Tag Archives: webcomics

Your Picture in the Paper

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In case you’re wondering, my performance at the Dan Quayle rally did not go over well among his supporters. I’m lucky I’m cute, or I’d probably get beaten up a lot more often.

To be fair, the TV station must have figured out their mistake because they appear to have added 2 women talking to the clip and cut out 2/3 of my friend’s interview by the time I wrote this comic. But we had a good laugh about it Saturday night, my friend being the first to point out the irony/institutionalized sexism. Also to be fair, my friend is a very cool white guy, and very well-spoken. But there were a LOT of other voices KGUN9 might have chosen to air.

A lot of people’s favorite sign on the internet seemed to be the one that read, “So bad even introverts are here,” and that really resonated with me. I have strong beliefs, but I find social action terrifying. Even calling my representatives fills me with dread, but the last few weeks have inspired me to take more a participatory approach. I did call my senators, and emailed them, and had a letter I wrote (printed on paper and signed) hand-delivered to my congressperson. And I forced myself to get up and march, even though contemplating the act was nerve wracking and anxiety provoking. And I ended up having what I’d consider, under any other circumstance, a really unflattering, and somewhat misleading picture of myself circulated to 10s of 1000s of people because for a split second I looked the part, even if, for 25 years, I haven’t really acted it. I mean, I write, I talk, I educate individual people here and there who seem receptive to opening their minds, but there are so many folks who have consistently done so much more. I admire them, but I don’t know how to force myself to act like them.

I am a lot more comfortable behind my keyboard. Today I was invited to this National Write Out action, with the theme “What’s worth fighting for is worth writing for.” But, of course, that’s all backward. Writing is easy. Going out and making noise is hard. Still, if someone wants me to hashtag something for the good of humanity, it’s almost the least I can do.

Heartbroken

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I’m gonna have to advise a complete teardown and rebuild.

What a spectacular note on which to end this spectacular year. I tried to resist the miasma of 2016 hating, but there’s no escape from the vortex of suck. My heart has been broken for a long time and acknowledging the facts doesn’t change them.

In case you’re wondering, I received a suspended fine for my yard, and a year’s probation, if you can believe it. The judge was actually more or less reasonable and understanding (I mean, he could have not issued the fine at all, but I guess not making me pay it was a big deal) but the inspector who cited me after I spend 3 days fixing up the property was clearly a terrible human being with no friends. I almost did get in a fight with her before the hearing when I realized that she didn’t care how many weeds had been removed, that she was going to harp on the few that remained. I told her that if my efforts at cleanup didn’t have any impact on her report, that I wasn’t going to be highly motivated to be compliant in the future. Then she threatened me with a $2500 fine. Then I said, “You can’t get blood from a stone. Are we done here?” And then we had the hearing.

In case you’re wondering what probation for tall weeds looks like, it looks like this [expletive redacted] snooping around my property for the next 12 months with a freaking ruler, waiting to measure any unauthorized plants that might pop up. Lady, if I had $2500 dollars I would build a goddamn wall so you and the snooty neighbors and also all the morons who throw their trash wherever they feel like it would keep their everything off my property.

Really, I’m trying very hard to be calm about this, but I need an extended stay in an empty room.

Elementary Class Consciousness, 2016

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The times are tough now, just getting tougher/This old world is rough, it’s just getting rougher

The first place I ever encountered the phrase “class consciousness” was in Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World. Of course. “I’m really awfully glad I’m a Beta.” Everyone in that book is conditioned to be happy with where they are and what they have. In the real world, you meet a lot of discontent people. Some of them seem to achieve everything with little effort but never feel like they’ve acquired enough. Some of them seem to throw themselves full throttle into their own survival and barely earn enough to subsist.

And then, because we aren’t conditioned to like where we are, but rather to believe that we deserve to go further, and can if we just put our backs into it, sometimes the masses notice that all their hard work only enriches those who have more and do less, and then they rise up against their oppressors in class warfare. That’s the theory, anyway.

