Tag Archives: pain

Dragon Comics 150

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Seriously, though. I really hurts.

Trying to remain upbeat. Let’s call that the theme for 2017. Trying to remain upbeat in the face of overwhelming downturn. Not taking it personally.

For example, today I got a takedown notice on a T-shirt design based on Dragon Comics 35 because, apparently, you’re not allowed to dress cartoon characters like Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top to make a joke about how only the guys from ZZ Top look cool doing ZZ Top. My personal understanding is that fair use dictates that artists have every right to use the likeness of famous musicians in satire, and if I had half the money of ZZ Top I could hire a lawyer to sort this situation out. But I haven’t made any money off this particular design and am unlikely to ever have the reach and power of Bravado International Group Merchandising Services, Inc. and their team of overzealous content protectors.

It drive me crazy on general principle. Poor Dragon has used up all of Dragon’s good fortune and now must suffer indignity after indignity as the Wheel of Fortune crushes Dragon’s will to live. Ha ha. Just kidding. It’s just that everything rubs me the wrong way.

Tomorrow is another day, as my mom always said. Tomorrow I won’t feel paranoid and cursed and as if I already used up every iota of my deserved fortune in life.

Man, it’s not even a picture of Billy Gibbons. It’s a picture of The Man wearing Billy Gibbons’s beard and clothes. I thought it was hilarious when I drew it.

And there you have the Wheel of Fortune.

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Big Gem Mandala

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Do you know how hard it is to find matched stones?

Basically, my right thumb is jacked. It was sort of offering hints that it wanted to rest but it was already committed to a variety of time-sensitive projects and now it’s not really performing much at all, unless you count a symphony of pain as a performance. I’m trying to keep it immobilized. Usually, this passes in a week or 2. It’s been worse. But it’s also been better. I’m scared to seek medical attention because the last time I did they just made it worse.

So I might not draw comics this week. There will be other stuff to post about. With pictures. Gotta try to make this thumb lasts the rest of my life. At this rate, it won’t.

Golden Snowflake Mandala

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I know it looks like I spilled coffee on this mandala, but I don’t drink coffee, so I can’t say what that stain is, but it’s probably not coffee.

I wrecked my hands pulling weeds this weekend, because I received a letter from Big Brother explaining that my property was in violation of local law, and if I did not pull weeds, the city was going to pull my weeds for me, and charge me for the privilege. It’s a pretty irritating system. For one thing, I don’t believe in weeds. A weed is a plant growing where a human doesn’t want it to grow, and I was perfectly happy to let those plants grow in my yard. The birds and lizards seemed to appreciate  my laissez-faire approach to landscaping, as did my cat. So, I could argue, there were no weeds on my property to begin with.

The other super-annoying this about this is that I still live in Arizona, and these plants only grow in the monsoon, and the monsoon is over, so in a couple weeks, they’ll all be dead anyway. But no dice. The city doesn’t care about the natural cycle of the land. Remove all weeds and grass within 10 days, or I would be abated. Abatement does not sound like something you want.

The third terrible part to this is that I need my hands to draw webcomics, and now they are covered in blisters and micro-abrasions. The blisters are pretty prominent. I only figured out about the micro-abrasions later, because I promised the kids lemonade after they helped me. And really, the kids aren’t that much help at all. But they drank most of the lemonade. And I got to figure out where exactly on each hand I had a tiny little cut.

Still, tomorrow is the last scheduled BJC comic, which I have been writing for a month now, and tomorrow is also the day that I write with the Fox, and also get a massage to help undo the ravages of time and the physical strain of drawing webcomics 25 hours a week, which doesn’t leave a lot of time left over for shilly-shallying.

To You, as a Woman

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I don’t think there’s anything even darkly funny about this one. 

“To You, as a Woman” may be the most difficult story in this book, the hardest luck, the saddest progression. It took a long time to see my way into the comic, and it wasn’t until I took a big step back from the second/first narrative and to a distant, plural, third that it was even possible to reframe the piece into this format. For a while it seemed insurmountable. Just like real life trauma, the story jumps around in time and emotions, jumbling an entire sequence of terrible events together so that each cut runs together while standing alone with its own bright pain, less simple to pull out the threads.

