It’s about what you believe. And I believe in love. Only love will truly save the world.

-Wonder Woman

  • I might plan on seeing Wonder Woman at least one more time.  Definitely worth more viewing.  Have a vacation next week, so that will probably happen then.
  • I am right on track with where I was hoping to be as far as comics are concerned.  Inking is moving right along and I’ve got a good number of sketch cards/tiles drawn up.  Thinking about giving away a bunch of the tiles I did for practice.  Characters like Batman, Superman, Doctor Strange, Chandra from MTG, etc.  Noticed my Instagram has shifted pretty heavily to artwork–mostly my original projects too–and I’m pretty pleased with that.  Not that I’m not going to post the occasional Flex Friday selfie or cat pic, but I’m pleased to be using it mostly for art.
  • Funny story.  Last Friday I was getting Jeep worked on and I was walking down the street.  I come to an intersection and this car is coming across in front of me as I approach.  Somebody in the car shouts something, couldn’t quite make it out.  I look up and it looks like a group of young women in the car and as it goes by, the girl in the front passenger seat sticks her head out and makes a gesture for oral sex at me.  I just kind of stood there stupidly thinking, “Wait… What… Come back!  I want a BJ!”  Kind of silly, douchy response, but it was a bit of a silly situation.
  • A friend of mine was suggesting I look at jobs in Wisconsin.  I’m just generally like, “Wisconsin?  Seriously?”  I heard it’s a lot like Vermont, but you know what’s a lot like Vermont?  Vermont.  I like Vermont.  I like New England.  I’m not convinced I don’t have opportunities here.  And beyond farming itself–if only because it might have more of the diversity I am looking for–I’m not really that interested in Dairy Processing.  I’d like to learn something new.  Maybe there’s an observation about LMCBW’s sister and their dynamic on a level as well.  One of the things about that I think people ignored in that was the unsustainable nature of their move to Nevada and I saw a questionable pattern forming.  Her parents visit one week, a cousin the next.  Another cousin a few weeks later,  LMCBW a week or two later.  Aunts and uncles after that.  The sister comes back to VT for a few weeks in August and around Christmas.  That was kind of the reason I never expressed a strong desire to visit them at the time.  While I acknowledge my family operates differently, I would have little interest in starting a regular criss-crossing of the country.  It would get exhausting and does little good for anyone involved.  Plus, I’m in the middle of getting off my ass about making comics.  Moving across the country would just be one more distraction.
  • I talked about human sexuality the other day, and I’ve been thinking on that some more.  Probably because it is Pride Month.  Like most of the structures of our lives, we’re conditioned into thinking a certain way about things.  Sexual Orientation is no different.  If our tastes and preferences in what we look for in relationships can shift, if we can fall in and out of love like we do, it only makes sense that orientation and our views on it has the potential to shift as well.  We’re conditioned by centuries of ideology to believe that monogamous heterosexual relationships are the ideal.  Which makes it harder to question the truth of that.  I am straight, but I admit that isn’t nearly as simple of a statement as it seems.  I think the important thing to remember is that love and life are change.  Love people for what they could be as much as what they are.
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Honesty

June 10, 2017

Honesty is the best policy.

Feel this a relevant topic of conversation for a number of reasons.  One of the things I’ve discussed in the past is privacy.  Primarily on that is one where I acknowledge our lives are so interconnected that it often feels like we don’t have any.  An off-hand comment here or there triggered a flood of gossip about your happiness with someone or something.  How stuff can be posted so only your friends can see it on Facebook or whatever, but they say something and almost everybody knows about it.  Kind of think of it as the post privacy world.  Regardless of whether or not we care or if it is our business, word gets around.

It is with that in mind that I’ve been trying to establish a much more honest approach to life.  Because if stuff is just going to get around, why be dishonest?

I’ve found that honesty with one’s self is important.  I made mistakes.  I acknowledged a number of them in my employee reviews the last couple of years and was probably more honest than I should have been.  But does not acknowledging a problem I’m seeing really solve anything?  Does my not telling them that I’m looking for work elsewhere make things better or easier on anyone?  No.  You don’t solve a problem by denying it is there.  If I deem it a good and honest solution, I won’t hesitate to make that decision.

Work isn’t the only place I’ve made mistakes.  On my end, it was general not getting my head out of my ass about a few things than not.  Bad timing for a number of reasons.  I understand that and accept that.

Honesty goes hand in hand with understanding and acceptance.  To be honest with myself about anything–work, relationships, people in general–I had to reach better understandings of a few things.  Be honest about the things I let slide that caused problem later on, understand what they were and their consequences.  Be honest about the things I didn’t want to admit.  It is hard for people to be honest because there is a fear of going too far.  Especially about themselves and the things we don’t entirely understand about ourselves.

