Reminds me of artichoke flowers, and pea flowers.
Monday again. This weekend I finished up a T-shirt design I’d been kicking around for a while, a fairly simple one based on a comic panel. There’s one more 1/2 finished comic panel T-shirt in my files, and another T-shirt I started years ago that I’d like to get done before Thanksgiving, but I first have to write a lot of book reviews and get the cover for The Hermit finished. And some other products. And I saw the uncorrected proof for the comic book, which I should have in the next couple weeks.
Right now, I have got to get off the internet.
The crosspieces look like a Chinese finger trap. Today I learned that the Chinese finger trap has a medical application and can be used to straighten human fingers with traction.
Another weekend draws to a close, and I confess that I didn’t start crossing things off my “imperative to do today” list until one hour to midnight. In fact, this month is drawing to a close and I have barely scratched the list of “things I must accomplish before autumn to justify my existence and create even the slightest possibility of personal success.” Maybe I need a manager.
This weekend, in addition to the above face about Chinese finger traps, I learned that one of the things authors are apparently supposed to do upon uploading their books to the Kindle store is get 25 or 50 people to leave Amazon reviews. Maybe some part of me understood some element of that concept, but it literally didn’t occur to me that I was supposed to be asking random, non-writer friends and relatives to give me 5 stars. In a general sense, when it comes to Amazon reviews, it turns out that it doesn’t matter if half of them are written by your mother’s friends from folk dancing and the other half are by the people your Aunt Hattie played canasta with during the Nixon administration. According to my reading, it’s just a numbers game. So any time I spent thinking about how to ask successful writers for endorsement was wasted when I could have been demanding my relatives do the job for me. Although that might necessitate teaching my relatives to leave Amazon reviews, which wouldn’t save me any time in the long run.
What else…got to hang out with the SFWA crew on Saturday, for another thrilling and productive writing party at the Historic Y. It’s just as glamorous as it sounds.
Oh, August, give me strength. And determination. And concentration. And focus.
And, as always, the confidence of a mediocre white guy.
And if you can’t give me that, please consider buying my book, supporting my Patreon, or ordering my merch.
Apparently, updating my operating system rendered my scanner drivers obsolete, and I can’t even begin to deal with that situation; I still haven’t installed the new Photoshop drivers. I. Can’t. Deal. I don’t even care if my smart house refuses to let me eat junk food and my self-driving car always goes the speed limit; I’ll be very happy when computers can program themselves. You know what you need, computer. Why don’t you just get it and run it yourself? Fortunately, the app that pulls images off my camera came with the OS, so that works at least. I was even able to easily crop the image. So: mandala.
There were myriad other interesting things I intended to write about in this post, but they all seem to have slipped away. It’s midnight. My head hurts. My lungs now seem to require a vast quantity of medicines in order to perform their basic and previously involuntary function. Rather than dropping pithy creative wisdom bombs, I will be sucking on Ventolin with a Nyquil chaser and marathoning Grace and Frankie until I pass out.
This mandala is fairly pleasing, though, in its wabi sabi way.
Next slide, please.
Reddit is so unpredictable. I can put the same comic into 2 different subreddits, and one link will get 2 upvotes and the other will get 147. Come on! Do I suck or not, people? Make up your minds. Friday’s comic was not my best work, I don’t think, but it’s gotten almost as many views in 24 hours as my bullying comic, which has been getting steady traffic for weeks. But neither of them got much play in /r/comics, which leads me to believe that people who read /r/sadcomics and /r/webcomics are simply more intelligent and discerning readers.
I like today’s mandala, which is unusual in that it is based off a 3-pronged symmetry, and also looks like something you would use to summon demons, or a portal into HP Lovecraft’s brain.
Posted my article on Tucson Comic-Con and am halfway through tomorrow’s comic. Sold a T-shirt. Also: paying work this week. Still scratching away at some bigger projects and…um…thinking about novels.
Sometimes you just have to lay it on thick.
If you are interested in reading the unvarnished truth about my spiritual beliefs, someone has been inquisitive enough to interview me about it and industrious enough to type up the interview and post it on her blog. The timing is great, because it’s Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, and a lot of the interview is about why I don’t practice Judaism even though I was raised in a traditionally observant household. Or perhaps because I was raised in a traditionally observant household. There may be a comic in there somewhere, although that might prove even harder to write about than the chronic pain disorder.
Clouds are my religion. Mountains are my religion. The bulletin board in the breezeway of the elementary school where I hang my cut paper projects is my religion. All these mandalas are my religion.
As for other people’s religions, there’s really only one thing that interests me, and that is their mythology. But there’s only one thing that’s really important, in the long run, and that is whether or not you follow Wheaton’s Law. If you think your divine creator is telling you it’s OK to be a jerk, you might want to examine whether your beliefs are spiritually uplifting or merely self-serving.
Nature isn’t interested in your idea of perfection and neither am I.
I get the sense that if you saw this plant in nature, your first instinct would be to reach out for it, upon which it would probably secrete some kind of digestive fluid on your skin and try to eat you. At the very least, it must be covered with a rash-producing oil. It’s fancy in order to lure you in.
It probably also eats bugs, and small frogs, from which it acquires the necessary chemical to produce its poison.
Obviously, it’s very late or I wouldn’t be sitting here making up stories about drawings of things that don’t exist. I think I had an article about comic book scholarship on Panels yesterday, but I don’t have the link as I’m writing this. Also, I received an ARC of Bonnie Jo Campbell’s new book, Mothers, Tell Your Daughters, which I’ve been asked to review for the Fondulac Library’s website, which is sort of strange considering I’ve never even been to Fondulac and don’t live anywhere near East Peoria. I do know a lot of people, many of whom are librarians and/or authors, though.
If you haven’t read Bonnie Jo Campbell, you should consider it. This book isn’t being released until October, I think, but her other work is most likely available in your public library.
Careful with this one; it’s sharp.
Tuesday was my best day ever for traffic on this blog; Yesterday’s comic got some traction on Reddit and over 400 people visited. My second-best day was also due to a boost from Reddit. I am not on Reddit, of course. Maybe I would be more popular if I was. It just seems like a massive time suck, and there are already enough of those in my life. Maybe if I could just upload comics to Reddit without reading any of the site, but my understanding is that you need karma before people take you seriously, and you can’t get karma unless you basically live there.
I posted it to Tickld but they are pretty fussy about comics there and the last time I posted a comic they just removed it, apparently because I didn’t sufficiently prove that it was my original work. Considering what percentage of that site is screen grabs from Tumblr, their editorial policy confuses me, as does the criteria for things getting on the hot page. It used to be a hilarious site; now I find that 90% of the stuff that gets upvoted is old, or boring, or stupid. Why the hell did I want to cross post there anyway? I’m being downvoted into oblivion even as I post this.
Marketing fail. Story of my life.
Today I never got around to drawing because I had house guests, and when I wasn’t hanging out with them, I was cooking food for a bunch of people, and finishing reading a PDF of The Book Thief so the Boy knew I meant business about him finishing his summer reading, and nagging the Boy to finish his summer reading. I cooked 11 eggs today. That is important. Also, I have an aggressive headache from reading that massive PDF on my laptop. My brain is angry with me.