Thursday, April 9, 2020

Isolation Does Not Increase Inspiration (For Me)

I love to think that somewhere right now there are a bunch of professional creatives who are making fantastic works of art, fiction, and music. I hope to come out the other side of this isolationist existence that we are all leading with an assault of new novels, comics, movies, TV series, and albums by all my favorite artists. For that matter, I hope that all my favorite video game designers are breaking ground on the next installments of all my favorite series while simultaneously coming up with totally new and amazing concepts. That is what I hope.

That is not at all my experience. Now, I realize that I am a piss poor example of a creative. This blog is a good reflection of my work. It is done in dribs and drabs instead of faithfully produced even when life is "normal." My stories only tend to grow when I have had some burst of inspiration that makes a piece of the narrative puzzle fall into place. This often happens when I am commuting. Worse it happens when I am on a motorcycle and cannot even record a voice memo of my thoughts to preserve them until I can get to a keyboard. I find myself really focusing on the narration for the remainder of the ride which may have lead to one speeding ticket last year.

For a long time I have told myself that if I could just break free of my routine for a little while I could really produce an amazing story. Clearly I have been lying to myself. I am much more productive on the two days a week I get up and go to the office than I am the other five days a week. The fact that I don't have unlimited time on those days motivates me to manage my time more effectively. That motivates me to think through the things I need to get done and the things beyond that which I want to accomplish.

I am not writing because I am not motivated to write. Remember all those movies where the inner city, underprivileged youth overcomes all the adversity? That story happens a lot in real life. Do you know why? Adversity is a fantastic motivator. When you have something to overcome that threatens your survival you quickly either accept your fate or you light a fire in your belly to change your circumstances at any cost.

I don't have that. I am white. I am male. I come from a middle class family. I have never been so deep in trouble that my friends and family could not step in and help me out of it. I am fat because I have always been able to eat more than my fill and also because I have been too lazy to do anything about it most of my life. I am aware of my bounty and blessings in life. I am thankful for them. I am also acutely aware that they make me lazy and entitled in a way I wasn't aware of until my early thirties.

What is my motivation to write a screenplay, comic book script, or novel? I have no desire to be famous. Yes, I enjoy when people read my blog, but I get a dozen reads per post instead of thousands or millions. Occasionally someone reads something I wrote and says,"Thank you for saying that." It is the best feeling in the world. More rarely I offend someone. They seldom say anything to me, but I tend to catch wind of it through the grapevine.

I cannot imagine the idea of having a worldwide audience reacting to the stupid things I say. It actually scares me. I held off on taking the podcast to YouTube for nearly three years for that exact reason. Interestingly enough, I am really proud of our silly little production. if you want to check it out you can find it here.  I can count on this blog to occasionally grab someone who doesn't know me on the internet, but for the most part it finds an audience on my Facebook or Twitter. It is small, safe, and simple.

It is easier to see my real motivations when I have the distractions removed from my life. I cannot even hike House Mountain right now thanks to the quarantine order. I could be occupying my time with adding pages to the project I am working on. I'm not doing that. I am playing Skyrim way too much. When that gets stale I grind away at Castle Crashers. I am not even playing new to me video games I will give myself a pass that I am super excited for the Final Fantasy VII remake to show up in the next few days. We will see if that breaks me away from Skyrim which I can now play on my new Surface Pro 7, my Nintendo Switch, my PS3, and my PS4. I am a bit embarrassed about how many times I have purchased that game.

I have been mowing the grass, cleaning, and organizing. I got really motivated to put my comic book collection in order and to inventory it. Once I had all the boxes pulled out of the closet they are dominating I lost interest in completing the project just then. I satisfied myself with sorting the boxes by company so that I now have 6 full boxes of Marvel comics, 2 boxes of DC, and 2 boxes of Independent stuff. Even that project made me realize that I collect comic books out of habit. The vast majority of them I will never want to even look at again. In other words, I leave a bunch of boxes gathering dust because I have the ability to do so. This is massively stupid just like having a talent to write and to draw that I am not using.

