Greg Burch is a product of American Mid-Century Modern design, the son of an aerospace engineer and a polyglot Isleña. He grew up in Dallas on the stories of Golden Age science fiction masters like Arthur C. Clarke, Robert Heinlein, Isaac Asimov and Ray Bradbury. The release of 2001: A Space Odyssey was a seminal event in Greg’s life. He saw it more than 20 times before the advent of the VCR.
In the 1970s, Greg’s life took a turn to the East. He studied Chinese language and history at the University of Washington in Seattle. He was in the first group of U.S. students to go to the Peoples Republic of China in 1979, when the two countries normalized diplomatic relations. After that, he worked for some years in the international transportation industry and listened to a lot of jazz. Reagan was getting America back to work, but Greg didn’t get the message — he was having too much fun. There was a motorcycle. And more jazz. And Frank Zappa. A lot of Zappa.
After a few years in the wilderness, he applied to law school. After three years at the University of Texas School of Law in Austin and a desultory stint on the Texas Law Review (where his first note topic on the patenting of human genetic material was rejected as “too science-fiction-y”), he started working as a lawyer in 1987. He’s been doing that ever since. He’s been a trial lawyer, a deal lawyer and a practice leader.
Along the way, Greg was involved in the early transhumanist movement (at one point being vice-president of the Extropy Institute). All those famous futurists you read about now? They read the extropians mailing list back in the late 1980s and 1990s. All those amazing ideas you read about now: genetic engineering, mobile computing, virtual reality, artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, robotics and crypto-currency? All covered in depth back then.
These days, Greg lives in Hong Kong and Houston, heads an international law firm’s China practice group and dabbles in primatology, robotics and 3D printing.
Michael Dougan, a Texas native, is a cartoonist, editorial illustrator, and author. Never suited to the Texas heat, as a youth, Michael spent most of his time indoors, close to an air conditioner, drawing pictures of everything from Dallas Cowboy football stars and cheerleaders, to presidents Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon.
At 12 he applied for a job at the Longview Daily News, as a political cartoonist. Though this initial effort didn’t succeed, the newspaper’s editor took the interview, and the work, seriously, and sparked a lifelong interest in newspaper and magazine editorial illustration.
His first appearance on the public stage was at the Longview Community Theater, in Woody Allen’s 1960s farce Don’t Drink the Water, as the only child actor in the play, portraying Krojack, the head of the communist police, as a midget.
He moved to Seattle at 18, and by the 1980s and ’90s began contributing cartoons and illustrations to local and national publications, including the LA Weekly, The Village Voice, The New York Times, Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly, and Time magazine, as well as emerging web news sites. After the publication of his two books, East Texas: Tales from Behind the Pine Curtain, and I Can’t Tell You Anything. he experimented in television animation, including a short film for MTV’s Liquid Television, and a series of character design and story editor assignments for pilot projects, including an adaptation of a British series by Aardman Animations Creature Comforts USA, which appeared on CBS in 2007.
Upon returning to Seattle from Los Angeles, he continued editorial illustration and for print and web news sites, and eventually began designing and editing websites. His hobby interests led him to explore alternative identities as a filmmaker, BBQ pitmaster, and amateur blues guitarist. He currently lives between La Conner, Washington, and Yokohama, Japan, with his wife Chizuko.
Return to About.