Wednesday, December 19, 2012


Hello, Internet. What are you up to? What's amazing and fun and exciting and basically making you feel alive and optimistic and ready for a bright shiny new year!?

It's pretty easy to measure your life in calendar years, especially if your birthday rolls close to the end or beginning of one (which is the case with me). And 2012 has been a very good year for me. Probably the best yet. I've kept working hard, have been lucky enough to get a little attention for it, and generally lead a charmed little life with a good circle of friends and family, an amazing girlfriend, an amazing dog, and with some awesome things on the horizon to plan for and look forward to. (Gotta take a minute to appreciate that.)

I've been basically reading this over and over for the past few days. Cracked is a pretty great site overall, and a big part of what makes it great is that every-so-often article they'll publish that really jolts you awake and hits home in a personal way (John Cheese's columns are amazing for this), and for me, this was one of them. I read through this, realizing I've come a long way, realizing I've got a long way to go, as always, because that's life and you can't ever stop moving forward and growing and getting better or else what's the point, right!? (ahem.)

It makes some damn good arguments. I've had pride in myself for being "nice" in the past, even though it means very little to be "nice" if you're not doing something good/worthwhile or bettering yourself and others in some way, and even "nice" people can be selfish, thoughtless jerks deep down underneath that outward layer of "nice". (I will stop saying "nice" soon, I promise.)

I've learned a lot of things the hard way. It's the best way to learn anything. I've tried to put myself out there and received nothing in return. I've been judged, mistreated and disrespected by people I've cared about after trying to do well by them. I've been on the other side of that as well, though (which I'm not proud of) and I understand the mindset - where it's all about what other people can do for you, and rarely (or never) what you can do for them. And you can get away with that for a long time by being "nice", but I believe/hope that eventually people will see through that and simple self-respect won't allow them to tolerate it anymore.

(And the great part of that is, if you're doing it right, self-respect forces you to demand more of yourself first and foremost - not just others.)

So yeah. On the cusp of the new year, this is where I stand. I'm better than I was. I want to be better than I am. And I'm super, amazingly thankful for all the help, support and friendship I have, all the understanding, that makes that whole journey so much easier.

I'm ready for you, 2013.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Sanity Prevails

Two-term President Barack Obama. Deal with it.

So. President Barack Obama, for a second term. Gotta say, I'm relieved.

I don't claim that he's perfect, but he's been a good president. There are several things I wish he'd have done differently in his first term, but in fairness, he's accomplished a lot more than many want to give him credit for, and in the big picture he's kicked off a lot of positive change. Also, thankfully, this victory ensures that certain conservatives can't so easily marginalize him the way they did Jimmy Carter. (And my gods, do they want to!)

But here we are. He's got a damn lot of hard work ahead of him, and I sure don't envy him in that, but this is the best result I could have hoped for.

And while I'm happy Obama won (and I very much am), my four favourite things about last night's results are:

1) The crazies were slapped down. Specifically: misogynistic, anti-equality voices in the Republican party, Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock, lost definitively in their races. And that sends a serious message: if the GOP wants to survive, they're going to need to adapt, and soon. The hard-right, socially-conservative base wasn't enough to win the presidency, and it proved a massive liability with the female, youth and minority voters that came out to re-elect Obama. This was a huge victory for the diverse electorate of today. To win, you can't just appeal to the straight, white, male voters. Not anymore. That's huge. That's fantastic.

2) It's also a victory for facts and reality - two very simple things that have been under attack of late. Conservatives lambasted New York Times statistician Nate Silver for his projections forecasting a solid Obama victory... and his projections turned out to be right. Many conservative pundits predicted a Romney "landslide"... and instead Obama won by a comfortable margin. Romney himself was so confident he would win, in spite of all evidence to the contrary, that he didn't bother preparing a concession speech... and he lost. Bill Maher often talks about a "conservative bubble" among those who get their information purely from biased sources (Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, etc.) and construct their own narrative that ignores the realities around them. Stone-cold reality and facts just burst that bubble.

3) The super-rich Republican elites, who poured an absolute ton of their money into Romney's campaign, lost hard. For their massive investments, they get nothing. I admit, I'm partly happy about this out of sheer pettiness, but also because it says that, when the people are aware, involved, and use their right to vote, the fat cats can't simply buy the presidency.

