Tag Archives: growing up

The Life Cycle


In the next chapter, we will discuss the organism’s mating strategies, which vary depending upon which university it attends and whether or not it decides to rush.

For a very long time, I’ve suspected that butterflies have the right idea. Their larva are grubby but not without their charm, often visually pleasing, even if they are prickly and disgusting to touch. Their final form is, of course, stunning. And while they’re stuck in that transitional phase, which is almost certainly disgusting beyond measure, they get to do it in peace and quiet. They go into a room as a baby and come out as a lovely adult.

Humans, on the other hand, suffer the animal kingdom’s most distressing adolescence. Everyone can see them struggling along awkwardly, not babies, but not grown up, either. Awash with terrifying chemicals, all their body parts are growing at different rates, bizarre and unpleasant changes are taking place inside and out, and they’re constantly being forced to compare their development to those around them.

I posit that the human way to go through adolescence would be with an option, around the 11th birthday, to lock oneself away from the world and stay in hiding until age 15 or so, at which point you emerge, gorgeous and confident and ready to take the driver’s exam and make out with other recently reintroduced¬†teenagers. How much less psychological distress would we have to overcome if we could spin cocoons?

There are 2 adolescent humans in this house, although we count ourselves pretty lucky that they have not yet shown any signs of hormone poisoning. There’s no arguing or sullen silence or anything like that. Just a fairly constant direct connection to screens. But, MAN, when I was 12, I would have given almost anything for the privilege of going into my room and not coming out until at least my junior year of high school.

A Career in the Arts!

career in the arts_edited-1.png

The Unicorn of Creativity supports this message. So does the Moth of Poverty. Your parents are just disappointed.

I say “get older” because I’m not sure “growing up” is something that is compatible with the creative life. At least, it’s been a couple decades now and I don’t seem to be doing it, at least not in the sense that my parents used the term. Maybe other creative types have had better luck, but I’m pretty sure that we’re all just big kids going through the motions of putting on pants in the morning and driving cars.

This comic isn’t 100% representative of my life, because I did try to have a career in my 30s, and after the novelty of having a lot of money wore off, I hated every second of it, and it wasn’t like I needed so much¬†money anyway. It just felt like squandering my creativity. Even now when I get desperate and take the little freelance jobs that still come to me sometimes, I feel guilty.


I’m really digging this very web aesthetic of drawing black and white designs with small but meaningful hints of color. A lot of web artists seem to employ this style, and it’s pretty effective. Berk Breathed has been using it in the new Bloom County strips, for example. I hope it’s apparent that panels 1-3 feature colorful butterflies while in panel 4 you see a gray moth. The comic still works if that’s not apparent, but it has a nicer balance if you see that.

The really important part is that you know that mystic unicorn is always right behind you, whispering in your ear: You have made all the right choices. If you can hear her, just keep skipping through that flowery meadow. Tra la la.