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.
Friday’s comic, as readers of my Facebook page probably know, roused the “Reddit Republican army,” which is pretty much the best thing that a blog post can do in terms of reach. It’s received nearly 3,000 hits so far, thanks in part to a group of people whose belief in their own righteousness is so strong that they are willing to publicly come out in favor of bullying elementary students. That’s totally what Jesus would do, right? Mock those who are different and then shout out those who speak up for the oppressed. Thanks for generating sufficient controversy to drive traffic to my often-overlooked page.
Of course, the haters didn’t account for all those page views on their own. It was also one of my most-shared posts on Facebook, and has more Facebook upvotes than anything else I’ve ever done. And more WordPress likes. And it gained me more WordPress followers than any single post in 2 years. I didn’t even think it was that big of a deal. Seriously, who gets up in arms about a picture book that advocates not mocking and bullying people? Oh, yeah. The people who have decided to make their stand on the gender binary. Because that’s crazy important. We already saw what happened once women started wearing pants. Can you imagine what the world would look like if we just let people dress however they wanted? Can you picture a world in which we do not deride and ostracize children who can’t conform?
So: my passions for mocking uptight people who advocate censorship in schools, speaking out against bullying, and fucking the gender binary have joined together to serve me…somehow.
Anyway, my psyche can only take so much criticism, and it’s been a weird weekend. Here’s a funny little purple mandala full of eyeballs. They’re always on you, making sure that you adhere to their preconceived notions of everything you are capable of achieving in life based on the presumed shape of your genitals.
Feel the power rising within you!
For once, I’m ahead of the game! Here’s Monday’s mandala, all sparkly and intense, rosy and blossoming, like the gem of wonderment from a cartoon quest for the empowerment of little girls in 1984. Gotta love it. Plus I’ve just finished Tuesday’s comic, and I managed to sketch out another page and a half of the big black and white story in the spaces in between even though I spent the rest of the weekend immersed in my typical rarified debauchery. I didn’t quite accomplish as much as intended but a good time was had by all.
This is a sweet design.
The only other art news is that, as the end of September appears, my mind tends toward thoughts of–my Halloween bulletin board. I’m thinking: black cat. But who knows? My schedule is so relaxed right now I could probably spend 10 or 12 hours, at least. Maybe something 3-dimensional? The need for something powerfully good seems apparent. You don’t get that many thrilling ways to celebrate Halloween once you’re old enough to buy your own candy.
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.
If I seem a little prickly to you, maybe you shouldn’t touch me.
It eludes me why I never thought to post the mandalas on Mondays. Not only does #MandalaMonday make a more pleasing hashtag, it gives me an extra day to think about comics without being rushed when I’ve used the entire weekend up having fun and not thinking about the act of creation.
This one looks like a sea anemone to me, something that lives on a coral reef.
My trip to New Mexico was wonderful and cleansing, but the 7+ hour drive each way, mostly through the mountains, was pretty taxing on my body. I drank one of those dreadful 5-Hour Energies, which kept my mind so relentlessly focused on piloting a vehicle that 7 hours after we arrived my brain remained on alert to the sensation of hurtling through space. Driving that long wasn’t easy on the rest of me either, and I got very little sleep last night.
There should be a comic tomorrow, a silly one, and then maybe one of those brutal personal comics about the most painful things that have ever happened to me, which seem to be the ones that most interest readers.
Crystal and rope
With elements reminiscent of doubles helices, crystals, and stones, today’s mandala creates glamor from organic elements. Everything seems to be tied together, even the sharp triangle/diamond shapes jutting out of the central design. Plus, blue/purple is my favorite color combination lately.