William Shakespeare wrote the best stories. I believe, Stan Lee knew that and picked up ye olde Bill's narrative baton and flexed superhero-wise with Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko to make Marvel Comics the American mythology it is today. Speaking of mythology, too many great cartoonists have passed away recently; Jerry Robinson, Joe Simon, Eduardo Barreto, Gene Colan, Dwayne McDuffie, etc. Men who made comics and then changed them for the better. And, I'm one panel away from having no paying work, no guarantee at playing in the franchise toy box, ever again. Every year, the comix industry becomes a scarier place to dig my sticks. Ergo, TRIP CITY.net. Only, Trip City is a long way from becoming something formidable, culturally impactful, and a money maker. But, we knew that going in. Give Trip City six months before we make or break. Meanwhile, we pitch our concepts to institutions that pay for content and keep ourselves aware of the ever fickle zeitgeist and cross our fingers, nay, pray that we are relevant and our ideas our compelling enough to score the next gig. It's not easy, the freelance life, but I'm otherwise unemployable and dread the real possibility of doing work I don't love. I fear confronting the day I'm asked to push art aside and make hay in a way that no longer challenges and grows my virtues. I wonder if I would make a good paramedic or a cook or the shepherd of a publishing imprint because I doubt I would last one full night as a bartender, slinging drinks to the chaos of mankind. Gobsmacked. Late night rambling does not recommend me. You'd think I had a straight up drink or three. Alas, cold, hard sobriety is my demon. Whiskey is a friend who escapes me these days as I stay on point and professional until the deadlines are met. Then? What then?
It's 2:45am. Let me describe the sounds in my living room as I dwell. Above me: a small dog has a bad dream and tries to escape in his sleep, as his feet run sideways and his toenails scrape and scratch against the wooden floor in the apartment that sits above my ceiling. To the left: my oldest cat, Cocoa Paloa, drinks from a bowl of water I staged halfway from her food bowl so she can hydrate and replenish, due to her age and failing legs, before making the rest of her trek to solid sustenance. To my right: a half empty couch, a space reserved for my gal who is a few neighborhoods away sleeping in the comfort of her own bed while I worry about the concept of what a Monday is supposed to mean on the heels of an early Friday morning. But the promise of a Friday night reminds me there is life and it thrives and things will be okay. Because, they have to be. Things have to be okay.
Dizzy, I type and the letters stumble. I'm sorry.
During these deadline lulls, I need to kick myself as a reminder to show up to the party and that I'm only as good as my last page. Feeling morbidly obese, I made myself go for a swim at the local gym. I swear, the title of my biography will be, "I Cried When The Fat Girl Died"
My mama mailed me a coconut postcard from Florida. There is a painting of a fish on it. It sits in the corner of my art studio window in Brooklyn, NY.
I love her.
I love her.