Preemptive Mental Con Crud

So tomorrow I’ll be at the Mississippi Comic Con for two days which means today I’m more depressed than I’ve ever been in my entire life. I’m sad, grumpy, and angry, and well, way too many emotions to list including angrosity and sadination. I don’t really know why this happens before comic related events but it does. Let’s take a look at it together and maybe I can start to figure this thing out.

First.
I’m going to be surrounded by some terribly talented artist like Steve Scott, Steve Butler, Geoffrey Gwin, and Mitch Bird. Then there’s me. My goofy, angular and round characters that aren’t quite anime and aren’t quite western. My stories about metaphysical drama around a guy on a scooter. My high school comic about the personifications of abstract concepts. The guy trying to push long form story surrounded by pin-ups and amazing professionals. It’s a little bit of jealousy. It’s mostly feeling less. I feel out of place and like someone threw me a bone by letting me be there. I keep expecting the con people to come up and say “I’m sorry, Mr. Hayman. There was a terribly mistake. You’re not really SUPPOSED to be here. We need you to pack up and go home. Sorry for the inconvenience.”
I know they’re not, but on some level I’d feel this massive relief if they did. I could just pack up and go home and stop embarrassing myself.

Second.
I know, not think, but KNOW that I’m not going to make any sales at any event I go to and if I do, my mind will turn those sales into pity and make me resent them. I realize that this makes about as much sense as covering a mountain in Nutella and then roller skating down it, but there we are. That’s the way my mind works and that’s how depression works in a nutshell. All of your little victories become meaningless and are just veiled insults. In the end you find yourself wanting to crawl under something and crying.  You can’t win. Not because of other people or fate or the Universe or God.
I can’t win because I won’t let myself win. I will always be the guy that came in last no matter what reallly happened.

Third.
No one actually wants to see me. People act like they’re please to see me but it’s a thin layer of nicety over a mountain of “Oh GOD. THIS guy again. Maybe they’ll move me.” My evidence for this, and every other point on this list, is nonexistent. This isn’t confined to events either though. This is how I think people see me most of the time. I don’t get out of the house much any more and see people because I’ve convinced myself that they don’t WANT to see me. Why would they? It’s me. I’m the guy who shows up, tells the same stories and joke over and over and then makes everyone feel bad by the end of the night. Who’d want to hang out with that guy?
Am I really like this? I don’t honestly know. I can’t see outside of myself like I used to. I’m stuck riding around in this truck and there’s no mirrors.

So what have we learned?
We’ve learned that I have some serious issues still confronting me all these years later. We’ve learned that there’s no actual basis for any of this but I still believe it. What we’ve also learned is that despite all this I’m going to the con anyway and I’m going to try and have a good time. Expect an after action report next week and hopefully from a me with a clearer head. See you guys on the flipside.

A Month Gone

The last month has at times been rough. At other times it’s been rougher. Every now and again I have those rare good days where I can go for 24 hours without thinking about my dad. Most of the time though I miss him. And that’s what I’ve been doing since I disappeared back in November. I’ve been trying to remember my dad. Trying to remember his face and his voice. Trying to remember the times I spent with him.

That’s not all I’ve done though. I’ve been working on comics as I can. I’ve been trying to get a membership site set up for fans of my work so they can subscribe for bonus materials and Christmas presents. Yeah. I said Christmas presents. Can you think of a better way to get people to subscribe?

I’ve also been sort of doing the whole Christmas thing in general. Part of that may be me fighting the sadness off, but if it is it’s a double edged sword. It makes me miss my parents in new and fresh ways. It does make me feel a little more connected though.

I’ve got a couple of movies in the pipe to review so expect some more content in 2015. I’m also planning to get back on some form of schedule for updates so please forgive me my momentary lapses. Life isn’t easy and these last three have been particularly hard. Thanks everyone. I’ll see you all next week.