I will say that I did devour Tiger King on Netflix and I don't consider this a complete waste of time. While I didn't get much done while I was enthralled in the tales of the Tiger Cults, I was  thoroughly entertained. Understanding the context of 50% of the active memes on the internet was cool. Also, I may be laughing at "That Bitch Carol Baskins," for the majority of 2020. I feel a bit bad that she is a real person and has to weather the internet onslaught, but the joke isn't about her. It is all about the absolute conviction that Joe Exotic had about hating her.

My mind is happy being occupied and distracted. That is going to be the challenge as this isolation continues. I have to stop waiting for inspiration to strike and make myself set down and put in the time it takes to write and develop a story. I need to quit buying new sketch books and new pencils and actually just sit down and draw something. Having a mediocre or terrible drawing is much better than a blank page. Having a complete rough draft (or even an in progress draft) is better than outline notes. Doing something is a whole lot better than doing nothing.

Sadly, isolation inspires me to do almost nothing at all. I am happy letting reruns play on the TV that I am barely paying any attention to. That is also probably why I enjoy playing games that do not engage my brain. I am idling myself out and wasting time because it feels good. The next trick is going to be breaking that spell. Stupid COVID-19!

Friday, April 3, 2020

Prelude to Secret Crisis

Writer Geoff Johns  teased out the "Secret Crisis," with Doomsday Clock #12.
This panel predicts a fight between Thor and Superman. Hulk ends up "dead" (quotes since he is Immortal... it is in the title.) protecting Superman. 

All I can say to that is Thor is going to whip the snot out of Superman. No, I have a LOT more to say about any potential Marvel/ DC crossover. Garin and I have been beating the bushed trying to connect to some talent on Twitter to talk about the "Secret Crisis." To date I have not had any bites, but I think time will tell. Comic Book People are excited about the potential behind this. Oh and Doomsday Clock wasn't the only comic to hint at a potential shared universe. 

Thor #2 actually showed the Black Winter destroying he DCU. Oh yes, Donny Cates and Marvel published a book with Superman, Green Lantern, Flash, and The Daily Planet... sort of. 



I actually love this page so much. It is a BOLD step. I think these two panels are probably not enough evidence on their own merits to indicate that DC and Marvel have decided it is time for another crossover. Then again, comic conspiracy theorists are loving these bread crumbs. There is one more worth mentioning.



Spider-boy makes an appearance in Young Justice Number 12. I have not read this series, but my understanding is that the Dial H for Hero character shifts into Spider-boy. While technically speaking Spider-boy isn't a pure Marvel property, dropping even a tangential member of the Spider family into the DCU is a bold move by Brian Michael Bendis. 

Just in case you are reading this and aren't aware of the Amalgam Universe here is the origin of Spider-boy. 
He was a combination of Spider-man and Superboy. I wasn't the biggest fan of the Amalgam universe, but it is cool in a very 90s way. 

Now if I were going to bet on a Secret Crisis happening, I would say Donny Cates and Scott Snyder would be scripting a big part of it. I could see Silver Surfer, Knull, Wally West, Doctor Manhattan, Franklin Richards, Lex Luthor, Perpetua, The Batman Who Laughs, and Molecule Man all playing major roles in bringing about the Crisis. 

For now, I am going to save on speculation. I plan to script out my own ideas on what a Secret Crisis in greater detail in the future. As more crumbs leak out along the path I will try to share them out here. 


Thursday, April 2, 2020

Indulgence Increases Bandwidth

I could have sworn that I wrote out a blog post about how to conserve emotional bandwidth. I did find my post about Cantrell's Law of Conservation of Energy. You can review it here, if you would like. It has pieces of the idea, but doesn't quite get me where I want to go. I am ABSOLUTELY certain that I wrote about this. I am just going to compose a double post rather than spend a bunch of time trying to find my work.

I may have chosen not to publish the bandwidth post because it was something my Mother absolutely hated. She believed that she was capable of carrying the weight of the world on her shoulders. She also believed that no matter what came at her while she was doing her Atlas imitation that she could handle that too. She believed that I was the same. I am not. I am not sure if she was as strong as she believed she was, but I almost never saw her bend. She only broke once that I saw.

