Dr. Dandelion & Mr. Wisp

Messing about with different pencils while working on the Inktober project. I really prefer wood pencils (particularly Staedtler 5H) but the constant sharpening is a real pain. For this project, since I’m going to be doing a ton of sketching, I’m switching to a Pentel mechanical with hard lead. It will take some getting used to.

Scratch that. Instead I found my drafting pencil that I have drawing leads for. I still have to sharpen that, but the tips last longer between sharpening than wood pencils.

Roughs for day 2’s subject

Inktober Sketchbook

Finished prepping the Sketchbook that will hold my preliminary rough thumbnail sketches prior to setting the final image down in the project notebook. I move slow but that’s nothing new.

Inktober Rough Thumbnail Sketchebook

Matt Kindt, Jeff Lemire & Modern Comic Books

More lost time….where did the past few days go? Anyway, I’ve been collecting comics for around forty years now…and when that happens, your views of what is considered a ‘modern’ comic certainly changes over time. For me, the original moderns were 40 cents, in 2020 they are around $4-$5 depending on what you’re getting. In the time I’ve been collecting there have been a lot of ups and downs in the industry that I am not going to cover because that would take an entire book, but I have brought you all here to say this: today’s modern comics (especially the stellar independent publishers) are at a zenith. Great stories left and right from some of the most talented creators to grace the medium in decades with actual readable stories…smart stories that challenge you and make you think. Which brings me to Matt Kindt and Jeff Lemire, my two favorite modern creators that blow me away with everything they do. Mind Mgmt (Kindt) and the Black Hammer universe (Lemire) are some of my favorite series ever. On my shelf, Mind Mgmt takes it’s rightful place with Watchmen, Ronin, and V for Vendetta for Kindt’s creative innovative (not to mention immersive) storytelling.

Apologies to my future self for missing a few days. I meant to post a serious missive about changelings, cuckoos, and how humans display different sides of themselves to every single person that they come across, but the idea came during a burst of thoughts when I was out walking today and by the time I got back (three miles later) I was too tired and eventually the thought sort of faded away. I do believe I might talk about that in the future, however.

Inktober is moving slowly, but believe it or not, I am working on it. I’m certain not to finish this month, but let’s see what happens. I’ll post any updates on the Inktober page as they arise. It took me way too long to figure out to approach the project and unfortunately the paints I’ll need for coloring the pieces will not arrive for a couple more weeks, so this shall certainly stretch into November and NaNoWriMo, but I don’t see any interference problems.

Finally, circling back to comics, once in a while all of the stars align and you get your two favorite creators paired up in one title as in this case when Kindt dips his toes into Lemire’s Black Hammer Universe (attached picture).

Black Hammer ’45 1-4, covers by Kindt

three shades of dirt

Maybe the smartest thing I’ve done this year is choose the right color of hiking/running shoe for Arizona. Including a chocolate brown base, the shoe is highlighted with two different shades of dirt, helpful in masking most signs of accumulation to the naked eye. The shoes are of the wide based variety to go with my abnormal feet.

The bluejays have gotten demanding. Have I written of those crazy bastards yet? My sponge is full and I have trouble remembering what I had for breakfast lately let alone what I have actually posted and what I have merely thought about posting. Most of my conversations are of the imaginary sort as of late and I have trouble distinguishing things that I have actually done and things I only thought about in a laconic way.

Now that the fog is lifting (assuming that’s what this is about), I’m hoping to embrace the weirdness that continues to infest 2020 because if it’s not painfully obvious to anyone by now, this shit is just going to keep on going so you might as well strap in with me and ride it out.

transitions

I haven’t gone back and looked, but it’s been two or three months since I dropped off the face of the planet and holed up in my studio. While my methods may not always be pretty, it allowed me to break free of Facebook and cut back on the others (Twitter, Instagram). Now I’ve got to see if I can delve back into the platform again…or if I even want to.

The good news is that I feel like I want to say things again and this place will do just as fine as any to host any of those thoughts. Not as many viewers as on Facebook, but it’s never been about an audience for me…it’s more about the recording of history and telling of a story.

Sorry, nothing Inktober related to post yet, but I did work on the outline of my project; this needed to be done before beginning the actual drawings. Yes, I’m behind, but that’s ok. Hopefully nobody expects Vermeer or Rembrandt because my talent level is more Picasso channeled through a 12 year old.

I’m starting to miss my friends, which is a good sign that I’m pulling through whatever the last three or so months was all about. Hopefully I haven’t been disowned by all of them at this point. Life doesn’t get any easier as you get older, kids. In my case at least it’s gotten infinitely more complicated and weird.

Gotta go. Those socks aren’t going to order themselves from Amazon.

