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After struggling, STRUGGLING, with perspective for SEVENTEEN YEARS it all came in a flood! I finally understand how to rule a background so it's in proportion to itself. I get what a protractor is REALLY for and how it makes finding the other vanishing, and diagonal points easy. I know how to establish measuring points so everything is proportional to it's duplicates area-wise. It's been this HUGE obstacle to doing my pages. I'd hit this wall, buckle and do ANYTHING else. I Finally figured it out! YOU DON'T KNOW THE STRUGGLE! After I saw floorplans in Andrew Loomis' "Fun with a Pencil" where he's explaining perspective to children... CHILDREN!!!!! I had to figure it out! It couldn't be that hard. It couldn't. Sweet mercy, it's finally happened. It's like I've learned how to read or something. Or how to fuck properly. Seventeen LONG years! Ugh. At long last our national nightmare is finally over!

There's no stopping me now.
Victory!
I am officially a grandpaw and have no more spleen to vent. Marissa Tomei is likely to star as Aunt May 3.0 aka the Grandmother You'd really Like to Fuck. I just don't have the strength anymore. I just fucking don't. Aunt May is supposed to be this seventy year old lady who is either perpetually baking cookies, trying to set up her nephew Peter Parker with someone nice, or on the verge of death. She is a role model and a mentor to Peter doing her best in the absence of Ben trying to steer Peter right. That's basically the formula.

Marisa Tomei is a thoroughly enjoyable actress who in my opinion in addition to having acting chops is still sexy as all get out. She was absolutely great in The Wrestler. I do not begrudge her getting paying work, but she's not your Granma. She's certainly not Granma on the verge of death/medical bills requiring Peter risk his damn neck to get some Spidey photo cash from JJJ which is then used to hit him over the head with in the Bugle.

This dovetails with my earlier complaints of arbitrarily changing Johnny Storm to black for no reason other than to encourage more black moviegoing ticket sales. It was never about inclusiveness, that's just a cover. Regardless, in the end it only matters if it's done well and not hamfistedly which by all mudslinging over at Sony it's sure to be something of middling fare. DC is going to make a Vixen tv series and that is absolutely the right way to go about it. Build up your other properties. Marvel is building up Falcon and Black Panther. That's totally the way to go. It's a natural progression. Everybody lost their shit when Rachel Dolezal culturally appropriated blackness by trying to pass off the flimsy excuse of being "trans-racial". In comics, the same scenario is not seen as a train wreck, it's seen as social justice. No! Social justice would be taking the Milestone Characters and building them up as you would have in Young Justice. This is like when the Punisher was made Black and then they just forgot all about it two issues later.
comicsalliance.com/the-punishe…

Not unlike Bill Clinton's pursuit of Osama Bin Laden in the 90's he was accused of "wag the dog", distracting from the "issue" of Monica Lewinsky and blowjobs. Then after 9/11 he was accused by Conservatives of not being aggressive enough. It's funny to me that pointing out this disingenuous casting with Johnny Storm can get one labelled a bigot by your own side, and then that same side who labelled you a bigot is now also upset alongside you, but for different reasons. Aunt May is being cast younger and now sexier with every new version. (If they do the fucking origin story again I am going to flip out, I think we all know it already). #TheMarySue is upset because that's an affront to aging women actors (which I concede is valid), while my position has never wavered; it's not the fucking story! You can only go so far from Canon until you're telling a different story. Granpaws like us (in our late 30's) will have to retreat to, "I liked the Tobey MaGuire Spiderman version even though they passed on that sweet animatronic Goblin mask and went with the inarticulate helmet"



They totally should have went with that.

What the hell am I driving at anyway? The point of my rant is that; I can't do it anymore. I've been passed by. Like Superman in Kingdom Come I feel like society has left me behind. Not in regards to what is right or fair, but what is real and pragmatic. People were outraged that Spiderman wasn't going to be portrayed as Gay. OMG, you've got to be kidding me. I'm all for equal rights and if you want gay superheroes in ascendancy make a Midnighter movie or a Batwoman movie. Build up that property. People use the argument that changing Johnny Storm's race would make no change to the character. Ask any black man if being male is important to them or if being straight is important to them, I suspect they'll say yes. (scrub to 10 minute mark for punchline)



So on that point I still disagree, but particularly when you have a character who has multiple heterosexual relationships and is decidedly straight you can't just make them gay. That's called co-opting what the aforementioned Mrs Dolezal did. I understand the push for inclusivity, pointing out the Alexander the Great was gay, but making something it's not is just another form of illusion and illusion is suffering.

