The Grindstone

Dear Everybody,

Hello again! You look very great. I do too! I know it’s been a little tiny while since my last BLAG entry, but that does not necessarily mean nothing has happened. In this specific instance, though, nothing has happened. Just joking! Many things happen, they just aren’t very funny things (or I haven’t developed the mental acumen to spin jokes out of these particular issues), & since I am ostensibly a “humorist” / serious artist with humoristic tendencies, I have chosen to allow silence to envelop this internet site like a great electric  sensory deprivation chamber. Because that is art too, in a way, right? Maybe, but that’s not my angle, best friend.

The following is another NOT NECESSARILY humorous update as to what’s up with me, this site, & all of us.

Well hello there, I didn’t see you come in! So this is a blog entry. This is what’s been happening. So 2013 has brought with it a renewed sense of optimism, as it does for a lot of people who once a year gain enough perspective to realize their progress as a person is stalled & they are letting themselves down. I have chosen to get back into drawing comics with more regularity & routine, after a few years of putzing around due to assorted mental scene changes & cosmic pratfalls.

george herriman snoozingA few years ago after I moved back to San Francisco I hit the ground running in terms of comic production, hosting my own cheapo internet site as well as putting my comics up on a bunch of sites that committed me to the outside world, they held me up to a standard. It was constantly engaging & I saw my output shoot up. I got into making comics like a mofo, & pretty soon I had what I felt was enough to submit a portfolio of strips off to comic syndicates. I cobbled together the more marketable ones & sent off my submission package to exactly one syndication company & waited. Dropping that manilla envelope in the mailbox was a dynamite feeling, it was a decisive move to start carving out my life.

The cartoonist at his desk.My comic submission was rejected, but it didn’t really bum me out at all. I took myself in a direction of not compromising in the content or language of my comics & eventually had enough strips to print a couple of comic books & sell them at various art events in San Francisco. All the moves I was making were related to art (or at least all the moves that were interesting; I still had a 40+ hour a week day job plus other stuff, so it was just the sweet manic energy flooding my system that was affording me the extra ambition to see this stuff through. I was schmoozing with other comics people, I was intimating myself with the Bay Area’s alt comics scene, which in hindsight was a pretty good place for all this stuff to be going down!

But after a while the monotony of the comics process seemed like a dull trap to me. In hindsight I can see it was my own lack of enthusiasm for what I was doing that did me in. but at the time I saw no other choice but to move on to another lifelong passion of mine: music! (To sum up the music leg of my career, I’ve completed a total of four songs in four years, with several dozen half-finished radioactive mind dumps saved on my computer’s hard drive). So it was not terribly surprising when I found myself picking up the pen again after a couple years & feeling the art of comicking move through me again.

The desire to learn, to grow, to seek out new artistic challenges is back & more compelling than ever. & this desire is essential for anyone who wants to invest their lives in art, I think. The years are definitely dumping some wisdom in my head, & the intense neurotic energy that fired me off in this direction is being supplanted with stable, steady, & peaceful energy that serves to let me direct my life’s propulsion some. There are more comic books in the works. More words to be shared. More tchotchkes with my goofy drawings on them. More challenges & more desire & ability to rise to them. More you. More me.

In the words of the Grateful Dead, “what a long strange jam we’re playing that will be available to purchase online soon!”

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