Monthly Archives: May 2017

Gratitude: The Public Library

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Pima County Public Library, Martha Cooper branch (Garden District), rear view

Can you believe that there are otherwise sensible people who don’t “believe” in public libraries? Yeah, this seems crazy to me, too, but these people exist. They use arguments like, “I can get any book I want on the internet” and “Google is faster for research.” Never mind that fact that some people can’t get any book on the internet, because, just like the people for whom public libraries were originally constructed, they can’t afford that technology. Never mind the fact that search engines prize popularity over objectivity and readability over depth, delivering so many fast results that you could spend the rest of your life sifting through all 1.58 million of them, without necessarily finding the results you needed. Besides the primacy of facilities available to anyone who wants them, staffed by professionals trained to discover, curate, and deliver reliable content, libraries serve as public meeting spaces, classrooms, clubs for nerdy kids, safe spaces for those with terrible homes, and temples to knowledge. Many people couldn’t get jobs, or tax information, or any one of hundreds of things most of us take for granted, if they didn’t have access to library computers. As more and more common functions become more online (typically making them more difficult to access in meatspace) libraries allow those without computers to simply participate in their own culture.

My property taxes are somewhat itemized, so I can see that, last year, I paid $50 toward these services. That’s $50 for 1 year. I pay more than that for one month of internet service at my house. And you can have all the internet you want at the library. Even when it’s closed; in my town, library networks are strong enough that you can park your car in the street near the library and get online. That’s on top of all the other things you get inside the library when it’s open. And that $50 doesn’t just get my family and me through the door. It helps keep the doors open for everyone.

If you want to stand up and say that you don’t believe in libraries because you think a certain percentage of the population shouldn’t have access to information, good luck with that argument. Obviously, there are people who will wholeheartedly agree with you, but I assume these are the same people who don’t believe in public roads, or public police forces, or public fire departments. At this point in human history, access to information should be considered a human right, like clean air and fresh water, but, of course, there are people who don’t want you to have those things either. And if they can keep you out of the library, you might not even know that you have a right to those things.

So, all hail the public library. I am grateful that you continue to serve as a sacred hall of knowledge available to all who seek it.

Dragon Comics 161

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This gag is moving in several dimensions.

Wow, a comic finished before midnight? This one was pretty easy, obviously. They’ll get a bit more visually complex, presently. The kids’ custody schedule got flipped for the week and I somehow scheduled 3 times as many social engagements as I would in a normal 7-day period, so my entire groove has been disrupted. Fortunately, it was possible to write 8 comic scripts at the Fox’s on Tuesday, so at least the words are already taken care of for a while longer.

Have a great weekend. Dragon out.

Dragon Comics 160

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This is why people are typically apprehensive about inviting others into their unfettered imagination.

Speaking of pressure, my neck is jacked. Every time it seems to have popped back into place, it pops out again. Anyway, after yesterday’s marathon 5 hours of drawing benthic creatures, I opted for this simpler concept, which reminds me of some of my earlier Dragon Comics, like the one where I “broke” the 4th wall, or the ones where Dragon just manifests hilarious things solely for comic purpose, because anything can happen in this medium. Still took me an hour.

Dragon Comics 159

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I hope you packed a harpoon gun, just in case they do release the kraken.

This is me: Let’s spend about an hour or so drawing a very simple comic tonight so there’s time to work on other projects before bed. This is also me: Let’s draw rainbow-colored nudibranchs. I hope the 5 hours I spent on this (wait, what? how?) was worth it. My hand hurts. Nudibranchs are the best though. Some of the most colorful organisms on earth, and they have no sensory organs that perceive color.

There was supposed to be one tentacle in panel 1, maybe reaching out for The Man’s head or Dragon’s bindle of holding or something like that, but this comic got quickly out of hand.

It really didn’t feel like 5 hours but the clock says it’s almost 3 a.m., and Netflix played 2 entire films while I drew.

At least I don’t have to get up in the morning. Yesterday I woke up 5 minutes before I was supposed to read to kindergarteners 3 miles away. Miraculously, I was only 10 minutes late, but I was busy the entire day without rest. It’s probably time to stop blogging now.

Gratitude: Solitude

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Today was a weird day. This is a weird picture. 

The picture and the title don’t really go together, except inasmuch as you can see the corner of my office—bookcase and window—reflected in the eye, and my office is where I most often enjoy my solitude.

Some people have difficulty being alone, and some people have difficulty not being alone. I can cheerfully spend entire days without human company; it takes at least 3 or 4 hours of solitude a day to recharge my batteries. It takes a while to really settle into that quiet place, so I’m grateful for solitude.

This lovely blue eye belongs to my friend Scotty, who always shares my blog posts. I still don’t know how you light a person’s eyeball so you can really see all the detail of the iris in a macro image.