On the first of May, 2018, sometime about a half-hour before noon, a bar appeared underneath every post on the social networking site Facebook.
I had awakened earlier, in a panic attack, and been scrolling my “newsfeed” in a wrongheaded attempt to relieve my state of depressive shock. Believe it or not, sometimes it works. I find pictures of kitties, or baby hedgehogs, or pretty girls with their whatnots hanging out. Maybe an inspiring story or a naughty bit of humor. I feel better, and get on with the tasks of the day.
But this new snitch bar made things way, way worse.
When something restores your overall morale, and very nearly your faith in humanity, that something must be publicly acknowledged. And yes, that’s humanity, not “hupeopleity”, or any other spurious, Canadian word salad.
Two things you already know if you’ve read articles on this site in the past month: 1., I’m flat broke, and 2., my dwarf hamster Vern has had a growth under his chin since mid-January.
A Vern in the hand.
This past week, the growth grew significantly, and I began to worry that it was hurting Vern. Hopefully you don’t know this, but when you’re so broke that you can’t even provide for the pet that depends on you, the spiral of shame and depression is mind-boggling in its brutality.
I won’t lie to you; I’m a conceited guy. I probably possess an overabundance of confidence in my own skills. As I grow older, I try to temper this arrogance, because I’ve seen how it can drive others away; friends, loved ones, fans. But you must understand the importance of this feature (not a bug). In today’s world, you have to be crazy to get anything accomplished.
I have a “Messiah complex”, for which I blame no one but myself. My endless vitriol directed at the entertainment universe springs from the concrete belief that I can do better for you. I can give you what you really want.
Set the Wayback Machine for 1998. I was at Kinko’s, in the middle of the night, running off copies of Mike The Pod Comix #4 (the blue one).
Those aren’t fonts. I didn’t have a computer. They’re typefaces copied from a book of antique alphabets, then literally cut and pasted. The rest is my own lettering.
The fourth issue was a transitional one. Drop Dead, my “90’s comic book“, concluded in its pages, in lieu of a seventh issue. I reprinted the Liquid Paper Pirates and Squeeky Wheel Gets The Grease strips from FINK, as well as For Whom The Beef Jerks.
Oh, and for the first time ever, I did full frontal, stark raving nudity. (NSFW!!!)
As an American man raised in the latter half of the 20th century (™Disney Corp.), my reference points all originate from popular movies, rather than real-life experience. When thinking back upon 2017, I an reminded of this classic Bill Murray line, from a film about to turn 30.
I don’t even get paid to do this, and yet I’m forcing myself to, for you. So at least pretend to enjoy it. Like 2017, it’ll be over and done before you know it. Fingers crossed.
I had to move recently, hence the hiatus. If you’re a writer or an artist, moving is extra hell because of all the books. Big glossy ones for the coffee table (if applicable), thick reference tomes, and oodles of little half-finished sketchbooks.
Not an exaggeration.
In 2012, my friend Chay and I worked as audience members for the taping of a popular game show, hosted by Steve Harvey. We helped to provide a diversity that was wholly absent from the proceedings.
[Author’s Note: This article is about how to be actual garbage, as in waste and refuse, not how to be the band “Garbage”.]
Here’s a hypothetical and hard-to-believe scenario. You’re talking to someone about how much you like my comics. Just go with it, alright? The person you’re talking to suddenly pipes up with, “Oh yeah, I know that guy. Have for years. He’s a real piece of shit. Let me tell you all about that pussy.”
Congratulations! You’ve had an encounter with garbage.
This could be you!
It’s not difficult. Garbage is everywhere. It stinks, and we all have to deal with it sooner or later.