No place is that better explained than human gender and sexuality.  I’m going to make a bit of a bold statement that I think people will disagree with.  Heterosexuality is dying out.  No need to panic, the human race will continue.  However, facts must be acknowledged.  I read an article not that long ago about how more women experiment with other women than ever before.  Men might be doing so as well, but the traditional macho-masculine response is much more conditioned into men.  In my personal experience, while I have not necessarily met a guy or trans or whatever that inspired me to take action and am not convinced I ever will, there are aspects of some men I have found attractive.  Probably won’t have much result from it, but I acknowledge it.  For all purposes I am a straight male, but I ask how much of that is social conditioning into a norm.  This is also why I’ve tried not to think of myself as “Male” or “Straight” but just as “Human.”  We got too many fucking labels anyway and we live with too much fluidity.  It is easier to grok people if we stop thinking of them as something else and think of them as only human.

My point is, there is a lot of dishonesty out there and it is not solving anything.  On any level.  We need to start being honest with each other and ourselves.

Wonder Woman Review

June 8, 2017

Wonder Woman stars Gal Gadot as Diana and follows her journey off of Paradise Island into World War I.  Chris Pine portrays Steve Trevor as she pursues Ares and seeks to end the war.

Overall, this movie was fantastic.  It got a lot right.  It just looked right.  The Amazons looked right.  Everything felt right.  I especially liked the World War I angle, choosing not to go to the World War II where she actually debuted.  It made a lot of sense to have her involved in the “War to End All Wars” and learn about humanity through that than the Second World War.  Having the decades to follow the events that unfolded in this movie would explain her general disconnection from the world that we saw in Batman V. Superman.  And I do think this added a bit more depth to the character that we saw in that movie.

I did like the way her birth/heritage was addressed, as it added one of the elements of the New 52 I found more interesting.  I know the current story arch is retconning that out a bit, but I personally liked it.

Right now, I’m feeling like this has been the best DC movie in their DCEU.  Man of Steel was solid and did a good job of establishing Superman as an outsider trying to find his place in the world.  Batman V. Superman continued that, but tried to do too much in one movie.  Suicide Squad was a fun concept they just did not figure out how to have fun with.  Wonder Woman did a myriad of things and accomplished them effectively.

This is the fourth DCEU movie to come out and by my count the MCU has come out with thirteen movies.  The DCEU had its fourth film centered their top female character and are already planning another centered around Batgirl.  Marvel… I think the upcoming Captain Marvel is the first that will be their first of that nature, so we’re talking film eighteen or nineteen.  Even without a female title character, has the MCU really kept up?  Let’s break it down.

DCEU

Man of Steel:  Lois Lane and Martha Kent.  Essentially they guide Clark on how to be human and do so effectively.  Lois encapsulates this sentiment perfectly at the end of the film when Perry is telling her to show Clark the ropes and she says “Welcome to the Planet.”  The Kryptonian woman seen in the film–Faora-Ul and Lara Lor-Van–while only minor characters at best, are used effectively for the most part in their time on screen.  More so Faora-Ul.

Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice.  Lois and Martha continue in much the same role, although Lois does have a more proactive role in searching out the truth of what is unfolding–seen more in the extended version of the film–before having a part in the battle with Doomsday.  Wonder Woman’s presence could have been utilized more, I won’t deny that, but I do think her solo movie has changed my perspective on how that came across.

Suicide Squad:  Ensemble movies are weird.  This movie was weird in that it essentially didn’t know what the hell it wanted to be.  The women?  Enchantress was a fairly generic villain.  Katana was not nearly utilized enough in that she really could have done a lot as a straight character for others to joke off of.  Amanda Waller was kind of uninteresting.  Harley Quinn was someone they did a lot with and effectively so, but seemed afraid to go some of those places with.

MCU

Iron Man:  For the most the Iron Man movies had one primary female lead in Pepper Potts.  Fairly generic love interest.  Black Widow debuted in Iron Man 2, had an effective supporting role.  The potential female villain of Iron Man 3 was kind of a missed opportunity in my mind.

Captain America:  Peggy Carter could have been used more, given more than a handful of episodes of a TV series.  Despite the build up, Sharon Carter really has not become much of anything.  Black Widow played an effective supporting role again.

Avengers:  Black Widow and Maria Hill were the primary female leads here, but there wasn’t really time for them to do much of anything in ensemble movies like this.  The first one did lay out a load of backstory for Black Widow though.  Enough for a movie or two.

Thor:  Jane Foster was a fairly generic love interest.  Sif is barely more than eye candy.  Queen Friggia had a couple of key scenes though.