4) Mitt Romney will not be the president (at least not any time soon). Say what you will about Obama, but nothing changes the fact that Romney is a chronic, proven liar, out of touch with the people, and entirely unfit for the office of the President of the United States. Bullet: dodged.

We're not living in a perfect world, and an Obama victory in itself doesn't fix the many (many) problems facing the United States. Not by a long shot. Change takes time, and a lot of it. But in my own opinion, the American people decided to keep moving in the right direction.

In short, what Jian Ghomeshi said.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

This is Halloween. (Again.)

Halloween has come again, my friends. Only a handful of hours left, so you grab hold and enjoy them while you can. (I take Halloween very seriously, it's a whole thing.)

Had a good time again this year! Which is The Plan, it's always The Plan, but you have to appreciate it when it goes off without a hitch.

My costume this year.

...which was actually part of a couples' costume with my Special Lady.

For those not in The Know, we went as recently-departed Doctor Who companions Amy Pond and Rory Williams, as pictured here.

Basically, whoever got the reference totally loved it, and they still worked as separate costumes for those who didn't. Not a bad plan.

(Though I did have some drunk bros yelling "SPARTA" at me, I managed to stop myself from correcting them.)

Even Logan had a costume!

...which stayed on him for about 64 seconds before it was clear he wasn't having it, but at least we got a picture. My little devil.

Got up this morning intending to get all Romaned up for work, but that extra 15 minutes of sleep was entirely too tempting, so I managed to slap together a simpler costume: Business Casual Luigi.

It went over pretty well.

And that's basically a wrap on one more installment of The Best Holiday Ever, You Guys, Seriously. I bought too much candy for tonight, so I'm gonna be generous. The theme for the night is "Contributing to the Child Obesity Epidemic".

Have a damn good Halloween, my friends.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

It's Almost Here.

It's almost here.

It's almost here!

I mean, okay, I say it every year. But seriously... Halloween is the best.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Where I've Been, Where I'm Going

I think it's important to reminisce every now and then. Not too often. The past is gone and that's a good thing, ultimately. But just a quick look back, a peek at the view below you, to see where you stood then and where you stand now. It's weird to think of myself even two years ago. I'm not that person anymore, not in the ways that count. I'm not "finished" yet, not by any means, but there are some things about living that I understand now in a way I never used to. There are things I said and did that make me shudder with embarrassment (just as I'm sure I'll wince when I read this after I hit 30).

If I didn't have Very Serious Opinions on the topic of time travel, I'd almost wish I could go back to tell my younger self a few things. Like that adulthood isn't something to be feared or fought. Getting older doesn't mean you have to give up the things you love, and it doesn't mean you have to slow down and get boring - you just have to accept new responsibilities (to yourself and others), learn to be self-reliant (and reliable!) and hold yourself to an ever-higher standard. It's harder, but the rewards are worth it. You learn how to manage real freedom and responsibility, and the essential balance between them.

You get to make choices. Real, big, awesome choices. And each one comes with consequences, with sacrifices, pleasures, freedoms and responsibilities. On some level I always recognized this, but actually feeling it all, the positive along with the negative, is something else. Everything you do has an impact, small or large, on the people and the community around you. Your pleasure may come at the price of another's pain, or your fortune directly from another's expense. And part of being an adult - probably the most important part - is honestly accepting responsibility for the results of your choices. Sometimes that means you have to look at yourself in an ugly light and make some hard decisions about who you are and who you want to be. Sometimes that means having to choose doing what you feel is right over being "nice" or being liked. That decision is yours, and so are the consequences - and you have to own them.

Everyone learns these things at a different rate - some are born into privilege, in a bubble. Others are born into struggle and responsibility from a young age and need to grow quickly just as a matter of survival. I was always pretty fortunate - we weren't rich, but I grew up living in a comfortable zone that a lot of other people don't get. And I'm much further from rich now, but I still automatically benefit every day from a lot of things based solely on what I am: my colour, my gender, my orientation. And in the past (and I'm going back way further than a few years now) it was easy to just live in that bubble and feel like my own little struggles and feelings were big and real and important, but I can't do that anymore. You have to step out of it - even if you can never understand first-hand other peoples' struggles and experiences, you at least have to do your best to try, to be conscious of reality beyond your own perceptions.

