“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.

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.

The Ancient One: Arrogance and fear still keep you from learning the simplest and most significant lesson of all.

Dr. Stephen Strange: Which is?

The Ancient One: It’s not about you.

 

  • That exchange from the Doctor Strange movie keeps coming back to me.  Kind of hits a point most people keep missing and refuse to acknowledge when it smacks them in the face.
  • Taking a bit of break from Overwatch, playing a bit more Skyrim.  Put off working on my PS4.  I think I’ll try to play Overwatch more when I know people I actually know are playing.  Haven’t played very much as the new character, interesting power set though.
  • Came across an article last week that really got me thinking.  It was essentially discussing how difficult it is to study relationship without showing a bias towards monogamy.  The basic conclusion was that we are conditioned into believing that all relationships should strive towards a monogamous male-female set up and that’s the ideal.  That conditioning also makes it less likely for an unbiased study of relationships.  It just made a lot of really good points about how much of what take to be our cultural ideals are in fact things we’re conditioned into rather than what we determine are best for ourselves.  Not saying that everybody should go try a polyamorous lifestyle, but it does help to remind people to not take everything at face value.
  • I’ve written in the past about Tomi Lahren, mostly stating that I find her to have a limited understanding of the topics she discusses and more parrots her talking points than anything else.  Apparently she lost her job at the Blaze over the abortion comments she made on the View.  Glenn Beck has responded with some criticism of her remarks, citing a lack of intellectual honesty on Lahren’s part.  While I don’t necessarily disagree with Glenn Beck on that, but her comments were on par with her statements on a number of other issues and did not yield a response.  Why was this the line that she shouldn’t have crossed?
  • I’ve really avoided writing about abortion.  I don’t think nearly enough women have been a part of that conversation and that needs to change.  To a certain extent, I do think we need to reevaluate it from a modern viewpoint.  I do think the moral and religious arguments against abortion are too deeply rooted in a time where life expectancy was considerably shorter than it was today and the infant mortality rate was much higher.  With that in mind, it is important to acknowledge that there are more people alive now than ever before and they are living longer–to the point where we struggle to feed the people already living.  On that thought, I do think it is somewhat irresponsible to bring a baby into the world if it is not likely to have the opportunities we all deserve at birth.  I have also heard the argument that Roe v. Wade resulted in lower crime rates as there were fewer unwanted pregnancies and therefore fewer children at risk to get involved in crime due to growing up in a disadvantaged situation.  However, the choice is not society’s to make.  It should be between the parents and their doctors.
  • Finish today’s post on something a bit more… fun.  Starting to rearrange some things to facilitate more drawing.  I’ve been slacking, but hopefully that will be remedied soon.  Have been doing a bit of a series of drawings that I post on Instagram, calling them the “Pretending to be working” series.  It gets the stuff going at least.
  • Made tacos with Bison meat.  It was good.  I should make Tacos more often.

Been playing a lot of Overwatch.  Making it a goal to play at least one hour as each character.  That could take awhile.

  • Started getting serious again with the Order of the Dragon stuff.  Drawing it out in pencil, rather than on the computer.  I just like the feel of it better.  Going to try to do more of a hybrid workflow.  The mix has worked well in other projects, I’m hoping for the same here.  I always found a more hybrid approach more appealing, as there are some details that I can get better in pencil and some I can get better digitally.  If I have what I consider to be a healthy start, I might start posting new pages in the next week or two.  That’s kinda dependent on me stopping with Overwatch long enough.
  • Still giving some thought to bringing back Chlorine and Acid in some form, just want to make sure I get it right.  One of my main goals with that–and in writing here–is to get some more self-evaluation going.  I might be too open and honest at times, but there is a goal at work.  Try to share the ideas that will help people grow.  I feel like that I failed that in the first go around, but I wonder if a more focused attempt might work for the comic.
  • So I heard there will be Star Wars: Rebels Season Four.  Is there enough story left to tell?  I mean, I feel like the storylines for each character are wrapping up now–we got the freaking Obi-Wan and Maul showdown coming up–and the Rebel Alliance has essentially been formed.  I just have to wonder if there is going to be enough story to tell and if it is really going to justify a fourth season.
  • So I live the next town over from Middlebury, where there were protests recently about Charles Murray’s speaking engagement and a professor was injured in the course of events.  I am honestly not that familiar with his views, but those I am aware of are ones I don’t necessarily agree with.  I get the impression that his beliefs influence his research and potentially skew it.  Not to fault having beliefs, but there are times when beliefs can interfere with your ability to observe, think and develop ideas.  I would personally prefer to see people challenge his ideas than resort to violence, but I can understand the strong feelings.
  • Freedom of Speech should be about ideas, but do when certain individuals aren’t really bringing ideas, should they be entitled to a platform?  Is Murray really bringing ideas to the table?  Was Milo Yiannopoulos anything more than an exploited and troubled individual?  (Not to dismiss anything he said, but I do think there are some real personal issues at work there)

