All posts in Comics

An Embarrassment of Riches

I may have mentioned this before, but there are too many things. And by “things” I mean books, video games, movies, TV shows, board games, songs, apps, and any other media one might experience. Right now, today, there are probably more things that I’d like to have a look at than I have time remaining in my life to do so. And tomorrow, someone will add even more.

I don’t like to leave things unfinished, no loose ends. But now I have this frayed blanket of partially read books, half-watched shows, unfinished video games, barely messed with apps, and board games still in shrink wrap. At one point these things were rare and hard won. As a child I created an impromptu garage sale to fund the purchase of the BattleTech board game, shutting the sale down the moment I could afford to buy. And then I played BattleTech for ages. Now everything is so easy to obtain, effortlessly plucked from the ether. But I feel like it takes a greater force of will to slow down and appreciate a single thing, knowing there are thousands more awaiting my attention. It is like touring the Louvre in a formula one race car.

I’ve decided I need to shift my perception of all this media, or at least to try. I’m trying to see it as another planetary ecosystem, something vast andĀ ever present. In the same way that I do not need to play with every breed of dog on the planet, I do not need to play every game. If I see one I like, I will pet it and enjoy that moment. I’m really happy just knowing that all those things are out there and that sometimes my path will intersect with some of them.

Calvin and Hobbes

I’ve been working my way through the complete Calvin and Hobbes, three huge tomes containing the entire run. It has aged well. After 20+ years, Calvin’s antics and Hobbes’ witticisms still amuse. I had forgotten, or perhaps not realized, how profoundly the strip had affected me. It celebrated imagination, making up your own rules, and overlaying reality with your own template. As an adult, I don’t look back and say to Calvin “Oh, you naive boy, you have no understanding of the world’s complexities.” I find myself saying, “You are right, Calvin. That is true, but adults pretend it isn’t.”

When I was a kid, I was bothered by Watterson’s seeming inability to stay on model with Hobbes. Sometimes he drew the tiger like Hobbes was just a stuffed animal. But now I know better. The stuffed animal was a metaphor for how adults just can’t deal with seeing the tigers all around them.

Parties

I was holding off on posting in my blog because I am going to be moving web hosts, but that has been delayed due to a mixup.

The STAPLE pre-party was neat. I had forgotten how many comic books there were at Austin Books & Comics. It felt like an ark for comic books, a backup vault in case civilization fell. I didn’t really know anyone there besides Chris, but my “Team Linus” shirt served as social currency. I also got to meet Goatboy, the artist who did the interior art for The Stork. I had only worked with him online.

Then I went to Reed’s housewarming party where I talked to cute girls about Doctor Who. Cory brought New Age and fruit, pretty much sealing the deal on the fun party situation.

Mouse Guard

I finished the first two volumes of David Petersen’s Mouse Guard. Gorgeous art and fantastic storytelling. It was one of those stories where I was immediately drawn in and I instantly cared about the main characters. Petersen’s rich worldbuilding reminds me of when I first read Dinotopia. It seems so effortless, like he’s just chronicling the events of an actual place. Highly recommended.

If Luke Crane shows up to run the Mouse Guard RPG at PAX East, I got dibs on Saxon.

A Night on the Town

I had assumed I was heading toward the usual Friday night routine of XBox and Netflix, my faithful companions. Then I got a text from Reed, inviting me out to hear his roommate play a gig at Momo’s. It is always a good idea to say yes to Reed because a good time is assured. Continue reading →

The Lathe of Heaven

I guess this’ll teach me not to read “The Invisibles” and “The Lathe of Heaven” simultaneously while having an existential crisis.

The language is always going to be an issue. As I learned from The Invisibles, we’ve only been taught half the letters of the true alphabet. This entire experience is created in language and there are things I have no words for. Continue reading →

Untethered

My project to slough off all the excess stuff in my life continues.

My music collection has been digital for years, save for a few collectibles and albums by friends. I’ve gotten my DVD collection down to about 17 boxes. Out of print films that you can’t get on Netflix. So I’m no longer buying movies of the common variety.

I don’t have very many video games either. When I finish a game or get bored with it, I sell it. I just signed up for GameFly, so I will never buy another video game unless it falls into the small, evergreen category where Rock Band resides.

Movies and games are both heading into an all-digital delivery system. There are many reasons for this, but a big one for the publishers is that the secondhand market will die. You can’t resell your digital copy of The Dark Knight to someone on Amazon. GameStop will eventually become a store for classic used games from the 2000s. One day it will seem ridiculous that digital information was bonded to physical platters and cartridges.

I’ve thinned down my book collection to two small book shelves. As I finish books, I’ll sell them to Half Price Books or give them away. Again, I’m only going to be purchasing hard to find items or books which make practical sense to own. I converted a majority of my Amazon book wish list over to a reading list for my brand new account at the Austin Public Library system. Holy shit, is this a slick operation! The online catalog system is robust. I can have books held and delivered to my local branch. I only stumped the system once or twice whilst searching for graphic novels. Their collection of every series I care about is comprehensive. They even had a copy of the out of print Encyclopedia of Fantastic Victoriana, which is basically steampunk porn. All for free. Why didn’t I do this sooner? Also, if there is a Kindle version of a book available, I’ll buy that over the dead tree version. The Kindle iPhone app is actually pretty great and I’ve been enjoying 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea on it.

The board game collection remains pretty large. I’ll probably thin it down over the course of a few years, getting rid of the so-so games, keeping only the ones I truly love.

I’ve also been untethering my online life. I’ve moved more and more documents up into the cloud so I can access them from anywhere. I stopped using desktop clients for mail, scheduling, spreadsheets, and twittering. It’s all web-based now. I can do all of my communication from anywhere. It feels good to shut my computer down when I’m done working instead of having to check in on it for new messages.

My iPhone is proving more and more invaluable. Today I set up a wireless storage app so I can keep my writing and important documents backed up on a password protected micro web server. It’s like having a magic extradimensional 16GB pocket I can reach into at any time.

When I can afford it, I’ll probably replace my computer with a laptop. I like the idea of being able to grab a backpack and take off, bringing my entire world with me.

I feel lighter.

Jetsam

Dream Job will be on hiatus for a bit while I come up with more ideas.

Dream Job 6 - Jetsam

Not My Department

Dream Job 5 - Not My Department

 

Yum

Dream Job 4 - Yum