I have a breaking point. Granted, my breaking point is so far beyond reasonable that most people assume me capable of handling anything. This used to be an image I worked hard to foster. Then I realized that not being able to say," No, I have too much on me right now," is actually a severe weakness. A younger David could find himself so swamped in the trouble of others that he lost the ability to function emotionally when it mattered. It was a very, very stupid weakness.

What I am describing is also related to the idea of kicking the cat. I will try to explain that metaphor succinctly. Skip past this or sing along if you already know the words.

Guy gets up in the morning. He stubs his toe, but has to keep quiet to keep from waking the kids. He burns his toast, spilled his coffee on his shirt, and leaves for work late because he had to change. His boss reams him a new one for being late and then piles on stressful work as a punishment. He doesn't have the ability to point out that he is never late or that a punishment is unnecessary. He takes it on the chin.

His meetings go poorly. His attitude goes sour. He loses a big account. He stays late trying to clean up the mess at work. This pisses his wife off. She proceeds to emotionally berate him about being an absentee husband and father. He has a flat on the way home. He rips his pants changing it.

As he pulls in his drive way he sees that his grass needs cut. The trash hasn't been taken to the curb. Little Johnny left his bicycle in the driveway... again! Guy gets out of his car. Just about that time the cat runs up to affectionately rub against his pants legs. He covers those beautiful black slacks with white cat hair and the guy snaps. He kicks the cat hard and sends it running.

Nothing about the cat was a real problem. The cat just lost a few ribs, trust, or maybe its life because the guy had a bad day. The cat was the first thing in his life that was safe to kick. The guy feels like a complete asshole. I am pretty sure I read this story in a book about managing anger more than a decade ago. I add fresh embellishments to the guys day every time I talk about this idea.

The story also demonstrates the concept of bandwidth. You can clearly see things piling up on this poor guy. Any one or two of these things were not enough to earn the cat a kick on a normal day. What the metaphor doesn't talk about is the cumulative effect of life on a human's ability to process emotional feedback and maintain good function.

If we changed the things happening to the guy to the mortgage payment is late, his wife has been distant for an extended period so not only is there no sexual release but there isn't even comfort or intimacy, and his job has lots of rumors of layoffs in the very near future things start to look a little bit more like real life. The "smarter" a person is ( I use smart because I lack a better descriptor for this currently. It isn't really about IQ) the more capable they are of mentally juggling all sorts of stress and catastrophes.

Wait!! I may know when I wrote about bandwidth.... Yep. There it is. I didn't go at this quite so directly so I am glad to be writing this post, but you can touch on Emotional Bandwidth here.  Whew. I was juggling that while trying to write this, and it was driving me a little bit crazy. Again. Relevant to what I am writing about.

Alright. Back to business.

When things pile up on a person mentally and emotionally there is going to be some sort of break. You may be a great parent, a great employee, and be cheating on your spouse or your diet. You may stop functioning at work, at home, in the bedroom, or even spiritually. When this happens it isn't that you are a flawed person or broken in some fantastic way. You simply sought out something to soothe you to add to your bandwidth to get you over the gap.

This simple idea is so immensely powerful. Long before you get to the point of breaking you can give yourself a necessary release and buy yourself time and energy to face things. My most common solution is ice cream. Love vanilla! The funny thing is I existed from 2014 until 2019 without any kind of sweets. There were MANY places in there where having a cup, cone, or freaking Gallon of ice cream would have been much more healthy than the things I sought out to shore myself up in the hard times.

Let me present another idea here. I think of tough times as a Narrowing of the Path. I may not have room to have all the people in life to walk beside me during a Narrowing. I may have to slow down, turn sideways, and step carefully with my backside hanging out over a long fall. The whole world is going through a Narrowing right now. We aren't all handling it well. COVID-19 is emotionally kicking a whole lot of asses.

I bought the family an ice cream today. We went through a drive thru. Yes. I went out. I do think that the Ice Cream Shop is an essential business. It provided us all a treat that we needed. I absolutely knew I needed it. As a matter of fact, I knew I was going to need quite a few indulgences when this all hit. I gave up totally on my diet. Half a decade with no sugar didn't lose me much weight. A few months with a good exercise routine did.

