I’m Still Here.

I’m still here.

I don’t have much of a point to this post. I just need to feel like I kind-of sort-of did something of some importance this morning. My brain is fogged, and no amount of caffeine can fix it. I got a full night’s sleep but I’m very tired.

This must be what mourning feels like.

… There’s a pun in there somewhere.

It’s strange – it doesn’t hurt to remember my father is gone. There’s a piece of me missing, maybe my sense of immortality, perhaps a loss of wonder or magic or a shred of innocence that was hanging on by the tip of its pinky whilst dangling over a deep expansive crevasse. I am changed, don’t get me wrong. I just don’t hurt.

And I feel kind of bad about that.

It hit me hard Sunday night. I sobbed, the salty taste of my tears and mucus running across my lips, and I hurt and I crumpled like the tissues I used. But after that, it’s been better – or at least as “better” as it can be.

I’ll miss him, that snarky ass that was my dad. He taught me a lot, whether it be directly or indirectly. I learned from the lessons he spoke, did the opposite and learned from those actions as well. I just wish I knew him a bit better. But that’s got to be pretty common, right?

Anyway, to you folks that followed me when I started talking about the comics process, know that I will get back to it eventually. I’m still here.

Kids.

My father passed away last night. I wrote this a moment ago. Something may come of it, or maybe not. I felt I should keep it here, as if on a shelf, saved for later.

There was always a stigma around having children. Bryan grew up with a firm understanding that the life of a parent was not for him. Parents could be brash, confusing, arrogant, and false. Bryan wanted nothing to do with that world.

One night, while he slept, he dreamed of a child. His child, he knew in his heart, a part of him. There was warmth and contentment, a kind of peace you can only find in the world of dream. When the shrill cry of 6:30 came, tearing him from his make-believe progeny, he felt a loss and disappointment that could only be cured by a shower and a cup of coffee.

He didn’t think much of the dream after that.

Write On.

In the field of graphic design, students are encouraged to take on projects outside the classroom. Do small exercises yourself in order to harness your skills, or at least retain them over time. I’m sure the same can be said for your traditional artists as well.

I need to do the same for my writing.

I’ve seen advice from writers, both in prose and in comics. I’ve read stories and advice, taken it to heart, bathed in it, nestled it underneath my pillow so I could sleep on it and a writing tree blooms. There are some consistencies between all of the advice. One of which is short-story writing.

Many authors and graphic novelists suggest getting a grip on short-storytelling in order to improve your writing. In some ways, it’s easier – you’re not bogged down by pages and pages of characterization, story, sub-plot, et cetera. You have to get from point A to point B in ten pages or less, okay GO. In other ways, it’s more difficult – you need to establish a beginning, a middle, and an end in a short amount of time, and make sure you tell a complete story.

So I’m thinking I should take on some short story exercises. Maybe post the pages on Scribd or something when I’m done. We’ll see.

I’m So Damn Close, I Can Taste It

I love comics.

There. I said it. We’ve gotten that out of the way.

But it’s more than love, really. Comics are my passion. There’s something amazing about the world that comics creates – a visual world equally reliant on both text and image. It could be argued that it’s no different than watching a movie on mute and with subtitles, but that would be wrong. There’s a level of user engagement in comics not seen in that oh-so-prevalent moving picture. But I digress.

I love comics, and I want to be part of that world. So years ago I started writing scripts, and finally took the dive and started illustrating my own humor series, Carbon and Space, which I’ve updated off and on since 2009. But this weekend marks a new chapter in my life. I will be attending a comic convention; my first convention as an exhibitor in Artist Alley.

I’m excited, I’m scared, I’m filled with… feelings. Big names like Mark Waid and Valiant Comics will be a stone’s throw away. This might not be my chance to break into the big leagues (or even the minor leagues, to take the metaphor further), but this is a shot at getting some people to know my name and see what I can do.

What I need right now is a perception shift. This weekend, it’s not about the big dogs and how I can run with them; it’s about the fans. It’s about people like me who adore comic books, graphic novels, the strips, the funnies, whatever you call them. This is a weekend to celebrate the medium that has brought so much joy and happiness into our lives! This isn’t about me or my work or Mark Waid or Valiant – it’s about what we make, about our passion.

We make comics because we love comics.