In any case, I'm clearly on the losing side as there are more people whose causes are more important to them than any sense of core continuity.
So one of the things that encourages me to draw is people seeing my work. The downside is I never want to release anything until it's done. I feel that if I release artwork as I'm developing it along the way to a finished page that would fuel me and people would get to see I'm not just languishing artwise. How many people would support me with a Patreon chipping in with at least a minimum pledge? Although I am a slow artist I do actually draw fairly frequently. You'd get to see work in progress bluelines of the panels I'me presently working on, and I could put some money in the piggy bank.

Please provide feedback in the comments section.

Thanks,
Andrew
My Girlfriend, her two boys and I were exiting seeing Avengers 2 (No spoilers) which was just great. The ten year old was kicking a chair through some of the talking scenes, but on the whole we all loved it. As we're exiting he sees the poster for Fantastic Four, and can't help but notice the elephant in the room. As any ten year old should remarks, "Why is Johnny Storm black?! That's stupid!" As an older school nerd having had this conversation for some time involving the re-gendering and/or race-bending of historic characters I was kind of at a loss to explain. All of the long discussions of "white privilege", "diversity", "don't be a bigot", etc sort of melted in the stark reality of a ten year old demanding to know how a White person becomes Black.

My girlfriend and I discussed expanding audiences, and executive decisions and a lot of things that are like the second to last broadcast of the Howard Beale show in the movie Network: long-winded and totally sucking the fun out of/breaking the suspension of disbelief. In retrospect I could have said the movie universe is an alternate universe, and I feel that he would have been satisfactory because that same answer is to me. Johnny Storm being Black, or Iceman being Gay isn't offensive because I'm a bigot (as far as I know) it's because there's no chain of causality. Aside from Michael Jackson or Little Kim there's not a lot of instances of Race-bending. White washing perhaps, but that's something else entirely. Perhaps Nick Fury or Johnny Storm being black now is "black washing"; solely for the purposes of new markets couched in the invulnerability of diversity.

A friend of mine and I discussed the whole gamut of what is canon, "gate-keeping", white privilege, etc and got as far as two white guys can get. I always feel like a hypocrite because I identify as a liberal progressive yet here I am coming out against these sorts of things because they seem to be arbitrary or out of left field. I don't care if an alternate universe version is black, female, gay, or what have you. Even in the main universe Thor became a frog, so... what does that say?

There's a concern that this "diversity washing" is just the foil embossed cover of the twenty-ten's. It's a gimmick. Personally I think it's brilliant when Ms Marvel has a protege who's Muslim because you're starting a new mythology that can grow on it's own. Robin became Nightwing, Bucky became Winter Soldier, Powerman became Luke Cage. Protege characters actually have the opportunity to evolve into their own character. Unless, of course Falcon becomes Captain America in which case the role always reverts back to the original formula. I'm actually all for Falcon graduating, but that seems to be the trend (examples abound; US Agent, Winter Soldier).

Eventually at the end of the discussion with my friend Cedric and my GF's son ended on the same note. Whether something becomes new canon or not depends entirely on whether it's done well or otherwise. Wait for the new movie to come out, and if it's enjoyable then good. If not... (I'm looking at you The Amazing Spiderman 2) then we know what happens to canon that is god damn horrible, because it's actually shittily done. It gets stowed away in the circular file drawer of reboots, revisions, etc along with The Clone Saga. Ugh.
Trying to draw digitally and it's just not coming. any helpful hints out there?
I got a lot of life obstacles out of the way and I'm drawing again. Trying to find the fun, play, transcendence in it that I haven't in a while (like since graduation in 2000) so don't expect any great shakes, but I am drawing and I am enjoying it.

