Downtime Between Posts

So…it’s been a long time since I posted anything. While the schedule of this thing has generally turned into “I’ll post when I can get to it,” it has still been a really long time. There are a couple of reasons for that. One reason has to do with work. I should note here that it’s generally not a good idea to talk too much about work, where you work, or what’s happening at work in one of these things. I’ve actually been fired from a job for doing just that very thing. I may allude to the workplace in very broad strokes in my comics or posts, but I won’t ever go into specifics. I won’t mention the company, or companies, by name, I go into specifics about projects I’m working on, or other things happening at work. I won’t talk about people I work with, except in very, very abstract ways. Ever. With that said, at the time I was working on this post I was working for one company, but it was in the process of being acquired by another. As I was finishing up the strip and writing the post below we were nearing the finish line of the acquisition and all that entailed. It was a busy time, and there wasn’t much extra time in my life for pulling the trigger on this post. All of that is just a really long way of saying, “it didn’t get posted, ’cause…work.”

The other reason is…personal. I don’t want to talk about it. Not here. Not yet. Maybe not ever. It turned my life upside down, I needed to find help coming back from it, which I found, somewhat, and I’m posting this only as I’m just beginning to feel like myself again.  That is all I’m going to say right now.

On that happy note, I’m glad to be doing this again, even as long as it’s been. The good news is I have not one, but two strips ready to go. I’ll post this one now and follow that in a week or two with the next one. For the moment, it’s been long enough between posts that I’m going to read what I was saying here and see if I managed to make myself laugh.

Trekkers Make Better Parents

I don’t know if that’s true, I just needed a subtitle.

Both my wife, Mildly Sensational, and I grew up watching Trek. For the most part I watched it with my Grandpa, who was a serious Trekker. He used to record episodes from the TV onto VHS tapes so we could watch them together, and he had a pretty complete collection of the expanded universe novels. I think I’ve posted about that at least once before. My wife, I think, mostly watched Star Trek with her family.

Both of us really connected with Commander Spock. To me he represented something to which I could aspire. Here was an outsider, an alien, trying to fit in with a motley assortment of humans, with whom he only somewhat shares common heritage. He’s intelligent, fascinated by the universe around him, and experiences things through a different lens. Even with that as baggage, he’s accepted, and even successful. To a kid who was already a square peg in a round hole, who didn’t know that condition would come to define much of his life, this was a powerful idea. The notion that you could be so different, but still find a place to belong was nearly as alien as Spock himself. I ate it up.

There may be more to it than this, but Mildly Sensational has said Spock is her favorite character from the original series because he reminds her of her dad.

Anyway, this is from an actual conversation I had with my wife, Mildly Sensational. though I think I was the one asking the questions. We came up with the Ambien line in panel 3 together and had a good laugh. We’re both tickled by the idea of Bones getting to his quarters after a hard day of pronouncing red shirts dead, knocking back an Ambien, and falling over onto one of those beds that always looked uncomfortable as hell. Maybe he rubs his eyes and grumbles to himself a little before the meds kick in. I imagine him saying something like, “space, the final frontier, these are the voyages of bunch of crazy fucks who can’t go a day without trying to blow themselves up.”

To the untrained eye it may look as though I simply copied the first panel, then pasted it into the second and third, but in actuality…that’s exactly what I did. At least, that’s what I did when I started to do the inks on this one. When I drew the pencils, I drew both Normal Guy and Mildly Sensational sitting on the sofa, in the same pose, three times. I was about halfway through drawing the third panel when I turned to my wife and said, “Why am I doing this? I’m just going to copy and paste the ‘inked’ drawings into the other panels! Why am I doing all this extra work?” I forget what her actual response was, but I imagine it was something like, “because you always do things the hard way,” or “because you have a weird notion of fun.” Both would be true.

Some might recognize the painting in the background as one by Dave Pollot, who adds pop culture references to paintings he picks up in thrift stores. The piece on the wall behind the sofa is of the outside of a barn. In the painting there is a tree in the foreground, and a boy looking at a horse. Pollot inserted the TARDIS from Doctor Who into the middle range of the image, partially covering the horse, so it looks like that’s what the boy is looking at. For this strip I recreated most of the painting. To try and maintain my sanity, and recognizing most of the image would be covered with the word balloons anyway, I left out both the boy and the horse. Even so, it was a lot of work. I’ve included a panel without word balloons below, so you can see the full image, because…really…it was a lot of work.

GS_Funny Bones_No Balloons