Sunday, November 14, 2010

Thoughts After Yule Con.

Got home about an hour after dawn this morning. I took a few key things out of my car before going right to bed.

Working with people as committed to their art, craft, and business as Kimberly Freeman is something I need more of. It inspires me to be more productive, both in quality and in quantity. There a lot of things in the works now. The prologue for Droid Soldiers: Planet Aeruen 1.3; a long term vision for Enrod The Clockman; more art for One-Eyed Doll; a side project with Arc Attack; and my first prose short story in over a decade which I plan to submit to the Austin Chronicle Short Story Contest.

My music project Nemion is still on the back burner. I've got all the material for a debute album to be edited and recut here and there, and a flood of ideas to make the project cool, but little energy or will to take the time away from cartooning for getting down in the trenches. To be honest I just haven't been feeling it, or my ability to make something people will love, in spite of those who give me so many kind and encouraging words and compliments.

It's frustrating to have so many ideas but not the temporal resources needed to execute them all, or rather the right mindset when the time is available. But that's life.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Reality Part the First

There seems to be a certain psychological commonality among certain cartoonists - specifically an inclination towards detachment from tangible reality, and withdrawal into the "fictitious" reality that they endeavor to create within their works as cartoonists. Acknowledging this echoes the question, "What is reality?" At this moment it doesn't really appeal to me to attempt to answer. At this moment I am absorbing the reality of the motion-picture adaption of Watchmen, whilst I interact with the tangible to compose this post. Once I have completed this post, I shall re-enter the reality of Enrod The Clockman's homeworld, Planet Aeruen, continuing the completion of the line art for the current 10-page short story that I'm working on. In this reality, the characters whose lives I'm revealing are indeed alive to my mind, they have feelings, histories, ambitions. I know when most were born, and I know when some will die within the history of their world.

More on this when it strikes me, for now I must complete a page, and then re-engage the tangible at a friend's party.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Plans and Actions

Well, it's been a little while since the last post. has been up and running for a few months now. Everything that I've ever published in print is now available for free download in .pdf format. I still have the ongoing challenge of balancing production of the comic, promotion ( which I've hardly done any of ), my music project ( which I'm not feeling too confident about these days ), the day job that pays my bills and subsidizes both my comic and my music, keeping up with political and economic goings on, doing what I can to keep my body healthy and fit ( just got back from the gym and am I quite stinky at them moment ), and attempting to enjoy some semblance of a social life ( the purpose of which - as I've been able to identify thus far - is to allow for an avenue of escape from everything else, as well as put me in the circumstances that will enable to me meet women ), all while fighting off the Siren call of my biological clock ( yeah, I'm male, and I'm admitting that I've recently discovered that I have one ). It's also worth mentioning the time I invest in maintaining my relationship with my family ( I still owe both grandmothers art work ) as well as the small, but growing, community of like minded individuals that I associate with ( I guess that could be incorporated under "social life" ).

The things that are on my agenda long term: Droid Soldiers: Planet Aeruen 1.3 ( the third feature length graphic novel that is part of Enrod The Clockman, for which I'm still ironing out the various scenes and subplots, not to mention stringing them all together into one cohesive work while maintaining the continuity of the entire project ); designing 3d models of various cities and building structures from Planet Aeruen ( because drawing and especially designing them and getting the perspectives correct and consistent with just a pencil, ruler, and templates drives me insane ); revamping all my demo recordings for Nemion as part of my plan to actually release an album ( this I have started, I may put out a single with remixes first ); producing a music video for one of the songs; not to mention 10 million other ideas that keep begging me for attention, but the laws of physical reality prevent me from getting to.

At the moment I'm working on File 00050 for; a 10 page short story titled "The Professor & The Bounty Hunter". It will introduce a brand new character as well as include two characters who appeared in print in Tales From Planet Aeruen: Volume One and Guns, Robots, and Talking Animals: Planet Aeruen 1.1. This will be the third short I've done since completing Headhunter: Planet Aeruen 1.2, and once I've done around 5-7 more I plan on putting them in print as Tales From Planet Aeruen: Volume Two. However, since I plan on starting Droid Soldiers next, with the Prologue being File 00051, I'm not sure if I'll be doing additional shorts between chapters of Droid Soldiers or after it has been fully completed.

November 12th-14th, I should be at Yule-con accompanying One-Eyed Doll as their resident artist. I was planning to go to Anime Matsuri, but that turned out to be on the same weekend that I'll be in Hawaii for my brothers wedding ( it's my brothers wedding, and I've never been to Hawaii let alone physically off the US mainland - being on boats in the Gulf of Mexico doesn't count ). Hopefully I'll get my money back for that. Which reminds me that I need to send in my app for a table at STAPLE! 2011. They decided to make it two days this year, which means that table prices have doubled.

And that's all I have time, and energy, for now. I'm going to try to update again in a week.