Best,
Andrew
So you may have noticed that I've sort of kicked up my production of Thumbnail Roughs. Partly because I have more time, but largely to something that can be summarized in a quote by Ana´s Nin, "And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom." which is a fancy way of saying the way I've been providing for myself presently has lost it's allure. It seems for reasons beyond my ken I've been shuffled around like a playing card. Sometimes if there's enough pain involved long enough you do something about it, especially when the actuary in your head does not foresee any dramatic increase in benefit from staying the course. The great John Connor (fictional future savior of the human race) once said, "If we stay the course we are dead! We are All Dead!" Although my circumstances may not be That dramatic one of the thought experiments that's been playing over and over in my head is to imagine what if I do nothing? What if I do nothing to change anything? Can I imagine being where I am a year from now? Four? When I'm forty? The risk to remain tight has become more painful than to do otherwise. I've been wasting a lot of time helping other people pursue their dreams particularly when what I offer them is as pearls before swine. I either need more money, more meaning in my work or both. It is reasonably certain that I will get neither from my present situation. I'm over halfway through my thumbs and soon I will have an audience with an architect (thanks to my Business for Artists class) who'll help me with my perspective. I never figured that the thing that would help me slay my dragon would be frustration with a thankless and meaningless assignment. Its as Tyr Anasazi says, "Uh.. enlightenment... is not found in spiritual leaders or in [shrugs] meditation. Take care of your followers. Enlightenment will find you."
  • Drinking: Coffee
Got the Earth 2 trade in the mail (largely for Nicola Scott's art. Spoiler the dialogue is poorly written) and am also reading the Flashpoint Paradox summary on Wiki. Although I love Kingdom Come I hate that in epic crossovers Wonder Woman ever afterwards is some bloodthirsty harridan. Having never murdered anyone before, but being willing to in a Dystopian Future now that seems to be the default. I still see her as a peacekeeping Bodhisattva rather than a bloodthirsty Xena type. What the Fuck, comics?! Have you forgotten your roots? Remember Lynda Carter's incarnation where she would restrain and educate not just outright murder people? I don't get the merit of taking our greatest archetypal aspirational heroes and making them "complicated" antiheroes. Eventually they all just slide into becoming the Punisher and a lame one at that. If Supes, Bats and Diana all kill and everything is bleak and dark, where is the counterpoint? If Superman murders for peace and wears a dark costume where is the contrast to Batman visually and morally in the upcoming World's Finest movie? It's like the line from the Blues Brothers movie "we have both kinds of music Country and Western!". Superman is the Sun and Batman is the Night. One wears Primary colors and the other wears dark tonal values. Except in the upcoming movie they'll both be dark Antiheroes, visually & morally shadowy, ambiguous. Fuck! :anger:
  • Drinking: Coffee
So through the Business of Art Class I've been taking I've learned a lot about the business side of art and more importantly I've found myself a part of the local art community. So much so that I've been given the opportunity to teach tweens how to draw comics in a summer class. I had to think about my actual process,the stages, what comes first and how to insert drawing in-between each lesson. Of course on the top of my mind is avoiding the perfectionism trap and how to handle criticism/feedback. I don't want to repeat what happened to me, but I'm sure kids aren't as thin skinned as I was. Either way I want them to learn, play and have a great time. So two things worth remarking on are the script and the result. The kids will get a Mad Libs script where they can insert their hero, villain, setting and scenario so they will have some ownership over their work (re: the Ikea Effect) and at the end of class I'll scan in all the pages and get them printed as an ashcan so they can get some real meaning out of their efforts having seen it through from beginning to finish. Should be fun!

Meanwhile at the MAP Class (Montana Artrepeneur Program or Business for Artists as I call it) we're in the thick of learning how to prepare for conventions, and I was browsing ACE for materials to construct my booth. Protip from the class is that it should have walls, be modular, and light weight for transport. After breezing through ACE I plan on a wooden frame while using Felt Roofing Paper for the walls. It's inexpensive, light, and thick enough to take some abuse without being as thin as craft paper. If that's too flimsy I'll move up to the next thickest material; cardboard with a facade or perhaps plastic sheeting. :shrug:

Saw Iron Man 3 today. Tiffany said it wasn't a bad movie, but definitely not an Iron Man movie. How many Iron Man action scenes did we really get? By the third movie it should be wall to wall Iron Man fighting. Also, so what? Did he retire? How is Tony going to be ready for Avengers 2 without any armor? What the hell is going on here?! I wasn't as bothered by what they did with the Mandarin as Tiff was, but I did like the little geopolitical pokes the movie took, but it was almost a McGuyver movie rather than an Iron Man movie. Ugh, it's bedtime. repeating myself, and a half day of class awaits tomorrow. www.youtube.com/watch?v=OUYW0J…

Cheers!

