Throwback Thursday! The Layoff

July 29, 2021
The cartoonist gets laid off from his day job.

I hesitated reposting The Layoff. Old wounds, and all that. If you’ve ever been let go from a job, you know it sucks. It sucks for years after.

I tried to deal with the experience by making a comic about it. I made two of them, actually – there’s a follow up to this one called The Job Hunt. Then I decided I had enough with journal comics. I don’t like talking about myself.

Of course, here I am talking about myself. Not to mention Pity Party, which is also talking about myself. If I’m going to write journal comics about me, I should write about when I’m feeling happy. It does happen.

Kurt Vonnegut had this great quote about acknowledging when we are happy.

“And I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, ‘If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.”

Kurt Vonnegut, A Man Without a Country

Between Kurt Vonnegut’s “if this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is”, and Ted Lasso’s “be a goldfish”, I could be a whole new man!

Well, let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

In all seriousness, if you are going through some kind of job loss, do get the help you need to take care of yourself. Do it sooner than later. If you wait, by the time you realise you need help, you could have already done lasting damage to yourself. And that’s no good.

You deserve to be happy. Onward!

Father Time is a Corporate Stooge

July 27, 2021
Father Time wearing a fancy suit, with a clock head, and closes floating around him.

Did you drift?

Yeah, me too.

Father Time is a corporate stooge, don’t listen to him. You still have time. Go make something great.

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Throwback Thursday! Crows Be Prepared

July 22, 2021
Crows prepare for the end of the world.

Happy Throwback Thursday! This weeks art from the archives is Crows Be Prepared, an evergreen story I feel is just as relevant today as it was when I wrote it. Mostly I just wanted to draw a crow in an army helmet. Mission accomplished!

Time for a Back Pat

July 20, 2021
Illustration of a man wearing glasses, with a brightly coloured something blasting through his head. There is a large smile painted on his face.

Let’s talk about that thing you’re working on.

I know it’s been hard finding time to work on it. Time of any meaningful length is a unicorn. Family, responsibilities, work, chores, everything. But you found time.

Between tasks at work, on the bus commute, before bed, or before breakfast.

Instead of spending an hour endlessly scrolling through social media.

Here and there.

You penny-jarred the hell out of your thing. And now it’s done.

Sure, there were challenges. The kids took your thing-space for home schooling. Finicky tools. The internet is a fun-house mirror.

But they are all in the past.

You took what was a passing electrical spark in your brain, and turned it into something tangible. That’s amazing. Good work.

And now, it’s time for the next thing. It will be even better than your last thing.

I can’t wait to see it.

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Throwback Thursday! Crows and the Zika Virus

July 15, 2021

It’s Throwback Thursday at Survival Anxiety Comics! Remember the Zika Virus? The Crows remember in this week’s archive gem Crows and the Zika Virus.

The Zika epidemic was a hot news item in 2016, and mosquitoes got most of the (deserved) flak for spreading it. The Zika virus was a big concern for pregnant women, who could pass it on to their fetus, potentially causing brain anomalies. Adults could suffer rapid muscle weakness. There was also concern for the athletes participating in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Simpler times, am I right? Mosquitoes ruin every party.

When working on the character design for the crows, I had envisioned one crow to be kind of dumb, while the other was smart. It’s a common setup. I got bored with it. The smart one became kind of condescending, at least in my mind. I wondered why they would even be hanging out together if that was their dynamic. The crows are supposed to be friends, with differing points of view and experiences. So I eventually eased off on dumb vs smart characteristics, and in more recent comics especially, they compliment each other better. I feel like they’re becoming a bit more like an avian Statler and Waldorf from the Muppets. Judgemental about human behaviour, but certainly not without their own flaws.

I used Clip Studio Paint for this comic, although I think it was called Manga Studio 2016. I’m going to stop saying that every time I mention Clip Studio Paint. A comic lettering process I used at the time was to lay out all the dialog text with the Text Tool, then I traced the letter characters with a lettering brush. Something akin to a tech pen. I still use this process for digital illustrations. It feels a bit mechanical here, because I was just figuring it out. The goal was to have comic lettering that visually fit with the cartoon art, and was more unique than a comic lettering font. And tidy. Very tidy lettering.

Of course, today I hand letter all my comics, and it’s a glorious mess, but that’s a blog post for another time.

Thanks for reading!