Wrong on the Internet

Despite my best efforts, wrong people continue to be wrong on the internet.

This is a little comic I scribbled on an envelope last summer, but I was too busy with volume 4 of Bonnie Jo Campbell Comics and the pandemic and a bunch of other life changes to clean it up and post it. I’ve thought about it a lot, though, and have, in fact, gotten much better about arguing with strangers online. For the most part, I can walk away from a clearly pointless discussion with an obvious troll or someone who lacks the intellectual capacity to understand the subject at hand or isn’t going to change their mind despite an abundance of evidence disproving their belief. It’s made my life better.

But that doesn’t mean that I don’t get caught up in those stupid arguments from time to time, especially on Reddit, which isn’t so bad because it’s obviously all strangers, but sometimes on Facebook, which really isn’t great, because there’s a good chance that I’m fighting with someone I know and possibly like, or at least someone that knows the people I know and like.

So it happened again this week: a person I know, with whom I spent WAY TOO MUCH TIME last summer trying to explain systemic racism and Black Lives Matter at their request (not that the amount of time I spent was excessive in light of the subject matter and its importance, but it was too much time to spend trying to explain things to someone who didn’t want to learn, but rather to have his opinion validated), posted some incredibly ignorant and hateful things about rights for transgendered people and I started to get into it. Eventually I remembered this comic and my promise to myself, for my own mental health, to stop getting into these arguments. I walked away. The information he needed is widely available online, for those who care about human rights. There was no point in wasting my time explaining.

Today that same person posted some very horrifying remarks about reproductive rights, and I opted not to get involved.

I comfort myself with constant reminders that conservatives are het up because they don’t want enlightenment. They’ve been taught that progress is the work of the devil and that thinking about equality could actually damn their mortal souls, that progressives are in thrall of Satan and that true education is a tool of evil. It’s weird to think that people have been trying to make this world better for hundreds of years, and a bunch of very powerful and stubborn institutions are out there actively working to stymie any action that could lead to people being happier in this world. Obviously, people don’t need the promise of the next world if things are nicer here.

I also comfort myself with constant reminders that enlightenment is happening anyway, that Black lives do matter, that trans people are valid, and that even if some nutjobs make it harder for women to control their reproductive capacities, the world has come too far. We’re never going back. No matter how many hateful laws get passed, we’re not going back.

But I still need to add: if you have a lot of negative beliefs about, say, Black people or trans people, and you don’t really know any Black people or trans people, you might consider educating yourself before you draw (and post) any conclusions based on your nonexistent knowledge. And you might also consider that if people are willing to do vast amounts of emotional labor on your behalf to help you understand a subject, they might have reasons for their point of view that you have yet to understand.

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His Lips Are Moving

If you can’t see it, it isn’t happening

I wasn’t planning on drawing today, but a bunch of people have been saying I should write political cartoons again, and this one just came to me this morning, and the whole thing will be meaningless in 24 hours, and the Rabbit said I should, so I dashed it off in record time.

I do want to get better at drawing caricatures, and this guy is too easy to lampoon, but looking at his cruel face and that mean little butthole of a mouth is unpleasant. He’s a bad man. These are bad times. Just saying no to lying fascists is only step one of the solution.

Courage!

I didn’t put a mask on the lion because lions don’t wear masks.

Well, all things must come to an end, and that includes the waking nightmare that was summer of 2020, and now children are heading back to school in whatever ridiculous configurations are necessary to educate the populace without killing it. In this district, there will be distance learning, with teachers teaching from their homes and children learning in theirs (except for a small number of economically disadvantaged children who will be distance learning in one big, happy, k-12 classroom, with a single aide to watch over them).

I made this bulletin board for those unfortunate souls who do have to be in the building 5 days a week.

The lettering is based on the free font Andhibath Demo. The lion face is based on a stuffed animal my aunt gave me 40 years ago.

You Are the Pilot of Your Journey

I will concede that a person could *own* too many books (in relation to the size of the space in which they have to store books) but I fail to understand how anyone could possibly *know* too many books. In my opinion, most people don’t know enough books.

Some time ago (April, 2019, according to the date on the original file), Professor Gwen Tarbox asked me to comic-ize this Facebook status written by Professor Patricia Jabbeh Wesley. I previously comic-ized another of Professor Wesley’s Facebook statuses—I don’t think she can help writing poetry, even on Facebook—and I readily agreed. And then I made the file size too big (I think) and the drawings too complicated and it was taking hours and hours and I was working from these really old and not necessarily focused photographs and I just sort of…gave up?

My life was really complicated around that time and it’s only just sort of settling (obviously, few of us are really settled in this pandemic, but I guess we’re adjusting to the new normal) and Patricia Jabbeh Wesley recently published a new book of poetry, Praise Song for My Children. I haven’t read it yet, but I did acquire a copy (persuaded my public library system to buy it) and it’s the next thing I’m going to read. (I’ll link to my review and to Amazon after I read it for people who want to know more/buy their own.) Anyway, having the book in my hands (combined with the fact of pandemic) reminded me that there was this half-finished comic. And it still took like 3 more hours to finish. It’s way too much detail for a comic, and I don’t think most readers will even be able to zoom in (but trust me…too much detail for the format) but I guess that makes it exceptionally beautiful.

I do want to publish more comics. Probably not in this style. I’d like to develop a more cartoony one that takes less time.

