Comics Show as a guest. And though we were broke when we booked our tickets, we did our best to try to find an extra touch of traveling to squeeze onto the trip that we'd be able to afford. So in swoops Ryan Air. The cheapest way for us to get to the show was to fly to Luton, north of London, on Wizzair. We could then take a train to Birmingham or take a bus. Instead, we took Ryan Air to Dublin for cheap, 15 pounds each. Nice. And, my buddy Declan Shalvey was nice enough to set us up with a place to sleep for free. So, we added that wing of the trip with cheap tickets and no hotel charge. Nice!

The view from the terrace of the room we stayed in in Dublin.

The view from the terrace of the room we stayed in in Dublin.

So, we had 2 days and 3 nights in Dublin. We wandered around a lot and drank a lot of beer. We hung out with a bunch of crazy Irish folks and a few crazy Croats, with me, the totally normal American. Yeah. That's right. That's what I wrote.

Walking around in Dublin.

Walking around in Dublin.

Two of Nara's friends from Zagreb also live there now, so we met up with them. Her friend Zdravka met up with us for a few drinks and her friend Jelena hung out a bit more, which was great. She showed us around Dublin quite a lot.

Jelena and Nara in Dublin.

Walking around in Dublin.

There's some beautiful architecture in Dublin. Where it's new, they've made an effort to have it stylistically fit in with the other architecture. It's pretty nice. There's also some very nice green space.

St. Stephen's Green in Dublin.

St. Stephen's Green in Dublin.

Oscar Wilde in Merrion Square Park in Dublin.

Merrion Square Park in Dublin.

Me and Nara in Merrion Square Park in Dublin.

Nara on the throne in Merrion Square Park.

Nara on the throne in Merrion Square Park.

Me on the throne in Merrion Square Park.

Declan in Merrion Square Park.

Mostly a photo blog for this first entry. More to come soon.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

I will be leaving Tuesday to head first to Dublin, for beers and a visit to Mecca (Guinness), as every good beer drinker must make that trip if they are physically able to. Afterwards, I will head to Birmingham to attend the Birmingham International Comics Show. The show is Saturday and Sunday the 13th and 14th.

I will be doing a two part color demo live onstage, one part each day.

It's a great show. And this year they have great guests just as they did last year. They even have Mike Mignola and Kevin Nowlan attending.

So, come join us. And buy me a pint, willya?

Birmingham International Comics Show

Friday, October 05, 2007

Seems that NATO and EU authorities now fear that violence may break out in Kosovo. They've asked Croatia to make sure that the borders of neighboring EU countries are secure in the case of some mass exodus of refugees fleeing any fighting in Kosovo. I don't think there would be many refugees fleeing here to Croatia, but I think the EU and NATO also want those borders secure. And Croatia borders Italy, Slovenia and Hungary. All EU countries.

Some scary buildup is happening in Kosovo.

If my family's reading this, don't worry, okay? I'm not near Kosovo.

Fears of violence in tug-of-war over Kosovo.

U.S. asks Croatia to take any Kosovo refugees: paper.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

A look at recent activity in Gajnice.

Twice a year, people take larger junk or garbage and leave it in a supposedly designated area for collection by trash trucks. Trucks eventually come around with a crane arm and pick this crap up and take it away. The lame part, however, is that they don't actually do a good job of cleaning up the mess. So, these designated areas usually have crap left afterwards that is never cleaned up. This particular one in these photos is right next to a house. I wouldn't wanna live there.

Gypsies usually show up first. A group shows up and leaves the women behind to guard the garbage when they go get a vehicle. Sometimes they come back with a large van and cart the crap away. Sometimes it's a Yugo.

And to contrast this, the local supermarket in Zagreb, called Konzum, recently sponsored a new playground in the park here in Gajnice. They actually sponsored a few around the area, but this is the only one in Gajnice. It was being built for a month or so. During the construction, they had to post a security guard to watch the site at night. Esad tells me it's the law that they have to do this. I guess people would steal the construction materials.

The playground was very well received, though. The place is usually swamped with children during the day and evening and with teens drinking beer or hanging out at night. It's a big hit. Not the best pictures, sorry. But there it is.