In a year that has been change change change, the past month has provided me yet another change. Stuff happened and I decided it was time to leave the dayjob I have had for the past 7 years. It had been a while coming and it just seemed to be the time. This was the longest I had ever been at one job.
The world beyond the 9 to 5 life I had been living for 7 years is strange. Suddenly the days stretch out with endless possibility, rather than hoping to squeeze in a tired hour of drawing after a day at the dayjob. Now I can go on a good walk every day, and there is still lots of time for other stuff. Today Manien and I were trying to figure out what day it was, as her job is not a Monday to Friday gig. Is.. is this a weekday?
So yeah, anyways, 2015. Year of Change!
I spent the past week putting together a comic for an interesting project through Cloudscape Comics. They are having a bunch of artists do comics that are going to be put up in bus shelters, so gigantic 5′ tall poster comics. Someone dropped out at the end of May, and since I just happened to suddenly have lots of time on my hands I was able to jump in and be part of the project. It felt great to get drawing and colouring again. Here is a panel, if… instagram displays properly.
I had an unusually busy month. When I finally had a quiet weekend I just needed to decompress. Then last weekend was the first time Manien and I had so much as a day together in weeks. We went to the farmers market and put together a new barbecue. And then I went off to the comic jam.
What is with this hot dry summer, Vancouver? Usually everything isn’t brown and dried out like this until late July or August. Vancouver being what it is everyone just raves about the great weather. You know we need rain, right people?
Yesterday I finally started drawing my next big comic project Fir Valley. It feels good to finally get going on it, as I am seeing thoughts on it in sketchbooks from way back in 2005 or something. The June part of my sketchbook is full of pages and pages of me writing notes for it. I need a database or something.
Since I have a little commute now that we moved, I try to do some drawing or story thinking on the 15 minute seabus ride coming and going from the dayjob. As I say, a lot of it has been Fir Valley thoughts. But also just things like this that I can draw away at for 15 minutes.
Or something like this where I drew it on the seabus and then coloured it at home.
And I polished off my 2015 summer mix titled A New Song for a New World. Here are a couple of songs off it.
Okay I just wanted to put them all on, but couldn’t find good versions of all the songs. That last Peter Tosh song I put on a pumped up remastered version from the special too many songs edition of Mystic Man.
After all the selling, the moving, the settling, and then the mad scramble last week to get things ready for VanCAF, now I feel like “What do I even do with myself?”
VanCAF was fun. Sold some comics, talked to lots of people, bought some comics. Last night I went to a book launch at Lucky’s for Julian Lawrence and Kat Verhoven‘s new books. I had been planning to go, but had forgotten all about it. Luckily the twitter reminded me, and I was able to just stroll over. Maybe 20 minutes from my place.
Oh until I figure out a suitable online venue for my comics, mostly what there is to look at is the really really old ones, from before webcomicsnation. Although now that I look, some of those are gone too. Oh internet.
Wow it has already been three weeks since we moved. Everything is finally settled, even pictures up on the walls. The new neighbourhood is awesome. Everything walkable, lots of interesting places to eat and go. Running into people I know. It was a long arduous journey to get here, but we are happy and relieved now that we’re here.
Next weekend is VanCAF. I will be at table H4 in Hall 2. I just finished drawing my Two Birds comics, and will be printing that up. I also have a bunch of comics I drew about the moving process that I will be printing up as Vinegar 37.
In other news, I just noticed the other day that Webcomics Nation appears to finally be down. So most of my comics are not on the internet suddenly! I will have to figure out some kind of alternative. Bummer. I had a lot of comics up there.
I was looking through an old sketchbook and found a conversation I had written down between me and Randy at Schlockbuster in 2008. Schlockbuster was an independent alternative video store in North Vancouver that was a life saver back in the day. Wow it has already been four years since they closed.
Oh gosh it has been a while since I updated. It has been a busy month, staging the house, showing the house, selling the house, finding a place to rent (Main Street here I come!). And once that was all done, I have been able to draw again. I have actually been drawing comics about the house selling process, so you will be able to experience it along with me at some point. And I have been doing more of these Two Birds comics too, see below. Both of these should be printed up into little books for VanCAF next month.
There has been a lot going on at my dayjob, on top of all the house stuff. I find myself in meetings a lot, which leads me to doodling a lot. My doodles have gotten a bit out of control. You can see the progress of them here.
And that doodling put me in the mind to do this doodle while I was listening to a very interesting You Made It Weird chat with Shane Mauss.
My band of the spring so far is Parts and Labor (I guess they are American). If a song comes on my phone and I excitedly think “WHO IS THIS???” it is Parts and Labor. I should get more of their music.
Yesterday I finished drawing a four page autobiographical story, and except for Hourly Comic Day, I think that is the only comics I have drawn all year. But I have been doing some drawings. Look it is the tiny astronaut.
I have been drawing a few more of these Two Birds comics.
And look, it is Mega-j with… Ultra-j?!
Oh and here is a little comic about being baffled by music videos in grade seven.
I felt like I haven’t been drawing at all, but hey look I just started this sketchbook a week ago and I already have a few drawings. And tonight I pencilled four pages! This is the first comicking I have done (except for Hourly Comic Day) in way too long. So that felt good.
The first page in a sketchbook is always tricky. I went with a Mega-j.
I have been enjoying drawing stuff in pencil, for the first time in… years? But it is doesn’t scan as well. I ran into the 7-11 Gnome last week, when Manien and I were staying in a hotel for a couple of days. Yeah, a lot going on. Maybe I will draw comics about it.
I was trying to draw some people I saw when I was out walking. Pencil again.
A lot has been going on in 2015 so far, including Manien and I preparing to sell our house. So it has not been too conducive to getting much drawn. I had been hoping to get this sketchbook finished by Friday, as then it would have taken me exactly a year to fill it. Oh well, close enough. Here are the last three drawings from it.
I thought these dishes were looking kind of monumental, so I decided to draw them. Once I got going I realized it was full of reflective surfaces, transparent items and all kinds of tricky stuff.
Found this cute house and view in Krugersdorp, South Africa (where Manien once lived), which I drew while listening to this interesting chat with Maja D’Aoust on the Duncan Trussell Family Hour. Fun fact, I was having trouble locating this town because in Afrikaans it sounds like “creers-dorp”.
And my traditional angry looking self-portrait, to finish up the sketchbook.
Stuff from early in the sketchook seems like a lot longer than a year ago.
I have been going through a lot of boxes of old stuff. Oh look, it is my receipts from my Queen Street bachelor apartment from 1996. $425 per month. At that time I made $800 per month, working 3 nights a week at Shoppers Drug Mart. Paid $100 per month on my student loan. Yet I went to movies, I hung out with friends, I went out dancing at least a couple of times a week. Different times.
This morning I got lost reading old diaries. Whew, angst much early 20s Jason? He replies angst much, 40s Jason?
Years ago, late 90s I guess, I did this big painting, in four different “states”. It was huge, and I thought maybe if I just cut out a piece from each state, maybe I could find a nice way to display them. This did not occur. So I will commemorate them here.
I just burned my spring music mix for this year “Springing Into Action”. It is kind of a funny assortment of the bands that have been on every one of my mixes for the past year (Future Islands, Frightened Rabbit, Edward Sharp) and oldies like Tubthumping, Tesla Girls and some songs from the Robert Altman Popeye. Here is a song I only discovered recently that went on the mix.