If I was in the Patricia Jabbeh Wesley business (the way I’ve been in the Bonnie Jo Campbell business) there could be no end to these. There’s a lot of material. This wouldn’t even be one of the posts I would have chosen myself, although it’s got some good stuff in it. This guy thinks that shaving your eyebrows makes you beautiful? Not to mention the part where she’s been married for decades and has adult children…what makes random dudes think that women care about their opinion of their appearance?

I must also add that my eyebrows are just as bushy as Professor Wesley’s. Possibly moreso. However, I am also married and my husband has never spoken of my eyebrows to me. I assume he likes them.

Maybe this is playful banter and I miss some of the subtext but this guy doesn’t actually sound like a friend to me. Professor Wesley’s retort reminds me of the lady telling Winston Churchill that if he were her husband she’d serve him poison and Churchill replying, “If you were my wife, I’d drink it.” And then, hilariously, his comeback is that she’s too smart and knows too much? How is that an insult? I’m guessing she is proud of the number of books she’s read and the level of education she’s achieved (I met her in grad school: she was finishing up her PhD when I was working on my master’s). I don’t know anyone who cries when you call them smart. The only thing people like that cry about in regard to their educational level is their student debt.

Anyway, comic.

Three Saguaros: Father’s Day in the Desert

The real desert shinier and pricklier.

Wow, it’s been so long since I’ve posted something here that WordPress actually logged me out of the site. That never happens.

I have made some art, but most of it was for a book that hasn’t been published yet and the editors asked me not to share it yet. But also, the world is on fire (here in Arizona literally, and figuratively everywhere else) and it’s hard to focus. I’ve been reading a lot.

This card is for my father, who loves cactus, for Father’s Day. By the time this page is published, I’ll have given it to him in a socially distant way. Happy Father’s Day, Dad!

Spinning My Wheels

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Right about now I wouldn’t mind pricking my finger and sleeping for 100 years.

Another card. For some reason, I had the worst trouble getting the colors to photograph properly. This version is close but still not precisely how it’s meant to look (should be brighter). Anyway, I made this card for a nurse who likes to spin and likes the color chartreuse. That’s the whole story.

Sadly, I am not, as of yet, one of those people who has used the pandemic to inspire a vast body of new work. I did some crayon drawing last night that amused me but nothing super internet-ready. Not only is this stupid virus wrecking my social life, it’s also making my daily life extra difficult because I just bought a new house and moving in has become ridiculously complicated. Like, I ordered a refrigerator off the internet, and was just informed that they’re going to deliver it Friday, but they can’t bring it in the house or install it. They’re going to leave the refrigerator in the yard.

If you do not know, I am very small for a human. If I were much smaller, I would be anomalously small. Nobody would look at me and think, “That person could move a refrigerator.”

This week I’ll be sequestering myself away to start Bonnie Jo Campbell Comics volume 4 but I won’t be able to share any of it on this blog because this one will be published in a larger volume of (text based) literary criticism. It’s kind of exciting, except that I won’t make any money off this one. I will likely be the only person in the anthology who doesn’t have a PhD in literature and doesn’t teach it at the university level and doesn’t need to publish in order to maintain my academic credentials. Everything’s different for academics. But I really wanted to be in this book! And it’s flattering that they asked me. So I’m doing it.

After I do that, I’ll really have to start thinking about how I can use my skills and talents to support myself.

Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts

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What a conveniently placed rock!

This card is from my stepdaughter’s birthday a couple weeks ago, before the end of the civilization as we know it. It’s fanart from a newish Netflix cartoon called Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts, about a post-apocalyptic Earth where most of humanity lives in underground burrows because the surface is rules by mutant animals. If you are trapped in your own home and enjoy that sort of thing, I highly recommend it.

It’s the Time of the Valen!

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It’s the purest form of love there is: the love between a baby dragon and its parent.

Happy Valentine’s Day, whether you hate people or not.

I am trying to love people.

This was a pretty simple piece. I used Sharpie for the black parts (excluding the eyes), which saves a lot of time. I sort of wanted to make the chest part rainbow, but I also sort of wanted to go home, and home won. From a technical perspective it’s not one of my most amazing boards, but from an aesthetic point of view (particularly the aesthetic point of view of an elementary school student) it’s a raging success.

As I adding the stapled details some third graders came to admire my work and asked me what the dragons’ names were. I told them to feel free to name the dragons themselves.

One girl said, “The baby’s name is Shadow.”

So her friend decided, “The big dragon is Midnight.”

Shadow and Midnight. Names that work equally well for black cats as red dragons, apparently.

Peach Love

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Hints of Eric Carle in this peach

I’m not really allowed to discuss what this card means just yet. Perhaps I can come back later and elaborate. But I made this delicious peach card: it’s a peach, and a heart, and a star. Tissue paper, butcher paper, matte medium, on medium card stock. I love how the colors on the peach came out. It gives me a lot of ideas for using these materials to create other cool colors and textures.

A Red Fox Card

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Happy birthday, dear Foxy…

This was a fox card, for the Fox, obviously. One thing and another, I didn’t actually see him on his birthday because he was busy with Otter stuff, and then I ended up looking at this piece all week and seeing all these little mistakes I wanted to fix, but he loved it, so it’s good, I suppose. Except for the 5000 times my terrible cat knocked it onto the floor; that part was less good.

Tissue paper, butcher paper, matte medium, on heavy cardstock.