I have been much more mentally gentle with myself. I have allowed myself to curse a little bit more. I have been a bit lazier. I have played more games. I have put my headphones in and turned the music up a bit. Paradise City is blaring in my ears right now. I also replaced my old cellphone. Did I need a brand new Samsung S20 5G? Well, I was going to within a few months, but I went ahead and took the leap now because it is an amazing distraction.

I am spending a little cash and I am eating more bread and sugar than I strictly should, but I am remarkably happy being "stuck" in the house. I have been riding the bike a lot more. Thank God for the warmer weather. It has kept my mood better. I may not be losing weigh. LOL I probably am gaining a larger spare tire around my mid section. I can fix that later. I cannot fix losing my temper with my family, friends, or coworkers. I cannot fix taking on a shitty outlook on life.

I am avoiding all but the most cursory interactions with social media. I have tuned out completely from the news. It is funny how often the news gets to me anyway. Several of the people in my life who are panicky are over-saturating themselves with the media. They aren't happier for being "Well informed." In fact, I think this is proof that ignorance may be bliss.

I say that it is really important to indulge right now in people. Have a bit of a love affair with life. I'd suggest a real love affair, but those are less fun at a six foot distance. New York actually put out a statement strongly supporting masturbation. I will suggest that falling deeper in love with yourself for a few days probably isn't a bad plan. Just make sure it isn't tough love. I'd feel guilty if I saw any of you on the news with self inflicted nipple burns or bleeding flog marks.

I really need to write that post in my head about the line between Kink and Class because I am pretty sure I just crossed it. Sorry about that. Consider it an indulgence.

I have one final word on indulgence I strongly recommend: Sing. As often as you can, sing. Belt out songs at the top of your lungs. Sing what makes you happy even if is totally off key. I certainly butcher my Katy Perry and Taylor Swift favorites, but if you could hear under my motorcycle helmet I am singing anyway. I do a passable Sinatra. My Garth Brooks is tragically good in an uncomfortable way.

For all my swagger though, no one in my life currently can report on my voice. Truth is I don't sing much in front of people. I shamed myself about my voice years ago and haven't had the balls to grow past it when other people are around. That is something I intend to work on. This whole being more vulnerable thing is pretty great. Thank you, Brene Brown.

Hang in there. I don't think two weeks of a shut down is going to turn the trick, and I suspect that things will get worse before they get better. Do your best to indulge where you can and keep yourself mentally healthy. For all 4 people who read me regularly I am trying to put out content. This blog is certainly one of my indulgences. I have been mocked for it. I have had people actually try to use it against me professionally, but rather than choosing to be offended or allow the "haters" to stop me I have persevered.

I am even getting back to the point that I speak from the heart with openness and honesty. Putting aside fear of how people might judge me is TOUGH. I fear judgement way too much, but shining a light on my own fears and weaknesses is good for me.  For now it is late and I am going to go watch Blue's Clues with the kid.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Comic Book Pull List Hiatus

There are people sick and dying on the planet. I am really about to post a blog about halted comic books. I am going to do it. The reason I am going to do it is because it really does have some wider reaching implications.

The Comic Book Industry slings out hundreds of titles every week from dozens of publishers. Now for those of you outside the know of this situation let me see if I can high level the idea for you. Someone gets an idea. Artist or Writer is a bit of a chicken and an egg argument. Sometimes they are already working together. Sometimes napkin sketches get a talented writer to flesh them out. Sometimes scripts are brought to life by a talented writer. In some really cool cases they are one in the same person. Sean Murphy, I love you, man!

Inkers, colorists, letterers, editors, and publishing houses get involved. I am fairly certain that a printer jumps into action at some point along the way. Then the books are packaged and shipped to Diamond Comics for Distribution.

Why Diamond Comics you ask? Well, in North America and Europe they are the one stop shop for distributing comics. You might be surprised to know that a monopoly exists unchallenged in America, but it does. You want comics, you get them from Diamond. I don't know why, but I am sure there is one hell of a story.

Diamond (who is a sister company to Alliance gaming) was founded by Steve Geppi. I did not know this until I went to look up my comic books that would be released (already knowing that there was a hiatus, but having to see it for myself) from Diamond Comics Previews website. Instead of April 1 shipments I found an explanation of a responsible decision from Mr. Geppi. You can read it here.

