I don’t have proof that the pen is mightier than the sword, but I do know the pen is the only weapon I know how to wield proficiently.
There used to be this old joke about how writers, like squids, released vast clouds of ink when threatened, but, in the way of rotary phones and cursive handwriting, the idea that writing is linked to ink will fade from the collective conscious. Is there an animal that released warning flashes of light? Everything is pixels. Anyway, I’ve always done this, whether I felt that danger was imminent or not. Creation is a compulsion.
But I do feel threatened. The news reads like an episode of Black Mirror. And not the “San Junipero” one.
Ms. Kitty reminded me that making snarky webcomics is an action. Maybe not on the level of Nazi-punching, but better than rolling over and pulling the covers over my head. In fact, I’m not hiding anymore. By and large, I’m fully exposed. Kind of a risky strategy, but I feel like I can stick my neck out a little more if it seems to be helping others.
I think we’re all gonna need to put some hot sauce in our bag, swag. This is not my typical M.O., being more of a hide-beneath-the-covers and hope-it-all-goes away type. That Desmond Tutu book has, unfortunately not granted me as much serenity as I’d hoped. But maybe this prayer/affirmation will guide me through whatever monstrosities rear their heads in the near future.
Anyway, even if I can’t move into the paradigm shift into insanity known as America, 2017 powered by a fighting spirit, at least my alter-ego can bust some windows. Metaphorically speaking. Dragon does not advocate destruction of property. Although the people of Prague figured out a more humiliating window-based protest, which is to throw people out of them: defenestration. Isn’t that both terribly and poetic?
Any measure of serenity, courage, and wisdom that can be summoned should be summoned. Let’s get in formation.
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.
This comic has not featured dragon breathing fire on things in a while. PHWOOMPSH! Monsters burn pretty well. I realized just now that the monsters all should have had axe marks in their heads as per panel 4 in yesterday’s comic, but it’s after midnight and there are some issues with my drawing hand tonight.
I wonder if demonic fire is toxic. Maybe it’s not a good idea to roast marshmallows in it. Burning marshmallows are actually pretty dangerous to begin with. Apparently, they function something like napalm if you set them ablaze and they slather them across someone’s bare flesh.
The Man would probably still eat them, burning monster poison or not.
One fun thing about the tablet: it offers you a million ways to draw flames and they mostly all look good.
Normally, I don’t feel good about killing things. Once I smashed a cockroach shortly after hearing some Buddhist lecture about how every living creature is a reincarnation of your mother and it almost made me cry. But some things are disgusting to begin with and intolerable once they get inside of your home. Some things need to be dispatched with extreme prejudice. But I still don’t like doing it, which is why it’s nice to have The Man around, because he’s much more efficient and confident about exterminating vermin.
You know how it goes. You get busy, you let the chores pile up, you step away for a couple days, and before you know it, everything’s gotten away from you and the cave is infested with buzzing, flying demons. Every single time. A dragon can’t get a moment’s peace. How are you supposed to create something beautiful in that environment? How will dragon escape this mess? Besides cleaning up, obviously.
I got so distracted I forgot I was too distracted to work.
What’s really funny about this is that The Man could no more ride a unicycle or juggle clubs than I could program a CMM machine or pass the real estate exam. However, he is excellent at providing distractions, and he was very distracting today.
The comics I’ve been drawing for the last 2 weeks have taken about 6 hours each, not counting rereading the stories and writing the first draft of the script, and I didn’t even start thinking that I might draw a comic today until 11 pm. And I definitely wasn’t feeling particularly serious. And the story that I was thinking about illustrating was personally serious.
Tomorrow I’ll be more focused. I actually don’t need a distraction.
And if you mess that one up, just turn over a new leaf and try once more.
Not much to say about this; been in a weird space but didn’t want to write more depressing comics. It’s more fun to play with your toys, sometimes. Dragons need to go on interior journeys. Dragons need to lay their burdens down and only carry magic. Dragons need some empty space. Dragons need to relax.
Although I’m still hacking up both lungs and weak as whey, today I budgeted my time better and managed to accomplish all my many important tasks before midnight. The Vampire Bat, who is the last person in the world I expect motherly advice from, told me that I better slow down and take care of myself or it would get worse (#mom) but things are just too busy to slow down.
Tomorrow I’ll only do writing tasks and not strain anything. Maybe consume that soup and hot tea that would have served me best 3 days ago.
Maybe fold a couple paper cranes.
I was reading 2 articles in The Atlantic today. Once was about the role that luck plays in the course of most successful people’s lives, and the fact that the more anyone achieves, the less they dwell on the fortunate circumstances that helped them reach that point. The other was about determination, and the way people tend to underestimate the value of plugging along doggedly, even in the face of failure or potential humiliation.
In other words, work hard and count your blessings.
For a while, I used to write gratitudes: pick 3 things daily for which to be consciously grateful. It really does help.
To start at the beginning, I am grateful that I (1) had the incredible good luck to be born into prosperity. Almost anyone born in America has an advantage, and my advantage was greater than most people’s, even in this country. For example, if we’re counting advantages that have a huge bearing on the relative difficulty of ones life, we should offer gratitude for (2) being born with light skin. It’s such an arbitrary way to judge human potential, but people do judge, and succeeding in America is always easier the less melanin you display in your complexion. And if that isn’t weird enough, I’ll also feel grateful for that fact that I can (3) pass as cis-bodied and heteronormative with minimal effort and only a moderate degree of emotional distress. Some people die because they’re unable to do that. So, I’m truly incredibly fortunate. Probably in the top 10% of fortunate people.
It’s a lot of luck for one dragon to have. So all that’s left is to work hard.