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The Ball Will Return: Thoughts on Creative Work

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"the original" painting

There was a post I wrote on this blog years ago. It’s so old I had written it back when this blog was hosted on Blogger (jeez, remember that?). It was about the concept Neil Gaiman mentioned in a commencement speech in 2012: the concept of throwing your work out to the world like messages in a bottle, and hoping that the bottles wash back to you.

At the time I wrote my blog post, I didn’t mention it, but I had a kind of fatalistic view of the bottles – I thought that when I threw bottles out into the sea, they would never come back. I would post work, work, and more work, and get no return out of it.

It wasn’t until I came across Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert that I revisited this idea of throwing bottles/work out to the world. Continue reading →

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“How to Make a Minicomic” Workshop Coming to Not-At-Con Day

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minicomic workshop flyer

I just finished this little flyer for a workshop I’m running next weekend – New Dimension Comics in my area is having Not-At-Con Day on July 23rd and I’m running a workshop on how to make your own minicomics. If you can’t make it to this one, no worries – I’m planning on running another workshop in Wheeling, WV sometime after August 4th (dates are still TBA).

I’ve been doing a lot of flyer-type work lately outside of comics. I wonder if it’s a sign…

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“For My Best Friend,” a Sketch

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gay black men illustration

I drew this over the weekend – it struck me as odd that there weren’t any greeting cards for gay men, especially gay black men. So I wanted to draw something.

This sketch is the start of something. I don’t think I’ll use this illustration specifically for a greeting card, but I’ll make a new illustration based on this one.

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Thoughts on “Transgender Warriors” and Leslie Friedman

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I’m currently reading a fascinating book called Transgender Warriors by Leslie Friedman. It makes me think of The Yellow Lighted Bookshop by Lewis Buzbee in that both books are part memoir, part history books. The Yellow Lighted Bookshop is about the history of books as much as it’s the tale of the author growing into a mature librarian. Transgender Warriors is as much about Friedman as it is about trans people in history.

I recognized quite a few names of warriors in the first few chapters, as those people of history also appear in David E. Jones’s Women Warriors: A History. Women Warriors acknowledges that many of the women cross-dressed or exhibited more masculine qualities (like King Nzinga) but still has that gender binary. You have to infer that some women in that book were, in fact, non-binary. Maybe not “trans,” but definitely falling outside of man/woman dichotomies.

With that said, Friedman’s personal history is profoundly biased in one way: s/he was an active member, for many years, of the World Workers Party, a communist organization that was an offshoot of the Socialist Party in the USA. For all I know, s/he may still be a member.

So, there are many, many, many, MANY moments in the book that are cringe/noteworthy. To say s/he is NOT a fan of capitalism is an understatement on par with “I think North Korea may have a humanitarian problem.” Continue reading →

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