Tag Archives: surreal

More Surreal Life Hacks

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Basically, you can do whatever you want and when people question your behavior, just explain that it’s supposed to be surreal. Or don’t. 

Everything’s off-kilter, and being angry about it doesn’t seem to help. In fact, I feel like my attitude is probably starting to annoy people, so I tried to shift back to something resembling my previous brand of humor without completely abandoning the perspective that the United States of America is completely screwed up right now. I cannot authorize a federal investigation into Russian interference with the US election. I can’t force John McCain to rally Congress around the goal of restoring sanity to politics. I can’t protect my own health coverage. But, here and there, if you look around, you can fix little things, sometimes.

Of course, if we had just done a better job of teaching schoolchildren to recognize and reject logical fallacies for the last 30 years, we wouldn’t be in this situation. Ditto germ theory and the role of vaccinations in preventing the spread of infectious disease.

Organizing books is my personal meditation. You don’t have to break into people’s houses to do it. Public school libraries will usually let you just come in and do it for free. Some places actually pay you to do it!

Pineapples Make the Best Projectiles

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There’s actually an almost perfectly mundane explanation for why I’m carrying a pineapple around this party, but it’s much more interesting if you don’t know that. But I guess bringing a pineapple to a party for any reason is a little bit unusual.

My life, as you may know, involves a fair degree of surrealism, but I think it’s a good idea to help the weirdness along. I really thought I was going to carve that pineapple up at that party and then probably eat most of it myself, because I can eat a lot of pineapple, but then there was all this food already and so many people to talk to and then Misses Kitty randomly texted asking me to go downtown with her while she got her lip pierced, and by the time we got back to the party I actually really wanted that pineapple, but there were even more people to talk to and by that time The Man had left and Misses Kitty was my ride and she wanted to go. So I went and retrieved my pineapple from the kitchen, to the great hilarity of all who witnessed it. People more or less said these things to me while I made my rounds to say goodbye.

There was another comment about the TV show Psych, but I only watched part of one season of that show before deciding it was too silly even for me, so I had no idea what they were talking about and didn’t know how to make it funny for the comic. But someone did tell me that they thought pineapples were natural projectile weapons.

Anyway, making the world a weirder place is just part of what I do.

The Stories of Our Lives

That's so cool! I was actually thinking about getting into smashing the patriarchy myself. Is there, like, some kind of newsletter I could subscribe to?

That’s so cool! I was actually thinking about getting into smashing the patriarchy myself. Is there, like, some kind of newsletter I could subscribe to?

I’m getting excited about writing again. As a few people know, I have written 10 novels. Two of them are bouncing around the Internet, 2 of them have been nudged and prodded by a couple agents and a publisher before whimpering off with their tails between their legs, and most of them just sort of exist. They have plans, but no executions. After completing my last novel, I massive undertaking, I sort of walked away from 25 years of constant novel writing to think about visual art; you can go back to page 1 of this blog and read it in order to get the entire story. It takes a while to tell it.

But I did send the ms for this last novel, an 800 page behemoth, out to the Desert Rats: Rabbit, Fox, and Owl. And I’m just starting to get some feedback on it, and the feedback seems good. The revision actually seems possible. I’m rereading it myself–it’s been about 2 years, I guess–and liking what I have, seeing where it could be tightened, noticing problems that didn’t get fixed in my last pass.

Plus, I’ve been working on a short story in comic form. Short stories are not my forte. I’ve only ever written a couple I was completely happy with. I can do novel, and I can do flash, but short stories elude me. But working in comic form might be liberating. I know the entire story, suddenly. It started out as a 16 panel gag, a short of blunt, deadpan, New Yorker style punchline at the end, but it took 20 panels to get to the end, and by the time I got to the joke it was more poignant than funny I was too invested in the characters to let their troubles be a joke and immediately I started to see the solutions to their problems. Now it’s 56 storyboarded panels, and if I can get out the rest of the dialog and thumbnails and actually find a style and draw the entire thing, I will feel much more confident about my graphic novel project, which is only one chapter from being completely scripted (although I stopped storyboarding before that, when I realize my thumbnails were completely useless and that you can’t put 12 panels on every comic book page if you want the images to actually express something.

As for this photo comic, it’s, as The Man has taught me to think of it, Kaufmanesque, in that I know it’s bizarre and I really couldn’t care less whether or not you think it’s funny. I think it’s funny.

I have a headache and now you can have one too

Alien world or weird filter? You be the judge.

Alien world or weird filter? You be the judge.

One of the hardest parts of drawing webcomics, for me, is the constant staring into the screen. My eyes, as I’ve written before, do not work all that well. They certainly don’t work like normal people’s eyes, and sometimes they betray me. Migraines, nausea, that sort of thing. When I was just writing 4 or 6 hours a day, it didn’t bother me, because I touch type, and by and large I don’t look at the monitor anyway, but I’m a much better typist than artist, and drawing a hand, or something like that, means squinting at the pixels and erasing and redrawing and shifting perspective, zooming in and out and erasing and redrawing again.

I’ve got a big analog project I want to tackle, which I will share when it’s ready, and tonight seems like a good time to start. No webcomic, no eye strain. There will be tiny scraps of fancy paper involved, but they won’t be backlit.

Instead, feel free to enjoy this weird portentous beach scene I painted about a year ago. My painting always looks pretty rough and experimental, because it is. I know nothing about painting. If I could afford it, I would take a class, at least something basic about technique, because I’d love to paint more, but it’s an incredibly expensive past time.

For that reason, I’ll probably be sticking to my Wacom tablet. You can have any size canvas, and any color paint, and it’s free.