Monthly Archives: November 2016

Dragon Comics 146

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Did you want me to call you a pizza? OK, you’re a pizza.

Originally, the artwork on this comic was much better, but all my electronics have been conspiring to drive me insane lately. I thought it was just a fluke, or my imagination. I had an incident a couple months back where 1600 words just disappeared from a text file I was working on. Maybe I forgot to save it, and then Word crashed, and I didn’t notice, but that seemed kind of unlikely. I always save. And even in Word crashes you don’t lost everything. But I let it pass. And there were a couple similar, but smaller, issues, I dismissed.

Tonight, I worked on the art for about an hour, then went to cuddle The Man. My work was still there when I sat down. Then I checked 1 thing on the internet, and when I came back, it was gone. The app had closed on its own and when I opened it the original text remained, but not the corrections I had done today, or the art. Then I looked and noticed that the art for yesterday’s comic had also disappeared. The PNG file I uploaded remained, but the original PSD was gone. It was like my computer had just reset to 24 hours earlier.

I’m perplexed. I almost gave up but decided just to bang it out anyway. Not my best work. Not like I would do my best work after 2 days of hard driving: Chicago to Little Rock and Little Rock to San Antonio. We are just eating up the map. The same way my computer is eating up my work.

Dragon Comics 145

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It’s good to have friends who can tell it like it is. 

Of course I recognize that the world is a vale of sorrows with or without my existence. Most likely, 1 dragon alone doesn’t have much of an effect on the overall level of misery experienced by the average earth creature. Still, why should l’esprit de l’escalier impact my ability to think of the right thing to do in the moment? Ms. Kitty tried to tell me it was all right, but this happens all the time. I’m not the dragon of action I could be.

I’ve been out of my comfort zone for 2 weeks now. It’s good but also anxiety provoking.

Jazzy Mandala

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Jazz with some electric blues thrown in. 

At first glance, it looks pretty even, but of course it’s not. Pieces bulge and bunch and stretch and skew, but they do so in aid of maintaining the illusion of symmetry and balance.

Like my life.

It feels like some Dragon Comics coming on, maybe more of the slightly serious ones. This trip has offered a lot of time to think. Also, I should try to carry a notebook around and write down comic ideas when I have them instead of having great ideas and believing that I’ll remember them again when it’s time to make a comic. That’s not been a great policy for me in middle age. Also, a stand-up comedian suggested that I should attend her comedy brainstorming sessions sometimes. I should do that. Currently, I have 6 monthly fiction-writing meet-ups. Could definitely add 1-2 comic writing events.

Special thanks to readers who bought my book or shopped my RedBubble shop. If you want to participate in Cyber Monday while supporting my work, you can use the coupon code GOGIFTGO to get 20% off of everything in my shop! And if you’d like to read a thrilling contemporary fantasy novel with elements of horror and romance, plus a strong female protagonist and an assortment of talking animals, you can purchase The Hermit on Amazon!

Not Bannon

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Every time I travel, I pack my computer, my tablet, and my camera bag, and then look wistfully at my flatbed scanner and wish it were a little more portable.

Welcome to a special Saturday edition of QvD. If you don’t know what this is all about, you can check out this Facebook event, or search “postcard avalanche.”

The general details are:

Join in and send a postcard directly to Trump! Here are the basic instructions to participate:

** IMPORTANT – Don’t mail your card until NOV. 26th **

1. Get a postcard from your state – any picture that represents your state.
2. In the message section, write this simple message: NOT BANNON!
3. Sign your name if you wish
4. Address it as follows:
Donald Trump
c/o The Trump Organization
725 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10022
5. Affix a stamp – you can use a 34 cent postcard stamp, or a normal letter stamp.
6. Take a picture of your postcard that you can share on social media on Nov. 26-28th
7. Drop it in the mail between Saturday, Nov 26th and Monday, Nov. 28th to create a concentrated avalanche of postcards.
8. On Nov. 26-28th, Tweet and share the heck out of your photo using the hashtags #postcardavalanche #stopbannon

Why “Not Bannon”?

