Just another week, I suppose.

  • Found out one of the Michael’s up in Burlington carries Copic Markers.  I’ve been slowly building up my range of markers as I need a color or two.  Been using them primarily on sketch tiles, going to do some bookmarks in the near future.  Mostly I just like using the Copic Markers, can do a lot with them.  Been posting a lot of those drawings on dA or Instagram, seem to be coming out well.  Might do some larger stuff in the near future.  Not quite sure what yet.
  • Got distracted from finishing the last page in Issue #1 of Order of the Dragon.  Bought art boards for doing comic pages by hand, smaller than the stuff I bought in NYC a couple of years back.  These might be a bit more manageable than those.  Might try to do a short comic for Halloween with them.
  • Checked out a gym in Williston yesterday morning.  Place called Lift VT.  Huge warehouse gym, I really liked the range of weights, machines and overall options they offered.  Wish I had planned more time to just fuck around and try stuff.  Liked it better than my normal place for a number of reasons and planning to make it a regular thing to hit up other gyms.  At the very least, I liked the change of scenery.
  • Also visited a new comics and games store in Williston, a place called Killer Rabbit Comics and Games.  Only been open a month, grand opening supposed to happen this weekend.  Bought some comics, some dice and a dice bag while I was there.  Lovely little store, look forward to seeing what they do going forward.
  • Continuing to reflect on the post I did on a woman’s responsibility a bit.  I do feel those roles and responsibilities are changing, whether people like it or not.  Gender roles, sexuality, rules and expectations in regards to those… I feel like we’re in the middle of a revolution of sorts where a lot of the barriers and limitations are being challenged.

Life can be weird sometimes…

  • Last year at some point, there was this bullshit video this woman put out about Obesity in this country.  I believe it was called, “Dear Fat People.”  Mostly it was just a series of bad jokes that missed a lot of points entirely.  This pops into my mind for a few reasons.  I did a bit of a response to it–just basically countering some of her arguments and exploring a bit of our culture’s handling of the issue.  I think I saw something recently about airlines putting bigger seats in planes actually.  Anyway, this popped to mind because in the last few days I saw a couple blurbs about “Muscle Shaming.”  When I say Muscle Shaming, I’m referring to women who work out and put on some level of muscle that get ridicule for it.  One of many cultural things we struggle with and I connect it fat shaming to some extent.  Personally, I will admit I am more attracted to woman who are in shape–although not limited to that.  Having a positive outlook about our bodies–male or female–can be a challenge.  I will admit to struggling with my own body image to some extent–I was the one who described myself as an anorexic twig once upon a time.  It shouldn’t matter what you’re body looks like, as long as you’re healthy and happy.
  • Going back to Black and White pages for awhile with the comic.  I just don’t have the focus to do the shading or coloring with it right now.  Maybe I’ll go back and do some work on the pages to get them ready for a trade paperback.  The important thing is to actually do the work.  Going to work on some more writing soon.
  • Officially acquired the suit for the Tenth Doctor cosplay.  Mostly just glad I found a pair of pants that fit.  My thighs are quite a bit larger than they have been, which has been a bit of problem with wearing pants.  I’m only going to do one day of it.  After factoring in that this is NYC in October, in an oven of a convention center, I figured one day of cosplay would be an achievement.  Might see if I can find a pair of red Converses tomorrow.  Or hit up another thrift store to see if I can find the coat.  Probably won’t worry too much, given that the convention center will be a bit of an oven.  Overall pleased with the direction that’s going.  Not so much with my British accent, but I’ll probably practice in my leisurely moments.  I am having fun with this, might try other cosplays at some point.

I went to the Fair on Thursday afternoon.  It was in the upper 90s F.  Got something to eat wandered around a bit, saw how depressed and overheated the whole place looked and said “Fuck This.”  Went home after an hour.  Admittedly, not the best time to go anyway, a bit of downtime when people are just getting out of work and things are slow.  But still.

New page in Order of the Dragon is up.  Going to try two pages a week just to keep a better pace.  Liking the progress I’ve made so far, but I’ve been getting more sluggish and losing momentum.  Might be that’s a heatwave.  I think I’ve posted this link before, but here’s a Facebook page dedicated to Order of the Dragon.  Mostly an effort to compartmentalize things.  Also starting toying with some other ideas.  There’s time travel comic I’ve been working on, as well as some reworking for Chlorine and Acid.  There’s a lot of stories I didn’t tell with Chlorine and Acid and I would like to go back to it sometime.  Maybe soon.

Odd event of the day.  I caved and downloaded Pokemon Go last week.  Barely play it really, but I have been on rare occasion.  I think I’ve got a Squirtle, a weedle, a pidgey and a zubat so far.  Anyway, I popped it open as I was leaving the gym this morning and it flashed up a warning about not playing while driving.  I guess I was walking briskly enough to fool it into thinking I was driving.  Funny.

Given how quickly your cash breaks down to smaller bills, I’ve basically been stashing small bills in an envelope for comiccon.  I think at last count I had something like $45 in $1s.  I’m kinda impressed actually.  In $1, $5, $10 bills, I’ve got like $130 ready for con.  I might use some of that for VTCC, but I’ve got figure exactly what my role there will be.  Earlier this week, I put my name in to volunteer at the Con, help with setting up whatever.  Still waiting to hear back on what exactly I’ll be doing.

