Like many progressive American people, 2016 has been an alarming year for me.
I got re-invested in the political process during the primaries. Thinking about the issues led me to finally get to This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate by Naomi Klein on my to-read list. This book is a clarion call to agitate for immediate climate action.
And then Trump was elected. In addition to his distressing racist, sexist, and dishonest rhetoric and behavior, his potential nominations for his cabinet are a climate nightmare.
In comparison to the challenges of climate change mitigation and an authoritarian president, my psychedelic space fantasy comics have seemed such an inadequate pursuit. I still believe in the power of stories and that art has transcendent value but I feel so privileged working on comics while the world collapses around me. Especially when I see what activists can accomplish in places like Standing Rock. I’m not sure if I want to make my comics more political or just get more involved with activist groups.
So I haven’t been as productive in 2016 as I was in 2015.
In 2015 I drew a lot and tabled at SPX for the first time. I had pages in four anthologies, Blank Hill Zine, RhiZome #3, Ink Brick #4, and Future Shock Zero. Yeah Dude Comics put out my mini-comic Sphere Fear. I finished Skew Part 3 and a couple other comics for Study Group. I did two large Acrylic paintings as rewards for the Fall 2014 Sparkplug Books Kickstarter.
In 2016 I tabled locally at the KC Zine Fest but didn’t travel to any national shows. I did some watercolor paintings for a couple of KC area art shows. Alternative Comics took over the Sparkplug backstock and then released Vortex through Diamond and produced a digital edition.
My biggest accomplishment was finishing Skew Part 4 and an epilogue. As a reward for reading through this post, here are six pages from Part 4:
One of my goals in 2017 is to find a publisher for a print edition of Skew.
I’ve also been working on another comic that should come out next year. It’s weird to work on comics that I’m not posting as soon as they’re finished. I don’t want to say anything else for fear of jinxing it. And I’m involved in at least one other anthology-ish project for 2017.