“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.
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I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired.

  • So this flu–going to call it that based on the myriad symptoms I’ve exhibited–has dragged on for about a week.  I’m getting tired of it.  Mostly I just want to breathe again.  Haven’t been able to bench for a few days, lying back on the bench when you struggle to breathe is quite the challenge.  Hopefully I will be back to doing a flat or decline bench at the end of the week.  Did a pretty decent workout today, which is a very good sign.
  • Got the last of my NYCC books back from CGC.  This round of books were the set I got signed by Jim Starlin.  I got a 9.2 on Avengers Annual #7 (Conclusion of the first Thanos Saga and the “Death” of Adam Warlock), Infinity Gauntlet #1 got a 9.4, Infinity Gauntlet #2 got a 9.4, and Infinity Gauntlet #3 got a 9.6.  Not a bad hull.  The Avengers Annual actually has Thanos’ first “death” as well as his assembling the Infinity Gems, although he does not use them as the Gauntlet until the series of the same name.  Very pleased, fits right along with my plans for these and the books I got signed by Stan Lee as well.
  • Trying to budget more time for drawing, optimize my abilities.  I’ve been doing a lot of side stuff, but I’d really like to get back to comics.  I’m going to try drawing more by hand, with actual pencil and paper.  I’m not necessarily a fan of being purely digital.  Definitely feel like I draw better in pencil first, then pretty it up in Photoshop.

Some updates, I suppose…

  • I am surprisingly proud of myself for voting for Bill “Space Man” Lee.  He won’t win and probably would be a disaster if he did, but I’m glad I didn’t vote for the more of the same from Sue Minter and Phil Scott for Vermont’s next governor.  I wish I had more thought to voting for Jill Stein.
  • I really think Congress needs to have term limits.  My primary reason: imagine if Bernie had been running for President ten years ago.  People wonder why Washington is so corrupt, but don’t think about the fact that they basically set themselves up for life and have incredible job security.
  • I got to draw a coworker as He-Man.  He seemed pretty pleased by it.  Wants me to print it off and get it framed for him.  He’s offered to pay me for it.  Basically became the excuse I’ve been looking for to get a Printer for larger format drawings.  Need to get some higher quality paper for these print jobs.  Feeling good about art again.
  • Was thinking about the post from a week or two ago about a Woman’s Responsibility.  I said something about my ex and how I felt like she hadn’t really taken responsibility for how her own choices and actions.  Though I might not have articulated it properly, I do think there’s a point there to be made.  No matter how good or bad the relationship was, responsibility should be equal.  That was the point I wanted to make and in break-ups it can be easy to assume it was the fault of one person or the other, but it should and usually is equal.

Some goals I’m succeeding at, some I’m not.

  • Drawing a lot more, although I’m having a bit of aversion to drawing on the computer in Photoshop.  That part holds up page work.  Did a pretty decent Black Canary drawing–which reminds me to see if I can pick up the second volume of GL/GA–as well as a pretty good coloring job on that Captain America and a Batman Cover Swipe I did in Copic Grays.  Few minor issues with each of those, but I’m happy where they are.  Got a few others I’m going to try to work on.  I’m hoping to start getting some pages done while building up a bit of a catalog of print worthy material.
  • Also hoping to get more requests from friends and people I know for things to draw.  Think it will help me to figure out what there’s more of a market for and what people want to see more of.
  • Did my daily weigh in and I’m weighing about 170 pounds right now.  So I have basically reached and exceeded my goal weight.  And it is not a lot of fat–although I do have a bit more of a gut right now than I have in the past.  It is mostly muscle and even the stomach is receding a bit as I continue to work out.  It can be fascinating to observe how my body has changed over time.  Working Flax Seed into my diet, which is helping in a number of ways.
  • NYCC is officially planned out.  Tickets are paid for, hotel is booked, train is booked and paid for, and budgeting is nearly figured out.  Still a month away, but I’m getting more amped up.  I still regret not asking some people to come down with me, I can think of a few people that would have had fun.  Oh well, it’s not like they would have necessarily been keen to go anyway.
  • I like the sideburns look.  Bit OCD when it comes to keeping them even, but I like what I’ve got going there.  Coming in nicely.  Try to get the rest of the Cosplay together in the coming weeks.  Hit up the Thrift Stores and such.
  • Still practicing with the accent, although I doubt I will make much progress.  I will keep practicing for the fun of it.  Might be good to just use it for a few one liners and see how that goes.  Mostly the accent is just for fun.  I did post a couple of videos of me practicing: one’s a bit of the “wibbley-wobbly timey-whimey” speech, the other is “New Teeth/Barcelona” line.  They are on my Instagram page if people want to check it out.

