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johncomic: (Uncle Old Guy)
getting positive feedback regarding my appearance
johncomic: (Default)
 meeting Paula Needle

She agreed to come over from Harrogate to York to meet Sharon and me for tea. [Ended up being "just me", but that's another story...] Prior to this, she and I had exchanged a couple of brief PMs on FB but that's about it, it's not like we know each other much. But she has always been very kind via long distance, saying nice things about my art, helping to arrange for me to receive a limited edition Sulk CD, etc. (One of the members of Sulk is her son, and she seems to appreciate my support of his band.)

Anyway, I'm grateful that she was willing to put herself out for my sake... and I'm grateful that I was willing to push past my comfort zone and my shyness and make this "date". I don't do things like this normally [meeting people I don't or barely know], but I can see that this is a useful social skill for me to develop. I had a lovely time [hope she did, too] and I ended up extremely glad that this meeting happened -- it was one of the high points of my trip.

johncomic: (Default)
people who appreciate my hidden virtues
johncomic: (Face of Boe)
 still learning deep and valuable life lessons, even at my advanced age

also, it's National Cartoonists Day!

johncomic: (SK BW)
making a couple of drawings this morning that I liked
johncomic: (Face of Boe)
 re-confirming a deep lesson: 

There are times when my experience of love is simply a knowing. At the moment, I might not feel like I love you -- no connection to those feelings at all, right now. But I still know that I do. Not because I should, not because it's expected or required... I simply know that I do.

Not sure if I can explain it any more fully than that, but I find it a deep and sobering and humbling thing.
johncomic: (Uncle Old Guy)
 (I will confess, gratitude is hard today because The Struggle Is Real.... but) I am glad I am well enough to make it in to the office today.
johncomic: (SK BW)
the pleasure I find in the mere process of cartooning, even when the end result is less than ideal or not yet in view
johncomic: (Default)

 getting old


Today is my sixtieth birthday.  

I'm observing this milestone date with rather less anxiety than I did fifty or forty. I'm delighted to be here! Sure beats the alternative -- or, at least, the only alternative we have currently. (Can't help thinking about this, as I realize that one of my late big brothers never lived to see sixty, so in that sense I am fortunate.) I can't remember the last time I was this excited about my birthday! Plus I have the added bonus of being eligible for the senior discount at some retailers now...  

A while back, I realized that my fifties were clearly my fave decade to date. Life changed in significant ways for me in my fifties, and, now that they have drawn to a close, I feel like I can expect these changes to continue. I learned a lot over the last decade, maybe because I finally reached the point where I was willing to listen. So when I take stock today, things are good.  

Today I am happier, healthier, and better. I am [except for a few aches and creaks] in better health and in better shape than I was at fifty, or at forty. I have a better sense of who I am, what I need, and how I want my life to be. I am more productive and creative than I was ten or twenty years ago. This, here and now, is the best I have ever been. (But I'll be honest, I am a little surprised to find myself saying all this -- it certainly never seemed self-evident back in the day!)  

TL;DR: you don't necessarily have to fear getting old. (I understand that a lot of people do.) You might have more opportunity than you know to change life for the better once you get here... so give it a chance.
johncomic: (SK BW)
getting a page inked right after breakfast
johncomic: (BECK: Mongolian Chop Squad)
 new creative discoveries
johncomic: (me 2017)
people who accept me
johncomic: (SK BW)
Back in 2010 I created Influence Maps to show the various influences on my comic creating over the years. I decided it was time to update that, since new influences have come onto my radar, others have grown or faded, etc.... so here is my current Influence Map. The difference here is that these show the influences I am consciously aware of today: the ones I can feel active in me while I work now... whereas the earlier ones included influences in every stage of my life.


The largest one, in the upper left, is Alex Toth.

To his right: Roy Crane, Noel Sickles, Leonard Starr, Dik Browne.

The row below Toth: Osamu Tezuka, Jean-Claude Mézières, Jaime Hernandez, Mitsuru Adachi, Bill Watterson.

Bottom row: Scott McCloud, Ben Caldwell, Tonči Zonjić.
johncomic: (Face of Boe)
reminds me of someone I know
johncomic: (Uncle Old Guy)
On FB I am Friends with a large number of cartoonists, so for a few days now my feed has been filled with tributes and remembrances of Bernie Wrightson, who passed on the weekend. Much as happened with Darwyn Cooke last year, all these folks are remarking on not just what a great comic artist the guy was, but what a wonderful person and good friend.

And for some reason I find that I keep thinking about what these people are going to say when I go.

I am nowhere near the major figure [commercially or artistically] that Wrightson or Cooke are, so there isn't much reason for anyone to talk about how I was one of The Great Comic Artists. And these people barely know me, so they won't be talking about what a Good Guy I was either.

I find myself wondering if I ought to be more gregarious and outgoing, so that people will know me better and hopefully think of me as a friend. But then that strikes me as being fake and manipulative. It took me a long time to figure out who I really am, and I feel like I owe it to myself to be that person, even if I am in many ways not as good at human-ing as a lot of others are.

Besides, I have always told myself that I don't really care what people say about me when I'm gone, because I won't be here and I'll never know. What I mostly hope for is that someone will read my work after I go. But again, I'll never know whether they do or not, will I.

Not really sure what I'm getting at here, other than "I yam what I yam", for both good and ill, I guess.
johncomic: (Uncle Old Guy)
...but I had an unusually [for me] vivid and dream-like dream last night:

Sharon was trying to get me to meet some lawyer for reasons I don't recall. In conversation, it came out that this guy was a top adviser for Gerrit Knudsen, the owner of a software design company of whom I had vaguely heard. At one point, Sharon left me alone with this lawyer, and during our conversation he sometimes looked at me pointedly and said things that meant nothing to me, or asked me questions about things I knew nothing about.. and gradually I realized that these things he said would mean something to Gerrit Knudsen... and even more gradually I realized that this guy believed that I had multiple personalites, one of which was Knudsen. In other words, this guy wanted to see me because he thought I was Knudsen.

This made zero sense to me -- from what I could recall from seeing pictures of Gerrit Knudsen, he didn't even look anything like me. I couldn't understand why this guy thought this, nor why Sharon would be willing to play along with him and get me to meet him.

Then Sharon served us food -- some sort of Scandinavian porridge, it seemed like -- and, as soon as I saw and smelled this dish, those sensations triggered my memories... and I suddenly recalled that yes, I had been leading a dual existence all my life, and I actually was Gerrit Knudsen the software tycoon. And in fact I did look like him, even though as "me" I wasn't able to see the resemblance. At this point I still remembered being me, but now remembered my other life as well.

Cut to an event where Knudsen had been asked to provide opening remarks before a choral performance in an arts centre -- "he" was a well-known patron of the arts... but when I appeared at the podium, I neither looked nor acted like myself or Knudsen, but more like some sort of disheveled Mr. Hyde. And instead of introducing the choir, I regaled the audience with an impromptu speech about how I had now discovered a deep secret: each of us has the potential to choose to be anyone we want to be. And, for this reason, we can never completely know another person or ourselves -- because at any moment, we could choose to become someone completely new.

What the.
johncomic: (Booth)
a challenging but enjoyable creative task
johncomic: (Uncle Old Guy)
getting a clearer picture of who I am and what I want -- you'd think I woulda figured that sutff out after all this time, but nope, still a work in progress...
johncomic: (SK BW)
getting back into drawing Space Kid! pages after a hiatus of literally months!
johncomic: (Uncle Old Guy)
a quiet day (given that I currently lack the resources to address a demanding one)

July 2017

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