Oh! And if anyone wants me to upload the Syllabus let me know. :D
  • Listening to: Pandora: Bossanova in Blue Radio
  • Reading: Trusting Yourself
  • Watching: Iron Man 3
  • Playing: Escrima
  • Eating: Steel Cut Oatmeal
  • Drinking: Red Rose Tea
What the Fuck.

So I just picked up JLA 2 and I was all eager to see Finch do his magic between the covers and what to my wandering eye should appear but whatever the hell same computer program Mike Deodato Jr used on Dark Avengers (and to better effect I might add). What the fuck. Is that it now?! Do artists really not draw anymore? Do they just pose the cg 3d models and scribble their "style" over them? Do they even do the shadows?! I don't really mind using 3d models so much as the art looks like "Mike Deodato's" from Dark Avengers. It's brutally Fucking indistinguishable. That's what gets me. Will all artists look like this in the future or will they at least design their own 3d avatars so they can have their own style.

What the Fuck!
  • Listening to: NPR
  • Reading: The Upside To Irrationality
  • Watching: Youtube
  • Playing: Escrima
  • Eating: Marinara Wine Sauce
  • Drinking: Green Tea
So I'm getting back on track with the drawing thing. Inspired by some friends who have published their work :iconbevtoole: and pros who have done successful Kickstarter campaigns :iconderecdonovan: coupled with the Montana Artrepeneur Program which teaches the business side of art has gotten my butt back in gear. Also as per what I read in The Upside to Irrationality I'm posting my Thumb Roughs (go check them out) for viewing, feedback and so I'm not drudging along working in a vacuum, but instead deriving meaning from having other people acknowledge my work. The oddest thing happened today. Whereas yesterday I slipped right into drawing today I had to read some of the guided meditations from The Now Habit (anti-procrastination book) to get myself into the mindset of drawing. Don't know where that minor panic arose from. Was it habit? Who knows. Just glad that I've found a workaround. Anyway, please check out my thumbs and comment. I'm happy to accept advice on how to build on what I have to make them better otherwise I'll go with what I got. I've already got great feedback from :iconjebriodo: and :iconkronosaurus82: (thanks fellas). Also getting the brain rolling on how to do a successful Kickstarter campaign. Research is needed on that end. Any advice is welcome.

All my best!
  • Listening to: NPR
  • Reading: The Upside To Irrationality
  • Watching: Youtube
  • Playing: Escrima
  • Eating: Marinara Wine Sauce
  • Drinking: Green Tea
Hello Y'all,

Just recuperating from The Flu. I was largely unconscious from most of Thursday and had to miss my testing for my Blue Stripe which I'm not happy about. To be fair, there was no way I could have rallied, but still when you work so hard for something and then there's no Denouement, it's kind of a big let down. Reminds me of that race from the Wonder Woman series with Artemis where Diana endures all these trials, sees the finish line and then crumples (though for different reasons). At the very least it's not a morale booster.

Yesterday I was well enough to be vertical and make something to eat, but still recuperating which makes it my first three day weekend in a long time if you can call being sick for three days a weekend. There were events leading up to my exhaustion and present sickness that I'll have to make alterations to my life condition so I can have more constant energy for my art projects, but I don't know how that will manifest out here where all the nearest office jobs are an hour away. Blug.

Anyway, it looks like I'm on the mend and will have to tailor my efforts to be in sync with my day job. I expect to open it up for commissions soon.

Take it easy,
Andrew

Oh! Boogie on over to my friend Bev's page. She did a comic all by herself. Show her some love would you? Thanks.
:iconbevtoole:
  • Listening to: NPR
  • Reading: The Upside To Irrationality
  • Watching: Youtube
  • Playing: Escrima
  • Eating: Big Ass Salad
  • Drinking: Green Tea
So I haven't fallen off the face of the earth. I am actually still working towards the goal.

