So, how many more examples until we break?
So how many sacrifices must we make?
Because we’ve all been there once before
And it looks like we’ve returned once more
So is this the beginning or the end?

-“The Big Sleep” by Streetlight Manifesto

  • Finished penciling out the first issue of Order of the Dragon.  Well, debating if I want to add one more page, but I’m pretty happy with where it is now at 22 pages.  Starting to roll along with inking it now.
  • First week of selling comics on eBay was a mixed result.  Got the ball rolling anyway.  Made some money, but not as much as I had hoped.  I’d like to have four five auctions going every week.  Funny story.  I posted that Thor 165.  7.0, CGC Signature Series signed by Stan Lee.  First Full appearance of Adam Warlock who’s cocoon was introduced in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.  So I post it for auction, starting at $300.  Last year’s price guide–new one comes out in a couple of months–lists a 6.0 at $108 and an 8.0 at $259.  Mind you, the key thing to remember about a price guide is that it is a guide.  Not a set value.  Given GotG2, I thought there would be a good demand and started the listing a bit higher.  Not much going on there.  Some watchers, no bidding.  One message asking if I’d be willing to take $235 for it.  That was it.  After it ends with no bids, I get four or five messages from people asking I’d be willing to make a deal.  I’m just sitting there thinking, “$300 was not unreasonable.  I think I could make an argument that twice that much is fairly reasonable.  If you really wanted it, why didn’t you bid in the week it was up?”  I know how this business works.  I’m not about to get myself screwed over because somebody else is trying to take advantage of me.
  • Drama at work.  The production manager put in his notice.  There was a lot of swirling information going around the other day.  Lack of stability is one of the reasons I cite for the problems that people have had there.  It makes it a lot harder to have a clear picture of where you stand.
  • I applied at this place where three or four of my former housemates work, a soap factory.  I sent their HR person my resume and cover letter.  Didn’t name drop or tell them I was doing it.  I could see myself there and doing well, although the aspect of LMCBW’s best friend being there could lead to some drama.  Or not.  It would not necessarily surprise me to find that she agrees with a point or two I made about LMCBW.  I have wondered if there have been or will be some unknown consequences of writing about her like I did.  I think those thoughts needed to see the light of day and I don’t have serious regrets, but I’m cognizant enough to acknowledge the idea that others might not have been impressed.

“You’re tryin’ to find

a reason for the way you feel tonight

Your mind is lined with layers of lead

have you heard one thing that I’ve said?”

Little Black Backpack by Stroke 9

  • Chugging along on the comic, got held up a bit by a page or two that I just didn’t like the look of.  Some of the posing is proving more complex than I initially thought.  Slowing getting the inking done as I go.  Not necessarily in love with the pacing and time structure, but it is progress.  Definitely liking where I’m going with it.  If all goes according to plan, I will be ready to be looking a bit more seriously into actually getting an issue out by the end of June, probably about the time I’m on vacation.  Was still holding an outside hope to be doing more with VTCC, but I don’t think I’m going to be quite on pace for where I’d like to be that soon.
  • Starting to sell some comics on eBay.  Link to my listings, if you’re into buying comics.  Kind of starting the process of liquidating my collection–at least partially.  Right now it is basically the Warlock/Infinity Gauntlet books that I’ve gotten signed over the years.  Adam Warlock’s origins and first appearances (Fantastic Four 66, 67 and Thor 165) Gamora’s first appearance (Strange Tales 180) and the first three issues of the Infinity Gauntlet series as well as my variant issue for Batman #2 of the New 52.  The early Warlock books are signed by Stan Lee, while everything else is signed by Jim Starlin.  The Batman book is signed by Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo and Jonathan Glapion.  I’m hoping to make a decent profit off of those books.  I have the numbers in my head for what I paid to get them and get the signatures and grading done and using that to determine a break even point.  I’m starting to get away from being so heavy into CGC stuff.  I mean, I’ve done everything I was really serious about getting the CGC Signature Series done on.  To be honest, the CGC stuff has been too costly and time consuming for me to really get much of a benefit out of it.  I will probably still get a few books signed this year at NYCC, but I don’t anticipate spending much more than an hour of the two days I’m down there focused on it.
  • NYCC.  New York Comic Con.  Do I over-glorify it?  Probably.  I’ve been thinking about it a bit.  I love these trips, but it always feels like I come home not having accomplished all I could have.  I don’t know.  Part of it might be a bit of the cloud of putting off proposing that last year I went down with LMCBW.  Though the idea of an engagement while her sister was moving across the country was one I did not want to deal with–and I don’t regret not proposing after the process of them going to Nevada began, I stand by my belief that it would have been seen too much as being in response to the upcoming move and not about us–the romantic notion of an NYC proposal does move me a bit.  That’s just one example, but I have generally felt like these trips have been to an extant left incomplete.  That’s what this year’s going to be all about.  Making sure it feels complete.

