Birthdays and other lies

Well. That was a pretty good birthday. I sent off the signed contracts to print Rita, and went to the bank and wired off half the money. Now I just need to double check that the PDFs are the right sizes and send those off to the printer. I could have done that today, but instead I got together with the ex-with-benefits, went out to a cafe and worked on a short comic I've been fooling with, then went to a couple of places that have really nice cake and split a slice of it at each place.

I mean it was a good birthday aside from the fact that a literal neo-Nazi conference shouted “Heil Trump” today, and we got news headlines like “Alt-Right Leader Questions Whether Jews Are People”. Ugggghhh, what the fuck has gone wrong in this country, how do we fix it, I've been worrying about that a lot but today I just had some fucking cake.

And, well, aside from the fact that it's not anywhere near the date on my birth certificate…

A month and a half ago, a few people I follow on Facebook had birthdays at the same time. My feed there was full of reminders of this and messages other people wrote on their pages to wish them a happy birthday.

And I cringed inwardly, and went to make sure Facebook wasn't going to do that on my birthday. Because that's also the anniversary of the day my father died. Yeah, on my birthday. You couldn't do that to even the most miserable and beleaguered protagonist of a Roald Dahl tribute novel; it's just too perfectly horrid, isn't it? A day of cake and presents turned to a day of shock and horror at a sudden lack of a loving parent. Unsurprisingly my birthday celebrations have become rather minimal, to the point of barely existing at all – it's an excuse to maybe buy a couple big things I've been sitting on the desire for, and to have a nice meal with the ex-with-benefits, at most.

And then I wasn't sure if Facebook was going to do this or not despite me marking my birthday as hidden there. And I had a stoned idea: what if I replaced my birthday there with the creation date of the Furrymuck character whose name I ended up taking as mine, when I transitioned? Yes. I've had that date in my calendar for a while, so it was a simple matter to dig that up and put it in there. And to start trying to think of other social media that might have my birthday up, and change it there too. And put a post-it with the new date on the monitor so I'll hopefully remember to put it in the next time I create an account somewhere.

I originally wrote this the night I decided to do this, and scheduled it for the day after my new birthday. I wondered if by the time this comes up I'll have decided if I want to try to start using this as “my birthday” in social situations, tell people I'm a Scorpio when they ask my sign, and stop making jokes about the holiday near my actual birthday, or mention a few people I feel honored to share my birthday with. I think the answer is “yes”. Now I share it with Dr. John and Björk, not [redacted promoter], [redacted cartoonist], and [redacted cartoonist]. It'd be pretty cool if I can manage to get Wikipedia to have this date in it, should I become wiki-notable: I doubt anyone will bother researching the day beyond “what it says on her social media” unless someone reading it remembers this post and decides to doxx me to find it out. (Hi, future reader thinking of doing just that. Drop me a line and tell me why you want to do this, and maybe I'll just tell you. Oh wait I think you can find that out via public posts on this very blog, oh well.)

Maybe I'll even start to feel happy to get birthday wishes again now. That'd be nice. I could use a burst of happiness in the middle of winter. I kinda liked the pile of them I got this morning.

And: if you're seeing this after letting a machine urge you to wish me a happy birthday? Seriously, thanks for the birthday wishes. Please don't feel like a jerk for not knowing that my birthday is really another day, even if you've known me for years; I'm honestly not sure I'd know what my mother and father's birthdays were if they weren't both on holidays, never mind knowing the birthday of any of my friends.


hello, depression

This weekend, I felt like shit. Sore throat, runny nose, I had a cold. So I spent it on the beanbag chair playing video games. I’d been invited to a party but “getting on a bus with a head full of snot for a half hour so I could go sneeze on people who are gathering to try and have some fun” didn’t sound like a good idea for anyone involved.

I got a new one called “Ronin”. It’s a 2d game about a little ninja who runs through side-view office buildings killing lots of little security people on their way to kill the five people who apparently did something terrible to the ninja’s father. The unique selling point that differentiates this game from a zillion other games about agile little people running through side-view environments killing lots of people on their way to kill a few people who did something terrible is that combat happens largely in a turn-based fashion, rather than in realtime, so you get to be a super agile ninja with super reflexes who can leap through a hail of bullets to stab someone in the face. I spent a whole day playing it until like 3AM, and won it, then did a few levels of the New Game+ mode (which starts you with the full toolset of moves you had to unlock over the course of the game, and requires that you kill 100% of the security dudes without letting them raise the alarm, and kill 0% of the occasional non-combatants scattered throughout the levels) before it crashed and I put it down for an indefinite amount of time.

Then I played the recent remake of 2006’s “Ratchet and Clank” which was really amazingly pretty. And I kept on noticing that I could barely tell what was going on in the cutscenes because all the detail added in the course of spiffing up a decade-old PS2 game for the PS4 made every shot a little harder to parse compared to the original’s brightly-colored cartoon characters against contrasting backgrounds; there were multiple times in the first few levels where I felt like I could barely see what was going on because the various robots and aliens shooting at me were the same color as the background. And damn its plot is some convoluted bullshit that’s mostly an excuse to give you more goofy-looking targets to shoot with your goofy guns.

I played that until like 5AM. I’m not sure I enjoyed any of it. I feel no particular desire to replay the whole thing with its hundreds of side missions and things to collect, and yet I want nothing more than to go sit on the living room for another fifteen hours doing exactly that.

Today I got out of bed around 1PM. I’ve been up for about four hours and the fucking sun is already setting. Realizing that makes me feel doomed. (Switching off of daylight savings time isn’t helping this one bit.)

I miss drawing new comics but “printing Rita” still hangs over anything else in a big curtain of guilt. And pushing that forward is a constant churing pool of boredom and stress and guilt. I really hope that this is the last book I have to print myself. It probably isn’t. And that fills me with dread and misery and I just wanna crawl back into bed and sleep until the sun comes back.

Hello, seasonal depression. It’s been a while. I didn’t miss you one fucking bit. If the long-shot chance of Parallax becoming a thing happens, I am moving back to LA and I am never living this far north ever again if I can help it. I need more goddamn sun than Seattle provides, even with the help of my False God.

(I also realize that I have eaten pretty much nothing but junk food for the past few days and should probably eat something vaguely like real food. I should probably change my habits to eat more real food in general. I’d been working on that for a while but I’ve backslid.)


Rita 2 is here and it looks fine.

It took me a little while to actually feel any emotions about this fact. I felt oddly empty about this accomplishment. In part because I’d just had this exchange on DA’s forums:

Screen Shot 2014-08-05 at 4.14.18PM


It’s just another step on the path. I’m not even done with volume 2; I need to ship out about half of the 400 books now cluttering up my studio. And when that’s done I’ve got to finish drawing volume 3, hope it doesn’t turn into volumes 3 and 4, and kickstart, print and ship that one. Maybe when that’s over I’ll feel finished. Maybe I won’t until I put out the omnibus.

I will probably express some happiness tonight at the cartoonist meetup, though. And at the release party we’ve been talking about maybe having at Phoenix. I dunno. There’s an emotion hanging over my right shoulder, just outside my peripheral vision, and I can’t catch sight of it no matter how I twist and turn. I’ll have to lay in wait and catch it unawares, I guess.

I should buy a postage printer.