Ultimately everyone has to learn this stuff and there are no excuses not to. Right?

I used to have a hard time with change. My biggest, most crippling fear was always rejection. I avoided a lot of risks because of that fear, and as a result often let my life get stagnant. The mere thought of losing people - even "just" acquaintances - was a dull ache I couldn't chase away. I would react to change with deep mourning - even if I kept it hidden inside. I couldn't let go. Like an emotional hoarder. In my mind, people and things in my life had to stay there, purely for my own selfish needs, even if there was nothing left to keep. When people didn't "get" me it felt like a slight, or a personal failing. All of it, eating away at me always.

But now, mostly, I think, I hope, I seem to get and accept that no one thing or person or whatever is made for everyone. People may not enjoy or like who I am or what I do for valid personal reasons that I have no control over, and that's fine. It has no effect on me. It's out of my hands and not worth my energy worrying about. (And at times I may worry about it anyway, but I try to push it aside.)

I've even effectively let people fall out of my life on several occasions. I've abandoned interests, hobbies, mindsets, outright. Not with any malice - it's either because I've realized I have no real connection with them anymore, or because they've had a negative impact on my emotional state and/or sense of well-being that I could no longer accept or justify. And there's nothing wrong with that, at all. Sometimes you outgrow people, things or situations. Or you both grow in separate directions - however you look at it. (Though there are a lot of people I just plain haven't kept in touch with well, which is a different thing entirely.)

And that gnawing feeling? That doesn't really get to me anymore. Because sometimes what comes next, and who you'll be next, is so much better.

Monday, September 17, 2012


So it's been... a whole season since I last updated here. I am clearly a terrible blogger, but I've been fairly busy and haven't felt a need to update lately (regular comic updates and constantly spewing nonsense on Twitter have me pretty tapped out, Internet-wise). Summer managed to blast by even quicker than usual, but it was a pretty good one overall. And just for the hell of it, here are 25,000 words' worth of pictures that pretty well sum it up.

Friday, June 29, 2012


If you know me, you probably know Maya. She was my dog. My little sister. She joined my family when I was 13, a very impulsive decision on our part. We happened upon a new litter of puppies while having a day out at the lake and fell in love with her instantly - she introduced herself by attacking my dad's shoelaces, and that was it. She was not for sale. I am not ashamed to say I pleaded dramatically, and with very little dignity, until I convinced the breeders to change their minds. From that moment on, it was the four of us.

She brought more love into our lives than I can really describe. She was sweet, loving, bossy, and feisty. She always lit up the room. She was perfect. We loved her totally. She made us better people, and a stronger family.

About two months ago, I discovered a small growth underneath Maya's chin. Soon after, she went in to the vet for tests. Eventually they confirmed that Maya had developed Lymphoma. There was nothing they could do. She was prescribed some medicine to help stop the pain and to give her a little more time.

Early yesterday morning, it stopped working.

Just before 3:00 yesterday afternoon, Maya was euthanized. We said our goodbyes, held her, kissed her, and helped comfort her as much as we could. Feisty as ever, she put up a little fight when her catheter was adjusted. But after that, she lied down for the last time, each of us holding her, and went peacefully.

We haven't stopped crying for long since. I'm trying to hold it together and I'm mostly failing. It's damn hard - I knew it would be, but it's somehow even harder than I could have foreseen. But I keep reminding myself that the only reason it hurts so much is because she made us so happy for so long.

She lived 15 years. They were good ones. She had some health issues earlier in her life, and she bounced back from all of them. She took care of us, and we took care of her. The last thing we did was take care of her.

I'll love her and miss her forever. She made my life better, and I can never thank her enough for that.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Video: An Invocation for Beginnings

Randomly ran across a video today that's been bouncing around the Internet for a month or so. I'm late to the party, but whatever - it's pretty great. A lot of important truths here.

