Tag Archives: travel

Dragon Comics 167

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Lost in time, lost in space, and meaning.

Here’s something you haven’t seen since last May: new Dragon Comics! When we last left our heroes, they were on a mystical, if peripatetic, journey. And I wrote a 2-week story arc for this part of the journey last spring and never got around to drawing it because I was drawing something else 25 hours a week and that was all the drawing my thumb could take. But now I have some time I’ll probably get this comic to some sort of plateau.

Truth be told, Dragon Comics aren’t what they used to be. Not only can I draw much more impressive webcomics than I could when I started this strip, so much about the relationships in the comics has changed. The Missesses Kitty are divorced, the Fox and the Otter are married and they have a Wolf-Deer in the mix. The Man and I are still on a mystical journey, but a lot changes in 3 years. I don’t know if I should think of a new iteration for the comic, or just move on to another kind of story. My friends have always liked this comic, but the rest of the internet seems more impressed by the other comics I draw.

Still, there’s a bit more of this story to tell, at least. Maybe it’s a good idea to keep it in reserve for when the plot needs to get a bit more metaphorical than comic.

Dragon Comics 158

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I keep all my cephalopods hidden away from prying eyes. 

Giant octopuses are only the first layer of weirdness. In this direction, at least. That’s why it’s fun to take the roundabout rout: so you can catalog the anomalies you might otherwise miss. There’s a lot of accounting to do in here.

Dragon Comics 157

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Just because you’re dressed like a hobo doesn’t mean you have to eat like one.

We are going somewhere, though. That’s the thing about travel. You always get somewhere. Once I missed a turn in Indiana and, instead of getting on the interstate, spent hours driving farther and farther away from civilization until I found myself creeping along below 15 miles an hour behind a horse and buggy. No kidding: lost in time as well as in space. But I was somewhere. Amish country, maybe.

Dragon Comics 156

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They mostly just eat toast anyway.

Sometimes the journey inward is the scariest one of all. If there are things you’ve hidden from yourself, you can guarantee figuring them out will be an unpleasant experience. Speaking of unpleasant experiences, today I got a cortisone shot in my hand. The PA told me I probably shouldn’t draw tonight but obviously there’s no helping me. We’ll see.

Diamond Flowers Mandala


If you look at them too closely, flowers are really obscene.

Wow! I survived this weekend. Tomorrow, my feet will hurt, but walking in the All Souls Procession is always worth it. This week I will finish the Portage Printing comic and create my holiday bulletin board and then next weekend is my birthday celebration with Tucson friends, since I won’t be in Tucson on my actual birthday. It works out like that a lot, if I go to my parents’ for Thanksgiving. However, this will be my very last Chicago Thanksgiving, since the folks are finally retiring, and I will never again have to freeze myself in the Windy City in order to spend time with my family. Most likely I will again have to spend 6 hours stranded in O’hare because the weather is awful, but at least I won’t have to go outside.

I mean, I like Chicago. Between May and September.

Back to the Portage Printing comic. The last page is the easiest for layout, but is taking forever due to the fact that I started it in a style that involved drawing really realistic versions of pieces of audio-visual equipment, and page 3 involved 3 large old-fashioned televisions. But the TVs are almost done, and the images of what’s being shown on the TVs should be much easier.

Love Is Real Not Fade Away Mandala


I didn’t leave it in the window. It started out this pale.

Sunday night as I write this, and I already have scripts for 3 days’ worth of comics, plus a couple cool macros. As The Man and I have another exciting adventure coming up this week (2 more days of airline travel…I shudder to think) and if I can’t get a couple days ahead, I’ll probably accidentally miss half a week like I did the last time I had to endure the tender mercies of the airline industry.

Tonight we counted and I have 900 of my 1000 cranes, which is also exciting. I’m completely out of origami paper, and everyone in town seems to be out of it, which is frustrating, but with only 100 to go, I’ll probably start cutting squares out of random pages.

OK, back to Tuesday’s comic, and maybe Wednesday’s if my brain can stay on that long.

Z Lazy B

Please do not argue with me concerning the definition of the phrase

Please do not argue with me concerning the definition of the phrase “pure country.”

If I were a better artist, I would be uploading a funny comic right now.

The Rabbit and I, after a long journey that involved treacherous mountain passes, unpaved country lanes, and, no joke, an actual living, breathing BLACK BEAR standing in the middle of the freaking road, made it to the very isolated Z Lazy B Ranch, where there is no cell phone service and no accessible wifi. Since I rely heavily on existing images when I draw, and since I sometimes needs to do more research to make a joke work, even though I had an idea for a comic, I didn’t have the materials available to actually create that comic.

Currently, I’m sitting in the Octavia Fellin Public Library in Gallup, New Mexico, enjoying the free wifi. I have done the research necessary to draw the comic, as well as the research necessary to write the story I’m working on. (Sample question: what movie would my character’s mother be most likely to rent from Blockbuster in June of 1992 for the purpose of bonding with her child? Answer: Edward Scissorhands. Queries about what resources were available to LGBT students at Columbia University in autumn of 1992 will have to wait until I have more time.)