I've got a couple of things going on. The big magilla is the Montana Artrepeneur Program that teaches the business side of art. It seems fairly complete, though not streamlined. It has a lot of good practices and the upshot is your art will be in a lot of shows. The downside is it's more fine art and not comic art. I could sell some individual pages, but I just don't feel that'd be the right venue. Boobie babes and comic pages alongside watercolors of river's edges. Regardless it's good knowledge and that's useful. One of the lines that stuck with me was about people "who wanted all the trappings of being an artist, but wouldn't actually do any art." Yeesh. that hit a little close to home. I have a studio, a homemade lightbox, a library, sketchbooks, comics, self help books. The money and time I invest in preparing vs actually drawing is horribly out of whack. I also realized my anxiety in regards to drawing is a habit more so than an anxiety. Fortunately I do have a habit of drawing when I sit down at my desk, but usually for 30 minute stretches. :shrug:

Just finished some more thumbnails (I'm on page 14 :D ). I'll be posting them in hopes to get some feedback from my trusted friends.

I'm reading The Upside To Irrationality by Dan Arielly and I just finished a section on meaningful work (small "m" meaningful). [tldr version www.youtube.com/watch?v=BXbAkH… ] It's very insightful. He performed three tests on that subject, all with diminishing monetary compensation as each repetitive task was completed. The first test the persons work would get acknowledged, the second ignored and the third destroyed before their eyes. It turns out that being ignored produced the worst results over having their work destroyed. No attention Is Worse than bad attention. "If a kid can't get good attention they'll take bad." My first thought was how to harness this reward system to incur positive motivation. The section also acknowledged the soul crushing drudgery of doing work that never gets completed and is never seen. Huh. It also remarked on how breaking down tasks to be performed by separate people is more efficient, but also soul crushing. It's nice to see something through from start to finish versus doing one part of it and never seeing the finished result. It's suggested by Arielly that their may be something inherent in our nature that requires this for our mental well being. I've waffled back and forth whether I should post my incomplete work because once people have seen it in an early stage they (at least artists) tend to care less when they see it finished. I'm going to post my work as I go and also post my unpublished work to see what my mental response is. I always feel encouraged when people like my stuff, when it's fav'd. Sounds like a winning combination. Of course being someone who can't help not beating a dead horse I thought over how college was very Sisyphean (actual technical term) and raped with broken glass the reward and meaning from our labor. In all fairness knowing how to draw is not the same as nurturing a talent, but if I'm to get any value out of the experience I have to have at least learned something.

Finally my day job seems to have figured itself out (I hope) so I shouldn't be completely exhausted when I get home from work. And I'm expecting a raise as well as some backpay so I'll be able to afford my bills and food again! Damn you Economy! Also Facebook seems to have petered out, so there's less of a draw to suck me away from my table.

Oh yeah! I'm half way through my submission for Rob Liefeld's Extreme Writing Contest. Considering my characters are derivative of his, it's actually pretty easy. Heh.
  • Listening to: NPR
  • Reading: The Upside To Irrationality
  • Watching: Youtube
  • Playing: Escrima
  • Eating: Big Ass Salad
  • Drinking: Green Tea
Happy Valentines Day everyone

youtu.be/F5axlwCBXC8?t=1m29s

Lots of Love to Everyone!
  • Listening to: Pandora; Gillian Welch Radio
  • Reading: All Your Worth
  • Watching: Rachel Maddow
  • Playing: Escrima
  • Eating: Lentil Soup
  • Drinking: Hazelnut Coffee & Black Star Beer!
Okay. Get ready. Here goes.

As anyone who's followed my Journals or knows me personally knows I have a history of being agro in regards to my "finishing school" and how they didn't prepare me for the comics world, but instead compounded my already fragile self esteem by repeatedly issuing an almost orthodox message of "you're gonna fail".

I may be late to the party, but I've caught wind that Peter David had a Stroke and of course you can go to his website and buy his stuff and help him by buying from Crazy 8 Press (google it yourself, I'm already past my bed time). The noteworthy John Ostrander has written about how Freelancing is a tightrope walk and a sad sack story here; www.comicmix.com/columns/2013/…

Okay.

Deep Breath.