One thing I find myself thinking about more lately is problem solving.  In particular, the desire and preference for the fast solution or the “Quick Fix.”  This has been something I’ve noticed at work lately, as there has been a lot more… micromanaging in the cheese production process.  I won’t get very technical or detailed about it, but there has been a lot of small adjustments that might solve one problem, but in the end only create two or three more.

I see this more and more in the news lately.  Take Trump’s Wall on the Mexican border.  Does it really solve anything?  Drugs are still going to come in.  A wall isn’t going to do a damn thing to stop that.  Most of the “criminals” are already well established here.  Undocumented workers?  They are what keep a lot of agricultural industry going.  They are the dishwashers.  I don’t see a lot of Americans lining up to do these jobs.  It might be a short term solution, but doesn’t it just create more problems and cost even more billions later on to maintain the wall?

I’m reminded of what Yoda said about the Dark Side being stronger–another case in which that puppet had more wisdom than most people–in Empire Strikes Back, when he said, “No, no, no.  Quicker, easier, more seductive.”  The point I see in that is that quick fix might seem easier and more seductive, but doesn’t it lead to more problems in the end?

In another life, with an ex, we had a couple of fish tanks.  Each had probably five or six fish and my ex had suggested we get more fish.  Personally, I was never really that interested in fish and we did struggle to keep them alive.  I told her this and she was a bit miffed.  I suggest the idea of getting a dog at that point, being something I had an interest in doing at the time.  She ignored the suggestion and brushed it off, and I didn’t really bring it up again.

As serious of a step as that would have been, there were a myriad of issues that needed to be solved.  We could have gotten a puppy.  We could have gotten ponies if it made her happy.  Or more fish.  But would it have done that?  It would have been the same deal with proposing.  Yes, we could have done it, but would it have made a difference if she didn’t want to deal with those other issues?  I mean, I lost count of the number of times I said, “we’ll talk when you’re ready” only to have her never really want to talk about anything.  In a lot of ways, her quick fix of breaking up saved me from dealing with her drama, but I doubt it really solved any of her problems.

In general, I do find that the quick fixes are more detrimental to the long term than people like to think.  One thing I’ve been doing more of lately is thinking about the long term.  Have the long term goals clear and defined.  My mother asked me the other day if I had “given up” on trying to be a writer.  Given up?  Fuck no.  Admittedly the mental toll of working nights has caught up to me and I’m a bit more sidetracked, but that’s temporary.  I’m thirty, I got plenty of time.  If I leave my current job, I want to make sure its a better situation, which is the only reason I’m still there.  I haven’t set up the better, long term situation.

Sometimes you just have to think about those odd little things…

  • Finished reading a biography of Nikola Tesla.  He was very complicated individual, struggled a lot because of his complexity.  A lot of what he theorized about has come to pass, so you can’t help but wonder what might have been.  Three day weekend coming up, so I might head over to the bookstore and pick up a couple more books.  Also right across the street from the cookware store, so the rice cooker might happen.  The books will probably be the priority.
  • I had a dentist appointment the other day.  Nothing terribly exciting, although I will admit that the hygienist scolding me for not flossing enough was a bit of a turn on.  Probably helped that it was relatively attractive female–relative if only because beauty is defined by our own perceptions.  The field of dentistry does seem ideally suited for some odd fetishes.
  • I feel like there have been a lot of little things building up to something lately.  Not sure what, not sure if I care.  I just see these odd little events that seem to be pointing in one direction or another.
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