So I bought my tickets and and get squared away for NYCC yesterday.  Only got tickets for Thursday and Friday this year.  Consequence of the changes in ticketing.  Figuring out my plans.

I’m not really going to do any signings this year.  Might get some Collected Editions signed, but probably not going to do any single issues for Signature Series or anything like that.  It’ll be a lot cheaper that way.  Kinda of more focused on cashing in on my comics now.  Getting ready to move some books, maybe even a couple this week.  Probably put a couple of Guardians of the Galaxy related titles on eBay or something.  Seems like a fair number of people sell comics on Instagram, so I might try that.

It also means I can focus more on buying actual art from the artists.  Though I still need to get them into frames and hung up, I’m fairly proud of the stuff I bought last year and it goes along with my general plan of actually interacting with the artists and writers down there.  The Neal Adams stuff, that Red Sonja print by Cat Staggs… might even see about a commission or two.  I actually just loved meeting and talking to these people more.  I’m still pretty thrilled that I got Neal Adams to sign my copy of Superman Vs. Muhammad Ali.  That was one of the biggest things I think shifted last year, in that I was able to just look at and appreciate the art more.  Appreciate the creators more.

Also thinking about seeing if they do a Creators Meet-up again.  I was a bit… unprepared when I went in last year and didn’t really comprehend what it was about.  Definitely feeling a bit more prepared and a better idea of what I’m doing.  I think VTCC did one last year and I’m hoping that I’ll be able to go it this year if it happens again.  Volunteering last year was a bit more of a commitment than I anticipated last year, so I’m hoping to manage my time a bit better this time around.

Anyway, I need to see what panels they have on Thursday and Friday.  I’ll be happy if I get to a couple of good ones.  Some of the panels visited last year were actually pretty fantastic.

There are some people I wish I had made an effort to get involved with this, but I made a few messes in my social life.  In life in general.  Figuring out how to straighten things out.

There are two types of beings in the universe: those who dance, and those who do not.

-Drax Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

  • Been keeping up with the pencilling a page a day approach to drawing out comics.  Working more with a hybrid workflow on my comics now.  Draw it out in pencil, then go to the computer for finished art/lettering.  Works well for time management.  I’m liking that approach right now.
  • Saw Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.  Liked it well enough.  Do think they got a bit overboard with the during/after credit stuff.  Just my opinion.  I just feel like the Marvel movies are losing the magic they once had.  Like they’ve been a lot more hit or miss in quality lately.  Might just be me though.
  • I’ve seen this quote Chris Pratt made about working out.  When he got the part of Peter Quill, he actually put himself through a fairly intense program to get into the shape he was for these movies.  It goes, “Six months seems like a long time unless you’re looking backwards… all you have to do is just a few things everyday and remain consistent, and time will fly just as fast as it flies if you’re working hard or not. If you just cut the crap out of your diet, and if you spend an hour a day doing something physical that will make you sweat, six months will pass by, you will feel better mentally, physically, spiritually — it all is tied together.”  Very true.  In the time since I became single I really ramped up my routines at the gym and straightened out a few things diet wise and it has made a huge difference.
  • Random question that occurred to me:  Why do we glorify breasts and butts?  I mean, functionally speaking I understand.  Ideal traits for reproduction.  The breasts are essentially fat and if they are small they get bigger when they are fulfilling their purpose.  But in general, is there really a serious benefit to bigger breasts?  As as for butts… admitted a well formed and solid backside is a sign of good physical conditioning.  I like looking at a squat booty as much as anybody.  I really do, but why is it that we focus on that?  We have to find the best attributes, but shouldn’t we appreciate the whole?
  • Finishing up my review for work.  I handed it in, but my supervisor wanted me to revise, go into more detail about a few things.  I’m almost tempted to post it online for public consumption.  Doesn’t really matter they won’t take it seriously anyway.

He who hesitates is lost…

  • I was working on some drawings and stuff and realized something.  I often told myself I would do a table if I had this different many prints, this many sketch cards and copies of an actual comic to sell.  I just realized I have the prints and sketch cards I would prefer to have.  All I really have to do is actually get some actual comic stuff ready to go.  Which is doable since VTCC isn’t until the end of August.  Problem is that I’m pretty sure the deadline to get a table set up has come and gone.  Oh well, I’m cool with volunteering again.
  • Redrawing the first issue of Order of the Dragon in pencil rather than digitally.  Wasn’t entirely thrilled with a how a few of the pages came out, plus I do like the feel I have drawing better when I’m using pencil and paper.  Plan is to basically do a page a day in pencil, then ink it in photoshop whenever I can.  Hopefully I’ll be at a point where I can seriously entertain doing some kind of printed single issue by then.
  • Saw NYCC has done away with the three and four day passes.  I liked those for the convenience personally.  Might cut me down to two days this year.  I’ll be annoyed if there’s something on the days I don’t go that I miss as a result.
  • I saw this meme this other day about how people who don’t work on their personal  goals after work aren’t tired, they’re uninspired.  No, sometimes I’m too tired.
  • Officially paid off one of my school loans.  That really only leaves the Navient stuff as far as school loans are concerned.  With a bit of luck, those should be knocked down in no time.  I feel I’m getting into a better place debtwise.  Debating the possibility of selling a few comics to accelerate that process.  I’m overdue to get the ball rolling on the comics anyway.
  • I’ve talked about how I feel the key to a proper diet is balance.  This is part of the reason I find myself skeptical of the benefits of a vegetarian diet.  I have a coworker who recently became a vegetarian and he has become a bit of a stereotype.  His choice, but I have some fundamental disagreements.  I believe humans evolved to eat meat for a reason and that has been a crucial element of our progression.  While one argument I’ve heard is that meat is full of hormones, what if we need those?  I have become more selective with my meats–partly a result of some bad experiences with the local Shaw’s–and tend to prefer local stuff I know where it came from.  There is no such thing as a uniform approach to diet and the human body will have different needs at different times.  Fulfilling those needs is up to everyone to figure out how best to do so.