Also hoping to give blood.  They hold a blood drive there every there, might do that this year.  I’ve declined in the past because I had some concerns about my body weight.  Until the last year or two, my weight was generally around 135-140 pounds.  At 5 foot 8 inches, I had a certain level of concern that I was underweight.  I don’t think I was ever officially underweight–I think I took a test once, and it said I wasn’t–but I thought I was close enough to be concerned.  That’s why I never gave blood.  However, now that I’m pushing 170 pounds, I feel much safer about the idea.  Also, work is planning to have one, so I might give then as well.

Few nagging thoughts to process.

  • Have managed to get a few pages up in Order of the Dragon.  If I get some work stuff sorted out, I’m going to get set up with a correspondents course through the Kubert School.  Also thinking of looking into something with the Center for Cartoon Studies, partly to get some “formal” training.  Mostly I’m just looking to get a bit more credibility to my name.  A BFA in Creative Writing isn’t necessarily something to scoff at, but I would like to say I had a bit more going for me as far as the art is concerned.  Might even look into something with the Center for Cartoon Studies.
  • I really wasn’t intending to talk politics today.  I really wasn’t.  But I have to wonder… Is Trump really even running a Presidential campaign?  In the week he has put his relationship with a hostile power to our country in question, shown a lack of humanity in regards to a grieving mother, and has whined about a debate structure that was set in place nearly a year ago.  I don’t particularly like Clinton myself, but when her opponent is going out of his way to appear as wretched and horrid as possible…*
  • So I did bid on a different job at work and it has been a bit of a dragged out process.  They kind of figured out that I was underpaid–I never really brought it up because half the plant is underpaid and it really was something they should have caught in the performance reviews if they were actually doing their jobs–and are bumping me up a couple of bucks and giving me some backpay.  Although I personally find it hard to feel underpaid when I’m already making $5+ over most other places in the area with better benefits.  So I’m reevaluating my plan a bit.  I actually really hate these jobs I do, but I might endure it for a bit longer if I’m getting some more money.  I am planning to have my planned figured out when I go talk to them about the backpay.  Like with the art stuff, I’m kind of refining my long term plan.  If the last year and a half has taught me anything, adaptability is key.


*So I wrote this before I heard about the whole baby thing.  Or how sexual harassment should be handled.  Or whatever else he said yesterday.  This is going to be the last time I write about Trump.  It’s about time he was expunged from the collective consciousness of our country.

Bit of Random Thought

July 28, 2016

Feel I got way too serious about politics and life the other day, so here are a few random thoughts that don’t really have much to do with anything.  Mostly just odd reflections that have occurred to me.

  • Happy to be gaining momentum in putting together a comic again.  I like the way the art is progressing and the story is coming together.  I am still tempted on occasion to revisit Chlorine and Acid, but for now Order of the Dragon still has my undivided attention.  Did come up with a killer idea for how to do the revamped Chlorine and Acid though.  Might script it out in the near future.  Need to get back to working on the novels too.  I’ve been so focused on getting back into a mindset to draw, I have done nearly as much writing as I would have liked.
  • I’ve made a lot of progress at the gym in the last few weeks.  On the scale this morning I was weighing in at 164 pounds–that does fluctuate somewhat, but not usually that high.  Finally getting the last few bits of the diet sorted out.  Perfected this Weight Gainer Protein Shake.  The type I’ve been using has a lengthy list of stuff you can add to the shake, so I’ve been trying various fruits, peanut butter, etc.  Raspberries have too many seeds in them, so I switched to strawberries.  Not bad.  Also finding I like the Greek Yogurt and Granola for breakfast a lot too.
  • Trying not to be a creep when I say this, but I always like seeing women at the gym doing more than stuff like the cardio machines or yoga.  Actually lifting some weights.  A point I’ve tried to get across to a couple of people is that lifting actually does a lot of good–occasionally more than cardio or yoga will do.  Working the muscles can be more efficient than anything else you do.  Plus, there is the misleading effect of making a woman’s breasts bigger.  I say misleading because it is really only the pectoral muscles pushing them further out when they are worked.  And eventually the body will burn the fatty tissue of the breasts as well.  So yeah, not really true or false.  Just misleading.  Despite that fascinating tangent, I just feel women lifting is just a sign our world is in a better place
  • Question of etiquette: I realized the other day that I had not added my ex’s best friend on Facebook–I added my ex’s sister, but not her best friend.  The sister had a bit of a purpose of keeping updated on her husband, who’s a former coworker and a friend of my father’s–and also trying to get some read on the ex’s mindset when we still had dealings.  The best friend… we were living together in the hippy commune, so I would say we were friends.  I don’t remember if I actually thought about adding her or what.  The ex and I were busy making fools of ourselves anyway.  Maybe in those first couple of months I didn’t think it would fit in some sense of etiquette?  Is there a moratorium on that type of thing?  I don’t know.  Just acting half my age for five minutes.  Mostly I’m just curious if there is somebody out there who wrote up something like that.