I am sick and tired of the Comics Professionals "preparing us for the rocky reality of the comics world." Tommy Zimmerman at Q-bert described it thusly "it's like someone is grabbing you by the shirt and saying 'it's gonna hurt, It's Gonna Hurt!' "

The essential failing of the comics community and least through my little fisheye lens is it's grand failure to find out what actually fucking works and to abandon the demoralizing tactics that I was brought up with. The message of "you're gonna fail and if you succeed you're gonna fail" is a self-fulfilling prophecy of being foredoomed to failure. It's been 13 years since I've been out of Kubert and I can't say whether the curriculum has absorbed CBT on dealing with low self worth or overcoming blocks and moreso How to Fucking Thrive rather than ruminate on Self-Doubt and brainwash yourself to failure. Protip; we already do that without your help! We need an industry that cultivates the garden and nurtures the vine not just throws down herbicide and and says "See! Eeyore was right!" Enough with the disservice to future creators by putting them in the same box you're in. Most up an comers get that it's not going to be a bed of roses so rather than prime the pump for failure at least let them fucking try instead of brainwashing them to fail like some bloody cult!

In closing I give you a Ted Talks on "how you will FAIL to Have a Great Career" that ironically and rhetorically addresses the naysayers who regret their life and the choices and posits an alternative. TLDR; Unless! Yes, what the Motherfucking Lorax said. www.youtube.com/watch?v=iKHTaw… Motherfucking Unless!
  • Listening to: Pandora; Brazilian Radio
  • Reading: How to Awaken You're Greatest Self
  • Watching: the bread rise
  • Playing: Escrima
  • Eating: Lentil Soup
  • Drinking: Hazelnut Coffee & Black Star Beer!
SOLD!; Epson Perfection 3490 Photo 8.5x11 plus software. Have recently upgraded and no longer need this one.  Gently used. $50 bucks or best offer, must also cover shipping and handling. Note me!
  • Listening to: Pandora; Bossa Nova in Blue Radio
  • Reading: THE NOW HABIT!!!
  • Watching: The Amazing Spiderman
  • Playing: Escrima
  • Eating: Brown Rice Pilaf
  • Drinking: Coffee!
Hey everyone! So I start a new job on Thursday, I just got the call yesterday. I do want to thank the people who contributed to keeping me out of living in my sisters barn or out of my car.

To the alleged 200 watchers I have who apparently Don't read my journal and couldn't even be bothered to write I'd love to help but I'm in a tight spot too. No thanks!

Anyway, I'm looking forward to gainful employment and being able to pay my rent and bills. Woot!
  • Listening to: Pandora; Bossa Nova in Blue Radio
  • Reading: THE NOW HABIT!!!
  • Watching: The Amazing Spiderman
  • Playing: Escrima
  • Eating: Brown Rice Pilaf
  • Drinking: Coffee!
Hi everyone!

So, I have some super not fun news. My monthly income is being reduced to $500 a month. This will enable me to cover rent plus one utility. I'm applying for benefits to help me out, but it is a concern that I will get buried in bills and then it'll get ugly by which I mean, I might get evicted and then "who knows what happens".

SO! Anyone who wants to help me out and receive a sketch of this level of quality for a Private Gift through Paypal (suggested donation $20), that would be great!
D Tron Preview for FamReun by MrPlaid81
I would really prefer not to have to couch surf or live out of my car, etc. So if I can appeal to your altruistic and cooperative side, please note me with the details of your sketch.

Yours in Poverty,
Andrew
  • Listening to: Pandora; Bossa Nova in Blue Radio
  • Reading: THE NOW HABIT!!!
  • Watching: The Amazing Spiderman
  • Playing: Escrima
  • Eating: Brown Rice Pilaf
  • Drinking: Coffee!
So in pursuing being a better artist anyone who knows me knows I've struggled with delivering the goods as an artist. Being timely, producing regularly, self-criticism, etc. So seeing as how I'm out of work (damn you, Economy) I've gone back to what I normally do when I have a lot of time on my hands; reading books. I picked up a pretty good one called The Now Habit and as twee as that title suggests it's pretty spot on. I've had a big fear of drawing for a long time and the book Nerve helped (as it's an odyssey on the topic of Fear and how to deal with it), but I still had a little more work to do. Especially with the two most recent big hits to my status quo (no money & love deferred). I was pretty alarmed and pissed  in that order. So it's a good thing that The Now Habit showed up in my mailbox when it did.

