Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Webcomic Update!

The above is a teaser panel from my NEW WEBCOMIC, Zylphia Gibb, just updated over at smackjeeves!  If you wanna go read it, click here.  Contains some NSFW material.

Sunday, November 03, 2013

MOOC Comique: Putting It All Together

I’ve been taking a MOOC at Coursera called Creativity, Innovation, and Change.  Our final project is a synthesis of all the major concepts taught in the course (Creative Diversity, CENTER, IFF, etc.).  The 2 page comic above is my own synthesis of the concepts.  Make sure to click on the images to make them nice and big (and legible)!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Get Inspired!

I recently came back from San Diego Comic Con full of pure, unbridled inspiration.  I hadn't gone to the con for years (largely because of the expense of tickets/hotel accommodations/transport), but this year I was speaking on a short film panel and the ticket was free.  I was lucky enough to find a friend I could stay with for a short time who also became my fellow carpooler, and suddenly all my expense concerns were gone and I had no excuses left not to go out and have fun.  I'm glad I went - it was a blast - and the afterglow of inspiration has left me with the ruddy pallor of either the recently sunburned, or the expectant mother. 

It seems to me that there are two kinds of inspiration.  The first kind is the idea generator - either when something that previously exists makes the little synapses in your brain twist with sudden insight, or the semi-magical inexplicable origin of a new idea with no obvious causes.  The second kind is pure encouragement.  You might have had an idea for a song or a story or a painting kicking around in the back of your mind for a while, but it seems like you and fate are apt to let it languish there until suddenly you realize that it's not just O.K. to be creative, in fact it's the best thing out there, and you better get your butt in gear and start making the intangible into the material.

A lot of creative people will occasionally struggle with the first kind of inspiration, but the second kind of inspiration is faced with a wicked, insidious disease - negation.  Negation is insidious because it's composed of a net of self-esteem issues, procrastination, and every kind of doubt the human species can create.  We all get negation no matter how far we've progressed creatively or how much work we put into it, and the virility of the virus is so bad that it can often leave people scared to create for the rest of their lives.  Which is a load of crap.

People are best when they're making things.  When we create, we don't just make the world beautiful and more exciting, we are sharing unique perspectives and inspiring others.  We're building daydreams and shaping the future - and as cheesy as that sounds, these things are critically important.  We're reassuring people that our private problems are a part of the human experience, and that even if we can't fix them, we don't have to be alone with them.  Despite the potency of negation, inspiration can become just as strong, and sometimes stronger, in the face of our doubts and fears.

It's this second kind of inspiration that I came home with, and that's a treasure.  In an effort to share that with you, gentle reader, I've collected a few things around the interwebs that feed me that precious, golden, second form of inspiration.

I hope you get inspired!

Pixar Story Rules.  We often tell stories no matter what our medium is (although sometimes we don't).  They come in two flavors:  illustrated and vanilla.

Neil Gaiman's "Make Good Art" speech.  Funny, poignant, and wonderfully encouraging!  Posted below.

Letters of Note.  A letter from F. Scott Fitzgerald to an aspiring young writer.

Brick by Brick and Be Friends with Failure, both by Stephen at Doodle Alley.  Great insights about creativity and inspiration in comic format.

PBS Remixed videos by PBS Digital Studios.  Yes, there's that vocal distortion you've been hearing a lot these days.  I find these videos fun, catchy, and full of that encouraging gentle sweetness that these PBS giants (Bob Ross, Julia Child, Fred Rogers, etc.) provided during their lifetimes.  I chose the Bob Ross one to post below, but I hope you get to try them all!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Awfully Fawn'd of You

The above photos chart the path of my fawn mask that I made for the Labyrinth of Jareth masquerade I recently attended.  I initially imagined a flatter, more 1960s children's book style of palette for the mask, but certain masks like metallics (or so I've found).