Because this guy is an insidious enabler of the modern-day Nazi. This Mother Jones article sums it up nicely. Bannon may or may not be a racist himself, but his work has consistently empowered and normalized the racist community (for his own personal profit) and is probably responsible in part for the 2016 election results. Although I have not been a practicing Jew for a good quarter century, speaking as a person who was raised in a traditional Jewish household, I’m personally terrified about the possibility of American turning into the Fourth Reich. I think I’ve seen more swastikas in the weeks since the election than I did in an entire semester of Holocaust studies.

Don’t get me wrong; I don’t think Jews are even the primary target. Muslims, black people, trans people, queer folks, and recent immigrants are more at risk under this upcoming administration, in this weird political climate. But seriously, anti-semitism was a distant concept to me most of my life, and now it’s right out in the open all the time, all over the internet. That’s telling.

Anyway, since I’m spending the holiday in Illinois with my parents, I didn’t have any easy way to obtain an Arizona postcard, and since all the art supplies in my parents’ house are 25 years old, there wasn’t a wide variety to choose from. Basically, it was a can of broken crayons and a half dozen colored pencils. And I couldn’t get a really good photograph of it either. But I made an Arizona postcard in order to participate in this action. And it’s not too late for you to participate too. Just follow the instruction above and mail your postcard out Monday.

Winter Wonderland

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These colors exist in nature.

This is my first experiment with filters; I didn’t actually do the work in Photoshop, but in the Photos app that comes with this Mac OS. There’s something very magical to me about this image, although I think I could improve it by giving the sky a blue cast. In reality, it was a gray, cloudy day when I took the original photo, and no amount of tinkering changed that. Maybe I should have cropped it?

The Chicago Botanic Garden has long been one of my top places in the world. I grew up just a few miles down the road and my parents always had a membership, so I spent a lot of time there as a child. This is the Japanese Garden, Sansho-En. I consider it unique among gardens in that it is equally beautiful and interesting regardless of the season. Even in the dead of winter, even under many inches of snow, it still retains a quality of life that always inspired me, even in the deepest throes of Seasonal Affective Disorder.

One of the main reasons I moved to Arizona was that autumn and winter in the midwest were draining my life force, physically and emotionally. The changing of the leaves, the fading of the green, filled me with great sadness. But at Sansho-En, these things did not happen. It is always colorful. It never looks dead.

Fifth Wedding Anniversary: Wood

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OK, let’s go back and unpack that statement. Or unshell it. 

I wanted to draw a matryoshka comic for weeks, every since I saw a comic where a matryoshka doll is trying to get into the movie theater and the dude at the concession stand asks her if she’s sure she only needs 1 ticket. This one came to me while I was looking at such a doll on my mom’s tchotchke shelf: first the “full of herself” line, then the realizing that she needed a spouse who was also made of wood and some kind of doll. Well, of course a nutcracker. They’re both Russian, right? And they both have similarly wooden personalities. The exact wording took a while; I changed it 2 or 3 times, before and after drawing the image.

From where I sit, this marriage is over. They don’t respect each other anymore. Check out dude’s body language. They can’t even make eye contact.

Just gonna keep drawing marital counseling comics until the New Yorker calls me.

That’s all there is to say about this one, because I ate cheap Chinese food and I have a massive msg headache. But it’s so great to have the ability to sit down and create a complete comic in an hour. When I started, it usually took 4.

After some initial confusion, my book is definitely available in paperback. Click this Amazon link!

 

My Book Is Not about Dead Trees

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DON’T CLICK ON THAT LINK! IT’S NOT A REAL LINK! IT’S JUST A SCREEN SHOT!

Someone thought I wrote a book about dead trees. But it’s not about dead trees. It’s printed on dead trees! Big difference.

That’s right, The Hermit is a paperback now. I certainly hope that the legions of people who told me they really, really, really wanted to read my book but they really, really, really couldn’t read it digitally will buy it. The ebook is $5 and the dead tree version is $15 but my margin is about the same on either one.

Do you want my dead tree book? You can buy it by clicking on this sentence.