Guardians of the Galaxy:  Gamora and Nebula provide an interesting subplot, but these movies are really more about Star Lord than anybody.  Gamora really is there to roll her eyes at the rest of the group more often than not.  Mantis was a wasted opportunity and Ayesha was kind of disappointing.

Ant-Man:  I actually liked the way Hope Van Dyne came across.  Glad she’ll get a larger role next time around.

Marvel TV:  Between Agents of SHIELD, Jessica Jones and the Agent Carter series, it feels like Marvel has made more effort with female characters here than with the big screen.

 

Overall, I just think by now we should have had a Black Widow movie.  Fifteen plus movies is kind of ridiculous when the other guys had a female led movie before their fifth one.  So the DCEU hasn’t necessarily done as much as they could have, but Wonder Woman has been a leap ahead.

Those cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

-George Santayana

  • Plugging away with the comics.  I feel I’ve made a lot of progress and I can really do some stuff with it now.  Looking into some Print on Demand/Self-publishing options for when I’ve gotten to that point.  Doing a lot of sketch cards and tiles for later use.
  • Hear very good things about the Wonder Woman movie.  Planning to go see it on Thursday or Friday.  If I really cared much for the DC vs. Marvel debate, I would say that DC has taken a bit of a lead if only because I feel they’ve done more with their female characters over four movies than Marvel has over twelve.
  • So I never really thought Kathy Griffin was all that funny or relevant to much of anything.  The picture of her the other day with the bloody Trump head was kind of weird.  I mean, I get that it bothered Barron Trump to see that type of thing.  However, did anyone think about Obama’s two daughters the myriad of times that he was lynched in effigy?  It was kind of glorified by various individuals and dismissed.  Now that its Trump, we’re supposed to be outraged?  No.  If Griffin is going to go through all this, drag Ted Nugent and all those tea party jackasses into it too.  They got a free pass and Trump signed up for this.
  • Shockingly enough, Bill Maher said something outrageous.  That’s never happened before.  Although this time he did go to an extreme with the “N” word.  A lot of people calling for HBO to fire him.  I’ve liked his show and thought he made a variety of good points.  The thing is, I feel that a lot of what he does is done by the Daily Show and the various off-shoots of that.  And they tend to do it better if only because they keep their egos more under control.
  • So apparently Jeff Sessions has offered to resign recently.  Or at least that’s what an article I saw indicated.  I don’t know how true that is.  It does raise I have pondered lately.  How stable are Trump’s appointees?  Especially if he continues to display his lack of stability?  People are all worried about Mike Pence becoming President, but we won’t know how many dominos will fall until the first one does or how many will.
  • It is important to remember that experiences can still teach long after they have occurred.  I feel I can say with certainty I won’t fuck up the same way twice.  The next job, the next relationship, the adventure… will all be better than ever.

I’ve written a lot about ideas.  Beliefs and truths.  Points of view and facts.  Breaking those down and knowing which is which has become an increasingly difficult task of late.  Given how quickly our government and media is degrading into an Orwellian/1984 propaganda machine, the ability to differentiate fact and fiction has become a harder one to master.

Part of this comes from the various aspects of my personal life and experiences, but it does go all the way to the leaders of our government.  It is important to realize how far we go to convince ourselves of things we know aren’t true.  And how challenging it can be to find deeper understandings and truths in a lot of the ideas we cling to.

Listening to Donald Trump talk about Coal, I have to wonder if he really has this business savvy that he claims.  Coal is an industry who’s time has passed.  For decades it has made up a tiny percentage of our energy production, steadily decreasing every year as we come up with cleaner and more efficient ways to power our country.  To my knowledge, this is generally accepted.  So how is it good business to keep an industry that makes up a tiny percentage of our energy production on life support when we’ve already got better ways to do it?

And more local, the solar panels my uncle had considered putting in the old farm land.  He and my father had worked out a deal with a solar panel company, and things were moving in that direction.  Then the town select board meeting came up.  My aunt decided to attend and voiced some strong opposition to it.  Rather than get involved in a potential domestic dispute, the solar company passed on putting panels there.  Personal politics aside–I’m all for solar panels and was actually somewhat impressed that my uncle wanted to go this route–I would say my aunt’s choices in this matter show a lack of understanding of the situation.  Both her and my uncle being in their sixties and had some relatively recent health issues, so how much longer do they plan on farming?  Because they are not making that much money and will likely have to sell off the land and animals in the relatively near future.  In a sense I actually thought my uncle was making a smart decision in acknowledging that farming was not a long term plan by itself.

Paris Accords are on my mind so that is kind of where I’m starting with this, mostly because it parlay the point I’m trying to make about how we struggle to understand and accept truth.  There’s a lot about that just screams a refusal to understand these fundamental truths about our world, our economy and our future.

