My Old Autobiocomix

So I’m doing a “konmari” on my house and getting rid of… just the most stuff. In this process, I stumbled across a folder collecting a ton of my old drawings, including this weird experiment I tried for about three months back in 2013 – creating a single image of something that happened to me each day. I’ve been holding onto these drawings for years, but I think it’s time to let them go…

…right after I photograph them and share them all one last time.


I spent a lot of time in 2013 really concerned about being lonely for the rest of my life. I’d also grown a beard, which was pretty momentous, and I started working as a manager for a health care clinic, suddenly making more money than I ever in my life thought I would.


Most days I’d go out jogging for about fifteen/twenty minutes. That was about all I could stand.


I was REALLY into cartoons. My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic was, and remains, a pure favorite.


I did most of these drawings in less than fifteen minutes apiece. My sense of the human figure wasn’t the best: I look wildly different from one day to the next. Interestingly, though, I made the choice to try to capture exactly what I wore each day. I’m pretty sure I still own the shorts in the upper-right corner.


The thing that stands out the most in each of these pictures that show me at work is how much, even then, I felt worn down by my job. Being a manager nearly killed me.


So apparently I have played the “penis game” at least once in my life. I have no memory of this.


I found a bunch of pretty interesting ways to depict “I just worked a lot.”


I used to throw “Saturday Morning Cartoon Parties,” where I’d get a bunch of my adult friends and their kids together to watch a bunch of different cartoons and eat cereal. We’d watch Batman: The Animated Series, DuckTales, and, of course, My Little Pony. I actually recall Jem and the Holograms being a particular favorite… for certain values of the word “favorite.”


I used to belong to this amazing book club. We read several books that I still consider personal favorites to this day, including My Name is Asher Lev, The Butterfly Mosque, and East of Eden. Pretty sure that’s what’s going on in the upper-left corner here.


Weirdly enough, I think my favorite drawings from this bizarre time of my life are the ones of me just hanging out in the kitchen and cooking.


I don’t think I’ve ever paid as much attention to pop music as I did during the summer of 2013, where I must have heard Justin Timberlake’s “Mirror” literally hundreds of times. What a stinker of a song.


Setting aside how bizarre the body proportions in these pictures frequently were, I kinda loved the attention I showed to certain unflattering details, like my developing potbelly or the sweat spots in my arm pits.


…or the water I splashed onto my pants while washing the dishes.


Put a gun to my head, and I doubt I could tell you why I drew what appears to be a jheri curl on my little brother.


I also still have this same bedspread that I drew myself sitting or reading on. Now it’s got a huge hole in it, and the stuffing’s falling out. Trouble is my current house is pretty cold, so I never feel like I can afford to get rid of any blankets.


And here it is: an honest to goodness family portrait, drawn by me. My family’s grown by two more munchkins since then.


In all of the dejunking I’m currently going through, my fiancée has forbidden me to throw away my copy of Midnight’s Children. I should probably try to finish that one again.


Church was a much bigger part of my life during the summer of 2013. I remember making regular trips to the local temple, and, although I have no memory of the “shave your legs” conversation, I’m pretty sure I had it with a young man with Down’s syndrome who went to the same congregation as me.


Although I’d already begun preparations to buy a house, it was housesitting for my brother while he went on vacation that really cemented the idea in my head. I’d be in a house with a life-crushing mortgage less than three months after these drawings were done.


Now we start to see the reason why I didn’t keep these drawings going. As an office manager, I oversaw three employees who kept the clinic running. Here, Employee #1 turns in her two-weeks’ notice.

Also, I hope y’all will like this blog, because apparently that’s something really important to me 🙂

Employee #2 hands in her two-weeks’ notice as well. I must have been feeling the stress, because I made the completely bonkers decision to shave my beard off.

And there goes Employee #3. At this point, I haven’t had a chance to replace any of them yet. For the next month, I ran the clinic by myself, working 12-hour days with no social life and no additional pay. But hey – at least I was still in the middle of buying a house and signing a mortgage.

Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

I actually remember this weekend pretty vividly: hours on end, watching Lost from the warm, numbing embrace of a giant Love Sac.

And that’s it. Apparently, the last thing I did before giving up on this whole experiment was catch a screening of Starship Troopers, which I believe was accompanied by Rifftrax commentary, although I can’t be sure now.

After this, my life changed pretty dramatically. I finally got three new employees hired, I moved into my new house, and I grew the beard back. I’m pretty glad I attempted this project for as long as I did, and I’d even consider trying it again.

Someday, maybe. After the wedding. When life finally calms down again.

Anybody else hear that music?

I Dunno… Some Trees? I Guess?

A suggestion I quite liked from a Skillshare video called “Doodle Magic” by Yasmina Creates was to pull up Pinterest and just doodle a bunch of different versions of a particular object in order to expand your “visual vocabulary.”

“Great,” I said. “Let’s draw some trees, because I draw a bunch of trees, all the time.”

Coo

The fiancée looked at this picture and said, “It’s cute. I don’t get it.”

There’s really nothing to get. I’ve been watching a bunch of tutorials on Skillshare recently, including a rather cute series on “doodling.” That’s pretty much all there is to this picture. It’s just a doodle.

The Fallen Elder

Honestly, there’s something of an experiment here. I’ve been watching a bunch of videos on Skillshare (thanks to a promo I got from the Patrick H. Willems YouTube channel, which has a ton of videos you should totally check out). One of those videos talked about designing characters using simple shapes, and how circles could be used to create a less-threatening character than, say, a triangle. To some extent, this is my attempt to make circles a bit more threatening. Not sure how well it works, but I love to participate in the scientific process 🙂

Escape!

I have a lot of creative goals for 2019, mainly spending more time writing and drawing, with the intent of actually creating a story I feel comfortable sharing with people. My little dinos are definitely part of the plan – or, at least, the fantasy. I have an idea of what their story looks like, but it’ll take some time to finalize.

In the meantime, we’ll keep doodling.

Carbo Curse

Recently, I’ve set a goal to be more health-conscious. Specifically, I’m trying to lose weight. It’s… not been going well.

I will always love New Years as a time to reflect on who I want to be and whether I’m working towards that goal or not. Since, in this case, the answer is “not,” I’ve set myself a few smaller goals to help make the journey more manageable. Mainly I’ve opted to increase my physical activity, but the biggest obstacle between me and my destination is scoops of ice cream, flaky pastries, deep-fried meat, and all those other tasty, tasty carbs.

Giving those up is going to be difficult. Hope you all will cheer me on… starting tomorrow.

Cheating at Inktober ‘18: Toyo Harada

Kinda phoning it in today, but I’m glad I got the chance to take a crack at this guy. Toyo Harada is the big bad of the Valiant line of comics, kind of a mix between Doctor Doom and the Kingpin, but also… like, weirdly sympathetic? Valiant comics are surprisingly great.