Get Well Soon

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I regret nothing.

My ridiculous heath issues have put a damper on my creative activities of late, but I have a friend whose health issues are much more serious; she had major surgery today and I decided to make her this card. Get well soon. You know.

Recently I decided that I should stop hoarding paper and just try to use it all to make art. I also have some papier-mâché I might post later, but the projects I have in mind are more complicated than just slapping colors on a balloon, and I’ve only done the preliminary steps.

As always, I see a million ways this could be a better image, but I’m only at about 50% capacity lately, so just being able to work at all was a coup.

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Back to School 2018: Lions Launching!

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“Launching” and “stellar” are probably big vocabulary words for a sizable portion of my intended audience, but they’re coming to learn, right?

I’m on a roll with these retro rocket ships!

When I first started doing bulletin boards I never wanted for inspiration; there was always some big idea that I couldn’t wait to try, but now that I’ve been at it 9 years (NINE YEARS!) (averaging 5 or 6 a year, so let’s say about 50 total) and I hate the idea of repeating myself, at least in the same forum, sometimes I have to reach a bit for new material.

The school where I volunteer starts up Thursday, so I had to cram this into my schedule (Tuesday night was the big back-to-school, sign-up-for-the-PTA, eat popcorn and wander around the campus open house, and I managed to get the bulk of the work finished before the school was deluged with parents and kids) not knowing what the plan was, but once I got there I remembered how much fun I had drawing the retro rocket for my “The Future is Non Binary and Intersectional” T-shirt, and once I had that idea, the rest of it fell into place. The rocket and the lion cubs and the paw print and the flames were easy to design: a lot of these elements were ones I had worked with before and the Girl helped me on the first day. She’s really good at peeling excess rubber cement off things.

Then I went back the next day and did the lettering. Something was clearly disconnected in my brain because I measured the space available, calculated how big each letter could be, and then completely disregarded my own calculations and made each letter about 5 centimeters too wide. Thus the bizarre/organic spacing. My original plan was to cut out some of the text that ended up in the word bubble, but the families were already there and it’s a lot of letters that wouldn’t have fit anyway and I decided to just hand ink it and slap it on as a word balloon, which took 5 minutes, versus the 2 hours sketching and cutting would have taken.

The principal loved it. All the teachers loved it. Someone called me “faithful.” As I was leaving the school, I saw a parent taking a photo of my bulletin board! Also a kid trying to read it out loud who clearly didn’t know the words “launching” or “stellar.” Success!

The Future is Non Binary and Intersectional

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Featuring one of the most charming retro style rocket ships I’ve ever drawn.

This rainbow colored design took up most of my drawing time this week. I’m the kind of person who could easily spend another week tinkering with it but I’m also the kind of person who can let it go. It’s cute and it gets the message across. “The Future is Non Binary and Intersectional.” I prefer “nonbinary” spelled as one word, actually, but this is how it went up in the shop.

The main thing is that I’m sick of people using erroneous binary assumptions to tell other people (me) how to dress, act, think, talk, or fit into society. Open your freaking mind.

You can get this design on 56 different products including T-shirts, hoodies, stickers, and pillows, in my RedBubble shop.

Requiem for a Machine

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That damn cat, though. Seriously.

ItsI amazing that I managed to log in to this account on my phone in the first try. It took 2 days to remember my Reddit password and I still haven’t gotten into Twitter. Guess I’ll buy a new laptop tomorrow, but I’m not happy about it. Also not happy about blogging on my phone. After 3 days of sliding around a 1.5″ x 2.5″ keyboard, it’s time to concede defeat. I gotta have a real machine.

More Monsoon Comics: Giant Bug Edition

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For some reason, some people don’t appreciate the beauty of a giant beetle flying into things and dying tragically in your swimming pool filter.

The ASDM webpage on which I found the reference photo of the larval beetle offers this statement of caution for desert motorcycle enthusiasts who don’t wear helmets: “Being hit in the face by a beetle this size can be quite painful.” That’s probably an understatement; one flew into my head earlier this month and I wasn’t even coming toward it at 60 miles an hour and it still felt like being hit by a rock.

Anyway, I think these creatures are fascinating, and, for whatever reason, they don’t feel like cockroaches to me. My response to cockroaches is visceral and immediate; if one crosses my path, I feel compelled to smash it as if it’s a vicious, carnivorous alien (even though cockroaches are harmless, vegetarian, and have been around longer than humans). My response to giant palo verde beetles is, “Cool! It’s a giant bug!” And then I take a picture and send it to my nephew or something. He’s at a prime age to appreciate giant bugs.

My first script had the final panel as some snarky remark about how maybe these insects had it all figured out and maybe we’d be better off if we spent our childhood and adolescence underground and then had thirty days to mate before dying, leaving the next generation to figure things out on its own. Then I thought I’d go for a straight biology story, with only a little snark. Then I finished the artwork and thought the panels looked kind of blank, so I put the snark back in, in word balloon form. That’s why the text doesn’t quite fit the space.

Monsoon: Prayers for Rain

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Until you’ve known the pressure of summer one you can’t love the release of summer two.

Oh, god, I’m so pleased with this comic, especially the first and last panels, but also the sense of motion in the second panel. The guy in the third panel could look more oppressed by the heat, but anyway I drew this without any help from Photoshop or the digital tablet. Just pencil, paper, and a ruler (OK and some reference photos) (OK I fixed a few lines in Photoshop after I scanned it because I’d already lost my eraser). Somehow, just sitting down and committing to doing it is the hardest part, yet, it didn’t take me any longer than it would have had I used the computer, and I’m still happier than I’ve been with the more polished stuff you get with more advanced tools. The drawing part start to finish took about an hour. I never know how long it takes me to write things. My lettering probably needs work.

It’s monsoon in Tucson, and it rained intermittently all day, which is lovely and refreshing and also kind of heavy and bittersweet. The Girl, who is now a full-fledged teenager, said she had been wishing for a full day of rain. Can you even wholly appreciate the beauty of a rainy day until you’ve been a teenage girl?

Hold on Loosely, but Don’t Let Go

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Sorry about that shady looking butterfly. I was on a schedule.

Thinking about this lately. There are people who make a deep dent in your heart while they occupy it, and you can’t buff it out when they go. I guess I’m fortunate to only have a few people like that; with one or two exceptions, I’m still friends with everyone I’ve ever dated or hooked up with, although sometimes it takes a while to get past the hurt and rekindle a friendship. I don’t burn bridges. I don’t hold grudges (too much).

I still have those size 4 jeans. Damn, my ass looked good in them, for the 15 minutes of my adult life I wore a size 4. Unless American really does descend into anarchy and there’s no food and I end up in a camp for dissidents, I do not anticipate ever stuffing myself into them again, but some small part of me still holds out hope. The pot did get tossed, although not without a lot of anxiety. Like, I took a photograph of it, and I had to squelch the urge to go rescue it for the next couple hours. Fortunately, we left town so I didn’t have an opportunity to grab a broken pot (which was old when I acquired it second-hand in 1992). A lot of memories in that pot.

So, if that’s how I feel about a busted, perma-scorched, avocado-green pot with 2 broken handles and all the teflon scratched off, you can imagine my difficulty releasing people from my life. I love hard and deep. I’m like the puzzle box from the Hellraiser movies. It takes a while for me to let people in, but I never voluntarily let them out again.