General Update for the week of 9-5-14

Damn, what a week. First, my girlfriend was down here last weekend so that was wonderful. Unfortunately, that went straight into suck when a tooth I’ve needed removed for a year decided to abscess again. Offices were closed on Monday so I decided to wait to make an appointment. Cue the right side of my face swelling to Elephant Man proportions. I’ll spare you all from photos. I’ve been to the doctor and have antibiotics now. After the swelling goes down I’ll head to the local emergency dental clinic and get the offending tooth removed. I’ve tried regular dentists but they want to do $10,000 worth of work that isn’t remotely related to getting the tooth out.

While all this is going on, I received some sad news. Someone I know through the webcomics community whom I respect and admire lost their mother. That wasn’t bad enough, or course. He lost her on the day he arrived home to surprise her. I can’t imagine what he’s going through. When my mother passed back in ’04 it was the best thing for her. She’d been diagnosed with cancer almost twenty years before hand and we’d all had time to adjust. He knew her health was in decline and this was going to be his last real chance to see her. They say life isn’t fair. What they don’t tell you is that it’s a mother fucker on top of that. 

Comic-wise, I’ve had to take an hiatus. While I can get around and think just fine, I don’t have the energy to be very creative right now thanks to Swelly McSwellerson the Tooth Demon of Jackson. I’ve tried to draw multiple times and it just isn’t working. When I recover I’ll get back on Errant Apprentice and Mailbox Rocketship. I do have another idea though. It’s a short story set in the future. All I’ve had time to do is character designs, but I figured I’d share them here.

Anyway, that’s all I’ve got for this week. Everyone stay safe and try not to get horribly burned to death by dragons or anything.

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Life in General

personalbannerSo things have been active lately in a lot of ways. The old man has been to the doctor’s a couple of times for lab work and to the hospital today for a CAT scan. No word yet from any of it. He’s having the same problem he had this time last year where he can’t eat much. Hoping to hear back from that soon. On top of that my health hasn’t been great lately. Running around seeing about my dad has killed my rest and recovery so I’m just sort of existing in this marginally sick condition for now.

On the plus side I’m turning out some great artwork right now and I can’t wait to start sharing some of it. Still not bringing any money in. Well, except for one donation so thank you donor who will remain anonymous! Every little bit helps! Mailbox is again a going concern for now. I hope to have several pages done before the re-launch in January. It’s probably going to be a for money series. Print will be available, but PDF’s will as well. I figure 99 cents isn’t too much to ask, right?

I’m trying to become more active in online communities but it’s a bit of a struggle. I don’t feel it sometimes. I’m there and posting but I don’t feel like part of the community. I’m not sure if it’s me or the places I’m posting, but I’m not giving up just yet. I just need to keep positive.

Speaking of keeping positive, I’ve gotten back into therapy. I’m going once a month and I think the big issue right now for me is trying to stay on top of my thought patterns and trying to remember my self worth. I’ve actually started a depression blog over on tumblr called Depress-o-tronic so I don’t pollute the internet at large with the poison that tends to come out of my head. I also use it to post links to things that explain depression and places that can help if you are depressed.

All that being said, I’ll close for now. More as it happens. Till next time!

 

The Hero

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I’ve got some very particular ideas about what I want in a hero and it all stems back to when I read comics as a kid. I was never attracted to the comics about gritty anti-heroes or the guys that were just bad guys killing other bad guys. They aren’t, by the strictest definition, heroes. Then again, neither are most comic book heroes.

If you’ve read anything by Joseph Campbell then you all ready know about archetypes and the Hero’s Journey. It’s a classic structure that’s found in every culture. It also appeals to us because it’s somewhere inside all of us. Look at Star Wars. That IS the hero’s journey brought to the present day. It’s those characters I love the best. It’s those characters that no one wants to read about.nCharacters like The Punisher and Wolverine don’t do it for me. I want a likable person, or an unlikeable person who changes and becomes the hero he (or she) should be.

Maybe I’m bucking the trend or maybe I’m falling back on old archetypes, but I want my heroes to be remembered. I want people to relate to them and root for them. I want them to feel the pain they feel as they travel through their lives. Above all else though, I want that journey to end. It is a journey after all. That journey should change them. They shouldn’t be the same person they were when it started. Despite all the years of stories, Peter is still the loser who puts on tights and tries to fight crime. He’s still a smart-ass. Bruce Wayne is still a fractured rich guy who spends his money and nights fighting criminals. He’s never healed and found a higher reason for doing it.

