Progress on my new graphic novel has been coming along, but before I totally depart into that fertile land, I’ve been diligently transforming past projects into tangible tokens. I’d like to announce the forthcoming release of two mini-comics — one, a collection of romantically themed break-up comics, and the other a self-contained, short, experimental story. I’ll release more info on these soon, but in the meantime, here’s the covers:
I’m really happy with how these came out, particularly the cover for Catharsis Comics. If I saw it at a convention or comics shop, I would be be intrigued and want a closer look.
These mini-comics represent my first foray into self-publishing, and I’ve definitely learned a lot — namely, how time consuming it is! Just formatting the files for the printer was a huge task requiring making little prototype books using scissors and glue sticks, then dismantling it to see what page each piece gets printed on (it’s not a linear process like you might think). Not including time spent creating the content, it probably took an additional 40 hours to create the covers, layout the books, and prepare the files for the print shop.
When these are printed I’ll be collating and staple-binding them myself — another time consuming task. All told, from this printing, I’ll have 60 copies of BIRTH/DEATH and 70 copies of Catharsis Comics. With the $260 spent on paper, printing, and supplies, if I sell these for $5 each, I’ll be lucky to make $1/hr for the time I’ve spent producing these comics. Clearly, I’m not in it for the money. I see these books as a sort of business card; you lose money having business cards printed, but hopefully, they go out into the world and bring back the goodness.
The black & white version of this comic was printed in a local publication, but it seemed better suited for vivid color.
“So what’s the deally-o Dally-o? Not going to tell us about your Vagrant Adventure?”
It’s true, I’ve been protective of my homelessness experience. I’ve shared some details with a very few people, but have been careful with what I give away, and when asked, usually speak in generalities like: “It was powerful. I met the people I needed to meet, saw what I needed to see, and had the insights I needed to have.” If I feel like a mischievous imp, I simply say: “You’ll have to buy the book.”
It’s not that I’m trying to be a mysterious dick, it just that when an experience is precious and profound, you’re not wanting to give it away. I feel like the magical quality of the trip would diminish if I tried to portray it with words. It would be a shadow of the real thing, and the more I’d talk about it, the more I’d believe the words and forget the experience. I found this to be true with Vipassana. I came out of Vipassana “high” and wanting to share it with everyone, but the more I tried to explain the transcendent, the more it became words. Flat, dead, rational, categorical, words.
If I were a William Blake or a Rumi, I could get you close the the actual thing with words, but even their poetry isn’t the thing itself. The thing itself is always beyond words. If you want to know the thing, then go do the thing!
Honestly, I’m still processing the experience and expect it will take a while. The Vagrant Adventure is like a gold mine to visit when I need material for this book or understanding about life in general. I’m excited to explore expression via the unique combination of art and words.