Dragon Comics 163

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Man, I’ve got to get myself a bindle of holding.

Whether you’re camping in Death Valley, on a road trip through the midwest, or trekking across a mystical symbolic landscape, there is rarely any excuse to eat poorly. Anyone who’s ever camped in Death Valley, taken a road trip through the midwest, or trekked across a mystical symbolic landscape with me can attest to this fact. Back when I used to get on airplanes, I would have flight attendants salivating over my packed lunches.

Whatever is going on with legs in panel 4, I’m blaming on this colossal headache that erupted a quarter of the way through drawing this comic. I don’t ever really remember drawing it. But by the bottom of panel 4 I couldn’t really think about what legs looked like. The Man is missing a foot and Dragon is doing some kind of interdimensional yoga.

It is what it is. And it is 2 a.m.

Dragon Comics 162

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Light as a feather, thick as a brick.

You’ll have to take my word for it that all those background feathers looked way more amazing without the rest of the comic. But you get the pictures. Those are feathers. Everything is floating after getting through the great pressure of the molten core in comic 161. Mmm…allegory. These feathers took way too long to draw. Dragon flying was fun. The Man looks comfortable, but he usually does.

Pastrami on Pumpernickel Rye Swirl with a Dill Pickle

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Probably could have added a little paper fancy toothpick, but this sandwich is glued together and unlikely to fall apart.

Last week I attended a retirement party for a woman who’s worked at the school where I do bulletins boards since the Reagan administration or something. Like pretty much every educational administrative assistant I’ve ever met, she liked to project a gruff and unyielding persona, covering up her sweet side to prevent people from bothering her unnecessarily, but really, she’s very nice. She used to live in the town where spent my uncomfortable adolescence, and always wanted to reminisce about this particular diner, which my mother told me has long since closed.

She recalled, rapturously, the sandwiches at this place, but my memories are quite different, and I only have one. I never actually ate there; there was a cheaper and better deli closer to my house, but one day, my friend the Vampire Bat took me there. We were in high school and she had a crush on a busboy who worked there. We went in around 3 pm, when there were few customers. The busboy apparently had a crush back, because he greeted her effusively, sat us at a table, and, at her request, brought us ice water, pickles, bread, and butter. No sooner had we laid in to our ill-gotten feast than the manager noticed that we were not paying customers, but freeloaders dirtying a table and distracting the busboy, and promptly threw us out. This was one of many establishments from which the Vampire Bat got us ejected when we were in high school.

To celebrate the AA’s retirement, I painstakingly crafted a paper pastrami sandwich on pumpernickel rye swirl with a Kosher dill pickle. She was appreciative. I’ll probably get this design in my RedBubble store.

 

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.