Page 6, Panel 3
As usual, my process involved poor time management, overly complicating simple steps, and worrying a lot while checking out of the rest of life, but after 2 months of planning and 6 of work, here is one complete panel I like from “Close Encounters of the ∞ Kind.” This is why this blog looks like it’s been abandoned. I did draw 1 QvD comic in the last couple months but Miss Kitty thought it was a little morbid and anyway this is what I’ve been doing 25-30 hours a weeks for the last 3 months, a little piece of it. Hopefully, it all comes out looking as much like my imagination as this panel. There’s still at least a month of work before I’m happy with the entire comic, which will be 8 pages long.
So, this blog is not abandoned. It’s just on hiatus until I draw something I can share.
I swear, I’m a goooood boy. I would never go past second base before the election.
If I wanted to stay totally topical, this should have been a comic about Mike Pence’s hacked AOL account, but at this point, it’s just the same thing over and over. Hypocrites and liars being hypocrites and liars. And the fact that Mike Pence uses AOL is like…post-humor. It’s gone past comedy into some other realm where political theater and the theater of the bizarre have merged into one horrific blacklit broken mirror Wonderland where events defy categorization or comprehension.
Anyway, at least he recused himself from an investigation into the Russian election hacks he already knows didn’t happen because facts are malleable and you can discard the ones that don’t fit your world view.
My truth is that last night, after I posted the Sessions/Ozymandias comic, I realized that I had made the better joke in the blog post. So I started to draw that comic, because it was only 1 a.m. and knocking out another comic felt totally doable. But them I remembered my promise to myself when I started this project to let go of the drive for perfection, and also things that trigger insomnia, and I just let it ride and played the ukulele in the dark for an hour instead.
And then tonight, I thought I’d try a little caricature, which I haven’t done lately, because, let’s face it: Jeff Sessions looks like a kewpie doll with muppet ears. From a design perspective he’s sort of adorable. The gag was already written and all I had to do was not cross the line between big-eyed coquette Sessions and Peter Jackson’s Gollum. You would not believe how fine that line is. And here we are. I drew a comic.
Have a great weekend. Enjoy your freedoms.
As good a place as any to pause and reflect.
About 6 or 7 years ago, long before QWERTYvsDvorak, I started this 100 mandala project and when I got to 100, I wasn’t ready to stop. Why not 1000 mandalas, I wondered? Because, as it turns out, 1000 is a LOT of mandalas. Ultimately, I drew about 130 of them, not counting a few drawn after the blog started, and this is the very last last one of the original set. It felt like I had come full circle from the first (also rainbow) mandala and perhaps going on would mean just repeating myself.
I’m not saying I’ll never draw another mandala again, but they won’t be my regular Monday feature/safety net when I forget the weekend is ending.
Ms. Kitty suggested that I replace it with some sort of Monday gratitude, which seems like a really good idea right about now. Must think of how best to execute within the framework of QvD re: art.
But speaking of gratitude and art: that Lady Gaga concert sure was something, wasn’t it? So many people were watching it that the roads were completely empty, as were all the best hiking trails. But I caught it later on the NFL Twitter page. Those NFL people really put on a good show. I seem to recall they hosted one last year for Beyoncé that just slayed.
Panel 4: Interrobang!
The pressure to accomplish something every day simply because someone else expects you to is a tremendous motivator. For years, the Fox and I emailed each other every day for “accountability.” We would share our word count, or number of pages edited, or queries submitted, like that. Definitely, there came days when I would have just skipped writing, except that it shamed me because he would know that I failed. So I wrote a lot more to keep from disappointing my friend.
Practically every night I think my ideas are good when I come up with them, OK as I create them, and terrible when I upload. Usually trolls don’t excoriate me. Maybe once or twice a year, although 137 upvotes/messages might be an exaggeration. Still, it’s enough to keep me going. Yesterday I was thinking about quitting. Today 7 people told me they hoped I didn’t. So, you know….
If you are among those who get something out of this work and don’t want me to quit, please consider making a small monthly donation to my Patreon. For the price of a cup of coffee a month, you could make a difference in the life of an artist. And to my 2 current Patreon patrons, thank you! You are appreciated.
Someone read me a bedtime story? Please?
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.
Just trying to unwind here.
I hope these scans are high quality, because in the process of making them, I got my knee tangled in the cable and knocked the scanner off the shelf and onto the floor. It still seems to function normally, but who knows? Every piece of digital equipment I own seems to be malfunctioning lately. I’ve got a phone with a shattered screen, a laptop with an almost useless battery and a frayed power cable and very limited memory, and suddenly I can’t get any decent macro images out of my camera. At least my brand new Wacom tablet is still under warranty.
Anyway, I’ve been pretty focused on finishing up the book, but it seemed more or less done so of course I spent 2 hours drawing abstract rainbow designs. Tomorrow I can prepare the files to be printer and probably get them sent off. It could be printed this week. I may have to take a break from using the tablet for a little while so my hand doesn’t fall off. Maybe some photography is in order. That camera will do my bidding.
Around and around and around it goes, and where it stops, nobody knows.
If I focus only on the good stuff, it’s hard not to be optimistic. Not only did I manage to convert 1/4 of Mothers, Tell Your Daughters into comic format in a single week, the comics were well-received in literary circles. Two professors told me that they intend to teach the comics with the book in the upcoming year, and Bonnie Jo is already talking to a printer about having the comic printed and bound as a comic book, to take on her paperback tour this fall. There are some other good things that could materialize from this, too.
Plus, just on the strength of the story of how I came to create these comics, another author who I greatly admire has stated that she wants to work with me to create a couple graphic versions of her stories for her next book. (Maybe I can name names when the project has a little more behind it than a single conversation, but it seems fairly likely that it will go forward. I suggested the writer scrutinize my work more closely to ensure that my style would jibe with theirs, and was told, “I feel this in my body,” i.e., she didn’t care what they looked like, she just knew she wanted to work with me.) There was a lot of synchronicity going on that day.
I had to tell the Rabbit that she was correct; putting The Hermit into the Kindle store was the right idea. In the fall, there will be dead tree version, and it will most likely have quotes from several well-known and successful authors on the back cover.