Vacation Retrospective

June 24, 2017

 

It took so much effort, not to make an effort.

“Florida” by Modest Mouse

Alternatively titled, “Why Do I Have To Go Back To Work Tonight?”

It was a good vacation.  I had hoped to be done with the inking of Order of the Dragon #1, I am about four pages short on that.  Working on lettering the fourth page right now, redoing a bit of dialog that’s been bothersome.  Hopefully the next day or two and I will get that done.  I’d like to be getting something printed off in actual book form, but I’ll see where I am at that point.  I’m posting the pages I’ve got lettered.  Couple of minor things I’ve got to fix on those, but it is underway.

Wanted to go kayaking more.  Rained almost every day.  Never really got around to a few outdoor projects I wanted to.  vigilante lawncare and such.  Oh well.

Applied for a couple of jobs.  Mentioned something about the soap factory to my Mother, who said it was probably a good thing I didn’t go there because it “might bother my allergies.”  And all the cleaning chemicals I’m around every night at work doesn’t do that?

 

 

That song lyric from Modest Mouse has been bouncing around my head for a few days.  Basically sums up my thoughts on a few matters.  One of the things I think people like to say is that they put so much effort into something when it seems obvious they did not.  Not really.  In those cases, I do think people put more effort into trying to convince people they did make that effort in the days after rather than trying in the first place.  Trying to buy solutions rather than getting into the problems themselves.  I will admit to cases in my life where there was more effort spent to convince everyone else of the effort put forth.

Effort is obvious.  If you’re making an effort, there won’t be much question.  One of the things I tried to avoid doing is talking too much about what I did to make things work in a variety of areas because it is or should be obvious.  I have gone into detail about a few things, but it was nothing I thought was not obvious.  And I don’t deny there were times I could have made more of an effort.

In any relationship, professional or personal, effort works on reciprocation.  At work, I think it is clear I have made efforts to make my situation and make it better to no avail.  I think people know I’ve made the effort and am focused on getting into a better situation, but at this point there has been little matching of my effort.  With LMCBW, I think people know that I made a lot of efforts in that situation that were not necessarily reciprocated by her.  Business or professional, relationships are in trouble if one side is buying solutions or avoiding effort.

“Do.  Or do not.  There is no try.”  I think Yoda nails it.  Point is, people can tell when you’re not making that effort.  I’ve been in a relatively bad situation in one way or another for most of the last four or five years.  As much as I’ve stalled out and had to make some adjustments, I’m continuing to make those efforts.  I won’t be wasting a lot of time explaining that I’ve made an effort.  If it isn’t clear, people need to start looking again.  I have no interest in explaining the obvious to people.

When you’re miserable, you need to make someone even more miserable than yourself.

-Lucy “Elfen Lied”

  • Kind of want to watch Elfen Lied again.  I should see if that’s on Netflix.  That quote stuck out to me for a few reasons.  That seems like a mindset a lot of people like.  Misery likes company.  Too many people get caught up in their misery and struggle to see the real solutions looking them right in the face.  When it comes to loved ones, it was never because of what they were/are.  I always loved them for what they could be.  Their potential.  I will always believe in potential.  Dragging everyone into your misery is just wasting that potential.
  • Chugging along on a variety of projects during my vacation.  It amazes me how it feels like I’m accomplishing so much more when I’m not spending 80% of my time sleepwalking through everything.  Order of the Dragon #1 is right on track.  Hoping to have the inking done by the time I go back to work and be at least started on lettering at that point.  From there, maybe getting some feedback and going towards getting something printed in book form.  Also getting the sketch cards rolling.
  • Working on a page in Order of the Dragon #2 the other day, one featuring one of the primary protagonists, Liana–there will be three by the end of the issue, Liana, Nosferatu and Jimmy.  One concern I had was introducing too much in the course of one issue, but it makes more sense when I factored in that this issue dealt primarily with the fallout of the first issue.  But anyway, I ended up drawing Liana a certain way.  Less of the usual female, hour-glass you see in comics.  Nosferatu totally gets that and I will admit to some gratuitous ass shots.  Liana got drawn with more of a full figure.  While some in story stuff might lead to some alterations, I like that look to start.  Just thinking about how female characters get depicted.
  • Also starting to work on a bit of “soundtrack” to Order of the Dragon.  Just random songs I listen to when I work on it.  I’ll post the current list at the bottom of the page.  It will probably be an expanding thing.
  • My cat got sprayed by a Skunk.  Again.  At least it’s been three or four years since the last time.  Less than amused with the little guy.  Well, I say little but he was 18.3 pounds when I brought him to the vet last week.  Either way, he’s a bit ripe right now.  Got to mix up the baking soda and peroxide stuff.  Now just letting him air out.  Alternating between calling him “Stinky” and “Pepe LePew”.

 

Order of the Dragon Soundtrack:

“Alone Together” by Fall Out Boy

“Centuries” by Fall Out Boy

“Immortals” by Fall Out Boy

“Your Spirit’s Alive” by Dropkick Murphys

“Nosferatu” by Blue Oyster Cult

“Is She With You? (Wonder Woman Theme)” by Hans Zimmer and Junkie XL (BvS soundtrack)

“Wonder Woman’s Wrath” by Rupert Gregson-Williams (Wonder Woman soundtrack)

“Love is Pain” by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts

“Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlife” by A3

Your man’s gotta answer for his words, Burr.

-Hamilton (Listening to this a lot since I downloaded it)

Just a quick rant before I talk about comics.

Kind of expanding on what I was thinking about with honesty the other day, I was thinking the inverse.  When to keep one’s mouth shut.  This is a bit inspired by some of the political goings on right now, as I reflect on the general feeling of whiplash we get from our President and his statements on a variety of matters.  And how he often works against himself and his political allies in a variety of ways.  I think his tweets alone are the basis for a legal argument against a variety of policies and have often worsened a variety of situations.  Politicians as a rule tend to be very careful in what they say.  Because it will come back to haunt them.

My basic rule has always been to stand by what I say and if I cannot defend it, I shouldn’t be saying it.  Be it work, LMCBW, or whatever else.  I have a simple rule in place to stand by what I say.  To have the integrity to stand by what I say and defend it with evidence and thought out arguments.  One of the reasons I have never felt conflicted about any topic I discussed is that I put together arguments supported by what I believe to be facts and evidence.  In part because it can be easier to stick to logical, factual ideas rather than the fleeting promises of believe.  And I intend to stand by the views I put forward without denying the possibility that there is new evidence that my point of view might have missed.  Could always be more to learn.

 

And… Comics.

Had a brief respite from working on actual comics.  Just needed a bit of a recharge.  Did a few sketch cards.  Got twenty or so about done.  About halfway through the inking for the first issue.  Going to start lettering in the next few days.  Did a Draw-In thing yesterday with a few comic creators I’ve been connecting with in the area.  It was tiring being social for a few hours.  Cool people at least.One guy recommend a site for free fonts to use in lettering.  Already downloaded a couple and planning to get started soon.

Looking where my comics are right now, I think I could have been tabling this year at VTCC.  Mostly I just didn’t have my shit together.  Story of my life really.  I might try to be ready for a con later in the fall.

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.

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.
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