About an hour before I sat down to write the script, a woman who’s been reading these comics asked where she could buy Mothers, Tell Your Daughters, and I sent her an Amazon link, and then, because it’s my regular habit on Amazon, I clicked to see the 1- and 2-star reviews, which are usually hilarious. Not today. Here we have people wholly incapable of engaging with literature on a critical level, disguising their misogyny with crude dismissal of nuance and reality, blithely unaware of their own massive prejudices. These are the people who read a book about 16 different characters and claim that all the stories are the same, not because they are, but because they think all women are the same.

You don’t have sympathy for substance abusers, or unwed mothers, or people who receive food assistance? Maybe you should ask about the myriad, lifelong jabs of physical and emotional pain that led them to make those choices before you judge. You don’t like authors discuss rape too often? The 1 in 3 women who are sexually assaulted in their lifetimes don’t like experiencing it. And let’s face it: if you’re born into poverty and raised up in poverty and struggle through your life in poverty, the odds of being sexually assaulted are probably higher. Go read Fifty Shades of Gray and tell everyone what a remarkable piece of quality fiction it is if you think there should be happy stories about rape and you’re just the informed critic to spread the good news. This book is about the way people actually are: vulnerable, flawed, attempting, every day, to pull themselves out of the miasma of their circumstances despite the constant pain of being alive.

It’s sickening, how easily some people manage to look at huge segments of the human population and decide those people aren’t human. You expect that kind of ignorance in the comments section of YouTube, or Reddit. Not from an Amazon book review. I wonder, what circumstances in your life taught you to be so self-centered, so casually cruel, so unwilling to exhibit empathy? Why do you read literature at all if you’re only content with work that reinforces your narrow beliefs? Isn’t the point of literature to better understand the human condition, one point of view at the time?

 

Stung

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I guess you’d call this creative non-fiction, but it would have been more creative if I had used the actual Anglo-Saxon expletives that were called upon in the situation instead of the family-friendly grawlixes.

I didn’t write a comic last night because chronic pain prevented me from feeling or expressing humor. I figured I would have better luck today, but as it worked out, chronic pain is still preventing me from feeling or expressing humor. So here’s a sad slice of life instead.

Since the artwork is so simple, I gave shading another try, and it seems to have worked out nicely in the first 2 panels. However, that technique doesn’t appear to translate to the up-close view of panel 4, which, frankly, is a bit of a failure. I’m not sure it even looks like a leg, let along a leg with a giant bee sting on it. I hope the inclusion of more grawlixes expresses the pain, at least. It’s supposed to be a picture of a leg, with a giant, swollen bee sting below the knee. Since I work from photos half the time, it’s perplexing to me when a finished drawing doesn’t resemble anything. I mean, what’s up with my toes in panel 2? Whatever, I’m done. Maybe I’ll have better luck tonight. Who knows? In addition to the usual suspects, and this gigantic bee sting, I also created the world’s largest blisters on both my heel from wearing Doc Martens without socks.

It’s a hard knock life.

Cooperation

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Anything besides time-sensitive tasks on which my future depends.

Yeah, my focus sucks lately. What can you do? I don’t tolerate caffeine or other stimulants at all, so I’m very much at the whim of my container. My poor, badly engineered, increasingly dysfunctional container, with its many worn-out parts. At least we’re all on good speaking terms. They’re not afraid to let me know when they’re unhappy. But according to the Facebook discussion from which I adapted this comic, everyone has these problems. Being easily distracted is universal.

Then again, the not easily distracted among us probably aren’t on Facebook.

This comic took forever because the Wacom tablet is getting wonky again. The power cable is touchy, and the pen keeps getting glitchy, and tonight something froze the entire keyboard and I had to do a hard reboot and lost some part of my work. How fortunate that I remembered to save as I was going along tonight. Sometimes I don’t. But in fact, it was the cable repeatedly disconnecting and the pen constantly increasing its sensitivity to the point of uselessness that reminded me to save.

3D Dragon Comics 3

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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.