I could tell it was a good investment when it touched on the wholly unintentional parenting mistakes I was subjected to. There was a lot of familiarity there. From the Introduction; books.google.com/books?id=obLB…

Advice such as "just do it", "try harder" and "get organized" is based on the old definition: "Your problem is procrastination. If only you weren't so lazy you could do it." Well meaning parents, teachers, writers and friends will worsen the problem by adding: "This is a really tough job. You're going to have to work really hard. No fooling around. No time for friends and vacations until this is completed." The message they communicate is: "Life is dull and hard. There's no time for fun. Work is dreadful."


I remember hearing those things from my Grandmother (at age 7 on) who raised me as well as my teachers, mentors and professionals (you can guess who I'm referring to) whom I sought for advice. Some of this is true, no doubt about it, but it jacks up the pressure and threat of the consequences of failure and paints your chosen profession as bleak, hopeless and a prison sentence (suicide seems viable by comparison and Gee I wonder why my Alma Mater only produces 1 professional out of 100 students). You basically manufacture an anxiety attack. Congratulations! You've just made a Fear Circuit. So how do you navigate this without Fight, Flight or Freeze. Everyone has built this up into the end all be all of your identity. Whether you are a success or a failure as a person and in life is dependent on how well you draw the next piece. Even if that is good the piece after that has to be as good or better. High stakes indeed, without a doubt. If you don't do well and on time you'll die in the gutter, poor, penniless and a failure. (Hey, I'm nearly there already!)

This was the mistake that I had been making (but, hey, I had more than enough help arriving at that miserably mistaken conclusion). So I was very happy yesterday reading around page 39 on when the book gave me the gift of epiphany. Self-Worth. I had been doing and instructed throughout my life and "career" (if you can call a lack of one such a thing) to place my entire value as a person on my ability to "draw the damn thing". I was nothing unless I could do it which led to sabotaging relationships, being displaced, homelessness, depression, multiple flirtations with suicide over the decades, the demolition of any self-esteem I had, working menial jobs, taking the least of anything offered because that's all I felt I deserved. (Thanks everyone who ever programmed me to think this way.) To be fair they didn't know what they were doing. Still, thanks for nearly killing me and brainwashing me to eke out the near shittiest life possible, you fucks! Anyway, you can't unring a bell, but I'd like to line them all up and slap the shit out of them one at a time just the same.

The solution is something pretty obvious (everything is obvious after the fact), 'don't put all your eggs in one basket'. Your Self Worth is not based on "X" (whatever it is you are procrastinating from). If you do you're going to get the basic fear response; fight, flight or freeze. So what do you base your Self Worth on? I haven't finished the book, but knowing that my worth as a person doesn't hinge on my comic book or artwork (something I've never gotten approval from Any of my family members anyway [except my Brother in Law (married into the family) and Nephews (they'd love me if I was a shit-sucker for port-a-potties)]) has been a HUGE RELIEF!!! I gotta tell ya. According to my friends I do everything good except bowling. I'm proficient at escrima, dancing, listening, running, cog neuro, being funny, friendly, kind, compassionate, patient, supportive, romantic, fucking, writing, sales, yes even drawing. Perhaps self worth is based on all that you are. At even a more removed point; in order to pass on our genes to the next successive generation we're imbued with a will to live and avoidance of pain and death so Self Worth may just be genetic, only failing when you're imbued with Learned Helplessness (again, thanks guys!).

I can get on with my life now knowing that I have Worth and it doesn't hinge on whether I draw perfectly, timely or get a job at DC (another cryptic shout out to yet another ignorant soul crushing fucker). Those things may determine my marketability as an artist, but not my worth as a human being. And Please! If you are in the position of educating or guiding another human in development, don't do any of the above shit or you may subject them to what I went through and they might not make it like I did. Perhaps read up on how to mentor, nurture or teach.
  • Listening to: Pandora; Bossa Nova in Blue Radio
  • Reading: THE NOW HABIT!!!
  • Watching: The Amazing Spiderman
  • Playing: Escrima
  • Eating: Brown Rice Pilaf
  • Drinking: Coffee!
So I was chatting with :iconlexikimble: about the Catwoman Zero cover which I don't really have any major issues with, but being more arrogant than I'd like to admit, I couldn't pass up a chance to correct it. See here; fav.me/d53rvsz

She had brought up fan rage over Catwoman using sex as a tool or device. I let it play around in my brain for a bit and couldn't sum up the subject in a few succinct lines so I thought it'd be a good subject for a journal.

