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.

 

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.
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