Damn well said, I think.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Photos: Logan at the Park

For the sake of a quick update, here are some recent photos of my best buddy Logan at his favourite place: the park down the street. It's getting downright summery out there, and the nicer it gets, the more often he asks to go for walks - which usually means the two of us running around the park like maniacs for a while.

Logan - Park Life

Logan - Rolling in the Green

Best Dudes Forever

More updates as soon as I have time! Life's good, though. Hope all is well with you too, Internet Friends!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Sushi (Avocado/Cucumber Rolls)

It's been a while since I've done one of these. Like last time, I've been holding onto the pictures for weeks now, but I've been busy with other things and couldn't justify sitting down long enough to write up the post to go with them. I find myself with a little extra time this morning, so here we go.

Earlier this month, my girlfriend and I had a little date night in, and decided to try our hands and making sushi. One of our first dates was going out for sushi (which she'd never had before), and that triggered a bit of an addiction, so making our own seemed like a great idea. Nothing particularly challenging -- I made cucumber/avocado rolls and I believe she made ones with salmon. But it was also something I'd never tried before, and didn't know what to expect.

First up, we cooked the rice. Simple enough. After it was done, we added rice vinegar and put it in the fridge for a while to cool down.

As the rice cooled, I got to work cutting my vegetables into roll-able strips and preparing the Nori sheets.

Once the rice was ready, I spread it evenly...ish across the Nori, then made a line of cucumber and avocado near the end. This one didn't turn out as well as future attempts - I was being a bit too cautious, I think?

I neglected to add sesame seeds to this batch, but y'know, that's a good idea too.

Next up, I carefully rolled from the edge with the vegetables, "sealing" the end with the rice. Then I just had to chop them up into smaller pieces and they were ready to eat.

And that's that! Easy and delicious.

We've been doing this pretty regularly since, and have gotten a bit better at it. Keep in mind these rolls are about as easy as it gets, but for a first attempt I think I did pretty well here. If you like sushi, these are pretty simple to do, so there's no reason not to try.

(Next time perhaps I'll try making rolls with the rice on the outside!?)

Friday, March 2, 2012

Tumbl On

Just a quick note today:

Because I feel the need to join every social networking site in existence for some reason, I've signed on with Tumblr recently. It's in no way replacing this blog - I'll mainly be using it to post new and old comics and sketches, as well as follow and share stuff from the comics/art community there.

So if you tumbl, tumbl on over to!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Brysketch: Logan

Annnd just a quick one before bed, this time of my best buddy in the universe, Logan:

(Okay, really quick one, but whatever, just for fun!)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Brysketch: Meryl Silverburgh

My friend Neil (who makes a webcomic called Ruby Nation) suggested yesterday that I draw a Metal Gear Solid character, and I got it immediately in my head to draw Meryl Silverburgh:

I tried something a bit different this time. Instead of inking directly overtop of photo-blue pencils like I usually do, I drew with a regular mechanical pencil, scanned that, coloured it cyan and lightened the lines up, then printed that out and inked overtop the printed version. The problem was I didn't have any high-quality paper that fit my printer, so I tried it on basic printer paper... which didn't really take the inks as well, making the job a bit sloppier than I intended. Fortunately I can just print the cyan pencils out on better paper and try again, but for now, here's what I've got!

If time permits, I might have something else on the weekend. (I almost forgot I have a comic to finish for Thursday!)

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Brysketch: Link

And because I seriously can't stop, here's a quick Link head sketch to go with the Zelda from earlier:

That's... probably enough for one day.

Brysketch: Zelda

Since I can't stop drawing, here's another quick one - a head sketch of Zelda, as she appears in The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword:

I don't play video games as much as I used to. In fact, before I got Skyward Sword for Xmas, the last time I played anything seriously (beyond Wii Fit or a few rounds of Street Fighter) was about a full year prior. And even then, I'm only maybe 1/3 through the game as of now - I only play when I'm in the mood and have nothing else pressing to take care of, so it's not super often.

But damn. DAMN.

It's really incredible. I'm loving it as much as I did Ocarina of Time back in '98 (when I was... holy shit, 14!?), and that game was practically a religious experience for me. The Zelda series has always been a huge favourite of mine (and it's maybe worth noting that this is coming from a dude with a Triforce symbol tattooed on his arm) but this has to be one of its best games yet. So basically I'm saying you should play it immediately.

