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.

Personal Review

May 1, 2017

But with a presence that billows out

Of any space

That even tries

To contain it.

“It’s Always The Quiet Ones” Something I thought I had deleted

So I’ve been working on my employee review questionnaire as part of tonight’s can’t sleep so I might as well do something and I’m going to share a few thoughts.  Basically it’s four questions.  What jobs can you do?  How can the supervisors help you with your performance/career growth?  How can your job be improved?  What are your personal or professional goals?

Writing it up was a lot easier than I thought it would be.  Mostly I just acknowledge I’ve held myself in place and need something different.  Nothing really new, just a slight redefinition.  Part of it is a bit of bad luck with a mediocre job market.  And in all honesty, how many jobs can you really get without 3-5 years of experience in a given field?  But that’s not really the whole story.

Maybe on a level this has been some kind of punishment for how things ended with Little Miss Can’t Be Wrong.  In some ways, that’s probably been true.  I do think I made a mistake in not going to work on the farm.  I think there would have been more opportunities there than I had initially believed if I had not been so daunted by things going on at the time and the general feelings of it.  Speculative, I know, but I definitely think there were a lot of unexplored positives.

So yeah.  I will admit I have been confined for whatever reason.  And the constraints are going to have to go.

It’s not a bad thing finding out that you don’t have all the answers. You start asking the right questions.

-Erik Selvig “Thor”

  • I see a story floating around about how the guy on that United Airlines flight was convicted of trading drugs for sex and was not actually a licensed doctor.  Question:  does that really matter?  I mean, his argument for staying on the plane might have been bullshit, but isn’t it kind of ridiculous that airlines overbook like that in the first place?  And that they handled themselves like that?
  • Saw the Thor: Ragnarok trailer.  Watched it five or six times.  Trying not to judge much based on it.  I wasn’t a huge fan of opening with narration like that.  Overused technique really.  Kind of continues the general direction of the Thor movies, although I do think they tried too hard to make it look more like Guardians of the Galaxy.  Guardians of the Galaxy worked because it stuck to being what it was.  It didn’t try to be like Captain America or Iron Man or the Avengers.  Making Thor more like GotG isn’t something I’m overly interested in seeing.  We will see what the movie turns out to be.
  • Tried making Garlic French Fries the other day.  Basically the recipe for baked french fries I know, only seasoned with crushed garlic and parmesan cheese.  Acceptable results, although I might try adding some cheddar cheese to try to avoid drying out the garlic as much.  A tweak I’m going to try.
  • I’ve posted various segments of novels, one of which was centered around bodybuilding.  In this scene I’m toying with, the characters are discussing the idea of submission and/or dominance in a relationship.  The idea I’ve been crafting for that scene essentially is that while one person may be stronger, it should be their job to raise their partner to their level in all aspects.  And if the one person isn’t as strong… well isn’t the point of life to grow?  To become stronger?  If someone drives you to be stronger, isn’t that a beautiful thing?

I try not to spam people’s FB or Twitter or whatever too much with posts and articles, so I’m going to do a general, “Here Are a Few Things I’ve Read Lately” post to try to keep it somewhat organized.  Today’s will just be a couple of articles that stood out to me, something to think about.

Jobs That Will Cost You The Most Sleep.  This was a bit of an interesting read in that it made me feel a bit better about my lack of sleep as it stated my particular industry has 48.9% of people reporting less than seven hours of sleep, probably higher for workers of the nightshift.  Felt a little less… alone in my insomnia after seeing that number.  It is interesting in that there is no benefit for anyone involved.  They estimate in the article that lack of sleep costs the US economy up to $411 billion a year.  1.2 million lost days of work.

Americans Are Having Less Sex.  I suppose this relates to the first article a bit, in that our professional lives are screwing us all up.  I remember at some point in the course of our back and forth an ex said something about how I should “read a book about sex and the female body.”  Now part of me has wondered if she was serious or trying to be a bitch when she said that, but I always found that to be a ridiculous statement in that I always felt that the biggest hindrance in our sex life was her lack of clarity and openness about sex–possibly a result of some of the factors outlined in that article?  I don’t know, but I am leaning that way.  At work I’m outright refusing any and all overtime if only because I have grown much more aware of a greater need for a work/home separation.  And I do feel I’ve observed an increase my sex drive lately, possibly as  a result of acknowledging that need.  Could the decrease in sex be a result in the continued degradation of our work/home separation?  Related to the increase in anxiety and mental health issues?

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.
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