Presently there's a backlash from serious minded creators over female depiction in comics. They're tired of seeing their favorite female characters who they identify with as just sex dolls. They've followed these characters since their adolescence and now that they're moving into the industry they want characters who reflect how they see themselves. I think that's sort of the central issue with all characters.

I agree with the assertion that all superhero comics are wish fulfillment and escapism. We identify with the characters and over the course of following their adventures get swept up in the story of their morality plays. There's something about the characters that speaks to us and how they solve some of these moral quandaries galvanizes them as fictitious role models. It may be silly to hear, but growing up I got a lot of my lofty morality from He-man and the Thundercats, etc. I distinctly remember an adventure where Lion-o liberates the Robears and afterwards they just wander off and Lion-O is pissed because they didn't even say thanks. Jaga questions, "Is that why you did it Lion-O? For thanks?!" Lion-O replies, "No Jaga. I did it because it was RIGHT!" It was easier then, creating morality plays for tweens and toddlers is pretty straight forward. Exploring the provisional morality of adults is not as easy. By their very nature it depends on circumstance and predicament and never has the same outcome twice. Freeing the slaves is always the right answer, sex politics can be murky and complicated.

Returning to the subject of fan rage over Catwoman's licentiousness brings into question our own sexual identity conclusions. With comic characters we imagine we are like our favorite characters and through their good examples aspire to be like them. We compare ourselves to our heroes and try to be like them. With sexual politics there are a lot of moving parts and I believe our personal reality trumps the aspirational fantasy. Sex has to do with power, trust and definitions. Are you a whore or sexually liberated? Are you relinquishing power, dominating or sharing? If you are relinquishing is it out of victimhood or because you trust whom your giving it up to? Is sex intimate or public? Are you dressing up to go party and have fun reveling in your power or are you spiritually autistic, brainwashed, soul thinned and dressing that way out of exploitation or brainwashing?

No easy answers if any exist. The problem is perception and framing. How do you perceive the scenario and how do you categorize your beloved character's performance in that scenario. Do you agree with it? Do your personal experiences allow you to enjoy the fantasy or lock you out of it? We all want to think of ourselves as good people and so we do things in our lives that coincide with that. When circumstances prevent us from doing or being good then we beat ourselves up (as if this solves anything). I relate it to my Alan Scott post. I identify with Alan Scott prior to the new 52, he's just another moral Superhero. I can relate to gay superheros because I know what it's like to be an outsider. I can't relate to a character being reassigned a new position central to their core identity and I certainly can't relate to being okay with that. It smacks too much of cults drinking the Kool-aid. In Sales we'd be given a product to sell and we'd know it was crap, but not only did we have to sell it we had to believe it was golden too. That sort of externally imposed self mind rape is what offends me to no end. Of course under examination the new 52 Alan Scott is from an alternate reality where he was always gay so my objections don't apply. Or do they and it's just a dirty trick? The Inception question apparently.

See? Perception and Framing. Is the frame accurate? Is your perception accurate? Is there only one frame? Is Catwoman presenting herself as sexually exposed and vulnerable to disarm her opponents (is it an act of her power) or is she falling prey to societal programming from an exploitative advertising industry who mindfucks women into chasing the dragon of illusion (someone else's)? Is she manipulating or is she the manipulated? Is she powerful or is she the powerless? Are we? Do we drink the Koolaid that Catwoman is this liberated, cagey sex politician when her tits and ass are on full display to flip the switch to get us to buy the comic? Is that even bad because we might like that sort of thing? Does liking that sort of thing say whether we're good people or not? Is it just a sexy comic or yet another drop of the Chinese water torture of female exploitation? If you're a Lesbian is it still female exploitation? If you're exploiting your own gender or yourself is it bad or empowering? It depends on our personal sexual identity. I tend to like woman friendly porn where women are actually enjoying the sex and not aggro porn where it's obvious the woman is suffering through the pounding and humiliation and badly faking that she loves it. At the end of the day we have to like ourselves and the media we consume can't contradict that. When we have a favorite character that does something that contradicts our identity as good people and we can't ignore it, then comes the fan rage.
  • Listening to: NPR
  • Reading: Science of Good and Evil
  • Watching: The Legend of Korra!!!
  • Playing: Stick Fighting
  • Eating: Kamut
  • Drinking: Coffee!