Personal Review

May 1, 2017

But with a presence that billows out

Of any space

That even tries

To contain it.

“It’s Always The Quiet Ones” Something I thought I had deleted

So I’ve been working on my employee review questionnaire as part of tonight’s can’t sleep so I might as well do something and I’m going to share a few thoughts.  Basically it’s four questions.  What jobs can you do?  How can the supervisors help you with your performance/career growth?  How can your job be improved?  What are your personal or professional goals?

Writing it up was a lot easier than I thought it would be.  Mostly I just acknowledge I’ve held myself in place and need something different.  Nothing really new, just a slight redefinition.  Part of it is a bit of bad luck with a mediocre job market.  And in all honesty, how many jobs can you really get without 3-5 years of experience in a given field?  But that’s not really the whole story.

Maybe on a level this has been some kind of punishment for how things ended with Little Miss Can’t Be Wrong.  In some ways, that’s probably been true.  I do think I made a mistake in not going to work on the farm.  I think there would have been more opportunities there than I had initially believed if I had not been so daunted by things going on at the time and the general feelings of it.  Speculative, I know, but I definitely think there were a lot of unexplored positives.

So yeah.  I will admit I have been confined for whatever reason.  And the constraints are going to have to go.

Some Comic Reviews

April 29, 2017

Finally got caught up on my comic book subscriptions, so I figured I would write a few quick reviews.  Today’s issues include: Batman #21, Sex Criminals #18, My Little Pony: Legends of Magic #1, Hulk #4 and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Adaptation #1.

  • Batman #21.  Written by Tom King with art from Jason Fabok, this story essentially goes back to the major events of the DC: Rebirth one-shot where Batman is investigating the Watchmen button found in the Batcave when the pre-Flashpoint Reverse Flash arrives.  Other than a major fight between Batman and the Reverse Flash, not much really happens here and basically essentially it lays the groundwork for the rest of the investigation to occur over the next issues of the Flash and Batman.  Although the DC books have dropped various hints as to the mystery behind the Button, I’m glad they haven’t gone as seriously into until now, giving the Rebirth take on the characters a chance to get established before building up the big event.
  • Sex Criminals #18.  I’ve really enjoyed this series.  Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky have turned what seems like a silly, immature concept into something more.  This particular issue had a scene or two that reminded me of a conversation with an ex, where they are discussing some frustrations with each other.  Great issue, I definitely consider this series at times to be a major influence in my views on relationships.
  • My Little Pony: Legends of Magic #1.  This series is replacing the Friends Forever series and focus on the historical figures of the MLP universe.  This first story was focused on Starswirl the Bearded training Celestia and Luna in magic, which Luna struggling as Celestia taunts her.  Luna attempts some dangerous magic and Starswirl has to fix it.  This was solid, definitely was a bit of fresh air as it felt like the team-up element of Friends Forever was getting a bit more stretched and they were scrapping the bottom of the barrel.
  • Hulk #4.  Overall, I’ve liked this series.  One of the few non-Star Wars Marvel Comics that I’m still collecting.  Essentially, the story follows Jennifer Walters as she deals with the aftershocks of Civil War II, where she was nearly killed by Thanos and her cousin Bruce–aka the original Hulk–was killed by Hawkeye.  Focusing on Jennifer’s struggle to keep herself under control, the interesting aspect of this series has been how through four issues she has yet to transform.  Written by Mariko Tamaki with art by Nico Leon, this has been a fairly well done book.
  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story #1.  I initially only collected this because it was a Star Wars book, but the first issue of the adaptation of the movie was fairly interesting.  It isn’t as direct as some adaptations, a few things rearranged for flow in print form and a couple of added bits–like Galen Erso and Bodhi Rook talking about the Death Star before Rook goes in search of Saw Guerrera.  Like the Star Wars prequels, the challenge of an adaptation like this is that most people already know the story, it is more important to make it worth reading.  And in that sense, I think it was a fairly well done attempt here.
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