Joining the gym
A bio comic & Star Wars rambling
From the archives
On the topic of yoga, I’m consistently reminded of one of my first comics I made back in 2017…
This was before I ever did yoga. Maybe it was a bit of a mean assumption and judgement. But it resonates with me now more than ever. I see myself in it more than when I first drew it. Consistent mindfulness and lovingkindness are challenging, and that to me is a sign that they’re meaningful.
The support for the first issue of ERSATZ meant so much to me. I had a blast printing out more issues after the initial batch sold out. So thank you!
I’ve begun compiling old and new works for the second issue, which I think I’ll publish in the fall.
After a bit of a lull in creativity (probably due to the sheer amount of personal stuff going on with both moving to a new rental and, wow, getting married all in less than a month!!), I am feeling excited and the ideas are flowing. I’ve been drawing and doodling and writing again.
It’s a challenge to not beat myself up over the times where I’m not creative, but I’m getting more comfortable with the ebb and flow. When the creative wave comes, I try to ride it for as long as I can and revel in it.
I am particularly excited about making comics again. I took an extended break due to recurring hand pain, but I’d like to try to overcome that. I am drawn to the visuals of comics, and I’d like to experiment more with bringing together prose, illustrations, and sequential art.
Cataloging my story drafts and ideas made me realize I have a bunch of material that’d be perfect for comics. So I’m going to start working on those and get back in the practice of drawing and painting regularly. More to come soon!
Odds & sods
Personal life has been good lately. Becky and I are fielding the stresses of major life changes pretty well, I’d say! And we’re managing to take care of ourselves and do some fun things.
We went to Planet Word in DC last month. It’s a new museum about language. It was neat, probably more fun with a kiddo, but I really love this globe they have there that corresponds with a bunch of different people sharing info about their native languages.
I dog sat Hudson, my brother’s family’s dog recently. He’s not the best walking partner though. When he gets warm, he plops down and refuses to get up, even if it’s in the middle of the road.
Because I’m thinking a lot about making comics, I’m reading a lot of comics. In addition to buying some floppy comic issues and checking out new series, I’ve been loving The World of Edena by Moebius. His art stirs something deep inside of me that’s so moving. His style seems so uniquely him and seems both effortless and incredible.
If you’re unfamiliar with Moebius, I’d recommend searching his art online or seeing if your library has anything by him. When I see his imagery, it makes me want to try to make something just as moving and creative.
I’ve been reading Star Wars novels and comics after not giving a hoot about the universe for years. Star Wars meant so much to me growing up. I watched the “I am your father” scene with my grandpa on cable TV and can remember sitting there on the couch looking at the hulkingly tiny TV like it was yesterday. Then my friend Ryan and I watched the VHSs of the original trilogy that his family had. I was enamored. Ah, nostalgia!
Every so often I’ll return to the galaxy far, far away. What’s staggering is how much media there is for Star Wars from the past forty-plus years. I’m reading this non-canon book called Kenobi, and it’s quite good. There are also some stand out comics, like Vader: Lord of the Sith. They flesh out characters and stories in a way that’s familiar yet exciting. At its best, Star Wars feels is a big shared playground for creators to play in. The familiarity makes it accessible. But sometimes the familiarity becomes rote. The stories tend to not be as subversive or experimental as I want them to be—they’re safe. Which eventually becomes uninteresting.
Star Wars as an exercise in shared world building is fascinating. I’d love to see more strange works that don’t follow familiar plot beats or characters set in it. I want some weird shit in Star Wars. Some mind-bending shit. But it is, in a lot of ways, mass entertainment, which makes it difficult to take creative risks. The comics and novels can push the boundaries a bit more than the shows and films because the stakes are lower, which is appealing to me.
Whenever I start down this thought thread, I start taunting myself by saying You don’t need Star Wars, just make your own bonkers sci-fi universe and do whatever you want. I love that idea, so yeah, I should do that!
I get that existing properties are what people get excited about, and if creators can tell interesting stories within them, that’s cool with me. I’m guilty of the high crime of fandom at times, but it’s also a bit frustrating and depressing. I’d rather be a fan of a person than a commercial universe, but that’s a different newsletter…
The album True Love by the band Hovvdy has been hitting the spot lately. It’s sensitive folk/indie music that’s super catchy. The song “Blindsided” gives me goosebumps when I listen to it.
Be well & don’t forget to stay hydrated (but don’t drink too much, like it’s okay if you only have a few glasses of liquid every few hours, you don’t need to competitively drink water, okay, bye).