There have certainly been shipping delays in the past due to weather. These were rarely because of Diamond. This delay though is," until further notice." Those words, in that context, are quite ominous. I must admit it made this whole "Shelter in Place" thing more real to me.

Now, again, I realize that comic books are not vital to life and living. For me they represent a fantastic escape from the real world and from that stress relief. I really genuinely appreciate the writers, artists, inkers (Effing Tracers), letterers, editors, publishers, sales agents, receptionists, shipping clerks, packaging clerks, delivery drivers, and printers that make my comic book adventures possible. I am worried about the livelihood of those folks for the next little while. Few comic book creatives are independently wealthy. That is a good part of the reason that they have their own websites where they sell merchandise and/or offer commissions. While I realize everyone is hurting right now, I will say it is a good time, if you have a few extra bucks, to order something directly from your favorite creators. I would focus on the indy scene myself. They don't all have Kirkman bucks.

Quick disclaimer to that last statement. I have no idea how much Robert Kirkman is worth. I love the man for making it huge with the Walking Dead and working on getting Invincible into an animated series. I hope he is a multimillionaire for his efforts.

The other people who are about to be really hurting are even more near and dear to my heart. The local comic book and game shops really depend on a steady flow of foot traffic to maintain functionality. Their employees depend on operation to keep their cash flowing. With mandatory shut downs these retailers are going to hurt. Some of them may not be able to recover.

Some shops have an online presence through an online story, amazon sales, or ebay. If you can contact them and use one of these methods to still purchase from them please do so. Buy a few graphic novels. Catch up on some back issues. Read some books that you normally pick up.

Now, I will also suggest minding how long we are delayed. I KNOW that comics are still being drawn and written. They are likely queued weeks or even months in advance to the printer. Comics will return. Have no doubt. The question is HOW they will return. I know that issues will not be missed.

Are we going to get a massive dump of comics on the week that everything returns to shipping? That could be a $200 week for me. I would be alright with that so long as Garin and I had some extra time to get it all read before recording our review episode. Are we going to see staggered release to keep biweekly books from dumping 2 or even 4 issues (or more depending on the delay) all at one time? I have no clue. It is certainly interesting to speculate on.

I will follow up with this as I find more stuff online about what publishers are planning on doing. I will also keep an eye on Diamond Comics hoping for the big announcement of their return. Until then I am going to try and get some extra writing done. Social distancing is good for that. I have been voluntarily doing it for years.

One more thought on this whole COVID-19 thing. People are sick. People are scared. People are out of work. People are struggling to eat. People are dying. People are stressed. Right now is the time to stop and reflect on our blessings. It is the time to tip extra if you have it. It is also time to be extra kind. It is time that we all see the best in one another and remember that no matter your race, color, political persuasion, gender, or any other factor that divides us we are all human. We get sick. We die. It happens a lot more quickly than any of us are ready for. It is such a shame that we forget that and are ugly to one another.

Spread love. It is so very needed.

Just make sure you do it from a distance of 6 feet or more away.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

March 25 Comic Book Pull List

Aftershock

Godkillers #2

Boom!

Once & Future #7

DC

Batman Beyond #42
Batman Curse of the White Knight #8 
I will be buying 3 copies of this. I want both the A & B covers plus an additional B to hang on the wall. Sean Murphy has the very best Batverse. 
Detective Comics #1021
The Flash #752
The Last God #6

IDW

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #104
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Jennika #2

Image

Analog #10
Crowded #12
Sex Criminals #28

Marvel

Giant Size X-men: Nightcrawler #1
Hellions #1
Immortal Hulk #33
Incredible Hulk #182 Facsimile Edition 
Star Wars Bounty Hunters #2
Wolverine #2
X-men #9
X-men Fantastic Four #3

Saturday, March 21, 2020

My Thoughts on COVID-19

My title might lead some of you to think that I am going to comment on the virus itself. It isn't beyond the scope of belief that I would write some sort of conspiracy theory themed article about the virus being man made and all of the potential upsides that governments and corporations could reap by releasing a man made bug. This isn't that post though. For one thing, I can allow my brain to skip off down that mentally fantastic road if I really tried, but I am trying to live in the reality I can observe more often these days. There are probably plenty of people out there theory crafting if you are looking for that sort of thing.