Sunday, June 27, 2010 Online But Under Construction

So I spent several hours yesterday uploading the new website onto the server. Most of the time was spent uploading the .pdf files that comprise the body of EtC. There's still a good deal of work to be done on it. In fact, as of this writing the most recent short that I uploaded ( File 00048 ) still needs some editing here and there, to my chagrin. So, in other words, I'm not about to start seriously promoting it yet.

I'm currently primarily working on painting a cocktail table for the Elysium night club here in Austin. Since I'm doing it pro-bono, I'm at liberty to put what I want on it, so I plan on putting Enrod The Clockman on it for exposure. Depending on how it looks, I might slip in the web address. This is why I've gone ahead and uploaded the new site now before I have everything I want on it.

This blogpost is primarily for those few who happen to see the new site before I start seriously promoting it.

More to come.


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Something for Artists to Consider

An Artistic Utopia?

By Vedran Vuk, Casey Research

Higher education faces many problems, but one issue has been persistent much longer than low standards and watered-down degrees. For decades, we’ve been pumping out too many music, arts, and English majors. Don’t get me wrong – the arts are very important topics. I would hate to see a world without them, but in the long run, America isn’t going to stay competitive with a culture of poets.

Once upon a time, a good, steady job at the local factory was worth looking forward to. The most mind-numbing work was both respected and demanded. Since then, America has shifted to a society where everyone is encouraged to “do what makes you happy” instead of “do what puts bread on the table.”

As a result, arts students are plentiful. No other career avenues as whimsical are similarly encouraged. Think of sports. Who wouldn’t want to be a famous football player, basketball star, or boxing champ? Yet when someone dreams of being Michael Jordan or Brett Favre, with only relatively few exceptions – when real talent is visible –society smashes the dreamer back to reality.

On the other hand, should one wish to be the next Picasso or Mozart, scholarships will be made available and throngs of colleges will offer admission. There’s a lot for the arts to learn from the world of sports – particularly the competitive realism.

In sports, if someone doesn’t perform well during tryouts, he doesn’t get on the team. Further, getting on the team doesn’t guarantee game time – every team has benchwarmers. Beyond the high school level, the selection process intensifies. The best high school players often can’t even get on a community college team. By the time college ends, only a minority will compete professionally.

Though sometimes emotionally cruel, the process serves society well. By limiting entrance, society retains and rewards the best while ensuring others don’t waste their time.

Could you imagine if sports worked like arts? Tens of thousands of students each year would be accepted by football teams around the country as “football majors.” Sure, the majority of them would have no chance of playing, but nonetheless, they would be on the team. And when they don’t get an NFL position, their best options would be a high school teaching job or the Starbucks counter – just like art history majors now.

There are further problems in the arts limiting the job market. Society does not demand just artists but instead only great artists. Most graduates in any field or profession simply become average and mediocre at their craft. But average in the arts practically guarantees unemployment.

Mediocre and average accountants, nurses, and IT techs have a place in the world. However, the mediocre artist rarely does. Either you’re in the top 10 percent of artists or you’re close to useless, much like in the sports world. No one wants to see an average or slightly above-average sports team compete.

Arts education needs more cruelty. If a college sees that a student will become an average or just above-average art student, they shouldn’t let them in at all. Yes, it’s mean – just like not being picked for the basketball team or the football team. But in the long run, the coach or professor making the decision is doing the student a favor.

It’s socially irresponsible for colleges to essentially set students up for career failure. And when students with enormous student loans fail, the rest of society has to pick up the slack.

Of course, there is the argument that some people just love doing the arts, so we should continue lenient entrances. Look, I’m positive that I know people who love soccer, football, and baseball just as much as a music student loves music. But enjoying an activity is no reason to waste human capital and later burden society with ill-advised career choices.

We have to remember that we’re barely out of the jungle. The 80-hour factory work week is not far behind us. America has not reached a new utopia where our careers can be nothing but pure joy. A little realism could go a long way to restoring our competitive advantages through education.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Assumptions and The State

Define "illegal".

In practice what is "legal" is whatever the State says is legal, as they have the guns to make people jump.


Some basic assumptions that I've been keeping lately:

0. Rights are nothing more than agreements between human beings.
1. Might wins the right.
2. All human beings act on self-interest.
3. Each individual's self-interest is subject to individual preferences and circumstances, so
all value is subjective to individual preferences and circumstances.
4. If one wishes to live in a society in which nearly all human beings achieve the maximum level of self-interest/satisfaction nearly all of the time, the dominant culture of that society must abolish the initiation of threats and acts of bodily harm against any individual, and the taking and/or breaking of his stuff without his consent.

The State is a group of people that primarily initiate threats and acts of bodily harm in order to get everybody else to pay them money so that they can fulfill their personal self-interest. They get away with this by bribing various other groups of individuals with various promises of fulfillment of their own self-interest; though quite often the mightiest are the only ones that actually see such promises kept. Dominating cultures throughout the world tolerate such an organization for the same reason people play the lottery: while 99.999999999999% keep losing, or get some pocket change from it, they keep on playing the game hoping that they might actually win the big one, never mind any injuries caused to others in the process.

( from an email conversation I've been having with a friend )