The base is papier mache, with the horns and details made from Crayola's Model Magic.  There's light armature wire in the horns, a tight band of elastic to secure it, and some felt hot glued to the inside for comfort.  The ears are made from cereal boxes, and the paint is acrylic.

I've been told it looks like a jackalope, but in this instance I'd call it a jackaLopes. :p

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Balls and Pussies - A Linguistic Travesty

For at least a few decades now, and possibly longer, the phrase “grow a pair” has been defined as “man up”, “be strong”, and “screw your courage to the sticking place”. What you're supposed to grow a pair of, obviously, are testicles. When I was younger it seemed that this phrase was passed exclusively from male to male, and I would merely bide my time with a bemused expression on my face. It was a private joke between me, and the guys who were clearly trying to psych themselves up to do something beyond their comfort zone.

But recently I saw a tweet that stated “Balls. Don't be afraid to have a pair. #girlsmakingstrides”, and I realized that I had bided my time for long enough. I needed to clearly state somewhere the obvious problems with the whole balls-strength equivalency, because not only has this phrase been passed from woman to woman, it's something you can apparently hashtag to indicate feminist progression, and that's just stupid.

Let me preface this by saying that I'm a huge supporter of balls. Balls retract in the cold, dangle in the heat, and, in a fascinating personal detour of observation, encompass both the superficial characteristics of skin in both the young and elderly, phasing from wrinkled to smooth and back again in some hypnotic immortal time loop. Poetry and gushing fandom aside, balls, and testicles, are structurally unsound. Two dangling, soft fleshy sacks bouncing about in pants (with various degrees of restraint to that bounce, depending on what you wear to secure those testes); balls are weak.

Pussies, on the other hand, are fairly structurally sound. They do not generally dangle, preferring to stay secured within, and boy are they secure. Pussies have strong muscles inside of them, capable of delivering orgasms, cramps, and babies before lunch (but thankfully not at once). They have insane powers – one might say superpowers – for like Stretch Armstrong of yore they can grow mighty and big before snapping back into place, relatively unscathed. Generally speaking, you don't want to try that out with balls.

Balls can get injured in a multitude of ways. In MMA, there's a brief stoppage and a guy gets a full five minutes to recover when a direct hit to the testicles happens – and for good reason. Balls hurt a lot when they get hit, and a severe enough hit can do permanent damage. Heck, guys hurt their balls just by falling, but it takes a lot of ingenuity and bad luck for a woman to sustain pussy damage after a fall. There are the inevitable “get hit in the balls” jokes, which don't work nearly as well when a girl takes a shot to her pussy (unless the joke is about how hilarious it would be if it actually hurt a girl to get hit there). From personal experience, I'd say getting a hit to the pussy feels a lot like getting hit anywhere else where the bone is pretty close to the skin, with perhaps some sustained feeling around the clitoris that doesn't really feel bad per se, more like intense rough stimulation just happened there when you weren't ready for it. Pussies are survivors, and they take casual hits like champs – no five minute recovery necessary, but we'll take it to calm the little lady down, thank you.

However, to be a “pussy” is to be weak – as defined by current colloquialisms. How does that even make sense? Biologically, both pussies and balls are related to virility and reproduction, yet balls pulled away to the finish at the last second? Stuff and nonsense. This is merely sexist linguistics at play.

Every chance I get, I switch the terms. “What a pussy” becomes “what a balls”, and calling someone a “pussy” is a phrase of pure admiration at the sheer strength that individual possesses. Sometimes I slip up, and usually my friends – primarily the male ones – catch me on it and steer me on the right track. I have great friends. I'm hoping that my small efforts will catch on, and maybe in a century or so adults will have to explain to students reading books with phrases telling somebody to “grow a pair” that the author meant, well, to be strong. And that will seem ridiculous and incredulous to that room full of students, who know the obvious: balls are great, but pussies are stronger.

Want to make strides? Ladies, don't grow a pair, own that pussy. Be that pussy. That is one strong fucking pussy over there.

The rest is up to you.