Sometimes the journey inward is the scariest one of all. If there are things you’ve hidden from yourself, you can guarantee figuring them out will be an unpleasant experience. Speaking of unpleasant experiences, today I got a cortisone shot in my hand. The PA told me I probably shouldn’t draw tonight but obviously there’s no helping me. We’ll see.
According to Facebook, I was wrong, and some people did notice my lack of comics, but I guess they were all people who were too polite to say something about it. And I missed my comics. I miss expressing myself in a public forum where I can see that my words have been read by 100s, and sometimes 1000s of humans/sentient creatures trapped within humans. And the people who like my comics the most seem to prefer Dragon Comics to my better-illustrated work. I actually wrote a not-Dragon comic earlier in the week, but it will keep until Dragon works out some of Dragon’s issues.
The line about the kitty litter also went over very well on Facebook, where I used it, in a slightly different form, to describe what middle age could go do. Seriously, when you are still about 9 1/2 inside, it’s disconcerting to hear the words “shingles” and “astigmatism” from 2 different medical professionals in the same week. Also shingles medication is terrible. The pills are 800 milligrams and the side effects can also eat a bag of kitty litter. (Yeah, shingles are bad too.) I declined the prescription to correct the impending near-sightedness because I can still read books without issue, and I can barely afford prism lenses, let alone bifocals, and because I am in denial about this middle age thing.
Last night was a mini-insomnia night: I got enough sleep to access basic functions for part of the day. In the afternoon I worked on my Linda Addison project but by the time I started thinking about a comic there wasn’t much charge left in the battery. What little I actually drew of this comic seemed very difficult. Even typing it took a ridiculous amount of time. Tonight will be better.
The funny thing about taco trucks is that you can barely throw a rock around here without hitting one. So you wouldn’t really need directions. You would just need to pick one direction and walk 1d6 blocks, scanning the desert for a truck with a taco sign on it.
Seriously, how great must it be to achieve the level of greed and selfishness needed to be happy about American politics. I almost wish I had a billion dollars and no conscience, because it’s kind of a massive to burden to have feelings all the time and actually care about the world around me.
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.
This long-neck brontosaurus (I was delighted to read that “brontosaurus” is no longer considered a misidentification) is a friend of the Fox’s who often attended his writing parties. However, for various random reasons, for months and months we never managed to attend the same writing parties, and by the time we did meet, she was already planning to move out of state. And it takes me so long to really become friends with people. She is cool, but she is planning her going-away party.
It’s so weird that I live “out west” and yet people I meet here just keep managing to move farther west.
Thinking about tonight’s comic, and my new friend’s leave-taking, I remembered that she once told me if I ever drew her in a comic she thought she should be a dinosaur, that other people thought she looked like a dinosaur. Everyone agreed she should be depicted as a brontosaurus, so that’s pretty easy to draw.
It just occurred to me that a meeting/friendship between a dragon and a dinosaur is both natural and comical.
It’s not my holiday, and I’ve never understood it. For most of my life, Christmas comprised a glorious chunk of time in which everybody left me alone long enough to focus on whatever consumed me in that moment. The few years of my adulthood I was invited/persuaded to participate in some sort of seasonal celebration I felt like a martian.
Well, even more of martian than usual.
In panel 4, I guess I was going for some kind of tannenbaum/dreidel mashup. The tree came out well and it deserved a little spotlight attention.
An overwhelming sense of impending doom can mean a few things: it can be a symptom of neurosis; it can be a symptom of an impending heart attack; it can be a symptom of menopause; it can be a symptom of living in a world where catastrophe is actually imminent. My doctor says it’s not menopause and the fact that I’m still alive suggests it’s not a heart attack, so either I’m crazy or the world is. But everything just seems precarious. At the same time, sometimes I spend months freaking out about problems that could be settled in a day.
The world needs magical dragons. But some part of the world fears anything that isn’t regimented and catalogable, anything that can’t be controlled or compelled through conventional means. They try to shame it out of you when you’re little and they try to legislate it out of you when you’re big. But that doesn’t change what someone is on the inside. It just terrorizes them.
Originally, the artwork on this comic was much better, but all my electronics have been conspiring to drive me insane lately. I thought it was just a fluke, or my imagination. I had an incident a couple months back where 1600 words just disappeared from a text file I was working on. Maybe I forgot to save it, and then Word crashed, and I didn’t notice, but that seemed kind of unlikely. I always save. And even in Word crashes you don’t lost everything. But I let it pass. And there were a couple similar, but smaller, issues, I dismissed.
Tonight, I worked on the art for about an hour, then went to cuddle The Man. My work was still there when I sat down. Then I checked 1 thing on the internet, and when I came back, it was gone. The app had closed on its own and when I opened it the original text remained, but not the corrections I had done today, or the art. Then I looked and noticed that the art for yesterday’s comic had also disappeared. The PNG file I uploaded remained, but the original PSD was gone. It was like my computer had just reset to 24 hours earlier.
I’m perplexed. I almost gave up but decided just to bang it out anyway. Not my best work. Not like I would do my best work after 2 days of hard driving: Chicago to Little Rock and Little Rock to San Antonio. We are just eating up the map. The same way my computer is eating up my work.
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.
Per usual, the very idea that I have to be up early in the morning turns me into wide awake wyrm, no matter how tired I might actually be. In fact I’m to exhausted to even bust out the tablet and draw a Dragon Comics that’s already written. All I could draw was this armless, legless, wingless wyrm while doing 12 other things and thinking about 27 ways I could forget something important in the morning. Today was really another artistic bust. It took 3 hours to fold the laundry; that takes a good chunk out of a dragon’s day. And soul.
The next 3 weeks are going to be even more unpredictable and out-of-reality than last weekend was. Blog posts may be spotty.