Lost Time…a personal story

I was so excited for Inktober (the same kind of excited that I usually get, cool exterior, but beneath the surface, feet paddling like a duck). Anyway, imagine my surprise when it clicked in my brain that October had already started….and not just today or yesterday but two days ago. When I was designing the Inktober page, I should’ve already been focusing on art, but for some reason my brain was stuck two weeks ago and hadn’t seemed to have moved a minute.

I guess I’m a bit unmoored not having a schedule that is required when one has even a part-time job, let alone a full-time position. I suppose I should do the right thing and begin scheduling my days with the things I want to eventually get done, otherwise I’ll just fritter and waste my hours in an offhand way just like Mr. Floyd and before you know it I’ll be getting a job.

Anyway, my Inktober has now officially begun and I hope to quickly catch up. I have an idea for a theme that will incorporate the word-a-day suggestions for the event, but will have to see if that’s what I proceed with. I will include any further details on the Inktober page.

this year goes to 11

I ask you how much more weird could this year get? None more weird. I am not sure how ‘the Donald getting covid’ will play out, but I am sort of regretting abandoning Facebook right about now.

Almost, anyway.

I’m sure the memes are fire and the local Prescott Valley page looks like downtown Portland, but alas the revolution will have to go on without me.

Avoiding the dark side is tough. The things one does for their mental health.

Inking with Matt Kindt (& Inktober)

Mind Management creator Matt Kindt (my favorite creator in modern comics) has a small but very nice selection of videos on his YouTube channel. This is a good one on inking and even though it is digital art (not my favorite by any stretch), it’s amazing how the blacks pull everything together at the end.

Also, I made an Inktober page. We’ll have to see if I use it.

Lost Time

I know it’s not fashionable to post song lyrics. Nobody likes reading them. Nobody cares. On the other hand, this is my page and bite me. I’ve heard this song (Time by Pink Floyd on their Dark Side of the Moon album) a bazillion times but never really paid attention to what the lyrics were saying, never mind that I’ve known them by heart for years. I have a new appreciation for this song, not only because of the way this year has played out so far (anyone else fritter and waste any hours this year?), but also how it points out how you tend to see time as you get older and that it can have a tendency to slip away from you if you’re not careful (or even if you are).

The last three lines don’t apply to me because I’m not English and I probably have a word or two more to say before I’m done, but the rest of it is a really great description of how I feel some days in 2020. I’m sure much of it is just the times we’re in…who knows what normal feels like anymore?

TIME (Pink Floyd)

Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day
Fritter and waste the hours in an offhand way.
Kicking around on a piece of ground in your home town
Waiting for someone or something to show you the way.

Tired of lying in the sunshine staying home to watch the rain.
You are young and life is long and there is time to kill today.
And then one day you find ten years have got behind you.
No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun.

So you run and you run to catch up with the sun but it’s sinking
Racing around to come up behind you again.
The sun is the same in a relative way but you’re older,
Shorter of breath and one day closer to death.

Every year is getting shorter never seem to find the time.
Plans that either come to naught or half a page of scribbled lines
Hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way
The time is gone, the song is over,
Thought I’d something more to say.

The Return of Writer’s Brain

Well, it’s been a long time coming, but my headspace is pointing towards writing again as my brain begins to thaw from the big freeze of the last three months. I haven’t necessarily been focused on writing par se, but as I’ve been getting out of the house more, I’m beginning to think more about my book, the upcoming Inktober and NaNoWriMo events taking place in October and November and with full knowledge that I am taking the rest of the year off in order to focus on creative endeavors. I have lost enough damn time to various crises that 2020 has seen fit to pitch at me and I’m ready to go….finally ready like I was feeling and executing back in January and February.

Other projects await: a fanzine of some shape/form/fashion for my LCS (local comic shop for you non-nerds), work on adapting one of my short stories to graphic novel form, and maybe the most fun of all: working on art projects to support the other various endeavors. While (to me) writing is the most fulfilling thing I do, art is what I have the most fun doing (aside from my comic hobby, which I’ve had for 40+ years now, it’s not going anywhere). I also really need to get a mailing out for my APA. It’s been almost a year since I’ve cobbled an issue of Nemesis together. Issue 6 is nearly complete, I just need to get moving and do it.

Many more posts to come in the future as I decide how to handle Facebook (or lack thereof). I imagine I’ll end up using the website->FB functionality.

Shown here is the ‘pre-final’ version of the mythical Nemesis 6. It is literally taped together like a gradeschool project. This is just to be sure to eliminate production errors like misplaced and misaligned pages, spelling and punctuation problems, missing/incorrect/wrong sized art, etc. Once the errors have been identified and corrected in inDesign, I print out one copy, put it all together, and do a final proofing before printing and ‘binding’.

Also: No, there was not actually any chloroform in that bottle yesterday.