A lot more politics than I intended–I really need to stop thinking about politics and focus more on other things–although there are some comic updates and a bit of thought about people thinking their smarter than everybody else–something I’m getting better at not doing.

  • Started posting Order of the Dragon on Tumblr.  Hoping to keep it rolling this time.  I’m doing a lot of different things to keep me a bit more focused and on track this time around.
  • So the Democrats are hopefully getting their collective shit together.  Hillary Clinton seems to be inclined to make these decisions that make you wonder if she’s even trying to win this election.  There have been concerns that the primary was rigged in her favor and the DNC chair resigned as a result.  What does Clinton do in response?  Names that person as an honorary chairperson on her campaign.  It just seems she’s out of touch with reality, which is one of the reasons I have a hard time supporting her.  For someone who’s been in politics since the 1960s, I feel like she just lacks a basic comprehension of how people perceive her and her history.  It hurts the perception people have when she reinforces it like that.  I will applaud Bernie if only because I do think he’s already more focused on getting people elected to congress than he ever was to getting nominated President.
  • And then there’s Donald Trump.  I cannot fathom how this man has garnered so much unconditional support–well, some it is Clinton trying her best to lose, but still.  This guy has been strongly compared to Hitler while showing too much admiration for some remarkably horrible human beings, puts forth policy that experts on both sides agree will be disastrous and just in general is no one who should be near public office.  I mean, look at the email thing with the DNC.  The right may complain about Clinton’s numerous flaws, but I have to wonder how close Trump is to the Russians.  I mean, two or three of his top staffers have strong ties to Putin or his allies and Trump has gotten a lot of money from Russian banks.  I have to wonder how close he is to committing treason.
  • Last political point.  Vote Green Party or Libertarian?  Why not?  I’m been giving serious thought to voting for Jill Stein over the past month or two, but I will give Gary Johnson every chance to prove to me a Libertarian will get shit done.  Our two major parties have given us the two most radioactive options at their disposal, so why not?  Stein?  Johnson?  The guy with the boot on his head?  If enough people say “Fuck this, I’m not voting for either of these clowns”, something might actually happen.
  • In a lot of stories I write, there has been a tendency to explore this idea of the smartest person in the room.  In the simplest terms possible: The ego and belief of that status often limits the implied superiority and stifles ideas.  Kind of happens all over the place.  In politics where you have the “True Believers” is a particularly dangerous spot, with the belief in ideology trapping each party in failed theories.  It is important to have ideas, but also not to get trapped by them.  I’ve known a few people that have gotten caught up in that.  The number of problems that could have been solved simply by acknowledging that you don’t necessarily know everything…  That somebody else might have a better idea…  I know there have been a few times when the ideas that can solve a problem are right in front of you, but ego or belief prevents you from doing it.  I feel like I’m beating my head against the wall in a couple of cases where this happens.  The point is, being right doesn’t always get you what you want.  Sometimes you might be better off being wrong.  The important thing is to get the right idea in the end.

Comics Update

July 22, 2016

After several months of just being stalled for a variety of reasons, I feel it is about time to post some comic book pages again.  I’m going to finish uploading the pages I’ve already completed in Order of the Dragon over the weekend.  Monday’s page is done, the next two are eighty to ninety percent there–Wednesday just needs some minor tweaks and Friday is mostly colored.

I think I’m going to leave out the Issue Zero story.  That was really more of a… therapeutic exercise than anything, with no real connection to the rest of the story.  I liked it well enough, but I think it has served its purpose.  It was a effective tool for the job I needed it for–plus I still cringe every time I think of that drawing I did of the cat with its face falling off.  Its still up on the Duck if anybody wants to check it out.

So I’m getting that going again.  Issue #1 of Order of the Dragon should be smooth sailing.

Also thinking about Chlorine and Acid again.  I stopped doing it for a number of reasons.  One, I was in the middle of a story about a plant manager getting fired and they fired the current one at the time.  Needless to say, that was a wee bit too… topical.  I decided to take a little break before I continued.  So a month goes by there’s a “terrorist threat” made against the company.  We have a couple of former employees that post these stupid little photoshop things making fun of current and former management.  They weren’t necessarily known for their good judgement.  One of them posted this thing about ISIS and our Holiday party.  Canceled the party, had a cop watching the plant 24/7 for a few weeks… it was quite the spectacle.  I started it with the idea that I would offer some mockery and insight into what goes on at the plant, but it was intended to stay in the range of good fun and for the most part did–I will admit I toed a couple of lines.  After that fiasco, I voluntarily ended the comic to avoid the appearance of encouraging or approving that type of thing.

I might try to do some new outlines and start over fresh with it, but I’m not too committed to the idea.  It was intended to be a collaborative project, but my collaborator didn’t work out.  I tried doing it alone, but it felt weird doing it without the inspiration for one of the characters.

Still would like to do something collaborative.  The idea of being able to focus on just drawing or writing a comic actually does intrigue me quite a bit.  If all goes well getting Order of the Dragon going, I’ll be giving that more serious thought.

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