In general, I feel like there is a disconnect between the world we perceive and the world as it is.  In writing about relationships, this is something I’ve noticed frequently as much as it is prevalent in politics and economics and other areas.  We’re conditioned into accepting truths without questioning or truly understanding them.

Problems are just opportunities that haven’t presented themselves.

-Wilson Fisk, Daredevil

  • Hear good things about the Wonder Woman movie.  Gal Gadot looks fantastic.  Early reviews are positive, which is a nice change for a DC movie.  And controversial.  This whole thing about a “female only” showings is amusing to me.  You have groups made exclusively of men deciding what is legal and illegal to do with a woman’s body and people are going to get worked up over women only showings of Wonder Woman?  Shove it up your ass.
  • Also finally started watching the Netflix Marvel shows.  Only about halfway through Daredevil Season One, but it’s been good so far.
  • Inking away on Order of the Dragon #1 while drawing out issue #2.  Loving where the art has gone.  Actually feel like I’m getting somewhere with this.  Trying to focus more on inking as I prepare to make an attempt at getting an actual comic published, but also want to make sure I pencil a page a day.  Trying to find balance..  Starting to revisit the storyline I talked about for a superhero story where the hero and villain are the same person.  It’s a story that’s evolved a lot since I first thought it out, one I feel I’m more ready to delve into than I had been.  There was a lot of complexity that I only just now feel like I can really parlay into a page.
  • Doing a new  version of that Skyrim/Dragonborn drawing I’ve toyed around with in the past.  Was never 100% happy with the version I did, so I’ve been revisiting the concept.  Felt too cluttered and complicated, stepping back and simplifying it a bit.
  • Between what I’ve been doing with eBay and simply just being smarter with my money, I think I can actually follow through my plan to pay off a loan or card each month for the foreseeable future.  I’m going to post a couple more things on eBay tomorrow after work, try to post four or five things each week.  For the most part I’m going to repost the books I’ve posted already, maybe switching to a Buy It Now option instead.  Basically just trying to create flexibility and opportunities later on.  I’m still waiting to hear back about the jobs I’ve applied for, so the plan will be to continue with building up my financial cushion a bit more.
  • Read an article or two about relationships that were interesting.  This one was particularly interesting to me in that I keep hearing people say not to change who you are.  Got news for you:  Life is change, Love is change.  Make sure the person you’re with is somebody you want to change for and willing to make an effort to change yourself.  You want to stay the same for the rest of your life, there’s a probably a nice little rock out there for you to hide under.
  • This one also caught my attention in that it covers a lot of the primary reasons why relationships don’t work.  As much as life is change, we should understand the true reasons why things don’t work out.  I will admit one of the biggest things I’ve disagreed about was really the reasons why things didn’t work out.  Unraveling and truly understanding those reasons can be difficult but vital.

Going to do some comic reviews later, but I’m going to do a bit of an update on my own comics and a few other oddities for right now.

Working on inking the redraws of Order of the Dragon #1 today.  I only intended to redo a handful of pages, but I ended up redoing the whole thing.  Redrew it in pencil, everything else happening on the computer.  I only really intended to redo a few pages to help the flow and clear up a plot point or two–add some emphasis to different scenes, generally tidy up a few things–but the initial pages I did actually looked so much better I ended up redoing it all.

While I like it much better, I was a bit uneasy about a page or two.  This was towards the end of the fight with the master when Nosferatu’s dormant powers activate.  Essentially, the Master is beating her down and it shows.  Kind of wondered for a moment if I was crossing a line or two.  After some thought, I came to decide that the sequence came across as I had hoped and sent a good message.

Some old stuff I shelved has popped into my mind lately as well.  I’ve wanted to begin drawing some new stuff for Chlorine and Acid, with the idea that I could more actively pursue that in the near future if my job hunting goes as planned.  Probably won’t until I’ve had a good detox from the place.

The other idea in my mind is this comic I had an idea for where the hero and his archnemesis are the same person.  Kind of a general Overwatch type vibe to it, I have yet to come up with a title.  Might start some work on that when I get a bit further along with Order of the Dragon.

 

Quick thought about my little blurb last week about applying at the place my ex’s best friend works.  I merely acknowledge the interconnectedness of humanity and its capacity to say or do something foolish.  I mean, I did go on a date with one of their close friends–things kind of stalled there due to both of us working nights, the apocalyptic feeling of the Presidential Election and a lot of general life distractions–so it would be foolish to worry about such things at this point.  Not that it matters anyway, they aren’t hiring.  My point is, our worlds are really tiny and we have a tendency to make things as uncomfortable as possible.

My trusty Echo Grass Trimmer has been acting up lately.  Head won’t spin like it should.  Going to take it apart on my days off.  Hoping its just something loose or dirty.  That should be fun.

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