Before I get to what I want to talk about I want to address a thing I did. I had a friend make me a meme of Samuel L. Jackson saying," Say Caronavirus again. Say it again. I dare you..." from his Pulp Fiction days. Why would I do something so massively insensitive? Christ, David people are sick and dying. It is such a douchebag move to make light of it.

Yeah. I got chewed out. Someone I care about tore me an absolute new asshole on social media. It pissed me off for a second. I started to defend myself. I started to lash out. I cannot stand to be corrected for making a joke or stating an opinion. Everyone should have the right to say most anything that they want, right? Well, not necessarily. I wanted to be offended.

Then I took a look at the feelings behind her response. I wasn't just mocking a situation that makes me nervous. I mocked something that has in a state of fear and panic. I may be an insensitive asshole, but I don't believe in mocking people's pain or fears. I quickly took the post down and deleted my complaint about not being able to be myself on social media. None of this is really about me or my rights. I would rather be a decent human being than vent my own stress online.

Now, I reserve the right to joke about inappropriate things. I am going to write something or say something that other people aren't going to like. I can be offensive and not even realize it. I refuse to be completely politically correct, but I also do really care about other people. I am not looking to shock anyone nor am I looking to hurt anyone's feelings. There is a line between stating an opinion or making a joke and hurting others with insensitivity. I prefer to stay on the shallow side of that line.

I appreciate when my friends say," Hey man, that might be a little too far." That is a huge function of friendship. We can draw one another away from foolishness. It helps us learn. If you don't trust enough in the people you surround yourself with to respect their feelings either you need better friends or you might need to work one some introspection. No one should run over the top of other people's feelings if it can be helped.

Of course, I haven't reached out to that friend and made any type of apology yet. I'm a little bit embarrassed. I also have had an absolutely insane week just like every other human on this planet. These are excuses. Sad face. I probably should have handled this already since I hold her in a place of high value even though we aren't very close. Anyway, I will beat myself up for being an emotional coward privately and get back on topic.

COVID-19 has hit the U.S. with a vengeance. For the first time in my life (that I remember) people are being asked to stay home. Businesses are being asked to limit hours or closed based on the necessity of their operation. Events and venues are closing. Bullets, Meat, and Toilet Paper are becoming nearly impossible to find. People are scared.

I am not sure that people are as afraid of the virus as they are of how other people are reacting. I put bullets on my set listing first for a good reason. I love to shoot. I think of myself as a responsible gun owner. I keep weapons for home defense, but really they are mostly for killing paper targets. I do fully expect that some day if we don't limit their population through target shooting that paper targets will humiliate and then devour humanity. I do my part. I keep enough ammunition locked up at my house to scare away a home invader, kill him and his accomplices outright if absolutely forced to do so, and still have a few rounds left over for the aforementioned war on paper targets.

I do not feel any need to advertise my gun love with an NRA hat. I don't have a single sticker on any of my vehicles promoting Mossberg, Glock, SIG, Walther, or any of the other Gods of the Gun Pantheon. I don't carry a pistol obviously on my person. This weekend almost made me reconsider that last one. People are being aggressive and bold.

Gun sales are heading for an all time high right now. As I mentioned before ammo is flying off the shelves. I'd love to believe that we were all planning to kill paper targets for the next few weeks while COVID-19 passes us by in a cloud of smoke that smelled strongly of gun powder. God, I love that smell. The stockpiling of guns and ammo doesn't feel like a bunch of enthusiasts passing time doing the whole pew pew thing. It feels like PREP. Maybe even DOOMSDAY PREP. That is unsettling.

People scare me. Scared people absolutely terrify me. In the best of times People are Stupid (Terry Goodkind explains this philosophy in great detail in his masterwork novel Wizard's First Rule) and they get into bad situations. I sat back amazed watching toilet paper vanish from store shelves. At first I laughed and joked. Then I noticed the home supply was getting to about half its normal level. Panic did not set it. Stress did. I hold Toilet Paper in very high regard. It is much more important than bullets. Though, I would not want to be without either one in a situation of great need.