I’m terrible at marketing, but, with much difficulty, I did manage to send out an email blast. The Man will do some more specific marketing of the book when we get back from Thanksgiving, but for now, I sent out this broader email, which sort of outlines all the ways a person could help my career simply by clicking links on the internet. It’s great if people buy things, but they can help out even without spending money. This is what I sent:

Let’s face it: I am hilarious. And talented. And deserving.

If you disagree, go ahead and click on something more stimulating.

If you believe that my work does not suck and that the world would be a better/prettier/more exciting place with more Monica, then I hope you don’t mind taking 5 minutes out of your life to give me a little boost, keeping in mind that I’m a person who rarely asks for help and who has never sent a mass email blast, and this probably makes me more uncomfortable than it makes you.

How can you help Monica? The possibilities are myriad and varied.

For example, you could purchase my contemporary fantasy novel, The Hermit, in electronic or in its long-awaited paperback format.

Have you checked out either of my QWERTYvsDvorak sites?

On QWERTYvsDvorak.com you can enjoy out a visual history of my artwork, including the increasing popular Dragon Comics, which are apparently pretty funny, and even funnier if you already know me.

On my RedBubble site, you can buy T-shirts, pillows, tote bags, travel mugs, art prints, cell phone cases, stickers, and numerous other useful and attractive household items featuring my original design.

Click around and you might see something that appeals to you. If you do, all I’m asking is that you share it with your social networks. Like a page on Facebook, or Tweet it on Twitter, add a heart on RedBubble, hurl it into the void on Ello or Google+ or Livejournal, or email it to your grandmother.  Of course, if you want to buy a hoodie, notebook, or coffee mug from my shop, I’ll be eternally grateful, but if I’m not selling anything you want or can afford, you can still help. Please take 5 minutes out of your life to help shove my work out into the universe and convince Google that my life has relevance. Every click, upvote, and repost counts.

Of course, if you don’t believe my life has relevance, feel free to delete this email.

Not sure where to start? Here are some of my more popular pages:

Comics (I’ve drawn hundreds!)

Funny: https://qwertyvsdvorak.com/2016/08/17/superkids/

Controversial: https://qwertyvsdvorak.com/2015/12/15/the-problem-with-symbols/

Political: https://qwertyvsdvorak.com/2016/02/02/2-ways-of-looking-at-socialism/

Sad: https://qwertyvsdvorak.com/2016/02/03/the-things-you-carry-a-comic-from-my-subconscious/

Designs  (I’ve got dozens! And most designs are available on most products!)

A T-shirt for kids who love My Little Pony and seahorses

Blue morpho butterfly notecards

Dress with a Rainbird design

Golden Barrel Cactus Flower duvet cover

Quick links for the technologically timid:

Click here to buy an electronic version of The Hermit on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Hermit-Monica-Friedman-ebook/dp/B01HAN68L4

Click here to buy a paperback copy of The Hermit: https://www.createspace.com/6729470

Click here to browse my RedBubble design portfolio: https://www.redbubble.com/people/QWERTYvsDVORAK/portfolio

Click here to read my blog:

https://qwertyvsdvorak.com/

If you don’t want any stuff, but do want to financially support a working artist, you can donate directly through my Patreon. Patreon is a site where patrons can directly support artists by making small monthly donations. Even as little as a dollar a month is welcome. Donate $15 more and you can receive a small token of my esteem.

Click here to donate directly to my Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/QWERTYvsDvorak

All the sites mentioned here are trusted, secure sites through which you can safely make payments.

If you would like to purchase a copy of my Bonnie Jo Campbell Mothers, Tell Your Daughters you can send $5 and your mailing address to my littledragonblue@gmail.com PayPal account.

Perhaps it’s just my biased opinion, but I happen to think that both the real-paper version of my novel, or any of the charming products in my RedBubble shop, would make spectacular Christmas, Hanukkah, birthday, unbirthday, or just because presents for all of your loved ones. Other people buying my work would certainly make a spectacular present for me.

In any case, I wish you a delightful, happy, and whimsical holiday season.

Rawr,

Monica

(Dragon)