Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Five things we survived at SLG.

Every business has its memorable moments, things that when you look back on them seem funny but as they happened seemed like it was the end of the world (or close to it). That has never been more true since SLG moved into its current HQ at 577 S. Market Street. Here is a quick recap of five that stood out.

5) Rodent Wars of 2001 to present - Every building has nasty little varmints that run around in it when nobody is around. What we discovered when we moved into our building is that the varmints infesting our place were of a legendary size and stature and considered US the inconvenience to be dealt with. Our building had stood vacant for so long before we moved in that these hell-creatures had set themselves up a nice little habitat just below the surface of our walls and floors.
     With a combination of traps, poisons and just plain old luck we battled these beasts until we curbed the invasion. The low point was when a rat got stuck in our insulation in a place that was hard to access and died, rotting and raining rat parts down on us. We declared final victory this year when we sealed up the last of what we figured was the rat super-highway points of entrance in our space.

4) Toilet Crisis of 10/11 - Our building is old, very old. So the plumbing is by extension also very old. In 2009 SLG started running a music venue in our warehouse which meant lots of new people coming in and using our toilet. As the space gained traction as a venue so did our usage of the toilet by people not as inclined to respect our space.
    The first major crisis was noticing some younger people going into  the restroom two or three at a time (the space is small and only one toilet). There was also the floor pee incident of 2010 and the foreign object incident of 2011 which had erstwhile SLG employee Bryan Dobrow driving all over town in search of a proper plunger.
     We finally put in a toilet with a super flush in it to deal with the extra usage, helping keep the pipes clear and now we put extra security on the toilet making sure only one person uses it at a time. In 2012 the Art Boutiki will launch its first Kickstarter campaign in an effort to raise around $15,000 to make the current toilet ADA compliant and to add a second ADA compliant facility.

3) Termite Flight of 2007 - We always knew that the wood part of our building had something of a termite problem but had no idea the extent of it. One fine spring day a group of subterranean termites hatched, took wing and took flight in our building. I repeat, IN our building. Coming from every crack and crevice in the walls flying termites buzzed our heads inside the office for what seemed like forever but really was only like 20 minutes.
   The landlord called an exterminator the next day and we have never had a repeat of this incident, thank goodness. Honestly, this was the most biblical of all of our crisis from a visual perspective.

4) Bee Crisis of 2011 - This one did not actually start in our building, but began in the abandoned building next door. Unknown to us a bee hive had taken root in the walls of the adjoining building, where it flourished and grew unchecked for what a bee professional estimated was a good 5-7 years. Apparently once a hive reaches critical mass a second and a third queen will arise and split off to found her own empire somewhere else close by. A colony of an estimated 20,000 bees took hold in our attic, which we didn’t notice until a random bee or two would drop down into the office out of one of the light fixtures.
    We called a bee guy who discovered not only our new hive, but the massive hive next door and another hive attached to another building a few yards away. It took them three days to remove all of the bees. The thing that made it a crisis; I am allergic to bees.
    The honey they pulled out of the building next door was a black tar looking substance that scarcely resembled any honey I have ever seen. The estimate was that there were hundreds of pounds of rotting honey in the walls of the building next door.

1) The Crash of ‘04 - A drunk driver plowed through our office in 2004, destroying everything ( I mean EVERYTHING) in her path. This link  (http://youtu.be/tD5rEPR8oLc) is to a video that shows the damage and recounts the whole tale. Words do not do this story justice, you need to see what this stupid drunk did.
    The only good thing about this incident was that it happened when it did (around 2:00 AM). Had it happened during the day, at least a couple of people would have been seriously injured or killed. The woman, who had just gotten her license back after having it suspended for drunk driving, had her own car keys taken from her at whatever club she was at by her friends who knew she was too drunk to drive. Her answer to this was to take someone elses keys and car. We lost desks, computers, a scanner, and sadly a bunch of CD’s that had some of the only digital records of some of our comics that existed.

We survived all that. It’s what we do best at SLG, survive by the skin of our teeth.

Happy new year everyone!


Bob & Gina Chapman said...

I nominate Dan to be the poster child for the whatever-doesn't-kill-you-will-only-make-you-stronger award. Riches and material wealth may be elusive, but the survival skills you've honed are priceless.

It's people like Dan that make the comic biz what it is today. His drive and passion (mixed in with large doses of stubbornness and stupidity), continue to be an inspiration to us all.

Hope you and your family have a great holiday. See you in 2012!!


Xavier Lancel (SCARCE) said...

The link to the viedo isn't working , no?

tomorrowboy 2.7 said...

The url works, but the link doesn't

Keep on making comics!

Titus Prime said...
This comment has been removed by the author.