Monthly Archives: August 2017

Priorities

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His second-to-last word were, “I don’t want to be a statistic.”

This is something from my sketchbook, the only comic of a million ideas that I had while drawing “Close Encounters of the ∞ Kind” that I actually recorded. It never got worked up because I was busy and it was dark. But, man, we are living in some dark times. I had a whole screed that I intended to publish here about how dark those times are, for me personally and for the world at large, but suddenly I’m not feeling it. A few weeks ago, a Facebook friend asked, “People with invisible disabilities, what do you wish other people understood about living with your chronic illness?” and I wrote, “I am literally doing the best I can.”

I am literally doing the best I can.

In case anyone was wondering, I finished all the art for Close Encounters; it took me about 8 months all told, working an average of maybe 20 hours a week for most of it. Linda loved it. Although it was meant to be ambiguous and mind-bending, beta readers seemed to find it a bit too ambiguous and mind-bending, so I’m adding just a bit more text. But honestly, its intention is to be something that the reader has to work at and at this point in my life whether or not an individual gets my art has little impact on my artistic process.

What bums me out: the artwork is about 1000 times better than what usually ends up in my webcomics, and it still bears about as much resemblance to the pictures in my head as a 5-year-old’s crayon drawing does to a portrait of their family, and to get it that good required an entire month to draw a single page. Granted, I learned a lot in the process and if I had to do it again, it might take only 4 or 5 months, but that’s still too slow for the kind of comics I want to produce. You need at least a page a week. At 4 pages a week, these webcomics are as good as it gets right now. It’s a conundrum.

Hopefully, I can announce the next comic book on the horizon pretty soon.

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Back to School, 2017-18

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What percentage of all elementary children will even understand what a chalkboard is? I don’t think this school even has any chalkboards.

Friday, Monday, and Tuesday, I went to school to put together this retro bulletin board. The original idea was to make it look like a smartboard on the right side and a chalkboard on the left, but they were out of white butcher paper. I had to use construction paper for the writing. The lettering is hand torn and the rest I cut out freehand with a scalpel. I hadn’t really figured out how to create the effect of a smartboard’s silver frame using the material at hand, and my time is limited anyway, so it’s best that the simpler concept prevailed.

This piece took a little more than 4 hours. I had my apprentice (the Girl) for the first time in a while, and that really helped it go faster. She’s tall enough to just reach the tip of the frame, and she’s a lot more patient and fastidious than I am, and there were tasks that she could do unsupervised that she could do just as well or better than me, like going back after the rubber cement dried to fix the places that hadn’t gotten sufficient adhesion, and then cleaning all the extra bits of rubber cement off the paper.

Other than that, I’ve been cleaning my office out, trying to get ride of a lot of material objects that no longer serve me, many of which I’ve been carrying for decades without ever using; setting up a floor desk, which I expect will be better for my back; and generally degunkifying the place, which I’ve occupied continuously for 7 1/2 years. I’m not quite ready to forsake all my material possessions, but a lot less clutter would be nice.

Will probably start posting more regularly soon, but possibly not 5 days a week. There many be another big project in the works. Maybe even 2!