I can be pretty comfortable with gun happy rednecks. Have a whole barn or bunker full of guns and ammo? No problem. We can totally be friends. What scares the life out of me right now are the people who normally wouldn't allow a gun in their home stocking up on a brand new 9mm with a high capacity magazine and a few hundred rounds of ammo. Karen and her new Smith and Wesson that she doesn't know how to use are still scared, but there is a difference between scared and scared with a gun.

There are three best case scenarios. Karen buys a gun safe and puts it beside the bed. The gun is needed. She pulls it out. She defends herself by fatally shooting a person trying to hurt Karen herself or Karen's family. It is important to note here that there is absolutely no scenario where Karen pulls the gun and does not use it with fatal intent. Guns are not meant for that and if you are not willing to kill someone with the gun you shouldn't own the gun, Karen.

The second best case scenario is that Karen puts the gun up. She doesn't need the gun during this time. She decides she is uncomfortable with guns again and sells the gun to someone who will own it and use it responsibly. Karen, do us all a favor and sell the gun cheap even though you never shot the thing.

Finally, Karen tries the gun out under the supervision of someone who can teach her how to use it properly. She finds out that shooting is fun. She becomes a responsible gun owner. Karen and her Smith live happily ever after and send many paper targets to their rightful graves.

What are the bad scenarios? Karen has the gun, she pulls it, she doesn't have the strength to actually use it and arms her attackers.

Karen doesn't store the gun safely. Little Karen finds it and blows away the neighbor, the neighbor's kid, or Fluffy the cat. More than likely the neighbors are safe. Little Karen probably shoots herself or Mommy Karen.

Karen forgets about the gun. Someone steals it. That person uses the gun to hurt other people.

Karen gets depressed. Karen uses the gun on her self. Guns talk to you when you are depressed. They can be seductively dangerous.

Wow. This is the first time I have really thought about how scary guns can be. Perspective is a bitch.

Here is the truth as I see it. COVID-19 itself is scary. Folks are dying. It is a viral pneumonia and nothing to play with. Even if I am not at risk I could give it to someone who is and accidentally kill them. That is nothing to be played with. We all need to be smart. We all need to be respectful.

I think it is great to have everything that you need, but lets avoid stockpiling to extreme levels. If we all only take what we need then there would be plenty for everyone. It also is a good time to make sure that we don't waste anything that we have.

The biggest danger beyond insane overreaction and the deadliness of the virus itself is people not knowing what to do with themselves. I think it is time to blog. It is time to vlog. It is time to start a podcast. It is time to make another play through of Skyrim and max out all of your skills. I have been perfecting my play through order for YEARS now.

Get caught up on your reading. Learn some new skills. Clean the house really, really well. Move the furniture. When you are done move it back. Or don't. It is your furniture after all. Clean out your closets. Write letters to your loved ones. Draw.

Do something to take your mind off of all of this. That will help you to make smart decisions.

The truth is this panic is just phase one. Isolation may last for a while. People are losing their jobs or having their hours cut. That leads to a lot of trouble and dissatisfaction in the world. The long lasting implications of this temporary problem are bigger than anyone can predict.

If you take the time to act rationally it is possible to thrive and survive. Remember what The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy said right on the cover: Don't Panic.

I am going to follow my own advice. Garin and I are going to record as much as we are able. I am going to get a lot of writing done. It would be cool to come out of this season of silliness with a novel written. I am going to get myself back in practice drawing again. I am going to post to social media, but I am going to be more thoughtful about what I put there.

Sunday, March 15, 2020

March 18 Comic Book Pull List

Dark Horse

Starship Down #1
This is a fantastic alternate history/ sci fi story written by Justin Giampaoli. I am such a fan. 

DC

Batman #91
Justice League #43
Year of the Villain: Hell Arisen #4

Image

Undiscovered Country #5

Marvel

Conan the Barbarian #14
Excalibur #9
Fantastic Four #20
Star Wars #4
If you ever wanted to know what happened between Empire and Jedi this comic will answer your questions. 
Jane Foster Valkyrie #9
X-Force #9

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