Planning And Pondering

August 4, 2016

So I ordered the Correspondence Course from the Kubert School for pencilling.  It arrived today.  I’m doing a lot of art digitally right now, but I’m hoping to go back to pencil and paper once I have the resources in place.  Refining some skills will help immensely.  Still might look into the Center for Cartoon Studies.  In addition–I guess this is some kind of “back to school” special–they sent me the Super Villains Course as well.  Hopefully going to get a chance to go through them in the near future.  I would like to be doing that right now, but I should sleep at some point.

Gets me thinking about the plans I’ve had over the years.  I’ve gotten side-tracked so easily.  I think I am much more certain about what I have to accomplish.  I intend to keep going with Order of the Dragon, might toy with some other ideas once I get a bit more of a back load of pages done.

I’ve got to go talk to my bosses tomorrow about where to go with things at work.  I am leaning towards a certain plan.  Hopefully things will get sorted out according to it.  I do have a timetable for a few things and I’m hoping I will be able to keep to it.

It also gets me thinking about relationships too.  I did decide I wasn’t going to date as long as I’m working nights and I’m glad I stuck to that.  In part, because I wanted to make sure I wasn’t trying to prove a point.  In the few months that followed if I had gotten with some girl, moved right in, gotten pets together, whatever else… would it have been a good relationship or a rebound that was trying too hard to be something?  I didn’t want to be a relationship just to prove a point.  Wasn’t really interested in a rebound or anything.  I want to make sure it is because its because I actually want to be with her and not to prove some bullshit point about moving on.

Question or two:

  1. Is America like the Gordian Knot?  Where our leaders try and try to untangle it, but only really make it worse?  When does Alexander the Great come along to cut it?  Just thinking how messed up this country actually is.
  2. In the course of a break-up, would you rather have a complex list of reasons or just have them say they don’t love you anymore?  This comes up after my mother saw my ex’s mom at a bridal shower recently.  The “lack of initiative” thing came up.  Now, I thought that was bullshit every time I heard it–she gave me other reasons too, which I also thought were bullshit–so wouldn’t it just have been more productive to keep it simple and say she didn’t love me anymore?  Sure would have been more believable than anything she said.

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.

Where I make a strange comparison, consider a few points and just generally reflect on planning.

  • Still trying to get a good load of pages ready to go before I start posting Order of the Dragon again.  Still getting distracted.  Getting some of it done though.  Hoping the change in hours gets done soon.  Moving at the speed of bureaucracy, I guess.  Bit of staffing/scheduling clusterfuck going on.  Working on developing a new character for Order of the Dragon.  One who interrogates people with the method of flicking pistachio shells at them.  Not like I bought a pound of them and have been steadily working my way through them…
  • I think the head-games we put ourselves through are worse than anything other people can come up with.  Started thinking about this morning at work.  Partly due to the stuff going on there, partly some personal stuff.  I’m glad I’m at least trying to close this shit out though.  The number of problems that could be solved or avoided if people just got their own heads sorted out before dealing with someone else…
  • I remember way back in 2008, there was a bit of drama in the Democratic primary process.  There were a couple of states that wanted to move their primary up by a few weeks, which caused a fair amount of friction within the Democratic Party.  These primaries were effectively rendered irrelevant until the DNC could figure out what to do.  The majority of the candidates chose not to campaign there and went so far to remove their names from the ballots.  There were four that remained on the Michigan ballot at the time of their primary: Chris Dodd, Dennis Kucinich, Mike Gravel, and Hillary Clinton.  I remember that being the event that really pushed me to support Obama.  My thinking was that walking away from those primaries was the right decision as it could potentially do more harm than good to campaign or remain on the ballot in those states.  Could unfairly sway that pool of voters in the favor of one candidate or another.  I started thinking about that after reading an article yesterday about how the Democrats are giving away the election–the Republicans are trying too, but I don’t think they’re alienating their base as effectively.  In some ways, I see Hillary Clinton becoming a Democrat version of Trump.  The comparison might be a bit weird, but the way her rhetoric has progressed makes me aware of a similar disconnect.
  • Getting more creative in my cooking.  Creating more variations on the fundamental ideas I work with.  Next week I might make the Chicken Parm stuff with fennel in it.  Just an idea I’m going to try.  I’m working on a plan where I cook a meal each night with a certain number of meals in leftovers to go over the next two or three days.  Enable more of a mix and still maintain a fresh selection.  Will involve more prep work later on, waiting on my hours to change to put that idea into motion.  Probably going to look into bulk orders of meat at some point, as that would probably make this whole thing a bit more feasible and cut costs a bit.  Want to do some more baking, but again, I’m waiting until the stuff with my hours is resolved.  Diversifying snacks to include stuff like pistachios and other things.
  • Tearing into my loans.  I’m a bit behind the pace I was hoping to have, a few things have interfered.  The systematic approach I have working is still viable, I need to get a couple more pieces in place.  Hoping to have that moving more efficiently soon.
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