Anyway, the above image really communicates the general sense of where we are. We are staying in a cabin identical to the one in the picture (ours is next door). These horses come by every evening, chomping clover, and don’t seem to mind us petting them. The dog comes over every day and just hangs out. We took a long, rambling walk on Tuesday and she stayed near me the whole way. Even when she went after a jackrabbit, she came back to me. I imagine it must be incredibly boring for her when it’s not hunting season. Even though the Rabbit told me that labs don’t point, I swear this one kept pointing. I kept telling her I didn’t do that kind of shooting.

I only wrote 2100 words, which is not really that impressive, but, after we get some supplies for the Rabbit, I hope to write at least 3000 tonight, and maybe draw a comic. It’s possible that we’ll have enough wifi at some point for me to post it for Friday.

Dragon Comics 97

How about just a postcard, maybe?

How about just a postcard, maybe?

Souvenirs get expensive actually. I used to bring the kids things, but they already own so many things. New things that were actually in my budget (and I go away at least 4 times a year) just ended up in already existing piles of things, forgotten minutes after they were received. Postcards, though…postcards I approve of. You can get lot of postcards for a little bit of money (it’s a good idea to travel with your own stamps, though: touristy places are usually out, and it’s not always easy to get to a post office) and it’s always nice to get real mail, especially when you’re a kid and no one sends you mail.

I have pretty much every postcard anyone’s ever sent me, which is a decent number of postcards, but, being mere scraps of paper, they still fit in a single milk crate, with room left over for another couple of decades of postcards. I imagine that I’ll want them toward the end of my life. Every once in a while I dig through them for a bit, but mostly it’s nice to just have a box of tangible proof that people think of you from time to time.

Dragon Comics 88

Also, dragons are so pretty they'll get everything for free.

Also, dragons are so pretty they’ll get everything for free.

This comic is about privilege. White privilege, class privilege, cis privilege, hetero privilege, whatever. It’s pretty much all the same. I should know, because while people who know me will attest that I’m a freak on, like, a lot of levels, to the casual observer all of that is hidden. What shows on the surface are the lucky accidents of birth. I’m super-privileged.

I think about it a lot, even if I’m not talking about it. But it happened again yesterday: I got waved through to the pre-screen security line in one of the world’s largest airports. I didn’t have to wait in line, I didn’t have to take off my shoes or my jacket or take out my computer or my phone. A guy sized me up as I took 3 steps toward him and determined I was not a security risk and forced a privilege upon me.

And it occurred to me that this happens as often as not in any big airport. I’ve gotten waved through to the special lane lots of times, and I never get pulled out for extra scrutiny. The only time my luggage has ever been searched was when I borrowed someone else’s suitcase, and unbeknownst to me, this person had left a 6-inch switchblade in the side pocket. The TSA agent pulled it out, laughed, said, “This isn’t yours is it?” and let me go.

I was caught carrying a switchblade through airport security, and the federal employee whose job it is to address crime took a single glance at me, determined I was not capable of criminal activity, and laughed it off. We laughed about it together. There was a heartbeat when I thought, “Well, I’m not going to LA today; I’m going to jail.” But I look white, and female, and straight, and well-off, and not like a security risk, so that TSA agent never suspected that I have carried contraband through airport security on more than one occasion.

And then there’s all the times in my life that I was doing something illegal and cops didn’t even bother to look twice.

Privilege means knowing that mistakes are going to be made in your favor. It’s the freedom to assume that the rules don’t apply to you. It’s a careless security.

Sshhhhh…Dragon Sleeping

Travel just turns your whole world on its ear.

Travel just turns your whole world on its ear.

This morning, I woke up many hours earlier than usual and went to my local airport, only to learn that my flight was delayed. Could have slept a little longer. Eventually we got an airplane, but for some reason it was frigid inside, like an actual refrigerator. There were no blankets and we were all curled into the fetal position trying to maintain our core temperature (they gate checked my bag so I couldn’t get another hoodie; I had my arms inside my shirt and a canvas bag over my knees). Then, we started to land, actually got to the runway of the next airport, descended to right above the tree line, bounced up and down in the air a few times, then suddenly ascended steeply and banked hard to the left, after which we circled the city and came down on the same approach again, landing normally the second time with no explanation offered. It was a really surreal moment, particularly because I had just been reading all the conjecture about the co-pilot deliberately crashing that Germanwings plane.

Of course I missed my original connection, but I got booked on a second flight, which, of course, was also delayed. When the plane finally showed up and we boarded it, it was one of those sitting on the tarmac for all eternity situations. At least this plane was heated and the seats were nominally nicer than the ones on the first plane (it was one of those skinny numbers with only 3 seats in each row, 2 on one side of the aisle and 1 on the other and you almost feel like a veal cow in a box) and they claimed they gave me the extra legroom row to make up for the inconvenience, but if that was extra legroom, I don’t know how normal sized humans fit into the regular legroom, because I am fairly petite, and I was smushed. Also, they gate checked my bag so I had to hang around to get that back afterward, breathing carbon monoxide fumes the whole time. And the place I had to fly to is one of the cold places of the world.

Anyway, that explains why I didn’t draw a comic today, but not why I spent 45 minutes drawing a Boeing 747 and a sleeping Dragon. I cannot explain that. Must sleep now.