Brysketch: Power Girl

Just a quick sketch today - I finished Monday's comic early yesterday and felt like doing a little something extra, but something different - a character I've never drawn before. Since the character's been redesigned recently, I went with DC's Power Girl (created by Gerry Conway, Ric Estrada and Wally Wood).

The funny thing is, I don't think I own a single comic with Power Girl in it. I haven't ever really followed the character that closely, despite being familiar with her... I just noticed the redesign online the other day and it got me thinking about the character for some reason.

Power Girl's probably most well-known for her "classic" costume. You... can probably see why. It's a pretty shameless look, and some artists (most successfully Amanda Conner) have embraced the cheesecake aspect in a fun, self-aware kind of way. Which is totally fine - that certainly has its place. But putting impractical, "sexy" costumes on female superheroes is incredibly widespread and overdone all-around, and it raises a lot of arguments about sexist attitudes toward women in comics that are pretty uncomfortable to say the least. I'm generally pro-practical when it comes to costume design for male or female characters, and feel that costumes are generally far more appealing -- and even sexier -- without tits or ass hanging out, or looking like they'd fall off or apart under any form of pressure.

But I'm not a huge fan of the new costume, either. It's... okay, but doesn't really grab me. It does away with the "cleavage window" but adds overly-busy gloves and boots with a lot of unnecessary lines (a common "New 52" design choice), while, as Comics Alliance pointed out the other day, looking a lot like the Image Comics character Supreme. And worst of all, the new Power Girl looks a bit... slight. The best part about her classic look was that she was a visually powerful woman. Unlike many/most superheroine designs, she didn't look anorexic or impossibly-proportioned; she was strong, healthy and curvy - often with a bodybuilder physique. That's a big part of what made her look so iconic, and now that's been lost.

I do like the covered chest/legs and exposed arms in the new look, though, so I took those aspects and worked them into the core of the classic design, and this is what I got.

Now, I did this really quickly while I was fairly sick, so it's... not great. I feel like the proportions are a bit off, but I didn't want to redraw it, so to hell with it, here it is anyway:

I know I'm not the first to draw something along these lines, and I'm sure it's been done much better elsewhere. But I think it's a solid tweak to the classic design that takes away a lot of the cheesecake factor while still remaining recognizable.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Everything in its Right Place

I've got about 700 unfinished blog posts saved in the queue and no time to finish them. By the time I get around to it, they'll either be irrelevant or I'll have lost interest. That's okay. I'll update eventually.

For now, it's life, work, comic. I'm damn close to hitting #100, which is sort of exciting!

This is how the process looks right now:

I Have a System.

I have a system. Honest.

More... soon?

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


It's here! It's here.

(Rather, it's been here for a week and a half and I've been too busy/distracted to update...)

I don't buy into any of these 2012 "end of days" theories because I'm not superstitious and require a little evidence to believe pretty much anything. But my next birthday will fall on 12/12/12, so if the world does end (it won't) and it turns out I'm the Double Antichrist or something... well, sorry about that.

For 2012, I'm predicting a year like any other, except I hope that people smarten up and try to destroy our society and planet a little less than usual. (And also that Community gets renewed for a fourth season.)

My resolution for this year is to stay the course. More specifically, keep working on the comic, step up my game and invest in my future, and basically be as awesome as possible. Also, I plan to continue working on myself, particularly becoming better at dealing with stress and frustration (I'm much better than I was a few years ago, and hope to keep moving in that direction) and just make a point to live in the moment a bit more and enjoy life as much as possible.

As for last year's resolutions? I think I did all right. Aside from a few hiccups and a little hiatus, I kept the Hereafter updates coming on a decent schedule for the most part. I mostly kept a positive attitude during some trying times, which in retrospect was a pretty damn good test of my mindset. I feel like a much more well-rounded person now than I was a year ago, more connected and self-assured, more motivated and productive. I'm not all the way there yet, but I've made some strides, I think. I just have to keep moving in that direction.

My good friend Mel posted her theme for 2012 the other day, so once again I'm stealing her idea. This is mine:

Have a great year, everybody! I'll try to update again before 2013.