I think that’s one of the biggest problems with today’s heroes. They keep going. The longer the series run the more changes and crazy ideas they have to incorporate. The more watered down the premise gets. What you eventually get are things like Superman killing people, Batman getting kids murdered, and crap like Superior Spiderman. It’s a gimmick. The characters should have had planned arcs and set timelines. They should age. They should end. Well, except Superman I guess. He’s practically immortal, isn’t he? Still, there are other things they could do with the character. I have my own ideas for that, but that’s another story.

I always try to have a mental picture in my mind when I write a series. I have an image of the character at the beginning of the series and at the end of the series. If they’re the same then something has to be rewritten.

Then again, maybe I’m in the minority here. Maybe people don’t want heroes any more. Maybe we’ve become a culture that celebrates the horrible and the mean spirited. Maybe we want a person to be and stay and asshole. . .

Be Cool About It.

It’s funny how popularity happens when you’re not looking. It always seems to happen that way. I stop caring and something will take off. I recently put an image macro up on 9Gag (I’m sorry) of a man in a Batman cowl and a pink princess dress and a tiara with the words “SWEAR TO ME” above him. I shared in on Facebook because I thought it was funny. I paid no attention to 9Gag for the next week and I found out that it made the hot page with something like 14,000 likes. News to me.

A similar thing happened with Errant Apprentice. I’d been sharing it for a while with no real increase in page views or readers. It kept getting down voted. Well, I stopped. Two weeks ago I got bored and just hit the share button for no good reason and ignored the page until that night. I’d had double my normal traffic and three times the page views. I checked reddit and it’d had several up votes. No reason for anything over there to have changed. It just did when I stopped worrying about it.

I think the universe is trying to tell me something. Be cool about it.

Free Comic Book Day Recap

So this week is going to be a lot of posts about Free Comic Book Day and my adventure to the coast for it. Later this week I’ll get a Vlog edited of it, but for now here’s a general run down.

I’ve been going to conventions and FCBD events since around 2008 starting with Megacon in Florida. The FCBD things I’ve been to here in town were never really anything to write home about. Very little money was made, not too many people came through and it we usually cut out early. This was by far the most fun and awesome event I’ve ever been too.

I’ve had mostly the same sketches in my binder since 2010. Occasionally I’d do a new drawing for someone and it would sell right off, but for the most part all my art has just sat there. Well, this weekend I sold all of what I call my “A-Game” pieces and most of my “B-Game” pieces. I actually have to refill my book now! It blew my friggin’ mind! Kit had tons of commissions too!

The best part of the whole thing though was the people. I got to see Jeff, Tiny, and Cami again. Steven Butler was there and we talked video game comics since he works on Sonic the Hedgehog for Archie Comics. We talked a bit about his newer art style. It’s got a very Bruce Timm feeling to it. The guy has so much talent it’s nuts!

Steve Scott was also there completing my collection of comic artists named “Steve”. Steve’s work is also amazing. We joked around a little and we talked about his William Shatner “Rock-it, man!” print. To give you some idea of how awesome this guy is, he gave me a free print of it for my friend Austin when I told him he owned that album. Hell, I even got a hug out of the guy!

Then there’s Andy. Andy and I have been friends for quite some time now and when we get together at events it’s like an old school comedy duo. Lots of jabs and one-liners. Lots of me hitting him with my hat. We have a ball. The only downside is that I talk so much that I’m nearly hoarse by the end of the day! Wouldn’t trade it for the world though!

There’s tons of other people I met and saw like Pedro and Bryan King and Suave Maurice, but I’m running out of steam so I’ll let the vlog speak for itself later this week.

So yeah. I guess what I’m saying is I’ll be going back next year. Possibly sooner just to hang out!
Well, that’s all for now. See ya in a few days!