Paradoxes of Childhood #127

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Dirt is relative. Stink lines are definite.

The first comic since I got this new computer, and it’s drawn in pencil. In hindsight, it would have worked better in the other style. Maybe the funny ones should be digital and the serious ones in pencil? I’ve been drawing webcomics for over 4 years now (four years!) and I’m still working this stuff out.

Anyway, this one, obviously, is based on a true story that I hear pretty much every day. You know how I know if the dishwasher is clean or dirty? I look at it. Then I use my powers of perception, primarily sight, but also smell to some extent, to determine whether or not the dishes therein are soiled with food particles. The same skill you use to determine that 1 part per octillion of your fork tine hosts a speck of foreign matter, except what I’m looking at is discernible with the naked eye.

This one harkens back to Superhuman Abilities Endemic to Childhood, except this is like a subhuman ability. Kids, amirite?

I should also add that I am speaking on 7 (seven!) panels at Tucson Comicon. One of the panels will actually be about comics. (The other 6 will not. The con’s tag line is “Pop culture for all!”) I am a bit apprehensive about the comic discussion: it’s the only one that I’ll deliver on my own, plus the time slot is not desirable. It’s just when the con really kicks off, early Friday evening, and last year I did another panel in that slot, which happened to be during the first big-name guest’s autograph session. What I mean to say is, nobody came to our panel, because everyone went to meet Billy Dee Williams. True story. Actually, one guy came: the official con photographer. He thought Billy Dee Williams’s people were being dicks, and he was cool enough not to mention the fact that we gave a 50-minute presentation to a empty room, and he told us a funny story about how Stan Lee owes him a beer, and he took this picture of us, which the con is using for publicity on social media.

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The Future Is Non Binary in the Wild

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You must provide your own attitude. Come on, you can do it. 

Here’s the world famous Ms. Kitty modeling my “The Future Is Non Binary and Intersectional” shirt at the world famous Tucson Bartending Academy, where I presume she is about to earn a degree in mixology. It really looks like a bar, but it turns out all those bottles are full of water and food coloring. The fruit is all plastic. She mixed me about 25 drinks in an hour but I left feeling very thirsty.

Anyway, this shirt! It looks good. You have to get it in black. The tiny spaceship is adorable. Also available as a sticker, a travel mug, a wall clock, a notebook, and much much more. Check out this design in my RedBubble shop.

Get Well Soon

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I regret nothing.

My ridiculous heath issues have put a damper on my creative activities of late, but I have a friend whose health issues are much more serious; she had major surgery today and I decided to make her this card. Get well soon. You know.

Recently I decided that I should stop hoarding paper and just try to use it all to make art. I also have some papier-mâché I might post later, but the projects I have in mind are more complicated than just slapping colors on a balloon, and I’ve only done the preliminary steps.

As always, I see a million ways this could be a better image, but I’m only at about 50% capacity lately, so just being able to work at all was a coup.

Back to School 2018: Lions Launching!

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“Launching” and “stellar” are probably big vocabulary words for a sizable portion of my intended audience, but they’re coming to learn, right?

I’m on a roll with these retro rocket ships!

When I first started doing bulletin boards I never wanted for inspiration; there was always some big idea that I couldn’t wait to try, but now that I’ve been at it 9 years (NINE YEARS!) (averaging 5 or 6 a year, so let’s say about 50 total) and I hate the idea of repeating myself, at least in the same forum, sometimes I have to reach a bit for new material.

The school where I volunteer starts up Thursday, so I had to cram this into my schedule (Tuesday night was the big back-to-school, sign-up-for-the-PTA, eat popcorn and wander around the campus open house, and I managed to get the bulk of the work finished before the school was deluged with parents and kids) not knowing what the plan was, but once I got there I remembered how much fun I had drawing the retro rocket for my “The Future is Non Binary and Intersectional” T-shirt, and once I had that idea, the rest of it fell into place. The rocket and the lion cubs and the paw print and the flames were easy to design: a lot of these elements were ones I had worked with before and the Girl helped me on the first day. She’s really good at peeling excess rubber cement off things.

Then I went back the next day and did the lettering. Something was clearly disconnected in my brain because I measured the space available, calculated how big each letter could be, and then completely disregarded my own calculations and made each letter about 5 centimeters too wide. Thus the bizarre/organic spacing. My original plan was to cut out some of the text that ended up in the word bubble, but the families were already there and it’s a lot of letters that wouldn’t have fit anyway and I decided to just hand ink it and slap it on as a word balloon, which took 5 minutes, versus the 2 hours sketching and cutting would have taken.

The principal loved it. All the teachers loved it. Someone called me “faithful.” As I was leaving the school, I saw a parent taking a photo of my bulletin board! Also a kid trying to read it out loud who clearly didn’t know the words “launching” or “stellar.” Success!

The Future is Non Binary and Intersectional

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Featuring one of the most charming retro style rocket ships I’ve ever drawn.

This rainbow colored design took up most of my drawing time this week. I’m the kind of person who could easily spend another week tinkering with it but I’m also the kind of person who can let it go. It’s cute and it gets the message across. “The Future is Non Binary and Intersectional.” I prefer “nonbinary” spelled as one word, actually, but this is how it went up in the shop.

The main thing is that I’m sick of people using erroneous binary assumptions to tell other people (me) how to dress, act, think, talk, or fit into society. Open your freaking mind.

You can get this design on 56 different products including T-shirts, hoodies, stickers, and pillows, in my RedBubble shop.

Requiem for a Machine

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That damn cat, though. Seriously.

ItsI amazing that I managed to log in to this account on my phone in the first try. It took 2 days to remember my Reddit password and I still haven’t gotten into Twitter. Guess I’ll buy a new laptop tomorrow, but I’m not happy about it. Also not happy about blogging on my phone. After 3 days of sliding around a 1.5″ x 2.5″ keyboard, it’s time to concede defeat. I gotta have a real machine.

More Monsoon Comics: Giant Bug Edition

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For some reason, some people don’t appreciate the beauty of a giant beetle flying into things and dying tragically in your swimming pool filter.

The ASDM webpage on which I found the reference photo of the larval beetle offers this statement of caution for desert motorcycle enthusiasts who don’t wear helmets: “Being hit in the face by a beetle this size can be quite painful.” That’s probably an understatement; one flew into my head earlier this month and I wasn’t even coming toward it at 60 miles an hour and it still felt like being hit by a rock.

Anyway, I think these creatures are fascinating, and, for whatever reason, they don’t feel like cockroaches to me. My response to cockroaches is visceral and immediate; if one crosses my path, I feel compelled to smash it as if it’s a vicious, carnivorous alien (even though cockroaches are harmless, vegetarian, and have been around longer than humans). My response to giant palo verde beetles is, “Cool! It’s a giant bug!” And then I take a picture and send it to my nephew or something. He’s at a prime age to appreciate giant bugs.

My first script had the final panel as some snarky remark about how maybe these insects had it all figured out and maybe we’d be better off if we spent our childhood and adolescence underground and then had thirty days to mate before dying, leaving the next generation to figure things out on its own. Then I thought I’d go for a straight biology story, with only a little snark. Then I finished the artwork and thought the panels looked kind of blank, so I put the snark back in, in word balloon form. That’s why the text doesn’t quite fit the space.