In my imagination, all 4 panels should have been a contiguous street scene where the management lady interacted with the hourly laborer in front of a building where the disabled veteran sat and the limousine was parked, but my art-fu has not advanced that far. Perspective is like a foreign language to me.

Merry Christmas. It’s not my holiday, and I don’t understand it, but it seems like an especially depressing proposition this year.

Metamorphosis

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I know it sounds cliché but I just feel like I need to spread my wings right about now. It’s, you know, time for me to fly.

Eventually he should catch up, right? But by then she’ll be dead, because butterflies don’t live that long. These May-December romances can be problematic. For example, mismatched sex drives (nonexistent in caterpillars). It’s imperative to start therapy immediately upon recognizing the problem or there’ll be nothing left to save.

In addition to this very silly comic, today, in honor of Miss Kitty’s birthday, I also baked the richest chocolate cake I’ve ever eaten. Thirty years too late for me to truly enjoy it. Ah, well. I’ve metamorphosized, too. Also into something more colorful.

Not Sleeping *is* My Magical Power

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What things? Allow me to make a list. I’ll start at the beginning. 

It can safely be said that my digital comic creation skills have improved by an order of magnitude or 2 since my first stab at drawing webcomics. Although I still find that first comic hilarious. But this one vaguely looks like the artist had some idea as to what they were doing.

There’s not much to say about this. Obviously, I’m mining a very deep vein. I don’t sleep, and everyone I know is terrified all the time. And it seems like at least if a person has to live in this reality, a person deserves 8 hours in the dreamlands and a fresh start every day. Imagine how much more effective I’d be at reality if I hadn’t been sleeping walking through huge swaths of my life.

The Sound of Printing part ii

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This is probably the most people who are actually supposed to look like real people that I’ve ever drawn into 1 comic. 

Page 2 of “The Hills Are Alive with the Sound of Printing.” Took a little extra time as I wasn’t 100% sure of what the client wanted in panels 1 and 3, partly because creative people in fits of inspiration tend to have atrocious handwriting, and partly because (as only realized much later) I only read 1/2 of the notes. Also, the panels got cluttered pretty quickly, so I had to figure out which graphic elements to ditch (mostly people’s feet; originally there were a number of cowboys boots in this comic). I also had to leave off the speaker on the sound booth in panel 2 because the sound booth is already tiny and I couldn’t make it look good. Just imagine that the technician’s voice is coming through a speaker. Still, after it seemed done and uploaded, I decided to go back and add some fringe on the singer’s shirt in panel 4. It didn’t seem flashy enough for cowboy couture.

I’m especially pleased with the little pop-out heart for the gospel singer. It was a perfect compromise when it became apparent that a box would take up too much space.

I learned several things in the course of drawing this comic. The first thing was what a steel guitar is. Apparently whatever I thought a steel guitar is was wrong, but luckily, I had The Man around to set me right. The second thing was that The Man knows way too much about music. I had to look up “Little GTO,” but when I asked him if he knew the song, he could just start singing it. That song is like 50 years old; it came out 10 years before he was born. Then he gave me a short lecture about GTOs. Because he also knows way too much about cars. Of course, I did look up the Hi-Lo’s and WMU’s Gold Company. This comic will be distributed in Portage, so its intended readers will already know that WMU is Kalamazoo’s Western Michigan University, where I earned my MFA, but did not hear of the Gold Company.

Halloween Insult Comics, 2016

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It’s not a lie. His mama is really covered in mold.

I lied! Whilst looking at my old comics from Halloweens past, I came across the original version of Halloween Insult Comics and realize that if I could find the original file, I could just write some new insults on the old image. And then I realized that I could use the horizontal type tool for the text, which is much more efficient than hand lettering. So this is a new comic. My hand is mostly OK now, and I have commission comic for cash money to draw this weekend.